Monday, December 29, 2008

The 12, er, 5 Days of Christmas

We didn't get all 12 days of Christmas done.

Turns out I need a goblin delivering the goods daily to keep on track of these things.

Anyways, we had a lot of fun with the Christmas activities that we DID do. And Adam is down to only reminding me 1,484 times a day of the activities we didn't get to.

He's hard to please.

- Making Bead Ornaments

- Roasting Marshmallows (too warm for a fire... so we went outside)

- Decorating Gingerbread Houses

- Going to Ethel M's Cactus Garden Lights

- Visiting with Santa

- Driving Around and Looking at Lights

- Decorating Christmas Cookies

- Making a Nativity

He does wear clothes... really. Just not while crafting. :)

- Making/Dropping off Goodies for Friends

Actually, that doesn't look too bad. We only missed a few.

However, what you don't know is that most of those were doubled- and tripled-up on the same day. So, we had more like the 5 days of Christmas. I guess I need me a secret elf to help remind me next year.

And about 12 more hours in every day.

The Doctor Is In

Remember Adam's loose tooth? Almost a month and a half later, it was still loose. And still completely there. A few weeks ago, I checked out his mouth, and his permanent tooth had grown in behind the baby tooth.

And then I cried.

You see, his teeth have always been evenly spaced and beautiful. I've been told by dentists that because there was so much space between his baby teeth, that because they were so straight, that his permanent teeth would be perfect, and that no braces would be needed.

But now they will be.

Curse you permanent tooth!

So, according to the dentist, it was going to have to be professionally pulled out, because there was no permanent tooth under it to push it out. We decided to wait until the new year, because my FSA account would start again and would cover the charges.

How bad of a mom does that make me, on a scale of 1-10?

That's a completely rhetorical question, by the way.

Anyway, he kept on wiggling it, and it seemed a bit looser, and it turns out that I can be a bit stingy too, because I grabbed a pair of pliers last night and pulled it out.

It was awesome and I now want to be a dentist. For seriousness. There is something very satisfying about pulling out a tooth.

Anyway, Mike was obviously extremely jealous of all ten kinds of my dental skills, and he wanted to pretend he was a doctor, too. So he went ahead and removed the staples from Adam's head.

(Please don't think he's a bad parent as well... the urgent care doctor explained how to do it, if he wanted to... Adam just didn't want him to.)

But Adam is easily bribed.

With all those co-pays and co-insurance saved by our home medical care, you'd think we would be doing something fun and exciting.

Nope. It's just gone toward more health care for Miss Grace.

Stay tuned for THAT story.

Christmas Day 2008

So, the kids woke up bright and early at 5:30am.

Which is really, really early.

We held them off for a little while, and then let them run through the wrapping paper that I had taped over the entry way to the living room. They LOVED that!

We normally get them just one toy each from Santa, and stockings of course. But this year we got them some educational/imaginative toys from us (that I got at a teacher supply store), that they could share together. I just wanted to really, really spoil them. A move I'll probably end up regretting when I try and figure out our budget for next year.

But it was wonderful on Christmas. :)

The goods:

- Jojo, the mouse:

- Star Wars Light Saber Maker for Adam:

- Bike for Grace

To share:

- Dress-Up Masks:

- Doctor's Kit:

- Cash Register/Calculator:

- ZoobMobile Car Designer:

- International Play Food (for those sushi cravings... not :) ):

Mike and I always agree to not get anything for each other, and instead spend that money on our kids. But, he normally breaks this rule. So, you'd think that I would have wised up and got him something. But, I didn't. I stink. BUT, he got me the PedEgg, which is a very cool little thing that has made my feet look amazing.

He's sweet. And he was probably giving me some kind of hint about the ugliness that my feet are, but I don't care. The Ped Egg rocks.

After presents, we played and played, and went out and delivered goodies to friends. I thought it was going to be a really, really hard day (because it's my first Christmas away from family). But it was actually kind of nice just having a quiet day to spend together (not that we didn't miss our families like crazy).

We had a wonderful Christmas, and I am so thankful for how blessed we are. We are all healthy, and happy, and I love our family so much! I'm so thankful for them, and the time we got to spend together.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

After Santa

Normally on Christmas Eve (which, incidentally, our family has never celebrated actually on Christmas Eve, due to being out of town with family) we have cheese fondue, and then a ham dinner on Christmas day.

This year, after spending $200 that week on doctor's appointments and antibiotics and eye drops for Adam, we decided to forgo the traditional (little more pricey) stuff we normally have and take it easy. I'm SO glad we did.

We had enchiladas for dinner and just snacks on Christmas day. I didn't have to focus on cooking or cleaning up. I didn't have to worry about getting dinner ready for the next day. We threw some enchiladas together that night, and had fun, and got to focus on spending time as a family and the Savior.

It was wonderful.

So, a little rundown:

The kids and I spent the morning getting the house company-clean (for Santa) and then decorated sugar cookies.

Can you guess which ones Adam decorated? Hint... they may have a few sprinkles. From all 10 bottles of sprinkles.

When Mike came home we ate our enchiladas.

I use the term 'we' loosely... Adam wouldn't eat the enchiladas. What. A . Shock.

The kids opened their traditional Christmas Eve pajamas.

Grace is speechless at being allowed to own something with the Disney Princesses on it (I have issues... don't ask). Or maybe she's singing "Fa la la la la." Not really sure.

We played Cootie as a family.

I'm really concentrating here. Cootie is such a game that requires great concentration.

We acted out the nativity and read from the Bible.

Not sure why my face is the same color as my shirt, here. Maybe I'm embarrassed. Or maybe I'm just scared of the Light Saber that Joseph is holding in order to guard baby Jesus. He likes to add his own Star Wars twist on things.

We set out cookies and milk for Santa, and 9 carrots for the reindeer, at Adam's insistence.

And then Grace ate the carrots.

We read our last stories from our countdowns and put the kids to bed.

And I know we celebrate Christmas because of the Savior. Because of His life, and the miracle of His birth.

But, this year a true miracle occurred in our house on Christmas Eve.

A miracle of which I will be speaking of for Christmases to come.

My kids went to sleep before 8:00pm.

Without a fight.

Which (Christmas or not) has never, ever, ever happened.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stingy Santa

Adam asked for a dog this year. A real, live dog. I thought it was a joke; that we were clear on the whole not-having-a-dog-while-living-in-an-apartment front. And then he and Grace began talking about the dog Santa was bringing them. I sat Adam down, to talk to him about how Santa knew we couldn't have a dog, to which Adam looked at me with wise, serious eyes and said:

"If Santa is real, he will get me a dog."

I knew he was at the crossroads of wanting to believe in Santa, but doubting. I knew this was a test. Mike and I talked about sitting him down and telling him about the magic of Santa, to get out of the dog thing. But, I couldn't do it. I love the magic of Christmas, of everything that Santa represents, and needed my little baby-turning-boy to believe. Just a bit longer.

So Santa and Mrs. Claus had a little talk. We talked and talked and decided that Santa would write Adam and Grace a letter, explaining that the apartment manager just wouldn't budge, but that he knew how good that they had been, and would be giving them something else instead to care for.

On Christmas Eve, Santa got off of work early, and headed over to PetsMart to get a hamster. We talked about it. We talked about him finding a friendly one, and learning about the return policy if the hamster turned out mean, and getting the supplies.

I thought we were clear on the hamster part.

Santa can be a little stingy, however, and when he got to PetsMart and learned that pet mice are only a few dollars versus a hamster which was $20, he proudly picked out a cute, little fancy mouse and brought it back to the workshop.

Mrs. Claus almost threw up when she saw the box with 'mouse' written on it.

Mice bring up all sorts of images from Ratatouille. Of disgusting little creatures with wormy tails. Of nastiness and bacteria. And they seem smelly.

Mrs. Claus was not pleased.

Santa was in the doghouse, er, mousehouse (?) that night for seriousness.

A mouse? Eek!

But, you have never seen two happier kids than we saw on Christmas morning. Adam read the letter from Santa, then ran to the kitchen table, and is in love with JoJo, our pet mouse. He loves to hold him and feed him, and can't wait to begin training him to walk on a string (like the boy did in The Witches).

Santa Claus is pretty darn proud of himself.

And Mrs. Claus?

Turns out that mice can be irresistibly cute.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Bike, please, Santa!"

Grace really, really, really wants a bike from Santa.

She has taken to yelling at Santa's across the mall ("Bike, please, Santa!"), shaking/yelling at my Santa Christmas ornaments ("Bike, please, Santa!"), and even demolished a gift bag that had Santa's picture on it, in the process of hugging it and pleading ("Bike, please, Santa!").

Today, she got her very first Barbie. The RS President brought her one. Grace goes to most of my meetings with me, and is just so darn good that she deserved a little gift.

It is last year's holiday Barbie, and Grace is over-the-moon in love with her.

However, because holiday Barbie is sporting a Santa-inspired dress, Grace hasn't really played with her. Instead of brushing her hair or taking off her shoes, she has carried her everywhere, and has shouted at and shook her all day:

"Bike, please, Santa Barbie!"

She just wants to make sure she's got all her bases covered.

Monday, December 22, 2008

In Threes...

On Wednesday, I brought Adam to the doctor for pink eye.

On Friday, I brought Adam to the doctor for 2 severe ear infections.

Today, Mike got to bring him in to get three staples for a head laceration.*

So, if these kind of things happen in threes, we should be good now...


*He fell off the bed, while wrestling with Mike, and hit his head on a Dutch oven. Why is the Dutch oven next to our bed? I'm not sure. Mike has a slight obsession with cast iron, and it is hidden everywhere. Feel sorry for me. Please?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa Letters

Here are their letters to Santa:

I particularly like Adam's. He's so sweet. He insisted on doing it on his own, and when he showed it to me, I thought that the 'tantrums' part was adorable, and about fell of my seat when I saw he wanted a dog. Not something we've talked about! The other things on their are a 'Light Saber Maker' and a 'Deception.' He did pretty good on the rest of the spelling, but I hope Santa can read those two! :)

And when we heard about Macy's big, red mailbox to Santa, we just had to do that. It seems like such a fun, magical thing to do. You know? Plus, for every letter they get, they are donating $1 to Make-a-Wish, and I love that, so off we went last night. The kids LOVED putting the letters in!

Grace is so excited for Santa. I think it's fun because Adam's really not that into Santa... he never really has been. He's just far too practical. He's always saying things like, "There is no way reindeer can fly." Which makes me kinda sad, but that's a topic for a different day. But Grace, just loves him! She's been saying that Santa's bringing her a bike for months, and squeals every time she sees him or a picture of him! At the D.I. party, one of Santa's helpers was there, and Grace literally was shaking with excitement. It was so sweet.

Tomorrow we are going to see the real Santa at our ward party, "Breakfast with Santa."

We can't wait!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Our Visitor Left a "Gift"

We had a special visitor this past weekend: Baby Bear.

Baby Bear is a little bear in Adam's kindergarten, who goes home with a different child each weekend. Baby Bear is accompanied by a journal, a photo album, bedding, and four changes of clothing (including hats and shoes).

I've not yet forgiven his teacher for all of the articles of clothing I had to take care of.

Anyway, Adam was supposed to bring Baby Bear with him everywhere, take pictures, and write about the experience in the journal. I remember doing something similar when I was in elementary school.

We had a lot of fun having Baby Bear with us. Adam and Grace just loved on him all weekend. I thought it was a fun idea. We all were happy until Mike remarked, "I wonder how many kids that bear has slept with."

Which made me think of all the nice germs that Baby Bear was carrying.

And then Baby Bear went back to school and left us a 'gift.'

Okay, I'm not exactly blaming the bear for Adam's pink eye that he developed last night, but it's not too much of a stretch to think that he brought along the pink eye germs, either.

So, Adam's out of school this week (which he is VERY sad about, considering he's missing the class party and all the fun), and I'm sad because I have a million things to do, and now I have a bored 5-year-old along for the ride.

And Baby Bear? He's probably rubbing his sweet, furry paws together wondering who he will be 'visiting' this next weekend.

Evil bear.

It's Beginning to Look a LOT Like Christmas!

On our way to the doctor, it began snowing.

Which is just the best thing to happen, ever.

It's slushy and very wet, so it's hard to play in, and there's not a whole lotta it, but we don't care. Because it's been snowing for hours! It's awesome!And now it finally feels like Christmas!!!

We enjoyed the snow (for a bit, considering Adam's eye), and then came inside to watch the snow fall as we drank hot cocoa (or as Grace calls it, 'warm chocolate').

We had a marvelous time... I have SO missed the sound of snow falling, the crunch it makes when you walk in it, and the joy on kids' faces when they play in it.

It's definitely looking like Christmas here!

(Oh, and double-happiness, school is canceled tomorrow, because of the snow. He wasn't going anyways, but still. It's pretty cool. Who would've thunk that Las Vegas would actually take a snow day. :) )

(Triple- and quadruple-happiness, we got to have a fire because it's in the 20s... which is just cozy AND I was supposed to work the 'Santa's Workshop' at school at 6am tomorrow, and it's been canceled as well. Yippee!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I made:

2 Texas sheet cakes
2 cheesecakes
1 batch lemon bars
1 batch Andes mint cookies
1 pan of Pumpkin Crunch

And finished the 2-liters of soda gift.

I was exhausted by the time 5:00 rolled around.

But going to D.I., and knowing this was the only Christmas a lot of them would get this year, and getting to sit next to my favorite person ever (Steve-below), made it completely worth it.

I love the people at D.I. And whenever I'm there, I realize why Mike works 50+ hours a week sometimes.

It would be hard to leave the co-workers who do this job not for the money, but to do some good in the world. And impossible to leave the associates who are trying hard to make a difference in their own lives. There is a feeling of hope and determination at D.I., and that is something that is very hard to leave, indeed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What I'm Doing Tonight...

Mike is in charge of the Christmas gift for all of the D.I. associates this year. It had to be easy, for 60 people, and under $1 each. After throwing around some ideas, I remembered a gift I'd seen a few years back, where you give someone a bottle of Sprite with a note attached that says:

May your Christmas be merry and Sprite.

Kinda hokey. But it works. So tonight, we will be decorating 60 2-liters of soda to be given out tomorrow. It's gonna be a long night.

Adam thinks having this much soda in the house is a dream come true.

Poor guy. :)

(Side story: Mike's boss just bought them late Saturday, so we picked them up last night, and they've been in the back of our station wagon ever until we had a chance tonight. We got a lot of teasing at church today about our 'year supply' of soda in our car. :) )

TGIF Flashback

Tonight Grace came out looking like this, and my immediate thought was, "Urkel!"

The show (I believe it was called Family Matters on ABC's TGIF night) is not something I've thought about since I was 12. So, I thought it was pretty strange that that's what popped in my head when I saw her.

Now here is where you all nod, and say, "Oh, yeah, I know what you're talking about... I watched that, too" rather than, "How LAME is she for staying home on a Friday and watching that show!"

Or at least pretend that's what you're thinking. :)