Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Guy Crazy

This is Mila's bed:

This is Mila's bed on crack.... also known as Mila's bed when she snuggles in for the night.

At last count, there were 22 lovies tucked in there with her. I know I should be worried about her suffocating with all that packed into a full size bed, but, I'm far more concerned with the fact that she calls all these stuffed animals her, "guys."

As in:

"My guys are sleepy too."

"I have to make sure all my guys are tucked in before I can sleep."

"My guys had a bad dream last night."

"Mooomm...give a goodnight kiss to all of my guys."

And, my personal favorite,

"I'm tired. My guys kept me up all night long."

Please, please, please let her never utter this sentence to her Mother again.

Last week, we caught her tearing apart her closet while she was supposed to be taking a nap. As I carried her back to bed and reminded her that this was nap time, she calmly explained, "but Mom, I was just looking for more guys to sleep with."


I figured we would go through a time when she was a little guy-crazy, I just had no idea it would happen at the ripe age of 2.

Does this mean she's advanced for her age?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Elf on A Shelf 2014

It's been 26 (glorious) days since I retired from my part time job as an Elf. Not that I'm counting.

For those reading, I'd like it noted that I took over Elf duty 100% this year-there was no participation or help or even suggested ideas from the husband. None. Oh, no-that's not bitterness you hear in my voice.

While you're taking notes, I'd also like it documented that it was exhausting and tiring and a lot of really hard work. Also, blood, sweat and tears. While maybe not blood-but definitely sweat and tears.

Don't believe me?

I present Exhibit A:


That's three strands of Christmas lights wrapped around our toilet. Strung at 2 AM. Because I woke up in a near panic attack when I forgot to move him before I fell asleep.

Still not convinced?

How about Exhibit B:

33 balloons in a bathtub blown up by yours truly during two nap times. Yes, I wasted TWO nap times blowing up balloons for an elf. If you're not crying by now, I'd like to know the names of the medications you are on.

Also, for good measure, Exhibit C:

A zip-lining elf. Idea credits to Pinterest on this one, but work credit to me. I woke up at 4:30 to construct that bad boy. And there may have actually been blood drawn as I cut the zip line on this one-my memory is hazy from the lack of sleep.

So-yes, BLOOD, SWEAT, TEARS.  All of them.

By day 20 in Elf-land, I almost threw in the towel. Desperate not to disappoint the kids, I searched Pinterest and found what might be the only reason Chippy gets to return next year-elf provoked random acts of kindness day.

On day 21, my kids woke up to an empty box, some supplies from Chippy and this note:

Not one to let an opportunity to get on Santa's nice list pass him by, Tyson dove right in and came up with 2 boxes of old toys to donate before breakfast. Mila was less enthused with the idea of giving up her toys, but agreed to pose unsmiling next to said boxes.


We spent the better part of the morning hand drawing cards for our local police and fire stations and compiling a list of people who make us smile or work hard for us everyday (Target cookie lady, our pastor, the kid's pediatrician, Mommy's Starbucks barista-clearly).


Then we set out. For two hours, we drove around handing out Redbox movie codes, popcorn, donuts, coffee and hot chocolate. In return we received smiles. Lots and lots of smiles-from the recipients, from people watching us, and on our own faces.

It was hands down my favorite day of the holiday season this year and a tradition I can't wait to continue. I'm hoping the kids learned that giving can be more rewarding than receiving. And that it's easy to make someone smile. And that it's important to appreciate the everyday things other people do for us.  If day 21 left even a tiny imprint of those lessons on their brain, Chippy was worth the blood, sweat and tears this year.

That said, on day 23, I did send a subliminal message to the husband:

Still not sure he got it.

Until next year, Chippy.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christmas 2014

I've delayed writing our 2014 Christmas summary for as long as possible. Too long, maybe. It's just writing the blog entry seemed equivalent to pounding the final nail in our Christmas coffin and I wasn't ready.

A tiny part of me wants Christmas to last year round. The wonder and awe, the magic, the family time-I could take that 365 days of the year. It's the crazy amounts of spending and eating (and the small amounts of sleep) that I could do without.

We are (somewhat) back into a normal routine-eating better and sleeping more, but I miss this:

I don't miss the screaming and yelling over who got to use the red fishing pole, but that hug he gave her as a thank you? Priceless. This year we started a new tradition of the kids picking out presents for each other. Tyson gave Mila a Lego set and Mila picked out this fishing game for him. Both were pleased with their gifts and pleased over giving their gifts. Win/Win.

Other top presents (not from the big jolly guy) included:

Mila- A dress like me dolly from Auntie Katie and Uncle Ryan-if allowed she and her doll would wear their matching PJs all day every day.


Tyson- A Teddy Bridgewater jersey from Mommy and Daddy (#5 to match his age!). Apparently this was, "just what he always wanted!"

Mommy and Daddy-These headphones. The quiet they generate is worth sooo much more than the $8.99 I paid for them. So much more.

Christmas Eve, after the family presents were opened, we meticulously selected the best cookies for Santa, laid out the reindeer food for Rudolph and dictated this well thought out letter in a last ditch attempt to get the best presents next to our stockings.

It worked!

Apparently they were on the extra nice list this year. Also known as the spoiled rotten list.

Favorite present from Santa:


Tyson-this Lego set that he begged and pleaded for. And the country skis Santa bought at a garage sale. And a basketball hoop. I know. Trust me, I know. I think he even knows-he actually exclaimed in excitement, "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!" when he rounded the corner Christmas morning.

Mila-a new "Get-that." The amount of love she has for these two lovies is alarming. She is still telling literal strangers on the street that she got a new "get-that" for Christmas. They have no idea what she's talking about, but she's telling them.

We capped off Christmas 2014 with more of this:

And a birthday cake celebration for Jesus. Which, more sugar-just what we needed.

Hoping your Christmas was just as magical as ours.