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.