Posts Tagged ‘gift


Things Nana Says

I used to love following the Facebook page “Shit my Dad Says” and I often post stupid things my kids say on my own. But really, I love the crap my grandmother tells my teenage daughters. I would share them on Facebook, but family members would tell her and I want to keep her happy.

My grandmother is fabulous. She has helped me raise the girls from day one and has easily been their second parent. As the girls have gotten older and more vocal with their own opinions, so has she. It is kind of hilarious for me and is, at times, infuriating for my kids. I realized a while back that my grandmother is partially doing things just to instigate and she has since admitted this to me. Regardless, it is funny to sit back and get the texts from my kids.

Below are today’s messages I have received from the 14 year old…

  • Nana- you can get me a coffee cup filled with-
  • Me- candy?
  • Nana-money
  • Nana(telling me about bra shopping)- I got two bras for 7 dollars! So don’t get me bras for Christmas

Do you have a grandma or other family member that tells you funny stuff? I think after a certain age you just don’t care anymore. I am looking forward to being that many years old….


Pictures for Christmas

As I was putting dates on my calendar this week, I realized that I do not have a free Saturday until December 20th. Needless to say, no free Saturdays does not thrill me, especially with the holidays coming up. I decided that I need to get my rear into gear.

In addition to not having a ton of time on my side this year, I also do not have a lot of money. I have too large of a family to just go out and throw caution to the wind. I started debating on what to do and while my Christmas list is far from done, I think I have taken care of a good part of my family just this morning.

A few weeks ago something crazy happened, we were able to get most of our family together. As we have gotten older, it has become quite the chore to get us all in one place. Somehow, with one random family cookout at my house, everyone showed up. Needless to say, my mom was thrilled and we decided to take advantage of the moment. We took pictures.

We were able to take pictures with each of my sibling’s family units with only one nephew missing. We took pictures of all of the siblings together and with my parents and my siblings. No Olin Mill’s for us. Our casual attire backyard photos are as good as we get. I decided that these would be the perfect gifts for each family, my parents, and my grandmother.

Yesterday, on my lunch break, I ventured into Ross where I was able to find boxed frame sets to make a gallery-ten frames for $10! I picked up two, one for myself and one to separate for gifts. I will likely go back for another today to ensure I have enough to give everyone. I figure I will do their individual family and then one with our parents/siblings to each of my siblings. I will give my parents a large picture of them with their kids, and then do a collage frame or gallery for them of each of their kids with their family and maybe sprinkle in a few random cute pics I have of grandkids.

I, personally, love Shutterfly and downloaded the pics onto their site where I was able to designate which sizes I wanted for each photo. I found a coupon code allowing for 30 free 4×6 prints which knocked down the price a little. Bing, bang, boom! My siblings/their spouses have a gift and so do my parents and grandmother. I will likely do more, but I at least have a start towards Christmas and at a reasonable price. I will likely end up with $30 in frames and around $15 in pictures with that covering six gifts; I think $7 a gift is pretty darn awesome!

Now, if only I can get so lucky with my kids’ Christmas gifts….


Coming Up Rosie

A few weeks ago, the kids and I had some time to kill and stopped in at our local pet store. We were just checking out the critters when we saw long haired hamsters that had been dropped off by someone that no longer wanted to care for them. They were adorable and my eleven year old fell in love. Of course, that started the never ending begging for a new pet.

With Christmas fast approaching, I held off. First, I really didn’t want another animal. Second, it is quite the investment by the time you buy the cage, bedding, toys, food, and the animal itself. I debated for a while and determined that we would find a way to get the kid one for Christmas. Then, it became a matter of logistics which I probably made much harder than necessary, but such is my life.

Last week, we were faced with another night having time to kill. We ended up back at the store to find the little guys we had liked were gone. We asked an employee who said there was a single hamster left and it was at the front of the store. She had just been dropped off and had obviously been loved at some point because she was very tame. They had her offered for a whopping $7 with the cage included. I could not pass it up. We went ahead and got the supplies with my daughter knowing that the hamster was part of her Christmas gift.

Becoming part of the family was easier said than done. Rosie, the hamster, was a hit with the kids and my boyfriend. Our dogs, however, were not so sure. Both dogs love chasing the squirrels and chipmunks in our backyard. To them, Rosie was another critter to chase, and hopefully devour. It reminds me of the part in Nemo where the sharks say, “Fish are friends, not food.” Same goes for hamsters in this household.

Rosie has grown comfortable in her new surroundings, even with the dogs. She has been spoiled rotten. My daughter has read up on everything hamster. Rosie has treats and toys galore. She is constantly getting held. And she has a wish list because apparently she is begging to get out of her cage and needs more to do. We will likely be getting a hamster ball soon. Although, I am seriously tempted to get the hamster car because it is pretty darn awesome, not quite as awesome as the ones in this commercial, but pretty awesome.

This afternoon, I got a text on my way home from my daughter. She wanted to know if we could get a hamster leash for Rosie. I am pretty sure that I need to draw a line now. I can just visualize the poor rodent getting drug along the street with every cat and dog in the neighborhood nipping at its tiny heels.

Hopefully, the honeymoon won’t end for a while and my daughter will continue loving on Rosie. For now, cleaning the cage isn’t a big deal. Pray it continues and that no one surprises her with a hamster leash for Christmas.


The Teen’s Missing Undies

photo credit: *Samantha Murphy* via photopin cc

photo credit: *Samantha Murphy* via photopin cc

I love to find a great bargain.  It is in my blood.  Clearance sale racks are my best friends.  In a house with growing girls, our clothing tastes change quite often, so it is hard to find what the kids will wear on the clearance racks sometimes.  Just before the holidays, I was thrilled to find some cute multipacks of boy shorts for my teen on clearance.  I knew she would love them and decided to put them up for Christmas.  That was the last time they were seen.

I pride myself on being somewhat organized-especially with the deals I find.  I have space in the attic for gifts and space in the basement for household goods and foods.  There is a place for everything and everything has its place.  I guess that is why the missing boy shorts are driving me insane.

The first time that I thought about the fact that the undies were missing, I actually thought that I had already wrapped them.  I was about at the point that I was going to unwrap my teen’s gifts when I decided to refrain and see if they appeared Christmas morning.  They did not.

Later, I asked I had possibly given them to her early.  I did not remember doing so, but thought that maybe they were pushed back in the corner of her underwear drawer.  Negative.

I tore apart our attic.  I asked my friend that went shopping with me if I left the bag.  I even checked in my Christmas ornament boxes to see if maybe it had gotten thrown into one inadvertently.

Tonight, my teen told me she needs new underwear.  As much as not being able to find my missing bargain has drove me nuts it is now multiplied because I hate the thought of buying more and then the ones previously purchased appearing.

At this point, I am left with two options; I can either tear my house apart to find my missing purchase or take the teen underwear shopping.    I can honestly say, I am not sure which one scares me more.


Feeling Ornery After Christmas

I come from a large family. I am the oldest of six; four boys and two girls. We are the most mismatched group you could imagine. Despite our differences, we all love one another. We don’t always like one another, some of us go for months at a time without even talking, but we always love one another even if it takes a bit to remember. Honestly, it is a pretty awesome family.

Being that we are such a big family, our gatherings are special. It is hard for us all to come together given our work schedules, school schedules, etc. Our gatherings are loud. You have to jump right on in. They are joyous, often politically incorrect, and always full of love.

Yesterday afternoon, we all started trickling into my parent’s house; my siblings, their spouses, their kids, friends, etc. Each of us had other gatherings and our own families to share the holiday with, so we knew some would be late. We waited patiently for us all to arrive, some more patiently than others, but that is nothing new. One of my brothers never came. My mom had spoken with him earlier; he never indicated not coming. So we continued to wait. Eventually, we went on and celebrated without him and his wife.

Today, my mom spoke with my missing brother. He confessed that they did not come to Christmas because his wife does not like us. She said we do not make her feel welcome. Really, this is crap. We all try to make her feel welcome. They are included in every function. I was even in their wedding just a few months ago. I attribute her attitude to being an only child. She is young. She thinks that the world should revolve around her. That doesn’t fly when you join a big family. You jump in. You share. You let others have the spotlight on occasion.

Apparently, she did feel welcome enough to go to my mom’s house later this week to get her gifts. I guess that way she didn’t have to fool with the rest of us. My mom, however, said no. Go mom! She told my brother that she would meet him this weekend when she comes to town to give him his gifts. I told my mom to hold on to the gift that I had gotten for her. Frankly, I know that it is immature of me, but I am not going to reward her crappy behavior.

I feel like I should be a little upset with myself for feeling so ornery this close to Christmas, but really, I do not. Honestly, I am disappointed in her for not seeing just how awesome we all are. I am even more disappointed in my brother; he could have manned up and came without her, but he chose not to. Regardless, he did not have to share the reason behind their decision with my mother. It hurt her feelings and that will not be tolerated. I feel totally justified in my current state of orneriness.


Mean Santa

photo credit: amy_b via photopin cc

photo credit: amy_b via photopin cc

If you have read any of my posts, you know that I have a teenager.  She is self-centered, sloppy, obsessed with her hair and nails, and she is very dramatic.  Pretty much, she is a normal teenager.  Honestly, she is a lot of fun when she is not driving us all crazy.  The best thing about her is that she can take a joke.  That is why I have decided to be a little mean to her this Christmas.

I guess I should start at the beginning and tell you all that this has been building up for a while.  A few months ago her cell phone started acting hinky.  It quit allowing her to send texts, take pictures, and would die for no reason at all.  A thirteen year old with cell phone trouble….I am sure you can all imagine the terror that ensued.

It was only magnified when I decided to upgrade my own phone.  She was with me at the time and learned her phone was due for an upgrade a few months later.  From that moment on, she has hounded me.  She has begged.  She has tried to make bets to win a new phone from me.  She has tried to bargain and barter.  She has wanted a smart phone.

Every month since she was due for an upgrade I have come up with a different excuse for why we should wait.  I wanted to see how her grades were.  I had unexpected bills to pay.  She did not take care of the one she had.  You name it; I used it to shoot her down.  Eventually, I wore her down and, even though it is on her Christmas list, she is not sure that she will be getting one as she believes she must wait due to her grades.  Which, given her recent issues in math, probably is not such a bad idea, but I will go ahead and extend a little trust.

I ordered the phone online earlier this week and prayed she would not be home when the package arrived.  Luckily she was not and I was able to hide the box safely away.  I have been contemplating how to give it to her ever since and this is what I am going to do.

After she is fast asleep Christmas Eve, I am going to snag her phone and activate her new one.  I will get an app and give it a fun ring tone.  Perhaps, Santa laughing?  I will put the old phone back once the new one is activated as to not raise suspicion.  Then, I will stash the new one until Christmas morning.  Under the tree, wrapped, will be the box for the new phone with a note that reads, “Gotcha!”  As she starts to freak out a little, I will call the cell phone and let her find it.

Once she does find it, she will be thrilled and proclaim that I am the best mom ever with tears of happiness streaming down her face as she hugs me tightly.  Yeah, I am a bit dramatic; see where she gets it from?

Needless to say, she should be very pleased and we should all get a good laugh on Christmas morning.  I can hardly wait!


What She Really Wants For Christmas

Lately, all of my thoughts have been focused on Christmas and getting the perfect gifts for those around me.  Apparently, I tend to be hard to shop for, or at least so I am told.  I figure that I cannot be the only woman out there that is hard to shop for, so I decided to compile what will hopefully be a top ten items that you can get me, or the woman in your life, without dire consequences.

  1. Spa Packages.  Love this.  What girl doesn’t like a little pampering?  And really, if I have to cut corners somewhere, it is off things like this for me.  You cannot go wrong, especially if you know my favorite places.  *Helpful hint-if you don’t know, talk to the kids, friends, or sister.  Someone knows where she likes to go.
  2. Concert Tickets.  It is a splurge.  It is a date.  It is a gift for you both.  Score!
  3. A weekend getaway.  This can get pricey, but doesn’t have to be.  Is there a place she would love to go and stay for a weekend?  This can be a great option, with or without, the kids.  Depending on when you chose to go, you can find some great deals online.
  4. Restaurant Gift Certificates.  Honestly, not my first choice unless it is for a date night out.  But hey, if it keeps her from cooking dinner.
  5. Clothing Store Gift Certificates.  Okay, here is where I get a little weird.  Do not get me a Visa card or that dumb shit.  Sorry, but I want to know that you at least pay a little attention to what I like and where I go.  Visa is the easy way out.  Put a little effort in it.
  6. Club Packages/Memberships.  This can be a little funky, but I wanted to leave it broad.  Look into getting her a package with a trainer (only if she is into it, or it can be really bad) or getting her a punch card to her favorite yoga center or zumba studio.  She will feel great and you will look even better in her eyes.
  7. Add to her collection.  Look around.  Does she collect Willow Tree figurines?  Does she have an affection for old records?  Finding something that compliments an existing collection is always a great option.
  8. Jewelry.  Honestly, this is not my first choice.  Unless you know her taste, it is better to stay away from jewelry or enlist the help of a close friend or sister to pick out the perfect piece.  But, if you are determined to go the jewelry route, look into pieces which play into her role as a mother like mother/child pendants or birthstone rings (for older ladies).  Charm bracelets are another great option with the old school option still being available and Pandora making a great, visually appealing product.
  9. Smell Goods.  Always a safe bet.  Especially for those on a budget and lack of imagination.  Bath and Body has something for every person out there.  Look in her bathroom to get an idea of what scents she uses and then try to get something that will compliment.  Ask the salesperson for help.  That is what they are there for.  If Bath and Body scares the pants off you, look for things to make the house smell good.  Almost everyone carries Yankee Candles or something similar and you can do a lot of more creative gifting with warmers, candle toppers, and other decorative pieces.
  10. Electronics.  Not always my first choice, but there are a lot of great products out there.  If your girl is a reader, look into a Kindle or a Nook.  If she is a social networking diva, maybe now is the time to upgrade her phone.

I thought I was done, but I asked my work buddy for input and here are a few more ideas…

  • DVD or Blue Ray Series.  Make sure she has one first, but this could be great for the MASH fan, SOA lover, Fraggle Rock freak, you get the picture.
  • Amazon Gift Cards.  Honestly, this is another one that was not my first choice because it is kind of like Visa, but they do have tons of options.  One great option, which is why I am including it, is she could get the prime membership which allows her to read books and watch movies for free.
  • Empty Journal Books.  Maybe not every female loves these, but even my tween asked for a journal this year.  I use them for everything!  And the nicer they are, the more I adore them.

Of course, these are just a few ideas.  Really there are tons of fabulous gifts out there that she would be delighted to receive.  Just put a little thought into the person receiving and you will do fine.  If you have any other great gift ideas to share, please feel free.  I am sure someone would love to have some ideas come their way!

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