Monday, December 17, 2012

Life Lesson #107: It's Not Just About Parties

Years ago, before we had troubles having a baby, I remember telling Scott we couldn't *try* between March-May because then we'd have a Christmas baby. I still thought I could plan these sorts of things and didn't want his/her birthday to be overshadowed by the holiday. 

But then we had troubles and I gave up caring what time of year -- just as long as I could have a baby.  Then, we ended up having two babies on the day after Christmas. 

Oh, the irony. 

But you know what? I could care less that their birthday is Dec. 26. I felt (and still feel) so immensely grateful for them, that any day of the year would have been perfect. 

I know someday it won't be perfect -- at least to the girls. I know someday they'll feel cheated because they share their day with a holiday that spans from November to January. They'll plan parties that their friends can't attend and friends and family will combine their Christmas and birthday gifts into one. 

But I'm hoping that I can head it off at the pass and teach them what's truly important about birthdays and Christmas. It's not just about the presents. It's not just about parties. Not that those things aren't an important part of growing up, but as long as they're happy, healthy and spending time with those they care about, I hope they can feel as grateful for their birthday as I do.   

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dear Santa ...

Last night, we helped the girls write letters to Santa. They didn't really understand what we were doing, but I hope it's a tradition we can keep for years to come. 

Scott: What do you want Santa to leave you under the tree?
Grace:  Presents. 
Me: What kind of presents?
Grace: Lots of presents.

After some more digging into what "lots of presents" means, we ended up finding out they want the following: 

We added the "I'll be very good" part. Wishful thinking, I guess. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Real Deal

We've been practicing for weeks now, so we finally went out and got the real deal. The girls were pretty crabby before we got there, but once we let them loose among the rows of trees, they perked right up. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bumper Cars

While waiting in the drive-thru at Arby's, the girls were SO thirsty they were begging me to move the cars in front of us. 

Grace: Mama, move those cars!
Claire: Move, move, move those cars!
Me: And how am I supposed to move them?
Grace: With your feet!
Claire: No, no, no. With the car, Mama. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


My older sister got glasses when she was five. 

My brother was 3. 

My little sister was 18 months. 

And Scott's vision issues were discovered in Kindergarten. 

If poor vision is linked to genetics, the odds were against the girls from the beginning. 

The eye doctor says that Claire is farsighted in both eyes. If you pay close attention to pictures of Claire, you may have noticed that one of her eyes usually turns in. Apparently, if she starts wearing glasses now, we can train her eyes to work together, so that she doesn't develop a lazy eye. 

As if potty training wasn't a tall enough task, it is now our challenge to convince the most stubborn child since her father was one himself to wear her glasses all day long. Every day. 

I think I'll go eat my Wheaties now. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Izzy's Story

Almost six years ago, there was a very large, very uncomfortable great pyrenees laying on her side in a barn, breathing in and out and slowly counting the days until she would give birth to a litter of puppies. 

Those puppies would come out part Pyrenees, part St. Bernard and would melt the hearts of everyone who met them. 

A couple of months later, a very tall and loving man would learn of these dogs and would suggest to his very short and neat wife that they take one of them. 

Wife: But I don't know much about those kinds of dogs. Will they bark? Slobber? Get very big?

Husband: She won't bark or slobber much. And she won't be all that big. 

That folks, is what we call dramatic irony. 

Izzy went home with the tall man and short woman and was quickly loved. On one of her first nights at the house, the tall man kneeled down next to her and whispered how much he loved her. "Goodnight, Izzy."

For the next few years, she would ping pong between the most lovable dog and the white terror. She tore up flowers, blankets, pillows and walls. But she also warmed our hearts with her loving personality and puppy dog eyes. 

Just a few months ago, the tall man and short woman decided to leave their country life and move into a neighborhood in town. Although they searched for a house with a fence, the house that found them did not have one. Building a fence would cost thousands of dollars and still not allow Izzy to roam like she yearned to do. 

So, they weighed their options and decided that the best thing for Izzy would be to find her a home in the country -- with miles of room to roam and explore and have the adventures of a true country dog. 

And then, after what seemed like forever, they found the most perfect home for Izzy. In the country, with a dog-loving couple who have a Pyrenees/Lab mix themselves. 

With tears in their eyes, the tall man and the short woman said goodbye to their good friend and wished her many adventures and a happy life. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

In Training

A few days ago, I was reading the girls a book about going potty and when I finished, Claire said "I want to wear underwear."

Did you hear that? 

That was the sound of me dashing out of the room to find the underwear we bought months ago. 

I've been waiting for a sign that they were ready. They're coming up on three and being potty-trained is a must for the preschool we're looking at, so Scott and I have been ready for awhile, but I was reluctant to force them into something they weren't ready for just because I was.

I was worried I'd be setting them up for failure, but I was also worried that I was trying to protect them too much. That's a mom's life for ya -- guilt either way. 

But that shining moment when she uttered the words "I want to wear underwear." That's all I needed. 

So, we're full-on potty training now. We've been doing it half-heartedly for months now, but we've ditched the diapers (except at bedtimes) and it's going really well. 

Grace -- in typical Grace fashion -- wanted nothing to do with using the toilet about six months ago and now she is sprinting toward the finish line. She doesn't even stop to tell me any more when she has to go -- she just runs to the bathroom. 

Claire -- in typical Claire fashion -- has been interested in using the toilet for some time now, but needs a few reminders throughout the day. 

We still have a ways to go, but I have to say I'm so impressed by these girls. Sorry, I doubted you, my dears. I guess I'm in training, too. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Spirit

I channeled my Christmas spirit and my inner preschool teacher and whipped up an indoor activity that would make my old co-workers proud. 

And my kids like it. So, there's that, too. 

Can you tell she just woke up from nap?