Archives For christmas

Show Me the Cookies

Leigh —  December 18, 2013 — Leave a comment

DSCN8096I love to bake.  I would do it all the time if it weren’t for the high caloric intake that follows it every time. There’s just something extremely comforting about measuring flour and sugar and mixing it in a bowl with eggs and butter. I don’t know why exactly, but it just soothes the soul. However, those warm fuzzies fade quickly because as soon as I step on a scale, all that comfort just flies out the window.

So I don’t allow myself to bake very often.

In fact, I spend eleven months out of the year resisting the urge to make cookies.  It’s my only defense against them.  If they are never created, then I can’t eat them. Makes sense, right? And it’s a pretty good system…that is, until December rolls around. Continue Reading…

His Letter to Santa

Leigh —  December 4, 2013 — Leave a comment

This is the first year Roark has been old enough to write a letter to Santa, and I’m using the term “write” very loosely here.  Basically, he talks, and I record what he says. It’s a good system.

While he was dictating his letter, I really tried not to put words in his mouth.  My job was just to kind of guide him in proper letter writing etiquette.  You know, just some tips like “Let’s not start off with ‘Hey Santa, I want this and this and this.'”

Also, I made him keep his list short when he started naming all the things he wants Santa to bring him. After all, Santa is not some rich uncle with a lot of disposable income. In fact, our Santa is on a very tight budget this year.  And Roark can’t just go asking for everything all willy nilly.  That’s just setting the poor kid up for disappointment.

But other than those helpful tips, I remained quiet and just wrote while he talked.  This was the outcome: Continue Reading…

Christmas Recap 2012

Leigh —  December 30, 2012 — Leave a comment

They say it’s bad luck for the new year if you still have your tree up after Jan. first.  Well, at least that was the rule many moons ago, but what about now in this new age of technology?  Does the saying need to be changed to “it’s bad luck if you haven’t loaded your Christmas pictures onto your blog by New Years?”

Well, I’m not taking any chances.  The tree is coming down today, and here is my Christmas recap.

We always start Christmas morning at our house, just the four of us.  Edie was really excited this year about having special permission to come into our room after she woke up.  Normally, this is a big no-no in our house and can lead to punished, unhappy children, but not on Christmas.  This rule is out the window along with several other rules now that I think about it…like the “no candy before breakfast” rule.  Just one of the many reasons Christmas is magical for children.

So as planned, Edie came into our room around 6:00 and started begging to go downstairs.  Roark, on the other hand, had to be raised from the dead.  Apparently he was in a sugar coma from all the cookies the day before.  So I sneaked into his room and whispered “Santa” in his ear.  It was the shot of adrenaline he needed.  He sat straight up and started heading for his door in one motion.  I’m not even sure he realized I was standing next to his bed because he was out the door in an instant, headed down the hall.

Here are Santa’s gifts. Notice the crane. It is NOT remote control, but it does go up and down.  I may or may not have led Roark to believe that Santa thought this is what he meant even though Mommy knew it really wasn’t remote control operated.  (Hey Santa, it’s every man for himself on Christmas morning!)  Roark seemed satisfied once he opened the snowman wrapped gift in the back: a full-fledged remote control digger (or excavator, as my husband corrected me).

They played for a little while and then it was time to load everybody into the car and head towards the real chaos: my mom and dad’s house.    I mean after all, it wouldn’t be Christmas without chaos, right?

Here are the ring leaders of the Christmas craziness:

I should note that we are missing one of the cousins in this picture.  He wasn’t excited about the group photo idea and was having no part of it.  So, Roarkie and I jumped him in the kitchen when he was getting a drink. After eating breakfast together, we opened gifts.  Last year at Christmas, Edie opened her gifts at warp speed.  In fact, she opened them so fast that she never even took a second to notice the actual gift.  It made me very unhappy.  I felt like I was watching her open presents in fast forward.  Giving her a present wasn’t much fun because it didn’t matter what you gave her, her attitude was “What gift is next?”

Well, since I’m her mother and all, it falls on me to correct the behavior.  So about a week leading up to the big day, we started talking about the proper way to open  a gift.  I told her that we don’t attack the present like a ravenous animal then toss it aside to devour another.  Instead, she should acknowledge the gift, ooh and aah, and then thank the giver with hugs and kisses.

She did great this time around.  I was so proud of her, and her behavior was night and day different from Christmas 2011.  She even surprised me a couple of times by walking  around and acknowledging other people’s gifts as well.  She even stopped in the middle of unwrapping at one point to adorn herself with the bow.  Unfortunately, however, I think I’m going to have to have the same talk with Roarkie next year.  To slow him down, I made him try on the Spiderman costume my parents gave him.  It’s not as humiliating as a pink bunny suit, but he wasn’t a fan of taking a break from unwrapping.  I did manage to capture a smile on camera.  We were all laughing at his new muscles, and so he hammed it up for the camera…but then quickly got back to business.   All in all, it was a pretty great Christmas. While the kids make Christmas more chaotic and crazy, they also make it much more fun.  So Christmas Day isn’t relaxing? We’ll have time to relax in about fifteen years, right?

Merry Christmas

Leigh —  December 25, 2012 — Leave a comment

From our house to yours….

So we got a little unexpected gift from Santa this year, and not the good kind.

It all started Sunday night around midnight.  I had spent the whole weekend cleaning the house and getting ready for a Christmas party the kids and I were throwing for our friends later in the week.  I was sound asleep, all snuggled in my bed when I heard the dreaded sound and seconds later, smelt the wretched stench of a child puking next to my bed.

I normally handle my kids’ stomach bugs like a champ. It’s one of the many ways motherhood has pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I like to think that I have risen to the challenge in the past.  I have been the perfect picture of comfort when my kids are puking their guts out.  I get wash clothes ready.  I rub on little backs while whispering encouraging things like, “It’s ok.  It’s almost over.  You’ll feel better in just a second.”  That sort of thing.

But for some reason, I was totally off my game Sunday night.  Maybe it’s because it had been about two years since anyone had puked in our house and I was out of practice.  Or it could have been because it was the first time anyone had actually vomited on the carpet RIGHT NEXT TO MY BED.  Or perhaps it was because I stepped in it because I couldn’t see where I was going in the dark. Whatever the reason, I immediately started gagging and throwing open windows even though it was freezing out.  I didn’t care.  I needed fresh air!

Eventually, I got it cleaned up as best I could in the wee hours of the morning, wiped down my feet and my child, got Edie tucked back into bed just in time for her to start puking again.

She went on throwing up every hour for the rest of the night.  It was miserable.  Then around six in the morning, I woke to two children calling out my name and fighting over the toilet.  Edie had already laid claim to it.  Even though there wasn’t anything left in her stomach, it was still fighting to get something up.   As I came into the hall, Roark informs me that his “tummy hurts too.” Great.

I get him to the next bathroom just in time for him to start the puking process.  This was the first time Roarkie has ever had a stomach virus.  I honestly feel like he’s been pretty lucky to have made it four years without throwing up.  Not many kids can say that.  However, when it comes to throwing up, he’s a novice.  He had no idea what was happening in his little tummy and his instinct was to cover his mouth.  WRONG.  Oh so wrong!  Afterwards he looked up at me in disbelief and said, “Mommy, that was a frow-up explosion!”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  It looked like a bomb had gone off in that little bathroom.

Monday turned out to be a pretty crummy day.  I spent the day washing clothes and kids in between sanitizing everything little hands could possibly touch.

I totally blame Santa for this stomach bug too.  He was the only person my kids had any contact with in the three days leading up to our bout with the throw-ups.  In fact, they hadn’t even left the house once over the weekend because we had been getting ready for the party.

The party was another added stress to our sick day.  It was scheduled for Wednesday, but since our week was already booked with other Christmas festivities, we had done all the prep over the weekend.  So the idea of canceling it was really depressing because the majority of the work was already done.  We ended up rescheduling for Friday.  It made us sad to change the date, but it gave me time to mop again and the kids had ample to time to prove the bug was really and truly out of their system.

And the party was so much fun.  It was so worth changing the date. I know it’s cliche to say that you have the best friends in the world, but I’m afraid in my case it might actually be true.  The kids decorated gingerbread houses and ran around outside like maniacs while the moms talked and laughed until our bellies hurt.

This is fast becoming one of our favorite Christmas traditions!