Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Hope you all enjoy your holiday doing what's most important to you with family and friends!

And now, wise words from a Canadian philosopher.






Friday, 21 December 2012

Double Christmas Trees!

So, holy cow.  It's Christmas.  I suppose I should be prepared for the time period between Vivian's birthday and Christmas to go by in the blink of an eye every year, because that seems to be how it goes.  The last week has been pretty insane with last minute shopping (including a trip to the states), putting up the tree, wrapping presents, work being wacky, Vivian getting her 2-year molars, etc., etc., etc.

So I thought I would get some pictures up of the trees now before Christmas is over.  Of course, Christmas trees are notoriously difficult to photograph, and even more so when you have a crappy tree, but here goes.  You might remember my gloriously tacky white Christmas tree from last year.  I got a bunch of disco ball decorations last year, then beefed them up with some Boxing Day discounted decorations and a few boxes of 50% off ones I got this year.  Nothing too fancy, just kind of colourful and nothing breakable.  I put it in the kitchen again this year to keep it away from Vivian if need be, but she hasn't paid too much attention to it other than to say, "Nice tree!"







 And yes, I used one of my vintage sheets as a tree skirt, of course.

I also decided to get a mini-tree for Vivian's room to help keep her away from the main tree and to have a place to put any ornaments that didn't really go with my other tree (because I've become that person) and so there was something at her level that she could play with.  I got it in the states at Target for $8 and I think it's a really cute idea for kids rooms.


Again, nearly impossible to take a picture, but it's pretty cute.   And you can see her new Hello Kitty ornament in the lower left there.

All in all, I'm pretty ready for Christmas.  I always say that Christmas comes when you run out of time and money and I'm definitely at that point.  I'll try to get some pictures of Vivian for a more proper Very Vivian post before the big day on Tuesday!

How goes your holiday decorating?  Are you as glad to see this week done as I am?

Thursday, 13 December 2012

What will be under the tree for Miss V.

So it seems like every other blog in the world is posting holiday gift guides lately, so I thought I would share what will be waiting for Vivian under the tree on Christmas day in case you needed some last minute ideas for the toddler in your life!

The big Santa gift this year is this kitchen.  And I'll be honest, it's mostly for me.  It's a beautiful white wooden kitchen that will stand the test of time without being a giant piece of ugly plastic in the house.  Normally I don't care about kids toys blending into decor, but with something like this that will be around for years, I really wanted to get something that at least looked nice.  She'll also be getting dishes and food to go with it.




I love Melissa & Doug toys, and with Vivian's fascination with locks, I knew the next two toys had to be on the list.  The latches board is something that I would normally look at and think "I bet I could make that!" but then I see it on sale for less than $20 on Amazon and decide it's definitely worth it to buy one.  


This Melissa & Doug doorbell house is soooo cool, I'm really hoping that it isn't too advanced for Vivian.  The house has 4 doors that each have a corresponding key and doorbell, then it comes with people to live inside the house.  It gets bonus points for securely attaching the keys to the house so you don't have to worry about losing them.

I picked up a set of play tools for Vivian from the Superstore way back in the springtime when they had a bunch of stuff on clearance.  I think it was like $7 or something.  Incredibly, I've managed to keep it tucked away until now, so she'll be getting it for Christmas.  She loves to grab a screwdriver whenever I'm fixing something, so I can't wait to see what projects she tackles with these.



The Little People house is kind of one of those toys that everyone has.  Vivian loves playing with an older version at mom's house, and I remember playing with the Tudor-style version that was out when I was a kid.  I picked this one up at the Superstore too - on sale for 50% off, so for $25 I kind of had to pick it up.


Okay, you can also file this under toys that are actually for me.  But it's a little Wonder Woman in a little invisible jet!  It's too adorable.

And who says that the Super Friends can't live in a purple house?  The Justice League can totally operate out of it.



These dolls actually really surprised me.  I've seen them on shelves before, but thought they were too old for Vivian.  I thought the dresses kind of snapped on and were hard plastic, but they're actually a soft, rubbery material.  My sister got Vivian the Cinderella one for her birthday and she loves carrying her around.  Blair has all of them, so apparently they're a hit with little girls.  And they're cheap - I won't be getting Vivian this big set, but you can get an individual doll for $5, so they're great for the stocking.


Those are basically the highlights - of course I have way too much stuff for her stocking, but stockings are the best part!  And she's just way too easy to shop for this year - anything with dolls or Toy Story or Hello Kitty or cars is right up her alley.  Of course I'm pretty sure that she's going to see the kitchen first and have zero interest in anything else under the tree, but that's okay.

What are your top toddler toy picks?


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas Faves

It's that time of year when you can basically watch a different Christmas movie every night of the week.  Christmas shows and movies always make me super nostalgic, so I thought I would share some of my faves with you guys!

A Christmas Story

When I was a kid, this movie was such a mystery. We never knew when it was going to be on or even what it was called. It was always just something that you would stumble across one day and then freak out because that "you'll shoot your eye out" movie was on. It always reminded me of The Wonder Years because of the voice over too. As time went on, it became a cult classic and then TBS started airing it for 24 hours a day and you could find it on DVD everywhere. It may not be so mysterious anymore, but it really is a classic.




The Family Man

What?  A Nicholas Cage movie? I know, but hear me out. I love The Family Man, it's one of those sweet overlooked movies that isn't really a Christmas movie but kind of sort of is. Plus it has Tea Leoni who is pretty much always awesome.





A Colbert Christmas

If you haven't seen Stephen Colbert's intentionally cheesy and amazing Christmas special, I strongly recommend that you do so.  Full of guest stars and awesomeness.




Mickey's Christmas Carol

With so many great versions of A Christmas Carol out there - from the old black and white Alastair Sim version, to the Muppets to Scrooged, but there's a special place in my heart for the Mickey Mouse version. 




Care Bears The Nutcracker

I could be wrong (but I doubt it), but I believe we actually owned this movie on VHS back in the day, which no doubt meant a few too many viewings for my mom's taste.



Christmas Vacation

Definitely one of those "must watch every year or else it doesn't feel like Christmas" movies.



Elf

Just the happiest, goofiest movie ever.




How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Of course.




What about you?  What are your holiday faves?  Even though they aren't really Christmas movies, I always want to have a Lord of the Rings marathon at Christmas time.  Since they came out at Christmas, they're forever associated with it for me!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Very Vivian - Happy 2nd Birthday!

So it was Vivian's 2nd birthday on Saturday and the party was about as successful as it can get when a bunch of toddlers are involved.  The main game was to keep it low key - balloons were scrapped because it would just end in fights, food was kept simple with pizza and cake.  The whole idea was just to get through a couple of hours with the least amount of screaming possible.  Luckily Vivian is pretty social and really likes having other kids over to play, even though she sometimes has a hard time sharing.

Decorations were basically kept to me scribbling on the chalkboard walls.  Super artistic and fancy.

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And the cake was just from the grocery store with Toy Story and Hello Kitty candles.

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Vivian was very spoiled by her friends and family.  My mom got her some new dressup clothes, a shopping cart with some play food, pajamas and a new housecoat.  The idea was that she could wear her new tutu since C was wearing one too, and Blair was quick to put on Vivian's princess dress.  Vivian being Vivian decided to wear the housecoat instead with the play high heels.  She was the Hugh Hefner of the party.

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Blair was more than happy to wear Vivian's princess dress though.

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Vivian is quite the little hoarder (she takes after her uncles) and spent much of the party dragging her new presents down the hall to her room.

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My biggest tips for having a 2 year old's birthday party in a somewhat small space?  Put toys away beforehand.  Since I knew that the new toys would be the ones in demand anyway, I went around earlier in the day and packed away a lot of toys that don't get played with as much, as well as toys that might cause fights.  It seemed to work pretty well - I didn't notice any major fights over anything.  I also made sure to have lots of little sippy cups and stuff for the kids.  Also, you probably don't need as much food as you think.  I had waaaayyyy too much food - but better to have too much than not enough, right?

Other than that, it was all about trying to keep it simple and for the kids.  There are so many beautiful, amazing party ideas out there (damn you, Pinterest!) and while I had grand ideas for beautiful garlands and themes, when it came right down to it, that wouldn't have been for Vivian.  When she's older and can appreciate themes and decorations more, I'll go that route.  But for this time having some cute plates and napkins was more than enough for her.

Now I can finally get around to putting up the Christmas tree!  I decided last year that I won't put up the tree until after Vivian's birthday each year for that she can have a definite birthday before getting into the craziness of Christmas.

Any toddler birthday tips or tricks?  Or disaster stories?

Monday, 10 December 2012

I give way too much thought to most things.


So it was Vivian's birthday on Saturday (blog post to come, I promise) and we're rapidly closing in on Christmas.  This means that I've had kids stuff on the brain - it's constant Googling for different toys and games, and of course Vivian maintains her monopoly on the TV.  So I've given in to my natural urges of overthinking everything and have given way too much thought to the following things.

I got the girls, (Vivian, Blair and C) these Disney Princess baby dolls for Christmas.  They're pretty cute, and are a good size for the girls to play with right now.  Blair is right into the Princesses, and Ariel is her favourite, so that's what she'll get.  Here's my question though - WHY DOES BABY ARIEL HAVE LEGS???  She wasn't born a human, she's a mermaid.  Give the kid a tail.  Continuity, Disney!
Vivian loves Mike the Knight.  And as far as kids shows go, this one isn't the worst.  I mean, Mike is super annoying and a jerk most of the time, but that's how kids learn lessons in shows.  Here's my issue - Mike's dad, the king, is always away doing something, but that minstrel guy is always hanging around.  I'm just going to say it - Mike's mom is totally doing the minstrel.



Toy Story is on pretty much constantly at home right now.  Vivian loves Toy Story 2 and 3 the best, since those are the ones with Jessie in them.  And after many (many, many) viewings, I've figured out what bothered me about the movies.

In Toy Story 2, Woody has Jessie and Bullseye come home with him to be Andy's toys.  Now, we know that Jessie and Woody are collector's dolls from an old TV show, but Andy doesn't know that.  There's mention of Woody being "an old family toy" so that's why Andy has such an out-of-date toy.  When he finds Jessie and Bullseye, he just calls her "Bazooka Jane" or something, so he obviously doesn't recognize her from the original show or anything.  Then in Toy Story 3 when his mom asks about getting rid of them, he refers to the toys as being junk - obviously this is just meant as a surly teenager line, since he does love the toys, but he doesn't seem to realize that they are valuable in any way, so he must not know who Jessie is.  But, when he gives the toys to Bonnie at the end, he introduces Jessie as Jessie and Bullseye as Bullseye.  So how the hell does he know their names?  Does one of Jessie's pull-string phrases say her name and Bullseye's?  If he did look up who they are, then he would have realized how valuable they are, right?  Seriously, this has been driving me crazy.  Here's the clip - if you want watch it without welling up, you're stronger than I am.



I know, I know.  They're just kids shows, I shouldn't give it so much thought.  Whatever, I overthink things.

Have you ever come across something like this that just drove you bonkers?

Monday, 3 December 2012

Very Vivian - Vivian's Perfect Day

Right now, an ideal day for Vivian involves the following...

  • A Hello Kitty shirt - she insists on wearing one every day
  • Eating some Kraft Dinner
  • Drinking milk or water out of a big girl cup
  • Watching Toy Story with her Buzz Lightyear and "Yee-Haw" (That would be Cowgirl Jessie, obviously)
  • Snacking on popcorn
  • Pointing things out in the Wish Book
  • Oohing and aahing at Christmas lights
  • Going to sleep holding the DVD case for Toy Story so she can look at all the characters


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Yes, Vivian has her first real obsessions - Hello Kitty and Toy Story.  The best thing about having a kid who loves Hello Kitty?  Hello Kitty is on everything.  The worst part?  Hello Kitty is on everything.  It's a delicate process walking this kid through a Walmart or Superstore right now.

It's Vivian's birthday this coming Saturday, and of course she is having a combination Toy Story/Hello Kitty birthday party.  Hopefully I'll be able to post lots of pictures - but apparently I'm out of photo space on my Blogger account (something has happened, because I see that this problem has hit a lot of other bloggers) so I've had to find some backdoor tricks to get photos to load.  Which is why I haven't been blogging much lately.

What were your kids first obsessions?  Or your first obsession as a kid?  I had quite the extensive collection of Smurfs when I was around Vivian's age.