Fab Friday Five

Scratch that... Fab Friday four!
It's been quite the week.  I feel like I've been super busy and have had very little time to just....be.  Dave is feeling better this week.  He went back to work yesterday instead of his normal Wednesday.  He felt that he really just needed another day...and that is A-O-K.  He came to playdate with me on Wednesday and had a blast...he ate well and got to converse with other adults.  I was reluctant to pick him up simply because stopping at my house before going to playdate is NOT on the way...but I'm glad I did and I'm glad he enjoyed himself.  Last night he noticed that the etoposide rash is already back.  We still don't know what to do for relief for him.

Aria has been a special breed of awful this week.  When my parents dropped her off on Sunday evening, they told me how great she was all weekend for them.  As soon as they left, she transformed into the toddler from hell.  The hell has continued all week long.  All in the same day, she hit one of her little friends at school, lied to me about said hitting, and then blatantly disobeyed me and scratched in the dirt after I had just told her not to.  She lost her iPad for two days for that little stunt. The very next day at playdate, she did not eat her dinner, then screamed and whined about how hungry she was as we were getting ready to leave.  She kept touching the ornaments on the tree and, when told not to touch, she responded with "But I wasn't touching, I was just looking."  So again, another lie. Afterwards, when asking why she was being so bad, she simply replied with "I'm tired!!"  So Dave put a set of new rules in place explaining to her that "If you're too tired to behave, then you must need to go to bed earlier."

Ordinarily we come home from school, she gets on her iPad, she eats dinner (maybe), she watches more iPad, then its up to bed around 8/830....with stalling techniques that last until 930/10 some days.  The new rules:  On school days, no iPad. Period.  We will come home from school, go right upstairs and get a bath and some jam jams, then we'll come back downstairs....have dinner, do some artsy fartsy craft things, then up to bed at 7.  She may have her iPad on the weekends, but that's it.

There's only one problem with these rules...it obligates me to do artsy fartsy craft time with my toddler EVERY night.  Awesome.  Don't get me wrong, I like to do these things with Aria.  But on a Saturday....not at 5:00 on a Tuesday after I've worked all day and I'm exhausted.  It also forced me to go to Hobby Lobby and spend an unnecessary amount of money on craft supplies.  I did need more paint, though....so the trip was not wasted :)

Onto the fun stuff!

(Aria uses tools to help fix cars with Papa...while wearing dresses)
So there's this blog that I follow called Mother Blogger (read it >> here).  She was inactive for quite a while, but she's super funny and quite...real.  I can't stand reading blogs written by happy-go-lucky people who only write down the niceties and skip over all the real, nitty-gritty details of life.  Everything isn't all flowers and rainbows and sunshine....sometimes the rainbows are dark and grey and with a big ol' pile of poop at the end rather than a pot of gold.  THAT'S real life.  Anyway...her latest entry is about gender stereotypes and how they start so young.  I completely agree with her post.  There is NO reason why a boy can't play with dolls and why a girl can't play with tools and a dump truck.  Aria has Hot Wheels, toy airplanes, tools (complete with tool belt and safety goggles), a dump truck, a tractor, and Caterpillar (CAT) yellow construction vehicle toys (an excavator, a bull dozer, and something else).  She also plays with Doc McStuffins, baby dolls, play jewelry, and she likes to wear skirts.  Boys can do exactly that same thing.  They can play with pink doctor kits and pretend kitchen sets and color with the purple crayon all they want.  To teach your child to follow their respective gender stereotype is to further the problem.  Maybe some men beat their wives and children because as kids they weren't exposed to stuffed animals that needed to be loved on.  Maybe some men come home from work expecting dinner to be on the table because they never got the opportunity to pretend to cook a meal for their mommy.  Even Dave tends to make comments about how he wants to have a boy to go camping and fishing and play catch with....I have to remind him that Aria can do all of those things.  He knows she can, and is more than excited to do all those things...but the comment still comes out now and then.  My child wears dresses and skirts and then proceeds to put her tool belt on, fill it with tools, and set off to find something to "fix".  She's secure in her role as a human being...and I hope she stays that way.

(The Professional Chef, 9th edition,  The Culinary Institute of America >> buy at Amazon)
Because we're too lazy to shop for each other, Dave and I ordered our own Christmas presents.  Dave spent a certain amount of money on all of his stuff and I was supposed to spend just as much (really, he told me to spend more because he'd never be able to give me enough to make up for these last few months....RIGHT!!) Anyway.  As I'm SUPER interested in really learning how to cook, my Christmas present to myself is a culinary textbook from the Culinary Institute of America.  It's going to teach me so many things...how to properly use my knives...how to properly saute...how to make a pan sauce...how to do EVERYTHING.  It's 1,000 pages of awesome!  I'm super excited about it! I'm always looking at recipes and I get nervous to try them because they involve a technique I have no idea how to do, or too many steps and I feel overwhelmed.  And I certainly can't afford to quit my job and go to culinary school...so I'm going to teach myself the best that I can.  For my birthday, I'm planning on getting the updated version of the baking textbook (also by CIA).  
2015 is going to be a GREAT cooking year!

(Dark Places - Gillian Flynn >> buy at Amazon)
So I read (well, listened via Audible) this book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  Now it's a movie...and the entire story just continues to blow me away!  It was so...thrilling!  So I went to my trusty Amazon and looked for what else Gillian Flynn wrote and proceeded to add both her other books (Sharp Objects  //  Dark Places) to my "want to read" list.  I just recently finished listening to Sharp Objects.  That book felt like it dragged on, but I was pleasantly surprised at the end to find out who had done the killing of the two little girls in the small Missouri town.  I'm currently reading Dark Places (and I'm less than 100 pages from the end) and I'm still unsure as to who did it!  The story is about a girl who, at a very tender age of 8 or so, tells the courts that her brother murdered her entire family at 2:05 AM on the night of January 3, 1985.  The girl, all grown up now, is a little nutty...she's a bit of a recluse and has very little money to call her own.  A group of people obsessed with murders finds her and convinces her to REALLY look at that case from so many years ago...and they'll pay her for her investigations.  The story is told by 3 narrators:  Libby (the girl, now all grown up), Patty (the mother) and Ben (Libby's murderous brother).  Libby's story is told in the present, Patty and Ben's story is told in the past.  In the story, I'm currently up to midnight on January 3rd.  I can't wait to finish the book and find out ... who really did the killing of the 'Day' family?  It's my "work" book, so I only read it at work during lunch time (those who know me know that I'm regularly reading 3-5 books at a time) and boy do I look forward to lunch every day and I dread when it ends every day.  Check out these books....seriously, read them...they're pretty great!  Though, I'm not going to lie, Gone Girl is the best of the three.
(I'm currently reading Dark Places at work at lunchtime; I'm listening to Little Women whenever I'm in the car because it's a good Christmas story and I just love the Winona Ryder version of the movie; I'm re-reading the Fifty Shades trilogy so I can be refreshed for the movie in February; and lastly I'm reading the 2nd Harry Potter book during Aria's bath time because I've never read the HP series.)

25 Elf on the Shelf Ideas
(not my own image)
This elf that I have to remember to move every night is going to be the bane of my existence.  Although....she comes in pretty handy when Aria is being naughty and I can remind her "Aria...don't forget that Twinkle is watching and is going to tell Santa everything you did today."  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  And what man at the Elf factory decided that this little guy's hands ought to be sewn together.  That's just stupid.  I gotta remember to cut that damn thread so that I can put her in some better places.  Today she's hanging on the blinds...like she got caught sneaking back in the house.  Aria said "That silly elf!"

That's it folks. It's late, I just took a sinus pill that's making me VERY sleepy, and I'm officially an old fuddy duddy who is in bed by 10 on a Friday night. Judge me all you want, I don't care!

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