December 11, 2020

jinxed myself, ding-a-ling-long, AND SHARING BEST PHOTO EVER

Curly was due December 25, 2007. She arrived the 19th. The doctor said my babies were too big to let me go late, so he insisted on inducing me. I had hoped the baby would be born AFTER Christmas. In my experience babies were usually easier to care for when they were still 'cooking'. 

Sweet Curly. Still sweet, now with lots of fluffy hair and
look - she was pointing her toes even then!

Doc:  I'm afraid you'll end up going into labor on Christmas Eve. The other 5 kids don't want mom in the hospital on Christmas. 

He won, even though I had a very good argument:  my babies had always arrived after a doctor forced them out. I didn't anticipate this one being any different.

I made all of my birth announcements, and Curly's was one of the most memorable:  combo birth announcement/Christmas card. Before she arrived, I wrote a short poem (like 12-16 lines) fashioned after 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'. I drafted a version geared towards 'IT'S A BOY' and changed a few words for the 'IT'S A GIRL' version to be prepared. The day after I got home from the hospital I happily printed out the girl version with Curly's info inserted. We snapped a photo of all the kids in Christmas attire, stuck it to the front of the card, and mailed them out. They arrived (at least locally) on Christmas Eve. 

My wonderful elderly neighbor asked me shortly after:  You know all your friends hate you right?

Me: Huh?

Wonderful elderly neighbor:  I mean your birth announcements were handmade. They rhymed. The photo was perfect. They arrived in mailboxes 5 days after you had your 6th kid. Your friends hate you for making them all look bad. (then she laughed her butt off. And so did I. She was a great neighbor). 

Taking a chance here that some person from my actual life will stumble across this photo, recognize us, and share it with Mary Ann. Don't care. Too cute not to share. This is the actual photo that was on our Christmas card. (We took about 100 shots). Mini has never been so happy. This photo alone oughta be responsible for my most comments ever, bring it people.

That poem birth announcement received such rave reviews that I did a new version the next year detailing what we were up to as a Christmas card minus the new baby details. I just sent version 14 to the printer a few nights ago. The Christmas poem has gotten quite lengthy in recent years. Sometimes it requires the front and back of a legal size paper. I add photos along the edges and along the bottom. It's a labor of love. My kids kind of roll their eyes about it, but I do received notes from people saying it isn't Christmas until they get my card. 

Anyway, this year one of the best lines is: 

Just as the shoemaker's children have no shoes, guess what happens to a PT's wife?

When the meniscus in my knee complains off and on, I hear about how that's just part of life.

The morning after I sent it to the printer I woke up and my bum knee that has been basically fine for MONTHS was all wonky. It was stiff and tight and begging me not to use the stairs, etc. 

A day later it has improved greatly, but still not 100%. Can you EVEN though?

Shopping updates:  I'm not opposed to buying used gifts for my children, or even Coach. Curly has been using my ancient iPad for Irish dancing Zoom classes. The screen is cracked and it barely holds a charge. Time to upgrade. 

I plan to give an iPad to Curly with the understanding that it needs to be available for siblings who need to Facetime for fiddle lessons, etc. We usually don't do such pricey gifts, but after eliminating so much stuff from closets, I don't feel like adding unnecessary clutter. 

I figured I'd save a bit and buy a used iPad online.  This sounded so simple. I've bought stuff on LetGo, FB marketplace, and Craigslist. The issue:  I didn't know much about the many version of iPads. I read up. Hello, time consuming.

You know what else is time consuming? Checking various websites, waiting for responses to questions, comparing listings, re-checking to see if anything new has popped up, comparing used stuff with similarly priced items on Amazon, and then wondering WHAT'S AN APPLE PENCIL AND WILL SHE EVEN USE THAT? 

For the love of God - at this point I think it would've made more sense to JUST BUY A NEW ONE. 

*imagine me banging my head on the wall (and then stopping because "Was that a ding, did I just get an alert that someone from FB just messaged me back?")*

So this has been my life for the last week. The other day I pulled the trigger and asked Ding-a-ling (I'm being generous) if I could buy his 7th generation iPad with case, keyboard, and lots of extra storage for $300. He was asking $325

Ding-a-ling:  No. 

I wanted TO BE DONE. So, I said OK. $325 it is. I wondered if I could pick it up on my way back from picking up another item way up north. 

Ding-a-ling:  No, I won't be back in town till this weekend. 

Me:  OK, can we just agree to meet this weekend then? I'd like to check this off my list.

What the hell is wrong with this dude? Yes, his name is Kee. Ding-a-ling is an upgrade. If anyone out there knows Kee in person, make sure you tell him that he is a clueless jack ass. 

I'm not asking for a reservation. I'm asking to buy it - pick up when you are back in town. NOT. COMPLICATED.

I hope he NEVER SELLS THIS. I mentioned my knee jokingly in a Christmas poem and I got jinxed. So KEE (if that is your REAL name), I hope your weirdness and your cluelessness on selling your stuff jinxes your dumb ass and you stare at your stupid iPad forever and wonder why you didn't sell it to me when you had the chance AT THE PRICE YOU WANTED. 

Not bitter though. I only spent another umpteen hours trolling the internet for ANOTHER option and offered to buy one from a lovely woman for $225 (minus the keyboard and lots of storage). We plan to exchange money, iPad this weekend.

*In the interim, I did send messages to people whose prices were the same as new products on Amazon saying: I CAN BUY THIS ON AMAZON FOR THIS PRICE. Because sometimes I like to rid the world of people who don't know diddly-squat. You're welcome, World.*  

The only bummer is that the woman I plan to buy from thought she had the original box and she then realized that she didn't. I still think I'm going to buy it, because I don't want to be a jerk. And Curly will be so delighted, she won't notice if it's in a box wrapped in tissue paper. 

Do you vote I buy from the woman whose kid used the original box for a school project? Am I the only used-goods shopper out there? Is there a time-suck that you get caught up in when shopping: new or used? Comment challenge:  Read Reggie's mind (bottom right of family photo, not quite 2 yrs old).


Nicole MacPherson said...

OMG that photo is just too cute! All those squishy faces! Adorable.

I'd buy from that lady, who cares about the box, I'm sure Curly will be thrilled!

Amy said...

Love the photos! Curly was such a beautiful baby! Our youngest, a girl, looked like Jeff Dunham's puppet Walter. No worries, she turned out cute.

I'm in awe of your Christmas poems!

I do the same with pricey electronics - they're always refurbished or used. The way my family members treat their devices, I can't see spending the money on brand new. lol! And who can afford that anyway?! That being said, getting electronics at all in our family is NOT the norm.

Kara said...

That is an ADORABLE card, and yes, everyone hates you (laughing! kidding!) for being able to pull that off, having a baby just before Christmas! One of mine was born 11/11, and that was close enough to the holidays that I was barely functional at Christmas that year. Basically, you're Super Woman.

I always buy refurbished electronics for the kids. Because they're terrible (my children that is). I just bought the younger two new to them iPhones, so they're tapped out for Christmas. Oh, and my husband's truck needs $3500 worth of work, so we're probably buying a new to us truck this weekend. We have an appointment later today to test drive a couple of things. So much fun.

Suzanne said...

Oh WOW those photos are SO CUTE! What adorable kiddos!!!

Ernie said...

Nicole - Thanks, yes they were squishable. I told the iPad woman that no box was fine. Check it off my list.

Ernie said...

Amy - Some babies need to grow into their faces. Hee hee. Electronics are so darn pricey. I feel better buying for a deal. The Christmas poem is my way of sharing since I don't really post on FB. Last night I had to post the screen shot of the FB messaging on my FB because it wasn't uploading from my phone to my google photos. Well, I accidentally posted it to 'my story' - something I have never used before. I intended to send it to myself only, download it and be done. Anyway, 20 people viewed that on my story before I realized this am and deleted it. Oh brother.

Ernie said...

Kara - It was really hard to move away from our old house (even though we just moved to the other side of town) because we loved the older couple across the street SO MUCH. She raised 4 boys and she was not about to judge us when a kid might slip outside to ride a tricycle in the buff, etc.

Good luck with the truck shopping. Our dealer friends are on the look out for another used 12 seater as ours won't make it to Yellowstone this summer. Love those big ticket items.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- Someone should have been videoing Coach and I trying to get that photo accomplished. Lots of crazy noises and nonsense behind the camera. I think Mini smiled like that for months!

Ernie said...

Cheryl - Thanks, Cheryl. They were darn pinchable. Reg DOES look like he is straining, I think it is the 700 photos we took - but you might be on to something. That is not his normal expression. More of a 'how much longer do I have to smile' look. Probably bribed him with a cookie.

How bout that guy? So irritating.

Bibliomama said...

That picture is miraculous and wonderful - the tiny little baby! The happy big sister!
I will absolutely buy used presents except I'm a little wary of used electronics because what if they don't work? I have enough trouble making the NEW ones work. As long as you know who the woman is it should be fine, though. No box would not be remotely a deal breaker for me, though. And Kee, wtf buddy? Considering how hard it is to get people to commit to showing up at a particular time with their money, I'd think he'd be all over your offer. *throws hands up in the air in disgust*
I've resisted doing a Christmas letter for everyone, but by the time I end up writing individually in every card and putting hand-selected pictures in my hand is a useless claw and I am exhausted, so I should probably just do it.
Would it even be Christmas in our forties if some part of our body didn't randomly start kicking up bullshit?

Eli said...

Oh my goodness, those precious little babies! He's definitely wondering when you are planning to take that baby back!

Ernie said...

Ali - Oh the joy of giving Mini a sister. I can't even. I held Curly up in the hospital in the gender neutral blanket and asked: SO, DO YOU THINK IT'S A BOY OR A GIRL? The boys chimed: A BOY! Mini just sweetly whispered: IS IT A SISTER? When I told her that it was a sister she melted. Favorite family memory right there. Then she asked for days if it was a boy 'yet' and I told her that it was not growing a penis or we'd all be on Jerry Springer. Her relief!

I bought Reg an ipod nano a few years ago and it didn't work. The woman told me it was a gift and she had just never used it. Well, it was so old that it wouldn't work. She refunded my money and apologized.

I want to send Kee a photo of me holding the purchased iPad with my tongue stuck out at the camera. "Ha - your loss." So weird.

Last year I bought a little Christmas note pad and inserted hand written notes where appropriate. One of the photos on the card, we realized later, made it look like Reg's leg was amputated as it was buried in a hedge. I ended up explaining to some people that his legs were just fine.

Ernie said...

Eli - Back when "No I'm not eating this" and "But I'm not tired" were the biggest issues we had to deal with - ah, so precious. I love your take on Reggie. He was ONE HELLUVA mischief maker and he always had a look like WAIT TILL YOU SEE WHAT I MIGHT CLIMB NEXT!

Kari said...

OMG, THAT BABY! And those sweet faces. I mean they are so much work at that age but they are just so adorable. Sigh.

Ernie said...

Kari - Yes sweet faces, but also NAP TIME, remember nap time and early bedtimes? When there was usually a little peace and quiet? Ah, the good ole days. Teenagers are funny as anything though and better conversationalists. ;)

Charlie said...

What a bunch of cuties! And indeed what a super mom! I have never bought used, but I’ve often thought I should, to make our money go further. When it comes down to it though I guess I’m just too lazy! I wish I had your energy and drive Ernie.

Pat Birnie said...

Ok so you’re comment on mini asking “is it a boy yet?’ I had to comment. I have one brother the youngest of 5, so naturally he has 4 older sisters. He was so babied, spoiled and loved but it was like he had 4 moms. He is 6 years younger than me & 13 yrs younger than the eldest. He used to say ALL the time ‘when I grow up to be a girl....’. He just assumed we all started as boys. His is now a wonderful 59 year old man who takes great care of all his sisters. But to this day we tease him about that- and his wife says ‘Paul always/still wonders at what age his penis will fall off.

Also - your kids are so darn cute! Assuming that Reg second youngest? He’s thinking -great another baby already!! My years as the baby sure didn’t last long. My 3 boys were each 18 months apart (the youngest was a big surprise) and I know the middle guy was ambiguous about his feelings for the baby. He used to hug him ‘and say I love you so much baby shane’ but he’d just keep squeezing tighter & tighter until we had to gently extract (save) the baby. They are now 29 & 31 and the closest of friends.

Ernie said...

Charlie - I think I also have a tendency to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to used electronics. Who would sell something that didn't work? Picked up the iPad last night. It's clean and in perfect condition. A little tissue paper and she will be thrilled. AND so surprised.

I don't think people who don't buy used stuff are lazy. New stuff is NICE.

Ernie said...

Pat - I love, love, love that story. Hilarious. And yes, similar to Mini's fear. She walked around that first week waiting for Curly to start growing a penis. Totally killed me. She was excited all over again.

Honestly, there almost wasn't a Curly. I had a miscarriage right before - a pregnancy that was not exactly planned. Then Coach was like NO MORE. He didn't want to see me be devastated again. Got him to agree to one more baby. The last hurrah. He gave me 3 tries, which was very stressful. Curly was the 3rd AND FINAL try. Impossible to imagine life without her.

Yes, Reg was probably like get that thing outta here - he was INTO EVERYTHING. I see pure mischief in his face - plotting what he'd do when we released him from the photo session. Climb, disappear, open stuff. I once tucked him into bed and he had gotten under my bathroom sink. He was spinning a new, unwrapped tampon around by the string telling me that he'd found a helicopter.

Anonymous said...

That picture is adorable!!
I’ve bought and sold on Marketplace, gotten some great deals and made some good money. It is nice to have the box but the condition and price of the item are definitely most important, any teen I know would be happy to have the iPad either way! Don’t give that jerk your money!! 😁

Ernie said...

AM - Thanks. I enjoy the Christmas cards that we get sometimes when people recreate a photo from a long time ago. This one might be fun to recreate. Of course, not while Lad is absent.

Marketplace is great because it is like a grown up, seasonally friendly versions of garage sales. I was once a garage sale guru. True story. Sure that comes as a shock.

Suz said...

When you said BOTTOM RIGHT, do you mean RIGHT or LEFT? I'm just asking because, ummm....some people have issues with left and right.
That is the MOST darling photo ever. And yes, I would have thought, damn that Ernie, is she super human or what getting a card out that quickly?! You and your poem are epic; you make Christmas for so many people.
I think Reg is thinking: Why are we taking 100 photos of all these people, when I should be the STAR?!
Curly looked like the most perfect baby; so sweet.

Kee is a clueless idiot. Good lord, the world is full of them, so that's scary!
Sorry about your knee...hopefully it will resolve itself because we know the Cobbler is too busy. :)
I've never bought or sold on marketplace. I think the Coach has purchased a few things over the years. I should probably sell some stuff *looks around at unused stuff*

Ernie said...

Suz - kid you not, I first typed 'bottom left' and then went: 'Doe, I mean bottom RIGHT!' Hee hee.

Reg was often the star of the show. His face was angelic - making it DANG hard to get mad at him when he got into stuff. His face is still super handsome, but I am totally comfortable losing my cool with him.

I must've just tweaked the knee. It prefers that I don't make sideways movements, like climbing off the kitchen stool to the side. Remember that movie when Ben Stiller was a runway model but he couldn't turn to the left (or was it right? too lazy to google)? I'm the no side movements version. Getting better everyday though.

Yes that dude, what a moron. I'm too busy to look - but I hope he's still trying to sell his ipad.

I sold our old kitchen table and a few appliances on FB marketplace or letgo. So satisfying.