Thursday, December 29, 2011

Drinking the Kool Aid

I had a hard time coming up with a title for this entry.  "A Rite of Passage", "A New Chapter", "Every Girl's Dream" all came to mind, but drinking the kool aid seemed appropriate as well.

Mecca for girls. . .and their crazed mothers.

Yesterday we trekked up to Atlanta to the AG store so Sunshine could spend the gift cards that she received for Christmas.  Luckily, I had the forethought to ask whether she wanted to shop first or have lunch first.  And even better, I booked reservations in the cafe as there was a 5 hour wait for walk ups.

AG is an amazing place for little girls.  Dolls with every hair/eye color combination smile at you from every corner.  Historical dolls have these wonderful displays & suck you in.  Sunshine's decided that Santa will be bringing her Kit next Christmas.  I guess she'll be telling GoGo about it??

 There were little girls & their dolls EVERYWHERE.  And their mothers.  And their fathers looking like they'd rather be at the Starbucks outside in the mall.  And their griping brothers who wanted to be anywhere but AG.  We had a fair amount of gift cards to spend in the store but it seemed paltry in comparison to some of these people purchasing what looked like the equivalent of their mortgage payment.

We did some preshopping online & with the catalog so Sunshine knew how much she could buy.  Unfortunately the skating outfit & ballet outfits were sold out so we're ordering them.  It's amazing how quickly things add up in there! Sunshine went back & forth between the books, the historical dolls & the clothes.  Luckily, her doll came with pierced ears & we agreed that the next time we go (see the kool aid?  Next time we go) she can have her hair done.  We finished our shopping in about 30 minutes & spent about 15 working our way through the check out line.  I was actually impressed by how quickly it moved, all things considered.

We were about 15 minutes early for our reservation so I ran our bag out to the car while Sunshine waited inside with Hunter (who has taken to using a wheelchair in malls as it's easier than hobbling around on crutches).

New AG addicts at lunch

Our lunch was fun & luckily by the time we were finished eating, the store had almost cleared out.  The volume in the restaurant had died down considerably as well.  We had a 1pm reservation so I'm thinking the next time we go, we might want to do a later reservation or maybe do tea (as Hunter's aunt suggested later when we were visiting with her & her family.  For the record, her daughter was an AG fan as well & is the proud owner of Samantha)

Sunshine, her Elizabeth doll, her mini-Felicity doll & monster ice cream sundae

While Sunshine has decided that Kit will be her next doll, she's also decided that a regular size Felicity would be nice.  You know, for Elizabeth, since they're besties & all.  You know how you can't go into Target for toilet paper w/out spending $150?  They pump the same stuff into the air at AG.  While we were at lunch, I found myself scouring Ebay looking for deals on Felicity.  I had the sense to put my phone down while I ate & enjoyed the experience.  I fully admit to searching when we got home after 9pm & may or may not have a couple auctions saved into my watch list.

Our final haul of the day?  Two mini dolls (Felicity & Kit), 2 outfits, the Every Day Play earrings set, undies & 2 outfits to be ordered.  

Sunshine wants to go back for her birthday & honestly, I think it would be great.  I'm pretty sure that Kool Aid lasts a long time!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas Eve. . . 

Final Counting Down of the season. . .

Opening presents Christmas morning. . . 

LOVE her!!!

And best of all, no more grief from Sunshine that Baby Jesus isn't out!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Tis better to give than to receive

There is nothing better than surprising someone on Christmas.  Especially someone whose heart is bigger than the world.  Someone who does so much for so many.

I don't want to name names or say too much but early this morning, a friend of mine posted about how she was going to have a meager Christmas due to the inability of others in her life to plan accordingly.  Like I said---she does so much for those around her & is one of the sweetest people ever.

Knowing she wouldn't have a present tomorrow morning made me mad.  And sad.  It wasn't fair.  So, I sent out a few messages on FB & told various mutual friends that I was planning on sending her something & they could get in on the something if they so desired.

They did.  In the span of 2 hours we raised $200.  People, I can buy you nice things w/ $200.  So, a few clics of my touchpad later, e certificates were on their way to this darling girl.  Her email to me was awesome.  She said she was crying & we made her snot her mittens!

You know you've done something right when your gift recipient snots their mittens ;)

Sunshine is beside herself with anticipation of tomorrow morning.  We usually let her open a gift on Christmas Eve & this year is no different.  I have a special present in mind---it's a Cinderella snow globe that she picked out back in September.  You know, when the stores set up their holiday displays.

So she starts negotiating gift opening times.  "How's 7:30?" she asked.  At this point it was 10am.  I told her sure & went about my business.   We went around visiting our neighbors & dropping off cranberry breads & pumpkin breads that we baked yesterday.  Several of them had little gifts for  Sunshine which was really sweet.  We came home, had lunch & realized the Patriots game wasn't televised in Dixie.  Which wasn't very nice.  Hunter went to take a nap (he'd been out doing last minute shopping) & I was trying to get the game online.  Sunshine came out early in the 2nd half & announced that she'd made a mistake & could we bump it up to 5:30.  I said yes.

I'm sure she won't snot her mittens when she sees her presents, but will be thrilled with everything.   We're having a low key Christmas which is fine, but the weather is killing me!  It's 65 degrees!  This is NOT Christmas weather, people!!  I want snow!  I want below freezing temps!  I want to look out the window while we're opening gifts & see snow falling (like Christmas '08 at my parents house).  We've decided that next year we're going to VT.  Hopefully Sunshine will have the same Christmas break schedule (furlough days rolled into break rather than scattered throughout the year) & we won't feel we need to rush back.   But I can definitely deal with a week (or more!) in my beautiful home state during the holidays.  Sledding, snow, that chill in the air as you walk down the Church St. Marketplace.  Yeah, I'm ready to be home for the holidays!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One tradition goes away

Every Christmas we've taken Sunshine to see Santa.  She was 8 months old the first time.  It was ungodly hot that December & she's in short sleeves.  Santa must have been stroking out in his suit.  When she was 2 1/2, she was too afraid to see Santa so we took a picture of her standing on the side---watching him from afar.  There are 6 pictures of her with him, in pretty red frames, gracing my mantel.  It's something I've loved doing. Watching her little face light up when she caught sight of him &  telling him what she wanted.

That ended this year.  There will be no Santa picture with a 7 1/2 yr old Sunshine because today she told me she didn't want to go see him.  Not just today, but this year & probably next too.  Because, "Mommy, things are changing."

It didn't matter that Hunter talked to her &told her just how special those pictures are to me.  It didn't matter that I told her how special they are.  She didn't want to go.

We went to the National Infantry Museum to see The Polar Express at the IMAX theater, in 3d.  I admit, I had a secret plan to go to the PX on the way home &wow!  Santa's here---can't we grab a quick pic.  Don't judge.

Since Hunter is still on crutches, he was offered use of a wheelchair & we were escorted to the elevator up to the rear of the theater.  I have to say that it was the best view!  Forget sitting in the middle of the theater---next year, we're in the last row!

Sunshine proclaimed that she still believes in Santa &; that she could hear the bell ring because she believes, but still refuses to go see the big guy.

It makes me so sad to accept that she really is becoming this big kid.  I remember the Christmas that Santa brought her a sleigh bell & left it under my parents tree.  She had opened all of her presents & there, way in the back was this box with her name on it.  She opened the box & her eyes grew as big as saucers when she saw the bell.  The joy I felt that morning is a feeling I will never forget.

I know that we only have a couple years left where she does believe, probably one.  Maybe this will be the last year, I don't know.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Olive Oyl's a skank

I know, it's the holidays & not nice to talk such smack about people, but let's call a spade a spade here people.

Last month we switched cable/phone/internet companies & went back to the provider we'd had for 10 years. We foolishly switched to another company when we bought our house as they were offering this crazy cheap deal.   A year later the rates doubled, the level of customer service plummeted & we found ourselves without phone/cable/internet intermittently for over a year.  It was nothing to have our phone out for 3-4 days & nothing other than an "oh we're so sorry" from this company.  

So when we switched back to the company we love we discovered we now get the Boomerang channel.  I was happy because Josie & the Pussycats  and Penelope Pitstop are regularly shown.  Sunshine was thrilled with those two but also that Popeye is on in the morning when she's eating breakfast.   I admit, I'm a Popeye lover from way back.  I credit him with my love of all forms of spinach.  Even canned.  Seriously, my mother will vouch for me.

It hit us the other day that Olive Oyl is a major skankasaurus.  Sunshine commented that OO wasn't "very nice to Popeye" because she threw him over to hook up with Bluto.  I'm guessing that if Bluto were on the Jersey Shore, he'd be known as a "gorilla juice head" & that both he & Popeye are on the juice.  Have you looked at the size of Popeye's forearms?  Those aren't natural.  

But OO does this all the time.  She's got this baby & we've never been told who Sweet Pea's father is.  Maybe it's Popeye, maybe it's Bluto.  Maybe it's another sailor from their ship.  Who knows.  But she'll be on a date or whatever with Popeye & ol' Bluto will show up w/ his big ol' chest, bad facial hair & swaggering ways & the next thing you know, Popeye's getting his butt beat, humiliated in front of skankapotamus OO & has to resort to his drug of choice----canned spinach.  Granted, he always wins in the end, but the humiliation factor is unreal.  How can his ego take this abuse day in and day out?

Hunter had his post op appointment today & it seems everything is going as hoped which is good.  We go back in 10 more days & hopefully he'll be given the green light to drive again.  

I'm on my way to school to be Room Mom & help the kids make glitterific ornaments.   I'm sure Sunshine's going to choose pink.  Luckily, I bought an extra package so we can make some in different colors for our family tree & for hers.

Happy Monday!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's a conspiracy!

As we know, I am in need of a 12 step program for china.  In a bad way.  I started my Spode Christmas Tree collection in 2002 when Hunter & I first got married.  That year's purchase was a star shaped candy dish.  That one little dish turned into a yearly purchasing tradition.  Dishes followed, serving pieces, wine glasses, high ball glasses, candy dishes, ornaments, etc.  

This year I purchased bowls as we use our Spode as our daily dishes starting the day after Thanksgiving & until New Year's Day (or the day after).  I was thinking that maybe a few more salad plates & dinner plates would be nice to have.  

But there's something rotten in Denmark, or at least Columbus as NO ONE has the dishes.  Well, not entirely true.  Dillards & Macy's do.  But I'm looking at TJ Maxx & Marshall's as they tend to be a little cheaper.  We have 2 TJ's & 1 Marshall's store.  All 3 are sold out.  HOW is this possible??  Suddenly everyone is buying Spode??  They better be buying for me!

I'm debating going to Macy's/Dillards after Christmas & seeing what they have but GAH! No Spode?!!!!  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Piggy Backing

As I mentioned in my last post, my New Year's Resolution is to give up feeling guilty about things that are out of my control or at the very least, to not feel guilty when I say no to things.

A very wise woman whom I'm fortunate enough to call a friend shared this list on FB earlier today.

Food for thought, no?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Crazy Train Pulls Into The Station

Do you mind if I vent about something?  I mean, it's my blog & I can do what I want (said like a petulant 5 year old) but do you mind?

So, yesterday was the second day of the Secret Santa Shop (SSS).  We knew things would be busy as we gave the teachers 1 hour slots this year.  Yesterday was early release day so we lost 2 shopping hours.  Two very precious shopping hours as we had a couple teachers doubling up during one slot.   

Our PTA President works part time for big name insurance company headquartered here.  Yesterday she had to go into their headquarters for a meeting & was planning on coming in to help as soon as the meeting let out.  Our Fall Festival Chair person had to go to work as she'd missed the last 4 days because of a sick child.  The SSS chair was at her part time job as well.  So, it left me & another mom to run the show.  We're hard core, we can do this.  

Things went south when she was ringing on the register & I was wrapping gifts.  And by going south, I mean she messed up & loudly proclaimed "SH*T!"  In front of half a dozen kids.  And while this is happening, her husband is texting/calling her.  We switch jobs & she's on the phone while wrapping.  I hear the following come out of her mouth:  "I can't leave.  Laurie would be all alone in here"

The next few minutes are a blur as there are dozens of children in the shop, her phone is ringing & next thing I know she says "I have to go & do something for him"

PTA volunteer say what?

Leave?  Me?  NOW?  With no one to help me?  This just isn't done!

But dear readers, it WAS done.  Chick leaves me high & dry.  And riding the crazy train at that.  

At some point, one of the 4th grade teachers came in with her class & told me she'd help wrap.  And as soon as some of her super reliable kids had shopped/paid/been wrapped they'd help me too.  

I tell you, it took a village, or at the very least, a 4th grade class to make this SSS happen yesterday.

And, may I add that you know people feel really bad for you when teachers are suggesting you go home & have a drink when school lets out at 12:30.  Teachers, plural.  I may or may not have taken their advice---I'll leave you wondering on that ;)

Today was Hunter's ankle surgery---apparently things were quite messy in there.  His ligament (or was it tendon?) was as thick as his doctor's finger & a bone spur had developed to mess things up even more.  He twisted it over the summer while mowing the lawn & things just never got better.  He went from a brace to a boot to a cane to an MRI to today's surgery.

He drove himself in at 5 am as we both agreed that waking Sunshine & having her ride in w/ us would be awful for her.  So after I dropped her off at school, I started my trek to one of the civilian hospitals.  After a quick diversion to the PO to pick up my Mom's Christmas presents for us.  

We got home around 1:15 & he's spent most of the day in bed with his foot elevated.  He's in a bit of pain & so far hydrocodone's not helping much.  We'll see if things are better tomorrow or whether we need to get something else to help him feel better.

And, can I tell you about the cold therapy unit?  It's a COOLER with electric cables plugged into it.  Seriously.  A cooler.  You know the person who created this thing is rich from it.  A cooler, people!  *shakes head*

Tomorrow is my other day off from the SSS.  I felt incredibly guilty about taking 2 days off.  Never mind the fact that our VP is never around for anything, saw I was alone on Tuesday & left me to go back to her son's class, but told me to "call" if we needed help or anything.  What did she think I needed when it was me & some 4th graders running the show?  You'd be right if you said a xanax & a big ol' cocktail, but they frown on stuff like that in elementary schools.  You'd also be right if you said "OH!  Laurie, you needed someone to pitch in & help you!"  And I'd give you a big ol' prize for that correct answer.

So, back to my guilt.  It's awful.  I didn't help out at Family Fit Night last Spring because Sunshine had a knot on her head from falling the day before & honestly, I didn't want to leave my house.  I was beating myself up for days over that one.  Then, the weekend before Fall Festival I skipped out of Beautification Day at school. I worked like a dog at the one before school started & was sick that afternoon.  The best guilt trip I took was during Book Fair---you remember Book Fair--it's how I got started in this whole PTA Crazy Train trip.  So back during Book Fair in September we also host a Grandparents Breakfast on that Friday.  I'm already running & working a major fundraiser.  I've done the planning, the scheduling, the copying, the set up, the working, & will be working the break down so I can have my margarita w/ our librarian.  BUT, as I'm signing checks for the breakfast (I'm also the Treasurer, remember?  Yes, I'm insane), I'm apologizing like a fiend because I can't help with the breakfast.

Seriously.  Insane.  I know it---it's okay, you can say it.

Yes, I have a hobby.  I knit.  At PTA functions sometimes.  Book Fairs at least.

So,  yesterday as I was fuming over being ditched for some errand to the Dollar Tree,  I was writing my letter of resignation to the PTA.  I was going to give up the Treasurer's position, tell them they could forget about me being either Secretary or Treasurer next year & that I'd do Book Fair & nothing more.  I know, I'll never actually write that letter but the fantasy of doing it helped me through the situation.

When I was telling Hunter about my awful day & how I was ditched for the DOLLAR TREE!!!!, I told him how I felt guilty about being gone for 2 days.  He just shakes his head & tells me that I really need to share my thoughts with people about certain situations.  I'm not sure about that.  I don't think that this woman needs to know what I think about her Dollar Tree mission.  Not if I don't want my tires slashed.  Or worse.

It hit me that my New Year's Resolution will be to give up feeling guilty.  I will do the jobs I've volunteered for & that's it.  Someone else can pick up the slack.  Things won't fall apart if I don't have a hand in them.  And I'm sure there are other moms & dads who want to be more involved.  Aren't there??

So tomorrow I'm going to do some knitting, get my Christmas cards written out & addressed & possibly go for a hot stone massage pedicure if my patient is okay.

And I will NOT feel guilty about it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Crazy Train Has Left The Station

and I'm in the first car!

My crazy week has officially begun.  On Saturday, we spent 4 hours setting up the Secret Santa Shop for the kids & had a brief PTA Board meeting.  Brief partly because our agenda wasn't terribly long, but also because it was after 3 & we'd all been there since 10:30.  I was so tired the rest of the day!

Today is the first day of Secret Santa & in true "can't say no" Laurie fashion, I'm working from 8-2.  It'll probably be more like 230 as we'll have some parents coming in to shop with their children.  I also need to make copies for Sunshine's teacher & get them distributed to the kids myself as the letter contains a request for donations for her teacher's gift.  I'm making a gift for her myself, but I've found that if you go in on a joint gift, sometimes you have better options.  We'll see if the parents agree!

Tonight is my Knit Night where I'll work on Sunshine's teacher's scarf.

Tomorrow is Secret Santa until early release at 12:30 then we'll dash home, get Sunshine into her pretty dress, head over to get her hair trimmed & then to the mall to get our annual Santa picture.  I was so excited to find red frames at World Market last weekend when I was there.  Now all of our pictures will have the same frames!  We also have to work on her Mary Musgrove presentation.  Not having been raised in GA & semi ignorant of the founding/early days of GA, I wasn't aware of who she was until Sunshine came home talking about her, James Ogelthorpe & Tomochichi.  BTW, hearing her say Tomochichi is the cutest thing ever.

Wednesday is Hunter's surgery day.  Prayers, please.  Not just for him, but for me as he'll be restricted to 2 - 3 weeks w/ no weight on it.  Have I mentioned that we're going to the American Girl Store w/ Sunshine exactly 2 weeks post surgery?  In a mall.  Where walking is required?  I may have to get him a scooter.

The upshot about Wednesday is I'll have time to get some knitting done while I'm in the waiting room.  Hopefully I can finish that day.  I'm anticipating staying home from SSS on Thursday as well & will have time to address my Christmas cards,  upload games/music to Sunshine's ipod touch that Santa is bringing on Christmas & hopefully do some work on the PTA Treasury records (filing paperwork & such).  It'll also give me a chance to get some cleaning done.

Friday is the last day of the SSS so we'll break down & put away anything that doesn't sell for next year, count some $$ & head to the bank.

And then I'll just have 2 days of school to worry about ---ornament day & brownie tree decorating day.  But those should be fun & less chaotic than this week.

Happy Monday & feel free to board the Crazy Train with me. I'll make room on the first car for you!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Hunter & I don't do big anniversary or Christmas gifts, usually.  There have been years where I received a particularly nice piece of jewelry or the armoire that goes with our bedroom suite.  But we try to keep smallish.  Really, the Kindle Fire is smallish.  As in 7" tablet small.

I'm an iphone/ipod type of girl by nature.  I like things that don't have too big of a learning curve out of the box.  I want it to work IMMEDIATELY.  Like yesterday.  Like a 4 year old wanting to tear into their cake & presents BEFORE the party starts type of immediately. 

I've had a bit of a learning curve with my Kindle & have much frustration with the Vanity Fair app not accepting my sign in, despite 5 days worth of communication between VF's customer service & my email.  But so far I am LOVING this device!  Luckily, my favorite bookatarian has one & has been wonderful about sharing sites/freebies/etc.  Today, I downloaded 4 free books as a result of her sharing this info!

I'm also bone tired.  Today we set up for the Secret Santa Shop at school.  Five of us showed up to get everything done & it took us about 3 hours.  This is the calm before the storm.  Every time slot is filled on the teachers' sign up sheets.  And despite my working Monday, Tuesday & Friday from 8-2, I'm still feeling guilty that I won't be there on Wednesday & possibly Thursday as Hunter is having surgery on Wednesday.  I think my New Year's Resolution for 2012 is to work on that whole feeling guilty because I can't be everywhere all the time.  

I'm just over 50% finished knitting the scarf for Sunshine's teacher.  I'm planning on working on it tonight & hopefully will have it finished by Thursday so I can block it in time to give to her on the 20th (last day of school before break).    I also want to try to work on a scarf for Sunshine's Kindergarten teacher.  Sunshine started at this school in January '10 so technically, I'm free & clear for not having a Christmas present for a teacher she didn't have at that time.  But, my original plan was to give her a knitted gift at the end of the year, only it never happened.  I have the ribbing to finish on my Mara shawl & could give that to her, but was thinking about using some yarn that was gifted to me by Kristine (everyone's favorite bookatarian).  I could work something on larger needles & have that finished by the 20th as well if I am home with Hunter for the day of his surgery & the day after.  Hmmm, something to try to do.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Not Christmas shopping, not shopping for myself or family.  But shopping at the school district's clothing bank with two special needs children.  One of whom lives in a foster home.

Our PTA brings children twice a year, or as needed to the Sara Spano Clothing Bank.  I worked there last Spring & helped a little girl who touched my heart.  This year, I've been promoted to driving/shopping with the children.  I'm the contact person for the PTA so I'm automatically on the drive committee along with our PTA President.  We took a special needs boy in the fall.  He's a sweet boy & worked well with us as we told him he had to try on the clothes we were picking out &if  he was good, we'd take him to McDonald's afterward.  Over lunch, he told us about how he'd moved to GA from WI, the amount of snow he was used to & what his hobbies were.  I'd see him in school periodically & he'd high five me.  When I realized I hadn't seen him in a while, I asked his teacher.  He's currently living in a battered woman's shelter with his mom.

Today, we went with M & M.  She's 5 & he's 10.  Both have special needs.  One lives in foster care.  Both have such sweet little eager faces that it just breaks my heart to think about their situations.

A busload from another school managed to get into the building ahead of us.  Once one of the admins realized we had 2 special needs kids, she pulled me aside & got us signed in.  Since there were 3 of us (PTA President, myself & the aide for our 5 year old) and only 2 kids, we were asked if we'd mind helping a child from another school.  I helped a boy who was a total sweetie.  We had fun filling his bag & I kept going back to find more clothes.  It's not as cold here as it is in other parts of the country, but it's cold.  I stopped counting after 8 shirts went into his bag.  He gave me a hug & high five when he went back with his school.

We took our kids to McDonald's for lunch & things were fine until we were almost back to school.  Our 5 yr old lost it.  Took off her seat belt, tried to open the locked door, screaming, crying, etc.  When we got back to school, her teacher put her in a keeping area where she told me the same thing happens daily at 11:30.  Total & utter melt down.  I've been home for a little over an hour & I can still hear the screaming in my head.  Trust me, Sunshine's had some major screaming melt downs, but nothing like this.  The desperation in that little voice---so sad.

As I was leaving school, I passed one of the 2nd grade teachers who was bringing her class back from the lunch room.  We stopped to chat for a couple minutes & she asked what I had been up to this morning.  I told her & she just shook her head.  "Thank you for everything you do.  You ladies may think that people don't notice or appreciate it, but they do.  And you're making the difference for children who really need it."  she said.

Thank you, Mrs. J.  I needed to hear that today.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


As in 9 years ago, Hunter & I were married. If you've read my blog for a while, you know he had been home from 6 months in Kuwait for a week & that he would leave to go back a month later for the build up to OIF.  The next time that I'd see him would be July '03. 

I'm fascinated by numbers & find it interesting that both of our birthdays are on the 4th of the month, our anniversary is the 4th, our daughter was born in the 4th month of the 4th year.  I also love the old wive's tales about things, such as when to marry:

"Married in days of December cheer, Love's star shines brighter from year to year."

"When December's snows fall fast, Marry, and true love will last."

Having chosen the month, next the day of the week must be decided upon, and here we find:

" Monday for wealth, Tuesday for health, Wednesday the best day of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, And Saturday no luck at all."

In 2002, December 4th was on a Wednesday.  We were married at high noon.

Like all married couples, we've had our fair share of ups & down, trials & tribulations but we've always remembered our commitment to one another.  Plus, we joke that when we got married we signed a 35 year contract & that we'd be up for negotiations when the 35 years were up.  

I don't things will change after those negotiations except for Hunter having to fold more laundry & unload the dishwasher.  Oh, and to stop using the sink as a staging area for the dishwasher!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It really was the bad panettone!

When the ILS were here for Thanksgiving, much panettone was consumed.  I had picked one up at the commissary only to discover that MIL brought two!  After eating one that she brought & then starting on ours, she proclaimed that ours was better & what brand was it?  When they left, they left us the other "bad" one.

So this evening I decided that a slice was in order as the Virginia Tech Hokies were losing (badly) to Clemson.  As I was slicing my slice, I managed to slice my pinkie.  Maybe it was the fates not appreciating my calling VT the "chokies", maybe it was my conscience sending subliminal messages about how I didn't really NEED that slice but ow!! Owie, ow, ow!

Holy cow, that cut bled.  A lot.  Luckily I live with a retired combat medic who can handle things like this.  Because I'm not really good at pouring peroxide over my bleeding (profusely!) finger.  At all.  And I can't wrap my own pinkie when it's bleeding (profusely!).  I'm still not convinced that I don't need stitches but let's just hope that I don't.

Today was a really great day too.  I met up with super bookatarian & knitter, Kristine.  We went to lunch (Jason's Deli---so yummy!), drove to Opelika to Yarnhouse Studio where we ran into Lacey then onto World Market where I found some awesome red frames for Sunshine's annual pic with Santa as well as some other goodies.  I splurged & bought some Lantern Moon needles which I'd been lusting over for a while as well as some yarn for a Secret Santa giftee.

I scored a major score on Ebay---a discontinued American Girl doll that shares Sunshine's name.  Super amazing mint condition (the seller emailed me to let me know she'd never been played with, only displayed!) & will be a Santa gift for Sunshine on Christmas morning.  Santa doesn't wrap our gifts so we know what comes from Santa & what comes from family.  I had already bought an AG gift card & wrote a letter from Santa letting Sunshine know she could choose her own doll but now she can use the card to buy clothes/goodies for her new doll.  Did I mention what a great deal I got on her??

We put our trees up a week ago after Hunter's family left to go back to VA.  Sunshine's tree is decorated with my Barbie ornaments, her Princess ornaments & other ornaments that we've made (glitter balls).

Ours has about 80% of our ornaments on it---I usually buy one ornament a year but went a little um, crazy at the end of last year & bought several Waterford glass ball ornaments on clearance.  Then I bought a covered bridge one in Stowe, VT when we were home.  And then 3 more when Tuesday Morning brought in some pretty German glass ones.  I do want to add another string of lights as the two we have on it just aren't enough.

We have our stockings hung on the mantel & our mouse tail on her "counting down" mouse from PreK.  I'll get those pics loaded as soon as my pinkie stops throbbing!