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Sunday, December 20, 2009

santa who?

Since Emma was two years old, she has been asking question after question about Santa...really making me work to convince her that he is real. I remember changing the wrapping paper on her gifts at midnight on christmas eve that year so that she would believe that Santa really did bring them. I picked out the ugliest paper that I could find...something that didn't look like anything I would ever buy...all of this to convince a two year old that there was such thing as Santa!! This year, she has started saying things like Santa comes to her classroom every night and puts something special in their stockings. Then she'll say, "Well...Mr. DiNoto REALLY does it and he just tells the kids it's Santa". The other day, I overheard her telling her friends that Santa is fake. I asked her later on what she meant by that and she just kept saying that Santa is fake and he's just a grandpa with a red suit on and there's no way he really knows what we do, etc. I told her that if she doesn't believe in him, he may not bring her gifts...she replied with, "Ok, fine then..he's real. But he's really not." Ugh! She's only five years old and way too young not to believe in Santa, but she's such a realist and sees things in black and white and just can't be convinced. I'm not giving in, though. I'm not ready to let the dream die. Above all, I want my kids to know and appreciate what Christmas is really about....the fact that God loved us so much that He took on the form of man and walked and lived among us and then died undeservingly so that we may live. I, however, am such a dreamer/romantic/sensationalist and a HUGE lover of christmas, that not having my kids believe in Santa is just out of the question ;)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

cookie time!

The girls and I made cookies yesterday to take to Emma's class Christmas party. The kitchen was a disaster....it looked like an explosion of flour, food coloring and sprinkles, BUT the girls had sooooo much fun that it made the clean up worth it. We ended up not making enough, so the lucky girls get to do it all over again today. Tis the season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

thirty one

I can't believe I am thirty one. I can't believe that before I know it, I will be fourty one and thirty one will seem YOUNG. I had a great birthday this year.!!! Ryan knows how much of a birthday freak I am, so he takes off of work every year and spends the entire day doing everything and anything I want to do. I love it!! This year, I woke up to a huge breakfast buffet(which I could barely eat because I was still full from dinner at The Cheesecake Factory with my girlfriends the night before!), a treasure hunt of cards around the house from the kids and of course a pile of presents :) We spent the day in Naples at the mall "Christmas shopping" (I think everything we bought was actually for ourselves and no one else....). Ryan's mom was nice enough to watch the girls for us that night so we could go on a date....and shop some more. :)

As a reflection on yet another year of my life coming to a close, I thought I would take a second to jot down 31 blessings in my life as I turn 31......

1. a God that loves me unconditionally in spite of soooo many shortcomings
2. a husband that I stilll get excited about after half a lifetime together
3. emma's eyes
4. madeline's curls
5. claire's cheeks
6. my mom's wisdom and advice...especially when it comes to parenting
7. my dad's sweetness/tenderness
8. a sister who is my best friend
9. a best friend that feels like another sister
10. in laws that I actually love being with
11. the world's sweetest grandma and grandpa "in law" to take the place of the ones that I don't have
12. that I never have to be sad when I wake up the day after my birthday, or letdown that it's over, because Christmas is then only 1o days away!!
13. ryan's new "faux hawk" hairdo. totally on accident and totally adorable!! :)
14. running outside
15. the smell of my christmas tree
16. tiny white christmas lights
17. pigtails
18. proverbs 31...and the way it challenges me to be a better wife and mother
19. Godly women that I can learn from and strive to resemble
20. going to endless birthday parties with the kids...and eating tons of cake
21. girls night out
22. something crazy like 6 or 7 trips away without the kids this year....i'm so spoiled
23. madeline's hilarious dance moves
24. the way emma figures out these "big ideas" on her own and they are so simple to me, yet so profound to her
25. when claire screams at the top of her lungs with excitement when Ryan comes home
26. little things that i stumble upon in my day that remind me of my brother...like a certain song or food that triggers a memory of him
27. going to the movies...even if it's my myself...a few hours in a quiet theater is priceless
28. coffee!!
29. a husband that always puts his family first and always makes me feel loved and secure
30. naptime
31. listening to christmas carols in the car or as i clean the house (and not just in december!)

I could go on all day, my life is so blessed in many ways. But for the sake of my thirty first birthday, I'll spare you all the rest and stop at thirty one :)

Friday, December 4, 2009


Yesterday, I made the kids pancakes for breakfast and they inhaled them. I was loving the fact that their bellies were full and they weren't begging for snacks and hour later (as they do most days, when they only pick at their breakfast). So....today, I made pancakes again.....Emma ate 1/2 of a pancake, nobody else even touched one and I have 11 1/2 leftover. I don't know if I am more annoyed that suddenly, nobody in this house likes the very thing that they loved the day before, the fact that they are going to be starving in a little while and begging for food (to which I will not give in, because I am annoyed at the whole pancake scenario and this will cause some major drama), or at the fact that this all happenend before 7am while it was still pitch black outside and I would've much rather been in bed than in the kitchen making pancakes in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank goodness for blogging, and a place to let out my frustrations!!! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

blah blah blog

This week has been like groundhog's day for me...not much to write about. Kids up at the crack of dawn, starving and begging for breakfast, school, gym, errands, lunch, naps, homework, dinner, kids to bed, me fast asleep on the couch, blah, blah , blah. I am in need of either a night out, a morning to sleep in, or both!!

We started our annual advent calendar this week....so much fun for the kids and sooo festive, so of course I love it, too :) Each day, someone gets a gift out of the calendar. This is the first year that I have really had to put a lot of thought into who gets what on which day, because I am anticipating lots of sibling rivalry, aka "mad gets EVERYTHING", or "that's not fair...how come emma gets that and I don't?!!?!". Day three, and so far so good...the girls have been pretty gracious with each other and there has been no drama yet :)

We are getting into full Christmas swing around here. I love every second of it!! Last weekend, I took the kids to the play area at Gulf Coast and it was the perfect night...55 degrees outside, kids all bundled up, Christmas carols playing through the speakers at the playground, a peppermint mocha for me and cookies for the kids....I didn't want the night to end! The next day, we took the kids to see Santa. This was maybe the first year that nobody was afraid of him...Claire and Mad hopped right up on his lap and Emma got to snuggle by his side. Em asked him for "paperoni" and Mad asked for a bike. "Santa" had no idea that Mad wanted a bike, so we'll see what happens with that ;) Emma, who I am pretty sure has been questioning whether Santa is real or not for her entire life, has been talking ever since about how the workers there better do a really good job or else nobody will believe in the magic of Christmas?!?! She puts way toooo much thought into everything, if you ask me!

Well, I hear Mickey Mouse Clubhouse starting in the background (again!), so I know that I've got about 15 minutes before we need to leave for school!