Friday, November 23, 2012

'Tis the season for little Cuties

And boy do my little cuties ever love them! We bought a 5 lbs bag just a couple of days ago and we're halfway through it already. The girls aren't usually orange lovers, but they scarf down Cuties like they're going out of style.

Today we tried (and failed) to go on an adventure to the Duke Homestead and I brought some of the little clementines with us for a snack (that we didn't end up needing because our adventure failed). Benjamin held them for us in the car—he's just that helpful.

When we got to Duke Homestead it didn't appear to be open even though the internet said they would be open Tuesday through Saturdays, 9–5, all year long. I spotted a sign on the gate but we couldn't quite read it because there were a few cars with disgruntled passengers parked in front of it (probably they were parked there to make alternative plans for the day). 

"There's a sign on the gate," I said. "Should I get out and read it?"

"Sure; go investigate the gate," Andrew encouraged me. 

(Do you see what I have to live with? Fortunately we both appreciate that kind of thing so it isn't difficult.)

The sign said that they were closed for the holidays on Thursday and Friday this week and would reopen on Saturday. Like it's that hard to put that up on your website? Come on!

On the way home we stopped at Lowe's even though I'm morally opposed to Black Friday shopping. We had a few things on our to-get list that Andrew's been whining about (he hates to have items stagnating on any kind of list: to-do, to-get, whatever) so I agreed to enter a store on Black Friday. 

Mostly we wanted new toilet paper holders. Our old ones were fine but they have these little sticky-outy parts that prevent the toilet paper from spinning when the roll is new. It was annoying. And the girls' bathroom floor was constantly littered with shreds of toilet paper. Rather than buy a different brand of toilet paper (we bought a whole thing of Costco toilet paper when moved in; we need to use that up) we decided just to get new toilet paper holders. Andrew probably bumped up the priority of this project when the toilet paper roll in our bathroom, which was balanced on top of the toilet paper holder, fell down and landed in Benjamin's potty. 

Unfortunately, Lowe's was sold out of the cheapest chrome model and we didn't want to get a white plastic one (it just wouldn't go). Fortunately, the store manager noticed us rummaging through the shelves and asked if he could help. Unfortunately, when he checked the stock in the back there were no cheap chrome toilet paper holders there, either, and a new shipment wouldn't be coming in until next week. Fortunately, store managers have magical powers and he said that if we could find a slightly-more-expensive model he'd give it to us for the same price as the one we wanted. Unfortunately, we couldn't find one. Let me just say: Lowe's has some pretty swanky toilet paper holders. 

I'm really not sure who wants to spend upwards of $50 on a stick to hold a toilet paper roll but apparently such people exist.

The store manager eventually found a chrome model that was twice as expensive as the cheapest model. He wrote us a note, sent us to the register, and we walked out of there with our 50% off toilet paper rolls feeling really happy about Lowe's. 

But then...we saw the Black Friday flyer. 

I haven't seen a single flyer since moving here and truthfully it's been kind of nice. I don't ever feel like I have to go to the store to buy any new things; they don't clutter up the house. It's freeing. 

But then I found out that Andrew was just walking from the mailbox to the recycling bin everyday. 

Anyway, we hadn't seen the flyer but right there on top was an advertisement for "buy-1-get-1" storage bins. A bunch of ours broke in the move so we decided that we could afford to get a couple more and went back into the store to find them. The bins were on a pallet right beside the carpet clearance section and I spotted a rug that would go perfectly in Benjamin's room (which has been so unorganized (and so entirely un-room-ish) that I've been cringing every time I walk past it (which is a lot)). It was marked down to $12. I couldn't not get it. 

Guys, I might have just been converted to Black Friday shopping.

But not the crazy 2 AM kind. 

We came home and sat the kids down to eat the oranges we'd packed as a snack for our outing (because that outing failed and we didn't eat our snack) while we worked feverishly on Benjamin's room.

It's not perfect yet but we made some great improvements and now when I walk by and catch a glimpse of his room I smile instead of cringe (it's amazing what finding the perfect rug will do to a room). Perhaps tomorrow we'll finish it up and then I can show you!

But this post, believe it or not, isn't about Lowe's or Black Friday shopping or even Benjamin's bedroom or the trip to Duke Homestead that wasn't. It's about Christmas oranges and how much we love them (Uncle Morgan loves them, too).

My girls have been conditioned to dislike oranges because they're difficult to peel, they're sometimes bitter/sour, and they're filled with seeds. Not Christmas oranges though! When we brought home the oranges a couple of days ago I forced encouraged Rachel to peel one on her own. She was surprised to find that she could do it and she did a fine job of it. Then I showed her how to make an elephant with the peel (and later I made a zig-zag peel because who eats just one clementine?) and she was absolutely amazed.

Today she managed to peel her orange all in one piece and was very proud of her accomplishment. In all honesty, I was, too!

Miriam tried and tried to peel her orange, too, but couldn't get it started. Rachel gave her a little help in the beginning—just peeled back a thumb-full. Miriam was rather skeptical she'd be able to finish peeling it on her own but decided to give it a whirl, anyway.

She was surprised when the peel came away easily.

And happily peeled the rest of her orange...

Then she wanted to know what her peels looked like.

I told her that it looked like a bowl. I don't know. 

I'm kind of excited that both my girls can peel their own Christmas oranges because even if you can't often find them in a box, individually wrapped in green tissue paper, I love Christmas oranges and I'm happy to have someone in the house share that excitement with me (because Andrew doesn't—is he weird or what?).


  1. Stick with the cuties, they've been selectively breed to be easy peel. If you buy darlings brand they are much harder.

  2. Andrew is weird. Even Steve, who thinks most fruit is poison, enjoys Christmas oranges. Have you tried the micro oranges? They're tinnie tiny, and a bit silly, but fun!
    I think I need to run to the store now, to get some of those green papered goodies of my own..