Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Two turtle doves

Christmas this year was interesting to say the least. This was the first year that the kids really got into it. They understood who Santa was, they knew that Rudolph is the one with the red nose and they now possessed the manual dexterity to open even the most tightly wrapped presents.

In early December we took them to get their pictures taken with the Cherry Creek Mall Santa. They delivered their list of demands (Connor wanted a Spiderman flashlight and a dumdum sucker – and Kate asked for a Nemo DVD), smiled sweetly for the camera and then waited patiently for Santa to make their wildest dreams come true. They also managed to tell every person that they came into contact with for the next three weeks what they wanted to Christmas. I mean e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e!!!”

Around mid-month, came the introduction of “The Elf on a Shelf”. For those who don’t know about the “Elf”, some genius housewife came up with a multi-million dollar business idea and now families everywhere are helping to fund her retirement plan. The idea is that each family has an elf assigned by Santa who responsibility it is to watch your kids. The elf’s job is to sit in various locations around your house and monitor for good/bad behavior. The elf then relays a message to Santa to determine whether your kids are on the naughty – or – nice list.

Ross and I have always thought the Elf thing was silly and frankly it seems like a parenting crutch for people who don’t know how to get their kids to behave. Regardless, his sister gave us the Elf and in the spirit of building family traditions, we ‘hosted’ him for the month of December.

When the Elf “arrived”, I asked Kate what his name was. Already anticipating her response, I imagined that she’d select something like “Patches” or “Elfy”. She thought deeply for a minute and then shouted “Makasilo”. Caught off-guard and a little confused, I cocked my head to the side and asked her to say it one more time. She said it again, but this time with more confidence and vigor – “MAKASILO!!!!” Ugh – Ok…our house will now be visited each year by our designated elf – Makasilo. And with that Kate will not ever be allowed to name any future family pets.

Ross’s mom spent Christmas with us this year. She was staying in Connor’s bedroom, so much to Connor’s dismay he had to bunk with Kate. With the anticipation of Christmas building to unprecedented levels, it’s no surprise that the two kids woke up super early ready to devour every gift under the tree. What was a surprise is that “super early” was 4:00am!! Connor made it clear almost immediately that his plan did not involve being awake at 4:00am and he promptly climbed in bed with us and fell back to sleep. Kate (clearly the mastermind of this plan) didn’t want to waste another minute. In one of my most self-less acts as a wife and a mother, I volunteer to take Kate downstairs in order to let Connor and Ross sleep a little longer.

Kate was so excited that she couldn’t stand herself. I managed to keep her distracted with some early morning cartoons (I’m convinced that cartoons run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) and within 2 hours she had fallen asleep on the couch.

By the time it was all said and done, we didn’t start opening presents until 10:00am, the kids got everything they asked for and more and it was such a special, memorable Christmas.

Of course, it was impossible to get any good pictures of them. After multiple attempts – and me barking instructions like a drill sergeant – “sit down”, “move closer”, “smile”, “look over here” – “no, over here”, “stop touching the tree”, “get closer!!!” – I gave up!


Look at the Camera!

Ok, seriously! Can you please sit still so I can take a picture?

No fighting. Just one good picture...pllleeeaasse.


Alright, I give up.

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