Sunday, December 10, 2017

An Honest Review Of A Fingerlings Monkey

The picture on the box freaked my daughter out.

"This doesn't seem like an appropriate toy for children," she said, pointing at the corner of the box at the monkey on the finger.

I mean. It does sort of look inappropriate if you look at it quickly.

These Fingerlings toys are all the rage at the moment and neither of us are understanding why. Yeah, they're kinda cute, but what exactly is the point?

I lucked out and found one at Think Geek for $16.99.  Natalie put it on her finger and was like, "It's not going to bite it off, is it?"

Our monkey was named Sophie, according to the box.

"Oh man, Sophie is so pissed at Kevin right now on This Is Us," I couldn't help but say.

Natalie scowled. "Who? What? Aren't we reviewing this toy?"

"Oh. Right. Continue."

The box said you could swing the monkey from the tail.

It makes more noises doing this. It laughs, which sounds sort of evil. I captured it in this video:

Natalie admitted that while it WAS cute, she didn't understand how this could amuse kids for long periods of time.

The box said there are over 40 ways to play. Maybe? I don't know. My daughter mostly just put it on her finger and swung it by the tail.

It also moves its head and blinks its eyes. You can buy accessories for it to climb on, apparently.

It kept making noises, so Natalie wanted to put it to sleep, and it refused.

It would close its eyes when you rocked it, but then the eyes would pop right open and it would make a string of sounds.

"Why won't this thing stay asleep?"

"I asked the same about you when you were a baby," I replied.

Bottom line? While it is a cute toy, I would not spend a cent over the retail price. My daughter is 10, and she was ready to set it aside after 5 minutes. Maybe younger kids would want to play more with it. It does fart and burp, so that will get laughs.

Where can you buy them? Well, stores randomly get them in stock. Amazon will randomly have them online for retail price. Right now they all seem to be above $50. Do NOT do it. Plus, a lot of them seem to be knock offs.

If you can't find one for Christmas, I can almost guarantee they'll be all over the place in a few months like the Hatchimals.

Did you buy a Fingerlings Monkey?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Why Teenagers Probably Shouldn't Get Married

I got married when I was 19.

I was seven months pregnant and was trying to cover my bump. I'm kidding. There was no covering that bump. I was in college at the time so mixed with THAT awful diet and having a human being inside me, there was no hiding a pregnancy.

My husband and I rushed into the courthouse in Arizona during a snow storm. We needed to get married and then head to the military base he was assigned to. (Offutt AFB in Nebraska.) I was surprised how easy it was to get married. We filled out some paperwork, paid some money, and then were told to wait for the judge to call us back.

Oh, and I also wore black. Not because I was upset, but because it was the only fancy thing I could find that fit my growing bump. And it was within my budget. (Which was like $20.)

I'd like to say that things went smoothly after we got married, but I'd be lying. There's a reason why teenagers shouldn't get married, let alone have babies.

1. The maturity level isn't there. Let me tell you, we fought about ridiculous things. I was so upset because I felt he wasn't helping with the baby enough, so I wrote to Dr. Phil. A few weeks later a producer of the show called inviting us on the show! Tom refused. It's probably best that we didn't go on though. Who knows what I would have said? I mean, I was 19.

2. Teenagers are dramatic.  See above.  I remember during a fight I told Tom, "I deserve better than this!" I had a blog back then and I would write about ALL our issues. I shouldn't have been so open, because that brought in the internet trolls. I seriously would break down crying thinking Tom didn't like the baby. Looking back, I think it was hormones and lack of sleep, but I would say things like, "And you don't love me, you don't love the baby because you never get him on your own, I always have to tell you to get him!" Basically if the show Teen Mom was on then, we'd have made good characters, because our fights were ridiculous.

3. Teens don't always understand how to cook. Well, I mean, I STILL don't know how to cook. I'm better than I was before, but in the beginning all I knew how to cook was spaghetti and hamburger helper. Oh, and tacos. We also had a lot of ramen.

4. There are money issues.  Oh man, we barely had any money. Tom did ROTC in high school and was supposed to get E3 pay, but there was a mix up so he was only getting E1 pay for a while. I had a little bit of savings. We scraped by many weeks eating ramen and chicken noodle soup. For the longest time we didn't even have a microwave because we couldn't afford it and in those days, they didn't always come in base housing. Anyhow, lots of our fights were about money, which is true for most marriages, but I feel they were worse since we were so young. I felt like I understood how to save and Tom didn't. He'd go out and buy video games and I'd ask if he lost his mind, and he'd say, "I'm sorry, but are you making money?" That set me off even more, let me tell you. He stopped saying that soon after because I explained that it really bothered me. A few years down the line he thanked me for keeping him in check.

5. You're on your own. Well, we were. My husband's family was in Ohio. My mother was still in the military so she was in Japan with my Dad.  We were in Nebraska because my husband was stationed there. We didn't have the help of our parents.

But guess what? Despite all of this, my husband and I made it. On December 10th we'll have been married for 16 years. It wasn't easy. There are days when it still isn't easy. Marriage never is, but add in teenagers and a baby to the mix, and it's downright chaotic. But sometimes you have to fight for the choice you made.

Even when it's one of the toughest things you'll ever do.

The things that are hard are the things that end up meaning the most.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Best Part About Elf On The Shelf

My daughter is 10. And I assumed she still believed in Santa because she hadn't said anything stating otherwise. But when I made a comment like, "Maybe Santa will bring it for you," when she asked for a toy, she sighed and went, "I know the truth about Santa and the elf. I’ve known for two years now but you seemed to want me to still believe, so I pretended."

I was a little sad that she no longer believed, but I knew it was coming. But. But. There was good news that came with her announcement.

I asked, my voice shaking with excitement: "Can we get rid of the elf then?" 

Look, I think the elf is a fun idea for kids. But it's irritating for parents who don't want to move it around on a daily basis. And some parents have these elaborate set ups, and the kids see those set ups and wonder why their elf is just sitting on top of a lamp and it's's just not enjoyable for me. At all. Some parents love it. But me? No.

"Can I help?" Tommy asked. He's a teenager and when the elf first arrived, he actually believed it. He was weirded out though and would ask questions like, "But how does this fake looking thing report back to Santa?" I knew he wouldn't be sad to see her go either.

Natalie shrugged. "Sure. I don't need the elf anymore."

So I grabbed the elf, and prepared to punt her.

Then Natalie was all, after seeing her elf flail around in the air,  "Don't hurt her! Can you still move her around? Not every day, but for old times' sake?"

And at first I was going to say, "Uh no, she'll sit on a shelf and remain there, because that is what her box says she does."

But then I saw Natalie as a little girl who believed in Santa and the elf on the shelf that we named Meredith for Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy.

And I sighed and went, "Sure sweetie. Once in a while she will move. For old times' sake."

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