Archive for December, 2013

What’d you say to me?!?

How dare you tell me Happy Holidays!? Can’t you see my love for Santa and Jesus seeping out of my pores? Can’t you smell my love of traditional holidays (and traditional marriage for that matter)? Stop the madness! Christmas is the BEST holiday! It is the RIGHT holiday! My country was founded on love of God (my God) and Freedom! Telling me ‘happy holidays’ is a slap in the face! Why don’t you just piss on a snow man or flip off a nun or tell me Rudolph is gay (although I wouldn’t be surprised about that one)? You should be ashamed of yourself! This is America Jack!

What’s that? You were just trying to be nice?…..Oh, my bad.

photo (17)I went shopping yesterday and had merry thoughts running thru my head, at least until all the a-holes of the world ruined my day. Okay, that is an exaggeration, I actually love holiday shopping. I was literally walking around with 30 pounds of packages in my 1 good arm, sweating thru my fashionable sweater/shall combo, and still humming ‘it’s beginning to look a lot like christmas…’. But, I thought I would chime in with the things that are truly obnoxious. So read up and don’t do anything on this list!

1. Get in the f’ing line! Sometimes with all of the crowds it is confusing to figure out where the line begins and ends. ASK! It’s as simple as ‘are you in line?’ We’ve all seen that woman who walks right in front of you and then looks offended when you tell her ‘there’s a line’. Of course there’s a line. It’s December 18th!

2. Have your shit ready to go! If you are seriously going to return something BEFORE Dec. 25th, have it ready, with the receipt, and personally apologize to everyone in line. 🙂 It’s super annoying, but if you must, you must. Just be prepared.

3. If you have a million things, let the person with 1 go first! If you are going to bang out the whole family at Old Navy, use your coupons, get your points, and ask for separate receipts- great! But, realize this takes time. If I am behind you trying to buy AHH lunch box, please let me go first. I know you’re ahead of me, but it’s the holiday season. Be kind, please rewind.

4. It is NOT the retail worker’s fault! I know it seems obscene that when you are trying to check out that there are not enough tellers, but you don’t know the story. Maybe someone called in sick, maybe one of the workers went crazy after answering ‘Can I use my expired Kohl’s cash?’ for the 17,000th time. Either way, the person checking you out is usually not the person who makes the schedule. Don’t get mad at them. They are literally doing their best dealing with crazy crowds and crazy people all day. Remember they are under paid, under appreciated, and over worked during the holidays. Say please and thank you.

5. We live in a society! (george costanza voice!) This is not ‘NAM, there are rules! If there are multiple registers and 1 line it is because we all take turns. That’s how it works. Not so you can try and guess which one is the fastest and creep in. I mean really! Get behind me you son of a….

6. Be nice to the mothers! We all had moms. Even if you are not one yourself, you need to have a soft-spot for the mamas. Christmas shopping is NOT a time to judge moms and their parenting techniques! I promise you this- if you see a mom at the mall with her children (and she is not waiting in line for santa) it is NOT because she WANTED to bring them! No mom ‘chooses’ to bring her kids shopping with her. 100% of us would die to shop alone. If our kids are there, it’s because we couldn’t help it. Be patient. We are trying to raise future non-sociopaths.

7. Do NOT put your car in reverse until you are literally pulling out! We all know this Jackass! He gets into his car, lets it warm up, holds it in reverse while he checks his phone… I HATE this person. Pull out, and drive away! If you need to check your phone, do it at the end of the parking lot where no one is waiting on you.

8. Hold the M’er F’ing door for moms with strollers! It has been a long time since I have been pushing a stroller thru a door at a mall but I vividly remember people letting them slam in my face and on my baby. When I am dressed well, with make up and sans children… men miraculously hold the door. Weird??? Add 2 kids and take away the style and all of the sudden I am invisible. If you see a woman with children, I don’t care if you have to wait a solid 5 minutes you stand there and you open that fucking door. IT is decided!

9. So help me god, if you are next in line, get off your god damn phone! I don’t think I need to explain the rage one feels in this situation, but this is why fights break out. Pay attention. Your call can wait. Be polite. Follow the rules. “I don’t know what happened officer… we were waiting in line, she was next and next thing I know she was on the floor….I think I blacked out there for a minute.”

Okay, those are the rules. Not too hard right? Please share so we can have peaceful shopping season.

photo (1)Anyone with young children know that the question of ‘what do your kids want for Christmas’ is one of the hardest questions to answer. When they’re older they want specific items, when they are younger they either don’t know or they want everything. Or, they are like my 4 year old nephew who only wants swords, even though he has 5 swords already (not to mention all the swords he makes out of every day household objects). And, I don’t know about you, but I have 2 kids and my house is full of crap! I have no storage space and every inch is covered in plastic toys. My kids have so many toys, we don’t even know what to play with any more. So, if you’re anything like me, this guide is for you! This is what to ask for this year, especially from the grandparents.

1. Experiences, not stuff! Maybe the grandparents or aunts/uncles want to take them to the zoo or the children’s museum or to a movie or to a special over-night outing (think Key-lime cove or some indoor water park, etc.). The kids will have so much fun, they get to enhance the relationship with the kids, and the parents might get a chance to get out and shop themselves (or nap).

2. Lessons, not stuff! My mom is getting both of my kids swim lessons this year instead of more traditional presents. My kids are going to be thrilled, they get to swim every weekend in the boring Jan/Feb months, my mom doesn’t have to run around town trying to figure out what to get, I don’t have to pay for the lessons myself, and we don’t have to bring another f’ing version of Elmo into our home. Everybody wins! (think also gymnastics, ballet, karate, etc.)

3. Family fun, not stuff! My dad is getting our family passes to Great America. Instead of them trying to figure out 4 separate presents for our family of four, they only need to buy 1 thing. And, instead of them buying stuff they we’ll be sick of by February, we will be able to enjoy this gift all summer long! (think also pool passes, museum memberships, vacations, etc.)

4. For the babies…. When our kids were really little and truly didn’t know any better, we asked for diapers and formula and wipes and pajamas and money for day care and….. You get the point. Babies really don’t need too terribly much for the first 2 years. They have fun unwrapping presents, playing with the paper and boxes. They don’t care that it is a box of diapers. Help them help you, ask for what you need.

5. For the parents…. Sure I love gift cards, sure I love crock pots, but what I really want is a baby sitter. I want a baby sitter that is easy and consistent. What if you asked for an over-night baby sitter once a month for six months? Or, every other month all year long? Did I just blow your mind? Something consistent too, like the 3rd Saturday of every month. Just think if before the year even started, you had scheduled/planned date nights simply built into your calendar. You’re welcome…

6. The chip-in…. Last year we did a combo birthday day party for both kids. Everyone was asking what to get and I had NO ideas. The only thing we actually wanted was a swing set for the back yard but those are too expensive. So, what did we do? We asked all of the family members to simply chip in whatever they would have spent on a present and we pooled the money together. We ended up getting a really nice swing set, and again, made it easy on everyone else.

What NOT to get:

1. Noisy bullshit! We don’t need anymore singing teddy bears or harmonicas or yo gabba gabba dancing monsters or any of that rage inducing non-sense. It will shortly ‘run out of batteries’ or ‘go to sleep’ or ‘I don’t know what happened sweetie, you went to sleep and it just disappeared…’

2. Plastic crappy cheapness! I don’t want ANYTHING that can possibly be gotten in a happy meal. You know the toys that cost $3 and will last about 3 minutes… I don’t want them, they don’t need them, stop the insanity!

3. Parental supervision needed toys! I love my children. I swear, I do! But, there are literally a million things I can do with them. If there is anything I need, it is toys they can play with without me. I need stuff that gives me 15 minutes to attempt putting dinner on the table. I need something the little one can play with when I am helping the big one with his homework. I need something the big one can play with while I am trying for the 13th time this hour to get the little one to ‘pee pee on the (m’er f’ing) potty’.

4. Lastly, I just don’t want a slutty barbie. My daughter is 2 and I really don’t want to go thru the whole barbie thing. Doctor barbie should NOT be in platforms and a mini skirt! I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I would love her to play with a reasonable, normal looking female doll. The ONE barbie she has is in a mini-skirt, no underwear, and a pink stripe in her blonde hair. I will not start the unrealistic craziness that is barbie as long as I can help it. I also resent the fact that my son gets science and building toys and my daughter gets a pink shopping cart. Do better- entire world.

Ho Ho Holiday Letter Time

942064_10201449148613312_1625857794_nIt’s that time of year again to catch you all up on how the Reimholzes did in 2013. I realize that between facebook, my blog, twitter, and actual human interaction…. you might not get to know enough about me! Well I am here to fix all of that. These of course are the highlights, I wouldn’t want you to think we were just a normal family, we are a super-family of good fortune and joy!

The Kids:
Will is in kindergarten and is starting to read! I’m sure there are a lot of kids his age that are also learning to read, but there is just something about the way he does it. It’s like, he really gets it, you know? He is also super adorable and can run really fast in his new shoes. He also is very good at playing and sleeping and telling you he loves you. Will is also a great older brother unless of course it is one of those moments that ‘Ellie ruins EVERYTHING!’

Ellie, when she is not ruining everything, is very good at being two. She likes to say “no” and “I don’t want to”. She is so independent! She just really knows what she likes and goes for it. She is also very determined for such a little girl. One day I swear she said “Mommy” 86 times in a row until she got her way. You can’t teach that! She is also very sweet and maybe the cutest child to ever walk the earth (I know that seems like an exaggeration but I’m pretty sure…). I can’t wait until she turns 3 and she magically turns into a sweet child who doesn’t whine or complain or fight with her brother. These terrible two’s are rough, but it’s only one year, right? Right!?

Brent is having a great year just killing it at everything he does. He is a big fan of the Super bowl champs The Baltimore Ravens. It was a great start to the year because not only did they win the super bowl, but they finally listened to him and got rid of their ‘good for nothing’ offensive coordinator. Obviously they didn’t follow the rest of his advice building their 2013-2014 season. I really do think that one day they will realize they should just put him on their payroll and do whatever he says. I don’t think he’s been wrong yet. Or at least I hear a lot of “I told you so’s” directed at the TV. Other than that, great dad, husband, provider, fantasy football stud, and human being.

There’s not much to say about me, I’ve just been saving the world one blog post and opinion at a time. But don’t worry, I will not rest until you all find inner peace and contentment and look good in bikinis. Also, I have decided to buy all of my own Christmas presents this year so that I get everything I want, and really isn’t that the point? What else…. oh I have seat warmers in my new car. It’s a game changer. I’ll have a toasty butt while I am driving all over town buying myself presents.

That about sums up our year. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

1 teacherMy oldest is a kindergartner this year and I have been trying to think of what to get for his lovely teacher. Instead of trying to come up with something on my own, I decided to reach out to my friends on Facebook who are teachers and have them fill me in on what they REALLY want. The answers were all over the board, with a few surprises, and a couple of hilarious stories. I know this is not a one-size-fits-all, so if you disagree, that is fine. I am just going off the feedback I received. So here it is….But, first and foremost- they don’t want to hear from you or anyone else during their break!

The Good:
Almost every single person who replied mentioned gift cards! So, if you thought gift cards are too impersonal and you wanted to be creative- get over it. They apparently LOVE gift cards. 1. They can actually get what they want and 2. Many of them use the gift cards to buy stuff they need for their classrooms. You might not realize it, but teachers spend a lot of their OWN money on class room supplies. Giving them gift cards to Target, Walmart (boo), and local craft stores is a very popular present. Other gift cards that were mentioned a lot were Starbucks, iTunes, and bath and body works.

Also, it turns out a lot of teachers enjoy getting booze. I don’t feel comfortable sending liquor with my child on the bus, but if you have a personal relationship with the teacher and hand deliver it, this would be an appreciated gift. You could include a little note that says, “For all the times my little monster made you want to drink!” If I were a teacher, this is what I would want. 🙂

Someone shared a great idea for those of you who are good organizers or know the fellow parents well… You could all chip in and get one more expensive gift or gift card. It is hard if the teacher has 10 different $10 gift cards to 10 different stores. But a $100 Visa gift card is AWESOME!

Lastly, a few mentioned that they appreciate any and all presents (you know, those really sweet, selfless ones that think its ‘the thought that counts’.) What I took from this, is if it is something meaningful in some way or really original, the teacher will likely love it.

The Bad:
Teachers get enough strong smelling lotions and candles. They do not need more. Your favorite sent in the world might be vanilla or cinnamon, but that doesn’t mean your teacher will like it. A good quality neutral-smelling hand cream is different than passion fruit body lotion from bath and body works. Be smart here.

Ornaments, Christmas decorations, and #1 teacher swag. Unless the teacher is a first or second year teacher, they don’t want a #1 teacher coffee mug. I guarantee they already have one. And, how many ornaments do teachers really need. They have 20+ students a year for possibly 20 years! That is a shit-load of snowmen. Not to mention, how can you even be sure the teacher celebrates Christmas? You don’t really know unless you personally know the teacher. Don’t assume.

On that note, nothing religious. You might be devout, but the teacher might not be. Even if they celebrate christmas, it doesn’t mean they want a big gold cross. And, yes, even at a christian school. Unless the teacher is a nun, don’t assume anything.

Lastly, homemade treats are iffy. I would say no. 1. They probably get enough chocolates and sweets from everyone and 2. Most people won’t eat sweets from people they don’t know well. They don’t know how clean your house it, how fresh your eggs are, if you washed your hands, etc. Maybe that is over thinking it, but better safe than sorry.

The Ugly:
I should say the hilarious! Teachers really do grow to love our children and develop close relationship with them, but they don’t love your kid like you love your kid. They do not want a framed 5×7 photo of your child. (yes, that is a real story). Maybe a wallet size school picture that they won’t feel guilty about throwing away next year, but come on. Again, 20+ students a year for decades, your kid is not THAT special. That is not mean, it’s just real life.

Anything overly personal or inappropriate. One teacher friend told me that she received a bathrobe from a student. That is just weird. It’s too personal. A scarf is fine, socks are fine, a bathrobe just crosses that line.

Final Thoughts:
Take the time to write a nice thank you note. Teachers work so hard- SO HARD! They get a lot of complaints from students, parents, administrators, school board. They hear all too often that teachers are failing our students and take the blame when they are not at fault. They would love to hear that you appreciate what they are doing for your kid. They would love to hear a personal example of a time that they impressed you or made a lasting impression on your child. They would love to hear from the student how much they mean to them. They like to hear that you know how hard they work and that you appreciate all of it. Also, maybe if your kids are small, include a little question and answer. Mine and Will’s is below.

Q: What is your favorite part about Mrs. ________?
A: She always tells me what to do, and if I make her stuff, she gives me a hug.
Q: What is your favorite part about school?
A: I like walking in the hallway and seeing all the work the other class kids do.
Q: What is Mrs. ______ like?
A: She likes when we all listen to what she tells us.
Q: What is Mrs. ______ good at?
A: She is good at reading stories and teaching and telling me what to do.

Haha, sounds like Will’s teacher has good control over the classroom. 🙂

Giving Tuesday #unselfie

Well we certainly hear a lot about Black Friday, Black Weekend, Cyber Weekend, Cyber Monday, Cyber Week, etc. but we don’t hear much about ‘Giving Tuesday’. Did you know the day after Cyber Monday (today) is called Giving Tuesday? The idea is that instead of just being a consumer like you probably were over the weekend, you give back a little.

You may also notice that my title had the hashtag #unselfie. Well, since ‘selfie’ was the word of the year (puke), someone had the brilliant idea to make today about ‘unselfies’. In other words, your face is covered up with a message about your giving on this day.

photo (15)

Let’s help this great idea spread. Post a picture of yourself on social media with the cause you are supporting today with the hashtag #unselfie (tag me too because I would love to see all of your pictures).

If you need help figuring out who or what to support on this day, below are some ideas. Yay! (this is my st. baldricks page)

Arms Around Adele (a close friend’s page who is raising money for their little princess with cystic fibrosis)

Project Chinelas (a friend’s non-profit that provides sandals for children in the Philippines)

Northern Illinois Foodbank (feed your neighbors)