November 30, 2010

We've got spirit, yes we do

We've dived head first into Christmas around here. The boys and I put the tree up on Friday, on Saturday all four of us took advantage of nice weather to put up outside lights and Thomas was my helper to the end on Sunday, stringing garland and lights along the staircase.  [Sidenote 1: Mark and I worked together on outdoor lighting for the first time ever and were still smiling when the project was complete. It was quite possibly a Christmas miracle.] [Sidenote 2: We only broke three ornaments in the tree decorating process which, given all the help, was also probably a miracle of some sort.]

All this Christmas spirit has generated a lot of conversation about the holidays and, in particular, the big guy in the red suit. Questions I have fielded in the last four days include...


Andrew: How come Santa never gets older and how come he never dies?
Susan: Well, blah, blah, blah, Santa's spirit is in our hearts and he's timeless and blah, blah, blah where's your dad?

Thomas: Do the reindeers come inside the house?
Susan: No, Santa leaves them outside.
Thomas: Well, I hope he knows not to leave them in the street because there are a bunch of them and they would block the cars.

Andrew: How much do you think Santa's sack weighs?
Susan: (Not making eye contact.) I'm not sure. It depends on what toys are inside.
Andrew:  (Staring me down.) Well, I don't think it really matters.  He has a lot of toys inside if he has toys for the whole world. It seems like it would be really heavy...

Andrew: Do you think Santa eats all the cookies at every house?
Susan: I suppose so.
Andrew: If he eats all those millions of cookies how come he doesn't throw up?
Thomas: Because, Andrew! Santa is magical and Magical People never ever throw up!


With our Santa question quota firmly met for the week, we're looking forward to beginning the Advent Box tomorrow. In years past we've made a game of my filling the little compartments with great secrecy so the boys never see it happen and they love to check a dozen times each day to see if there's a treat.

Tonight after dinner they disappeared into the dining room and grew suspiciously quiet after a few minutes, which obviously should have been our first sign.  That makes them coming downstairs in hysterics the second sign, technically.  It was then that I went to check on their work.  They had been filling the advent box on their own.  Each door was full of...wait for it...pepperonis. Turkey pepperonis to be exact.

We've taught them well. Nothing celebrates the reason for the season better than processed meats.

November 22, 2010

Things about which I wonder

1. Does the 25 cent deposit required to use a shopping cart at Aldi actually improve cart retention? It just seems like if you really want or need to steal a shopping cart that a quarter isn't much of a barrier to acquisition.

2. I spend all day long thinking about, and missing, my boys. Yet, within minutes of being home I'm thinking I could use just a minute. Is this nature's way or my total ineptitude?!

2. How did this pencil mark land on my ktichen ceiling? No one here seems to have any idea. It's a true mystery, which actually isn't my favorite genre.

4. Is it normal for a four-year-old with a limited culinary palate to love pickles?  I'm beginning to worry that he's pregnant.

November 12, 2010

From the desk of Andrew, Vol. 2

It's time for another installment in the "From the desk of Andrew" series.  This entry is brought to you by the letter "I," and follows closely on the heels of a parent-teacher conference where we were informed that Andrew is a good student who is reading well. We were also assured that his phonetic spelling - or lack thereof - is developmentally appropriate.

It will be shocking to learn that the area where our young pupil can strive for improvement would be in exercising self-control. 

 I'll leave it to your imagination to determine possible reasons why a dinosaur would be saying, "Excuse Me." I didn't ask for an explanation, because something told me that expressing any interest would be the wrong way to go here, but I'm going to guess it has something to do with the cloud emanating from his backside.

November 4, 2010


The boys were heading outside to jump on the trampoline and were generally pushing and shoving their way to the deck. When they opened the door the dog jumped up to come inside and Andrew SCREAMED at his brother, "Get out of the way. You're being rude. You need to let the dog come inside right now."

Thomas responded, "Yeah. I know. Ladies first. I know, Andrew." 

With that, they escorted the dog inside and went dashing into the yard.

November 2, 2010

From the desk of Andrew...

He's become a prolific letter writer. I look forward to emptying his backpack each evening because treasures like this often flow forth! I believe this installment proves he has taken my threat that there will be no more Silly Bands and no more Pokemon cards in our home quite seriously.

November 1, 2010

Halloween and other scary things

Halloween was a weeks-long series of pumpkin patching, carnivals, parties and trick-or-treating this year and it was also a series of costumes for Thomas. We visited the pumpkin patch twice - once with Thomas' class and once with Grandpa and Grandma.

We started the festivities a week in advance at Thomas' school carnival where the kids play games to win prizes and generally marvel at seeing their teachers in costumes.

On Friday both boys had parties at school and for this event Thomas decided he would be a football player rather than wear the skeleton costume that he had begged to have for weeks. In a rare moment of knowing that I should choose my battles, I agreed to let him switch costumes, as we had all the parts lying around the house anyway.

He initially planned to be a "Texas Longhorn football boy" but had another change of plans late on Thursday when a classmate told him that if he was a Longhorn she wouldn't marry him. After a conversation - wherein I basically told him that while this "friend" is cute and nice, I would hope that the girl he might someday choose to marry would not threaten him over his wardrobe choices -  he was not dissuaded.  He spent Friday as the Jayhawks' #10. Saturday found him back in the Texas jersey for the bulk of the day but by Sunday he had again decided that he's a Jayhawk at heart. 

We trick-or-treated with neighbors and after 15 short minutes Thomas announced that he thought he had enough candy so Andrew carried on with the tribe and Thomas and I returned home to have dinner with our friends, the Wards, and hand-out treats at our house. Everyone was happy with that plan. Andrew came home an hour later with a bushel basket full of candy and riding high on the idea that he had been wandering the streets after dark.

This afternoon has seen them sorting their haul, trading treasures and giving me the things that have peanuts, which is a very generous test of my willpower. They both consumed way too much chocolate after school today but isn't that kind of what November 1st is all about?

In other frightening notes...

  • I walked a full block down an alley in Downtown Lawrence today thinking that someone was following me because I was hearing jingling.  I kept looking over my shoulder, but nothing. As I bounded up the stairs to my office I heard it again. That's when I realized that my predator was my own necklace.
  • I pretty much utterly failed by forgetting to snap a picture of my costumed boys pre-begging last night. I'll see if I can talk them into dressing up as football players just one more time this week to document the look.  Considering that they would wear the jerseys to bed if I let them, I'm not thinking it will be a challenge.
  • Also? Mark had a birthday last week. We're not allowed to discuss it or celebrate it or acknowledge it in any way but the boys really felt like we needed to get him some sort of gift. Thomas was adamant that this would be exactly what daddy needed and that it would help him a lot. Having no better suggestion from the birthday boy, he was gifted with this beauty when he arrived home from a work week in Atlanta. 
It's a pooper scooper. 

Happy Birthday, Hondo! We love you!