The pottery barn catalog made me feel holiday-ish and nostalgic, and instilled in me a huge urge to own a large platter in the shape of a turkey. No seriously. I'm pretty sure that's what the pilgrims served the Indians (er- Native Americans) dinner with, right? The pictures are pretty and shiny and happy and make me feel like I need to have pretty and shiny things to be happy. And there is nothing wrong with owning pretty and shiny things. They do make me happy.
The World Vision catalog made me cry. Actual tears. Legit tears.
(Has anyone seen my hormones?)
It's not a sad catalog with pictures of starving kids. To the contrary actually. The photographs show happy people. People who are holding animals and supplies that were bought by strangers in other, wealthier countries who realized that it's not all about shiny and pretty. And I guess that's what makes me cry. The loveliness of it all.
Last year I bought a couple goats for someone through World Vision. And before you get any thoughts like, "Oh that Jana is SO benevolent and awesome to the max!" you should know that I paid for it with a Visa gift card that I got from AT&T U-Verse for signing up for television service. So no, it wasn't all that benevolent and awesome. I didn't even really earn the money.
But it felt really good to spend that money on World Vision. I did it in Wes' name and they sent a little thank you card to him. I cut out the picture in the catalog and put it with the thank you and stuck it in his baby book (which let's face it- has nothing written in it yet).
Tomorrow I'm going to look at the World Vision catalog with him and try to teach him animal noises. Which is probably pointless because I don't know what kind of noises alpacas make and whenever I ask Wes what ANY animal says he responds with "ROOOOAAAARRR!"
So I guess I have choices this Christmas. Buy a ceramic turkey? Or buy a real bird.
Keep the catalogs coming World Vision. You've got a lot of competition out there.
Today Wes watched a lot of TV. Well, I can't be sure how much of it he actually paid attention to, but the electronic babysitter was on more than I want to admit. But I will say that we saw puppets cruising around New York, science kids, dinosaurs, trains, worlds made of words... you get it.
I was laying on the carpet by Wes and I started to feel bad.
Like maybe I wasn't a good mom.
I know why we call Satan the Enemy. He creeps in and fills me with self doubt.
I don't appreciate it.
So I sat there and started to think about the Truth.
Wes has a clean diaper. His tummy is full. His favorite snuggle is laying nearby. We just read three books. I let him dump his blocks all over the floor (the ones with sharp pointy edges that scurry under my feet when I walk causing me to say not nice things at them). Our house is warm and safe. I have already given him oodles of kisses for the day. Later I am going to take him on a walk by the Waterway and to Frost Cupcakes for a treat.
And after I catalogued all the good things Wes had going on at that moment and for the day, I didn't feel so bad about myself. Or the TV.
And I felt like I had slamma-jamma'd the Enemy right in the kisser. All Batman style.
On Friday I had the pleasure of going to the place where people of all ages
(okay, middle aged-women and gay men primarily)
go to find priceless artifacts
(in reality quasi-desirable junk of all shapes and sizes)
for low prices:
(not low enough)
If you are unfamiliar with what it is, it's basically a bi-annual antique/junk extravaganza held in various barns and fields along a country road in and around a tiny, barely on a map town named Round Top. Vendors come from all states to hock their goods, and I use that term loosely. We saw everything from velvet paintings, to old saddles, to salvaged industrial lighting to row boats to stuffed armadillos (I only saw one this year, so make that singular).
This time, I was joined by my lovely and talented interior designer pal Kate Duckworth of Maison Market. We left the babies with those deemed responsible (husbands) and headed out into the wild blue yonder (wait- is that the sky?) in her big ol' Texas truck. After making a pit-stop for donuts of course.
It was a lot of fun until we ran out of money, and that happened too quick. I didn't take "artsy" pictures because I didn't want to haul around my ginormous camera, but here are a couple shots with the iPhone. If you like anything -no seriously- ANYTHING, then you should go to Round Top this spring. Because I guarantee that you will find it.
Sitting next to a statue of the Virgin Mary made out of bottle caps.
In the end, here's how I did.
Eames era fiberglass shell chair $20
white metal stool $20
vintage oil painting of two dudes in the wilderness: $40 (ouch)
At some point last year, I sent up a little prayer asking God to help me be a better steward of my money. He listened, and shorty thereafter Garden Ridge went up in flames.
Temple of holiday decor, flameless candles, glass jars, cheap art, fake plants, pottery, an entire "Seen on TV!" section, obscure and random packaged foods from abroad, tiny little chotchkies. POOF! Up in smoke.
Apparently it was arson, but I'm not claiming any part of that. It happened while I was at Chuy's eating delicious enchiladas with that addictive tomatillo sauce. I saw the smoke, and hoped that it was nearby WalMart on fire and not Garden Ridge, because let's face it, this is Texas and there's a WalMart at every highway exit. But the nearest Garden Ridge is not near enough for me to even know where it is.
But hold on friends (insert trumpet fanfare here). Garden Ridge has re-opened! Wooooo!
I went the other night to check it out, and other than their decision to skip fall decor and go straight to Christmas, I was not disappointed.
Hello, nineteen aisles of cheap plastic Christmas bulbs! Good to see you, entire wall of doormats! I nodded to the eight rows of lamps and shades as I walked down to the reproduction vintage furniture quadrant. Greetings, fake factory cart coffee table! It was great. They even had a whole section of hospital scrubs, which has never made sense to me. But they were there, animal print and all!
And just before I left empty handed, (this was reconnaissance only) I spotted the one item that really epitomizes (1) Garden Ridge, and (2) Texas, the ten foot tall inflatable patriotic Marine Santa.
Friday was a bit of a bust. Kent actually agreed to go to Round Top (antiques galore, junk heaven, Kentie torture chamber of unhappiness) and we decided to make a day of it with Dub. We woke up early (7:30, egad!), packed a lunch, loaded the car up with tie-downs, moving blankets, our hiking backpack for baby, and set off like a herd of turtles.
We made it about half way there (45 minutes) and suddenly Wes puked ALL OVER himself. Carsick? Mostly milk and toast. MILQUETOAST! It was nasty, nasty, nasty. Of course, I didn't have a change of clothes for him other than some too-small cozy pants that were somewhat dirty and just happened to be in the car. Mother of the Year Award, coming soon!
We realized that Round Top was not going to happen and that we needed to go back... to the zoo? Yes, to the zoo apparently, because we popped into our house for clothes and then drove 45 minutes to the Houston Zoo which was a flaming inferno of heat and ended up being kinda miserable. We did enjoy watching Wes crawl through a tube under the Piranha tank though. Good times.
Later, we returned to a hot car that had been baking a puke-covered carseat for 4 hours, so that was fun.
Saturday felt bad for what his friend Friday had done to me, and so Saturday gave me some rain to make it all better. And it did.