This Was the Year…..

That at some point, both children warmed up to the guy in red.

That I got over my fear of making sugar cookies.

That we trekked out on a snowy day to cut down our own Christmas tree.

That we made most of our Christmas ornaments (many with applesauce & cinnamon).

That both kids really like playing the snow, wherever we were.

That MaM was geeked to help with stamping the Christmas cards and wrapping gifts. She also got into hiding gifts for her dad and brother. “They’re in my dresser drawer, Mommy, because they won’t look there.”

This was the year…

That MaM explained Christmas to Junior through song, quoting “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” almost daily as Christmas approached.

That Junior became obsessed with The Grinch, and “his green hands!”

That we watched The Wizard of Oz together during a cold snowy night during the week before Christmas.

That I showed MaM what my Little People Dollhouse looked like when I was a girl, via gingerbread (part of this year’s display at Conner Prairie).

That we played in Jolly Days, and Celebration Crossing.

That MaM discovered Cole Porter during her “Mom and Dad” day during the week before Christmas.

That MaM got dressed up as an angel for the 4:30 Children’s Mass.

That the four of us took a second to take a family photo (we don’t do that often enough….perhaps a goal for 2011 in the making…).

Ah, it’s been a good long run, this Christmas Season.

Merry Christmas (a few days late) and Happy New Year,  Friends!

Tis the Season

Suddenly, it seems, December is upon us. Yesterday, we woke up to snowflakes and MaM exclaimed, as only she can,”This is the best day ever! God made it snow!” It was really pretty, and there is nothing better than watching kids catch the first snowflakes of the season on their tongues. Junior even wore his boots, which is a big deal because he typically only wears his Cars shoes.

Last Wednesday, I wrote the post on how we were approaching Advent, and so far, it’s going really well. The kids are getting ready a whole lot faster in the morning so we can get the next ring down before we walk out the door. It’s been great doing a short project every day, and it’s inspiring me to make a little bit more of a monthly plan to enjoy knowing that we will get to fun things every month with some planning. (Check out this idea from Heather, I love it)

Today’s activity was supposed to be write a letter to Santa. MaM was kind of intrigued, but got distracted and never brought it up again. If she’s ok with that, I’m ok with that. We did have an interesting conversation about it.

“Mom, I know what I can write to Santa!”

“You do?”

“Yes. I will say, ‘Don’t worry mom and dad, I’m out helping Santa,’ ”

“Oh that would be a letter to us, do you think you’d like to ask Santa for something?”

“Well, I’ll see presents when I help him.”

“True. Is there a present you’d like to ask him for?”

“I’ve already asked him for a pogo stick.”

“Would you like to ask him for anything else, in case he can’t find a pogo stick for you? Maybe some books?”

“Books are too boring. I need something else. Maybe a Barbie bath toy.” (last year’s gift)

And with that, she busied herself with something or other.

So here’s the thing. Actually, two things.

1) She’s kind of obsessed this year with “helping Santa”. As in, Santa is going to pick her up on his sled and she’ll go riding with him Christmas night. And that’s why she’d leave us a note so we don’t worry about her. Of course, every time she brings it up, I take the opportunity to tell her it’s not ok to leave with any Santa Claus who approaches her, anywhere, anytime. And if Santa comes knocking on her window, she must come wake us up. Strange, but I wanted to make sure all of our bases were covered. (Last year, she was obsessed with him visiting her on Christmas Eve)

2) She’s also obsessed with getting a pogo stick for Christmas. Here’s the thing, it snowed yesterday. If she were to get a pogo stick, it would sit in the garage for months before she could really use it. Also, her present this year is a Fisher-Price iXL. Have you seen these? I hadn’t even heard of them, until I went to BlogHer. There I spent some time in the Fisher Price booth, and came out a winner of an iXL. I’m hopeful that she’s as excited about it as I am for her. She absolutely loves using our iPhones, but she’ll have more flexibility with this device. There are games and a drawing program, it can play MP3’s and more. There can also be more than one user profile, so theoretically, the kids can share (we’ll see about that). I need to carefully pull it out of the box and get it ready to go for Christmas morning sometime soon. (disclosure: I won the iXL at Blogher. Just like I said. I am not under obligation to mention this fact, but OMG, this thing is cool.)

So that’s what the first week of Advent in our house. How’s yours going?

P.S. Indy friends, if you’re reading this and it’s not 5pm on Friday (12/3) yet, and you need a Christmas tree, check out this Savvy Savings deal for 50% off a live tree!

P.P.S. There are three huge gift guides over at Grown in My Heart, one for donations, one for goods, and one specifically for fair-trade. There are some amazing organizations you can support this holiday season.

P.P.P.S. I’ve got a few gift guides listed over at Persephone, arranged by age. There’s Baby’s First Christmas, Toddlers, Preschoolers and School-Agers, along with some ideas for large families/copious numbers of small children.

So, About Those Glasses

At the very beginning of fall break, I made an appointment to get MaM’s eyes checked. Not because she was having vision problems, but because it occurred to me that she hadn’t been to the eye doctor since she was three.

On the way there, she was so excited about getting glasses she could hardly stand it. I gently told her that maybe she wouldn’t need glasses, but if she really wanted them, we could get her a pair of fashion glasses. Explaining the difference between prescription and fashion glasses to a five year old is not for the weak of heart, FYI.

On the way into the office, I reminded MaM to cooperate and answer honestly to the doctor’s questions (did she even know how or why she would need glasses? I have no idea). She did the diagnostic tests with the tech, even the puff of air (which makes me cringe) with no problem.

MaM warmed up to the doc quickly, and soon she was reading the eye chart.




“What’s the next line?”

“I don’t know,” she replied. “I can’t see it.”


How could she not see it? The letters were still huge at this point!

As the exam proceeded, there were other points where MaM simply answered, “I can’t see it.”  And I began to wonder — did she really need glasses or did she really want glasses? Could she know at five how to be so convincing that she would end up with a pair of glasses at the end of the day??

As the exam concluded, the doctor said that she needed glasses. My response? “You know, um, she really wanted glasses coming in today.” *wink*wink* (read: Is my kid faking this?)

Her answer? “Based on the diagnostics and what we’ve done, I’ve cross checked several things –she is near-sighted and should wear her glasses all the time at school.” *wink*wink* (read: Lady, your kid didn’t fake this)

So MaM picked out the most perfect pair of pink glasses, and has been wearing them ever since. A kindergartener with glasses! Who would have thought??

I remember getting glasses in second grade. How about you???