Monday, December 14, 2009
The other night we were going through the big basket of Christmas books we have collected over the years - looking for the perfect bedtime story. I grabbed this one, not really remembering much of the story, but wanting to hurry the kids up to bed.
As we settled into James' bunk bed to read our stories, we were swept away in the beauty of this book. It is such a peaceful tale, of how a child (or bear cub) comes to recognize God in the world around us. It perfectly weaves together the true meaning of Christmas along with outward expressions of love, kindness, and good deeds (and Santa Claus.)
So if you have children, and are Christian, read them this book.
It is amazing.
And Michelle if you're reading this - thank you for gifting our children with this beautiful tale - it has certainly become a new Christmas tradition on our home!
Ear check on Wednesday to see if he's improving - if not then we switch to Rocefin shots for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Because we leave Saturday for Washington - and given the fact that my parents live so far out on the peninsula - driving every other day to an urgent care for shots should the Omnicef not work just isn't feasible.
Thankfully we're being referred to the ENT - and hopefully tubes will end our poor little guy's misery.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Posing with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.
Meeting the beautiful Dew Drop Fairy.
Again, no clue - no fever, no ear pain, just the evil-wretched child paired with the perpetual runny nose.
We live at our pediatric "emergency hours."
Bi-lateral ear infection.
Chewable Augmentin for 10 days.
Counting down the days until she becomes 'normal' again.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Line 'em up - rinse 'em off - shampoo - lather - rinse - repeat. Times three.
But beware, the littlest one splashes the most (as evidenced by Anna's wet hair - no that's not from wetting down prior to shampooing - that's from her little brother's love of splashing.)
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
But Christmas carols always made an appearance in our house come December 1st. I remember sitting on the green shag carpet of our living room under the Christmas tree, with Dad in the "blue chair" listening to our favorite sounds of the season.
Dad was a silly one too - he'd find ways to turn lyrics of music around that would make my brother and I squeal with laughter. One such song is "Walking in a Winter Wonderland." You know the line "...later on, we'll conspire, as we dream, by the fire...?" He changed it to "later on, we'll perspire, as we dream, by the fire..."
I thought about that the other day when we were driving somewhere in the van - the song came on the radio - the kids were belting out their versions of it - which is also funny to hear the words they come up with that rhyme or sound somewhat similar to the actual lyrics. As I drove my caroling crowd through traffic, I was immediately reminded of those December nights around the family Christmas tree of my childhood.
Oh Daddy, I miss you so much - and wish you were here to share your funny lyrics with your grandchildren.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I like to have the kitchen sink cleared, dishes in the dishwasher, and sink scrubbed when I turn out the lights to go to bed. I don't like feeling gritty things beneath my feet from playground sand tracked home in the kids' shoes or the endless array of crumbs that congregate under the kitchen table.
I didn't always used to be this way, however. I was a typical teenage slob. I drove my mother crazy with my piles of clothes, books, magazines, and junk throughout my room. She let me keep it that way - until it started trickling out of my room and into the hall - at that point she put her foot down and made me clean it up.
It must have been about the time I had my first apartment after returning from my stint in Europe when I finally began to want things clean. And because it was my own place, I had control over how messy it was.
Deonne and I have always butted heads about this. We've sort of come to the agreement that I'll never think the house is clean enough - while he doesn't see a problem with the leaning tower of mail that is about to collapse off the kitchen cart.
So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered something about my wonderful husband last night. Something I didn't know - after almost nine years of marriage.
Deonne is just as OCD about certain things as I am.
What do you ask? CDs. DVDs. Disks that are not in their proper cases. Who knew?
I have a habit of taking a CD or a DVD out of their respective players, and in a hurry to tend to whatever child is screaming or needing help in the potty or food that may be burning on the stove stick it in whatever open case I have. Even if it is not the right one. Which, as you can imagine, snowballs and takes a while to sort through to find the right disk for the right case. Apparently this drives my otherwise non-cleanly husband crazy.
Really? I asked him.
Really! He replies. They all need to be in their little homes.
I just laughed. Turns out I'm not the only neat-freak in the house after all.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
It's a fun thing for the kids - they take turns opening the tiny doors and windows, eager to see what treats they may find. The goodies vary, sometimes a chocolate morsel, sometimes a sweet package of Jelly Belly beans, sometimes a note forecasting a special Holiday event for that night (such as a visit to the lights at the zoo or tickets to the Nutcracker.) Whatever they find, they are delighted.
And we as parents get to experience that joy through them - and really, seeing their utter joy and hearing their peals of laughter is what this season is all about.
Waiting for the show to start and enjoying popcorn with our friends.
AM, big sister EG, James, and Anna
James and "Frosty" following the show.
Yep, we're heading West for Christmas this year - all five of us - on an airplane - for five hours. (My apologies now for any fellow passengers stuck seated by us for the trek...)
Actually, I'm so excited to see my mom and stepdad that I can't stand myself. I haven't seen them in a year and a half (about the time I got pregnant with Jack until now.) We leave December 19 and get to stay a whole 10 days, returning to Columbia on the 28th.
Anna and I have been planning all the things we want to do with Nonna upon our arrival, from making gingerbread houses to baking cookies to decorating the Christmas tree, to wrapping presents.
James is just excited to get to go on an airplane. He was only 6 months old the last time he flew out - so he has no recollection. But he LOVES airplanes (he is his Daddy's son) and can't wait to get on the 'big plane in the sky!' God help us he'll be able to sit still and watch movies or read books or color (or maybe even nap). If not, our busy little boy who loves to run and jump and squeal may be invited to depart the plane a little early via a parachute. (just kidding... I think...)
It will be a magical Christmas together - and I'm THRILLED that we get to spend it with my family for the first time in ages.
Any of you west-coasters that are reading this - I'd love to see you - we'll be in the Seattle area - so if at all possible, let's try to meet up!
The kids thought it was fun to bundle up in jammies and goose-down throws in the back of the van and sing Christmas carols out to see the lights.
The cool thing is the drive through is so slow that we felt safe enough to unbuckle Anna and James and have them sit on my lap while we went through the course. (Jack snoozed the entire time from his place in the middle row.) We saw tons of light displays, animated to music that broadcast from the park through the car radio.
Another fun holiday treat!
There are marshmallows for roasting, the carousel for riding, storytelling near a "fire", riding the Santa train, and "snow" blown from the entrance of the park as well as strategic positions throughout the zoo. (And yes, the foam-blown-soapy-snow is the only snow my kids have ever seen ...)
The highlight of the trip is a visit to Santa.
It was actually COLD when we went this year - we needed our hats and mittens and scarves - it wasn't just for show as in previous years, and added to the holiday feel.
My mom had this beautiful hand carved Nativity set that she brought back from her travels to Europe as a college grad - that I loved to stand and marvel at. Oh how I wished I could put my hands on the delicately carved figurines, but I knew better. If I dared, I'd have severe consequence to pay.
So, I decided to act out the Nativity myself. I'd take a blanket, cover my head like Mary, wrap up one of my babies in another blanket, place Him in the cradle, sing Silent Night, and relive the whole Holy night.
I tried many a-time to get my brother to play along - to be Joseph to my Mary - but he would have none of it.
So it came as no surprise when I returned home from the Junior League Holiday Market the other night to Deonne telling me to look at the camera - there were pictures on it I needed to see.
Anna is following in her mother's footsteps.
And luckily for her - James is more than willing to be Joseph.
The only problem - explaining to Anna that Mary is not bossy, she doesn't dictate to Joseph how to act, and if Joseph wants Elmo to be the Holy child - that's okay too.
Setting the tree in the stand. (I love Jack's expression behind Deonne - what ARE you doing Daddy?)