Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Introducing: Gumdrop

We have really had a lot of fun this year with Christmas traditions. The girls are at such a fun stage to introduce traditions that we will hopefully be doing for years to come, and when they think of their childhood Christmas they will remember the fun they had.
First, we had an advent calender this year. I stole the idea from Pottery Barn (theirs was a much classier version) to hang 24 Christmas socks and number them. Each day the girls would run downstairs to see what was in their sock that day. Every morning would Cambry would wake up and say "We forgot to check our alavent (her version of advent) calender! I should pick first." Of course they had to take turns picking but they found things such as a nickel, dime, quarter, or a dollar on a big day, pens, stickers, candy, chapstick, or their favorite finger puppets that were baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and three kings. Nothing fancy for them, but everything was a huge crowd pleaser.

Second, with the money that they collected from their calendars they saved in their piggy banks and used it to buy their sister a present. When they had collected $6 each we went to Walmart for some big spending. Drew shopped with Colbie while I shopped with Cambry and we both kept them from seeing each others gifts. It was a good lesson in many ways because they had to try not to buy things that they wanted but really think of the other person, and an early financial lesson as they kept picking the biggest items on the shelf that they couldn't afford and we got to talk about their budget. Cambry picked out some dinosaurs for Colbie that is probably one of Colbie's favorite gifts that she received, and Colbie got Cambry a ball and some candy. Can't go wrong with that.

The third tradition is my favorite tradition: Elf on a Shelf. It's a book that comes with a magical elf that enters into your home. (There will be a future post on the disaster that happened while I was purchasing this book. Stay tuned because it's a doozie.) Anyways, your kids find the elf, name him, and he reports back to Santa if the kids have been good or bad throughout the day (we always focused him telling the good stuff, not like a tattle tail) , and then he flies back and lands in a different spot every morning and the girls have to find him. Per Santa's rules the elf isn't allowed to talk he can only listen, and the girls cannot touch him or he looses his Christmas magic. Bringing him into the home was fun. The girls and I had coincidentally just finished reading the book Elf on a Shelf for the first time, when we went into the next room and our elf had appeared! Sneaky elf. I asked the girls what they wanted to name him and I let them each pick a name. Cambry picked Gumdrop (it was actually her second choice after I wouldn't let her name him Nose Ring), and Colbie picked Piggy. They both agreed on the last name Elf-Elf. So our elf's name is Gumdrop Piggy Elf-Elf. I love it! The girls loved finding him every morning and seeing what mischief he had been up too. Their favorite was the day he was sitting with marshmallows all around and had some stuck on his face. He was loads of fun but next year I'm going to have some elf shoes made for him to see if he will wear them because his lack of feet freak me out!

One day we couldn't find him so we gave up and went to eat breakfast, and when we opened the pantry door look who was hanging around. :)

One day he sat on the fridge and had stolen one of daddy's Cokes.

He is gone until next year, but we already miss you Gumdrop!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Look out Jennifer Beals

Cambry had her last dance class for the season on Monday. She was so cute dancing that I hated to see it come to an end, but we can always put her in again. Every class they danced to Christmas songs and the last dance was to "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". They had some pretty great dance moves including when they lined up to pass a stuffed hippopotamus wearing a tutu. Cambry was third in line bouncing up and down waiting for her turn. The first girl took the hippo and passed it on, and the second girl took the hippo and passed it on to Cambry. Cambry took the hippo hugged it, rocked it, and when the teacher said "pass it Cambry, pass it Cambry" Cambry finally kissed the hippo and passed it. Unfortunately this was the only class that I forgot my camera. I was very proud of her for all of her efforts in dance, but do to her "artistic flair" (by that I mean all of the other kids following the teachers moves and Cambry doing her own 90% of the time) I don't think we will enroll her in Julliard anytime soon. Here are some of our memories from this session.

Cambry felt it would appropriate to give herself a solo when all of the other girls are lined up against the wall. :) I love that kid.

You'll have your turn one day Juju!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Big girl beds!!!

Drew and I have had a goal for quite a while. It seemed like a milestone that was never really going to happen. Something that when we thought of we looked at each other with nervous eyes knowing the effort that it was going to take to reach this accomplishment. What was it? Getting the girls to sleep in their big girl beds - in the same room. Yikes! They currently have their own rooms, and I know one day they will want to have separate rooms again (but in the mean time mama's getting a craft room! Holla!!). We just wanted them to build some childhood memories together and as close as possible. Literally.

Here were a few of our fears:

Colbie: She sleeps in her crib and loves it. She is in a cute, stylish jail that keeps her from wondering the hallways of our home. When she wakes up in her crib she just lays in bed and sings until someone comes to get her. She is peaceful in there - with the exception of the 10 day stretch that she was a screaming tyrant that insisted on sleeping standing up and made me wonder every night who replaced my sweet baby with the crazy banchy? - but we will just chalk that week up to teething and never look back. My fear about moving Colbie into the big girl bed was that she was going to revert back to her banchy-ways but be loose in our house!

Cambry: A wonderful sleeper......as long as she is in our bed. Oops. This kid has been sleeping with Drew and I for about a year now. Hard habit to break. And also bittersweet. Cambry is a completely crazy sleeper, and as annoying as it to take an elbow to the face, or a swinging leg across the gut (our nights sleep sometimes resembled a UFC fight), I loved crawling into bed and snuggling with that little lady. If any one was watching when I crawled into bed with her it probably looked a smidge creepy because I always snuggled up right next to her, pet her head for a bit, smelled her (that's the creepy part, but her hair always smells so good!), and made sure she was covered up because she is a nudist and only sleeps in undies. It seems like every night Drew and I would go in and see how she was sleeping and smile and say how cute she was. It never got old. I think Colbie was starting to realize that we all slept in the same bed and feel left out though, and I never want her to feel left out over anything. There just isn't room for four in the bed! Believe me, we've tried it.

So anyways, we did it. We have been preparing the girls that "someday soon" they would be sharing a room. I moved over all of Colbie's belongings and she has been sharing the room (just not sleeping there) for about two months. We even set up Colbie's bed in Cambry's room and we would practice laying in there together in preparation for the big day. We also stopped calling it Cambry's room, and called it the girls room. We put up some planet stars and stickers on the ceiling to make the room a little more exciting. Then the day came. We have been asking the girls when they wanted to sleep in there and Cambry kept saying "soon, soon we will" and I thought she really meant never. Until Sunday when she said "I think I want to sleep in my big girl bed tonight." Drew and I looked at each other wide-eyed and said "Okay!" And that is where they have slept together for the last five nights. They have done a really great job, and the video monitor to watch what they are doing has become priceless. I only wish it was recording. Of course there is a bunch of laughter coming from the room, some sweet story telling, and then a few screams as Colbie repeatedly crosses over into her sisters bed, and we have seen pillow fights, and the occasional tattle-tale (Cambry yelling "MOM! COLBIE IS SAYING BUTT!!!" -butt is off limits to say- and Colbie is sitting on the edge of her bed bouncing and saying "butt, butt, butt, butt" over and over. Man that kid cracks me up.) Drew and I just try to let them work out their issues on their own and stay out as much as possible. The biggest issue is that the insomniac in Colbie has come out. She must take after me. She would stay up all night rather than miss something. Even after Cambry has fallen asleep she stays awake and still teases her, or sings, or cries, but doesn't go to sleep until about 11. That's late for a two-year-old, and her personality in the morning shows it! I know once the newness of it all wears off, then I'm sure she will go to sleep.
Over all we are so proud of them, and it's nice to have our bed back with it's intended purpose.....Uninterrupted sleep!!!

Night 1 in the big girl beds!