Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Another strike at commercialism

I still have sugar cookies to bake and pizza to make, but after being sick yesterday, I needed to take a break to rest. So what better way to make myself stop than to blog?

While Anna prefers to remind others what the reason for the season is, Spencer is taking a silent stand against commercialism. Over the past few years, I have collected some lovable plush characters from A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Evidently Spencer is offended by these characters because I caught him putting Woodstock in the fireplace -- when no fire was blazing fortunately. Although I told him sternly not to roast Woodstock, my scolding fell on deaf ears. Today Jeremy discovered Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown and the Grinch stacked in the fireplace.

So either he was making a passive aggressive statement about how commercialized Christmas has become or he wanted to give Santa a soft place to land.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

There are moments when I'm not sure if I will survive Anna's melodramatics for the next several years. But then she does something very wise and mature, and I'm hopeful that I haven't totally messed her up.

The details of this event are sketchy because she's never been great about providing me with a lot of information about what takes place at school. When she was in pre-k and kindergarten, I would ask her about school and she would tell me not to ask her any questions. (At least my boys are a little more forthcoming with educational information.)

This week the students in her language class were asked to choose a Christmas tradition, study it and share the information with the class. While many of her classmates chose to report about lights, stockings and trees, Anna took her Bible to school and read from the book of Luke about Jesus' birth. Not only am I proud that she is able to get past all the commercialism of the holiday, but I am thrilled that she attends a school where the teacher is able to let her share the most important fact about Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another video that should be a holiday classic. Stick with it to the end because they saved the best for last.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

One of those questions, a mother dreads being asked...

Younger son: Mommy, when I was in your tummy did I pop out of your mouth?

Mom: Uh, no. (hoping that will be the end of the questioning.)

Jack: So how did I get out?

Mom: mumble, mumble (change the subject)

Friday, December 12, 2008

After nearly 10 years of being a parents, D and I have finally gotten the hang of opening kids' toys -- a handy pair of wire cutters and scissors. Usually a combination of both will get the package open and cut through those ridiculously twisted wires. This year I'm planning to remove the toys from their packages before "wrapping" them in gift bags. That should make Christmas morning a little more enjoyable for us.

In the spirit of the gift wrapping season, please enjoy the video below. May your holiday season be not quite as frustrating.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Evidently, my youngest is some sort of bully. His mother's day out teachers wrote a little note on his sheet earlier this week -- He's still biting what should we do about this! The writer in me, of course, what's to edit the sentence, but I'll resist for now.

First, he used to have a biting problem, but after many timeouts at home, he hasn't been using this as a main course of action when he feels angry/happy/frustrated. The teachers told me several weeks ago that there were a couple of kids in the class who were biting. I'm just guessing, but I think he's probably doing it again because he sees others doing it.

Second, what does the "we" mean? Are they being passive aggressive and really what to know what I'M going to do about it? If they really want to know what I think they should do, they should put him in timeout or whatever disciplinary action they use. As for what I'm going to do, I'll continue to tell him no and use timeouts whenever he bites at home, but I don't see how I can really effectively discipline him if he's not biting at home. Sure, I can tell him no biting, but he's young enough that he probably doesn't associate my words with the action unless he has just committed the act.

But he is one smart little snot. Yesterday I was sitting in the living room and I noticed he had taken a box into the kitchen. A few minutes later he came into the living room, picked up a small plush Thomas the Tank Engine chair and carried it into the kitchen. Soon after he walked through the living room and headed down the hall. He returned carrying over his head a small step stool from the bathroom. At this point, I decided it was time to investigate. It wasn't too hard to figure out what he was determined to reach -- a bag of suckers.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Case of the Missing Christmas Lights

I'm usually very careful about storing all the Christmas decorations. I even have them fairly well organized. All of the Hallmark ornaments go back into their respective boxes and then into the same tote. All the other ornaments are carefully stored in a tote designed to hold ornaments. Miscellaneous decorations are in a couple of totes, and then of course the tree gets its own special cardboard box. In the past, I have put all outdoor lights in a green tote, but I could've sworn that last year I used more than one tote for the lights since we have accumulated so many. I do not aspire to be the Griswolds, but I am all about lights decorating the house. If I had the stomach for it, I would line the rooftop with lights, but I can't handle heights anymore and for some reason D doesn't want to do it.

Anyway, I remember winding strings of lights around new plastic light holders, but do you think I can find those lights now??? There are no more boxes left to look in, and I have no idea what could've happened. I've lined the yard with lights as usual, but that only leaves a couple of strings for the house. I wish I could blame my previous migraine medication for this bout of forgetfulness, but I haven't taken it in months and I wasn't taking it during Christmas last year.

Oh well, now I have a new preventative migraine medication that contains a sleep aid, so I don't have to worry about lying awake worrying about the missing lights.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Not only do my kids have light hair and blue eyes like D, but evidently they also inherited his body temperature. If I would let Jack wear a short-sleeve shirt everyday, he would. High of 40? No problem. He's got a jacket.

Anna also doesn't seem to have a problem with being cold. She sleeps in as little clothing as possible. And when she was volunteering at the community light display in very cold weather, she started out with a light shirt, sweatshirt and coat. She quickly dispensed of the coat and never felt the need to put it back on. Yes, there were a couple of portable heaters available, but unless you were standing directly in front of one, the heat wasn't overwhelming.

So on those days when the kids must walk home from school because I'm at the office, I will not feel guilty because chances are, the cold won't bother them at all -- unless it gets them sympathy and hot chocolate from grandma.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

One of the greatest joys in life is walking in the door of your house to the sound of your two-year-old yelling "mama, mama, mama" as he runs to the door and hugs your legs or whatever part of you he can get to.

Another pleasure in life is watching your daughter, who claims to be shy, lead her Girl Scout friends, whom she barely knows, in a rousing rendition of We Wish You a Merry Christmas while they accept donations at the local community Christmas light display. She was also the one who began cheerily wishing each visitor a Merry Christmas as they drove away. I'm not sure what brings on the shyness because she wasn't having a problem with it tonight.

As for the difference in children, Jeremy is the quiet one who pays very close attention to detail. He was unable to sleep because first he was excited about the note he made for his teacher. However, he soon became very upset because he messed up on the front page -- He wrote she was the best teacher ever. He couldn't explain why this was a problem. I can only assume he did not want to offend his previous teachers.

The best Jack story I can come up with is the cute way he has of sharing with me on most Fridays that he gets the next two days off. He is definitely ready for the working world.