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Category Archives: Christmas

Letters To Santa

LETTERS TO SANTA. Who knew writing letters to Santa would be so complicated. Here’s how it went down.

Jack’s Letter (unedited)

Me “Ok Jack, what do you want to say in your letter to Santa?”
Jack “Dear Santa. Love Jack ”
Me “Don’t you want to ask Santa what you want for Christmas?”

Jack’s Version (2nd edition)

Jack “Dear Santa, I want a BIG truck. Love Jack”
Me “No, you don’t want a big truck. You want a Green Lantern Plane, right?!”

Jack’s Version (3rd edition)

Jack “Dear Santa, I want a Green Lantern Plane and a blue stuffy Angry Bird. Love Jack”
Me “I don’t think there is a blue Angry Bird. How about a green one?”
Katie “Yes, there is a blue Angry Bird, it’s small. I’ve seen it in the game”
Me “I don’t think Santa’s elves make a blue Angry Bird. I’m pretty sure they only make green and red ones”

Jack’s Version (4th edition)

Jack “Dear Santa, I want a Green Lantern plane and a green Angry Bird. Love Jack”
Me “Phewf! Ok Katie it’s your turn. Why don’t you print your own letter”.
Me “Wait, what are you doing to Jack’s letter to Santa?”
Katie “I’m fixing it. You did not print your letters very good.  You didn’t do a good job crossing the ‘t’, you didn’t close the loop on this ‘g’ and you forgot the ‘r’ in Angry”.
Me ” I didn’t know my crayon printing skills were under such tough scrutiny.”
Katie “What does scrutiny mean?”
Me “Um, it means I didn’t know you were going to pretend to be my teacher and correct my printing”.
Katie – big smile

Katie’s Letter

Dear Santa. For Christmas I want angry bird and zoo zoo pet. Love Katie. 

Me “Perfect!”

She even gave herself a check-mark for writing it well.

LOOK MOM, ANOTHER PENCIL!  That’s what my daughter says at least once a week. I really need to invest in one of those industrial power operated sharpeners because Katie and I seem to spending our life sharpening pencils these days and my dollar store sharpener really blows.

“Mommy I finished my word packs – look what I got. A new pencil!”
“Mommy it was my birthday – look what I got! A new pencil!!”
“Mommy, we survived in the Mayan apocalypse – look what I got! A new pencil!!!”

A BIT OF GRATITUDE. Happy Jack has returned! It’s been so long since I’ve seen him I nearly forgot what he looked like. You see my normally sweet, goofy, giggly little (well maybe not so little) two-year old boy has been nothing but whining, miserable, crying, complaining, tired, cranky – ok you get the picture – for the last few days, weeks, months. I can’t even remember. It’s all just a big long miserable blur. One unknown illness after the next. Too many abnormal blood tests. Countless trips to see doctors and specialists and emergency room. On and on. But today he is happy. And not just happy. He’s truly returned to Happy Jack. He’s laughing, running all over the house. Being silly. Oh how I’ve missed this little man. I hope his return in permanent but even if it’s not I’m so very grateful to have it today.

Until I write again…

Shay

The Twelve Days of Whack-a-Mole

A Bit of Gratitude. So it’s been nearly a week since I’ve written and I can attribute that to the plague that has hit my home. Or so it feels. I was up four nights last week with sick kids. The last of which ended up in an ambulance ride to the hospital after my son had yet another seizure due to rapid fever onset. After four nights of no sleep and then being at the hospital till four, I shockingly developed the flu which has now turned into a wicked head-cold. But I must find something to be thankful during this time despite the fact that my nose is so red that if I were to sport some antlers I would likely be mistaken for Rudolf. So here it goes. I am so very thankful that my mom is visiting and taking my daughter to school and doing laundry and buying groceries and cooking dinner. Because if she wasn’t here I would be doing all of that on top of my trying to cope with an ever-growing head-cold and as much fun as I have known that to be I am much happier having her take care of me while I crash on the couch and catch up on episodes of the Vampire Diaries. I am also grateful that I shopped like a madwoman when my Mom first arrived last week and got all my Christmas shopping done. Because even though I can’t hear and my head is horribly fuzzy I at least don’t have the stress of having to shop! Ok enough pity party, let’s move on to something much more amusing.

Be Prepared. Ok well actually since I was just on the topic of being sick, let me tell you a ditty about our hospital visit. So back in October we spent way too much time having to quickly pack bags and run my son to the hospital. After which I decided the best thing to do was “be prepared”. So I did just that. I prepared several bags for us. One bag for each of my children with a complete set of change of clothes, extra mittens, you name it. I also packed a bag of snacks for the kids. I threw in a case of water and a small backpack of toys all in the back of my van. My thought was that if I ever had to run to the hospital on a moments notice, I would be prepared. It also turned out to be great when one of my kids lots a mitten or I forgot to grab a scarf on the way out the door. I had toys when we were out at a restaurant and had snacks when the kids didn’t like the menu items. I was a freaking Beaver Scout let me tell you. Prepared, prepared, prepared! But here I was last Friday night reading in bed, with my two-year old asleep next to me when he suddenly had a seizure and I was on the phone to 911. Shortly thereafter we were on our way to the hospital by ambulance and I had no emergency bags with me. Why? Because they were in the back of my van. The van which was at soccer practice with my husband. Hmmm, best made plans…Anyways, it turned out ok because my husband came to the hospital but now I feel like I may need back-up bags for the back-up bags. Oh and here is the best part of my trip. My wardrobe. That’s right, my awesome ‘pajamas’ that I was wearing when the paramedics arrived. Which I didn’t even think about until about three hours later when I looked down at my sorry self and just shook my head. You see I don’t really own any pajamas. I used to have  a lot of pjs but then I lost a bunch of weight and none of them fit anymore. Which is obviously a good thing. But buying new ones just hasn’t been on my priority list. So instead I just throw something together. On the night in question it was the t-shirt I wear when I dye my hair. An awesome old ratty white t-shirt covered in brown hair dye. And for pajama bottoms I was wearing an old pair of maternity bottoms. So as I was walking around the hospital in what looked like the dirtiest t-shirt ever, I also had the crotch of the pajama bottom’s hanging at my knees. Awesome! I think Santa might need to grab me a pair or two of pjs for Christmas.

The Twelve Days of Whack-a-Mole. So today we attended my daughter’s school Christmas concert. I’m not going to gush about how cute the 5 year olds all looked singing Little Toy Trains in their pjs or how adorable my son was because he just had to wear pjs to the concert too, just like his big sister (oops). No instead I’ll share a little story that I like to call the “Human Whack-a-Mole”. You know the ‘whack-a-mole’ game right? The one at the arcades or carnivals where moles pop up out of holes and you whack them with your hammer? Well that was me. Along with about 200 other parents and kids at today’s concert. Here’s the scene. The music teacher tells us that we are all going to sing the Twelve Days of Christmas, only every time a number is mentioned it is going to correspond with a birthday month. So when we sing “On the First day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…” all the people with January birthdays have to stand up. And so on and so forth. Only we have to do it every time your number is mentioned. And if you remember the song, you add a number every stanza and then count down again. So it looked something like this:

[Shay stand up] “On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four colly birds, [Shay sit down Kelly stand up], three french hens, [Kelly sit down, Steve stand up] two turtle doves, [Steve sit down, Grandma stand up], and a partridge in a pair tree”.  [Grandma sit down, random person next to me stand up] “On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me , five golden rings, [random person sit down, Shay stand up] four colly birds, [Shay sit down Kelly stand up], three french hens, [Kelly sit down, Steve stand up] two turtle doves, [Steve sit down, Grandma stand up], and a partridge in a pair tree” and so on and so on. My friend emailed me tonight saying she will never, ever, for the rest of her life, forget my birthday month after going through that!

Seriously, try this at home with your family. It is truly  like a human whack a mole game. I couldn’t help but laugh. It was silly and we all looked ridiculous. But I think deep down everyone had a lot of fun.

I’m pretty sure I had another funny story to share but my head is becoming more and more cloudy and my thoughts are making less and less sense. So I am going to attempt to get a good night’s rest in hopes of a clear head tomorrow.

Until I write again…

Shay

Wacky Wednesday

Wacky Wednesday. I’m writing this post as I sit in the tea-cup chairs of Chapters book store. I’m not sitting in the kids section because I’m with my kids. I’m sitting here because the power just went out and they’ve locked us in the store. Just as I was thinking to myself “I’m just about done my Christmas shopping and can finally go home” BAM, power out. And so goes my day. This morning my daughter declared today “Wacky Wednesday” and I think got it right.

Here’s how my day begun. 5am and my two-year old son comes in to my bedroom “Mommy, I have to pee”. Sigh. “Ok” I say and drag my butt out of bed and him to the bathroom. After which I promptly return him to his room explaining that 7am is a much more reasonable hour upon which to rise. 3o minutes later and he’s back in my room “Mommy, I pooped”. “You have to go poop, or you pooped in your pajamas?” Want to take a guess on his answer? Ten minutes later, I’ve got him cleaned up, my bathroom cleaned up and thrown out his pjs (they did not survive the disaster). By now it’s nearly 6am and I’m wide awake.

On the way downstairs I dropped my son’s stainless steel water bottle. BANG, BANG, BANG, CRASH, it went down the stairs slamming into our hardwood floors. That’s when my daughter declared it Wacky Wednesday. And so the tale continues.

A few hours later I’m laying on the table at my doctor’s office having minor surgery and the fire alarm goes off. Again and again and again. Thankfully no one seemed to be too alarmed about …the alarm so I was able to stay put. Can you imagine having to leave while your half-naked and being stitched up? And now here I sit writing this blog entry. I’ve just been informed that they want us all to leave but they seem to have some type of back-up power on the cash registers so we should be able to pay for our items on the way out.  Wacky Wednesday indeed.

Paper Towel Dress. Last week I was at the my doctor’s office for my yearly check-up. The nurse tells me to undress all but my socks and hands me a ‘gown’ to put on.  Ok seriously, what is up with this ‘gown’?  I looked at that thing and all I could think was it looked and felt like a giant paper towel. And not even the expensive kind, the cheap no-name brand.  When the doctor enters he asks me how I’m doing. My reply “well I’m basically wearing a piece of paper and I’m freezing cold”. “I meant how are you feeling these days? Any concerns?” “Oh…”

A Bit of Gratitude.  When I put my daughter to bed tonight she decided it was a good time to have a serious deep discussion about religion, where babies come from and cancer. Awesome. Just the conversations I want to have with my five-year old at 7:30 at night. I did my best to answer each of her questions with just enough information that I felt was age appropriate. Once she seemed satisfied and no longer curious, she was content to go to sleep. As much I was feeling a little overwhelmed and surprised by the conversation, I am grateful that she was comfortable enough to ask me questions. I hope to be able to sustain this type of communication in the years to come. Maybe just not quite so late at night, and not all at once.

Until I write again…

Shay

Teeth Are Big Business

Teeth Are Big Business. My daughter is obsessed with losing a tooth. The problem is that none of hers are loose. She is constantly trying to wiggle them and look in the mirror to see if any are ready to fall out. I’m not five so I don’t really understand why this is such a big deal but she informs me that it is a VERY big deal. So it got me to thinking, how much does the tooth fairy leave these days? I was personally thinking a quarter would do just fine. Mostly because she’s got a lot of teeth to lose and because she has no idea what the difference is between a quarter or one or two dollars. Upon asking around I got a few different responses but the overall consensus was that I was being a cheapskate and at least a $1, perhaps $2-$5 was more along the average.  While I was in volunteering in her class yesterday I overheard one of the children tell the teacher that she had lost her tooth and that the tooth fairy had left her $20. TWENTY DOLLARS? I nearly spit out my water. I’m not sure how I am going to explain why she’s getting a freaking quarter and her friend’s getting twenty bucks but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. I mentioned the $20 to my brother and he laughed and said for $20 he’d start pulling out his own teeth.

That’s a Wrap. Now that our tree is up I figured it was time to start wrapping presents and shoving them under the tree. So this afternoon I thought I’d start. My two-year old son was very curious as to what I was up to. I know what you are thinking – why on earth would I attempt to wrap gifts with a two-year old around. I have no idea. I showed him a few gifts and he watched me wrap them and put them under the tree. He then asked where his gift was. So I searched around and found an empty Cars gift bag and handed it to him. He was over joyed and immediately filled it with cars. All in all a very successful activity – or so I thought.  Fast forward a few hours after we pick up my 5-year-old from school.  My son immediately runs to the tree to show his sister the presents. I’m barely even up the stairs before I hear him say “Katie, that present has a Barbie in it and it’s for you!” Sigh. She was not impressed. “Don’t tell me what’s in the presents Jack!” After some discussion we decided that perhaps she will forget what’s in the present and it will then again be a ‘surprise’ on Christmas morning. Of course the best part of the whole thing was that she literally told me that she wanted her brother to buy her a Popstar Barbie for Christmas so she really wouldn’t have been surprised either way. But I’ve learned my lesson. No more wrapping presents around my son.

Nap No More. My son’s been waking up at the wee hour of 5am for the past month or so. We decided it might be high time to try to take away his nap and see if that causes him to sleep in later. Over all it is working but we are dealing with a pretty miserable and tired little boy in the late afternoon. Today we were out and he fell asleep in the car. When we got home I woke him up. He said to me “Mommy, I’m tired and I want to go to sleep in the house….on the couch…with the tv on…”hmmm, I see where this is going.

A Bit of Gratitude. Today I got to talk on the phone to my BFF. I haven’t been able to talk to her on the phone for a few weeks and it’s sucked. We normally talk nearly every afternoon and I had no idea how much I took that for granted. It was so great to hear from her so for that I am truly grateful!

Until I write again…

Shay

Elf Business

Elf Business.  So my two year old son won’t stop touching the darn Elf on the Shelf. The problem (for those not familiar with EOTS) is that according to the EOTS book (a.k.a instruction manual) if you touch the Elf, he loses his magic and will no longer tell Santa when you are being good. Yesterday my son must have knocked the darn elf over 20 times. He would literally walk up to it knock it over and go “Oh No Mommy”. My five year old was having a fit! For now our Elf has found a new home out of a two year old’s reach.

The Lost Power of Persuasion.  So last post I mentioned how my son asked Santa for a “big truck” for Christmas. Well in fact, I finished my Christmas shopping for the kids a while back and did not buy him a ‘big truck’. I’ve been trying to suggest that he really doesn’t need a big truck but what he really needs is a Green Lantern airplane! But he just looks at me and says “No I want a Big Truck” and moves on.  I used to be able to subtly suggest to my kids what they ‘want’ from Santa and voila – the Halloween costumes that I bought on sale after Christmas become the most desired Christmas gift from Santa. This year I am failing miserably.  I fear that unless I can figure out a way to persuade him, my husband’s beloved Green Lantern airplane maybe be returned for a ‘big truck’.

Hey, What’s That Over There?  Am I the only parent who buys gifts for their kids in front of them and hopes they don’t notice? My daughter asked Santa for a zhu zhu pet. Last year Santa got the kids both one. They are these little toy pets that make noises and move around the house. My kids LOVE them. I got them for a bargain price of $3 at Wal-mart so I should be happy that she wants another one right? Not so much. I was beginning to think they didn’t sell them anymore.  I’ve looked everywhere! I was worried that Santa was going to have to send a letter informing her that the Elves are not making zhu zhu pets this year.  Luckily I came across said pets this afternoon. Unfortunately I had both kids with me at the time and there were only 2 pets left on the shelf. So I did what I do best in such situations, I said “hey kids, what’s that over there” and threw it into my bag hoping neither of them noticed. Then when it came time to pay I sent them to look at the candy vending machines as I quickly paid for my purchases and hoped they wouldn’t clue in to my deception. The cashier just shook her head and the kids weren’t too impressed when I finished paying but then wouldn’t buy them any candy. All and all a success I’d say.

Until I write again…

Shay

Where’s My Truck?

Where’s My Truck?  Yesterday we went to the local fire hall for a breakfast with Santa.We met up with former preschool mom friends and their families. I really hope that we all continue to do this every year. We almost didn’t make it – just too many things going on, but I’m so glad we did. It was so fun to see everyone and great to have pictures to compare from last year’s event. During our visit Santa asked my two year old son Jack what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.  Jack replied “a big truck!” When we walked away, Jack said “where’s my truck?’ He was not impressed with my explanation. I guess when you’re two and someone asks you what you want, you pretty much expect them to give it to you right then. Santa’s helpers offered him an orange and candy cane and he reluctantly took them but I’m not too sure what he thinks of Santa anymore.

Elf on the Shelf. So we are on day 3 of our new Elf on the Shelf tradition. Jack definitely believes our Elf is real. In fact he was quite upset the other night when he said goodnight to the Elf and the Elf did not reply.

O Christmas Tree. Last year was the first year I’ve ever had a real Christmas tree.  We found a local family tree farm and where we picked out and cut down our own tree. It was a really fun experience. Today we set out to get a Christmas tree. Weather was great. We as always overdressed (hats, scarves, the whole nine yards) but were pleasantly surprised to find the sun shining and quickly removed the extra articles of clothing. We found a great tree in about 10 minutes. Steve cut it down and carried it to the car and my kids found random tree branches on the ground that they have adopted as their own personal trees. The drive home is always a challenge. Although we only live about 10 minutes away there is always the worry that we have not quite secured said tree to our roof. Such was the case today. The tree slid forward and almost off the right side of the car but we managed to get it home safe and sound with only two stops along the way. The kids were so excited to get the tree in the house and decorated. We gave them their new ornaments (one new ornament each year) and they waited patiently while we attempted to set up our tree.  The tree stand we own has 3 pictures with instructions. It claims to be very simple and take less than 1 minute to set up your tree. It took us 45 minutes by which time Katie had gone upstairs to play in her room and Jack had wrapped himself in a blanket and fallen asleep on the couch. The assembly is actual quite simple and does in fact take about a minute – the trick is actually doing it correctly in the first place. With the tree finally ready to be decorated I soon discovered that we had no lights for the tree. A vague memory of all our lights burning out last year came to mind so off to Wal-Mart I went as my daughter went back to playing and my son continued to sleep. By the time the tree was finally done, Jack was in his pjs and Steve had run out to grab us dinner. It was an adventure if nothing else.

Until I write again…

Shay

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Tis the Season.  We have officially launched operation “Get ready for Christmas” at the “M” household. This morning we introduced our children to a new holiday tradition – Elf on the Shelf. When my five year old spotted the Elf her first words were “I thought it was going to be real”.  She wasn’t buying it at all. I really thought we were in trouble when I heard my son say this:

Jack “Katie, Mommy bought the Elf at the book store”.
Me (under my breath) “Oh crap!”
Katie “No she didn’t, he’s real, Santa sent him!”

Hmmm, apparently my two year old is much more observant than I realized.  I’m just happy that she is still believing in a little magic.

Tonight we are watching our first Christmas movie – Arthur’s Christmas. There’s a character in the movie with a Christmas tree shaped goatee – more men should try and pull that off!  I love Christmas movies. My favourite as a child was Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer. I loved the Island of Misfit Toys. And I love sharing that movie with my own kids and seeing them enjoy it as much as I did.  When I was older we always watched Home Alone on Christmas Eve. I also really enjoyed Christmas Vacation as an adult. Nothing like Christmas movies during December.

One Thing. Earlier this week my daughter informed me that she REALLY wanted to take a dance class.  Most dance classes run from September to June so I thought we were out of luck.  But I just happened to find a studio with an opening and she started this afternoon. As it turned out, parents were permitted to watch the last 15 minutes of today’s class.  Not much cuter than watching 5 and 6 year old girls do a little routine to One Thing by One Direction.

Parenting Lessons.  One of the things I’ve learned as a parent is that most of the time you just have to go with it.  Before you have kids, you have all the ideas of the type of parent you will be. You might be very judgmental of that parent whose 2 year old is screaming at the top of their lungs while grocery shopping (that was me last week by the way). But the reality is now matter how prepared you are, kids will surprise, shock and embarrass you and you just have to go with it. I never would have guessed that I’d say things like “Jack please don’t lick the couch” or “Jack stop putting your hands over your ears and shouting to see how loud you can be”.  I definitely never would have imagined letting my kids watch movies in the car – I survived 9 hour car trips without a dvd player so why couldn’t my kids? We now have a built-in dvd player and wireless headsets. I should also point out that this dvd player is in my minivan which I swore I would NEVER own. Now it’s basically my dream vehicle, and while I do find it hard to park, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  And it doesn’t get easier when you have a second child.  You think it will because you’ve done it before right? So you are clearly an expert now. Only problem is your second child will be nothing like your first so you will be completely thrown off your game. Nevermind the fact that as soon as you think you’ve got a handle on things, your kids will throw you a curve ball.

Conversations with a 2 year old:

Jack “Mommy I want to watch a movie in the car”.
Me: “We only watch movies on long trips”.
Jack “Mommy I want to go on a long trip”

Jack “Mommy, I’m all done my supper”
Me “Ok, please go wash your hands”
Jack “NO! I already washed my hands”
Me “That was before supper, your hands are dirty so you need to wash them again”
Jack “NOOOOO I DON’T WANT TO WASH MY HANDS”

This goes on until he washes his hands. It also happens after every meal. Every day. I’m not sure why it bothers him so much or why he thinks I will suddenly have a change of heart but it’s literally become a part of our mealtime routine.

Until I write again…

Shay

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