naked soap

Naked SoapSo, this is actually something I’ve meant to talk about for quite a while.  My dear friend Marie’s business is called Naked Soap and I have to say… I love her stuff.

She’s also helped me out a lot this year in making gifts for my aunts and cousins.  We’ve put together a little bag for each containing a bar of soap, body cream, and a body spray.  I’ve also added a small candle that I’ve made.  I only wish I’d had time (or been able to get my act together enough) to crochet up some wash cloths to go along with these.

Marie calls her soap “Naked Soap” because she uses only the basest of ingredients.  There’s nothing unnecessary in there and she doesn’t even use a pre-made base, everything is made from scratch using all natural ingredients such as goat’s milk.  She’s also got body butters seasonally, bath salts, bath melts, and sugar scrubs.

In fact, I’ve been using Marie’s soap almost exclusively for about a year now.  I love the way it makes my skin feel – clean but not dry and not greasy.  The scents are wonderful, too.  The scent going to my family this year is Green Tea & Ginger.  Looove it.  She was so kind as to give me my own body cream (actually forgot to order something for myself this time around, ha) and I put it on my… um, winter knees… earlier and it’s already made a difference in that skin.  Feels great and the scent is nice and not over-powering (which is sometimes a downfall of an otherwise good lotion).

So, I know, it’s too late for Christmas this year, but check it out!  :)

the art of not-spoiling… or is it?

So I’m sitting here wrapping presents at the kitchen table. This wrapping paper is double sided. How cute. However shall I decide which side to use? What a waste of ink. :)

I have to say, it is so much better doing this here than on the living room floor. For one, I’m tired and I quit for the night and I’m just going to leave everything here and Kayleigh won’t be able to get it.

But, please, someone stop me! I am spending too much money!!

For the most part, I guess it’s about right, but this year I have spent, in my opinion, too much on my own kiddos. I’m drawing the line here! I actually had them both finished and spent equal amounts on them, within a dollar, then I saw something I couldn’t pass up and spent another $40 on Kayleigh (HEY it was on a $80 item with basically free shipping). So I had to follow that up with E. But of course, there was only one other thing I knew he wanted that wasn’t a Transformer, and that was found in a buy two video games and get one free deal… So, yeah, I bought two and picked out the free one for Steve (we have nothing he likes anyway, no cool manly games). I think I’ll save one of E’s games for his birthday, though. If I don’t, the cycle will never end!

I do love me some “buy two, get one free” deals though. Same thing on something I got for my sister and sister-in-law. One for me free! Sure, I could have given it to someone else, but there’s no one else it’s appropriate for, so mine, all mine. Hey, sometimes I just have to treat myself, right?

This was the first year, though, that E made any kind of Christmas list. I actually asked him to because I know he’s all about Transformers but heck if I can keep the dang things straight. I know Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, and a couple of others that he has schooled me in (ie drilled into my brain), but that’s it. And he is telling me that he wants this one and that one and this one and my head is just spinning. So he goes and gets a piece of paper and a pencil and – wait for it – GETS ONLINE and Googles and finds all by himself and proceeds to write down… about 25 of these blasted things. I had no idea there were so many. I thought there were like… five.

Yeah, I’m SO not buying 25 of those things. I thought 2 was a good number but ended up with one that’s a two-in-one, they fit together to make one vehicle but are two separate robots. So I’m in my list going down and deleting off the list ones that I think are too expensive to pay for and then deleting again ones that he doesn’t have on his list because BELIEVE IT OR NOT, there are even MORE than 25 of these things. Then I picked from the affordable ones on his list and he’s getting the police car Decepticon and then the two Autobots that go together. That one was kind of hard to find, actually, on amazon anyway, somewhat limited and the first one I added to my cart actually got purchased before I could check out, so I had to find another and, of course, the one I ended up buying was a bit more expensive.

These kids are making out like bandits, I think. Of course, other parents might look at everything we’re getting and go “what the heck, I spend 4 times that much on my kids” and maybe a lot of parents do, but, really, my kids don’t need anything. They have everything they could need or want already and I don’t see any point in just spending hundreds of dollars per kid each Christmas. For one, I don’t want them to think that is what Christmas is all about, amongst other reasons, including the fact that they get tons of stuff from grandparents and aunts and uncles, etc. (One of the perks of being the only grandchildren on two sides, sans one.) I’m happy though, yesterday Elijah came to me and was talking about what he thinks Christmas really is and he didn’t mention presents.

But alas, and woe is me, my Christmas spending for this year is not over yet. I still have to get my grandpa something and Steve still has to get something for my brother. We still have to figure out what to get his mom, and I think we’re going to go together with his brother and his wife and get their dad a new cell phone (without extending a contract), then I still have to figure out what to get my parents. All us siblings were going to go in together on a gift for them again, but I think none of us have any ideas at this point. At least I have my aunts and uncles and cousins on my mom’s side figured out, because that’s always really hard – I don’t want to just give them candles every year (even though they all rave and say “keep them coming”), but I can’t spend a lot because there are just so many of them… and they’re multiplying every year…

In part, I think I feel like I’m spending more on Christmas than I really am because other things have come up, too. Steve had to get some new tires on Thanksgiving Day (long story), I got a candle order only to find out I’m out of wax (what the heck, I could have sworn I had 10 lbs left) so I had to order that (STILL waiting on it) and, of course, the price has gone up again. My printer broke. (Thankfully, Marie tells me she is going to save me there! Thanks, Darling!) My tripod broke. Stupid hunk of plastic. I gotta stop buying cheap ones, I guess, but then there’s more mahnies there. Then there’s every day things like food and our enormous natural gas bill this month… oy.

Que Sera, Sera!

beginning to look…

A lot like Christmas? Somewhat, I guess. Not in my house, we haven’t put up any decorations. Really, there’s just no room. I could put something in the living room if I really wanted, but there’s absolutely no way that K would EVER leave it alone if her life depended on it so that’s out. The lower room is another option but I still haven’t quite gotten everything out of there that needs to be out. Still have some boxes of books to figure out what to do with, still some construction supplies, etc. Adding a tree down there is just going to crowd it. We’ll see though, E may talk me into it yet.

Last week we finally hammered out the gift exchanges on both sides of the family. We are doing sibling exchanges and drew names on Steve’s side on Thanksgiving. My family wasn’t able to completely be together for Thanksgiving so we worked it out later. On my side, I have my sister, a little obvious as we are the only two girls there right now. On Steve’s, I have the middle sister. Haven’t done much shopping yet, but just finished those two ladies tonight. I am trying SO hard to get on this and get everything done online so I don’t have to go out shopping. I don’t mind being a home body, ha. I hate shopping, the stores are always hot, I can’t stand crowds, and when you add my two little monsters to the mix… yeah, it’s enough to drive a person crazy. So I got the sisters done and we have just a little bit so far for K and for my niece, but not finished there. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about boys this year, haha, they are so hard to shop for. Steve says he’s about ready to order for his part of the exchange, one of his brothers and one of mine, he just has to make up his mind.

I’m still unclear as to whether or not we siblings are all going in on gifts for the parentals this year or not. I know my father-in-law needs a new cell phone, I’d love to get him something good. Not sure about my parents or my mother-in-law, though, or my grandpa (he is the absolute hardest one) or Steve’s grandmas.

Getting there, though. I like this organized exchange thing, and I think everyone else does, too.

NICU-itis & the kindness of strangers & fundoplication

I totally have what the nurses call NICU-itis. SO tired of being there. But we are getting closer to her coming home.

It’s not just rough on me, though. This past Monday, Elijah started day care for the first time ever. While he was really excited about going that day, as we were on the way there, he asked me what I was going to do while he was there. I told him I was going to the hospital. He asked why and I said “to feed the baby.” He thought for a second then said, “well… can’t you just let the nurses do that?” He actually asked me that question twice. It was like he wanted to go to day care – again, he was really excited – but he didn’t want me going to the hospital at all. When I picked him up, surprisingly, he was ready to go.

But on Tuesday, when I picked him up from his second day of day care, he yelled from the top of the slide, “Mommy!!!! Can you, can you go back and see Kayleigh some more? I’m not done playing!” So who really knows what is going on in that kid’s head? But I do think he’s tired of it all, despite his getting to go pretty much anywhere and everywhere he wants.

However, and it’s not the getting of stuff that does it, but some people we don’t even know have been generous with us and making us feel loved. Such as…

Christmas 2007

JOY Merry Christmas, everyone, I hope your day is a good one!

It is Christmas Day, the day that we have been preparing for for the better part of a month and the day that has had all the children – especially mine – tied up in knots. Elijah is playing on the floor with the gifts from Steve and I that he opened this morning. It’s funny how it turned out, every one of them is from the Cars movie… five of the die-cast cars, two shake-up cars, and the Mater game (race to put him together before he blows his parts again). He’s having a ton of fun down there! I’m sure his sugar high will come to an end before long…