Monday, December 16, 2013

Rainy Day Camp Out

What an incredibly boring, rainy weekend. The horrible combination of rain and wanting to avoid the Christmas shoppers who have snuck into every corner of every shop made me feel pretty antisocial as well. What to do on a weekend such as this? 

In desperate boredom our little family ended up having a pretty good time after all camping out in our living room. Not bad for a $20 tent, and Lizzie couldn't get enough of brining her "friends" in to join her. And of course required snuggles with mommy and daddy. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Toddler Christmas Pictures

Last year, I guess I had it easy. Who knew that it would be much better to take cute, posed pictures of a tiny human being who couldn't even crawl than an on-the-go toddler with opinions of her own?  (See last year's Christmas pictures.)

So I'm running a little late on the cards.

For our first attempt at cards, I thought it would be a good idea to simply take a ton of pictures at the tree farm when we cut down our tree. Cute, right? I think I took about 100 pictures and mostly ended up with what you see on the right. And the one or two cute ones that we did get have so much sass in them, we decided we would have to give it another go. 

From the tree farm experience, I decided that my strategy would need to be to simply snap pictures constantly. And feed her M&Ms. As she's never experienced the deliciousness of peanut butter M&Ms, they essentially worked well as toddler crack. She was hamming it up. 

By constantly snapping pictures, I missed out much less frequently on those rare, smile-at-the-camera shots that I lost out on our tree farm experience. Note: we have a Digital SLR so we can do this without getting blurry pictures. We even have one of those fancy settings that just automatically shoots 10 pictures with one click. If you have a small human and no high-speed camera, you will need to borrow one. I wish you luck. 

Eventually, through the right combination of M&Ms, luck, and great late-afternoon natural light, we managed to get the shots I needed for the Christmas card. I only took 300 or so this time. 

Here's my big winner this year:

I'm a fan of black and white, so while it looks good in color, this particular shot looks great this way. Though through the power of M&Ms, we did end up with quite a few to choose from. And I finally have the cards ordered. (Though I had to pay for express shipping. Boo!)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Oh, You Feel Bad For My Daughter?

We are finally past Thanksgiving. Whoo! It was a busy last week to November with Andrew's mom and step dad visiting and Miss Lizzie playing and playing with grandma and papa. And shopping and shopping and shopping until I couldn't even stand to be in another store. But at least we are ahead for Christmas plans for a change. 

While it was nice to have guests for Thanksgiving, and let me say I really do have the best MIL in the world, she did say something that really rubbed me the wrong way and got me thinking about the huge differences between my parents and Andrews. 

She said she feels bad for Lizzie because she doesn't have enough toys. 

The reason that it rubbed me the wrong way is the way she phrased the statement. She "feels bad" for Lizzie. My MIL is very generous and loves to get things for people, but just doesn't seem to get it when I explain that we simply do not have enough space in our house for big toys (especially as we use one of our three rooms as a guest room so that they and others can visit!). She often forgets that in a few short months I'm going to have to move all of the many toys Lizzie really does have across the country to a still-unkown destination. And that a few years later I'll have to do it again. I'm not some Puritan parent who is denying my child for fun. 

Don't get me wrong. I know she meant it nicely, and in a grandma-wants-go-get-Elizabeth-something-cool kind of way. But "feeling bad" that mommy put a limit on how many stuffed animals Lizzie has because we already have two bins overflowing with them? "Feeling bad" because we don't have 1,000 Legos? Because she doesn't have a TV? (*cringe*) Come on. I love you my dear well-intentioned MIL but come on.