Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Air Drummers Forever

Lehr shot this quick video while the kids were jamming to the Kings of Leon concert on iTunes. They love their music!

2009 12 Kids Air Drum from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Catching up on video.... About a month before Christmas we had a really warm leaf-raking day. Excuse the choppiness of the clip - something screwy with our video camera.

2009 12 Kids Leaves from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Little Mommy

Maddux received three 'dolls' for Christmas. The first from Santa: a Woody (Toy Story) rubber action 'doll'. She loves it! I knew she would, as she watches Toy Story 2 when we go on plane rides. Also, he has a string to pull and he says (according to Maddux), "There's a snake in my boats!!!"

The other two are more traditional dolls. And even though she is a crazy, rough-tough tomboy, she got into them right away. Picking them up like babies, feeding them like babies...even putting a diaper on one! It's so funny how instinctual some of that is.

Mad Dog is also very 'mothering' in another way: her 'I'm-going-to-tell-you-what-to-do' way. Yesterday we were downstairs and she saw the kitchen timer sitting on the living room table. This timer is typically used after breakfast or lunch when the kids do self-control at the kitchen table. Maddux knows this and told me some version of 'self-control!' as she picked it up. I nodded and she told me, "Mommy do seff-control." So I folded my hands nicely and zipped my lip. She pushed the button and started to walk away, but turned back around after a few steps and gave me a hard stare. Content that I wasn't talking or moving, she turned around again. Before she set it down, she stared at me again and said, "No tahkking.", very gently. Maddux picked the timer back up just seconds later and continued on with this act for a few minutes.

Of course, she had the pattern down perfectly. When I set that timer, I'm always cleaning up the kitchen, as self-control typically happens after a meal. And if I hear her make a peep (because 90% of the time, Eli complies), I usually freeze and give her the same hard stare. Or gently remind her 'no talking'. Crazy how much she obviously studies me. Well, less crazy and more scary.....

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Next Carter Beauford?

Maybe not...but who knows?! Eli is as big into drumming as ever, though he's been a little out of practice due to some revoked privileges as of late. Not that it's slowed him is a video of his latest practice session (which lasts 30-45 minutes usually). This video is only for the hardcore, as is this post. Hardcore fan, that is. There is not a lot of action involved, but if you pay attention to the songs he's playing to, and to his riffs, you can see that he's making real progress. His timing is usually not in sync with the music, but I love how he really listens to the music. And when the drums aren't playing, he's not playing. He studies Fee and Kings of Leon very carefully, and he knows a lot of those songs from start to finish, even if only in his head. I love, love, love how much he loves music!

2009 11 Eli Drums from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Play-Doh Dilema

Lehr finally had an opportunity to use his fancy FSU masters degree education this morning. Eli was anxious to play with Maddux's new Play-Doh set this morning, and he asked Lehr if that was ok. We were all still upstairs though, and unsupervised inside use of that stuff is a recipe for disaster. Lehr told him that use of the Play-Doh toys was fine for a few minutes until Mom and Dad were downstairs; no actual Play-Doh until then.

A few minutes later, Lehr made his way down and Play-Doh was opened. He asked Eli who did it and he pointed to Maddux; when Maddux was asked, she pointed to Eli. Perfect set-up for some good 'ole Game Theory! Lehr told them (more or less) that if they couldn't agree who was responsible, they would both lose Play-Doh privileges. Immediately, Eli fessed up and said, "I did it." Lehr calmly sent him to a time out and the morning progressed without a hitch. His degree just may help us raise these kids yet!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Even though Maddux was in her crib singing a fast-forward version of "Jingle Bells" until 11:05 last night, both she and her brother were awake around 8AM. We turned on the tree lights, put the pot of spaghetti sauce on the stove, cranked up the Christmas music, and went in to greet the munchkins. We quickly got dressed so we could go downstairs and start our day.

Eli remembered that the first thing we do is put Baby Jesus in the manger (since now He is here!!), so as soon as we went downstairs, that's what Eli did. We also quickly revisited our discussion about Santa and the three gifts, so Eli was excited to see what might have been left. He said, "I'm gonna open them all right up!" We'd talked about that and decided that Santa has to go to a LOT of houses, and he doesn't have time to wrap all of those gifts, so Santa typically just puts bows on his gifts. Sure enough, there were three gifts for Eli and three gifts for Maddux near the Christmas tree! Eli got two different Lego sets and some new 'BOB beginning reader' books. Maddux got a talking Woody (Toy Story) 'doll', a Dr. Seuss book, and a Crayola coloring 'thing'. The kids loved it. They played and played until we had breakfast (Dutch Babies and strawberries and orange juice).

From there we started with the gifts under the tree. Although taking turns to open isn't the easiest for a two and four-year-old, Eli and Maddie did pretty well. They each gave Mommy and Daddy special gifts, and Eli was VERY excited about giving those gifts...especially the one for Daddy. We took another break to play and good family fun followed. Maddie's play-doh factory got opened and the four of us sat at the table and made burgers, fries, hot dogs, pickles, chips....everything!

Next on the agenda was the stockings. We decided (as a family) to open the Jesus Stocking first, since it was Jesus' birthday. (*Side note: We haven't talked about who put the gifts in the stockings yet...the story we're going with for now, if and when they ask, is that Santa fills them if they're empty, but usually families fill them. We figure this leaves the door open for us to do a name draw for stockings in years to come. Plus, we put gifts in Jesus' stocking, so it may not make sense to them that Santa then fills theirs.) Eli and Maddux definitely got a little squirmy as we went through His stocking, but the end was amazing. Even though they were antsy, when we finished the last item, I decided to press my luck and ask them to pray with me for the families we helped in His name. I then asked them each to pick one of our gifts to Jesus to pray for specifically. Eli picked three: the family we bought mosquito nets for, the kids we bought soccer balls for, and the chickens we bought for a family. Maddie chose the kids we bought blankets for. I started the prayer and then passed it over to Eli. He did great...praying for the family, asking God to help them to not get bitten by mosquitoes, then Maddux took over, doing her very quiet, whisper prayer (pretty much the sweetest thing ever since she forces her eyes shut while she does it), then Lehr, and even after I closed us, Eli asked to pray more. He'd forgotten to pray for the chickens and he didn't want to miss them. It was really really good stuff.

After naps (well, Maddie's nap), we opened the last few presents and played until dinner. Maddux and I put the finishing touches on the birthday cake for Jesus and we ate our feast of fresh pasta, homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs. The kids each had a piece of cake and then we took a family walk. It was awesome! We bundled up in jackets and walked up the street to see the lights and Nativity Scene. Baby Jesus was now in the manger and the kids were very excited about that. Eli and I had a blast walking, running, skipping and bounding (he has taken to doing boot camp with me when we go for walks). Before we left the house, Eli told me, "I hope Daddy and Maddux leave first so you and I can walk together, just us." MELT!

The day has not been perfect. There have been some stern words, a few almost time-outs, and some frustrated 'why are we trying so hard' moments, but the good parts have far outweighed those times, and these gems have proven to us why we strive to do Christmas this way. Sure, the kids love the presents, but we have not opened much (at least by today's "Super-Sized" standards) and they could not be happier. They have been mindful about whose day it is. The four of us have spent quality time together, and nothing has been rushed at all. The focus has been off of the material and more on the experience. The togetherness. The celebration of Jesus. The one-on-one time with the family. The gratitude for what we have, excluding the presents.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Lehr had the day off and we had grandiose plans of taking the kids to the river to run around and let Eli ride his bike. We heard noises from Eli's room around 8AM and we brought him into our bed. Lehr then went and roused Maddux to join us. She was obviously still sleepy, as she just lay down silently next to us and occasionally sucked her thumb. After thirty minutes, we all got up, but Maddux was still in the emotionless, quiet stage. Very unlike her. I got her dressed and ended up carrying her downstairs. At this point I'd only managed to make her smile once, and even that was a stretch. Not two minutes after we walked into the kitchen, her stomach lurched and she vomited a little. I brought her to the bathroom in case she had to continue, but she just lay on the floor and closed her eyes. We'd already checked her head a few times due to her demeanor, but still no sign of a fever. I got her special blanket and set her up on the floor next to the kitchen table where Eli ate. She did sit in her chair for a few moments...long enough to eat about three spoonfuls of cereal. Then I took her back upstairs while the boys went outside. We decided to skip the river and let the boys go pick up Eli's bike (in a repair shop) instead. I put Maddux on my bed with her blanket while I wrapped a few last minute gifts. This is something she would not normally do. She'd be ants-in-the-pants, moving all around the bed, possibly jumping off. The poor girl kept drifting in and out of consciousness until finally she started snoring for good. She slept a good thirty minutes before waking up and instantly returning to her normal self. Weird.

We played at the house all morning and took a quick nap before church. It started to rain before we arrived at church, causing the day to be very gloomy and cold, but we promised a fire when we returned home. (Lehr got a few pictures of the kids all dressed up since I was already at church when they got ready. Same 'concentration face' on Eli as last year.) The service was great: short and diverse enough to keep the kids interested. Maddie was a bit wiggly, but she did alright.

After church we ended up lingering a bit longer that planned, and we still needed to get home to eat dinner and do Christmas Eve 'things'. Add to that the pouring rain and we decided to skip Christmas Lights until the next night. We lit a fire, ate a quick dinner and sat down to read Christmas books and open one gift. We read the kids' favorite book of the season (pop-up Story of Christmas), and a few pages from the Bible. Then, while Maddux was having success on the potty AGAIN, Eli and I talked about a few details. Up until this point, I don't think Eli knew what Santa's role was in Christmas. He knew he was a big presence, and he knew that reindeer helped him get around, but that's it. We talked about Christmas, and how it is Jesus' birthday and how He got gifts from the Wise Men. I asked him how many and he told me 'three'. Then I said that because Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birthday, we also get three gifts. And Santa brings them. At this point, Eli's eyes got really wide. He was already hanging on my every word, which was really cool, but now even more. I proceeded to talk about who Santa Clause is; that he's a Saint (of course there were questions about what a saint was/is) and that he became a Saint by bringing gifts to kids who didn't have moms and dads or homes. Fast forward to now when Santa brings presents to all kids (but only three). Eli's jaw was on the ground. NOW the questions came about how he could get around to all of the houses in Atlanta and Reno and China. Magic and reindeer were discussed. It was a cool, cool conversation and I really think most of his amazement was because of things other than the gifts.

We then opened one gift each. Lehr had the great idea to have them open the gifts they got for each other (to make them stand out a little more). Eli got Maddux the perfect gift, one that embodies the two things she loves most in the world (play-doh and food): a play-doh fun factory burger shop. And Maddie got Eli a cool fold-up match-box repair shop. He was ALL about it. One special cookie was put out for Santa, with a note, and Eli sprinkled reindeer food (made at school) on the front lawn. Oh the anticipation!

Holiday Gems

So we are talking alot about what is to happen over the next day and a half. Maddux is intrigued by us making a cake for Jesus' birthday. She just asked me, "Eat cake for Jesus? Jesus eat it too?" I tried to explain to her that no, He would not be eating it because He's not here. But He is here. Hmm... As I was trying to make sense of that for a two-year-old, Maddie helped me out, "Oh...He have his mouff closed?" Yup...that seems to be easier to explain than the concept of Jesus being with us but not physically being with us.

Again with the cake: we were talking about the birthday party for Jesus and how He wants us to celebrate His birthday with gifts and love and cake because He wants us to be happy. Maddux pulled her hands into her chest and, in her silly cute voice, said, "I wanna hug Jezussss." MELT! I told her that she was very sweet, but it's hard to hug Jesus because His body isn't here, but when she hugs other people (showing them love), it's like hugging Jesus. Then she hugged me. Life is good!

Eli's picked up another one of our household sayings: Sweet Sassy. Today he was playing with a toy and he kept saying, "Sweet sassy!!" Then he was explaining something about the toy to me and he threw it in there also: "See, this is his sweet sassy...and if he drives over here to this sweet sassy, he can go around the back and see the sweet sassy." Good stuff!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Maddux has been in the transition of potty training for a few weeks now, even though we haven't really done the full-on potty 'bootcamp'. I've had two half days with her (while Eli was at school for three hours), where we've done the underwear-instead-of-diaper thing, full on with lots of liquids and a timer to keep trying to sit on the potty. She's not had any luck with peeing, but in the other department, she is at about 75% success! And her lack of success is only when her requests to sit on the potty are not responded to. (Which is hard to do because she is VERY insistent and loud!) She will ask to sit when she has even the slightest urge, which means that sometimes she will sit four or five times before actually going, but it means less diapers overall, so I'm willing to do it! She is oh-so proud of herself too; she tells everyone, "I big guwel. I poop on the potty and get a *Sharkie." (*A Sharkie is one of the many 'treats' she may choose from when she has success. If she doesn't tell you about those, she'll tell you that she's going to get a 'tweet'.) Could not be prouder of my little girl right now...she is growing up so quickly!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Baby Girl

I've found myself a little sad lately. Sometimes I'm hanging out with Maddux and I hear her say something, or see her do something that is new, or cute, or funny. And I laugh, but I don't take nearly the pause I did when it was Eli doing that same thing. Boo. For example, the other night we were in my bedroom. Wrapping presents and whatnot was on the docket, and then Lehr came home. He took the kids out and I stayed to finish. Maddux was lagging behind, so she left my room when Lehr and Eli were already downstairs. She walked out of the room and I heard her loud footsteps stop a minute later: "Whoh...das a weally pwetty Christmas tee!" And then she continued on. Adorable! She's seen the tree a million times in the last two weeks, but for some reason its beauty caught her eye that night. And her verbalization of that beauty was oh-so cute. I smiled and chuckled to myself, but I'm sure when Eli did something similar, I rushed to the computer and blogged it. And I'm not getting around to it until four days later...just by chance!

I do come to blogger and type a draft post with little Maddie-sayings fairly often though. (She has a lot of them!) From this last week we have the following gems:
  • "Das God!!" We typically read from the Children's Bible each night before bed. The kids know several of the stories now, and they love to flip through the Book on their own during the day. The other day Maddie was doing just that when she came upon a story from the new testament which included a grown up, resurrected Jesus. She pointed and told me, "Das God!!" She was so excited to recognize someone on her own!
  • "No room!!" We have a really cool pop-up Christmas book, depicting the story of Jesus' birth. The kids LOVE this book. When we got to the page where Mary and Joseph were seeking shelter, Maddux started chanting, "NO ROOM! ALL FULL!" When you pull back the door in that book, you see the animals in the stable, and it DOES looks quite full (of animals).
  • "Tank you for makin' dinneh, Mommy!" The other day when Eli was at Lunch Bunch, Maddie and I were eating together at the kitchen table. We had just prayed and were starting our sandwiches when she looked up at me and thanked me. (For making dinner, but I knew what she meant.) I LOVE that she is understanding the importance of thanking the person who prepares meals for you! She is a crazy one, but such a sweetheart!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Video Time!

Maddux gave a short and sweet performance at MOPS this morning. The young pre-schoolers sang "Jingle Bells" and "Away in a Manger" for all of the mommies. No dresses to lift this time!! Of course, her singing reminded me of this.

2009 12 Maddux sing from Nicole Eliason on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What A Sucker

Total cave. During room time if Eli opens his door, or knocks on his door to get out, there are consequences. So when I hear a knock just now (only about 20 minutes into it), I went upstairs prepared to deliver. But when I opened his door, he pushed up a lego sculpture with a lego man inside towards my face: "Look, Mommy! I made Baby Jesus in his manger with my legos!" How can I reprimand for that?!?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Potty Like A Rock Star!

So I still haven't 'formally' started training Maddux, meaning I've not spent a whole day (or even more than a few hours) in the process. We offer it to her all of the time, and she sits on it before her bath every night... Besides that, one day last week we had a few hours before gymnastics, so I put real underwear on her and fed her lots and lots of water, setting the timer to sit on the toilet every five minutes or so. She didn't have any success that day, but something obviously stuck!!

Over the weekend Maddux got out of her bath and went (naked) into her bedroom to get her diaper and pj's. Less than a minute later she ran out, saying, "I gotta go potty!" She sat, but nothing happened. So we resumed our nighttime ritual. She got lotioned up and then said it again: "I gotta go PO-tty!" She ran in and nothing. By this time, we are realizing that she probably really has to go, so we try to delay putting on her diaper for a little longer. It worked! A few short minutes later, Maddux returned and pooped on the potty...totally initiated by her! We made a BIG deal about it, of course. The best part was how excited Eli was. He happened to be standing by the sink, brushing his teeth when the celebration took place and he joined right in, congratulating her and telling her how proud he was. "Good job, Maddux! You're a big girl!!"

Fast forward to this afternoon when the kids and I are at Eli's appointment with the orthodist. Maddux looks at me and says something about 'potty' and 'treat' and 'big girl'. This is not unusual as she has talked about it (very proudly) since she had her success a few days ago. (In fact, she is so proud that she tells EVERYONE, "I poop on the potty!!") It sounded to me like she was informing me she was going to repeat her performance that night. I assured her she would, and went about doing whatever I was doing. She ran to the other side of the doctor bench and started to bear down. I jumped up and asked her if she needed to go NOW, to which she nodded. Thankfully, the bathroom was right across the hall...I could even leave the door open so I could see Eli (the doc wasn't in the room). She sat down and did the deed like it was no big deal. Fireworks. Fanfare. Applause. This girl is on a roll!! Once again, Eli was SOO the proud big brother. The whole ride home he told her, "Maddie, YOU get to pick a treat out of the bag!"

New Shoes

Eli has been resisting 'the shoes' at night for several months now. Before his last visit with Dr. Schrader over the summer, we were confident that he would no longer be required to wear them, so we were on a more lenient schedule (off one or two nights each week). This is a far cry from anything we've done before with his treatment, but he only started complaining a few weeks before the appointment, so we didn't think it would really harm. Unfortunately Dr. Schrader saw some slight relapse tendencies and ordered another year of nighttime wear. The problem was, Eli was (and still is) able to get the shoes off, so short of gluing them to his feet, we found it hard to guarantee 10-12 hours of wear each night.

In the last month or so we've started to question if maybe the shoes were too small, causing discomfort. I was finally able to get in to the orthodist this afternoon to get a new pair of shoes. Eli got his first pair of Mitchell boots at this appointment. Dr. Schrader is a big fan of them, and they are Ponseti-sanctioned, so we approve as well. They are made of a softer plastic, which makes for a more comfortable fit for kids. Also, the leather straps that go over Eli's feet are softer and more pliable, so (again) less discomfort. Eli was all excited to get the shoes today, but when I put them on tonight, I was met with some hesitation. I hope that after a few nights he realizes how comfortable these shoes are compared to the other ones and it becomes a non-issue.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Crazy Hat Day

Eli's class has been having dress-up days a few times a month recently. We had 'Crazy Sock Day' earlier in November; Eli wore a pair of very tame argyle-style socks. Not very 'crazy', but it's what he wanted. Last week was 'Crazy Hat Day'. I figured we'd end up with a baseball cap, but instead Eli opted for a Santa hat. LOVED it, since he's not too much for the 'crazy'. Of course Maddux had to join in. Once she saw him don a Santa hat, she had to pull hers on too. And of course that lead to Mommy pulling out the camera and getting as many shots of the two of them as possible. It was one of those "..if you give a mouse a cookie...." moments:

"...if you get Eli to put on a Santa hat, his sister will surely want to do the same. And if Maddux puts on a Santa hat, she will surely dance around like a mad woman. And if Maddux dances around, Eli will get crazy also. And if both kids are crazy, they end up being nice to each other, in the spirit of being goofy. And if both kids are wearing a matching 'prop', and hugging each other, Mommy will surely pull out the camera to capture the moment with a picture. And if Mommy pulls out the camera for one shot, a full photo shoot will surely follow...."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Baking

We've had a lot of cold (REALLY cold) weather this week, and schedules have been nuts, so it's been just me and the kids in the house, WAY too much. I decided to try and break up the monotony and work with the holidays by decorating some Christmas cookies. I figured we'd do sugar cookies so the kids could use cutouts and then decorate them. Normally I'd make baked goods from scratch, but the thought of trying to do that AND decorate with the kids was too much. So we rolled out the dough on the counter (with some flour sprinkled on first). As it always happens to me, the dough stuck to the (floured) rolling pin every other roll, creating a mess, but we continued on anyway. Each kid ended up putting straight flour in their mouths, which sounds incredibly gross to me, but I guess that is a natural consequence! Eli and Maddux cut out shapes of snowmen, stars, gingerbread men and trees. Then they put the sprinkles everywhere. After dinner they were each able to sample their masterpieces, which they loved. To top off the evening, I loaded them in the car and we drove around looking at Christmas lights. I wanted to go for a walk to see them, like we normally do, but it was in the 20's. Even all bundled up, unless it's snowing outside, that is just miserable!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

More Proof of Learning

Eli is constantly impressing Lehr and I with his increasing knowledge of the Bible and the story of Jesus. He flips through his kids Bible during room time at least once a week, and he always requests that we read a story from it before bed. Between that and what Eli has learned at church, we hear a lot of funny, and sometimes profound, things from him!

Earlier this week we were putting up one of our Nativity scenes. We talked through the birth of Jesus again. Somewhere in the middle, Eli started talking about the crucifixion. He always asks to read that story in the Bible. So Eli told us that on Christmas, Jesus was born, but later He died. And He died because the guards poked Him (with their spears). Then he got all deep and said, "Mommy, they poked Him because they didn't know Him. But after they poked Him and He died, THEN they knew Him!" They really do absorb it all, don't they?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Eli and Maddux Funnies

Some gems from the kids this week:
  • Maddux and Eli brush their teeth and hair after breakfast every morning. This is sometimes interesting with Maddux as she is a BIG time 'player' in the bathroom. Water, soap...the whole deal. She does not have the privilege of getting her own soap these days (though I know she still sneaks it sometimes), nor is she allowed to get toothpaste. But she does sit in there and brush those pearly whites for minutes on end. The other day I went in to wrap up her morning routine: I said, "Rinse and tap, Maddie!" She shook her head 'no' and said, "I'm still teefin!"
  • The kids and I made batch one of two Chrstimas cookies after naps today. I built up the activity with them during lunch today, talking about what kinds of cookies we'd make and what we would put on them. We called Daddy during our meal and had our usual speaker-phone-conversation. Eli told Lehr, "We're going to make sprinkles and I'm going to make YOU a cookie, Dad! I'll use red and green....." Then he looked at me and (in a lower tone, so Lehr couldn't hear) asked, "By the way, do you have any other kinds of sprinkles?"

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Trimming The Tree

Big, grandiose plans to go cut down our own Christmas tree like we did last year. However, really REALLY cold temperatures hit Atlanta this weekend, and it was barely tolerable to go outside just to get into the car, let alone walk around looking for the perfect tree, only to then cut it down and drag it back through the field to the car. Instead, we opted to go down the street after nap time and pick out a 'pre-cut' tree. As luck would have it, we found a really nice, perfectly shaped tree right away. It wasn't even the cold making the decision for us: when we got home and set it up, no extra turning or trimming was needed. Eli helped Lehr with some outside lights. They did a great job, but when we turned the lights on afterwards, two strands were out. (Much frustration since these were new strands of lights and Lehr had already checked their viability before he hung them.) The kids were excited, no matter which lights worked and which didn't. The kids 'helped' us put ornaments on....not the easiest feat, but we all made it out alive. It was like a race to see how quick we could get the tree decorated. Eli and Maddux had no concept of placement or 'fragile'. If it was in the big box, it was fair game and obviously whoever got the most ornaments on the tree the fastest, won! If we'd had more time, a fire and hot cocoa would have followed, but by the time the last ornament was hung, it was already 9PM and the kids were toast. (So were Mom and Dad!)

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Meaning of Christmas

When Lehr and I had kids there were a few things we really wanted to focus on. Around the holidays, one of those things was the real reason for the holiday. Don't get me wrong; I love Santa. Always have. And we are not going to *deprive* our kids of the Santa experience. We just want them to get the other piece first, so (hopefully) the primary focus is not being 'good' in order to receive way too many presents. So we've read all of the "The First Christmas" books, we've walked through the manger scene, we've talked about why we celebrate Christmas.... We even have a Jesus stocking hanging up, and we make a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas day. So if nothing else, Eli and Maddux hear this stuff all of the time.

But as expected at about this age, Eli is starting to hear more and more about Santa at school and from friends. We knew it would happen, and hopefully we're prepared. We've talked about how we all exchange gifts to celebrate Jesus' birthday (instead of just Jesus getting the loot). And we've also read a few stories about who Santa really is (a very good person who gave to orphaned children). With the kids, we haven't really focused if Santa will bring the kids something, nor have they asked. But Eli did tell Maddux yesterday, "Maddux, when it's Jesus' birthday, do you want to get me a saw? Cuz I would really like a saw..." I love that he didn't ask for Santa. I love that he called the holiday what it is (or at least what we celebrate it as). And I love that he is still a regular old kid and we haven't prevented him from wishing for a specific gift on Christmas morning.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My, Oh My!

Maddux uses that word all of the time: my. And I love how she uses it, so even though I know I should correct her, I often don't. She'll say, "Look what my did!" or "Eli gave that to my." She does know how to use 'me' and 'I', and she even refers to herself in the third person sometimes. But she hangs on to 'my' enough to make me smile.

After lunch on Sunday, Maddux had only one boot on. This is a normal occurrence in our house. Also, she had no dress on. She was wearing brown corduroy and her lunch included a peanut butter bagel. If you know Maddie, you would know that combo would result in PB smeared into the dress. So we took it off for her to eat. Between lunch and the picture seen here, she'd taken off her bloomers and other boot (and socks). She then stumbled across my green wig and put it on. I took her upstairs to help me fold some clothes before naps, but she came back downstairs for a toy. Then I heard the door to the garage open, prompting me to investigate. She was in the garage, sitting on her Hot Wheels. In a diaper. And a green wig. It wasn't too cold out, but normally I would require shoes, some type of clothing...maybe a shirt. But instead, Lehr and I grabbed the camera and he got this great shot. She stayed outside for a good fifteen minutes, playing soccer, riding bikes, riding scooters, and running around in the yard. Life is good.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

The kids and I did a real, honest-to-goodness craft after naps today! (Probably the most involved one I've ever done with both of them.) Yesterday we made a quick garland for the holidays, but because of the nature of the 'kit', there wasn't a whole lot the kids could do. Today we made little decorations for all of their friends and they did almost 100% of the work. SO fun. Only one time out: I left the table to get the camera and when I came back Maddux had used the pen and marker to draw on a tree. Eli was quick to tell me that HE didn't do such a thing...

*Sidebar: The two of them are so different in this area! It makes me think about those Dateline specials where they put kids in a room by themselves with some candy or other sweet temptations and leave (with a hidden camera on, of course), giving the instructions to not touch the goodies. Then the interviewer comes back and asks the kids if they ate anything. Eli would not touch it....he'd be tempted, but he'd stay strong. I think Maddux would be reaching for the sugar before the interviewer even left! And even as they showed her the footage of her indulgence, she'd shake her head and say, "I not do it".

Anyway, we had a great time, and I'm so happy to have these little 'gifts' to give the kids' friends: each one made intentionally for someone they care about. Of course we had Christmas music blaring the whole time too. It was a blast, but crafts are difficult with two busy kids! Especially for a mom who is not so crafty.