My Christmas Wish List: 1985

Dear Santa,

Can I please have a Day and Night Barbie for Christmas? I would also like her office/bedroom set! I promise I have been a good girl this year!




P.S. My baby brother would really appreciate this Garfield.

Postscript: Received and loved that Barbie. Totally loved it. Maybe even had two! Still trying to live up to Barbie’s societal expectations, but no hard feelings. 🙂

Thanks Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia for collecting and displaying these vintage toys. Brings back many fond memories.


A Very Star Wars Christmas

Like many of you, our family is Star Wars-crazy right now. It’s pretty hard to escape the franchise this year, with Disney’s marketing efforts going above and beyond. It seems that all everyday items have Star Wars branding and that nearly every toy store or toy section is bursting with light sabers, action figures, and more.

Of course, with a captive 3-year-old-boy in the house, we’re all in on this Star Wars stuff. Imaginext Millennium Falcon? Check. Darth Vader Mr. Potato Head? Check. Light sabers from Santa (for both kids)? Check. Nora’s purchased a Darth Vader mask for Carson, and my brother and sister-in-law even got in on the action, shipping an adorable stuffed Yoda for Christmas morning. Star Wars is a family affair!

I can take comfort in the fact that Star Wars is a universally loved and timeless franchise, so this stuff should remain of interest for years to come. And Carson hasn’t yet seen the movies beyond A New Hope, which got him a little too wound up and jumpy this summer. We’ll hold off on more viewing parties in the foreseeable future, but the Lego Star Wars options are pretty amazing substitutes right now. Plus, he has no trouble playing with the Storm Trooper and Darth Vader action figures he got earlier this year. He’s got a lively imagination.

In other Christmas gifting news:

Carson asked Santa for the Paw Patrol hub — a truck that can hold three characters and that comes with Ryder. He’d seen it at other kids’ houses, and his mind was blown by it. Having a few years of children’s gift-giving under our belts, Steve and I knew we needed to get this as soon as he was committed, and we used our Amazon credit card points to snag it in early November along with a few of the pups. Well, thank goodness we did! This toy and the pups are crazy expensive and hard to get on Amazon now! The supply and demand of Christmas toys is really an amazing thing to watch.

Gifting for a 5-year-old is pretty fun. Nora’s still a year shy of kindergarten, but she’s interested in so many things. In her haul? A pop-up atlas, a new coat, road tape and road signs, and Michelle Obama paperdolls. She’ll love all of these. And because Steve and I can’t help ourselves, we did splurge on a few Barbies and some doll outfits. She doesn’t love toys, but I can’t help but think she will play with them in different stages of her life.

Christmas came early for me this year. I upgraded my computer on Black Friday and now am enjoying an iMac with a nice large screen. Of course, it’s for my freelance work, but I am happy to know I’ll begin 2016 with good ergonomics! And maybe it will save my eyes for another few years. Adult Christmas presents are a little more practical and expensive, wouldn’t you say?

Pooh Obsessed

Have I mentioned Nora’s obsession with Winnie the Pooh? On a daily basis, we’re asked if she can watch Pooh (the movie we purchased for her at Christmas). She insisted that her Pooh wall decals be moved when her bed arrived Friday and hid their smiling faces. One of her first multiple-syllable words was “honey.”

And now? She’s got these stacking dolls to play with thanks to her grandparents. My parents, who recently cruised to Russia, picked up these Matryoshka dolls for her. So far, she’s played with them for several hours a day. And yes, she can say the names of all the characters.

Nora’s Big Day

Sometimes the best way to get out of a stressed-out funk is to go shopping.

We’ve been planning to do a little spree for Nora to update her toys for the summer. With the new baby coming, we want her to stay busy! Plus, with a fall birthday, we think it’s good to survey the toys at the house sometime in the spring to make sure she has a few things to play with that are in line with her interests. (This was something we missed last year and won’t do again!)

Today we had a fun day spoiling our little girl. She came home from our excursion with new outdoor toys like bubbles, chalk, and a soccer ball. We also got her a play kitchen (that’s been on the list for awhile) and some cardboard blocks for indoor play.

I picked up a doll crib for her too, but that will be a surprise once the new baby arrives.

Though we don’t do it too often, buying toys for Nora makes us really happy. It channels our childhood nostalgia and gets us excited to play with the new stuff!

Tea Time!

As Nora approaches seventeen months, I’ve noticed she’s playing with her toys differently. She’s starting to channel her imagination, which has resulted in her taking interest in stuffed animals (I thought that might never happen). She’s also perfecting her fine-motor skills.

With these new developments, Steve and I have been acquiring a few new toys for her. After a weekend that brought the norovirus to our house, he bought her a Mr. Potato Head on Monday. She played with that spud for almost an hour, which I found amazing. She’s very good at fitting the different parts into the small holes, something that I could not have imagined her doing three months ago.

Steve also bought her a small watering can toy for the bath, and she spent twenty minutes pouring water from it into a cup at bathtime the other day. Excited about this, I bought this fun Green Toys Tea Set from Amazon (free thanks to credit card points!).

I hope to try it out with Nora this weekend. This set is made from recycled materials and can be put in the dishwasher. Nora and I may have to make a baked treat to go with our tea this weekend as well!

A few random updates:

  • I hope to finish my sweater this weekend.
  • I am collaborating with a few friends to make quiet books for our toddlers. It’s been a fun process to date, though I need to get my nose to the grindstone and finish the pages soon!
  • Now that I’m four plus months along in pregnancy #2, the honey-do list has gotten very long for Steve. We’re making several updates/improvements in our house in the next several months. He’s tackling a redesign of our laundry closet today.
  • I loved the season finale of Downton Abbey last weekend. I know there are a lot of disappointed folks that thought season two dragged, but I still consider this show a great indulgence and can’t wait for season 3. In my eyes, a show like this can do no wrong, even if it gets boring and/or rushed in a few episodes.

April, Week 4: Seven Months and Almost . . .

Pic of the Week

Cute as a Button!

My Life

Starting the countdown to our vacation to my hometown, Boise, Idaho. Looking forward to seeing my family and having a week of rest and relaxation.

We’re experiencing another Philly spring, where it seems like it will be cold forever and then, low and behold, it gets ridiculously hot. We had to turn the AC on to sleep this week, which I felt guilty about for a second or two, but then realized was very necessary.

As you can see, I finally sewed something. I hope to keep working on a few projects to keep my toe in the craft world. I just bought a few cute crochet patterns that I hope to tackle soon.

Nora Updates

Nora is almost . . . crawling, scooting, walking, rolling, babbling, waving, clapping, popping a few teeth. She’s growing like a weed and looking more and more like a kid every day. She just isn’t quite marking any huge milestones at the moment. I can tell her mind is working away at figuring out what’s next, so I am sure the next few months will bring a lot of changes in the little gal.

Nora celebrated her first Easter with three baskets: two from her grandmas and one from the Easter Bunny. Who knows, next year she might get some candy in those baskets!

Mommy/Baby Item

I bought the growing gal a Melissa and Doug wood puzzle. The packaging says its for 1+ but she loves pulling the pieces out with the big knobs attached to each one. We needed something farm themed in the house, and her puzzle that features a farmer and farm animals is perfect for singing “Old McDonald.”

Looking Forward To

One more week until we get on the plane and head West!