Friday, December 12, 2008

Sing, Sing a Song

Well, we have 12 days until Christmas is finally here. I must say, I am not as into the spirit this year as I usually am. I am not Bah Humbuggy, just kind of blah about the whole thing. The only thing that is keeping me excited is The Boy's excitement for it all. To catch you up on our calendar...we have made snowflakes, watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (the original) and had a few small gifts like a slinky and a really fun Santa Claus pen.

The big fun in our house right now is The Boy's enthusiasm for Christmas Carol singing. I love to sing and that is one thing that has rubbed off on The Boy. He sings for everything. He has a Christmas recital at school on Tuesday night and I couldn't be more excited for it. His teacher has told me that he is a great singer and he has been the loudest singer from his class. Not sure if loud is exactly what she is going for, but I'll take it.

The other night, we were in our room hanging out as The Husband changed from work clothes into home clothes and The Boy started singing in Latin. Then, he sang "Silent Night" in German. Apparently, he will be singing in Latin, German, Hebrew, Spanish and English at the recital on Tuesday. How amazing is that? On the way to school every morning, he asks to hear "Go Tell It on the Mountain" over and over again. HE SINGS IT SO LOUD!! I asked him why he is singing so loud and his response was "if you were singing on the mountain you would have to be really loud so everyone in the world could here you and I am pretending I am on the mountain. That is what the song says." He is right.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Time to Get Up Buttercup

I have decided that the children in my house really aren't genetically linked to me. Both kiddos sleep just like there fathers. They fall asleep fairly fast when they are ready. They sleep hard and they wake up ready to talk and join in on the reindeer games. This morning 6 AM came 5:30! The Girl woke up chatting away. As I lay there listening to her this is what I imagined her saying...

"Um, Hell-oooooooo?? I'm awake. I am in in here all by myself. I am ready for someone to come talk to me and pick me up. Can anyone hear me? I really am awake. Aren't you? Is anyone coming yet. HELL-OOOOOOOOOO? It is time to start the day. I am ready to get up and eat and I like having company for that. Get up, get up, get up, get up, get up. Hello?"

We are very fortunate that The Girl never cries. She just chatters, waiting patiently for my begrudging body to wrestle with the down comforter, realize it has to pee and then trudge into the nursery. It is all worth it when I get to her crib and she takes her hand out of her mouth and smiles and talks to me as if she were saying, "I just knew you wouldn't leave me hanging."

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Weekend Gone Already?

This weekend flew by for our family. How about for yours? I really don't feel like we had a weekend at all really. Sometimes I feel like we need a weekend to recover from our weekend. Crazy! This weekend, we celebrated St. Nicholas Day. The Boy loved this. I can't wait to do it again next year. We also shopped for Isiah our Angel Tree recipient and had lunch with Santa Claus. The Husband had to work a little this weekend and The Boy went to a birthday party. This was all on top of the regular cleaning (or cleaning attempt) and getting ready for the week. I have to remember to ask my mother how she kept the house so clean with three kids. My house isn't dirty by any stretch, but it is a mess by Friday of every week. I try to do a little bit every night but I am still getting used to working all day and cannot get to anything at home until at least 7:30 because the kids are up and need attention. They are much more important that cleaning, right?

Day #8 for the Calendar was a small gift. The Boy got a Cars wallet. He insisted on taking it to school this morning. Hopefully it doesn't end up missing like his Osh Gosh hoodie or his right glove. Good thing it was found in the dollar bin at Target!

I forgot to translate the letter to Santa from last week. It reads:

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good boy. I would like a race track and slippers and ice cream too.
Thank you.

Part of the letter was on the back. Something about preschoolers and not being able to write small no matter how many times you remind them to. I guess that is why paper has lines on it in elementary school.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Day #5

Last night, we wrapped up the Letter to Santa activity. It was placed in the mailbox this morning. The Boy was very excited.

Today's activity is St. Nicholas Day. Tomorrow is St. Nicholas Day.

A little history lesson for you...

Saint Nicholas
Early in the Advent season celebrate a feast that has been popular for centuries in Christian countries, especially in Northern Europe. In our over-commercialized society, this holiday gives us a good "teaching moment" to remind children that Jolly Santa Claus, is, in fact, Saint Nicholas, a fourth century bishop of the city of Myra in what is now Turkey.

Saint Nicholas was renowned for his great kindness and his generous aid to those in distress. Among the kind and miraculous acts attributed to him are saving three young girls from prostitution by secretly providing them with dowries, raising three murdered boys from the dead, and saving sailors caught in stormy seas. For these reasons, he is considered the patron saint of children, unmarried girls, and sailors, among others.

Traditional celebrations of Saint Nicholas Day in Northern Europe included gifts left in children's shoes (the origin of our American Christmas stockings). Good children receive treats - candies, cookies, apples and nuts, while naughty children receive switches or lumps of coal. Sometimes coins were left in the shoes, reminiscent of the the life-saving doweries the saint provided. Today - especially in families of German extraction - children still put a shoe outside their bedroom doors on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, and expect to find candy and coins or small gifts in their shoe on December 6th.

In some households the father of the family may dress up as Saint Nicholas on the eve of his feast. He comes in, sometimes with his sidekick, Krampus or Black Peter, and helps each child examine his conscience. He admonishes the bad and rewards the good. If your family enjoys theatrics, this is a wonderful opportunity early in Advent to inspire children to amend their ways in preparation for the coming King. (Your family might get together with other families with young children and celebrate together.)

Here is a great site for kids

We will all be placing our shoes out, how about you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Day #4 of the Christmas Month

Today marks Day #4 of Christmas as The Boy calls it. In the Advent pocket is the activity "Write a Letter to Santa" Tonight we will be writing a letter to jolly ol' St. Nick. According to The Boy, we will write the letter, put in in an envelope and put it in the mailbox with the flag up. Then, the mailman will come and drive the letter to the Northpole where Santa close will get it in his mailbox. I love Christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crazy Day #3

I am happy to say that the microwaved salt dough ornaments turned out great. The whole process took about an hour start to finish. The Boy really enjoyed the activity. Advent Day #3 was a little less exciting in my mind. It was just a treat of Hershey kisses. He loved it though. In pocket #3 there were 4 kisses. He handed one to every member of the family making it clear that he got to eat The Girl's for her since she cannot eat candy. The Husband already filled all the candy pockets for the entire month.

After The Boy realized today was a candy day, we had this conversation.

Momma, number 25 has candy in it too.
You aren't supposed to be peaking into the other pockets.
I didn't really, I only looked with one eye.
On a different note, I think my children have their roles reversed. The Girl has been sleeping through the night for about three weeks now. YAY! And I really mean sleeping through the night. She goes down between 6:30 and 7 PM and sleeps until 6 AM. It is wonderful and I am hoping that I didn't just jinx myself by typing that. The Boy goes to bed between 7:30 and 8 PM. I don't think he will ever sleep through the night consistently. He was up about four times last night. He has finally figured out that I don't do well in the middle of the night. He now comes to my side of the bed and asks if he can lay with me for a little while because I am a sucker. The Husband would take him back to his own bed. Instead of taking him back to his bed, I just let him climb in so I can go back to sleep. This is probably the root of the not sleeping through the night issue. Sleep was a little rocky last night as a result. We all got out of bed about 15 minutes later than normal. The Girl had to be changed twice this morning because she kept spitting up on herself...what a crazy start to the day. Despite the lack of sleep, and crazy wardrobe changes, we got out of the house only 5 minutes later than normal. It is a Christmas Month Day #3 miracle.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Day #2 of the Advent Tree

Today's activity...make Christmas ornaments. I am talking about those ones you made when you were a kid out of salt dough. I lucked out and found a recipe that can be microwaved. Yippee. I haven't used the recipe yet, but I will let you know how it goes in the microwave.

All you do is follow the recipe, use cookie cutters and microwave. This recipe makes about a dozen or so ornaments.

2 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
1 1/2 c. hot water
holiday cookie cutters
decoration like glitter, paint, beads, etc.

Mix flour, salt and water until dough is formed. Knead on a floured surface until mixture is elastic and smooth. Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters. Use a toothpick o make a hole at the top of the shape. Using a microwave-safe plate, microwave a plate of ornaments for 1 to 4 minutes. Be sure to watch so the ornaments don't catch on fire or explode. Allow ornaments to cool and then paint and decorate.

The Boy is very excited to be doing this activity. I told him it would be great because we can make ornaments for Grandma, Mimi, Mom Mary, etc. and he told me that if he makes them, they should stay on his tree. We need to work on the idea that Christmas is the season of giving.

Monday, December 1, 2008

On To Christmas

The Thanksgiving holiday is sadly over. The weekend went by so quick for our family. It was very nice and a fairly relaxing. We hosted some of my family on Turkey Day and then went to The Husband's family on Sunday.

The Boy had a big week. On Wednesday he got to go and see a movie in the theater for the first time. The Husband took him to see "Bolt" and they both loved the experience. It was a complete surprise. That night, he got to stay up super late to make pies with Grandma. Needless to say he was still up at 6:30 AM the next day.

Friday was spent in the comfort of our home, lounging and putting out Christmas decorations. The Boy was tremendously excited this year. His enthusiasm for the holiday season seems to grow by leaps and bounds every year.

The big fun this year has been putting lights on the Christmas tree and putting up our new Advent calendar.

Not to be outdone, The Girl had a great weekend too. She was all smiles.

While she cannot partake in the experience of the Advent calendar this year, she still seems to like the whole holiday season. This morning, The Boy woke up talking about how this was the first day of the Christmas month. He could hardly wait to get into the #1 slot on the calendar. What was in the first slot? Gum...he was in heaven. The calendar mixes treats with activities. Tomorrow we will have a slip of paper with an activity on it. So exciting. On the way to school this morning, he asked if we could go the longer route to school so he could chew his gum longer. I love that he finds joy in the simplest things. We have a lot to learn from that.

Christmas 2009

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