It's Time For Elf on the Shelf (Or Not!)

It's Time For Elf on the Shelf (Or Not!)

Any day now my Facebook news feed will be inundated with pictures of the cute and clever things my friends have done with their Elf on the Shelfs (Elves on the Shelves?), links to lists of cute and clever things to do with an Elf on the Shelf and posts from friends lamenting their lame, last minute efforts to do something with their Elf on the Shelf before their kiddos notice that he hasn't moved in a few days (quick, fling him down the stairs!).

We don't own an Elf on the Shelf for a number of highly significant reasons that are similar to the reasons we don't "do" Santa or the Easter Bunny at our house. That's not what the season is about, I don't like to try to convince my kids to believe things that aren't true because I want them to trust me, blah, blah, blah. If you choose to do the Elf on the Shelf, Santa, the Easter Bunny, leprechauns, fairies and unicorns etc. with your kids rest assured that I AM NOT JUDGING YOU. I've just chosen  to do things differently with my kids, for all the significant reasons I allude to above but also, and most importantly, because I am HORRIBLE at those kind of things.

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Your Daughter Is A Rock Star!

A few weeks ago Jordan informed me that he's in the highest reading group in his class. Last week he told me that he'd moved up to 6th grade spelling. And this week we received the following email from Sasha's teacher.

Your Daughter Is A Rock Star!

Hannah - I forgot to mention this to you when you were in our room today. I told Sasha I would email or call you both to let you know that she did a great job working on kidblog today. I took my whole class to the computer lab today to write about their favorite fall activities. Sasha ended up being my hero. She listened well to directions because getting to kid blog and logging on can be tough. She also started walking around and helping everyone who needed help. She did it in such a nice way and was really patient with everyone (when I was about ready to pull my hair out lol.)

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So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

Well, it's official...summer is almost over and I can't say I'm particularly thrilled about it. I absolutely love summer. First of all, I'm not a morning person. At all. So not having to set an alarm is one of my all time favorite things. Secondly, I love warm weather. Being able to leave the house without having to pile on layers of clothes makes me very very happy. Also I love swimming, beaches, reading/napping under a shady tree, lemonade, iced tea and basil. Tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers are my favorite vegetables. And honestly, I love having my kids around.

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Finally, A "Boring" Day!

When Jordan was younger, he used to think that any day in which no one came over and we didn't go anywhere was boring. I tried and tried to explain the concept of nice normal days in which we could hang around the house, get things done and relax. He just wasn't buying it. Fast forward a few years and he seems to like nice normal stay at home "boring" days even more than I do.

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Praying for Polie

Every night when we say our night time prayers, we end with "And please bless Daddy and Mommy and Karlye and Jordan and Sasha and all our family and friends." Since we've gotten a dog, Sasha has insisted on adding Charlie to that list. Lately she's gotten very attached to Polie, the stuffed polar bear we bought her when I was pregnant with her. For the last couple of weeks, she's also insisted on adding Polie to the line up. Tonight, she asked God to help Polie's cold get better. He doesn't have a cold, as far as I know. I do, but I guess that doesn't rate with Miss Sasha. Half an hour later, I was saying night time prayers with Jordan. We got to "and all our family and friends" and Sasha yelled from her room, "AND POLIE!!!"

Like Mother, Like Son

I am so excited that my kids love to read, since reading is my all time favorite activity. Sasha goes to bed surrounding by books - stacked on her dresser, the floor by her bed and even on her bed. I love listening to her reading herself to sleep after I tuck her in for the night. Usually I have to pry a pile of books out from under her after she falls asleep, because I as much as I love books, I don't imagine they make a very comfortable pillow. 

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Persuasive Writing

Jordan's been learning about persuasive writing in school. Here are two of his assignments. Notice the blatant emotional appeal. Needless to say, he got a raise in his allowance (although not quite the amount he was aiming for) and if there was any way we could squeeze a dog into the budget, we would now be the proud owners of one.

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Not The Hair!

At the age of 4, Sasha has had 4 haircuts. Two of them were planned, while the other two were decidedly not. Her first haircut was courtesy of her cousin Tristan. We spent Mother's Day 2009 at my sister and brother-in-law's house. The adults were hanging out and relaxing while the kids played all over the house. At one point Sasha came and told us that her cousin Tristan had done her hair. I glanced at her, saw he'd given her a ponytail and told her it looked nice. When we got home, I got a call from my sister informing me that I might want to check Sasha's hair since she had just found long blond hair in the wastebasket. Sure enough, Tristan had given Sasha bangs, and I hadn't even noticed. 

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Not Ready For This Yet

This is, as accurately as I can remember it, a conversation Jordan and Karlye had in the car on the way home tonight (some names have been omitted to protect the innocent). Background: The kids were talking about what they wanted to name their future potential children. I couldn't hear the names they were saying at first, although I believe Jordan's current favorite girl's name is Brazil.

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Update on the Jo

Jordan's parent teacher conference was last week. He's doing great, as usual. Not surprising considering how much he loves school. Apparently he's always nice and cheerful and well-behaved, which makes me wonder why I don't always get the Jordan at home. I guess if he's got to misbehave somewhere, I'd rather have it be at home than in public.

I got a bit of surprise when his teacher told me that he'd been tested to see if he should move into Gifted and Talented math. It looks like he'll be fine in regular math for now, but they're going to keep an eye on him and he might move later this year.

Reading's going really well too. They want the kids to be reading at a level 22 by the end of the year, and he's been at a level 23 since the end of first grade. I guess all the hours and hours we've spent reading to him are really paying off. I'm so very happy that he loves to read. I read a chapter from a book to him every night at bedtime (we're doing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory right now) and he's reading chapter books on his own as well. He still really loves art and also writing.

 

N or M

Some of my favorite "Sasha-isms" are "naybe" instead of "maybe"and "grow-mup" instead of "grown-up". These are often used together in sentences that start out, "Naybe, when I'm a grow-mup..." The poor little girl tries so hard to keep up with her big brother and sister. When they're here she follows them around trying to play with them, talking and talking at them and trying to get their attention. When they're not here she spends a lot of time talking about what she'll do when she's as old as they are and imitating all the annoying things they do that I'd like a break from while they're gone. 

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"When I Grow Up"

"When I Grow Up"

About a week ago Jordan brought this picture home from school. It's a picture of him working in our basement (which we are currently finishing). I love how he even drew the step stool and the fan that Justin's been using down there. His goal for quite a while has been to be an artist when he grows up, so when I saw this I asked him about it. He said he guesses he'll be two things - an artist and a handyman. I thought that sounded like a pretty complementary combination. 

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Wheelin' and Dealin'

Jordan had yesterday and today off of school. Earlier this week he asked me if he could have his friend Nicholas sleep over some time over his long weekend. Then he wanted to know if Nicholas could sleep over, would I make macaroni and cheese from a box for supper. It's so funny how the kid is not that interested in my fabulous homemade mac and cheese but he loves any kind that comes in a box. (Oh wait, he's not a big fan of the Annie's organic mac & cheese either.) Not sure how this all fits into his New Year's resolution to eat healthier, but anyway...

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Here Goes Nothing

Here Goes Nothing

A few days after Christmas, we were at Justin's dad's place, getting ready to go sledding. I wanted Sasha to go to the bathroom before I put her snow pants on, for obvious reasons, but she was having none of it. I finally convinced her to go and followed her into the bathroom. She hopped up onto the toilet and said, "Here goes nothing...because nothing's coming out!" which was followed immediately by a tell-tale tinkle sound. 

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Kids Say...Part 2 or 3?

A few days ago Jordan said to Sasha, "Sasha, you're so cute. You're the cutest girl I ever saw." And she replied, "Yeah." Such confidence!

Thinking of cute things my kids say reminded me of something Sasha said this past spring. My friend Beth was watching the kids for me while I was interviewing some people for an article I was writing. When I came to pick them up, the first thing Sasha said was, "Mom, Bethie touched my butt." Turned out, Sasha had a dirty diaper and Beth had changed her. It was hilarious. I guess I don't need to worry about Sasha keeping any "bad touch" incidents to herself at least.

Indian Summer?

Today was such a good day. I got a lot accomplished with a minimum of stress and whining. Admin. asst. work, freelance work, two loads of laundry, made Jordan's birthday party invitations, dishes, remembered to give Jordan his allowance and have him take a shower, balanced my checkbook, paid bills, swept out the garage and did some other stuff.

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I Like Quizzes, But...

Jordan has recently taken to polling the family on a variety of topics as a stalling tactic anytime he's supposed to be accomplishing things. I think it irritates me more than anyone else, particularly because his favorite time to do it is when I'm trying to eat. Questions range from "Mom, what's your favorite color?" to "Mom, what do you think the smallest animal in the world is?" to "Mom, what is your least favorite food?". Of course, he asks me the same questions day after day too, and I'm expected to then in turn ask him his favorite/least favorite/etc. whatever. The other day he informed me, word for word, "My least favorite color is tan. Even though I like tan on my skin, that doesn't necessarily mean..." 

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Stinking Splint!

This is why I shouldn't write about things when they're going well - I jinx myself. Yesterday, a week and a half away from Jordan's x-ray appointment, his patched splint popped its patch. Jordan thinks the wheelies he was popping at the time are to blame, even though he didn't fall down or anything.

Surprisingly, driving to Children's Hospital for casting, cast removal, x-rays and splint fixing is not my favorite thing to do. Especially now that no matter which way I go to get there I'm confronted by major construction and stand still traffic. So I called Jordan's doctor to see if we could get in early for x-rays and maybe ditch the splint altogether, but that was a no-go.

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