Santa Claus is Coming To Town
Worldwide Candle Lighting

Right Down Santa Claus Lane

Yesterday, we didn't really do anything. I watched Jade all day (I guess I don't have to say "all day" anymore, because if I'm watching her, it's going to be all day. There.), and she cried. A lot. She didn't feel good. And she's such a light sleeper. Argh. I was so tired out, I skipped taking Chloë to ballet or going to the PTA meeting. So that was it.

Today was busier and much more fun. I didn't have Jade, for one thing, so once Chloë and Jack went off to school, it was just me and my baby girl. And the cleaning lady came, which is always a good thing. She was off all last week, her regular week, so the insanity started creeping back in a little bit. I missed her!

Soapy and I started off by going to the grocery store for moolah. I needed cash for my shops. And I'd meant to buy some pasta salad mix to make for my Bunco group tonight, but I completely forgot to buy it. D'oh!

We went out to Laskin Road to do the first half, the drive-thru, of an Arby's mystery shop. I haven't done Arby's in a long time, since Rob quit eating beef, because the purchase requirement is usually a roast beef sandwich. This time - and you didn't hear this from me, because it's top secret (hehe) - it was a chicken parmesan toasted sub. That I can do. So Sophie and I munched on our sub and curly fries in the car.

Then we made our way across the street to do a shop at the Sonic there. We were already stuffed, so I just pretended to eat the food and took it home for Rob and the kids to eat for dinner. Then back to Arby's for the dining-in portion of the shop. Again, we were too full, so we just ate a couple curly fries and took the rest home to Rob and the kids.

After that, I called to make sure Babs (Barbara, Cleaning Lady Extraordinaire) was home and found the check where I left it. She did. Okay. I called to check on BFF Lisa, who is still pregnant and holding at 36 weeks. She's miserable but doing fine. Good, good. So we went to Military Circle Mall in Norfolk to do an Auntie Anne's shop (I don't feel like giving linkage right now, plus I know y'all never click on them anyway! ;P).

Before we got to AA's, we came out of JC Penney's and found the Santa display there. No Santa, but we rounded the corner, and there he was standing at the jewelry store counter, mixing it up with the girls. Sophia spotted him, dropped my hand, and ran over to him, giving him the "up, up" arms. Oh, wait, before that, she saw all the Christmas lights and shouted, "Christmas lights! Beautiful lights! I love Christmas lights!" in her little stuffed-up voice. "Beautiful," "amazing," and "I love you-name-it" are her words du jour. Pretty cute.

So Santa picked her up and carried her over to his throne, and I waited while she looked at him admiringly and expectantly, waiting for some magic to happen. The guys at the booth asked me if I wanted to buy some pictures, but at a minimum price of $26, I begged off that - I didn't even have my other kids with me! So Santa waved me over and told me they gave free pictures on M,T,W if you mention the radio ad. Gee thanks, Santa. So I strolled back over and mentioned the ad!

Santa_sophie_2Her hair was all staticky and she didn't smile, but she looked like his matching little elf, and it was a nice, free 5X7. Sweet.

Then we went and got our pretzel. Good stuff. Have you  had an Auntie Anne's pretzel before? Usually I do the shop at Lynnhaven Mall, so this was my first time at MCM. Both are equally yummilicious. We got the almond one today. But we were still so full from lunch that I didn't even get upset when Soap dropped a huge piece on the floor and had to throw it away.

Then I had to shop for my $10 gift exchange for Bunco tonight. I figured I'd either get chocolates or candles, but the pretzel lady said that no one sold chocolates there, so we turned back to the candle kiosk I'd spotted on the way in. They were selling candles in parfait glasses and dessert dishes, looking like fruits and caramels and ice creams, with drippy sauces and such, and they looked so good and smelled even better. I bought a strawberry-topped ice creamy one that smelled heavenly, got it boxed up, and headed home with my baby and my bag.

Sophie wore her new purple coat and soft, knitted rainbow mittens from The Children's Place, and she looked so adorable all snuggied up. She enjoyed wearing them, too, I could tell by the way she pranced around, demanding attention. She likes to tell us that she's pretty, and she likes to know she's wearing nice clothes, so every time I want to get her dressed in something, I call out, "Come get your pretty pretty clothes/coat/shoes/panties/you-name-it on!" and she comes running. She told me several times that she was pretty in her new coat. And she was.

So we made a quick run to the bank to deposit some of my paychecks (one nice thing about mystery shopping is the little checks that come peppered in the mail throughout the month) before going home to wait for Jack. Barbara was still cleaning upstairs, so we stayed down and fooled around, tickling and smooching and airplaning and being silly. Jack came home in a good mood - for once - and we fooled around some more. Babs left and Chloë came home, so I decided to let the children help me decorate the Christmas tree.  We broke out the boxes of ornaments, new and less new, and each of the kids and I put ours up in turn. Our new tree looks so pretty all lit and dressed up! Sophie kept "just touching" the ornaments so we'd have to rehang them, and Jack was so enamored with the vision that he pulled up his little rocking chair and sat right in front of the tree to stare at it.

Another cute Soapism: "Those ladybugs bit me!" which she said when she touched one of the lights on the tree and it was a little hot. She said this several times because, of course, she kept touching. "Those ladybugs bit me!"

100_4721 Then we opened the Advent cup for the day. The kids wolfed down their candies, and we read the activity: Paint everyone's toenails red! Fun! Chloë ran up to get the red nailpolish, and then I plopped each one down on the table in turn to paint them.100_4722

Even Jack was excited about his pretty red toes!

Rob came home soon after, and eventually I had to take off for my Bunco group. I kissed my babies good-night and headed out with my now-wrapped candle, my potluck food, and... yeah, that's it.

Bunco was a lot of fun tonight, as usual. If you're looking for something to do, I strongly recommend finding a group! We were short a couple of people - what else is new? - but we managed to do our usual screaming and yelling and laughing. I didn't win any prizes tonight, but Gia loooved the candle and I got Gia's present of a cute picture frame and some body scrub that I like. Good stuff.

Well, that's it for now. I've got to get to bed and still need to check my shop requirements for tomorrow night!