Tuesday, February 21, 2017

For the love of Lumpia


Year end is officially over at work, which means I have exactly 15 minutes to relax before quarter 1 reporting.

However, I've been able to get in some relaxing time.  Last weekend, the crew (Sean, David, Brad, Gerrit, Debbie, Erin, Kat and I)  went to a wedding social for Kat's sister.


I haven't been to a wedding social in a long time, but this one was BIG.  30 social prizes BIG.

It was a really fun night.  The standard deli meat, mustard and rye bread snack was put to shame when the Croatian Grandma's got together and put on the spread for 500 people.  Grandma's are something else.

Gerrit got Brad a shot at the bar.  A Croatian 400 proof shot.  Two shots later and B was three sheets to the wind.  On a positive note, Brad is a jolly drunk.  He is full of laughter and smiles.  It's pretty funny.  Case in point, Erin actually was able to get Brad on the dance floor for a few songs and he went on a hunt to find Sean so he could put a slice of salami on his shoulder.

At the time, I thought this was just weird, Croation everclear-induced behavior, but apparently, the salami on the shoulder is a real thing.  Who knew?

This past weekend was the last regular season hockey games.  Logan's team had a really rough season, but they didn't finish last! Wooot!  But the way things shook out means that they will be playing their rivals (the other Dakota team) in the first round of the playoffs.  I have high hopes, but it is looking like it's going to be a quick two and out.  It's been really hard to keep the boys spirits up.  Talk all you want, but the reality is losing that many games ( I think it was 3 wins, 1 tie and 16 losses) is tough on anyone.  

Every time we would bump into friends or family, they would ask how the season was going and it was all Brad and I could do to change the subject before Logan unraveled.


But after regular season is over, they will be entering a spring tournament at the Iceplex, so that will be a good way to finish the season on a fun note.

Zach's team had a different season altogether.  They had a really good season.  It was initially helped by a 13 year old rockstar.  He had moved here from up north and his family had missed the hockey tryouts.  Since he had never played for Dakota, they didn't know where to sort him, so they put him in A3.  The kid was CLEARLY A1.  About 1/2 way through the season, St. Vital minor hockey clued in and he was moved up to A1.  To replace him, we got a player who was A1, but had been out the whole season due to a bad broken leg.  A1 has body checking and after  bad break that needed surgery, it didn't seem wise to throw him back into A1 when he hadn't played all year.

The boys lost the first game after the rock star left.  Immediately they all got down on themselves. Thankfully, it was a one off and they proved that they were a strong team with or without the rockstar.

Sunday night was the battle for first place in the city (regular season).  It was such a close game. With one minute to go in the 3rd period we scored making the score 1-0.  We hung on for the last minute to clinch top spot.

Now while I was getting my hockey mum on, Brad was back home playing host.  The guys from work were all coming over to watch the NBA all star game.  Brad has made a ton of smoked wings ( actually smoked them!).  A lot of the guys Brad works with are Filipino and they brought over...300 Lumpia.  Holy mother of taste buds.

If you have never had Lumpia, let me clue you in.  It's the Filipino version of egg rolls and are amazing.  AH-mazing.  I challenge you to each just one.  It took all of my willpower to only have two.

Amazingly, I also skipped out on the wings, chips, drinks and all other delicious treats the evening offered up. 

I haven't really mentioned it much here, mostly because I haven't had time to be writing a whole lot, but I'm giving the healthy life style another go.  83rd times the charm right?  I think I have to get my head around the fact that it's not diet diet diet, get to a certain weight and then all will be well.  It is going to be a new way of eating if I plan to keep it off.

My motivation is that I am turning 40 this year.  It's a big, scary, very grown up number.  It also seems to be a great time to have your sh*t together, so thus the motivation. 

I have a really long ways to go, no point in sugar coating it.  Well yes, I suppose that's actually the point, I can no longer sugar coat it.  Perhaps I should roll it up in kale and serve it on a bed of quinoa.

Things are going well, I'm down 22lbs.  Clothes are getting baggy and I'm reclaiming wardrobe items that I haven't worn in awhile.  It's a good feeling.  Although, I am still trying to train my brain to drink water.  How do people do that all the time?  I have to put a reminder in my phone to drink water every four hours, which in and of itself is utterly pitful, albeit necessary.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Costco to buy some kale.





Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Scabbers Fleas.

I love Harry Potter.  I know it sounds geeky and I'm far too old for it, but whatever. My friend Erin is just as much of a Potterhead (some say Potterphiles, but that sounds really gross) as I am. 

Her husband Sean stumbled across a Harry Potter Trivia night fundraiser for the Winnipeg Whomping Willows which is a team in an actual Worldwide Quiddich  league.  Check out the video... it's glorious.  Full grown adults running around a field (whilst stradling a broom) trying to get a ball into one of three rings.  The snitch is a player dressed all in gold with a tennis ball in a sock hanging off the back of their shorts.  Game is over when the snitch is caught.  All of a sudden my Harry Potter obsession seems minor.


Anyways, the trivia night had a $10 cover charge and was held at the Garbonzo's at the U of W.  It was pretty awesome.   They had decorated the place to look like a Tavern in Hogsmeade complete with Butter Beer.  If you were in the mood for a Potter shot, you went up to the bar and a standard shot glass was put in front of you.  Vodka was poured into the shot glass which instantly changed color the second it hit the glass into one of three colors (which was random)  Blue, Red, Green or yellow representing the 4 houses.
Once you registered for the trivia tournament you had to come up with a name.  Our group of 6 couldn't decide between Dobby's B*tches or Scabbers Fleas.  In the end we opted for Scabbers  Fleas. The best team name scored a prize and Triviosa was the winner.

First off we felt the need to sort our own team into houses based on our personalities and skills.  Erin got Gryffindor, Sean got Slytherin, Brad was Hufflepuff (hee hee.  Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw.  Match made in heaven) and I got Ravenclaw.  Erin's niece and her husband who were also on our team both got Gryffindor.  Sean getting Slytherin was pretty funny.  Sean is such a good friend of mine, but it can take a bit to get to know him properly as he's a big personality and can rub people the wrong way sometimes.  Once you do however, you'll know he is a fiercely loyal friend.  Case in point, when I met Sean, I hated him, with a visceral hatred.  We were on the daycare board of directors and he drove me crazy.  But over time he wore me down and I now consider him one of my closest friends.   To celebrate our sorting, we each had a shot that represented our house.  I got a Ravenclaw blue.  It tasted like blue raspberry cough syrup, but it's the thought that counts right?

The tournament was supposed to start at 7:30 pm, but for whatever reason it didn't.  They kept announcing that it was going to start and pumping everyone up on the mic.. "Everyone ready?  Let's do this!!!", only to have nothing happen.  Finally somewhere north of 8:30 we started.  The tournament had 3 rounds.  If you were caught using your phone you ran the risk of being killed or worse expelled (Bwahahahaha).    After each round, you switched your paper (they kept it old school with pen and parchment) with the team next to you for marking.  

Now Erin and I are pretty good at HP trivia.  She has a game at home and we play it sometimes, but the questions aren't too difficult.  The trivia night questions were pretty good.  What was the name of Hagrids Mother?  What was the score of the Quiddich World cup?  Who was the first student sorted in the Books (different from the movie)?  What is the motto of Hogwarts school?

It was a blast.   

The first three rounds were questions like the above and the last round was "name the quote".  Generally speaking we had consensus among our team before we wrote an answer.  However, one quote in particular caused a divide.  Here it was...

"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals"



Sean thought it was Dumbledor, whereas I was completely convinced it was Sirius.  What ensued was a debate which resulted in a bet between Sean and I.  If he won, I had to buy him a Potter shot.  If I won, he would buy me two drinks, because he was utterly convinced he was correct.

Ah... poor Sean.  Sirus it was.  The thing was the evening was nearing midnight and I had to work the next day, so I opted for a raincheck on the drinks.  Truly, the real prize was sitting across from Sean in a cloud of smug.


The total tournament score was out of 75 and I think we landed somewhere around 68 which put us in the top ten of 50 teams.

It was a really fun night and came at a time when I needed a break from year end at work.




Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Rex December 2013 - January 2017

Rex has passed away.

Logan's beloved gerbil is no longer with us.  Logan called to tell me and he was pretty upset.  Losing a gerbil had more significance to him than losing a fish.

Yesterday, Logan went down to check on Rex and he wasn't moving and was rock hard.  **Shudder**.  Sigh.

Honestly, Rex made it 4 years which is smack dab in the middle of the standard 3-5 year life span.  I am actually surprised he hung on for as long as he did.  Back in 2015, Rex and Lloyd were sharing a cage because we were told that gerbils are social and enjoy company.

Something must have changed, a testosterone battle maybe?  We don't know, but regardless there was a Battle Royale and both of the gerbils got hurt.

Lloyd seemed to recover well, but Rex's eye never fully opened again.  We weren't sure if he was going to make it, but outside of the eye, he appeared to have healed well.

After the battle, we separated them because we were told that once they start fighting it will be a duel to the death.  Eek, no one needs to see that.

So Rex got the palace, the nice glass aquarium with loads of room for running around and Lloyd was relegated to the "starter kit" cage we got when we bought them.  With Rex being gone, we will be moving Lloyd into the larger cage.  Although Logan has some reservations about that.

It was odd though, one minute Logan would say he was ok, but then the next he would sit and sniffle, rubbing his eyes trying to hide the tears. Poor kid.  It's part of life, but it doesn't make it any easier knowing that.

While I generally keep my blog light-hearted, it seems like it would be disrespectful to Logan if I was to make light of the loss of his gerbil.

RIP Rex.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Double Edged

Getting old is a double edged sword.

On one hand it's a gift being able to grow old with those you love, experiencing all that life has to offer; family, friends, travel etc.

On the other hands it is a complete sh*t show.  Aches and pains, hearing loss, watching many of your friends and family move through the veil has to be really really hard.

My 94 year old Grandma (GG)  has been through a lot.  She was born on the Isle of Wight in England.  She worked in a hospital (or was it a seamstress shop?) during the war and met my Grandfather Alec Letendre during his time stationed in England. They got married and had 3 children before moving to Canada and settling in Winnipeg.

It wasn't an easy marriage, but they overcame much over their decades together. Later on my Grandfather developed Alzheimer's.    He was moved into a care home and passed shortly thereafter. Miss you Grandpa.

After Grandpa passed GG moved from a variety of apartments, ultimately ending up at an assisted living building in St. Vital.  It's a nice facility, but MAN is it expensive.  I get that it covers everything including all of your meals, but still. Yikes.

GG has been deteriorating for awhile now and has been dancing around the edge of whether assisted living was really enough to cover the care that she needed.

A few months ago, she developed some pain in her shoulder.  We took her into the hospital and it became obvious that her health issues extended beyond her shoulder.    We have now given up her assisted living apartment and her new home is St. Boniface hospital until they find her a permanent spot.

One of the positive things here is that despite my Grandma's advanced age, she is still as sharp as a tack.  My litmus test for cognitive aptitude is that if you haven't lost the will to b*tch, you're still in the game.  Case in point, GG has kept a running tally of how many times she has been served abysmal green beans and keeps a stash of cookies to replace the sad little cups of jello.

In her ward she is surrounded by poor souls with dementia.  If you have not seen a ward full of dementia patients, just know that it is heartbreaking.  Major kudos to the nurses and staff who look after our seniors because that is a tough job.

GG is having trouble adjusting and justifiably so.  Coming to terms with it all has to be a big mental exercise.      One the things that makes it harder is she is surrounded by others with dementia.  Adding to the big bouquet of awesome is that she is stone deaf.  Those two ingredients has made her recent time at St. B a  dog's breakfast.

One of the nurses aides had been asking GG questions, but due to her extreme deafness, she would either not answer or answer the wrong question.  As I have hearing loss myself, I understand this fully.  Someone will ask me "How are you?" and I'll respond with "No, I'm not hungry thanks".  My friends jokingly tease me about it, but I get what GG is going through.

Trouble is, because she was handling the questions incorrectly, the aide assumed she had dementia.  Fast forward to GG getting her hair done a few weeks later.  Now, getting your hair done in the hospital may seem like a ludicrous thing to do, but when you stop and think about it, what else does she have?  In terms of dignity, there isn't a whole lot to hang onto.  GG had got a nice perm and was feeling a little better about things.

She was scheduled to have a bath and asked the aide to not get her hair wet as she had just got a perm.  Now I wasn't there, so I can't speak to the specifics, but end result is GG's hair got wet and the perm was ruined.  So there was this incident and a few others (I've intentionally left those out from print).  GG was quite upset.  I'm not able to sit and do nothing when sh*t goes sideways, so it was time for action.

I called the patient advocate at St. B and explained what was going on.  Let me just say that patient advocates should wear a cape.  They mean BUSINESS.  Within an hour of my call, an advocate was visiting GG and getting the lo down on what has been happening.  It became apparent that part of the problems were due to GG's hearing, so they have placed a sign on her bed altering visitors to that fact which should help.

With it all resolved, I was pleased as punch thinking that I had done a good thing.  Well, as it turned out, GG wasn't thrilled with me.  She was worried that the staff would be upset that I called and would retaliate on her.  Both my mother and the advocate assured her that this is absolutely not the case.  While that made her feel somewhat better, she was still upset.

Fast forward yet again.  GG has now been moved from family medicine to the geriatric ward.    They have more of a care home like feel on this ward with activities etc.  It's basically a seniors lounge with health care until they are placed in permanent care homes.

Last week, GG found herself in one of the worst possible situations I can think of.  The gentleman who had the bed (or room, I'm not 100% sure on that) beside her came into GG's room and ... *ahem*  dropped his trousers and proceeded to uh... well, you get the picture. **SHUDDER**

The nurse didn't seem overly concerned and said that this gentleman had been known to do this before and his other room mates laughed it off.  ARE YOU SH*TTING ME?

All of a sudden in a moment of clarity, GG remembered that I had opened a file with the advocate for her and she dropped that advocate bomb on the nurse.  She was moved within the hour.

Sometimes it isn't easy being the confrontational granddaughter, but in this case I'm glad I did as GG would likely not have been moved, or at the very least, not moved as quickly if I hadn't talked to the advocate.  So while she was irritated with me at first, my mum said that she doesn't mind so much now.

That's where we are.  Hopefully things settle down and she is moved into a care home soon.  I really hope that she gets to go to one of her preferred homes, but you can never be sure that you will.

So think good thoughts and send them her way.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Conditioned response

I can't believe the holidays are over.  As a kid they seemed to last forever, but now everything seems to be moving at warp speed.

We had a nice time visiting everyone.  Christmas Eve was the the Hargreaves clan.  Brad's Dad was out of the hospital, so he was able to join us which was great.  I get along great with my brother and sister in law and so we had a great time playing cards with them, my nephews and the boys.

Saturday we played a bit of a joke on the kids.  We kept their big gifts hidden away.  They opened all of the present under the tree and were really happy with all of things that they got.  We cleaned up all of the wrapping paper carnage and started to make some breakfast.

Somewhere in the midst of making breakfast, Brad got his drama on and made up some charade about finding some presents etc etc.  Zach got his phone and virtual reality headset and Logan got the PS4.

Both were over the moon.  I have since tried the VR and let me tell you it's nuts.  You can look  up, down, 360 degrees around you are immersed in this world. There is a bunch of apps, so we have swum with sharks, explored the Grand Canyon on a tight rope and gone on a roller coaster.  The roller coaster one is unbelievable.  My stomach went up and down as if I was really on it.  At one point I had to take the headset off because I thought I was going to be sick it felt that real.

After breakfast we headed up to the hospital to visit my Grandma.  Christmas at the hospital is pretty glum.  But we tried to make the most of it.  We brought her some gifts (ones that would be enjoyable, but practical for the hospital knowing that she wouldn't be moving back to her apartment) and some english biscuits.  I have been told repeatedly by my Grandma that the cookies in the hospital are beyond subpar.

In the past we always went to Grandma's apartment block and rented out the coffee shop for Christmas, but this year, with Grandma in the hospital there was no real reason to do so.  It was super practical, but always felt so antiseptic.  Instead, we had Christmas dinner with my Mum's side at my place.  It was really nice and felt like the Christmases we used to have.  I loved it, but felt really guilty for loving it without Grandma being there.

Boxing day was with the Preston clan at my Uncle Bob's place.  It's funny, the dynamic has totally changed.  A number of years ago, my boys were really small, but I was the only one in that stage of life.  No one else had kids.  Now, my kids are teenagers and we have a second baby boom with Wade, Easton and Fay all under 3.  Christmas is really fun with the little munchkins running around.  At my in laws, the boys and their cousins are relatively close in age, so they all hang out together, but there is a 13 year age gap between Zach and Fay, so it's a little different on the Preston side.  That being said, everyone tries to make sure that all the kids, big and small have lots of fun and feel loved on Boxing Day.

My birthday was lots of fun.  Debbie and David hosted this year.  Debbie went above and beyond. She organized "minute to win it" games for all the kids (and the adults).  It kept all 9 kids (8 boys and 1 girl) busy and made for lots of laughs for the adults.

I felt all the love with Birthday cake and extremely thoughtful gifts.  Although, they did sing Happy Birthday, which they know I hate, which is probably the reason they do it.


But all good things come to an end and back to work we go.  Brad and I went back on January 3rd, but the boys are still off until January 9th.  Lucky b*ggers.   However, it has somewhat worked in my favor though.  I refuse to let them sit around playing video games all day, so they have been assigned chores to do.  Boys have had to shovel the driveway (and backyard so Stella can move around), vacuum the house, do laundry, clean the kitchen, organize their rooms.  My little minions have been busy.

Going to miss that when they go back.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.  When we had our Grey Cup party, I was chatting with my friend Kat.  I am not sure how we landed on the topic of shampoo, but we did.  I have really fine hair, as does Kat and was complaining how it just falls flat all the time.  Kat said that she has started a new trick whereby she conditions first and then shampoos.  Seems so foreign... I can't do that!!!

But what do I have to lose, my hair looked like a cat's breakfast anyways.   I was really surprised... it works!  Your hair still feels really soft, but it isn't weighed down at all.  Lots of volume.  Woot.

I have now adopted it into my regular regime in the mornings.

Fast forward to Christmas when my friend Erin gave my a great gift basket from the body shop.  It was Pina Colada scented.  Yum!

Now it's sad to admit, but whenever I get new shower stuff, I am excited! I can't wait to try it.  So yesterday, I was all a glow with anticipation to try this new body scrub.

Loved it.  Super soft skin.  Blow dried my hair as usual and got dressed.  Looking in the mirror after I noticed my hair looked a tad greasy.  I felt the back and it was still damp, so I chalked it up to not drying it fully and went down for breakfast.

Heading out the door, I pulled on my super s*xless winter boots.  In the process of doing so, I got a bunch of melted boot water (Canadians will know what I mean here).  So before leaving I went to wash my hands.

Looked up at the mirror and was dismayed to see my hair was still greasy.  What the heck?  Perplexed, I stood there mulling the situation only to gasp in revelation.

I forgot to shampoo.

In my excitement over the Pina Colada scented shower, I forgot to shampoo after I put the conditioner in.  Awesome.

There was no time for me to wash it again, or I would have been late for work.  I also couldn't leave my hair down as I would have looked like a total greaser as the day went on.  So I opted for what all girls do when a coiffure goes sideways. I opted for a ponytail.

While this was a solid solution to my problem, it was a double edged sword.  I never wear my hair up, so people noticed the difference, which means they were looking at it, which was the thing I was trying to avoid in the first place.

In the end I made it thought the day without any "Shower Much?" comments, which was nice of everyone.

Today is a new day, full of hope, promise and a clarifying shampoo.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Carded

Last year, I made the (somewhat) bold decision to not send out Christmas cards.  It was for a variety of undramatic reasons, but mostly I just got tired of the "look at how perfect we are" letters and pictures that you read over for 5 seconds and then send out with the recycle on Dec 26.

In chatting with my friend last year about the card embargo, I said something along the lines of "it's not like anyone keeps track..."  She smiled, blushed and replied... "I do".

At the time I giggled to myself in a way that girlfriends do when they are poking fun at each other and didn't give it a second thought.

Fast forward to Christmas 2016.  Apparently Erin is onside with the majority of people who keep a list!!  Last year we easily go 40 cards or so.  This year? 12.

How quickly I have fallen out of favour.  At first I didn't care, but then I started to get annoyed, How fickle are these people that I am ruthlessly scratched off the Christmas card list after a one year hiatus**.

**As a side note, I realize this is wildly hypocritical.

They don't know if I intentionally made the decision to opt out of an overpriced 3-second-soon-to-be-recycled card.  For all they know it could have got lost in the mail, post office could have flooded or perhaps my vehicle broke down on the way to the post office and I was so distraught I forgot to mail them?

Seeing as Erin is my source for this type of greeting card list behavior, I had to circle back in the name of research. Is that the norm?  Is that what keepers of lists do? Apparently Erin has a systematic holiday greeting card algorithm;

  • If you send her a card and she likes you (new friend, coworker etc), you are added to the mailing list (lucky you, because she is quite an awesome person). 
  • If you have knowingly moved on to the holiday party in the sky, you are removed from the list, but not before sending some love and light your way.
  • If you have morphed into a giant d*uchebag over the course of the year, you are unceremoniously removed from the list.

But what does she do with someone who previous held a glorified position on her list who does not send her a card? Ay, there's the rub.

Here is Erin's system.  If you miss out one year, you are given a one year grace period, a benefit of the doubt if you will.  Maybe you ran out of stamps, maybe the card fell between the car seats and it was simply a one off.  However if you miss two years in a row the game has changed.  You have had more than a year to save up the $1.00 required to send her a card and for gawd sake if you've lost two cards in between the seats of your car, what other unspeakable horrors lurk down there?

It is at this point that Erin will mentally thank you for your years of kind consideration and quietly remove you from the register.

This seems far more reasonable and as such I should have received  at least somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 cards.  What this means is that I have been given no grace period, no time to save up some change for a stamp or clean my car.

You know what though?  To use a horrible trite phase; At the end of the day...it doesn't matter how many cards are on my mantle.  The holiday season to me is the warm, festive get togethers with my friends and family, the goofy holiday traditions we keep up, buying that perfect gift I know will make a friend smile.Well that... and a holiday pour of wine and some Toffifee by the fire.




Friday, December 9, 2016

Budget Queen

Every Christmas I set out a detailed budget for Christmas Shopping.

Since I tend to get caught up in finding the perfect gift, I have learned from past Mastercard bills to stick to the budget... always stick to the budget.

As I have done in past years, I have saved like a squirrel to the point where I pay cash for all of the Christmas gifts.  For some reason, saving my scheckles so I can walk in and plunk down cash makes me feel like a rock star.  Ok, debit card doesn't have the same rock star feel, but you get the gist of it.  As a side note, technology is robbing us of those satisfying moments...I have a profound sense of loss over not being able to slam down a phone when warranted.  Angrily pressing "end call" doesn't have near the same satisfaction.

Back to shopping.  I love shopping but I am not a huge fan of parking.  It wasn't so bad when we had the car or the Rav, but parking our huge truck is ludicrous.  While Brad can squeeze the truck into a spot meant for a smart car, I am relegated to parking at the far end of the lots next to all the fancy cars, whose owners are terrified of scratches from the commoners.

Cue online shopping.   LOVE it.  Starting on Black Friday, I got some great deals.  The best one was a phone for Zach.  Now, I had always said I would never get my kid a phone before he turned 14.  Sigh.  Never say never.

His teacher actually suggested it to help keep a record of his assignments due dates as Zach tends to shy away from writing things down.  Plus, he is one of 3 kids in the whole class who don't have them.  Seriously.  WTF?

I admit defeat.   I thought I would get him a 5S, which is $0.  When I looked online, MTS was having a black friday sale and the 6S iphone was on sale for $99 (regularly $120).  I couldn't justify it, Brad doesn't even have a 6S phone, so the 5S was just fine.

My friend suggested that I buy the phone via the mobile shop at Superstore.  I have walked by the mobile shop 1000x and never even noticed it.  Apparently on Black Friday they were having a one day sale.  You could get the same MTS phone, but you would get an added bonus of 250,000 PC points.

For those not familiar PC points are the Superstore reward points.  250,000 points equates to $250 in groceries.  Yes please!

When I got the superstore after work, there was a huge line and two young guys trying to hold down the fort.  By the time it was my turn, I had been waiting for easily a half hour.  To his credit, the kid was really trying to be helpful, but I could tell that he was done.  I said I wanted to get the 5S phone for $0.  They didn't have any.  Sold Out.  Well sh*t.

At that point a Pizza Pizza delivery boy showed up.  No kidding. Even though this kid was working in a grocery store, he clearly wanted no part of it and ordered out.  My respect for him went up ten fold.  He excused himself to go pay for the pizza and then came back to help me. With a renewed sense of purpose he said, "You know what?  I don't even care.. I'll give you the 6S for $0 instead.  Does that work?"

Yes. Yes it does.

Major score.  I practically skipped to the till.

Problem is now I got Zach a phone which Logan REALLY wants.  I couldn't help but visualize Christmas morning with Logan being so disappointed.  Now I know some perfect parents will drone on about how things don't have to be equal... that they are individuals.. That very well may be true when it comes to their emotional needs, but when it comes to gifts? Yeah, don't kid yourself.... brothers keep score.

I knew that Logan wanted a PS4.  But since we already have an xbox one (xbox 360 as well), it was hard to justify.  I have been preparing Logan for the fact that he won't be getting one for Christmas as they are too expensive.  Then the phone score changed things.

Since I had a budget assigned to each of the boys and Zach's big gift now cost be nothing (outside of the monthly bill, but I am choosing not to factor that in at this point), I could reallocate the funds assigned to Zach to Logan and I'd have enough for a PS4.

Add to cart.

I am all but done shopping now, except for stocking stuffers which I will continue to accumulate until Christmas Eve.

I have just a few things on my own wish list.  Not sure why, but any other time of year I can think of a million things I'd love to have, but come Christmas, I can't think of any.    Slippers, a hair dryer (see a previous post for the urgency of this request) and Kinetic sand.

Kinetic sand is the coolest. It's technically for kids, but 38 falls in the Ages 3 and up, so I'm good.

Merry Christmas.
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