Monthly Archives: December 2014

Question of the Day

Over supper.

“Hey Mom! What’s an ax murderer?!?”

Um. Merry Christmas Eve?



I got a little set of number cookie cutters from Amazon yesterday. We’re always trying to make sure Levi eats enough, and I’ve discovered that he eats the lunches I send to school much better if things are cut into fun shapes. He requested numbers the other day, so numbers I got.


I was irritated when opened the package. Because they didn’t include a 9. What kind of a number set only goes up to 8?

I’ll wait.

I’m sure you got it sooner than I did. But I do wonder if they’ve ever gotten an angry email about that, from someone who later felt very, very foolish.

Artists at Work

I made cut outs last night so the boys could decorate today.

They take their work quite seriously.
As well they should.
Cookies are serious business.

Elias looked up to see me watching him as he licked an enormous gob of icing off the end of his butter knife. (Fear not. They each had their own small bowl of icing to work with.) He swallowed quickly, and said, “No, Mama. I wasn’t eating it. I just licked that bit off so it wouldn’t stain.”

I sort of admire the quick thinking.

We are Adventing along over here pretty well. One day we ran out of time for anything and we had to make up for it the next day, but mostly I’ve even kept to the schedule.

This season has not been without bumps so far. I took Elias to Santa’s workshop and as we were looking for Grandma, he said, “But not for the Grandma that died, right? For the Grandma that’s still alive?”

It wasn’t a problem in the moment. I just answered the question. But later I sat bawling at my desk because my mom will never get some inane, inappropriate gifts from my kids. Ridiculous, really, but it wasn’t actually about the silly gifts from Santa’s Workshop. (Hi. My name is Captain Obvious.)

So anyway. We’re bumping along, mostly without incident, and squeezing the joy out of shopping at the dollar store and licking icing off our fingers whenever we can.

It’ll never make a postcard, but it works for us.

A Tree-Trimming Poll

Which do you love more?


Sweet faces from the past?


Or ALL of the ornaments on one branch?

Levi’s aesthetics may need some development, but his enthusiasm knows no bounds. We had a good time.

Better Than Wednesday

Today was better than Wednesday. Paul was off work, which means it’s Big Breakfast Saturday (BBS). Usually I make pancakes for BBS, but I may have been slightly grouchy at the prospect this time. Paul decided that cooking while I slept in was a more attractive option than waiting for pancakes seasoned with anger and spite, and stepped up. Breakfast, though pancake-less, was delicious.

When the boys pulled out the Advent box for today, it contained news of Santa. OH MAN. Was there ever a lot of shrieking about that.

We went up to Graf Growers, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Santa was amazing, they send you pictures taken by a professional photographer for free, and you can get hot chocolate after. (Elias dumped his on the cement. Sorry, guys.) Also, their stuff is so pretty that I was inspired to buy a plant. Three, in fact. They had mini poinsettias, which I had never seen before. They are lovely. I think the fact that it’s only a few weeks until Christmas helped me decide I could handle a live plant. I know it’s possible to keep poinsettias alive after Christmas, but if they do die, I won’t feel nearly as guilty. Possibly my long history of inadvertent plant murder has warped me on this topic.

Anyway, as I said, Santa was great. He talked a bit to each of the boys specifically. So exciting. I did hear him trying to coach Elias to add to his Christmas list. Currently it consists of “monster trucks.” That’s it.




And then. AND THEN.

Then we went to Pizza Hut, because Levi had earned his first-ever Book-It personal pan pizza.


He’s concentrating pretty hard on the cheese right here, but truly, his joy knew no bounds.

Me? I got a little nap in on the couch, and we’re having taco salad for supper, which I’ve been craving. So I’m good.

Tomorrow is put-up-the-tree day. So expect a lot of shrieking from our neighborhood about that one, too. Paul just loves put-up-the-tree day!

This Week’s Score: 3.5

This is not my best week, you guys.

Monday was just awful. The kids weren’t back in school yet and I had to work (and catch up on everything non-US based people were doing while I was eating enough pie and sweet potatoes to choke an elephant), but it was just one day. I figured I could handle it. Oh man. They were just awful. Work was awful. I was awful. At one point I was on a conference call that was taking every single iota of my concentration, and the boys would not leave me alone. I think I may have turned and breathed fire once, but it bought me only a momentary reprieve. Later in the day, we were all three sitting on the floor in tears together for awhile. The best thing I can say about Monday is that it is over.

Tuesday was better, but my head was not in the game. I requested feedback from a client via e-mail and then discovered about five minutes later that I had never actually sent the thing I needed feedback on. So it would be tricky for her to have done what I needed. That was sadly not an isolated incident. And I forgot to start Levi’s treatments in time for us to leave that evening for church, so we did the general mad rush around everything else (the treatments take as long as they take; there’s not much you can do about that) and slid in to church sideways, panting, and a little late. As usual.

Today I forgot to go to an event at the school. FOR. GOT. I was at home in my yoga pants an hour after it had started. Did I mention that I’m one of the advisors for this event? I routinely forget phone numbers and my children’s names and how many cups of sugar I have added to the bowl in front of me and whether I need any more for that recipe. I do not usually just forget to show up somewhere. I’m a little shaken up by this. (Paul thinks it’s hilarious. I haven’t decided how to punish him.)

So because I had a whole thing this afternoon that I just totally whiffed on, I wigged out and my planning for the rest of the day went even more cattywampus than usual. I did not get a casserole in the oven. I did not get Levi’s lunch packed. He’s going to have to buy tomorrow. I hope he will be able to go on. I did manage to get to the grocery store, but everything nonperishable is still sitting out on the counter because I just do not care. I have no idea if there are clean pants for school tomorrow, and I’m not going into their room to look because they are dead asleep and I’m not THAT crazy. I ran out of time for today’s Advent activity, and my sister stepped in and did it with the kids instead. My performance this week is, as noted above, about a 3.5 on a scale of 10.

So why am I telling you all this? Because … it’s fine.

I apologized to my children for losing my temper and breathing fire at them, and we talked (calmly!) about what needs to happen when I’m working. I executed Advent imperfectly (which you may remember that I predicted, so I’m at least good at prophecy, hmm?), but I’m not giving up on it. I am embarrassed about the dorky e-mails to the client and really embarrassed about flaking on the school thing. And you know what? That’s all that happened. I’m really embarrassed. The end.

I am allowed to be a complete dingbat sometimes. And so are you. If you are having a very low-performing week, my friend, know that you are not alone. It will be over soon. The people who love you will forgive you (even if they keep laughing at you for awhile), and everyone else will forget about it sooner than you think. If they were even paying attention to you in the first place.

It will be fine. Tomorrow is another day.

And to get there a little faster, I am going to bed. Peace out.

Advent, Day 2

We put up a cling set of a nativity on the kitchen window that’s down by the table where they can reach.

They made the design decisions and I bit my tongue rather firmly.

See the stars, how there’s one off to the right that’s a different shape? That’s because it’s a chicken.

“I know chickens don’t fly that high,” Levi said, as he carefully rubbed to remove air bubbles from underneath it, “but this one does. See?”