Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jingle All the Way

I just got back from the Jingle Jam, the kids' Christmas concert at the school. I tell you, that school is way crowded! We got there earlier than usual, meaning they were still setting up the chairs, and we were still 2/3 of the way back in the gym. Everyone did a great job. It was cute and I was proud. But I also could not for the life of me find Alex in the crowd of 2nd graders! I tried to get out of him where he'd be standing before hand, but all I finally got was that he was closer to the food part of the cafeteria. But I literally looked and looked and could not find him! I was starting to imagine that in the time that we'd dropped him off 30 minutes before and the time of his performance, he had slipped on the wet floor hitting his head and fracturing his skull, and the only reason I didn't know about it was because I gave them my home phone number instead of my cell phone (yes, we still have a home phone, get over it), but the show had to go on. Or he was throwing up, a more likely scenario. But either way, he was not there. Jared and I finally saw him as he was walking away. He was in the very front pretty much off the stage near the cafeteria, being blocked by about 200 heads. Good grief!

Erin was in almost the exact spot, but she's a bit taller than him and I saw her walk in, so I was able to see about 1/2 of her head for most of the time. Marissa was also in the very front. Apparently, my kids are all the shortest (or close to the shortest) in their classes. They are also among the youngest (or in Alex's case, the youngest) in their classes. Translation:  they will always be on the front row in every performance from here on out, meaning I should have gotten there an hour early to be able to see them.

I've been lugging kids around with me for the past couple of weeks to run all sorts of errands and to go shopping. It is not my idea of fun, not would it be Connor's if you asked him. But we've gotten through. I am still not quite ready for Christmas, but I'm a lot closer than before. Last year I did way more online shopping, but for some reason a lot of the shopping this year has been in stores. Just a few more things to get and some stocking stuffers, then I'm done!

One of the places I had to go was to the orthodontist with Erin and Alex. Erin is getting her braces off (first phase) in February and Alex will get his on a couple of weeks after that. Alex's teeth are kind of a mess. There is no space in his mouth and he has an ectopic molar. Right now he has three permanent teeth in the space of four on the bottom. He will need to get three teeth pulled, get an appliance on the bottom to keep the space (until he's about 11?), get an expander on the top and then get braces on the four front teeth for his first phase. And he's only 7, just barely. I could not even understand everything the orthodontist was telling his assistant about the case, but it was extensive. He says it's not the worst case he's ever seen, but it's a pretty bad one. So here we go...

We managed to take some pictures of the kids in their new Christmas outfits. Erin was not happy about it. She did not want to wear it to church last week. But I got her to at least put it on for pictures.

A Note

Here's a note I found upstairs last night. It was a conversation between Alex and Erin.

A- Stay up all night? Circle yes or no! Maby/sortufe
E- Can I sleep in your room? Circle yes or no
A- mabie. If I let you don't be loud or else. POW! PS. do you want to sleep in here? Circle yes or no (yes is circled)
E- YES!!! .....if it's o.k. and dad....i'll go ask them right now!! YAY!!
A- Well? Instead of sleeping in the circus tent... sleep on bed? If you want, if not I'll sleep by you or Marissa. Make sure to choose one! sssssssssh
E- I sortufe want to sleep in the circus tent. Not that I don't like your bed but tomorrow's going to be a fun day and it will just be better if I wake up in a circus tent! So thanks for your ofor but I want to sleep in the circus tent. and remember sshhhhhh :) ha ha! bye! bye!
A- Then I'm sleeping with one of you girls. Who do you think I should sleep with? But I have an idea. Mabie you could sleep in Connor's bed if you don't like that, don't sleep in the circus tent. By the way we could sleep in your room but I'll stick with mine.
E- I am going to sleep in the circus tent no mater what! So stop telling me not to! If you want somewone -misspelled (she wrote misspelled) to sleep in Connor's bed why don't you do it? Or you can sleep in front of the circus tent but you don't have to do it, it's just a sugustun -misspelled. And remember shhhhhh! :) ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! one more time!
A- Curse you! I'm going to move the circus tent out of my room if you sleep in there or I could just sleep with Connor. Marissa your not sleeping in that thing.

There is also an "I Luv ERin" on the paper written by Marissa

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holidays, here we go...

Wow. It's December. Wow. I am slowly, very slowly getting into the Christmas spirit--and not because I want to, because I don't want to be the lame mom who did nothing for the holidays.

Halloween was a bust, I seem to recall.

Thanksgiving was no better. My long standing strategy of waiting-to-get-invited-to-someone-else's-Thanksgiving-so-I-won't-ever-have-to-cook-up-a-turkey worked like a charm again this year. Jared's parents had us over and made a lovely meal. Unfortunately, I woke up with a bad stomach ache and could barely eat a thing. Then I laid on the couch for the rest of the night with a fever. Kind of a bummer of a day for me.

I felt better the next day so I headed straight to Kohl's to get a new vacuum that was on sale. The one I really wanted was gone (I can only assume I would have been knocked in the head with it and then trampled if I'd gone in when they opened, so it's probably for the best that I was too sick to go Thanksgiving night)--but the one I ended up getting is pretty sweet too, just like the deal I got. It's a Dyson and it really sucks.

I realized that Dec. 1st was creeping up on me (because that's when you should start your advent calendar, right?), so I had Jared drag the tree and the Christmas boxes from the basement. Maybe it's because we were fasting and 'cause we had freakin' 1:00 church, but neither of us were in any mood to do anything Christmas-y that day. I assured everyone that the next day would be a great time to decorate, like for FHE. But as it turns out, Monday's mood was even worse. We knew it would snow the next day so we took the very last moment we could to turn off the water to the sprinklers and bring in our grill and hoses. After that I'm pretty sure we sent the kids straight to bed. That sounds like the bad-mood version of us.

Tuesday did snow. A lot. It dumped snow. I went to get new tires on the van (last minute again?) and by the time I got home, I couldn't even get into the garage because I was slipping all over the place. I hate driving in snow! It's so stressful and makes me feel so tense. That just made my mood worse. We also got asked to speak on Sunday and I was not feeling it at all. So no Christmas, no advent calendar, no Elf on the Shelf, nothing!

Which brings me to my next point. What on earth made me think I would make a good Elf on the Shelf kind of parent? Especially this year. I can barely fulfill my duties as the tooth fairy, and that's being generous. My kids have waited days for their money. Hey, it's a lot to ask a parent to remember, that's all I'm saying. And now I've roped us into remembering to find a new and creative place for the Elf every single night until Christmas? When my advent calendar hangs limp and candy-less on Dec. 5th? Really.

The next day I felt like I had a really neat experience with prayer, where I asked for the oppressing feeling that I had to be lifted from me. That prayer was answered immediately and I have felt peace and happiness since. I prepared my talk a little, cleaned the house, did like five loads of laundry and then picked up a sick child from school. Her getting sick on Wednesday and not on Tuesday was another blessing because I couldn't even get up the little hill by my house the day before in the snow. There's no way I would have been able to pick her up, even with my new tires. That afternoon we finally decorated the tree and got in the mood a little bit more.

Today I took all the kids to the dentist where not one of them had a cavity. Yay! Not one of them cried either, until Connor got in the car and couldn't get his buckle over his coat. Then he cried half the way home because I did it for him. I also found out today that Hallie can not only get onto the table, which she does constantly now, but she can now get onto the kitchen counter by herself! Just when I stopped worrying about her falling down stairs, I now have to worry about her falling from twice her height. Ahh, parenting.

I asked the kids to write Christmas lists so I could get an idea of what they wanted. Before this Erin said she wanted magnet earrings and a couple of new dry erase markers since hers had dried up. That's it. Not much to work with here. She ended up with 18 things after writing the list, mostly small (like mechanical pencils and a notebook with a lock), but also a couple of crazy ones like a T.V. in her room or her own piano? Sometimes I wonder why I even ask.

Alex wrote a list with more than 30 things on it. For not knowing what to get this kid the last two years, he really showed up to bat this year. I had him rate everything with one, two or three stars so that I could figure out what he really wanted. Then, after I'd already gotten him a couple of things, today he decided he was asking for way too much, so he crossed out all but 9 things. Funny kid.

Marissa is tricky. She doesn't really play with toys that much and she hasn't really found her own niche or hobby yet. She wants everything that Erin wants, basically, but that really annoys Erin. (Besides, I can't afford two extra T.V.'s and pianos). So who knows what this kid will get this year.

You have no idea how hard it is to shop for the fifth baby in the family. There is nothing that she needs, and there is nothing that I see that I think, "I've always wanted to get this for one of my kids." Nothing. Maybe I'll get her a harness and some rope so she can rappel from the counter.

Every time I asked Connor what he wanted for Christmas, he would always say, "A picture of me and Alex." It's seriously the cutest thing that he loves Alex that much. He said it over and over again, and he wanted nothing else. Alex is such a nice brother to him. He is constantly helping him and showing compassion for him. Connor has it so good. The other day Connor had a really huge and really sad bathroom accident with the babysitter. We were almost home so we told them we'd take care of it (trust me, they weren't getting paid enough for that mess). When we got there, Alex was sitting on the bathroom counter talking to Connor and making sure that he was okay and wouldn't be alone till we got there. Who would think of that? He's so kind. It's no wonder he always says Alex is his favorite person in the family.  So I figured I better actually take a picture of the two of them so that I could give him what he wanted for Christmas. Here are a few that I took last Sunday before church.
Love these boys!