Friday, November 14, 2008

Every Year...

It's "Operation Christmas Child" time again and every year we've participated, the kids always make me laugh with the things they say about it. We go over why some kids don't have any Christmas presents, why we are picking out fun things to send thousands of miles away, etc.

This year was no different. We ALL went to Target this time to pick out the gifts. Each of our children fills a shoebox to send. (The girls and I picked out Tate's stuff for him while he and David were off looking at manly things like tires and tools).

Reese picked up a little book to send. Which, yes, would have been perfectly fine. But I kind of steered her away explaining that we were sending to children her age and younger so #1-They might not even be reading yet and #2-If they were reading, it might not be in English.

This sparked the following conversation between Reese, Drue, and myself in the middle of Target.

Drue: I don't know anyone who doesn't speak English.

Reese: Alina doesn't.

(Alina is her little deaf friend at school)

Me: Well, Alina does speak English...she just does it with her hands by signing the words.

Reese: Oh, right. Well, everyone in the whole world speaks English...just in a different way.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ask Before You Toss

I abhor stuffed animals.

I know...I know...what kind of cold hearted person doesn't like cute, cuddly, soft stuffed animals?

A mom whose house is being overrun by the little darlings, that's who.

I haven't always had an aversion to them. I loved my stuffed ET doll growing up, and Paddington bear, etc.

I finally hit my breaking point one day when I looked in the girls room and couldn't see their beds because they were covered with stuffed rodents, dogs, bunnies, and on and on. I know their room will never look like the cover of the Pottery Barn catalog, but this was just too much. I have to dig the girls out from under a mountain of these animals, just to kiss them goodnight. And have been known, on occasion, to accidentally tell a build a bear, "I love you, sweet dreams...".

I was forced to make the rule "Only 3 stuffed animals are allowed on your bed". The girls carefully went about selecting 3 special companions to sit upon their freshly made beds and to also keep them company at night. 3 has now been pushed to 4, because Reese has 2 special bears that are small enough to really just count as 1.

Occasionally I have to make a sweep through their room and remove the extra offending animal friends from atop their girly pastel quilts.

The other night I was tucking Reese in and as I fluffed her pillows, a small stoutly stuffed angel baby flew out from behind them. she's trying to hide them from me by sneaking them behind her pillows, I thought. I quickly grabbed it in one hand and tossed it into her closet.

Reese sat quietly observing this on her bed then said in an almost whisper, "That was my dream angel...I use it so I can dream about Jesus."

Of course, the dream angel was swiftly returned to her designated spot by a mommy who felt about 3 inches tall!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

Now, don't be scared off by the title and think I am going to climb up on my soap box and talk politics...because with my luck, we are out of soap anyway due to the enormous amounts of laundry I wash in a week.

David works late tonight so he wasn't home to watch the election results with me. I switched the TV to the results around 7pm "just for a second" to see what the reports were so far. I thought the kids were going to freak out when they saw boring men dressed in suits rambling on about 2 guys they aren't too familiar with.

But to my surprise...they were actually INTERESTED! At ages 6, 4, & 2 they were INTERESTED in the Presidential Election! Grandpa John will be so proud. I thought that was really neat. Granted, Tate's only addition to the conversation was, "What Grandma dat?" when they flashed up Elizabeth Dole's picture...

I only started talking with Reese the other day about the President, because we voted at her school and she heard her teacher talking about it. So I reminded her who we voted for and she was cheering him on during the election coverage. She even wanted to make a sign for him to wave around.

Each time they announced who won in what state Drue would repeat the name they said and would ask, "Did they win?" to which I had to keep reminding her that they just won that state, we didn't know the overall winner yet.

Reese announced that she didn't want a new President. She said there have already been a lot of Presidents and there wouldn't be room on the wall to hang another Presidents' picture. I know these fine mens' faces don't adorn any walls in our house, so she must have been talking about a wall at school.

It was just neat sharing a little bit of history with them. (Did I actually use the word neat and history in the same sentence?). I told Reese that the man who wins tonight would be in her history book someday and she would have to memorize his name and everything. They think it is pretty cool that the winner will lead our country...but they think it's even cooler that he will get to live in the White House.

Drue and I were the only ones who made it til almost 9pm watching the coverage. Tates' fever spiked and he fell asleep in my lap. Reese fell asleep on the floor curled up under a blanket.

Reese did ask who I was going to vote for next time and I explained that was 4 years away and I didn't know who was running yet. I said, "You'll be 10 then, Drue will be 8, and Tate will be 6!". And I'm afraid that day will come all too soon for me....

Sunday, November 02, 2008

What's in a Name?

Drue picks the most creative names for some of her stuffed animals. For instance, she named one of her puppies "Chocolates May Thomas Trains" and one of her little kitties "Lollipop Candy".

But she is not quite as creative when it comes to naming her actual baby dolls. I'm not sure if she just gets the name she hears them called on the commercials stuck in her little curly head or what.

It all started last year for birthday or Christmas when she wanted a Baby Born doll. She got one and cuddled with it and drug it everywhere, slept with it, etc. But when I would ask her what she was going to name it, she just looked at me like I was odd and would state the obvious, "Baby Born ".

Okey dokey then.

Next came Baby Alive. She eats, wets, does almost everything a real baby does except cry every hour and a half throughout the night causing you wake up with dark circles under your eyes. She's cute, with little blond pigtails and Drue chose to name her....Baby Alive.

"Don't you want to give her her own special name like Mary or Rapunzel or something?!" I tried to persuade her.

"No. She's Baby Alive".

Last but not least her newest addition...Baby I'm Yours. Her birthday gift this past year. This doll was supposed to do stuff too, like make certain noises when you press her hand, tummy, etc. But after we got all those blasted plastic ties,invented by the Devil himself, undone and pulled her out of the box, she didn't make any noises.

Drue grabbed her like a proud Momma and hasn't let go since. She won't let us return her to the store to get one that works. At first that seemed silly to me, but the more I think about it, it's just plain sweet. She doesn't see the imperfections in this doll or care that it doesn't do all the things its' supposed to. She just sees her perfect little baby, the one she'd been wanting and hoping for. And doesn't want to trade her for anything else.

I am a bit afraid to visit her in the hospital someday to meet her firstborn, however. "Mom, I'd like you to meet your granddaughter...Baby Girl !".

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Marker Madness

David brought the kids home one trillion boxes of markers from Target awhile back. Great!

One trillion boxes of markers of the non-washable variety. Not so great.

I wish he had also brought home one trillion boxes of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to help aide my task of scrubbing down walls, furniture, etc.

Yesterday I settled all the kids in the bath and began cleansing them of any and all evidence of the days' activities. I managed to scrub the large letter "D" written in ink off Drue's forehead but was not as successful at scubbing the indelible word "NO" off her shoulder, courtesy of Reese and a black non-washable marker.

Of course, the girls found this quite funny and in between their fits of giggles, I inquired as to the events which had led up to this moment. "Reese did it," Drue informed me. To which I informed her she was just as guilty because obviously she had sat there long enough for Reese to write "NO" (and rather well mind you) on her person. Drue had no comeback for that.

Frustrated, I laid down the following decree: "I'm going to take away all your markers until you learn to use them responsibly."

Puzzled, Reese didn't miss a beat, and sincerely asked, "But how will we learn to use them responsibly if we don't have them?".

It was then my turn not to have a comeback...

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