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Decisions, Decisions

If your child is not a Rainbow Loom fanatic, then you are truly missing out.  Just about every kid I know, boys and girls, are carrying around cases of miniature rubber bands and looming like crazy whenever they have a spare moment.  The other day, I kid you not, a group of girls created a Rainbow Loom jump-rope during recess time.

Finding a birthday gift that is Rainbow Loom-related these days should be easy.  The problem is trying to find something the kid wants, but doesn’t have.  So, I was thrilled to discover this book on Amazon that seems to be difficult to find.  There’s two sellers, though.  Which one do you think I should choose?

Rainbow Loom book


Spoiler Alert: One of These MIGHT Be Your Christmas Gift This Year

As the holiday season approaches, I start looking at one of my browser bookmark folders in which I save gift ideas throughout the year.  To some of you, this may sound like an extraordinarily organized and proactive way to handle shopping for presents.  In reality, though, it’s like some kind of cryptic diary that my psychiatrist would probably love to get his hands on.  The problem is that I indiscriminately bookmark items of interest to that folder.  It’s possible that I thought of someone when I saved each one, but I don’t actually label them with anyone’s names.  Some of them are gift ideas for me.  Some of them might be good for hostess gifts.  And some of them would be better off never invented.

For example, could someone please tell me why I felt the need to bookmark the Star Wars sunshade?

Star Wars Sunshade

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My husband loves Star Wars, but I’m pretty sure this gift would quickly find its way to File 13 if I chose to stuff it in his stocking.

And which of my beloved family and friends was I planning to bestow this lovely gift on?  It’s an alarm clock that sends your own money to your most hated charity every time you hit “Snooze.”

Could someone please tell me exactly what was I drinking when I saw this Golf Drinking Game, and thought it would surely make a great gift for someone some day?

picture from:

picture from:

I have about 100 products that I’ve saved in this folder since January – and about 2.75 of them make viable gifts.

So, the question is, which will offend people more?  Receiving a Star Wars car sunshade, or getting a polite phone call from me requesting that we put our relationship on hold until after the holidays?

I guess I just need to consult Dr. Freud’s Therapy Ball.

Can someone send me one for Christmas?

picture from:

picture from:





I Have a Sirius Problem

After 11 years of marriage, Cap’n Firepants has gotten pretty good at taking hints, and I’ve gotten better at giving them.  Okay, threatening words written in red lipstick on the bathroom mirror might not exactly fall into the precise definition of hinting as most people see it.  But I think that there are different levels for men and for women.

Anyway, the biggest test of communication between lovers is Valentine’s Day.  It’s like the Hinting Final Exam.  For the last couple of years, the Cap’n has passed it with flying colors.  He knows that even though I agree with him that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark Created Holiday, I still expect some kind of Romantic Gesture.  Let’s face it, if men don’t have Romantic Gesture deadlines, Romantic Gestures would become extinct.

The Cap’n also knows that I am only big on getting flowers on un-holidays.  When he brings them home for my birthday or Valentine’s Day, I consider it an I Couldn’t Think of Anything Else cop-out.

This year, the Cap’n gave me my gift the night before Valentine’s Day.  To prove, I am guessing, that he did not wait until the last minute.

And it was a gift about which I had fiercely hinted.  Although, if you asked him, he would probably tell you he thought of it all on his own.

photo credit: grilled cheese via photopin cc

So, my gift is a Sirius Satellite Dock & Play for my car.

I know.  You are thinking that is so not romantic. But the Cap’n knows, from years of experience, that the way to my heart is either a bulldog puppy or electronics.  And he has no intention of ever going the bulldog route again, as he likes to inform me on a regular basis.

So, I was thrilled with the Sirius because I’ve been a tad jealous of his new car with seat warmers, Bluetooth, GPS, and satellite radio.  And the more I ride in his car commercial-free, the more I hate my stereo and my 6 CD-changer that plays the same dang songs over and over again because I keep forgetting to switch out the 5 CD’s I put in there two years ago.

We just paid off my car, and I don’t want a new one.  So, this was the perfect solution, as I have been stating loud and clear for about six months.


When I pulled it out of the box and saw the packet of instructions for installing it, my zeal for the gift quickly disappeared.

“Did you know you have to put an antenna on the roof, and route the wire through the weatherstripping, under the carpet, and back to the radio? And it’s best to plug it in to my auxiliary input, which is in the glove box?” (Don’t ask me why Toyota put the aux input in the glove box.  This is why I don’t play my iPod in the car, either.)

“We can get someone to install it,” the Cap’n said in a reasonable tone.

“But it’s still not going to be permanent.  There’s going to be wires everywhere.  Besides someone is going to steal it.”

Keep in mind.  He got me exactly what I wanted.  And suddenly I don’t want it anymore.  Apparently, hinting that I don’t want something is easier than the other way around.

“We can take it back,” he said.  I’m pretty sure whathemeant2say is, “You are impossible to please.”

How much do you think it would cost to get a butt-warmer in the seats instead?

(BTW, notquiteold has a very funny post on men who don’t take hints that I highly recommend!)


Do Not Hire Me to Be Your Personal Shopper

Apparently, I never learn.  Or I’m very stubborn.  Cap’n Firepants would definitely nod his head vigorously to the latter.   Of course, he’s the source of my frustration right now, so he has no right to be assassinating my character.

Cap’n Firepants usually leaves birthday shopping to me.  Our beautiful daughter, Dimples, has her special day this week.  So, I, the forward thinking, obsessive compulsive wacko mom that I am, have been stacking up gifts for her for awhile.

The day before the day before her birthday (actually the night before the day before – 10:00 p.m., to be precise), the Cap’n casually questioned whether he needed to contribute anything to the Big Day.  I noted to him that I had pretty much bought her just about everything on her list except for rats and a 200-piece Crayola art case.  As he is disinclined to allow her to become a rodent owner, I suggested that if he was determined to put some of his own physical effort into the Big Day, he could roll on down to Toys r Us the next day and buy her the art case which was prominently featured with stars and hearts encircling it on her list.

After he Googled the nearest Toys r Us to his office, and I e-mailed him the exact specifications of the art case, as no substitutes would do, the plan was set.

The next afternoon, Cap’n Firepants texted me that he had dutifully made the trip to Toys r Us.

“I bought her the Clownfish Air Swimmer,” he texted.

Fortunately, there were no students in my classroom in the moment (which there wouldn’t be since I never check my phone while I’m teaching anyway), as I think I may have mumbled a few not-so-appropriate words when I read his text.

Allow me to digress for a moment.  Trust me, it relates.

Readers of this blog during the last month or so might recall my three-part series regarding the X-box Kinect Debacle of last Christmas.  It’s full of drama and suspense, so I highly recommend it.

I concluded the story with my great idea for this year’s joint Christmas gift for the Cap’n and Dimples – an Air Swimmer – THE hot toy this season.  (If you haven’t seen the video for this, you must.  It’s highly amusing.)  Anticipating the run on this puppy fish that would occur once everyone’s shopping got into full swing (and once my multitude of readers read that day’s post), I made sure that I ordered and received the gift way, way, way ahead of time. It’s been sitting in my closet for almost a year – O.K., well maybe a month.

I had already made plans with the guys at work to fill it up with helium for me and do a few test runs so I could scare the bejesus out of Dimples and the Cap’n on Christmas morning.  Wonderbutt’s reaction would be an added bonus.

And with one short text, Cap’n Firepants had let the helium out of my balloon.

I know.  I know.  Blah, blah, blah.  Why does it matter that she’s getting it a little earlier, and that the Cap’n is the Surpriser instead of a Surprisee?  Don’t lecture me on the Spirit of the Season and thoughts that count and all of the other clichés that come to mind.  I realize that there are children starving in Third World countries and that me whining about this is like a teenager whose day life is destroyed by a pimple in the middle of her forehead big toe and it’s not even sandal season.

I get it.  Big Deal.

Apparently, I am not Nostradamus because:

A.  The Air Swimmer has not even come close to being sold out


2.  It is now cheaper than it was when I first bought it.

This means I will not be Craig’s Listing this rip-roaring redundant brand new toy.  And giving it to Dimples and the Cap’n anyway is not an option either because, way before Christmas rolls around (probably in the next week, I’m guessing), they are going to be sick of Air Swimmin’.

So, creative People – you got a suggestion?  Let me have it.

Air Swimmer Getting Tanked Up by Cap'n Firepants

Who Wants to Butcher the Balloon? I Do! I Do!


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