Friday, December 25, 2009

the loot

santa called us christmas eve. no, really. caller id showed up "unknown". no number. no state identification. no nothing. the monkeys were on their best behavior. he insisted their presents were already loaded and on the sleigh. and that jakob was for sure getting the bike he wanted and riley didn't have to worry, it was a pink dollhouse for her. he claimed that max would get something perfect and zoe's gift was going to remain a secret until morning, but that she would love it. i was a little surprised how open santa was about the gifts, having not spoken to him personally, i kept thinking, "wow. i hope he knows what he's talking about." i, for one, didn't want to have to explain things in the morning if it wasn't exactly what santa promised. but christmas morning was pure excitement. that santa claus sure did deliver.

zoe: 1. polly pocket mall 2. "peace" build-a-bear 3. mint green camera (she got that early. we've established this.)

from santa: her very own room!! how santa managed this one, we may never know.

favorites in stocking: taylor swift cd, books, zuh zuh pet

jakob: 1. lego pirate ship 2. star wars skiff 3. real life cash register (i wish you could have seen his face)

from santa: brand spanking new bike

favorites in stocking: clone trooper outfit for build-a-bear, r2-d2 watch, scooby-doo dvds.

riley: 1. super fancy princess dress 2. parachute (just like the ones from elementary school. giant circle of fabric, everyone holds on to the handles and shakes it. runs around it. bounces beanbags on it. it was a huge hit.) 3. for the life of me, i cannot remember riley's third present. i'll have to come back to this.

from santa: pink dollhouse with a green roof. (she was very specific.)
favorites in stocking: stuffed white kitty cat, books, ariel costume for build-a-bear
*pictures will come.

max: 1. geo-trax airplane 2. shake and go race track 3. big orange tractor trailer that carries a big orange race car.

from santa: metal grocery cart

favorties from stocking: cars, trucks, motorcycle mailman, build-a-bear stroller

the phone call with santa ended, and jakob immediately claimed he knew who it was. it was "an old man with white hair. but he doesn't live at the north pole. i think it's called idaho." i debated that it couldn't have been grandpa howard or it would have shown up on the phone. and started.....snowing! in texas!! on christmas eve!!! i picked up the nearest kid and swung them around and heard myself say something like, "it's a christmas miracle!" i guess i was pretty excited. and that was just enough to seal the deal for the sloop children. santa claus is real.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

max's obsession

every morning, in a tiny sleepy voice, max asks to watch "lightneen uhteen". so i plop him on the couch with his blankie and a warm sippy, and he's happy for about 20 minutes while i make beds or shower or sit by him spaced out (depending on what kind of night i had). he is starting to quote lines from it and apparently dreams about it. sometimes when he wakes up from his nap, he'll say "mom, mom. lightneen uhteen is faaasss." or "mom, mom. mater funny." then laugh and laugh at a joke only he knows. he loves repetition. he wants me to repeat the same story over and over. once on our way home from rockwall, we saw a police car with its lights on, parked behind a truck on the side of the road. max asked, "mom, mom. what happen?" "that truck was probably speeding, so the policeman pulled him over." and seriously about 20 more times "what happen?" since my one line answer was not enough, i elaborated. "remember when lightning mcqueen was looking for mack and the cop car turned on his siren and started chasing him and lightning said 'serpentine! serpentine!' and he broke the road and got tangled in the telephone wires? that truck did that." "ooohhhh!! i like dat. mom, mom. what happen?"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

all i want for christmas is my two front teeth

jakob lost his top teeth within hours of each other. the bottom 2 (on either side of his fancy new middle bottom teeth) fell out in a blur of days either before or after the top. the tooth fairy was in a frenzy every other night searching for ones. and, sadly, forgot once or twice. oops. i kept remembering when i lost my front teeth. i was so bummed. i couldn't eat corn on the cob (and i love corn on the cob) until those buck teeth replaced themselves. it felt like forever. when i told jakob that tid bit of information, he was very reassuring. "don't worry mom. i don't even like corn. as a matter of fact, i don't like most vegetables other than carrots. and i can just eat those on these side chompers right here." that's great.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


when thanksgiving rolls around, i can't help but start in with the questions. "what does your family do for christmas?" "what were your traditions as a child?" "what are some of your favorite memories of the holidays?" you see, i really want to make this magical for mine. i want solid traditions that we do every year. after pooling traditions from my childhood and his childhood and interrogating family and friends, and a few that popped into our sugarplum heads, these are the keepers thus far:

  • secret elf. first of december we draw names. everyday of the month we do small acts of service for that person and make a serious attempt to direct extra hugs and smiles and well wishes their way. buy a present for them to be opened christmas eve, hopefully encouraging serious brotherly love. (or brother/sisterly love. zoe drew jakob this year. they are either best friends...or not even close. zoe asked if she could trade. john paul said, "nope. that's going to be the best thing for you.")

  • after we decorate the tree we have a giant family slumber party in the living room and smile with excitement until dreams of random things dance in our heads. (we eventually kick the daddy out. he snores, you know.)

  • gingerbread houses. my fam did this every year. we each got to decorate a house and then choose who we gave it to. i have to admit that i have been known to buy a pre-made kit at the grocery store, but it's not the same. the house doesn't smell like gingerbread and the candy isn't as stale. i love stale candy canes. seriously. (there's no telling how old our gingerbread house decor was.)

  • typically, every friday we have family movie night. it's the one night a week we get to watch tv while we eat! (exciting, i know.) it rotates who chooses the movie, the meal and the treat. but this year we are also doing christmas movie night. starting the kids last day of school we will watch a different christmas movie every night until christmas. i have to decide if we will get to eat dinner in front of the television, at least the treat will make it's way in front of the grinch and george bailey and the charming muppets in a christmas carol. (i hope someone will actually sit through it this year.)

  • we are eagerly adopting the "three wisemen gifts" this year. we are giving each child 3 presents from us. santa will hopefully come through and bring an amazing one, we'll expect lovely and thoughtful gifts from grandparents (they always deliver), and we'll cram their stockings to full capacity. but we are really hoping to focus on the birth of our savior. and shying away from mounds of toys will help us do that. they always end up adoring 3 or 4 presents anyway. the rest is just filler. very expensive filler.

we rely heavily on the tried and true stand-bys. blaring christmas music and dancing around the house. baking cookies and dipping anything and everything in chocolate. we read the classic christmas books and the new. and we're working on our very own living nativity. (we enough kids, geez.) john paul makes his own delish hot chocolate that the kiddies and i top it off with soft and fluffy homemade marshmellows. we love going for drives and looking at the christmas lights. and finding a family to help have a merrier christmas. i'm so excited for my house full of monkeys to rip open their presents. and grin at my husband when they keep screaming with delight "oh me oh my!!! this is what i've always wanted!!" i guess riley's the only one that really does that. jakob does get all excited and yelling, but it's usually more like, "YEEEESSSSSS!!!!! YEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!" zoe has never had much of a reaction. if she is absolutely in love with a gift, she kind of quietly says, "oh. wow." we'll have to see how the little man is. it doesn't matter. i'm excited. excited that for 2 weeks school won't interrupt our days. excited that i have some things hidden away that i know they'll love. excited that they're excited.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

thanksgiving and why i didn't take any pictures...again

we braved the cold and the 16 hr drive to make the trek to north carolina to get our nana and grandad fix. (and don't forget about the aunts and uncles.) we basked in (nearly) a week of love and affection. and when we got home, i eagerly checked the camera card to see what lovely little pics i had to prove that we had a beautiful thanksgiving, only to find these little ditties:
that would be max on the lawnmower (the engine blew up shortly after this. they have no evidence). riley at the aMAZing children's museum. looks like she's making herself a box. some random dog from the neighborhood. and zoe's neck. when i saw these, i thought, "what the what?! why do i always leave thanksgiving photo-less?" and this is what i came up with.
  1. i wasn't at my own house. so i couldn't always remember where i had left my camera.
  2. thanksgiving is mostly an indoor show. and we all know that i shy away from indoor photos. (not the best lighting. boo.)
  3. thanksgiving, when we travel, feels like an honest to goodness vacation. very little is expected of me, so in return i expect little of myself. my main concerns are laughing hysterically, playing with my babies and making sure they don't chop off a finger in pap's workshop, or bug anyone too much. easy peasy.

so if i had been thinking about it, i WOULD have gotten pictures of riley spooning with abby, the dog, and using her for a pillow. and i for sure would have gotten a million of max snug-mugging nana's neck. and i wish i would have gotten some of everyone together. or ANYone together, for that matter. i found these gems on zoe's camera. nana and grandad had an early christmas for the monkeys so they could see their cute little faces when they opened their loot. and these are some pretty cute faces.

i'll do better next year. (i hope.)