Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Grand Finale!

Every day my kids talk about their 'show' they will perform at the house. Each time something funny happens or someone says something that makes them laugh, they decide whether or not that will become part of their 'Grand Finale'.

Today, Elfie was moving around a lot. While the kids are sad he is leaving until next year, they are jumping out of their skin that Santa arrives tonight!

First, he appeared to be making a call on his candy cane phone. 
And tethering it to our land line.


Then he jumped in the blender. Candy cane Elf shake, anyone?

And lastly, he rested on the piano with a few pictures 
and ceramic friends to say good bye.

He did leave some parting gifts for the little ones. 

See you in 11 months Elfie!

Just hanging around and laughing when we discovered Elfie today! And below him we found wrapping bubbles that the kids love to pop. He must have gotten into the closet where the gifts are and taken out the packing! 


He also left some jokes that left the kids in stitches for a few days. Nonstop hilarity!


Acrobatic Elfie

The little red guy somehow got up to some Yoga in the middle of the night. A candy cane had been looped through the handles as well, but I think it managed to find its way into my daughter's hands. I am hoping Elfie wasn't touched. He already got captured by a bad toy last time the kids weren't kind to each other.




Moving Toward the Door


Elfie seemed a little homesick. I can't blame him. He's been all over our house for close to a month, and every morning he gets screamed at/near by three small children. When they were smaller they looked for him but were slightly more confused by the whole thing. But as much as he loves them and they love him, he's gotta be short on hearing by now.

So I followed the kids dutifully to find Elfie on this morning, and he was lounging by his 'magic' door. Soon Elfie, soon.

It's Curtains for the Elf



Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Little Behind

Got a little 'behind' in my posts. You writer's group gal pals of mine will know  just what I mean by this. For the rest of you, I present . . .

Season's Greetings!
(a pictorial)




Enjoying some quality time with the Big Guy, 
under the watchful eye of the Tree Angel

Playing 'hide and seek' amidst the flowers
while he thinks of his next move . . .

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Busy Little Elf

This guy has been busy! I'm pretty sure he was perched up on this high shelf to watch the monster storm we just had. Or maybe he just needed a shelf.



And who needs crossfit when you have to climb on counter tops and your kids' table and chairs just to help your Elf learn how to zip line? I mean, he had to do it, so I had to help him.

He better appreciate it. He better be putting in a really good word for me with the big guy. Which could be Santa, or my husband.

A Studious Elf, He Is


Elfie had his nose stuck in this book all day. Makes us wonder if he has snow tricks up his sleeve.  He better not make a mess.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Homesick, Then Hungry . . .

Poor little Elfie. When the kids went looking for him, again, they could not find him. This year he is getting more crafty at hiding. But I didn't get the feeling he was actually hiding. Sure enough, he was head first in a graham cracker box. 


I told the kids we need to leave him some food. So we got candy canes and we'll see if he likes them. 

After that adventure, he seemed to need a nap. He chose the highest shelf of the tallest window, and it appears he is taking a liking to the California 'winter'. 

                             




Friday, December 5, 2014

Chill Out

Yesterday afternoon, the kids were playing outside and having a grand time. Tag, hide and seek, and getting red cheeked from the cold air. Well, cold for here, not Minnesota cold. And certainly not North Pole cold. As it got dark, the started to file in, hungry and tired. I heard a shriek, and they all erupted into more screaming when they realized Elfie was no longer face down on the printer. Post selfie, they could not imagine where he had gone. They looked in all the obvious places, and having no luck, began to look teary-eyed. My daughter begged me to let her look for him before her shower, but to no avail.

She showered, and then . . . "MOMMMM!!!!!" He's in HEEEERE!" We all gravitated to the kitchen. My son was standing in front of the refrigerator, mouth agape and eyes totally lit up. Apparently Elfie had take up residence on the top shelf of the fridge.


They couldn't understand why he was in there, but were so relieved to find him before bedtime, they no longer questioned it. We suggested that maybe since Elfie is from the North pole, he was homesick for the cold. Maybe being in the fridge helped him feel closer to home. 

Once we had a chilled elf, I hoped my kids would chill out, leaving me to ave a chilled beverage. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Elfie Selfie

selfie
Line breaks: selfie
Pronunciation: /ˈsɛlfi 
  
/

Definition of selfie in English:

NOUN (plural selfies)

informal
photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media:occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary
          



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I'm Freee, Fallin' . . .

Elfie escaped the clutches of the monster toy. Whew. The kids were relieved to see that the tape 'restraints' no longer contained their precious Elfie.


For his next location, Elife chose to inhabit Sam's stocking and rest his weary arms on the "M" of our Merry Christmas banner. The kids figured he chose Sam's stocking and not one of theirs because they hadn't yet been as kind to each other as they should be.


We spent today skating, and it's been raining buckets for a few days. I am enjoying the cold weather. It finally feels like winter! Having Elfie around makes it all the more magic. Let's see what he thinks up tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Help Me!

It look slike my kids were not quite as kind to each other yesterday as they could have been. This morning we awoke to find poor Elfie strung up on the sliding door. It appears he was commandeered by another toy. This can only happen if his magic is diminished.

Is that the same guy
who scared Frosty in the mountains?
We thought for awhile this morning over breakfast and getting ready for school, about what Elfie could mean by "Help Me!" We came to the conclusion that today needed to be a better day, and perhaps the magic would get stronger if they all behaved. We'll see if he breaks free by the time they get home . . .

Monday, December 1, 2014

Splish Splash, Elfie's in the Bath??

Since he arrived a day early, Elfie apparently decided he needed some extra scrub-up time. Who knew Elves take marshmallow bubble baths!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Elf Arrival

It seems that the door we created did actually encourage Elfie to arrive a day early! I told my kids that they would have to be very good, as he has never before arrived early. They thought about it and decided that it was worth it, and lo and behold, they followed through. Suddenly were sharing, being inclusive and cleaning up. Thus far the only thing my daughter has enjoyed cleaning is a horse's stall. No joke.

"Mommy! I got to muck the  stall!"
"Doesn't that mean you cleaned up horse poop?"
"Yes! Can I stay a little longer to sweep everything?"
"Umm, surrrre."

And by everything, she means the whole barn. I'm still trying to understand this.

When we returned from dinner tonight, there on the living room floor, was Elfie's book, a letter and three presents.

Elfie has never before given presents, but this time he also had a request.



Once the screaming died down, my daughter determined that Elfie decided to arrive today because she "hadn't even been mean yet today".


It's only the prequel. Nothing really happens until the second half and all that. It's not even December yet.

Stay tuned . . .

Friday, November 28, 2014

Elf-Capades

The kids know December is on the horizon, and that means the return of our elf, "Elfie" (original name, huh?). They thought his very own door might encourage him to appear earlier than Dec. 1



I told them he might come a day early if they are extra good. My friend's elf already arrived with fanfare - balloons and presents. He's quite mischievous, and I think he and Elfie may have been hanging out at the North Pole this summer. We'll see . . .

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Not Even an . . .

 . . . Ant Farm. I was emphatic about that.

Once we discovered we were having triplets, our lives became consumed with details about how we would manage everything. We survived the laundry list of medical issues that swallowed our existence initially. The kids started to grow, they seemed to turn into real little people. People that ate, slept and pooped all over us.

We started getting asked if we thought we might have more children. They tried, (not well), to stifles chuckles as they asked. And when I said 'they', I mean strangers who decided it was ok to say and ask such things to and of persons they had never before met.

“And the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.”  ― Maurice SendakWhere the Wild Things Are

And by that I mean, we politely said things like, "Have a nice day", and continued dragging our way through Costco.

Fast forward a year when our neighbor had a friend whose dog had created a litter of out-of-dog-wedlock puppies, and asked my husband if my kids would like one. In front of the kids. He rapidly assessed the situation and steered her back toward her garage. He then shared with her a philosophy that he knew I had adamantly stamped on our lives, and rightly knew I would say in response.

"Not ONE MORE living thing in my house. Not EVEN an Ant Farm!"


In my overzealous online shopping (because I need to compete with myself every year to complete my holiday shopping at least as early as I have the previous year), I came across 'vintage' (does this make me old??) things like the pull-along phone, and a Viewmaster (I still have my original, but that's a whole other post). I also found, wait for it . . . an Ant Farm. I did not pay the price that is listed in this link, far below it, which may have contributed to the delinquency of my shopping habits, again, another post for another time. So I figured, my kids are almost seven, this could be fun!

When it arrived, I explained what it was, and texted a picture to my
husband. I reminded him of my statement threaded through the years, and he responded, "And yet it appears to be sitting on our counter". Indeed it was. but the devil is in the details, or the beauty is in the semantics. However you want to spin it.


Ants. Sold. Separately. 



Mean Little Girls

I knew it would happen. I knew six years old was a possibility. But knowing it doesn't take the sting out of it. It wasn't my child - this time around. But it could have been and might be at some point. It's really all of ours when it happens, and it really doesn't matter if it's mine, or yours. I'm talking about bullying, in this case, specifically mean girl bullying.

A classmate of my daughter's was teased about her body, and the gossip spread rapidly amongst the first grade girls. When my daughter related it to me, she had heard it and asked me what it meant, and why the other little girl said it. It was a moment that hung in the air between us, and I knew what I said next would have an impact. My husband stood nearby and the hanging moment slowly floated down over us.

I looked at my daughter and told her this:

"People come in all shapes and sizes. If this little girl was mean to your friend, there are some things you need to know.

First, you can say anything to Mama and Daddy. We are so so glad you are sharing this with us. If you hear something said about someone else, you must not repeat it to anyone else though. If you do, you are being just as mean as the person who started it.

Second, you should feel sad for the little girl who is saying mean things. She may not understand why anyone is the way they are. She is only looking at your friend on the outside, and she will never get to know her heart, and what a beautiful person she is. She is losing that opportunity.

Third, it is always ok to stick up for your friends. When you make something important to a bully, they will keep doing it. If you see mean things happening, you can tell a grown up. But you can also go to your friend, take her hand, act as though the mean behavior is not important and lead her away to do something else."

I held my breath, hoping that wasn't too much for her to take in. She stared back at us, then looked to my husband for confirmation. He nodded at her. She went back to eating her dinner, seemingly satisfied.

I know this will occur again, but I hope it doesn't.

There are a wide variety of books available to support teaching children about anti-bullying. This one has a list of questions girls may ask about friendships, and suggested talking points.

An article I recently read touted the benefits and detriments of various school sizes and diversity in populations. I see the perspectives from both sides, and sit on the fence as to what is best. We each have to decide for our own children, and it is never easy when anyone is singled out.

To that end, I borrow trouble more regarding my son than my daughter and whether or not he will experience bullying. He is less physically able than his peers with his CP, and even now as young as he is, he is starting to play in isolation on the playground. Despite encouragement to do more, he cannot run, jump and play sports the same as other six year-olds, so he hangs back and plays with girls who are less energetic, or stays with his aide. I can see the effect this is having as he is a super social child. It pains me, but I know he has to find his way. He has the distinct benefit of being a triplet, which disallows him self-pity. He wants to do what they do. I am also of the opinion determination that the relationships he develops today with female classmates will eventually be rewarded by in-demand relationships with male classmates later on. It will be the smart boys who realize Cole knows all the girls. Those girls will close ranks when anyone bullies him. The main thing I try to instill in our kids is to try to be kind.



For now, I try to allow the conversations to be organic at our house. I don't want to present issues to my children and have them worry in advance. I'm unable to escape it, so that's my department.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Party Planning 101, Errr . . . 7

My kid have been talking non stop lately about birthdays their stuffed animals are having. So after school we decided to have a proper party and celebrate.



















** I received a review set of "Party City Scooby Doo" supplies to facilitate this feature. **

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Red, Red Whine

I don't drink much, but I do enjoy a good glass of wine now and again.

However, this morning, my car, my down coat and my children now smell like they've been bathed in a 2010 Petite Sirah. Let me back up . . .

7:30pm
"Would you like a glass of wine?"
"Why yes, thank you!"

 . . .and lovely conversation amongst myself and four other mom & writing friends ensued. We chatted, snacked, wrote and left.

The wine stopper had ONE.JOB.


Aptly, this 'Four Vines' label bottle is called 'The Seducer", which I am sure I thought, well, seductive at the time it was purchased. Then again, perhaps I simply latched onto the word 'petite', hoping that would rub off. And the stopper, well, I claim marketing foul for making me believe the stopper would be effective because, umm, pink.


So there I was, getting out of my car at midnight, dripping red all over the driveway and feeling the liquid against my skin. I momentarily panicked, thinking maybe I cut myself and couldn't feel it. In the movies no one ever knows they've been shot right away. They just keep talking. I hadn't heard any loud noises, so I was pretty sure I hadn't been shot and my car hadn't backfired. Especially while I was outside of the car with the keys in my hand. All this in a matter of seconds. And then, "Oh shit!" My down coat was covered in the Petite Sirah that refused to stay bottled, and I realized it had begun leaking while I drove home. I had barely had a few sips hours earlier, so I wasn't concerned about my driving. But try telling that to Officer Friendly at midnight with a mom car that wreaks of likely much needed indulgence. While that, no doubt, would have made this story far more interesting, it didn't happen. 

What did happen is I dripped murder and injury looking blood red liquid all up the driveway, and front walk, and into the house. The 409 my husband had bought at my request the previous day had as of yet been unopened, despite my intention to have cleaned the tub after my kid pooped in it earlier. And on the floor. (See, I did need that indulgence.) I 409'd the entryway, the hall, the front door mat, the outside of the bottle and anything else in the vicinity that appeared to be a red splat. I even sprayed the cement out front. I dumped my jacket and any other darks in the laundry, and prayed that my 17 year old stepson would not overhear that he showered in a poop tub, and that no one would smell wine when they woke up the next day. 

All seemed well until we got in the car to head for school this morning. My son climbed up into the car, and his shoes stepped right in - a stream of red wine that somehow remained on my car's running board. 



How this is possible on a slanted driveway defies physics. But there it was, and it went into the car and to school with his shoe. This picture does not do it justice. Oh, and the wine on his shoe was nothing compared to the wine smell on my front passenger side floor mat. The place where I set the bottle, stopper in place, inside a shopping tote, nestled on top of my jacket, so it wouldn't spill on my two minute drive home. 

This is what I get for not just leaving the bottle with my hostess. Like a civilized person. The lesson here is, Karma isn't just a bitch. She's a bitch who clearly prefers vodka.