I had just given Dylan a bath earlier tonight and dressed him in his pajamas and I set him down for one minute while I got into my sweatpants and he barfed an enormous Lake Eerie of creamed corn all over himself.

I got him cleaned up and ready for bed — he’d been spending the better part of an hour yawning and rubbing his eyes — and as soon as I got him situated in his crib with the lights off and the white noise machine on he started screaming. And screaming. I went in, I came out, I went in. He finally quieted but I am watching him on the monitor and he’s got that gritchy sort of unrestful look to him that tells me there will be more screaming to come, OH YES THERE WILL.

This, after an entire night of going in every two hours to see what in HELL his problem was, even bringing him to bed with me at one point (where he thrashed, howled, and kicked me like a jackrabbit); after a full day of being unable to put him down without loud complaints. I’m tired and cranky and this isn’t the entry I planned on writing but, well, here is the open text document, here is what my fingers are typing.

We had good moments today — a stroller-walk around the neighborhood, a leisurely browse through a church holiday bazaar — but man, it’s hard doing this by myself. It’s unexpectedly hard not to have a chattering toddler nearby, as chaotic and frustrating as that can be; it’s hard not having JB around. I’m lonely and there’s no one to complain to.

Well, except you. Aren’t you lucky?

So! Let’s talk about something cheery, okay? I need some ideas for homemade type holiday gifts that even craft-deficient dumbasses like myself can handle. Any suggestions?


65 Responses to “Jeez, crackers, whine”

  1. Jennifer on November 16th, 2008 1:15 pm

    I vote that you skip the middleman (you know, YOU) and head straight to etsy.

    Look at me, helpin’!

    I actually bought the Martha Stewart holiday craft magazine yesterday and there were (surprise!) some easy-looking ideas. By easy I mean that there were a handful of things that did not require a master’s degree in iron smelting or a trip wildest Brazil to procure supplies.

    Hope the butterbean feels better soon!

  2. Alyson on November 16th, 2008 5:56 pm

    First, I was floored that there’s another Alyson commenting right above me. Second: homemade peppermint bark – pretty easy (although I had troubles making the layers stick together – I did the proper Williams Sonoma version instead of just either dark or white chocolate). melt some chocolate of one color, spread on a sheet or parchment or something, melt the chocolate of the other color, add mint to one of them, spread 2 on top of 1, drizzle smushed candy canes on top.

    Or do like this chick says, which is probably what I did do.


  3. kirsten on November 16th, 2008 7:40 pm

    For those who suggested baking banana bread in a jar, a question: how does the eater get it out? Seems like the mouth of the jar is always a little narrower than the rest of it. Do you just eat it with a spoon like ice cream or something?

  4. Nikki on November 16th, 2008 7:44 pm

    Photo albums/in a frame and photo collages are my go-to Christmas on the cheap gift.

    Easy candy that everyone will love:

    On a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides) covered with no-stick foil or parchment paper, lay out bite size pretzels. On top of each pretzel, put an unrapped Rolo candy. Bake in a 200 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove pan from oven, smash a pecan half into each melty rolo candy, smooshing the caramel into the pretzel. Let cool. Package in a cheap tin. People go nuts for these things.

  5. Anais on November 16th, 2008 10:06 pm

    I’m a big homemade gift advocate. Behold, my list of ideas:

    *Buy cute, decorative tins and fill with homemade cookies.

    *Create your own batches of bath salts and package cutely in a gift basket with candles, lotion, bubble-bath and a spa-themed CD. There’s a simple recipe for Bath Salt here: http://www.pioneerthinking.com/jd_bathsalts.html

    *Burn CDs for each person with songs of significance. Do you and a friend match a certain song to a specific memory you both share? It’s a sweet gesture. It shows you cherish those memories.

    *Purchase mini scrapbooks and fill with photographs and stickers.

    *Go to the market and buy boxes of a good tea and a box or two of sugar cubes. Bake some cookies, or buy a few pies from the market. Purchase cute gift boxes or gift bags. In each gift box, include cookies or pie, a little baggie filled with sugar cubes, several tea bags tied together with ribbon. There’s nothing better than having tea with a slice of pie.

    *Buy blank paper & card sets and create personalized stationary using stamps or stickers.

  6. Pete on November 16th, 2008 10:06 pm

    My house didn’t burn down.

  7. squandra on November 17th, 2008 12:00 am
  8. Lauren on November 17th, 2008 7:07 am

    Dude. I love your blog. It’s hilarious. I know nothing about crafting, but after hearing of Dylan’s epic vomits, have you considered maybe it’s an ear infection? (I’m sure someone has already suggested it.) This happened to my little dude, well, I guess when he was about Dylan’s age, maybe a little older. But he was acting perfectly normal except for the disgusting and epic amounts of chunks that were blown. We took him to the ER and they gave us tummy medicine. But I was smart and took him in to our pediatrician, where she confirmed my infection suspicion (which sounds like a metal band). So…there’s that. I hope it helps!

  9. Katie on November 17th, 2008 8:03 am

    I’m planning on doing:
    homemade shortbread, spiced nuts, and rod pretzles dipped in chocolate and sprinkles.

  10. Danger on November 17th, 2008 10:27 am

    My husband makes these, and everyone who sees/scarfs them thinks he’s a genius. I don’t know his exact recipe, but I googled and these look really damn close:


  11. iidly on November 17th, 2008 12:41 pm

    My aunt used to tell my mom to rock me with real rocks:)

  12. fuzzy on November 17th, 2008 2:26 pm

    I second/third/whatever the bath salts and sugar scrub recommendations, with this addition:

    equal parts of lavender and orange oils together smell AMAZING.

    and peppermint oil, by itself, makes a nice holiday-themed smell– you can tint half your salts pink and layer them pink/white/pink/white in a jar for a cute presentation.

  13. Cheri on November 17th, 2008 2:51 pm

    I’ve made/given those glass marble thingies mentioned above and my family still has them on their refrigerator maybe 5 or 6 years later. They’re super fun to make and to receive (and fit awesome in altoid boxes).

  14. JennyW on November 17th, 2008 3:15 pm

    Easy glass ornaments: buy the bulk boxes of plain glass balls (ha!) or other shapes of ornaments at Michaels or JoAnn’s, and load em up on the INSIDE with anything that will fit. Try: dribbling watered-down acrylic paints then shaking/swirling the ornament to make funky patterns; glitter or sequins; small glass beads; beach sand & small shells (only fill the ornament 1/3 full though or it’ll be too heavy to hang). Or if you’re feeling more creative, try painting on the outside with easy, air-dry glass paint. It’s great for even amateur artists because you can clean off your mistakes with a q-tip dipped in water.

  15. free glass etching stencils | Digg hot tags on November 19th, 2008 2:24 pm

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