24 December 2013

Big 5

Last night as I hugging Daphne before bed I told her, "This is my last night hugging you as a four year old!"

"It's OK, Mom," she said, "Someday Christian will be four and then you'll have another four year old to hug!"

Her thoughtfulness is one of the many things I love about her. 

birthday breakfast



measuring up

She asked weeks ago for a Frosty the Snowman cake where Frosty had a pipe and hat and scarf, so I've been plotting and planning, figuring out the best way to make this happen.  Decorating cakes isn't really my thing.  But we came up with a good plan and I was ready to move forward...until this afternoon when she decided she wanted to decorate her own cake.
licking beaters is good

stunning creation

She also cut and served the cake, waiting to be the last one with cake, as any good hostess would.  Like I said, thoughtful. 

I could say many more things, but really, if you read this blog or know her in real life, you already know.  (And right now I'm basically typing with my eyes closed because of extreme tiredness...)  So, I promise, future Daphne who is reading this blog, I have much I could say now and much I have said before. 

But most importantly, you are definitely the best Christmas present our family has ever gotten. 

23 December 2013

That's A Fun Tradition

Gingerbread houses are so cool.  They are also scary (for me) and I feel like they always collapse.  So a few years ago when I saw the idea to use sugar cones upside down and decorate them as Christmas trees, I knew it was right up our alley.  I think this is our second year doing this and we'll definitely keep it up for probably forever. 

Apparently when we decorate Christmas cookies some of us must wear as many layers as possible.

Another great thing to do the weekend before Christmas is catch some sort of horrible illness, like the plague, or whooping cough, or pneumonia, or maybe just the flu.  I don't know what it's been, but probably one of those things.  Everyone in the family got it except me because I'm so healthy and strong!  Until I wasn't.  Needless to say, it's been a very sad couple of days around here.  

18 December 2013

The Santa that Was

Here's Christian watching Daphne's little school Christmas program yesterday morning:

Here's Christian sneaking up front to hug Daphne at her little school Christmas program yesterday morning:

He is all about being on stage these days, apparently.  One thing I love about Daphne and Christian's relationship is that while she is the brave one with no inhibitions, and while he the more timid one, if he sees her go, he becomes brave and follows in her footsteps.  I love that she clears the path for him and that he trusts her enough to do what she does.  They are a good match. 

Like last night when we visited Santa.  (Yes!  He was there!)  He's pretty fascinated by Santa this year, but I know if he was by himself he never would have gone up to visit him.  But Daphne's not scared.  So he followed her and got his candy cane and now Santa is his hero.

He was not happy to stay and get a picture.  Once you get your candy cane it's not like you need anything more from the guy.

I think it was two Christmases ago that it was on the tip of my tongue to ask Daphne what she wanted for Christmas.  Then I caught myself because she did not know you can ask for gifts, and I figured I wouldn't encourage this train of thought in her.  So I didn't ask, and she has never been one to ask for specific gifts for her birthday or Christmas.  Two years ago Santa asked her what she wanted for Christmas and she asked for a candy cane, because she knew that's what he gives when you visit him.   This year she's super focused on wanting a yo-yo.  I don't know where she came up with that, and I'm afraid if she does get a yo-yo she'll be disappointed that she won't be able to make it go up and down as effortlessly as she seems to think she'll be able.

(Who am I to be doubting her skills??  I don't think that's what mothers are supposed to do.  But I can hardly work a yo-yo, so I guess I just expect that she, too, will struggle.)

(I made the mistake of showing her yo-yo clips on YouTube.  There are freakishly amazing yo-yo people on there...now her expectations for herself are EXTREMELY high.) 

Anyways, she told Santa last night that she wants a yo-yo.  So, appointed yo-yo buyer (Becca), you better be on your game, because this is the first thing she's ever told Santa that she wanted. 

***Update to the doughnut cutter story:  apparently after he went to Kitchen Kaboodle, David went to Macy's to see if they had doughnut cutters.  When he asked the employee about them, she, according to him, "opened her mouth and laughed like a wild hyena" because she thought he was kidding.  Who kids about doughnut cutters, I ask you?

16 December 2013

Let's Talk Doughnuts for a Sec

I went into Kitchen Kaboodle today where I saw a doughnut cutter, and since I've been wanting one for forever I got it.  Yay!  No more cutting out doughnut circles with a table knife!

Later I showed David my purchase, so excited about it and everything, and he told me that HE went to Kitchen Kaboodle to buy a doughnut cutter for me for Christmas, but the employee told him that sorry, she just sold the last one to a lady who had been in recently.  That lady was me!!  Haha!   Poor David to have his excellent gift plan thwarted by me!

Random question:  how do you like to spell 'doughnut?'  The official way (doughnut) or the cheater way (donut)?  I know that's a hard question, so think about it carefully before you answer. 

Last night at church Christian did this:

During the singing he just marched himself up onto the stage and looked out at the crowd, giving us a wave every now and again.  I was laughing so hard I was crying because this is not like him at all.  He's not really one for crowds or being the center of attention.  David went and got him when he started inching toward the piano because I knew he wanted to start playing and that could've been disastrous.

He also stole other people's candles, and he was brave enough to 'sing' in the live nativity.

And David borrowed my sweater.

AND I have a headache because FYI, selling a house can be a wee bit stressful. 

13 December 2013

Apparently Friday the 13th Can Be a Bad Day

Daphne I were sitting on our red sofa this afternoon and she told me she wanted to pray.

"Dear Lord God, " she prayed, "Please let my mommy and my daddy and my brother and me all die at the same time.  And help us to have a good week.  Amen."


Creepiest, funniest prayer she's ever prayed.

The other day she was singing "Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how beautiful are your branches."  That one line, over and over and over again.

Finally I said, "Hey Daph, it's actually 'how lovely are your branches."

"What Mom?  You think my singing's lovely?  Thanks!"

And on she went to sing that line a few thousand more times.

Obviously Christmas is going pretty well over here.

Today was our home inspection.  David was at work, and the kids and I and our dog had to be out of the house from 9-1.  After a little visit to Starbucks, our saintly neighbor took us in for the rest of the morning, even feeding the kids lunch.  So nice of her to help me bring my blood pressure down a few points because this morning at exactly 8:52 A.M. I ran downstairs real quick to find the laundry room full of water thanks to the floor drain backing up.  Yes, that is exactly what you want to see on inspection day!  While your husband is gone and you're trying to make breakfast and get kids ready to go all while keeping the house immaculate!

After we got home I ran down to my bedroom and stopped in my tracks at this strange table/box/toolkit set up within inches of where my head sleeps each night.  Then I realized it was the radon test.  Really?  There was no other spot in the entire basement to put it?  I'm not kidding when I say inches from my head.   I guess we're about to find out if I have radon poisoning, or whatever it is they call it. 

The plumber came this afternoon and found the drain issue was just a typical clog and he got it out no problem.  By the time David got home tonight I was so worn out I just sat on the couch staring at the wall for a good hour.  Maybe longer, I don't know.

And now I will soon get to go sleep real close to a radon box.  Apparently it clicks every hour as it makes its recordings.  I'm pretty excited about it. 
pretzel making a few nights ago.  not tonight because that would've been insane in the membrane.

12 December 2013

I'm Cold

Yesterday was the first time in my whole life that a weather-related cancellation/delay made me sad.  It was our last BSF meeting before Christmas, I made what felt like 100s of goodie bag (OK, 16) and then...freezing fog?   I've barely ever even heard of that.  Now I have to actually spring for postage to mail Christmas cards to all the BSF folks.  Can't believe it.

Our week has been quite full.  Saturday was the big Christmas concert downtown.  Check out the massive pipe organ:

Amazing, right?  It made the floor shake during Hallelujah Chorus.  Christian did not do well during the concert, in case you were wondering.  As soon as we walked onto to the stage I could hear him plain as day, "Mama! Dat's my mama! Mama come get me?  Mama hold me?  Waaaaaa!!!" So that was fun.

David has kept water poured on the back patio so the kids could have a skating rink. This picture is terrible, but the skating rink made for good toboggan-ing. 

The other night I walked outside and felt like it was kind of warm out, so I checked the temperature and it was 29.  I forgot to look the day they said it was supposed to be the coldest day since 1972, but I do know it's been too cold for me.  I also know that it was sad to notice a dramatic warm-up at 29.

Fun Fact for is you who try to sell your house by owner like us:  you will probably get zillions of calls from realtors who want to sell your house for you.  Because according to some of the not-so-tactful agents, people who do FSBO are dumb.  One guy even told us we definitely needed his help because the holidays are a terrible time to sell a house.  Well, I don't really know what he's talking about, because the week of Thanksgiving and the first week of December were the busiest weeks we've had yet.  Then a couple called last Wednesday morning, came to look at our place Wednesday night, and signed papers to put in an offer at 6AM Thursday morning.  Apparently they really liked the place.

Now, you know how it goes.  Inspection period is here and maybe we'll find out our foundation is crumbling and the house is about to come down...and that's not good.  So although we're packing like maniacs, we're not really celebrating until closing day comes and goes.  If you see us homeless on a street corner mid-January, you'll know it's because everything went well and inside our freezing faces we are really happy.  Except not Daphne because she never wants to leave this house.  She told me she's going to live with the new people and be their family and we can come visit her sometimes.  It will be sad to leave her, but whatever.  We gotta give her what she wants. 

In between packing we try to fit in a Christmas movie or two.  Actually, exactly two:  Elf and Frosty the Snowman.  We are SO BEHIND!  We like to watch the Santa Clause trilogy (the ones with Tim Allen) and we own all the classic cartoons.  I like Family Man.  And Little Women.

We need a pause button on December. 

07 December 2013

More Snow Please!

Apparently David's ability to predict winter weather is spot on.  It's not even officially winter yet (or as Daph has taken to call it, Winter Solstice) and we already got a small bit of snow. 

When Daphne woke up yesterday and I told her to look out the window, well, I wish you could have seen her face.  "My wish for snow came true!" she exclaimed.  She's been checking the calendar every day, asking to count down to when it will snow, and since such thing is impossible to do I'm glad she got a little bit of something to help tide her over. 

She wanted to go play right away but I made her eat breakfast first.  Even Christian was pretty excited to "go outside, play snow?" Probably feeding off of Daphne's excitement.  They ate breakfast standing up so they could keep their eyes on what was going on outside. 

She stayed outside for at least an hour, and as soon as she came back in wanted to go back out.   Poor little Christian does not own proper winter clothing (not even a coat!  What is wrong with me as a mother?) nor does he have gloves, so he got chilly quickly.  He went in and out a few times, based on which neighbors were out to play with us.  

This morning David is off to Salem to run in some kind of race.  They got a lot more snow than we did, but apparently the race people are having a really big bonfire to help prevent frostbite in the runners.  The kids and I are not going to the race.  We would freeze and die.

We spent the rest of the day snug inside with the woodstove going, tree lights on, Christmas music playing, Christmas treats in the oven, and a big tent set up in the living room.  Is there really a better way to enjoy a snow day?

04 December 2013

This Tree Won't Be Winning Any Beauty Awards

Let me tell you about how Christian was a little terror while we decorated our Christmas tree.  David recorded a lot of it with the video camera because his stomping around and crying was so funny.  While Daphne was belting out Christmas tunes and proclaiming how decorating the tree is the most wonderful activity she's ever done, Christian was throwing his basketball and other toys at the tree, stealing ornaments and shaking the tree as hard as he could.

We had to put most of the ball ornaments really high because those are his favorite to try to steal and/or break.   This year our tree is a little top heavy with circular ornaments, and bottom-right heavy with all the ornaments the kids put on because that's where they put all theirs...I would say this is the most interestingly decorated tree we've ever had. 

It will be a good memory, I guess.

I bought two new Christmas books for the kids this year.  I didn't want to give them on Christmas because then it's too late to enjoy them for this season, so I ended up wrapping them and giving them last night.  I think we inadvertently started a new tradition of getting a new book the night we decorate the tree.  Christmas jammies with new books by the tree is a really sweet way to end the evening.

(Daphne got to open Llama Llama Holiday Drama and Christian opened Christmas Angels.) 

02 December 2013

Tree Hunting With No Rain! Yay!

It seems like we're the last people on the entire planet to get our Christmas tree.  We're so late this year with it being December 2nd already.  

Next year we'll have to establish a new location for eating our tree-finding sustenance.  The little doughnut place in Gresham where we've been going will be too far out of the way.

I think our tree farm will be able to stay the same, which is good because the owners remember us each year and we really enjoy going there.

This year Daphne told us all that she was in charge of our tree hunting.  First thing she made us do was a little hand-pile-cheer thing.  Then she told us we were supposed to go our separate ways and each look for trees all by ourselves.  She was really bossy about it all.

Mostly, though, there was a lot of screaming and chasing each other through the trees, leaving me as the only one who was doing what I was supposed to be doing.  Then when I found the perfect tree Daphne was mad because SHE was supposed to find the perfect tree, but really, the trees she was picking out were kind of hideous.  Not that I would ever tell her that.  One of her major disqualifiers was if the tree was wet we couldn't get it, and no amount of explaining that it rained yesterday and so 99.9% of the trees were wet would convince her that actually a wet tree was kind of expected.

We're going to have to squeeze getting our tree up after naps and before David leaves for BSF.  Hopefully that's enough time because we can't do it tomorrow night or Wednesday night and it seems a crying shame to have a tree just waiting for us in the dark and cold garage for so many days.

Happy tree hunting to you all!  Even though I'm sure you already have yours. 

01 December 2013

Sunday is a Fun Day (For Some People)

This sweet little boy sliding into a pile of leaves is the same boy who had an 18-wipe dirty diaper today.  That is a wipe P.R. for our family.  So proud.

Sundays are a bit different around here now that they are work days for David.  I wish there was a manual with direct specifications for when you need to take your toddler out of the Sunday morning church service.  Are car/motorcycle/choo-choo noises too much?  What about a loud "What's dat?" when the offering plate goes by?  Hollering "All done! Go bye-bye?" mid-way through the service?  Loud grunting noises while filling a diaper?

Whatever he does in church, it appears to exhaust him because so far this afternoon he's been napping for 2 hours and 45 minutes.  Almost makes a stressful Sunday morning worth it.