Tuesday, December 29, 2009

12 memories of Christmas 2009

1. This is what all four of the kids were like for DAYS and DAYS preceding Christmas, and even for several days after the big day. Christmas-crazed is a bit of an understatement for the hyperactivity, excitement and all-around-nuttiness that we all endured.

2. Please note the brand new sofa Alysse is sitting on. She also had food and drink (as did the others) around said new sofa while in the state of crazy she is exhibiting here. This stressed me out. We don't have new furniture because of these kids; why, then, would hosts want our kids around their new furniture? My Christmas prayers were answered when we came and went from our Christmas Eve party without any sofa destruction.

3. Alena received the hair dryer that was at the top of her wish list. She can now play beauty shop and dry her own hair which she happens to think is fantastic. She's also accepting new clients.

4. While it looks as though she's in pain, Alysse is actually near tears upon opening the red flannel cat pajamas she requested for Christmas. She was precise in her request: red, not blue; must have me-meows; and sized 3T. She has simple wants.

5. Wheels. That's what makes Trace happy. Mix things up with something with wheels that can "drive" up onto something else with wheels, and he's in heaven. He loved this gift from Santa.

6. Do you hear what I hear? It's a drill press and saw of sorts on Trace's new Handy Manny work bench. This just makes him even manlier.

7. And if you're glad Alysse wasn't eating or drinking around your new sofa, you're probably even happier she wasn't taking her clothes off in the middle of your Christmas party. She was gifted another pair of cat pajamas that were so incredibly cool, she had to try them on immediately.

8. This Christmas gift was perhaps the biggest hit with Alena ... a large box full of office supplies. Pencil sharpener, clip boards, paper, stapler. She's set up shop and is now open for business.

9. Alivia just loves this frog she received. It's soft, cuddly and takes up half of her bed.

10. For all of Alivia's excitement and enjoyment of the parties and presents, she was happy when some low-key time at home came around. My little homebody appreciates time at home.

11. Trace received a small velcro ball/board game that he quickly took too and appreciated Matt's willingness to hold the game's backboard. He had a blast.

12. On the way home from our Lima/Bellefontaine visiting and parties, the Suburban was packed to the gills. Had we received many more gifts, choices between transporting home gifts versus kids would have had to been made.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas countdown, day 24

Here's the unwrapping of the final advent gift ...

However, there's no documented proof of what was actually in the package. For some things there is no explanation other than things like this happen in our house all of the time.

We can report, though, that inside the very last package were four Christmas-themed books. And books, we always love books. There's a soft-spot in each little heart for books. We'll be reading the new ones for many Christmases to come (and maybe even at Easters too).

Merry Christmas!

Red handed

Here's the scene: Early Monday afternoon. Our kitchen. Gingerbread cookie and house decorating time.

Candies in small bowls. Everyone on a chair, able to reach the necessities.

Alena was methodical about her decorating. Her gingerbread girl had pink earmuffs and a candy pattern around its outside.

And then this happens. Did anyone see me?

Alivia is an intense gingerbread artist. She has vision. But she was also well aware of Trace's shenanigans.

And then this happens again. I know I'm caught, but all they did was squawk, so I'm good to go.

At this point Trace gets his own bowl with candy he can eat, but once it's gone, he's done. No. More.

Alysse is all about this decorating thing. Sticking candy in frosting, what's not to love.

About now the masses are getting perturbed at one among them who is stealing additional candy, and there is talk of pukage. They just know puking is in a certain someone's future.

And then this happens. All out of candy, there was nothing left to do but start in on the frosting.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

If you like it ...

Some things in our world tend to be part of a chain reaction. One incident or experience lends itself to another and another.

Last year we made many visits to Gina's blog to watch (and listen) to a video she had posted of her man Adam. The girls loved the Beyonce tune "Put a Ring on It" that played over her footage, and were entertained by Adam's dancing when we were stuck inside on January (and then February) days.

They've since heard the song at various times, and sing along having learned the chorus from our dozens of views watching Adam make tacos.

So, to hook the Scott girls, all the marketers of the "Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 - The Squeakquel" needed to do was use the clip from the film which features the Chipettes singing that Beyonce song. Whenever the girls would see the promos, they'd spend the rest of the day busting into the tune at random moments.

The movie opened today - and we were there. It was the first time I had set foot in a movie theatre in more than five years; Alena and Alivia's second movie trip (their first being over two years ago and well out of Alivia's recollection); and Trace and Alysse's introduction to the big screen.

What a treat. They loved it. Loved every minute of it. The movie. The popcorn. The novelty. The volume. The huge screen.

For me, watching them was even better than watching the movie.

Christmas countdown, day 23

If you eat popcorn for lunch one day, you might as well eat cookies for breakfast the next. And so, it was gifted.

Enclosed in each of four holiday tins today, were cookies. Two gingerbread, two chocolate chip. That means four smiles.

Since dinner and dessert were over for the night, the cookies were stowed away on the table for breakfast. No worries, we'll have eggs too.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas countdown, day 22

Things got a little dicey today. I'm not sure if it's their practiced unwrapping skills or the pure Christmas adrenaline, but the grabbing and paper ripping is gettin' serious around these parts.

Once everyone made it safely to the unwrapped gift, they were holding a holiday DVD and CD. While the terms are interchangeable to the giftees, they listened to the seasonal music before bed.

Everyone loves a good "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" rendition, don't they?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas countdown, day 21


Sugar, sugar, sugar.

Doesn't matter what form it takes, just needs to be the kid-crack they know and love.

Sugar all wrapped up in Christmas wrap makes them extra giddy. We'll not speak of the irony of opening sweet treats on the day we ate assembled the gingerbread cookies and a gingerbread house.

They now have a stash of candy canes and M&Ms that should make it through the end of the year!

Christmas countdown, day 20

Sunday's advent gift was a surprise inside a surprise. Unwrappers first uncovered Christmas tree ornaments; and once the initial onslaught of grabbing to each claim their own, they discovered the ornaments open.

Inside the secret compartment ornaments were tucked $10 bills.

First, everything is a dollar bill to them. Could be a $1 or $100 bill, it's still a dollar. Second, they always squirrel their dollars away in play wallets, purses or banks. Alena's immediately went to her secret hiding place where she's stashing her dollars and saving them up for a can't-yet-be-disclosed purpose.

This, by the way, is Trace's reaction when he thinks he's been robbed of his money. He totally played the "I didn't get a dollar" bit for as long as he could, until he got called out.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas countdown, day 19

Just when we were discussing what we could do with our free (read: no school) days before Christmas, a fun-for-all project arrived.

A gingerbread cookie decorating kit contains everything the kids need to dress up, decorate and celebrate little gingerbread people. There are gumdrops, icing and plain gingerbread boys and girls ready for holiday fun.

We've penciled in our culinary party for Monday morning.

Christmas countdown, day 18

Friday's treats were lovable, snuggable and huggable. They were met with all three.

From the package of stuffed friends, Alena chose a gingerbread baby; Alivia selected a reindeer; Alysse picked a snowman; and Trace got a puppy by default ... everyone else knew better than to grab it.

Their holiday friends were tucked in bed with them. Loved.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas countdown, day 17

There are times when you'd think the kids in this house aren't fed. Anyone who knows, though, knows there's never been a missed meal.

Literally, I could live without a clock and still know within minutes when it's 7:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Feeding times and nap times are without question around here. They make our world go round.

Who could imagine the glee when a huge tin of popcorn was opened? It was Christmas, I tell you. The lightning fast hands into the popcorny goodness was something worth noting.

Popcorn brings out the vultures in them ... if only sweet potatoes had the same effect. And while the fighting fists would have led one to believe it had been days since their last meal, they had, in fact, been served two of their three entrees (and snacks thrown in too).

I've got my money on the caramel corn being gone before sunset tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas countdown, day 16

Apparently we've never had a conversation in our house about birthstones. You know, what they are, how some of us have different ones while others share the same ones, what color they are and other pertinent birthstones facts.

That all changed today as we launched into a birthstone discussion spurred by the snowman ornaments that were opened this afternoon.

Four pewter snowman ornaments, each with birthstone "buttons" corresponding with the appropriate birth month of each recipient. There were two purple, one pink and one blue.

Now, we know all about birthstones.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas countdown, day 15

Window clings. Remember those fun little sheets of plastic that magically stick to windows and mirrors?

Today's package was full of them, in all sorts of holiday shapes ... trains, snowmen and Santas. Oh what fun to stick them around, any place they might stay stuck.

Perhaps they'll help hide the fingerprints that always reappear on the windows around here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lights, glasses, weather forecasters

We've had mounting requests for a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Lights. Apparently the kids enjoyed last year's visit, the gingerbread cookies they scarfed down and were looking forward to a return trip.

In preparation, we'd been watching the weather forecasts hoping to catch a day when the weather wasn't expected to be too cool on a weeknight when we didn't already have something on our agenda.

We hit the jackpot during our visit tonight. The weather was beautiful and unseasonably warm with jackets and hats keeping light lookers more than warm enough, and plenty of peacocks roaming around for Alivia's pleasure.

Speaking of weather ... we couldn't miss the local NBC news van parked right inside the zoo's entrance, with the station's evening weather forecaster nearby. Valerie Abati might as well be Angelina Jolie in our house. Actually, she would be more recognizable to our home's little viewers, and they were quite thrilled to have run into her.

During our visit, we also stopped by the zoo's 4-D Special FX Theater to watch the shortened Polar Express movie in 4-D. Special glasses were needed for the movie's special effects.

Although the movie is relatively short, Trace sat captivated during the whole adventure. We still believe he sat from beginning to end without taking a single breath. It was pretty cool.

Completing our visit were holiday-themed costumed characters sprinkled throughout the zoo and rides on the carousel and train.

A beautiful night!

Christmas countdown, day 14

Alivia is on a streak with the advent opening. Today's treat was another item that totally suits the pixie ... puzzles.

Everyone got a personalized puzzle in a small velvet drawstring bag. What might be on them? We're not yet sure.

Seeing that we were on our way to the Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Lights, the puzzles got stashed until tomorrow when we'll have a chance to piece them together. Yet another surprise to look forward to. Follow up to come!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas countdown, day 13

Today's gift was right up Alivia's alley. Artsy and fartsy, with some holiday magic thrown in.

Inside the wrapping were eight small wooden ornaments and a set of paints with which to decorate the holiday-themed cut-outs. Each ornament also has a small hole for a photo to be inserted.

They spent some Sunday morning time painting their ornaments in their own unique styles. Photos are coming soon.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas countdown, day 12

Tiny, brown and powdery ... can you guess?

Candy cane cocoa. It'll be coming up at breakfast in the morning.