I am starting to love settling into my Saturday night ritual. For years we would be out until dawn partying on the weekends, hitting up concerts anywhere within 10 hours driving distance, working our press passes, VIP passes, partying on a level that hasn't been socially acceptable since Michael Alig and James St. James brought it back for a brief revival. Not bad for Tulsa. So it's been hard in all honesty for us to settle into domesticity, but I am getting there. Now Saturday nights mainly consist of a project or two w/ the three amigos, early dinner and baths, and then putting Stormageddon Dark Lord of All to bed and letting the boys check a little VHS action in Arthur's massive bunk/fortress while I hit up the Ion Psych marathon, wash and fold a dozen loads of laundry and tidy the house, and settle into a glass or two of wine and my hidden stash of Twizzlers. With hubs at week and the house quiet, vegging out and watching TV is just the ticket for my laundry-folding home-grown utopia.

Anyway, this Saturday I am particularly relaxed because our hours rolled over at work and I took a short little staycation (ahem...cleaning staycation, but whatevs) and don't go back until Tuesday. I've cleaned the hell out of everything, dyed my hair fish bowl blue, and organized the boys' closets to get them ready for school in a month. In a month I say!!! My little chicken nuggets are growing into full-fledged chicken wings!

Today's greatest triumph was pre-Christmassing. Hubatronic 1.0 is always perplexed by how parents pull together decent Xmases for their kids. The truth is that we all think the whole thing is just a massive commercialized clusterf*ck, but we want our kids to be happy and not be like those poor Waldorf kids who get tree branches and sh*t for Christmas (not that I am dissing Waldorf, just those extremist parents like the douchey hippies in Lilyhammer), so we go for a moderate lifestyle, which I've blogged about before. Plus, we're damned poor, primarily because I work as a teacher and I am my family's main financial supporter until I sell a screenplay or book or establish a super popular online publication. So anyway, we're poor.

But I like to have nice things and I like my kids to, and I am smart and also awesome, which is why Arthur got like 350 bucks worth of He-man toys for his birthday (thank you, Craigslist).

Here's how it works: Our family looks for things in good condition that our kids (and other people we plan on gifting) like ahead of time...way ahead of time. I keep a little list and it's important to know if someone's interests change or if it's something they are really, really into (like Arthur and Tim Burton films). Then we keep on the lookout for second hand items in good shape at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales and online and get them months in advance and put them away for later. For example, Arthur has been asking for  a Mermaid Barbie for ages. Today, I found him a Magical Mermaid Barbie which I will be stashing back for Christmas. She lights up and usually comes sold in a set that is available for $85 plus shipping all the way to $135. I got her for $1.50.

I also picked up a 1960 vintage Barbie Allan doll along with some other friends for the mermaid.

But that's not the coolest thing I got!

I picked up the following Generation 3 My Little Ponies:

Star Dasher
Summer Berry
Denim Blue
Golden Delicious
Precious Gem
Rainbow Flash

And I picked up a pink G4 pony, but I haven't looked her up yet. Anyway, all the ponies together were 4 bucks.

While there, I picked up my own cute Vera Bradley two-piece set. Yes, old ladies love them. But I've always had a little Grandma Bessie May Crow in me.

Anyway, that's the beginnings of some solid Christmas gifting. Reduce, reuse, recycle is nice on the pocketbook too.