Friday, December 30, 2011

Wait, I forgot to mention Johnson

I dropped the ball on Johnson's time with us.  He did a few more exciting things, but really, just getting him in a new place every morning was a challenge.  Every morning the kids toured the house looking for our little elf.  We enjoyed having him and were sad to see him join Santa on his sleigh for a ride back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve.  He left the girls a note saying he would see them next year, and to buy more chocolate!

Where Did December Go? This Is the Post With a 1000 photos...

Well, not really a 1000.   I would like to say that I haven't posted since the 6th or 7th because I have been as busy as my friend Johanna, but that isn't the case.  I caught the funk and began getting sick on the 3rd of December.  It got better and worse depending on my activity level.  So the busier I was, the worse I felt the next day.  I had a cold for a short time, then bronchitis.  It lingered and lingered and I blew through 2 inhalers.  Don't worry though,  I felt better just in time to crank out some goodies and get the wrapping done (Mike helped) before Christmas - YEAH!.  But Gentle Reader, I know it isn't me you have come to read about, but the two little devilish sprites that have taken up residence with me. Here we go!

This is why we are late for school.  The kids play and I take pictures. 

 The kids broke about a third of their ornaments.  They just don't understand, no matter how much they look like toys, they aren't.  Still, B took care of this little bird, making it a nest.

Love the head scarf?  I made it forever ago, B found it and wore it the rest of the day.  Where is it now?  I should make some for summer. She looks cute. 

I went to Good Will to find candlesticks to paint ala Martha Stewart, and I found these.  I think 8 bucks for the lot.  Though Good Will was fun, I don't think I will make going there a habit. I think I could become a hoarder buying all the bargains.

B's turtle costume.  This kid makes some sort of costume every day.  Christmas Eve she made a Cheetah costume.

Our friends, Finn and Tripp had their birthday at Lil Monkey Bizness, and guess who showed up?  The real Santa!   He had a real beard, a great suit and a book with everyone's name in it.  You might notice there is no photo of Charley with Santa.  While she keeps talking about the "Real Santa,"  she wanted nothing to do with him - just he toys he brought.  Yes, totally my kid.

School let out the week before Christmas.  OK, should the break be after Christmas?  I could have gotten a lot more done if they stayed in school that week.  Anyway,  I treated me and the girls to a manicure.  Charley is a natural!

She even got some sparkle.

B got a snowflake.

I should mention, I finally got Charley to the pediatrician for her well visit, and  found that Charley needs to eat a bit more.  I know she was skinny, but she's barely gained 5 ounces in the last 4 months.  the good thing is she is not anemic!  My kids are just not eaters.  We really need a re-vamp in the kitchen, I guess that will be a resolution.  [Even I have been eating poorly - probably why I got sick.  Too much sugar, not enough sleep. Maybe I need a no sugar resolution.  And a no homemade potato chip resolution. I am a ton today form this place called the Labriola Bakery Cafe.  Seriously addictive.  I bought a bag, ate most of them then threw the rest away.  I need to get on the lettuce and chicken diet.]

The pictures below are from the night before Christmas Eve.  The girls are helping me make individual ice box cakes with peppermint whip cream.

Keeping them from eating some of the cookies was a losing battle.

Here is Charley, in her Ho Ho hat, in her "house."  B taught her how to take the pillows and make a little fort. 

Christmas Eve - on our way to Lee's.  Mike can't find his sunglasses, so he wore B's. 

The girls were really excited to see their cousins.  In fact, Charley ran errands with me the day before and when we pulled in the drive, she said "go to Lee's."  All Christmas Eve day, the girls were asking to go, go, go.

First stop was a ride around the house on a towel.

Lee's house was decorated to the nines.  Here is her table.  She had 5 trees, greenery, the whole bit. And I wish I had a picture of her lights outside.  Lee and Joe did them and they were fantastic.  Like lit gumdrops on every branch - they wrapped the lights from the trunk to the tips of the branches.  It was really spectacular.

Before dinner was present time.   YEAH!  I mean the kids were very excited. 

Charley got some Disney princesses, their matching clothes and a princess palace.

 See B's sparkly shirt?  It was a bribe that I hoped would get her to sing in the school sing along.  It didn't work.  B said the stage is not place for kids.  She is weird.  Gets it from Mike!

B scored with a skateboard, a guitar and a gift she really wanted.....

  A dragon costume, with a tail.

Here is a little video of of B running Charley over with the skateboard and the cousins laughing over it.  

The kids took a trip to Lee's basement, and Charley came up with this little doll stroller.  Then she promptly said (demanded) "push me."

Dinner was great, though I spent most of my calories eating the homemade potatoes chips Lee got.

The cousins made a Charley a costume, since B had one (and maybe wouldn't share).

 Lots of family pictures.  Wouldn't it have been nice if I brought the camera Mike bought me for my birthday?  Nope, iPhone city - baby!

After dinner it was jammy time.  Well, after the peppermint icebox cake anyway.  All the kids got into the act.

Well, we made it home before Santa's sleigh touched down on the roof - but just barely.  We kept abreast of his location using NORAD, so we'd be sure to be tucked in before Santa came down the chimney.  Morning had barely broken when a little devil dog came in to wake us up - 7:17 am is what the clock said.  Mike, B and I went out to check out the scene.  B was really patient, but we left her wake her sister.  B was patient still while Charley had her morning "milky."  So, with cups of much needed coffee, the potty and milky out of the way, we hit the stacks.  OK, there really we no stacks.  This was probably a tame Christmas in comparison to some we've had.  The Santa sacks take the place of stockings.  We have some I made, but nothing fit into them, this was, all the books, and odds and ends fit in the sacks.


The favorites were  - for B - a Playmobil Dragon (that didn't need to be put together - YES!!!  Last year I spent hours putting the safari together.)  and for Charley, a Tiana dress and a Belle "dress" that is really a nightgown because the Belle dresses were sold out.  The doll Charley is holding in the photo above is also a favorite - she is Lizzie from the Tinker Belle movie, "The Great Family Rescue."

We got ourselves showered and dressed (well Mike and I anyway) and Grandpa and Pat came over for breakfast.  Pat brought a great coffee cake and Mike made eggs and this awesome black forest bacon.  So good.  I think the only thing B ate all ay was Pat's coffee cake.  We'd ask her what she wanted to eat and the answer was always coffee cake.   What did Charley eat?  Trader Joe's Joe Joe cookies.  I don't know what she'll do we we run out and I don't buy them again.  She is addicted.

Anyway, we had a great visit with Grandpa and Pat, plus more Christmas!  Mr B. always put together this tote of gifts called Dad's Dumb Gifts.  The tote is filled with all kinds of necessities - all wrapped by the way.  We got birdfood, kitchen towels, food storage containers, lip gloss, Goop hand cleaner, Perfect Glass spray and, well I can't remember what else.  And Charley got a shopping cart.  She loves to push stuff around.  I think she only tried to get into it once.  B  received a chess set.  Now we both can learn how to play.  Bet she beats me!

In the early afternoon, our friends Tony and Dorota  came over.  B and Charley love Dorota.  As soon as the poor thing walked in the door, Charley had Dorota upstairs in the play room.  Tony came and offered support in the kitchen.  Did he actually do anything?  No, but her entertained us while we prepared for our Christmas feast of, tacos.  Yes, Mike made chicken tortilla soup, we had taco dip, guacamole, margaritas, aqua frescas, beef tacos and for dessert, homemade chocolate pecan bars and malted milk ball ice cream.  I was stuffed!!!!  Lee and company came later in the afternoon and we ate and the cousins relived Dorota.

 The girls are doing feet tricks.  Lee used to do them with me.

This is Dorota, taking a much needed break from my devil dogs.

This was Charley's Christmas outfit.  The Belle dress and the Ho Ho hat.

B finally changed from her pjs to her Ariel "dress."  (Yes, sold of our Ariel too.)

Let's see the next day was Monday, and Mike was OFF!  I don't know how much we did.  The kids played and I ate leftover tacos.

Love the Tiana shoes.

Wednesday Mike took the day off and we headed over to Ikea to get some shelves for the basement.  The had a special that day  where the Gorm shelves were marked $9.99 down form 39.99.  Bargain! Charley wore her Belle dress.   When we got home, B made Charley the shoes you see below.


Yes, Charley actually wore them!

 That afternoon, B made a train.  That is Rafiki in the train car behind B.

Pillow fights in my bed.     

 Thursday morning, my little lack of sleeper (why won't this kid sleep?  When (if) Charley naps, it is later in the afternoon, which leads to going to bed late.  You would think that if Chuck didn't nap, she would sleep well.  NO!  Restless. And the sad thing is, she sleeps better with us, than she does in her bed.  And that isn't saying much!) was up early and wanted to head upstairs to play in the playroom.  That is the princess castle Lee gave Charley, which was a bear to put together.  Disney should charge more and make it nicer.  Some superglue may be holding some of the stuff together.

So, that was December in a nutshell.  I happen to have another cold, but it better not turn south like the last one did.  I have Cha Cha's (my Gentle Reader, this is what Charley calls herself) birthday and party next weekend, so I cannot be sick.  We are having the party at a place, because my house has been taken over by the wood fairy.  They have already delivered the wood for the floors and torn up some carpet.  I have mixed emotions about this.  4-5 weeks for the floors.  That means 4-5 weeks of more mess than we already have.  But our carpets (most rooms new when we moved in) look horrible.  Between our geriatric dog Shadow, Layla Belle's muddy feet, and the kids art projects, we've pretty much trashed it.  We are hardwood people!

I am ready for school to start again.  Our weather is stinky (cold, no snow) so we are stuck inside and that makes for crazy kids.  And crazy kids make for a crazy mom.  And a crazy mom makes for an unhappy Mike.  I think he caller ids me when he is at work, so he doesn't have to hear me complain about our little devils.  I shouldn't complain a ton, they have been playing better and better every day.  Except when Charley wants something B has, and B won't share.  Some day....... Peace in the Brady House. Some day.