Friday, December 22, 2006

On the Eighth Day of Christmas

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

8 Billion Legos (through which we searched for one teeny-tiny little piece after another to finish something which looks like a cross between a shark and an airplane, but yet is submerged in water; all in all a 4.5 hour project!).

And yes, Virginia, it is true that you can go cross-eyed after digging through Legos for too long!

7 Mateless Mittens
6 Loads of Laundry
5 Frozen Chamorros
4 Bedroom Home
3 Legged Beagle
2 Front Teeth and
One $9.97 Walmart Wedding Ring to Replace the One Lost in Lily Lake!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

On the Seventh Day of Christmas

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my true loves gave to me:

Seven Mate-less Mittens! (And it's only December, ugh!)
Six Loads of Laundry
Five Frozen Chamorros
Four Bedroom Home
Three Legged Beagle
Two Front Teeth
and One $9.97 Walmart Wedding Ring to Replace the One Lost in Lily Lake!

Monday, December 18, 2006

On the Sixth Day of Christmas

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, my true loves gave to me:

Six loads of laundry!

Five Frozen Chamorros
Four Bedroom House
Three Legged Beagle
Two Front Teeth
and One $9.97 Walmart Wedding Ring to Replace the One Lost in Lily Lake!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

On the Fifth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Five Frozen Chamorros!
(Honestly, that was way too easy and you probably saw it coming, but really, did you expect a different 5th day gift? Didn't think so!)
Four Bedroom House
Three Legged Beagle
Two Front Teeth
and One $9.97 Walmart Wedding Ring to Replace the One Lost in Lily Lake

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

On the Fourth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me,

A four-bedroom home (so never again will I ever be awakened at 11:30 pm by a crying child who cannot sleep because her brother, who's wide-awake, is jumping on her bed while she's in it).

Three Legged Beagle
Two Front Teeth
and One $9.97 Walmart Wedding Ring to Replace the One Lost in Lily Lake

On the Third Day of Christmas

On the Third Day of Christmas my true love gave to me. . .

One lazy 3-legged beagle!
Two front teeth!
And one $9.97 Walmart Wedding Ring to Replace the One in Lily Lake!

On the Second Day of Christmas

On the Second Day of Christmas my true love gave to me. . .

My Two Front Teeth!
No joke! Paloma's two front top teeth finally came in. However, next to impossible to snap a photo of!

On the First Day of Christmas

One the First Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . . .

One $9.97 Walmart wedding ring (to replace the one lost in Lily Lake, see our September Archives)!

Hatfield's Award

We are very proud to announce that Hatfield recently won First Place--Grade 2 in the Wisconsin Knights of Columbus Christmas poster! She came home from school on Thursday with the above certificate and medal of honor.

Unfortunately, the posters are no longer at her school, so I was unable to get a picture of her with her prize-winning drawing. The theme of this year's contest was "The True Meaning of Christmas." Hatfield explained that she made a triangle-shaped stable with a "big, pretty, yellow" star at the top of the it. She drew Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus resting in the stable.

When asked why she thought she won the contest, she said that many of the other students drew photos of Christmas trees or giving presents, but that to her, the true meaning of Christmas was Baby Jesus. Looks like someone's paying attention in Sunday School ;)

One Frozen Chamorro

So you want to see a Frozen Chamorro?

You're looking at one!

This photo was taken the other weekend on our annual Christmas Tree Outing with Jimmy and Boppa. While the day was fairly warm for Wisconsin winter standards, it was quite chilly and very windy. But we're hardy folk here, and even Paloma was a trooper against the fierce elements.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Winning the Lottery

Sometimes life as a stay-at-home mom can get a little mundane. Today I felt like I won the lottery when I did 4 loads of laundry and had 9 complete pairs of matching socks and no mateless socks to show for it.

Luckily for me, I have entertaining children. Paloma surprised me today by crawling into Hatfield's Hello Kitty laundry hamper. I'm sure most mothers feel this way, but sometimes I think my kids are just so darn cute that I just want everyone to see. Thank the Lord for blogs!

(To balance out the sap-o-meter, the next time my children do something particularly heinous that illustrates a less-than-stellar parenting moment, I promise to blog about that as well.)

'Pasta' Problems

I have major rodent issues in my life.

An opossum has taken up residence beneath our backyard deck. He terrorized me (and Ernie, our trusty 3-legged beagle) all of October. We didn't see at all in November and I thought "Great! He's moved!"

I was wrong.

Tonight while putting the children to bed, I hear Ernie making a horrible racket in the backyard. I race downstairs to call him in before he would awaken Paloma. I flip on the backyard floodlight, and lo and behold, the opossum returned.

The kicker: the thing only comes out to torture us when Cliff is not home.

So here's Ernie, 10 feet off our deck, barking wildly, circling the opossum. This is not the first time Ernie has cornered the blasted beast. The first time the opossum played dead and returned to his dwelling by sunrise. Upon discovering it playing dead, I nearly called my doctor for a Valium prescription. The second time, Ernie had cornered it in the vegetable garden where it just hissed and swatted and spat at our ferociously barking dog. In a hysterical, semi-hyperventillating state, I telephoned my husband, who got a jolly laugh out of the situation and told me, in all seriousness, to "chase it away with a broom."

Alas, it's now Ernie's third run-in. The vermin knows Ernie isn't the brightest beagle in the bunch so it just sits there, looking at our wonderdog in a mildly bored, slightly amused way. By this point in time Ernie is just about dizzy from the circling and barking. Fortunatley, I am able to lure Ernie in with dog biscuits, and I now have him safely quarantined from the back patio door for the night.

I can't believe this has happened again. As Atticus will gladly tell you, "My mom saw the 'pasta' and nearly died."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Cookie Fun

I have a confession to make: I am a Christmas Cookie Baking Addict. I LOVE baking holiday treats. Last year, while we lived in Milwaukee, I made a scant few cookies, due to a little baby in the house and an ill-configured kitchen. This December in our new home, I have made 9 dozen cookies of different varieties and 5 pounds of fudge, to date.

Today I had little cookie helpers in the house!

They meticulously tested the quality of our cookies, as demonstrated by Atticus:

Hatfield offered a cookie tip: "It's okay to eat yellow snowman cookies. It's NOT okay to eat yellow snowman out in the yard."

All in all: 36 cookies, 1 batch of frosting, 8 jars of sprinkles (5 of which were thoroughly emptied), 3 kiddies and one daddy on major sugar highs.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Burn Those Bibs!

Paloma's new cry: Burn those Bibs! Banish the Booster! Seek Independence!

Our dining experiences with Paloma are always an adventure. From a rather young age, she wanted nothing to do with her high chair because she had to be right at table level like her big sibs, right where the action is. So we put her in a booster seat and she seemed fine with that. Well no longer! Now our girl insists upon using a plain kitchen chair like the rest of us. . .only she needs to stand upon it. I've enjoyed the majority of my meals this week standing behind Paloma, with one hand outstretched just in case she stumbles.

The one department where she hasn't insisted on being like us is in the table manners department. For some reason there she has chosen to model herself after Ernie.

Yet with a face this cute, how could we get mad?

Our Shepherd Boy

Last night was Atticus' preschool Christmas program. We have been to many a preschool Christmas program, but this one was the best put-together, hands down. They put on a play of Baby Jesus' birth. Each and every child had at least one line of speech and one solo line of singing, and the class sang songs as a whole too.

Atticus was a shepherd in the play, and he sang "Go tell it on the Mountain, over the hills and far away. Go tell it on the Mountain that Jesus Christ was born!" His line later in the play was, "This will be the son of God." Then at the end of the play, each child introduced themselves and when Atticus did, he said, "My name is Atticus. Merry Christmas to my Mom and Dad." (Admittedly, all the children said Merry Christmas to their parents too, except the one little girl who named the closest 30 relatives she had :)

We cannot tell you just how PROUD we are of our son. Atticus sang and spoke his lines so clearly, so loudly and with such pride in himself. All the children did in fact. We were just amazed at the self-confidence they all exuded and how well they did! We are still smiling all day from last night; this is our Atticus who really didn't talk or carry on conversations until he was 3 (of course now we can't get him to stop!); this is our Atticus who last year cried nearly every time we dropped him off at his Milwaukee preschool. Here up on stage was this handsome, charming little boy--our little boy-- with a huge white smile!

Of course, he was quite the ham too. He had a difficult time sitting perfectly still when he was waiting on the stage with the other shepherds. He had to do little sitting dances, and he also repeatedly flashed his Spidey underwear (unintentionally) to the entire left side of the audience! While up on stage he took his time to model his Shepherd gear, and once he did a couple of little donkey kicks off the steps when the class was singing and dancing a bit. And to add a flourish to the ending, he was the only kid who did some huge bows while the audience was clapping.

We recorded the program with our new camcorder, and I'm still quite a novice with the device. I'm hoping to download it and put his song and antics on youtube, but no promises there.

All right, I realize that I'm probably making most of you nauseous with my Mommy pride and sentiment, but you other mothers out there will understand that I just can't help myself! And just so you all know. . .prepare yourselves: Hatfield's school program is next Tuesday and Wednesday morning there is sure to be a gushing blog review :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006


The kids and I were upstairs yesterday afternoon for a mid-week room clean-up. While we were helping Atticus put his clothing away, SLAM! shook the floors.

We peeked into the hallway and saw Paloma's door, once open a moment ago, now shut. We gently opened it (in case she was leaning against it on the other side) and saw this. Miss Paloma gleefully standing on her rocking chair, looking as pleased as punch that she not only got up there all by herself, but was standing on it as well.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree!

Christmas is just around the corner, and I like to decorate early. I also like to take down early and get my house spanking-clean to ring in the New Year. So this year, we put up our "Children's Tree" in our family room on the day after Thanksgiving.

The great thing about our new house is that I can have this "Children's Tree" in our family room, and my "Pretty Tree" in the formal living room. The Children's Tree consists of all kid-friendly, soft, or homemade ornaments. I like to have a tree where every ornament has a story, and this tree definitely achieves that. There are ornaments from my youth, and as we hang them Hatfield begs me to again tell her which ornaments were the ones that Aunt Stephanie and I used to fight over when we were little; there are ornaments that my children made; and special ornaments given to them as gifts over the years by beloved family members.

As showcased by my little Vanna's in the above photo, you can further see that the Children's Tree does not have any edible and/or chokable ornaments on its lower 3.5 feet, making it both Baby Friendly and Beagle Friendly. The one and only Christmas Tree Rule in our house is once a child hangs an ornament, no adult can move that ornament to a more pleasing location. Last year all the ornaments on the tree were in the lower 3.5 feet, which Atticus could easily reach. It looked funny and the boughs were drooping, but it was precious and no one was allowed to touch it!

Furthermore, we had the sturdiness of the Children's Tree tested this year by Mr. Atticus, and it passed with the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Yesterday morning I awoke to find 4 Spidermans, 1 Wolverine, 2 Doc Ocs and 1 SpideyCycle perched among the tree's upper branches. Apparently our little home decorator stood on the arm and back of the couch to reach those precarious places, and the tree didn't move an inch. . .now that's sturdy!

A Changing of the Seasons

Gone is our Thanksgiving week of 60 degree temps and here to stay is the harsh, cold winter. Want proof? I now have damp hats, mittens, socks and snow pants hanging over the heat vent to dry! Further proof? My husband has thanked me about a million times for "forcing" him to decorate the outside of the house during the week of 60 degree temps!

I'll put a picture of our home adorned with Christmas lights in a later blog. . .but here's my food for thought. Green Bay has a "Grizzy Tour." Named for the Griswald home in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, this tour features a double decker tour bus which travels around the city viewing all the over-the-top holiday homes in the area. Apparently homeowners need to apply to get a spot on the tour, and as the tour becomes more well-known, the competition is becoming fierce. I SOOOO want to be a home on the tour next year! So if you're looking for me on December 26th, I'll be at our local Wal-jhar buying all the clearance-tagged tacky outdoor Christmas decor that I can get my hot little hands on!