Saturday, December 22, 2007

Decking the Halls

Oh, the preparations. Between the shopping, cooking, and assorted merriments of the season, alas Ryan was lacking in time to bake the girls a "real" gingerbread house this year.

We will hold tightly to the hope that next year, our award-winning gingerbread artist Daddy will show us how it is done, but in the meantime, the girls had a blast with their own creations. While the "shell" was courtesy of Michael's, they spent the evening inputting their own creativity and effort.

Grace enjoyed inputting the candy into her mouth.

And Caelin, flushed with the Fifth Disease that had shown up the night before, took great pride in her work, diligently placing each candy just so.

We also considered that our decorations were lacking a little something furry this year, and so Santa's elves made an early delivery and blessed us with little Dozer.

Dozer is a darling little boy Chihuahua and is a hefty 1 1/2 pounds. You can all look forward to the wedding photos this spring when Daisy and Dozer will tie the knot in a backyard wedding ceremony and reception.

Yep, seriously. As per our pounding it in over years of conversation, Caelin holds firm in the belief that one *must* be married before having babies. Upon learning that in the future, Daisy may have little puppies of her own, a very serious discussion developed about this value that we hold so important.

And thus, a seamstress has been comissioned to create the wedding attire, and the invitations will be mailed out in May. As the date nears, we will advise as to where the happy couple has registered.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Somebody Please Help Me!

Those familiar with the little one that we call Gracie will not be surprised by the story I am about to tell. You know who you are, the ones that say "oh, she's so cute", while secretly snickering as I pull my hairs out one by one. The ones that quietly whisper a prayer of thanks that she isn't coming home with *you*. To those of you who are not as well-informed about the shenanigans that she comes up with, you may want to skip this post so as not to taint the kind image you have in your head about this darling girl with the big green eyes.

It was Caelin's intention last night to go to the mall with her dad to pick out Mommy's Christms present. We thought that Gracie and I may as well tag along and split up at the mall, meeting them when they were finished. Of course, once there, Grace was entirely unimpressed with the plan and wanted to go with her Dad and sister. Because it was sooooo busy, she was quickly vetoed and Ryan and Caelin went on their merry little way.

Note to self: Never Veto Grace.

As soon as Daddy was out of sight, Gracie decided to cry. And cry. And cry. Irritated that this wasn't having the desired effect, and Daddy didn't coming running back, after a few minutes Gracie came up with a new plan. It went like this:

Cry. Cry. Cry. Oh, look, a stranger is coming. Scream loudly at top of lungs: "HELP ME! HELP ME! SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!".

I must admit. Had someone stopped me to ask if I was in fact kidnapping this forlorn screaming child, I'd have gladly handed her over. Gladly.

Eventually when not one of the unkind strangers that she had so piteously appealed to actually stopped to help her, she came up with one last plan. She sat in the stroller quietly sobbing to herself "Daddy's Lost. Daddy's Lost Forever. I Love My Daddy". She basked in the sympathetic glances of all the Nice Mommies at Gap, and looked quite impressed with herself that at last, she had come up with *something* that had worked. And she had taught Mommy a lesson, too. Never veto Grace. At least not without backup.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's that time of year (again)

The freezer is quickly being filled to the brim with holiday baking, the music of choice in the car and at home is Christmas carols, and the TV is filled with the holiday specials made by every cartoon character ever made. Sigh.

But the fun part of Christmas is getting Christmas photos back from Sears. While loudly not impressed with their lack of photoshop-ability to remove a little ouchie from Caelin's face (in fact, I believe the term that the loving husband used was that I was being passive-agressive), the pictures turned out quite well. After getting the pictures home, scanning them in, and making some minor adjustments, they are ready to share with you all. (Don't worry, Grandmas, I have bigger files for printing them out).

There is definitely something to be said for letting someone else take pictures of your children for you. Much less yelling for "real" smiles, and due to my sad lack of studio-quality lighting, I'd be plunking their chilly little tushies into snowbanks at -20 to get some good natural light. Not that I'd be against that, mind you, but apparently "suck it up, princess" does not inspire kids to give you their happiest Christmas grins. Whiners.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Raising Little Pagans

We were visiting the vet yesterday with Daisy, and Caelin decided, as she has been doing lots lately, to "teach" Grace something. Grace receives daily "lessons" now, from how to peel an orange, how to squeeze the innards out of the cooked peas so they taste better (?), how to pronounce her words correctly, whatever. Anything at all can become a lesson to teach her little sister.

So anyway, at the vet, there was a very pretty manger scene set up on the counter. And so Caelin explains... "That's the baby Jesus. And there is the Mommy and the Daddy. And the donkey and the - what's that, Mom? - oh yeah, the sheep. The sheep says "Baaa", Gracie. Can you say "Baaa"? Of course, Gracie obliges and baaa's a few times very loudly, I'm sure the vet techs in the next room were wondering what the heck we were doing. So she continues... "and that, up there in the sky, is the fairy". The FAIRY? Of course, my giggles alerted her that maybe she had an error in the lesson plan. A gentle reminder, and she recalled - of COURSE, the Angel! However, too late for her little pupil - now Grace is insistent that we are all lunatics, Caelin said it was a fairy, so it's a fairy. So there. At least she listens to someone around here.

***** Caelin is settling in very nicely at her new school, and is getting used to the routine... apparently the new school has "mini sinks" in the bathroom, so all is A-OK.

Monday, December 3, 2007


... is my daughter these last few days. On Thursday night, while we were all sleeping soundly and looking forward to Caelin's PD day on Friday, some rotten nasties broke into her school and set it on fire. A lot.

From the reports we've heard, the fire was started very close to Caelin's room, damaged about 30% of the school, and water and smoke damage to the remainder of the school means that the school is uninhabitable until (hopefully) sometime in the Spring.

My poor baby is devastated. Not only will she have to take a bus from her old school to her new school every day, in the cold cold weather, she has lost all of her stuff. All of her artwork, her supplies, everything that is *hers*. But worse, she has lost the innocence and the comfort of thinking that bad things happen to other people. She keeps asking me why someone would do this to her school, why they would do such a bad thing. I'm still working on a good answer for her, because I just don't know.

She will start at the new school tomorrow, so she will hae one more day of extra hugs, kisses, and mommy-comforting before she sees the destruction for herself. Wish us luck.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Never Fully Dressed...

... without a hat!

Sometimes it is because Mommy is just too tired to fight with a squirmy-wormy little girl with tangles in her hair and tears in her eyes.

Occasionally it is because it is cold outside and well, a hat is just Required.

But usually it is just because they are too darned cute for me to resist. Especially when they are matchy-matchy big sis/little sis hats.

Here, Caelin is showing hers off to the utmost, pretending to be a model. Which is really quite clever, since she is photographed as much as most models, anyway. Only thing missing, really, is her paycheque. Unless you count peanut butter cups as payment. Which thankfully, she does. Give it a couple years and she'll realize that the 'cups won't take her nearly as far at the mall as some cold, hard cash-er-oonie.

Gracie, on the other hand, will accept no bribe of the 'cups to look at the camera until she sees fit. Nor does she pay attention to the screaming lunatic behind the camera, simply ignoring the waving arms and calling voice as though Mommy weren't even there. This explains why most of my Gracie photos will show her looking away because sometimes, well, I just get tired of waiting and take the picture anyway.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rhymes with Ducky

... and starts with an "F". This is Gracie's first little bad word.

The little stinker is, I am embarrassed to say, quite good at uttering it too. She mutters it just under her breath enough that she *thinks* no one hears her say it. Of course, she missed one time and said it loud, which is why now, finally, I am on to her. Who knows how long she was saying to herself before I actually figured out what the heck she was saying.

So far, at least, it is issued toward the computer, mostly, and the dog sometimes. The little angel would never think of saying it about her mother, right? Right? Damn.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Tinier Dancer

When it comes to the end of the day, all is right with the world only if "Me Too", formerly known as Grace, if she has been the equal recipient of each and every right, privilege, and candy that has been afforded to her big sister. And so, at the ripe old age of 3 years and 1 week old, Grace started her own dance lessons. And as she gleefully reminds Caelin every Saturday morning as they don their outfits, hers is FIRST.

Watching Day for Grace's class made painfully clear the reason why they ban parents from enjoying a performance every week. That reason is Grace. While she was mildly interested in the lesson, her focus was mainly on how she could turn, wave, and smile at her parents without getting in trouble from her teacher yet again.

I think MY proudest moment was when their (oh-so-patient-she-should-be-declared-a-saint) teacher asked them all to stand in a line, and they all, including Grace, stood nicely, ready to dance. Mind you, Grace was the only one facing backward. And secretly winking at Mom.
Someday, perhaps, the ballet school will kindly suggest that Grace try a more creative outlet where she can express her um, different, personality, but in the meantime, she's purty darn cute in that tutu.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Don't really like you, either.

It had to happen sometime. I was finally told off by one of my precious little darlings.

And none of you will be surprised to learn that it wasn't by Caelin... of course. During the painful ordeal of having to get through an entire tiny bowl of mac-n-cheese, which is normally a favorite by the way, Gracie had dramatically thrown herself on the floor for oh, let's say, the fifth time.

Now here's where I should be blaming myself, really. Expecting a polite, well-mannered child such as Gracie to appreciatively accept my advice to sit her ass down on the chair was pushing it. I ought to be grateful that I didn't get the bowl of pasta right in the face, to be honest. Instead she told me off: "I don't like you, Mommy. I like Daddy, and I like Caelin, and I like Steffanie (who doesn't even live here, let me add). But I do NOT like you.".

Being a mature, loving, wise mother, I reached over and looked into her big blue eyes, and said "But I like you, honey". Well, okay. No. I didn't. I will embarrassing admit that yes, I said "Fine. I like Caelin better anyway. Go play with Daddy." Who wasn't actually home yet.

Strike two for the Mommy of the Year award. I won't be holding my breath when they announce "... and the award this year goes to..."

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tiny Dancer

I get it, I do. Letting the parents watch their darling little dance prodigies practice ballet every week distracts the girls from their lessons. I see the reasoning, but I still think it sucks. Totally sucks. Only 2 days a year do we get to sit on uncomfortable plastic chairs, poking our significant others and trying to quietly whisper to each other that no, we are not at all biased. We are objective, reasonable, non-judgemental people who just happen to be the parents of the better-than-best dancer in the room. Obviously.

Now that Caelin is 6, she is in what they term "pre-primary" ballet. When I took lessons oh-so-many eons ago, the positions all had numbers. Like First Position, Second Position, Third Position... you get where I'm going with this. Apparently this number system was so confusing to little girls (not our genius, mind you - she's brilliant, and a great dancer if I forgot to mention), that they have been renamed into things like "Pizza Position". Because really, if they're going to be ballet dancers, they're going to get to eat loads of pizza. Really.

I hate to bombard with photos (no I don't), but I have kazillions of shots of this 45-minute rare watching event. Though I have to say, I thought it was quite obnoxious of my normally so-sweet husband to giggle at the crazy woman scooting around the room on her tush for a better angle while the "civilized" parents sat on their uncomfortable plastic chairs and took, like, 3 photos each. Amateurs. 132 pictures isn't so much, not when your kid is this darn cute, anyway.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My Happy Halloweenies

A happy (late) Boo to Everyone! Thanks to the husband, we had an amazing yard display this year. Despite some problems to be worked out with the moving ghost and the el-cheapo- Michaels-brand fog machine crapping out, the kids loved it all!

The creepy fence made from recovered barn wood:

The creepy walkway of skulls flanked by tombstones, pumpkins and a plethora of ooky-spooky creatures:

And spookiest of all, my Pink Poodle and Pirate Princess!

The pouty face above was brought on by the realization that going outside with Mommy did NOT mean Trick-or-Treating quite yet, but actually meant being expected to smile patiently for the camera instead. Poor mistreated child. The Mommy of the Year Award may be passing me by again this year.

The girls, of course, enjoyed a "mountain" of candy and shared it so nicely with their Daddy, like the princesses that they are. (Sometimes).

Monday, November 5, 2007

More than a Little Strange...

Perhaps even a tad delusional, for me to make the leap from inconsistency in most things to the "promise" (and I use that term lightly) to keep an updated and not too boring blog.

The concept behind a blog has always been a bit strange to me - making the assumption that there are people out there with nothing better to do than read my rambling thoughts and look at pictures of my (albeit, darn cute) kids. But yet, here we go.

For those of you who were wondering (see, the clever reference to the title that took me sooooo long to come up with), I hope you will enjoy hearing about the craziness and wonderfulness that I live with every day. For those of you who stumbled upon this blog unfortunately, please accept my humble apologies for dragging you through my mundane thoughts (although I am sure you will enjoy the photos of my amazingly gorgeous children).

Let's do this!