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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Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Day 8

Cosette and Leo got a little crafty with some empty boxes from the recycling pile last night. Cadence was seriously impressed with their ingenuity, and already has plans to snag the elf house and turn it into a clubhouse for some of her dolls.

Henry still isn’t quite sure he’s okay with what these elves are up to. He is now showing only mild interest in their antics when he first wakes up, and then spends the rest of the day ignoring them.

Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Day 7

Time to write letters to Santa!

Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Day 6

If you’ve never heard of the game Bean Boozled, let me take a moment to fill you in (because this is one game you definitely don’t want to agree to play unless you have full disclosure of what’s about to happen to you).  Basically, you’ve got a box full of jellybeans. You spin the little wheel, pick the matching jellybean, and eat it.

Easy enough.

But this is where things start to get messy. See, the evil overlords at Jelly Belly thought it would be fun to hide awful-tasting jellybeans in the mix and make it into a disgusting (and sort of hilarious) game. So you spin the wheel and that little orange-flecked jellybean you choose might taste like peach, or it might taste like barf. Black jellybeans might be licorice (which is horrible), or they might be skunk (who knew licorice flavor could get any worse?).

Stevie and I were first introduced to Bean Boozled at his Dad’s house in New York, when Stevie’s nephews TJ and Tyler busted out the box to play the game with Cadence. I politely declined to join in. I don’t really enjoy jellybeans to begin with, so there is sure as hell no way I’m going to pop a jellybean in my mouth that could either taste like coconut or spoiled milk.

Nope. No thanks.

But Stevie was curious enough that after a few moments of all of us egging him on, he decided to test his luck. He choose the orange-flecked jellybean, popped it in his mouth, gave it a couple chews, and then bolted for the sink to spit it out.

You guess it, barf-flavored.

Fast forward to this year and Cadence happened to spy Bean Boozled on the shelf at Hobby Lobby. She wanted to prank some friends, so we picked up the box, and it sat in our cupboard until Halloween when we got to talking about it with some friends and decided to bust out the box and show them what it was all about. I’m not sure if our friend Jeff just has tastebuds of steel or the flavors mellow with time, but he ate a couple dozen of the Bean Boozled jellybeans and said they all sort of taste the same.

Cadence was excited this morning when she got up and saw that Cosette and Leo decided to play. Cosette is either going to get a taste of blueberry or toothpaste (which Cadence says is a good choice because both options taste pretty good). Leo looks a little ill, like he may have gotten a bite of canned dog food or moldy cheese. Henry saw the elves had candy and immediately reached to grab a bite, but I managed to distract him with a bowl of oatmeal and a banana muffin. I mean, the kid has already barfed on the carpet once this week, I don’t need a repeat performance because he happens to choose a jellybean that tastes like rotten egg.

He’ll thank me one day. And so will you. Beware the Bean Boozled invitations people.

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Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Day 5

The elves surprised Cadence and Henry with a visit from Olaf today…well, Olaf in toilet paper form. Either way, the kiddos were excited.

Elf on the Shelf 2017 – Day 4

This morning was one of those mornings–one you read about on comedic parenting blogs or see played out on a primetime sitcom where you laugh along at the utter ridiculousness of the chain of events while simultaneously nodding because, well, you’re sorta feeling like you’re having deja vu. It’s the kind of morning where, right there in the middle of it, you don’t know whether it’s more appropriate to crack up laughing or squirm uncomfortably in your seat.

I want to preface this by saying we have three morning types in the Romano house:

  1. The I’m-up-and-I’m-going-100-mph-at-maximum-volume type which you probably already know includes Stevie and Cadence. These two can bounce out of bed, get ready quickly, and are generally ready to roll.
  2. The Hurry-hurry-hurry-feed-me-now-or-I’m-going-to-die-thank-you-now-I’m-going-back-to-bed type which is Electra. Our hound is a pest every morning, harassing everyone to feed her. Then it’s a quick run outside to do her business and straight back to bed until lunchtime.
  3. And the Hit-snooze-four-times-and-please-let-me-lie-here-for-awhile-and-don’t-ask-me-to-do-anything-until-I’m-awake-and-ready type which includes me and Henry. We’re generally pleasant and easygoing, but when it comes to our mornings, we just need a little time.

You can probably imagine that some mornings are hard in our house. Between the dog acting like a starving lunatic, Stevie and Cadence hustling to get things done, and Henry and I needing a few extra minutes to get ourselves pulled together, there’s a bit of chaos. And those mornings when I hit the snooze button a few extra times (like this morning) are the worst because suddenly everyone is up and forced to scramble.

Don’t get me wrong, I can scramble when I need to. But I usually do my best work when I’m at least half-caffeinated. And Henry…well, Henry usually does his best work when we give him enough time and space to just sort of wander around without any sort of agenda for 10-15 minutes.

No such luck today.

Henry went to bed just after 7:00 pm last night, but I still had to wake him up when I went in his room at 6:10 this morning.

Already a bad omen.

He was okay as I got him changed, even chatting a bit and smiling as he downed a big cup of milk.

Cadence was excited to show him the shenanigans the elves had been up to–taking selfies and hanging printed copies of the pictures all over the house. Henry thought the first photo or two were funny. Then he started to get a little wary (probably about the time his little brain started working out that if the elves hung those photos all over, that means they were running all around the house like creepers while he slept).

I was trying to get him some breakfast, and Stevie was trying to usher him into the living room to get his socks and shoes on so he was ready, and suddenly Henry was having none of it. He started gearing up for a tantrum and swatting at Stevie.

So, Stevie calmly carried him over to a timeout spot, but just as he was trying to sit him down, Henry threw himself backward and head butted the wall. That just pissed him off. And he decided to yell at the top of his lungs to let us know how pissed off he was, but he ended up overdoing it, gagging, and puking up a good portion of the milk he just drank all over himself and the living room carpet.

That was about the time I was wishing there was some sort of magic morning do-over button.

But like most 2-year-old tantrums, it was there and gone. Once we got H-man cleaned up and changed, got a little breakfast in his belly, and then off to school with a banana muffin (which he is currently obsessed with and would eat a half-dozen a day if we’d let him), he was totally fine. Me, on the other hand…I needed a few quiet moments to myself, a cup of coffee, a little writing. And then all was right with the world and I was ready to start my day.

Happy Monday everyone!

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