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Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Days 19, 20, 21, 22

We’ve officially hit the frenzy. Final few days of work, kids’ Christmas concerts, holiday parties, last-minute shopping.

But through it all, the elves have been mischief-making.

December 19 – Calleigh and Marie (from Splatoon), Sabine and Ezra (from Star Wars Rebels), and Iron Man decided the elves had been making too many messes around the house and decided to put them in time out.

 

December 20 – But that plan backfired when the elves escaped.

Later in the evening after we returned from Cadence’s Christmas concert, we noticed the elves were gone, but we found a note that they left early. We were puzzled, but figured there was a good explanation.

December 21 – The elves returned with a special treat for Miss C! She was so excited that they got to see her sing (and even more excited that they brought her gum)!

December 22 – While Cadence and I were at the Christmas concert (and Stevie was home putting Henry to bed), Stevie managed to get us completely caught up on laundry. Woohoo! Then, as he was going into Cadence’s room to put all the laundry away, he found a giant pile of dirty clothes that had been accumulating in her closet (and that she neglected to throw down the laundry chute when he asked her to earlier in the afternoon).

You know, when we first moved into this house, the laundry chute was one of Cadence’s favorite things. Apparently, the novelty has worn off. Now we beg and plead a threaten to get her to throw her clothes down. She claims that she “forgot” or that she didn’t notice the 3-foot pile of clothes that she has to climb over to get dressed in the mornings.

Ah, the teenage years are going to be fun.

Maybe a little elf-motivation is in order. This morning, Cadence woke to find all of the dirty clothes strewn around the house, and a note from the elves to remind her that Santa is watching and expecting her to listen to her parents. And I’ll be damned if she didn’t have all the clothes picked up and correctly deposited in the laundry hamper in the basement before I even had a chance to come downstairs and see the mess.

Thanks for the back-up elves!

 

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Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Day 18

Sometimes Mondays require acrobatics.

And coffee, lots of coffee.

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Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Day 17

Well, we managed to get the tree up. But we just haven’t found the time to actually get any ornaments on it yet.

What can we say? We’ve been a little preoccupied.

The elves apparently thought we needed a little motivation. Gotta say, I kinda like the toilet paper look. I’d be okay forgoing the ornaments this year.

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Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Days 15, 16

Crazy end to a crazy week.

December 15 – I woke feeling better and with my head clearer than it has been in more than a week. Seemed I was finally kicking the cold for good. Stevie and I were up and showered. Cadence was getting ready. I went to get Henry out of bed so he could have some breakfast before school. We were even running a little early, so it was a nice calm morning…

Nice and calm right up to the moment where Henry let out a sudden wet belch and then promptly began to vomit.

Something sort of crazy happens to your brain when you become a mom. Things that would normally incite panic or turn on that “flight” instinct suddenly trigger the brain to intense moments of laser focus where Moms are momentarily imbued with what can only be described as superpowers. Our kids come to us with bleeding wounds or broken limbs or pale, sickly faces and we suddenly become iron stomached combat medics who can field dress wounds and manage to keep a half-gallon of chunky, sour-smelling vomit from hitting the carpet by catching it in our own bare hands.

And in my case yesterday, I managed to catch 99% of it with my hands, shirt, and down the whole right side of my pants.

Stevie hurried in from the kitchen with dish towels, and hollered at Cadence to grab us a bowl or bucket. She panicked and grabbed the smallest sauce pan she could find in the cupboard. We thanked her for helping and sent her back for more towels. We managed to carry Henry in to the kitchen where we could get his shirt off (somehow the kid managed to escape with just a little vomit on his sleeves), and then we set him in the sink so we could contain any additional mess while I hurried upstairs to clean myself up, start a load of laundry, and call in to work.

Henry and I spent the rest of the day in the recliner watching movies and sipping water. He ran a fever of 100-101, but luckily that one eruption was the last of the vomiting. Stevie took Cadence to her swim meet (where she took 3rd in two strokes and managed to shave more off all of her times again). Then he headed out to see Star Wars. It was supposed to be a date night, but there’s no way I could ask a sitter to come and take a chance of this being contagious, so the kiddos and I hung out at home and laughed at the pictures Stevie sent of himself from the theater hanging out with R2-D2 and other fans dressed in costumes.

With all the excitement, we darn near forgot about the elves, until Cadence found them hiding in the freezer sneaking popsicles.

December 16 – Today, Henry woke still running a low-grade fever which translates to him being little extra whiny and clingy, but otherwise he seems to be on the mend. No more puking (thank God), and other than a little runny nose, there doesn’t seem to be anything else bothering him. We decided to make it a lazy day, and just hung out at home. Cadence headed to a friend’s birthday party this afternoon and I ushered Henry up to take a bath before nap time. We found the elves had done a little decorating in the kids’ bathroom.

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Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Days 12, 13, 14

Yep, still behind blogging. Still sick. Well, getting better, but I’m still coughing enough that my voice is all hoarse. But guess what? We’re still rockin’ with these elves, and Cadence is excited to the point that she swears the elves keep moving slightly every time she walks in and out of a room.

She asked tonight if we can start taking time lapse photos of them throughout the day. Of course I had to shoot that one down. Moving the elves once a day is enough. Moving them multiple times a day just sounds like way too much work.

I mean, we have a dog that has to eat 5 times a day. We’ve gotta start drawing some lines somewhere.

December 12 – Leo and Cosette decided to put on a little impromptu concert.

 

December 13 – In honor of the new Star Wars release, Leo and Cosette thought it would be fun to dig out Stevie’s Naboo Starfighter and take it for a spin. Henry thought it was pretty cool to see the elves flying around, and Cadence was just in awe.

 

December 14 – This morning, we found the elves locked in the dog kennel. And we’re not sure if that’s what started Henry’s sudden meltdown, but five minutes after getting out of bed this morning, he was suddenly screaming and crying and shaking and seemed absolutely petrified, but couldn’t seem to tell us what he was so afraid of. He kept pointing at the door and telling us he wanted to get in the car, so we hurried up and got him ready for school and headed out the door. As Stevie was buckling him into my car, Henry finally told him he was scared of the robot.

Here’s the thing, folks. Stevie got himself a new Roomba sometime last year. In a nutshell, we hate vacuuming. We both have jobs. We’ve got the kids and their activities. We’ve got this crazy dog. And a million other things that seem to be going on constantly. We like to have a tidy house, but in the grand scheme of things, we can probably think of about 157 other things we’d rather be doing than cleaning. So the fact that there is a robot we can buy that will vacuum our house every single day if we want? Sign us up!

At first, Henry was intrigued. In fact, as soon as he could walk, he was pretty much obsessed with finding the robot and touching it and trying to press the buttons. And yeah, we may have told him not to touch the robot because it would get him.

Dammit, when you’re a parent and you’re tired and you just want your toddler to listen, you’ll say all sorts of crazy things.

Fast forward a year and all of a sudden Henry is deathly afraid of the thing. If he hears a beep that sounds like the Roomba, he screams and runs and tries to climb you. If he walks in a room and sees the Roomba sitting there charging, he backs out slowly and then runs for his life as soon as he’s out the door. And some mornings, like this morning, he wakes up and just thinks about the Roomba and manages to freak himself out.

So we spent the entire ride to school talking about how the Roomba is a nice robot and that it won’t get him and that we love the Roomba because it cleans up messes and keeps our house clean. And we talked about all the other nice robots we know–R2-D2 and C-3PO and BB-8 and Baymax.

By the time we got to school, all was right with the world again. And by the time he got home tonight, he’d forgotten all about it.

Life with toddlers. Every day is an adventure.

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Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Days 9, 10, 11

I’d like to go on the record to say that I have NOT fallen off the elf train. The blogging train? Well, that’s a different story. But in all fairness, I’ve been sick, Henry has been teething, and well, life has gone on. So, I’m just gonna lump the last few days of elf shenanigans all together here and not even worry about whether or not someone is going to judge me.

December 9 – The kiddos woke up to discover the elves had left them a few coloring pages and were just hanging from one of the sconces in the living room where they could watch the beautiful creations being made.

Of course, Cadence jumped right in and made a work of art, complete with a few dozen added hearts to let the elves know just how much she loves them. (She’s been telling us at least 3-4 times a day how much she’s going to miss them when they’re gone, to which I promptly reply, “Oh yeah, I’m going to miss them too!” in a very convincing tone).

Henry sat down and gave gave a few obligatory scribbles before deciding he would much rather watch Boss Baby for the 117th time.

 

December 10 – After being sick for a few days and not having the energy to eat much more than soup and crackers and grilled cheese, I decided it was time to bust out my new KitchenAid mixer and make some chocolate chip cookies. Mom and Dad surprised me with a Happy Monday Gift! back in November, and I’ve been dying to try it out.

Somehow I’ve survived most of my adult life and all the mixing/baking I’ve ever done with good ol’ elbow grease and my trusty little hand mixers, so the KitchenAid is a serious game changer.

Hell, I might be able to make multiple batches of pizza dough without overheating Stevie’s Ninja blender! Score!

So, I rummaged through the cupboards and discovered that I had exactly enough chocolate chips to make one large batch of cookies. It was surely meant to be. And wouldn’t you know those darn elves were just waiting to scavenge some cookies as soon as they returned from the North Pole the next morning. Cadence kept swearing she saw them move, and took careful note of how both Cosette and Leo managed to polish off the last bites without leaving so much as a crumb behind.

Henry? Well…Henry wasn’t sure how he felt about the elves dipping into his stash of cookies.

 

December 11 – So yesterday we did manage to finally go out and buy our Christmas tree. And I’d like to take a moment to let everyone know that the tides have turned in the Romano house. I’ve always been a real tree person. Stevie has always been a fake tree person. Growing up, I remember always picking out a real tree. Stevie can tell stories of how they had a fake tree for so long that it finally looked so beat up and ragged, his Mom insisted they buy a new one.

The first Christmas I spent with Stevie’s family on Long Island when we were engaged, Richie had accidentally thrown out half of the new tree when he was trying to replace the old one. Neither he nor Diane noticed until it was time to pull the tree out of storage and decorate. Diane was mortified when she realized she had a mismatched collection of tree parts in various stages of deterioration, but in true Diane form, she decorated the tree anyway and apologized to me at least two dozen times for it’s frightful appearance. If she didn’t already love me, I think my non-judgement (and good-natured joking) of her Frankentree would have sealed the deal.

The first year Stevie and I were married and living in Arizona, we had the great tree debate. I insisted it just didn’t feel like Christmas (especially in the desert) without going out and picking a real tree with the real pine smell. Stevie tried to convince me that it was an incredible waste of money. He even tried to argue how ridiculous it was to kill a real tree just to stand it up in your house for a few weeks before throwing it away.

But I’m stubborn and he let me have my way, but only after I agreed that if I got my real tree, he gets to choose our tree topper. I still don’t know if he’d actually seen the Yoda tree toppers in Target before he made the deal, or if the universe just decided that Stevie deserved the tree topper of his dreams after letting his wife win the real tree/fake tree argument. (If you want to read a little more about how this all went down, CLICK HERE). Either way, I’ve gotten my real tree every year since we struck the deal, until this year.

This year, I finally decided I’d had enough of the annual expense and the sticky sap and the pine needles littering the floor. I’ve had enough of the tree drying out because I forget to water it, or overflowing the water because I tried to fill it not knowing that Stevie had already filled it. I’ve had enough of trying to figure out how many strings of lights we need and never being able to find one whole string where all the bulbs are still intact. And I’ve had enough of worrying about the damn tree catching fire in the middle of the night because, well, have I mentioned that I forget to water it?

Stevie was wary at first. He must have asked me three or four times if I was sure, really sure that I really wanted a fake tree. No going back. And after answering to the affirmative each time without pause, he decided that I was actually serious. He has been good about not lobbing any I-told-you-so’s my way, but even if he did, I think I’d be okay with it.

Real trees, it’s been real. But I’m really done chopping you down to decorate my den for a few weeks each year. It’s not you. It’s me. We can still be friends.

So, we hit Menards yesterday and found a really great-looking tree that is the perfect height, nice and full, already covered in lights, and that took us all of 5 minutes to get put up, lit up, and looking great.

And I’m not even going to argue about the Yoda tree topper. Truth be told, it wouldn’t be a Romano Christmas tree without him.

And of course Cosette and Leo made sure they got in on the initial stages of decorating….

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