Sunday, December 19, 2010

For Our Christmas We.....

Since we travel to the midwest over Christmas, we have our family's Christmas a little early.  On Friday, we opened stockings.
One of the gifts the girls got was a princess flashlight.  We're very excited about the princess flashlight.  So much so that we like to walk into Mom and Dad's bedroom in the morning flashing it in their faces to let them know "IT'S TIME TO WAKE UP!"  Worst alarm clock ever.

After stockings we made "make your own pizzas" for dinner. 

It's always nice to see the cook in action with her hands down her pants, isn't it?

We decided to do stockings on Friday night and then do presents on Saturday because last year, we did everything all at once and I think the girls were nearing some sort of over stimulation coma.  So we spread it out more this year.

Nothin' wrong with a princess fort.  That's what I always say, anyway.

We had ourselves a nice breakfast and then played with our respective new toys.  Then in the evening we went to Cactus Cantina for dinner.

Harper paid.  Wasn't that nice?

And then after dinner we went to the zoo to see the Zoo Lights.

A blue tree.  It's a Christmas miracle as far as Harper's concerned.

Nice weekend.  And this is just the beginning.....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hadley's First "Big Girl" Playdate

Yesterday Hadley had a friend over sans the mama, and they had themselves a fine time.  I tried to stay out of the way for most of the time, but I stole a few pictures and noted some particular hilarious things they said to each other. 

Hadley's friend was a little nervous at first, and Hadley told me that right away.  I love how blunt these kids are at this age.  They will tell you whatever is on their mind.  So the girls get in the car (she came home with us after school) and Hadley right away says, "Mom, I think we should just take her home.  She doesn't want to come over."  I said, "We can take her home if she wants to go home.  That's fine."  As I'm buckeling Hadley's friend in, she tells me, "I like to color.  I think I'll color at your house and then go home."  I said that was fine.

So they started off coloring.  They decided to make Christmas ornaments, but Hadley's friend said she wasn't sure where she would put her ornament because there wasn't room on their tree.  So Hadley, helpful lass that she is, went over to our tree and began pointing out every single branch saying, "Do you have an ornament here?  How about here?  Do you have one on this branch?"  And each time her friend says, "No.  No. No, we don't."  I wasn't sure how long this would go on for, but it was pretty funny.

They seemed to love doing the "make a face" craft that Hadley's Aunt Shani gave her.
During their coloring, they started talking about their favorite animals.  Hadley asked me what my favorite animal is.  I said, "Uhhhh, giraffe?"  She said, "I don't think you like giraffes because they don't have a voice."  And that was the end of that conversation.

They worked on puzzles together.

Hadley was pointing out the states she knew.  Her first one was North Carolina.  "This is where my Uncle Geoff and Aunt Kellee live.  Uncle Geoff has black hair and it's really straight."  Hadley is obsessed with straight hair, so saying someone has straight hair is a high way to go, Geoff!

Hadley's friend asked which state is California.  Hadley said, "I don't know.  The only states I know are North Carolina, Chicago, and Michigan."  So I pointed out where California is. 

They also played "Go Fish."
At one point, Hadley's friend looked at me with a kind of surprised look on her face and said, "I really like it here!  I'd like to come back!"  Hadley said, "My mom's name is Callie."  Hadley's friend looked at me for awhile and said, "I think I'll call her Caffeine." 

Works for me.

Harper slept for most of the time, but when she woke up the girls were playing doctor so she got to be the patient.

Nobody was happy to see the playdate come to an end, but there weren't too many tears so I'd call that a success.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Daughter is the Mouse King

Hadley's last ballet class was on Wednesday.  Usually the parents are told to sit outside of the room due to kids being distracted by their moms in the gym, but today we were invited in.  We all thought this was pretty funny since for the last six weeks we had our hands and faces pressed up against the windows trying to get a peek at what was going on.  I'm sure this drove the instructor insane, especially since every time Hadley saw me, she'd say, "HI MOMMA!!!!" and then all the other kids would look to see if her mom was looking too, and then all the moms would get in trouble because, well, we WERE looking.  Harper was no help, either.  Every time she saw her, she'd scream, "THERE'S HADWEE!!!  THERE SHE IS!  HI HADWEE!!!"  And then she'd knock on the glass.

I'm pretty sure for the last six weeks, I was every teacher's nightmare.  And you know what?  I don't feel bad at all.

Well.  On the class that I was allowed to watch, the ballerinas acted out the Nutcracker.  The teacher read parts for the story, and then the girls would dance that part.  It was a pretty cute idea if I do say so myself.  Hadley got to be the Mouse King.  She got to wear a cape and carry a sword and put on a "mean face."  She took it a little too far but it was all in the name of art.

Here are some pictures.
Let's start with this one.  Here's one where Hadley's all up in the teacher's face telling her who knows what.  It couldn't have been about the Nutcracker because until that day, the child  knew nothing about it. 

 Oh my goodness, I was so embarrassed.  The girl is NOT shy.

Shake what your Mama gave ya, girl.
A little "Ring around the Rosy" perhaps.
Look at that form.

Should we break for a look at Harper?  Yes?  OK.  Here's what she was doing.

Watching carefully while eating a snack.  Note the Dora shoes.  Say what you will about Dora, but the chick got my girl out of the dreaded pink croc like shoes that I thought she'd never leave the house without.  For that I am very, very thankful.

Also, how awesome is that hair clip? 

She also played with her cow and sheep.  In this picture they are racing.  Look out.
Looks like Pinocchio was a casuality.  Poor guy. 

 And now we have Hadley as the Mouse King.  Check out the cape.

 There she goes!
I think in this picture she's killing Clara.  Or beating her up, or something like that.  It's a bad part in the story is what I'm trying to say.
Here's the ending where the teacher's trying to get them to take a bow.  There is so much that I find funny about this picture, I don't know where to begin.  Should we start with Hadley?  Or how about the girl in the back who's still dancing?  Or the teacher?  She's taking this so seriously.  
Oh, but this one is my favorite.  Look how happy.
Like all the other classes I've signed my girls up for, this one has been nothing but a fun time.  I know they get paid to do this, but I really appreciate people who give little kids these kinds of experiences.  Next month, the girls and I are going to take an arts and crafts class.  All three of us.  Together.  I don't think there will be any fighting in it at all.  Hadley's going to be upset that I'm in the room in the first place, and Harper will insist I hold her hand the entire time.  It's gonna be splendid.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Morning of Crafts and Cookies

Yesterday morning the girls and I spent our time together making a couple Christmas crafts, and some cookies.

While the cookies were baking, we worked on making snowmen.  Or snow women, however, Hadley specifically told me hers is a snowman because she was going to dance with him. 

We made some faces on our guys.

Then we glued cotton balls on him to give him a "snowy" feel.

Some of us wanted to keep coloring.

We also made reindeer.  I took a paper towel roll and cut it in two, then cut out some of the cardboard for legs. The girls colored them so they had faces and hooves, and then we went outside to look for antlers (small sticks).
No, I absolutely did not come up with this idea on my own. 

I don't know when the day will come when the girls decide I'm the worst craftsgal ever but right now, as far as they're concerned, I'm Martha Stewart.  So I'm enjoying it while I can.

The cookies turned out to be a mild disaster.  I told the girls we were going to decorate them, but apparently decorate means "eat."  I put a platter of cookies on the table, walked away to get the frosting and sprinkles, and Harper had helped herself to three by the time I got back.

 Don't mind if I do.
I'm so happy!

Frosting?  Best. Invention. Ever.
Merry Christmas to me.
Hadley liked them, too.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One Giant Step for Callie

This is a picture taken from our car yesterday.  I drove one of Hadley's preschool classmates home from school.  This little girl and Hadley seem to be good buddies.  We hear about her a lot at home.  The other day, Hadley made her an "everything" card.  I'm not sure what that is, but we sent it to school with Hadley so she could give it to her.

The ride was pretty uneventful.  Nothing stressful or crazy or anything like that happened.  But I wanted to take a picture of it because it was a moment where I felt complete happiness that I get to be a mom.  You can see how happy the girls are in the picture, and maybe that's part of it.  The conversation on the ride home was so funny.  First, Hadley was yelling at her friend as though she was across the street.  I think since she couldn't completely turn around, Hadley figured she needed to talk really loudly so she would hear her.  Second, it was like trying to follow a ball in a pin ball game.  Hadley and her friend were talking about what shows they liked to watch.  Hadley's friend said a show called "Maggie" was her favorite.  Hadley says, "There's a Maggie at Children's Worship at my church!"  Harper wanted to get in on this too and for the duration of the ride would ask, "Do you like my Dora shoes?"

I just got to sit back and listen to it.  Maybe that's where part of the happiness came from: the fact that I wasn't the one who had to follow these trains of thought and try and contribute to a conversation that I have no clue what it's about.  I love spending time with my girls, but it can be really tiring breaking up fights, or playing a game when the rules constantly change, or constantly reminding one of them to make sure the toilet paper goes in the toilet.

But I think the other part of my happiness came from being an invisible spectator into an experience of my children's lives.  I got to see for a few minutes, what they can do without me guiding them.  I got to listen to my children's beautiful voices without concern for what comes next.

I like to make sure things are in order.  I like routines and schedules.  I probably like these things too much, but it's the way I manage my life.  There is joy for me in a well thought out plan, and where my children are involved, my need for order multiplies.  But I can't plan for moments like this, just like I can't plan for moments when the three of us take a late night trip to the ER because of a busted lip.  I don't think knowing that will make me any less passionate about being organized.  But being in the car with three little girls yesterday was a nice reminder of what grace is all about.  I don't like to sound trite or hallmark-y, but looking at this picture and thinking back on this small portion of our day together I see God's grace.  It's kind of like He tapped me on the shoulder while I was driving and said, "Hey!  HEY!  You don't have to do anything but drive right now.  And how hysterical is the stuff that's going on in the back seat?"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Fine Birthday

So far, I'm a fan of 35.  I would "like" it if it had a Facebook page.  Sure, I've only been 35 for 22 hours, but I think me and 35 are going to get along just fine.

Over the weekend, I enjoyed several surprises.  The first was a lovely massage at the Red Door Salon.  I'm a fan of the massage.  I'm also a fan of coming home afterword, to find several brand new outfits to choose from for an evening out with my husband.  I chose something a little sparkly.

Jesse and I went here for dinner:

Two important things to know about this restaurant:  1)It's delicious. 2)The White House is just a bit to the left of this picture.

Jesse and I enjoyed the "Theatre Menu" because we went here next:
That would be the Symphony at the Kennedy Center.  It was a marvelous evening.

But that was on Saturday, and since my birthday was on a Monday, I had myself another little birthday party with the Hs. 

We made angels.
(Note that the tree gets decorated as this post continues).

Hadley was so pleased with her angel that she wanted to be an angel, too.  So I did the best with what the good Lord gave me and came up with this:

I don't know if you've ever watched The Cosby Show, but there is an episode where a soon-to-be father is talking to Heathcliff, and he's telling him how he's going to be a terrible father because he can't play sports.  Then Raven comes on (you know, Denise's daughter?) and starts shooting baskets.  She's about three and gets nowhere near the hoop.  The soon-to-be-father character shoots with her and he hits the rim.  She is so impressed.

I think of that scene every time I do something like the above angel wings and Hadley and Harper think they're fantastic.  They wore these almost all day. 

In case you didn't catch that, Hadley is saying, "Don't worry, you're baby will be born soon."  This is her version of what Gabriel says.  I think Mary would've appreciated those words as well.

The other thing we did yesterday was decorate the Christmas tree.  We got an ornament from the Kennedy Center for each of the girls.

We are all things ballerina and princess these days.

I think the tree turned out quite nice. 

We even have an angel.

It's scary, right? It's like the scariest angel ever.  Look at the bottom of it.  What happened?  Why is it all torn?  And is it even smiling?  I guess I wouldn't be either because I would be too concerned about whether I had wings or hands.  And if they're hands, why don't I have arms?  What the @$#% am I supposed to do with this body?
Anyway, this year it's been fun to go through birthdays, and holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas because the girls get really into it.  We all had a nice time over the weekend, and I was glad to celebrate with my family.

Here are two videos from yesterday as well.  They don't really have anything to do with the theme of this post, but I think they're pretty funny so I'm throwin' them in.  They are both of the girls reading Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes.  I was sneaking up on Hadley in the first one because I wasn't sure if she'd keep reading once she knew I was recording her, so that's why you don't see her at first.

And the second one is of Harper doing pretty much the same thing.