Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Daddy Date #2

New Fish was so excited for her special Daddy date.  She kept skipping around the house singing: "Daddy date!  Daddy Date!  Daddy, daddy, daddy date."  She told Two Fish she wanted to go to the temple and then see dinosaurs.  They drove by the temple and then went to the dino museum.  They also got lunch together afterwards.  New Fish took off her shoes to make sure that Two Fish had to carry her everyplace and she asked him 10,000 questions while they were out.  She was a pretty happy girl when she came home. She gave the date two thumbs up.

Christmas Afternoon

 After church we went to my parents house to open gifts.  Mimi came and met us there along with my siblings.
Red Fish entertaining her little cousin
 After we left my parents house we headed to Two Fish's brother V's house for an awesome Christmas dinner.  My sil L did a fabulous job of setting everything up and it was so nice.  The perfect ending to a great holiday!

 The kids all draw names ahead of time and exchange gifts on Christmas day.  The siblings rotate every year to give gifts to eachother. 

On the way home I looked back and saw this between the car seats.  Merry Christmas!

Christmas Morning

 We got ready for church before we went downstairs.  The girls were pretty anxious to get down there and see if Santa had visited. They were very happy that he had brought them a pile of presents.

 After we had a breakfast caserole and fancy drinks we went to chruch at my parent's building.  My Mom was playing her violin with the choir and my Dad was directing.  New Fish asked me why "Pop pops was the only one dancing."  I guess she thought the choir was singing and my Dad was doing a dance in front.
New Fish wore a dress my Mom made for me when I was little.

The Loot

 Santa made a stop at our house.  He filled the stockings with bandaids (because the girls go through a million of them and think they are stickers) and diving sticks, pool balls and flash cards.
 New Fish for a baby doll, stroller, Princess Tiana, a doctor set, mega blocks, magnetic princess doll, a strawberry short cake, puzzle and a princess hat.  She also got a few more princess dolls from Mom, Dad and Red Fish. 
 Red Fish received books, games, puzzles, a magnetic mermaid doll, a science kit and a Rapunzel doll.  She can never have too many puzzles apparently. 
There was a whole bunch of books, do a dot markers, the movie the Lion King and a set of wooden magnetic dolls left for them to share.  Next year Santa may just give them identical piles because they mostly seemed to care about what the other person got.  Santa is still learning...  I tried really hard to only get stuff I was sure they would play with so I didn't go as crazy as last year.

We all got spoiled rotten by parents, grandparents and siblings.  Two Fish gave me a speaker for my ipod, a food saver and weights.  He got a whole bunch of new work clothes and a wing for his rebreather.  There was an abundance of wonderful gifts.   Most of all we are blessed with wonderful family and friends and good health.  There is much to be grateful for this past year.

Christmas Eve

Our little family
Red Fish, Cousin S, My Aunt S, and New Fish playing cell phone games

 We went to Christmas Eve at my grandparent's house as we have since I was a little kid. We sang carols the whole way there in the car.  Two Fish used to be a Christmas grinch but he has seriously come around to the spirit of the season the last few years.  He even puts up with my cheesy singing with the girls and joins in.

  My grandparents always have treats galore and food at their house. This year was no exception, even though my Bockum currently has a broken arm.  Grandma worked overtime.  We had dinner with my Aunt and Uncle and two of my cousins. 
My parents, My brother (Doo) and his wife (M.E.) 
We decided to have a Nativity this year.  It was the first nativity we've had since I was a little kid.  It was pretty funny.  We had several enthusiastic wise men.  Everyone knows how much Two Fish loves to wear a costume.  He was pretty thrilled his headpiece was shiny. 
 Red Fish was Joseph and she insisted she was the one to ride the donkey (my cousin S.)  New Fish played Mary and she kept running away with the baby Jesus. 
 The shepards (sushi chefs?  Ninjas?) stood properly amazed at the Angel (me.)
 The nativity was a spectacle to behold.  It was fun a pretty humorous attempt.
"Wise Men"
Sheep one and Sheep two with the angel
 After the nativity I changed the girls into their Christmas jammies. 

On the way home we saw a yard full of deer with giant antlers.  The girls went ballistic and were positive Santa was inside that house.  They were in a terrible rush to get home and get in bed.  They were spotting Rudolph the whole way home (red lights on the tops of building and signs) and they were convinced he was hot on our tail.  They have never wanted to go to bed so badly.  They ran inside and jumped into their beds and Red Fish even kicked Two Fish out of her room so she could get to sleep.  Too bad Santa doesn't come everynight!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Daddy Date #1

Red Fish went on a ski date with her Daddy today.  Two Fish is trying to spend some one on one time with the girls while he has some time off from work.  I asked her what her favorite part of the day was and she said: "Riding on the lift with Daddy and talking."  I asked her what she liked talking to him about and she said: "We talked about how our gigantic boots squished our feet." Apparently that was a really good talk. She liked getting lunch with him and the lodge as well. This little girl totally idolizes her Daddy.  She actually wants to be a Dad when she grows up and hasn't quite figured out why that isn't going to work out. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

How can I get mad when she is so pleased with herself?  She and Red Fish proudly told me that she now looks just  like Rudolph.  Santa might even come and ask her to guide the sleigh.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Weekend Away

Our friends the Buddies invited us for a weekend away with all of the kids.  We went to a cabin in the mountains and had a great time.
 There were plenty of games and building with blocks and a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.
 We took the kids to see the Santa Symphony downtown.  The usher flustered me because we got there just before the show started.  I didn't get the kids as settled as usual and so they weren't quite as cooperative for the concert as usual.  Luckily, as soon as Santa came out they were totally mesmerized.  They symphony played all Christmas music with three vocalist.  O Holy Night was especially beautiful.

 The was plenty of reading.
 The Buddies made houses out of rice crispie treats for the kids to decorate.  The girls loved it.
 We spent a little time on mainstreet.  We had carmel apples from my favorite chocolate factory.
It is so fun that our kids are such great little friends.  There is nothing better than great friends!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Red Fish - Aug. 2011
My girls are in love with swimming.  The lessons are a great activity for them and they continue to make progress.  I love knowing that I can provide them with an activity they love and excel at.  There are so many other things that are hard that I would hate to take away something that is working so well.  The downside is that - swimming lessons in the winter drive me crazy.  Trying to get the girls dressed three times before noon is not something I look forward to.  We have to be dressed with coats, shoes and socks for the drive over.  Then they need to be changed into their wetsuits.  Then they must be redressed with hats to cover wet heads for the ride home.  Then, of course, they need a bath later.   The multiple costume changes are not the worst part.  The dreaded locker room is the worst part.

As soon as we get into the locker room my blood pressure skyrockets. Often one of the girls is crying because their lesson is over and they weren't ready to get out.  It never fails that someone tries to touch some truly nasty surprise discarded on the locker room floor.  My germaphobia goes into overdrive as I try to not freak out. I try to dress both of their wet little bodies as quickly as possible and divert any conversation away from the people around us.  These comments range from "Hey!  That lady with the white hair is nakie!"  to an innocent (but unfailingly LOUD) question about the body of someone changing in the locker room.  These questions have been known to turn my scalp purple with embarrassment. If by some miracle I am able to remain calm as I shove on shoes and socks we manage to leave with a shred of dignity.  If I let the stress get to me, it stresses the girls.  Then we ultimately have a tantrum as I try to shield their wet hair from the elements and get them into the car.  If we have a tantrum over carseat buckling - the world ends.

I'm hoping our locker-room situation will improve soon.  I convinced the manager to give me a code for the children's private dressing room.  They didn't want to give it to me since we aren't "members" but I convinced her to give it to me for all of the members sake.  I'm sure the ladies in the locker room will appreciate our absence.
 I've been taking a stack of books and markers and trying to really use the time alone with each kid while the other is taking their lesson.  I draw with them and read to them and teach them new songs.  It has helped eliminate their irritation at sitting on the side of the pool.  Plus I feel like I'm really getting something done during swim time.
Red Fish with her speech therapist
We've scaled back our speech therapy attendance last month.  This made me so happy but as soon as we scaled back, we had a big drop in intelligablity.  Red Fish had passed off dozens of three syllable words over the summer.  When the speech therapist brought them back out, Red Fish couldn't say a single one of them.  I was way more crushed than I should have been.  I took it personally because we should have kept practicing them and we have been slacking on speech lately.  It's so hard to get in enough time on everything.  After a few weeks of practice, Red Fish has made some awesome progress.  I just have to remember that this process is two steps forward, one step back.  She is a totally different little girl than she was a year and a half ago.  I just need to keep perspective.
The girls reading at the library

We've been going to the library a lot lately.  I usually let the girls each get five or six books. They always get at least one Fancy Nancy book, a few Clifford the Big Red Dogs, a princess book and something random. They cry every week when I take the books back.  They get very attached.  Hopefully it will stop being so traumatic because overall the library has been a good addition to our weekly schedule.  The girls love books and it has been nice having so many new ones around.
One of my goals for next year is to fit in more music.  We've been doing pretty well lately.  Now that I have finished up a huge kit of Family Home Evening lessons to try and make that run more smoothly, I think I will concentrate on more music things with the girls.  I made a few games for their favorite songs and they've learned almost all of the simple nursery rhymes and songs we have little books of.  We take those to the pool often.  They are good for practicing speech as well.  We have about 50 of them (from waterford.org) and the girls like that they are short and easy to remember.  That makes it sound like I am forcing them to memorize them or something but really they just do it because they love it.  It might be that Red Fish just really loves it and New Fish loves to copy her.  It's hard to tell the difference sometimes.

My friend Annie came and cooked a bunch of freezer meals with me the other day.  We zipped them up in her food saver and I've been preparing them every night for dinner.  It seems to be working well for us.  Dinner and housework are almost impossible for me to keep up on.  They are my nemesis.  I'm hoping that my new plan of making everything for a month in one day and freezing it will help with the planning, expense and time management all involved in keeping up with healthy meals.  The food saver really helps keep them tasting good as well.  (Hopefully I'm getting one for Christmas.)  Having Annie over to show me her quick meals was a huge help.  You know how everyone has those few standby meals that taste good and are easy to prepare?  I need yours.  Please send them to me to add to my stash.  Explain them to me like I'm a complete idiot.  When it comes to cooking- I am.  

We haven't done half of the Christmas things I thought we would.  Life is too crazy and the cold keeps us inside.  So we just keep moving on.  Sometimes I think we are trying to do to much and sometimes it feels like I can put enough effort in to be the kind of mom I want to be.  And that is a few of the things that are rattling around in my brain.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


This is a picture of me as a kid.  Who does it look like?