Thursday, December 21, 2006

Our Christmas Blog

Every year I try to send a Christmas letter that is a bit out of the ordinary. Usually, I suspect, I am the only one who finds my ramblings to be original or funny... but still I share. Here is this year's Christmas Letter / Blog:

Happy Holidays, and Welcome to the Annual Holiday Blog! (SO current, right?)

In China, 2006 is the Year of the Dog. In our household, 2006 is the Year of the Princess. Literally. Princesses are ALL OVER THE PLACE. If you get up in the middle of the night (because someone might have left the bathroom light on again…) you will assuredly stub your toe on something related to princesses. Disney Princesses, Polly Pockets Princesses, Barbie Princesses, Stuffed Animal Princesses, Dora Princesses, Princess Dress Up Clothes, Crowns, Wands, Princess Shoes… if it is Princess in theme our girls either own it, dream it, pretend it, or covet it. (Seriously, advertising for that Ariel Vanity is getting on my nerves!) The girls are not brand specific at all, certainly not princess snobs by any means – they are definitely equal-opportunity princess lovers. Just last night Husband and I noticed that about 20 small plastic princesses and one pixie had made the journey in from the living room (where they had been partying with the baby Jesus in the nativity scene), to hold a Yule Ball under the small tree we set up in the family room. I suppose it was the twinkling white lights that drew them… it’s all about shiny pretty things isn’t it? Our girls even seem to sleep better when they are wearing princess pj’s. (Note to self: buy more princess pj’s.) Truth be told, princesses have been part of our lives for several years around here, but this is the first year that Younger Daughter has been as hard-core addicted as Older Daughter, so it’s Princess Central here on our cul-de-sac. As older daughter grows out of it I’m sure things will return to a more normal quantity of plastic royalty in these parts… but 2006 has definitely been our Year of the Princess.

Now I can bring you up to date on our two resident princesses:

Older Daughter / Princess is in first grade this year. Wow, I would have never thought I’d miss someone so much! It’s hard to get used to her being gone all day… even though we drive each other bananas when we’re together all the time. I totally miss her and look forward to school vacations like I haven’t since I was a child myself. She is still in dance (Yea!), played soccer this fall (it is my theory that she’d be much more motivated to get the ball down the field if we had Younger Daughter standing behind the goal holding one of Older Daughter’s favorite toys… as that usually brings a “spirited” response from her), and has lost 10 teeth in the last year to add to the bottom 2 teeth she lost last year. No, she wasn’t in an accident or anything like that. She lost her top 2 teeth the old fashioned way – screaming in terror as I chased her around the house with a Kleenex shouting “…but it’s got to come out, you’re going to swallow it.” The other 8 were pulled by the dentist after her x-rays showed 4 impacted incisors. She recovered with grace, especially after I rescued the tooth fairy money from the toilet where she managed to drop it five minutes after waking up that morning. Older Daughter / Princess is still our little reader, she can read anything now and it’s amazing to see how much bigger her world is now that all the words make sense. (It’s also amazing to us how much there is out there that we prefer she not read… has the world always been so inappropriate for 6 year olds?) She writes in her diary (which she hides, because she already has her mom all figured out), loves playing with her friends, recently got her ears pierced, started Brownies this fall, has a very caring heart, and is doing really well in school. We are very proud of her!

Younger Daughter / Princess is now 4 years old. Thank. God. Some parents talk about the terrible twos. Husband and I talk about the vile threes. It is the year of not just “no”, but “absolutely NOT” with our kids… as that is the year that their impossibly strong wills seem to kick in. I think those of you with kids can relate to the following math problem: 2 stubborn parents plus 1 newly stubborn child, where X stands for the time-out step, equals lots of screaming, stomping, scowling, and mayhem…. and THAT reaction is just from Husband and myself. Imagine how Younger Daughter / Princess reacts! She is in preschool, which she loves, and dance, which she also loves. She is really into Princesses (which I may have mentioned quickly in passing above), adores all things pink, hates being paired with a boy in preschool activities, and detests “boy toys” of any kind. (While most punishments simply draw an indifferent response from her, threatening to buy her a truck or a power ranger to play with gets the job done.) She is a funny little girl and loves to make people laugh, and she does have a little bit of fairy mischief in her. She has become the “button pusher extraordinaire” in our house… if only she would use her powers for good! Honestly, though, she’s a hilarious kid, and loves to have fun. When she is being her sweet self she is pretty laid back and cool, and very fun to be around. She is already somewhat quick witted, which makes us smile.

Husband and I are about the same as always. Wrapped up in the kids while still trying to find time to be with each other. I have branched out a bit on people I will let baby-sit the kids (yep, still a little over protective), so we’ve managed a few more dates this last year. We took one trip as a family this year, up to the Northwest. Our friends got married in September in Oregon. Our Daughters were part of their Flower Girl Crew (six flower girls, such a cute sight), and we had a VERY good time. Older Daughter was totally into the square dancing at the reception. We also got a chance to spend some time with Husband’s sister’s family in Seattle. Husband is still working as a Project Manager, and our whole family is excited and very proud that he graduated in May from University! (Magna Cum Laude!) He worked very hard on his degree and is glad to have a little time off from school before going back for his MBA. I am hugely proud of my husband!

I keep busy with the kids. Driving them back and forth to schools, lessons and activities, volunteering at school… how do people with more than two children manage to get it all done? Wednesday is the best day of the week for me, as it is a “quiet day”. Younger Daughter and I have the whole part of the day where Older Daughter is at school to be silly and play. Of course, her favorite part of the day is always after Older Daughter gets home from school so they can play / bicker with each other. I have been to visit my friend in TX a couple times this year, which is a very fun getaway for me although I miss Husband and the girls like mad when I’m gone. Still not back at a “real” (read: paying) job – trying to put that off as long as humanly possible. (Much to Husband’s dismay!)

…and I think I can end the blog here now that you’re all caught up our clan. We hope your family has a very enjoyable holiday, and a brilliant New Year!

P.S. I’m going to blame the lateness of our card this year on the blizzard we are experiencing the week before Christmas. Of course, since I’m mentioning it in the letter, you can probably guess that this isn’t the only reason our cards are going out a bit late!

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