Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas morning with two children...

Probably the last year the kids actually "sleep in" on Christmas morning.  We had no complaints, we were up all night wrapping gifts so we needed the hour of sleep.

Checking out the stockings....look at the pile of presents under that tree!

she is either really concentrating or half asleep

Wythe got some trains, Ainsley got a tiny cat figurine. "Better kiss that present little girl, it may be all you get!"

Peter & Wythe opening "Cranky the Crane"....not sure who is more excited.

"It is what I have wanted my whole life! All 3 years of it, or since I knew what trains were..."

"Seriously?  a bath towel?   Wythe got trains and trucks and I got a towel?"

the fun of Christmas morning, gifts to play with, paper and ribbons strewn on the floor and more gifts yet to open!

One of the best parts of Christmas?    Both of my children took a nap, AT THE SAME TIME, and slept for two hours!

We will now be celebrating Christmas on a weekly basis. 

Expensive?  Yes.   Worth the cost and hassle?  Absolutely. 

'til next time...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day Twenty-One

Christmas Eve, this is the last morning to find Notch. And this morning he picked a favorite spot, hanging out by the tree.

The kids made sure to tell Notch goodbye since they won't see him for a long time.  Wythe told him, "have fun at the North Pole!"

'til next time...

Christmas Eve...oh, the anticipation!

Christmas Eve is an exciting night for toddlers. I don't think mine quite understood what was going on but they were excited none the less.

The excitement is mounting....this resulting the running and generally acting like whirling dervishes.

The stockings are hung by the fire...waiting to be filled.

The cookies, milk and "carrots"  are ready for Santa and his reindeer.  We didn't actually have any carrots, I forgot to buy them.  So, we used the next closest thing, sweet potato fries.

"please, please let Santa be good to me!"

'til next time...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day Twenty

Ainsley woke up this morning to spot Notch on the shelf above her bed, cuddling up with the poodle. 

Can't believe that Notch will be leaving us soon, we will miss the morning hunt for Notch!

'til next time...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day Nineteen

I think Notch has a sweet tooth.  Maybe he needed something to go with his coffee. Either way, he was definitely into the sugar this morning.

Later in the day someone bumped the cabinet (again) and Notch tipped forward.  He didn't fall over (THANK GOD! Those calls to Santa are expensive) but he did spill some of the candy out of his bucket.

At first Wythe yelled "MOMMY, NOTCH JUST THREW CANDY AT ME!"

Then on second thought he realized that would be a good thing and changed it to "MOMMY, NOTCH IS GIVING ME CANDY!"  In the interest of not being rude, I let Wythe have a piece of the candy Notch had offered him.

I hope Notch will not make a habit of offering my children foods without asking first.

'til next time...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day Eighteen

This morning we found Notch up on a shelf in the kids room. Wythe said "Notch, wants to play with my helicopter!  Notch wants to fly my helicopter!"

Notch, you've been warned.  You will have to step it up next year.

'til next time...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day Sixteen

I'm not sure if Notch is making a wish for Christmas or giving us a hint...either way it is a good sign, he does have the inside track after all.

'til next time...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day Fourteen & Fifteen

Yesterday morning I found Notch getting acquainted with the natives. I guess watching kids all day isn't all that exciting, even for an elf.  So, I really couldn't blame him for making friends.

However, when I found him the next morning in the same place, well I had to have a word with him about him not finding new locations each morning.  According to our resident elf, our house is little and is taxing his creativity.  I explained I'll let it slide this year, the kids really don't seem to be perturbed, but in the future years he will not have the same luxury.

'til next time...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day Twelve & Thirteen

Notch made his appearance yesterday morning perched inside our wreathe.

He must have really enjoyed his viewpoint from there because this morning he picked the same spot.  I considered having a word with Notch, I don't think he is supposed to pick the same location twice in a row but I figured I should give him a break while the kids are too little to notice his lack of creativity.

'til next time...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day Eleven

I didn't know Notch was a coffee drinker but it makes sense, all that traveling every night.

But if this isn't a hint I don't know what is...

'til next time...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day Ten

Notch was feeling frisky this morning and decided to try hanging off the window.  Personally, I wouldn't want to hang upside down all day but,

Rule #1: Cannot touch the Elf.

'til next time...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day Nine

Notch had an uneventful day today.  He was a little nervous about his fall yesterday so he picked a very secure spot for today. 

'til next time...

Has my toddler picked his career path already?

Recently we needed new brakes on our van. 

Wythe said "why pay a mechanic for something that a 3 year old can do?"  

At first we were skeptical but upon further thought it made sense.  So we handed the job over to him.  

However, due to his lack of experience he did run into some complications, he did not know that he needed a caliper reset tool to do the job.  

At that point we started to wonder if it was wise to trust a three year old with a brake job, after all, brakes are an important part of the vehicle.  But it was possible that even an adult would not have known about the caliper reset tool so we decided to let that one slide. 

We even drove into town and picked up the tool for him since for obvious reasons he couldn't do it himself. 

We were somewhat consoled by the fact that he appeared to be taking the job very seriously. 

Wythe did spend time explaining to me why he needed that special tool.

He even showed me how he had tried repeatedly to remove the caliper without the tool but had been unsuccessful and regrettably was going to need to incur the extra cost.  

He also pointed out that we were still well below the cost of an mechanic. 

Even after having the necessary tool he still ran into further problems.  

Apparently even with the correct tools there is a logistical issue of a 40+ pound three year old trying to pull a rotor off.  He finally admitted that while he had the willingness and the desire to finish the job it may in fact be too big for him. 

At this point Daddy stepped in with the muscle power. 

Daddy even struggled a little. Especially when Wythe was leaning on his arm. 

With Daddy's help the job was finished up pretty quickly.  While Daddy was doing the muscle work Wythe busied himself with cleaning up the tools.  It was easy to clean up all Daddy's sockets, just drop them down the arm of the floor jack and presto, the floor is clean!

Looking back on the job Wythe expresses some discouragement of how long he struggled with the caliper before he realized he needed another tool.  Despite the frustration he says he hasn't ruled out being a mechanic but he really wants to pursue some other avenues before making that decision. 

'til next time...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Addition update - Christmas parties, Santa bread, picking paint colors and tile....always tile

 My eyes hurt.

I'm tired of looking at paint samples the size of your thumb nail and trying to envision what that will look like in an entire room.

Or looking at a piece of tile and trying to decide what this will look like on the wall.  Should it run in a straight line, run it off-set, on a diagonal? what color grout should we use?  where should the decorative pieces go?  Just when I think I have it figured out I find out that I need to change it.  I have redrawn the plans for the tile pattern many times but it seems that the basic design has been worked out.

The hours we have spent on this bathroom...I had better get some good soaks in that tub!

This weekend we had some friends over for a Christmas brunch and gift exchange for the kids. Once again we said "this will be the LAST party we hold in the addition!"   It would seem we are starting an annual tradition of saying "this is the last event we will hold in the future master bedroom", maybe this is indeed the last.  Looking at some pictures that were posted on Facebook I realized that it looked as though the kids were opening their presents on the diaper aisle at Walmart.

All those boxes are full of books from the bookcase that we just moved.  Oh well,  it could have been worse, the other boxes we had were all liquor boxes.  Better if the pictures look like we are holding a kids party on the diaper aisle rather than the liquor store.

"Santa bread"

'til next time...

Elf on a Shelf - Day Eight

We had a near disaster today but fortunately daddy saved the day.

Notch was perched on top of a reindeer and all was well until Wythe crashed into the cabinet and Notch went tumbling down!

We all just stared at Notch, paralyzed, not knowing what to do next!  As you know, the rule is you CANNOT TOUCH THE ELF!!  If you touch him he can lose his magic, but the instruction booklet didn't say what to do if your elf fell off the shelf.

I was racking my brain to figure out what to do next but then Peter had the idea of calling Santa.  Apparently there is a hot line for elf disasters. After a short wait Santa came on the line, Peter explained the problem and Santa instructed him to take the kids back to their room and read the "Elf on a Shelf" book and then 'all will be well'.

Sure enough, they went back to the room, read the book and when they came out Notch was back on the reindeer. We assumed they would just think it was "magic" but apparently they thought something even more spectacular had happened.

In the words of our three year old "we were reading a book and Santa Claus came to our house and Santa helped Notch and we didn't see him and Santa loves Notch and wanted to help Notch and we didn't see him and we were reading a book and Santa came to our house and helped Notch and Santa just helped Notch, it wasn't time for presents."

'til next time...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day seven

Notch had a busy day today, he had to watch a bunch of toddlers at a Christmas brunch and gift exchange. There were eleven children here for the party, I bet he had some stories that night!

'til next time...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day six

This morning I heard,


I must say, Notch looks rather debonair today....

'til next time...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day five

Wythe found Notch this morning and said "MOMMY, NOTCH IS ON THE LIGHT AND HE'S HAPPY TO SEE HIS FRIENDS!!!!!"  

Yes, that is the volume that was used.

And no, I am not sure who the "friends" are?  The lamp?  Wythe?  our family?

Who knows, but we are glad Notch had safe travels and made it back this morning.

'til next time...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day four

Where is Notch?

Ainsley found him this morning.  She was up before Wythe and one of the first things she said was "where Notch?"  I was surprised, I didn't think she was paying attention to him. I told her to look for him and she went and looked at the three places he had previously been.  When she spotted him she was squealing with excitement!  As soon as Wythe got up she showed him where Notch was.

'til next time...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day three

And he's back!

Wythe seems to be getting the concept that Notch reports his behavior to Santa.  However, it does not seem to be a deterrent.

This is the conversation we overheard this morning...

         "Notch, you go see Santa? you say Wythe being naughty??  I not going to get Diesel Ten and Mavis  and Cranky the Crane 'cause I want to hit sissy."

The bribery of "being good" doesn't really work on a kid that would rather be naughty than get toys!

'til next time...

Reading...Where Memories Lie

Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie.

I'm continuing to read this series out of order since I just get whatever book the library has on the shelf.

I really am enjoying Inspector Kincaid and Gemma.  This book was particularly interesting to me because it involves a piece of jewelry that was apparently stolen from a Jewish jewelry maker by the Nazis.  I got this book out of the library not knowing the subject of the story.  This book came on the heels of a discussion my husband and I had with friends regarding items that turn up in auction houses that may have been stolen from the original owners. It can turn into a big mess as many times more than one person has a legitimate claim to the item. It was interesting reading this book right after that discussion!

'til next time...

Babywearing may not be for everyone

I love my daughter and I'm sure she will be a great mommy one day.

But although I am a fan of babywearing I'm not sure that I will encourage her to do so.  Babywearing may not be for everyone.

'til next time...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day two

This morning we looked for Notch.  Wythe informed me that Notch wasn't here as he had gone to see Santa.  But true to his word Notch was back.

'til next time...

An expensive but effective way of entertaining toddlers

We have found a very effective way to entertain toddlers, though you may find it rather pricey to do often.

'til next time...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Elf on a Shelf - Day One

I have had my eye on the Elf and decided that this year my kids might be old enough to understand.

The Elf didn't make his appearance until today.  I realize he usually shows up after Thanksgiving but I think he waited until we started decorating for Christmas. Can't really blame him, it is hard to be in the Christmas spirit in a house that isn't festive!

Last night, at bedtime, I read them the story of the Elf to plant the idea in their mind.

This morning my children were excited to see him, Wythe spotted him right away.  I explained to him that we had to pick a name for the Elf.  Wythe said his name was Notch, so Notch it is.  I am not sure where the name Notch came from, but hey, sounds like an Elf name to me!

'til next time...