Friday, December 24, 2010

The nice list.

I'm so glad it's almost present-opening time because our poor tree doesn't look like it can take much more of this. I mean, seriously, that tree runneth over with gifts!

If you looked closely you'd see there are some for all of us but at least half of them are for a certain four year old boy.

When I first noticed this (probably the tenth time I found myself shoving more Liam presents under the tree...), I wondered for a second if we were spoiling him. But I got over that pretty quickly. The kid has been very good this year. And he pretty much holds my heart in his hands. He's just such a cool kid. He lays on his bed reading quietly to himself and listens to my favorite songs on repeat and invites me into his room for a little karaoke and knows all the names of all the dinosaurs and says things like, "in the meantime" and "actually" and "I'm dubious about that" and calls me on my cell phone just to chat and freaks out with excitement when Wheel of Fortune contestants win the bonus round. You try living with a kid like that and not wanting to fulfill every last wish on his wish list.

(If you could read that at all you'd see that the very first thing on his wish list for Santa is a "very special hanger." He was inspired by a video on America's Funniest Home Vidoes of a little girl tearing open a present and throwing everything behind her - including the gift. Finally she holds up an empty hanger with MUCH excitement and screams, "It's a hanger! I got a hanger! I love it! Thank you, thank you!")

But Liam hasn't just been run-of-the-mill good this year. He's been big brother good. It took him a little getting used to but now I'd say he's growing into his role quite nicely.

Here he is making gingerbread cookies.

"I better make an F for Finny!"

And when he wrote his second letter to Santa asking him NOT to come down the chimney, he signed it from himself and his little brother (both boys have fireplaces in their rooms).

I guess you could say we're all a little spoiled this year.

A very merry Christmas - from my home, to yours!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Commercial interruption.

I've been wanting to use this title for months to write about my son's OBSESSION with television commercials. Thank Tivo he doesn't see them very often but when he does? O. M. G. He totally loses his mind with desire for WHATEVER is being pushed. He's like one of those kids who grows up in a house where junk food is forbidden and goes fat kid crazy the first time he's left alone with a can of Sprite or some peanut M&Ms. It's...unhealthy.

He's told me we should start watching commercials more often because, "How else are we supposed to learn about all the things we want?" Huh?! It's kind of insane how good advertising is at making kids want things. Even things that don't make any sense at all for a four year to want. I mean, the Pillow Pet? Fair enough. But Title Max? Really?

There is absolutely NO REASON "Title Max" should ever be uttered in our home. But it is. A lot. I think the commercial must be on during Titans football games because that is one of the only times we watch "live" TV in our house (and he definitely didn't see it on PBS Kids or Nick Jr - they don't even show commercials!). He likes everything about it - the songs, the concept ("Mama, your title is your credit. You get to keep your car!"), the way the "real bucks" fly around the screen when people hand over their car titles (there are a few different commercials...I'll spare you and only post one).

When he sees the stores when we're out driving, it sparks long drawn out conversations. Like, some of the most extensive conversations we've had about anything. Ever. The other day on our way home from Costco he talked to me for like 20 minutes about stupid Title Max. It started with, "Look at all those cars in the Title Max parking lot! Those must be the cars people are bringing in to get their money, their money, their real money." And ended with, "If it's such a bad deal, maybe we should go there and tell the people not to do it? Or we could knock down the building since it's a bad place. Then people couldn't lose their cars and owe lots of money!"

Still, even though he knows it's not a good thing to want (who aspires to go to Title Max someday?), I'm sure he'll still treat us to a few rounds of the Title Max song during the Titans game today. Which, even though it's super creepy is still kinda sweet. I just love to hear that kid sing.


Ahh...that's better. And no, that's not Soul Sister by Train he's singing; it's Soul Sister by Street Corner Symphony covering Train that he's singing. This is an important distinction and, really, what I intended to write about when I started this post this morning (I blame my 2nd cup of coffee...Coffee - do stupid things faster with more energy!). Liam LOVES Street Corner Symphony (even more than he loves Title Max!). In the car the other day after listening to all their songs on repeat he said, "Mama? Do you think Street Corner Symphony needs a kid in their band? Because I really want to be in Street Corner Symphony." (I honestly just overheard Liam tell Bill, "No Dada, The Smiths is not the greatest band ever. Street Corner Symphony is the greatest band ever.")

What's that? You're not familiar with Street Corner Symphony? Well! Consider this a commercial you hopefully won't fast forward.

Street Corner Symphony is our friends' "Face-Melting A Cappella" group featured on NBC's The Sing Off. Okay, to be fair, only two of the guys in the group (Jeremy Lister and Richie Lister) are actual friends of mine. But, two out of six? That's enough to make our family HUGE fans! The Sing Off has joyfully consumed our December and is giving Christmas a real run for its money this year. It's AWESOME and, if you ask me, a must see. And not just for Street Corner Symphony (Although, hello? We love them.) The entire show is enjoyable and refreshingly fun for the whole family (as long as you fast forward the questionable commercials...).

Tomorrow night is the live finale which is both sad (What will we do with our Monday and Wednesday nights from now on?) and exciting (We get to watch Street Corner Symphony again! And they might WIN the competition!). If you know what's good for you, you will absolutely catch the final show tomorrow night (Monday, December 20 at 8/7 Central on NBC). But before that I encourage you to take a listen on iTunes (there are live versions of several songs from the show plus a totally awesome party version of Auld Lang Syne that another one of our very talented friends recorded) or watch the episodes you missed on NBC. Once you hear the awesomeness, I'm sure you'll be like, "These guys should TOTALLY WIN this competition! How can I vote for them?" Well, I'm glad you asked.

Call 877-6-SING-02


Text 2 to 97979.

You're allowed 10 votes per method but the polls close...oh, shoot. They closed already. Well, at least we got our votes in on time!

So simple, even a four year old can do it!

I was also going to use this post as some sort of commercial for my children's book Christmastime to Me from A to Z but I went ahead and sold out of all the books I had on hand (AGAIN!). "It's great but not available" is not exactly the call to action I was hoping for. Maybe next year I'll master the sell, sell, sell! aspect of self-publishing. Until then, the book is available on Amazon and could most likely still get to your house by Christmas.

This post has left me feeling like a marketing GENIUS! I'm going to celebrate by having a daytime beer and watching football and Title Max commercials with my boys. Happy Sunday!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I do.

I really like weddings.

And photo booths and silly props and open bars...


Am I trying to imitate that prop smile on the right?
There's no other possible explanation for a smile like that.
Seriously, you should click on it. You can count ALL my teeth.

My husband likes weddings, too.

Yeah, that's the groom.
Don't worry...he probably doesn't remember that.

And speaking of not remembering things...

What's up with the tongue? That isn't even the only shot from the night where I'm doing that. It was kind of my go-to pose. After the tooth-counting smile, of course. Someone should have warned me after seeing my face in this next photo.

The wink and smile is a sure sign that it's time for me to stop drinking and switch to water. It's kinda like when my sister starts doing the Michael Jackson/Elaine from Seinfeld leg kick. We've all been warned - if we see the move, she is no longer responsible for her behavior. So, if you're reading this and you see me do the wink in the future, be prepared. You will probably have your face licked.

Poor girl. Next time she'll totally see it coming.

So, if you're getting married and need someone to liven up the reception, you should totally invite us. WE BRING THE PARTY. Of course, you could also just set up an awesome photo booth with props, over serve your guests and play great music all night. Either way, you're bound to have a rockin' time.