If you have no idea what ”The Elf on the Shelf” means you probably don’t have small children. ”The Elf on the Shelf” is a relatively new, manufactured Christmas tradition started by some brilliant marketer who was out to sucker families with small kids all over the world. The book has been so brilliantly successful they’ve turned it into an animated Holiday Special (golf claps).
Here’s the 99 cent version: an elf, which you let your kids name, comes visits your house every year during the month of December. My kids named ours Roy. Yes, his name is ROY (Whatever). Okay, so the story goes that Roy watches over the kids during the day and then mysteriously (or magically) disappears at night to visit Santa and report on all the doings of the day (all that naughty and nice bullshit). There is one rule: you must NEVER touch Roy or he loses his magic and he will leave your home. Simple enough, right?
Well, two days ago my kid touched Roy. He pushed the couch up to our fireplace mantle, jumped on the cushions and then poked his little finger into Roy’s tummy.
And I watched it all go down.
“Did you just touch Roy?”, I gasped.
“Dude, did you just touch Roy?” I asked again.
“Yes, I’m sorry,” he said, as tears welled up in his eyes.
I just sat there stunned not sure what to do next. I didn’t want to mess with his fragile mind who so believes in Rudolph, Frosty and Santa. And yes, he also believes in the magic of ”The Elf on The Shelf.”
“Okay, well, that is not good,” I said. ”Roy is now going to loose his magic.”
His tears then turned into out of control hysterical sobbing.
“What are we gonna do?” I asked. As I gave him a hug, I grabbed Roy off the mantle and threw him behind the TV.
After holding him a few minutes, assuring him that we’d figure it out, I gasped, ”Oh My Gawd… Roy is gone!”
Stunned… looking toward where Roy had been perched on the mantle, he asked ” Did he go back to Santa?”.
I knew I had to work some Christmas magic and work it quick. I suggested that we could write Santa a letter just like the boy who messed up in the “Elf on the Shelf” holiday animated special.
“Okay,” he said as he wiped away tears.
And this is the letter that my boy dictated to me verbatim. Pretty sweet and sincere, if I do say so myself. After he signed it, I put it in an envelope and “mailed it” to Santa.
Tis the Season for some holiday magic. And yes, it appears Santa does listen and he does forgive.
Meet Roy…. our Elf on the Shelf who magically turned up today after nap time. My almost 4 year old was overcome with joy and sat for at least 5 minutes staring at Roy.
All is now right in the world. And I hate to admit it but a Christmas tradition was born in our Casa— you don’t fuck with “The Elf on the Shelf.”
I had never seen anything quite like it last night- rings around the moon- something I’m told is called a Lunar Corona. I snapped this photo from my iphone about 11pm Friday. It really doesn’t do it justice.
I’m still trying to figure out why it took me 39 years 23 hours to see (or perhaps notice?) my first Lunar Corona. Nice little birthday present from the Universe.
It’s not the email I wanted to find in my inbox. Two emails, specifically two receipts from iTunes, telling me that Apple has charged almost $80 dollars to my credit card for shit I didn’t even know that I had bought.
At first I thought it must be a mistake, it had to be. There was NO WAY I’d purchase game apps (one cost a whopping 40 bucks). So, I did some investigation and it appears the items were purchased on the ipod that I recently had given my 3 year old.
Yep, the little shit racked up my biggest iTunes bill to date. And yep, it is all my fault.
I won the ipod at work a few months ago and decided to put it go good use last weekend during our trip to San Francisco. My plan was to download a few FREE game apps on the trip and then let him have at it. It all seemed simple enough… our boy had a ball playing these games on his “iphone” as he calls it (another parental influence, we both have iphones).
What I didn’t realize then was that these FREE game apps constantly have pop ups that asks the player if they want to buy certain items. And it appears my 3 year old hit “yes” on every pop up that occurred during a game session where my iTunes login/password was still active. Nearly $80 bucks later, I still have no clue as to what he bought.
So tomorrow, I’m going to plead my case to the Apple store customer service department. I’m sure they are going to tell me to go to hell, or better yet, pay attention to what my kid is doing.
If they do reject my request to credit my account, I figure they can at least tell me what he bought.
Spoke with Apple Customer Care and they had me fill out online claim via iTunes. The dude on the phone said it shouldn’t be a problem to get my account credited. He wasn’t surprised by my phone call and said it happens quite often.
Also, some nice folks on twitter told me how to prevent this from happening in the future. You just need to adjust your settings on your iphone/ipod.
Here is how you do it:
Go to Settings-> General -> Restrictions -> In APP Purchases and then set it for OFF!
Simple and yes, I probably should have figured this out BEFORE he went to town with my credit card.
I love preschool. I love that my son loves going. I love his teacher I love the kids in the class. I’m in love with my kid’s preschool.
Last Friday during dropoff, I noticed that there was a sign up sheet for a Thanksgiving Feast. Parents were asked to bring a “Dish From Your Culture” to share with the class. Now, this threw me for a loop. Hmm… a “dish from our culture”.
What culture? I’m a girl who was raised in a BIG family in a HOUSE in a TRAILER park.
So, I made a split second decision and one that I hoped would please the teacher.
”How about I make Latkes for the class,” I said.
The teacher beamed and said , “perfect”.
I immediately felt awesome… she likes Latkes! However, within seconds panic streaked through my body. I’m not a Jew. And I sure as hell don’t know to make latkes. Okay… yes, my kids are half Jew (MeHubs is of the tribe, albeit the non practicing portion). But still, I don’t know how to make Latkes.
That was Friday. Fast forward to Monday morning… and still No Latkes.
I really started to panic. Shit! Fuck! Shit! There would be no Latkes for the preschoolers. So, instead of driving into Mid-City to find a Jewish Deli, I decided to improvise. I quickly packed up the boys and headed to Vons to buy the mixings for a dish from MY culture. Yes.. MY culture.
May I present the old standby “Holiday Green Beans Casserole”. Just mix a can of string beans, Campbell’s mushroom soup and a container of French Fried onions. Cook for 30 minutes in 350 degree oven and TADA! — Easy, breezy and always delicious.
For good measure I also bought a pumpkin pie and heated it up. I wanted to score extra points with the teacher since I screwed the kids on the Latkes.
My morning started early, very early. I had an appointment in Culver City at 9am. Translation- I had to get my ass up early in order to drive in some of the worst traffic LA has to offer.
Yes, traffic sucks no matter where you live, but in Los Angeles it’s something else all together. You just never know what’s going to happen on the freeway or what you will see on the freeway. Where am I going with all this? Well, today something strange happened on the road. It was a first for me. I saw three big, plastic Wieners three separate times in the span of 90 minutes.
The first time Wiener I spotted was when I was on the 110 Freeway heading into downtown LA. I was driving, so I didn’t snap a photo. I just thought, ’hmmm… a big, plastic Wiener on a flatbed truck… fun, but odd’.
The next Wiener sighting was about 50 minutes later after I had exited the 10 Freeway on the wrong exit (Venice Boulevard). I was trying to figure out how to get to my destination when BAM! I ran into another Wiener on a different flatbed truck! But this time, I grabbed my iphone, snapped a picture… and thought, wow! another big, plastic Wiener! What are the odds?
Anyway, we parted ways- I took a left and the Wiener truck kept going on Venice Boulevard. Then about an hour later, as I was stopped at another stoplight on Overland Boulevard (heading toward Century City)— what did I see? A third giant, plastic Wiener. I shit you not. Across the street, construction crews were installing the Wiener on the roof of building. I have no clue if it was any of the Wieners that I had ran into earlier. But it got me thinking: Why am I seeing big, plastic Wieners? Yes, that is the way my mind works.
I believe in synchronicity. And according to Wikipedia, psychologist Carl Jung theorized that synchronicities occur when a strong need arises in the psyche of an individual. HELLO! Now I’m thinking dang… what strong need do I have that would make me see three big, plastic Wieners in a 90 minute time span? My husband need not answer this… I already know what he would say about it.
My Husband likes girls with tattoos. Any kind of tattoo. Lots of tattoos. Girls with sleeves on their arms. Girls with a rosary that winds around her lower back and stomach. Girls with portraits of their dog on her leg. He really likes girls with tattoos.
I don’t have any tattoos. Not one, nada, zero, zilch. I’m a tat free zone. It’s not that I’m not against tats. I think tattoos are beautiful. I think tattoo artists are amazing, talented professionals. Over the years I had flirted with the idea of getting a tattoo, but I never went through it mainly because I couldn’t think of one thing that was important enough to mark my body for life.
And now I’m almost 40. Things are starting to sag, really sag. Now, there is NO way I’m going to mark my body. I don’t want to be one of those 80 year olds who has “outgrown” her tattoo. You know what I’m talking about.. the lil’ old lady with heart tattoo (and her husband’s name) that was once above her own heart.. but is now an unrecognizable mess near her nipple.
So where am I going with all this? Well, last night my dear friend @heykitty sent me this photo mashup. Yes, that’s my face with some hot tattoo chick’s body.
Kitty emailed me this photo NOT knowing my husband’s love of tattoos and not knowing my history of not having one. The girl in this photo is MeHub’s dream girl. Thank you, Kitty… you have made a punk rocker dad’s fantasy become a virtual reality.
Playing defense is one of the toughest and one of the most critical elements of any game. But it’s also one of the most unrewarding and also most neglected aspects of sports as well.
I played basketball for almost two decades. I played it well— running the plays, passing the ball, and shooting the clutch 3 pointer with seconds to go in the quarter. But I have always had to work extra hard at playing defense.
The same could be said about my life now. It’s even more apparent how much I suck at defense when you consider the past 7 days that I’ve had. I should start by clarifying that last week wasn’t a bad week, it was just a very strange, complex week in the life of Tara (yes, I’m refering to myself in the 3rd person. For the record, I hate when people do that, but somehow it seems appropriate in this case).
Thousands of new visitors checked out “Tara’s Take” last week, and for that I’m very grateful. The new web traffic was driven by my blog post titled, “10 Things You Should Say To Friend Without Kids”. I wrote it in 5 minutes- a quick response to a story that I saw on Yahoo that morning. And It was my first blog post that went viral.
Subsequently, it touched a nerve- both good and bad. Last week, I found myself on the defense- responding to people who thought I was a bad mother, people who felt sorry for my kids, people who thought that I’m an angry and insensitive person, and people who thought I hate single people. Yes, all that from one blog post.
Doing what I do for a living, I’m use to criticism on a mass scale. I’m use to people ripping apart my writing, accusing me of bias (damn liberal media) and I’m use to people commenting on my stories. However, I was really thrown for a loop when people started to attack me personally and question whether I hate my kids.
For the record, I love my children more than anything in this world. Yes, I CHOSE to have them and it was the BEST decision of my life. They are a joy and it’s a privilege to be their mother. But that doesn’t mean that sometimes I wish that I was on a date with my husband, rather than watching “Monsters Inc” for the 801st Fucking time (that really got people.. that I was bitching about watching a Pixar movie with my kids, imagine the horror).
The naysayers also should know that my husband is my biggest supporter and finds this blog hilarious (even the biting posts about him). He loves me for me, the good, the bad and the honest me.
When I started this blog two months ago, I never thought I would be defending my mothering skills on the internet to total strangers. But then again, I never expected more than 23,000 page views either. Crazy how things work out.