Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm an American Girl

I haven't been around much lately. It happens. To catch you up, I've been planning Thanksgiving dinner, cooking Thanksgiving dinner, eating Thanksgiving dinner, shopping after Thanksgiving dinner and getting up the next morning to shop some more.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I'm really excited for Christmas and most of my shopping is done at this point. I feel like a fantastic parent because I got my kids all the latest and greatest toys and I got them all on sale, which makes them better than other people's. Come December 25th, they'll be the proud owners of Pillow Pets

(it's a pillow AND a pet!)


(the Today show proclaimed them the Cabbage Patch Doll of 2010)

and Zhu Zhu Pets,

which I guess were last years toy of the season, but whatever.

I've put a lot of thought and energy into my children's Christmas presents and after some careful deliberation, I've decided that the one thing that I am absolutely NOT buying is an American Girl Doll. If I were to buy those things, that's ALL I could afford to get my kids for Christmas and I like shopping way too much to do that to myself. In fact, I've worked very hard to ensure that my girls don't even become aware of American Girl Dolls and I was successful, until a few short weeks ago when this arrived in our mailbox.

And in that moment that Lizzy saw it, everything was ruined.

"Look, mama!" Lizzy exclaimed, "they have these dolls that you can buy me."

Oh no.

"Oh, Lizzy!" I had to think fast... "how nice of the people to send you a book about little girls and their dolls that look just like them."
"No. mama, you can buy those dolls and get one for me."
"I'm sorry Lizzy, but those dolls aren't for sale. They are special dolls just for that book they sent you about dolls."

She's too smart. She wasn't buying it, but neither am I.

We've spent a lot of time perusing that catalog over the last several weeks and I have to commend the American Girl people for working so hard to make sure that every little girl, no matter what color her hair or her skin is, can find a doll that makes her feel included. Yes, it doesn't matter what shape her eyes are or whether she likes pink or purple or blue, she'll find a doll that she can identify with. Girls with freckles, girls with glasses, you name it. And now, the American Girl people have been so kind as to add buck toothed, beaver girls that have to wear head gear all the time to the catalog.
I'm serious. Check it.

After further deliberation, I am now officially prepared to say that this... is dumb.
Ya, I said it.

Yes, I know. I sound mean. There's a logical reason for this... I am mean. But for those of you who don't know, I am a buck toothed, beaver girl and my dad still has the mold of my teeth to prove it. I wore headgear for several years as a young child. To bed. Around the house. To school. To get a drink from the drinking fountain. I'm not kidding here. I had two rounds of braces, the first started in 3rd grade and included the dreaded headgear. Fixing my disaster of a mouth was a multi-staged process, so I had the braces put back on when I was a little older and lived my life with rubber bands pulling my buck teeth back into their proper place until I was 17. It sucked.

Take it from me, DON'T let your kids suck their thumbs.

When the orthodontics started, it was the 80's, which just weren't a flattering period in general for me and I spent most of the decade with my hair permed and running around in jumpsuits and units. I also had a large cyst on my face that eventually grew into a force to be reckoned with. My mom finally took me to have it lanced and drained and now I have a hole in my face where it once existed. I do. I'll show it to you next time I see you. I went to the dermatologist a couple of months ago and she was eager to cut my cheek open and stitch it back up to get rid of the hole. I'm still considering it, you know, to erase the painful memories.

Fortunately for me, my parents kept all the old photos so that I never rid myself of said memories and I ran across one a few weeks ago. Wanna see?

It's so perfect. The perm! The jumpsuit! The braces! The growth! The cold soar!
This, my friends, is how I lived my life for many, many years. Oh, the other photo is Jane. Leave her out of this. She's just unfortunate enough to have to share the corner of the cabinet door with me.
It makes me laugh so hard I can hardly breath.
Remind anyone of a Liz Lemon flashback? Me too.

It was an.... awkward time for me.
Where were you then buck toothed American Girl doll?
Where were you when I needed you?
I never felt the comfort and joy in knowing that somewhere there was a doll that looked just like me and suffered just like me and knew all my pains, and neither will my girls. It just ain't happening.

p.s. - if some of the text is bigger on your screen, like it is on mine, this is not because I'm making a point. It's because I don't know how to fix it. That is all.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Because everyone is sick of looking at the photos of Ben in the yellow pants, I've decided to replace them with ones of Ben in a Captain America costume. At least I think that it's Captain America... Leslie?

And Lizzy is Alice in Wonderland.

I'd also like to take the opportunity to bear my testimony of the 75% off Halloween clearance sales at Target.

As a result of said clearance sale, Lizzy has been enjoying dressing up as Alice, Little Red Riding Hood, a fairy, a fairy princess, a princess and a ladybug fairy. Ben has been rejecting my knight costume (to go with the princesses) as well as the garden gnome and zoo keeper in favor of the Captain America and Iron Man costumes his mother provided for him. I'm feeling really lame.
That's me.
'Lame Aunt Lou'

Ben doesn't call me Lou. He calls me Laura and he pronounces it perfectly and it's really adorable except that I kinda wish he'd call me Lou.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

things that bring me joy

I found these pictures on my phone the other day and they made me so very happy.

I knew that Ben's daddy would like them too, so I decided to post them for us both to enjoy.

That is all.

Friday, November 5, 2010

capturing the memories

Leslie and Cameron brought dinner over to my house this evening. I like it when she does that. We kinda switch off a lot on dinners. Last night, I made dinner, tonight was her turn. It's a good system, we should all be so lucky.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, it was Leslie's turn to make dinner tonight and I took her responsibility very seriously, so I stayed outside with the kids and took pictures of them in our back yard while she cooked alone in my kitchen. She kept harassing me to come in and pull my weight and I was working hard on ignoring her.

Sometimes, you just have to ignore people because otherwise, you loose opportunities like the one I had tonight.

Our kids (and their friend from across the street) were experiencing the glee of jumping in an enormous pile of leaves on a warm, delightful fall day.

And Buster was happy to join them, although I'm not entirely certain how he saw them.

And Lizzy was charming and adorable, as always.

And Jane loved every moment of it.

And I would guess that she's probably got leaves in her underwear.

And her hair. And her ears.

And Davie was about the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Holy cow, that child kills me. He spent most of the evening trying very hard to fall into a ginormous pit that will soon house our trampoline, but he looked darling the entire time.

How did I only get one photo of my Benny Boo? At least it was a good one.

So you see, it was a good thing that I ignored Leslie, and instead made Cameron go down into my cold storage to look for a box of Jiffy Mix Corn Bread, because if I had been inside making Jiffy Mix Corn Bread muffins, who would have been there to capture the memories?