Merry Christmas 2015 Romano-Style

Yesterday, we woke to find that our little elves had come bearing gifts–some new pajamas for Miss C and H-man. I guess they thought the kids had been especially good this year, so they wanted to leave them a little something before they said goodbye and flew back to the North Pole for another season.

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The elves also brought a little video message straight from Santa, and Cadence about lost her mind when the big guy called her by name and she saw her and Henry’s name on the TV screen…

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After that Miss C headed out the door to play in the snow, which was a very welcome sight after a few days of gloomy weather and pouring rain. At least a few inches of snow made it feel a little more like Christmas, and Cadence had a blast playing outside while her Daddy shoveled and sledding in the yard with the neighbor kids.

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As for Henry and I, we stayed in where it was warm and hung out.

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And now, forgive me while I overload you with photos, but I can’t help it. Christmas becomes a little more magical when you become a parent. And this year, with the addition of little H-man to our family, we got to experience a first Christmas all over again. Even Miss C got in on the excitement. I swear, she was almost more excited about helping her little brother open gifts than she was opening her own.

And I gotta say, when you’ve got kids as good as ours, it’s so much fun to spoil them a little, at least one day a year. 😉

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Elf on the Shelf 2015 – Day 23

Woohoo! Sack race! Looks like Leonardo was kicking butt and taking names. Better luck next time elves.

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Elf on the Shelf 2015 – Day 22

Well, it looks like the elves found the Sharpies. Lucky for us, they were satisfied drawing a few funny minions on our bananas instead of doing something destructive or tattooing us in our sleep.

And Cadence was pretty excited. It’s not everyday you get to take a minion banana to school in your lunch.

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Elf on the Shelf 2015 – Day 21

At this point, it’s probably getting a little old talking about Electra’s food-whoring ways. But we’re either off our game lately (which is quite possible seeing as everyone in the Romano house has been living in a perpetual state of sleep-deprivation since Henry was born), or Electra is getting a whole lot smarter and more devious in her middle-age.

Lately, it seems she’s hell-bent on total food domination.

She cracked the code on her plastic food storage container a few months ago, figuring out that if she licked the door of it long enough, and nudged it with her nose in just the right places, she could get the door to pop open and reveal the veritable Pandora’s Box of irresistible kibble inside.

Two weeks ago, she managed to stretch herself long enough to reach up over the top of the kitchen counter and snag a bag of chocolate peanut butter cookies that Cadence brought home from her Kindergarten class bake sale.

Last week I caught her trying to nose a box of Dunkin Donuts off the kitchen table, and later crunching away at a piece of gold spray-painted bowtie pasta that she apparently wanted so badly that she found a way to pull Cadence’s preschool ornament down off the Christmas tree to get at it.

Who the hell wants a piece of gold spray-painted uncooked bowtie pasta?

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Electra, that’s who. Note the little ornament made with Fruit Loops all the way near the top of the tree (top left corner).

And just this weekend while I was upstairs feeding Henry and Stevie was down in the basement rotating the laundry, Cadence caught Electra munching away on a candy cane that Electra had stolen off the gift from Cadence’s Kindergarten teacher.

After a whole lot of yelling and a few tears, Cadence managed to wrestle the candy cane away from our hound, clean up the mess, and shoo Electra into the backyard before she came to find Stevie and I to report the crime.

So far, none of Electra’s scores have made her sick, but it’s clear that we need to step up our game if we’re going to keep our dog from eating her way into some serious trouble.

And Cosette and Leo must have felt sorry for Cadence after Electra stole her candy cane, because they showed up this morning bearing a whole bunch of candy cane gifts for Cadence to eat and help hang on the tree.

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Up high. Way high. Where even our persistent basset-bodied hound dog can’t reach them.

Damn dog. If she wasn’t so sweet, she might be in more trouble.

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Elf on the Shelf 2015 – Day 20

Even if I didn’t get a chance to meet my paternal grandfather until I was 22, after my reunion with my birthparents, there was no absence of love from him. Poppa D wrapped his big arms around me that very first time we met and somehow it felt like he never really let go.

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In the years that followed we traded letters and chatted occasionally on the phone, and he was always sending me little care packages filled with his homemade jerky or wood carvings. And he signed each and every card and letter with his name and his signature drawing, one that made me smile every time I saw it.

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When I announced my pregnancy with Cadence, one of the first gifts we received came all the way from Ainsworth, Nebraska, lovingly designed and built piece by piece by Poppa D. Cadence has already put a lot of miles on her old rocking horse, and still occasionally mounts up when she’s off on some random adventure.

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I’m sure it won’t take Henry long to join in the fun, but until then, Cadence and Cosette and Leo will keep the saddle warm.

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Elf on the Shelf 2015 – Day 19

It’s been a bit of a rough week. Lots of projects keeping us busy at work. Lots of activities with Cadence’s school as the year winds down for her Christmas break. Stevie’s office Christmas party on Wednesday. Tickets for Stevie and I to go see the new Star Wars movie late Thursday night. Somehow, every free moment just seemed to get filled up with something.

And then, little H-man got sick.

Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, we noticed he sneezed a couple times. No big deal.

When I came home for lunch Wednesday, Mom mentioned that he’d been coughing and sneezing quite a bit, and she’d had to wipe his snotty nose a few times.

By the time I got home from work, the poor little dude was coughing, sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes miserable. Mom said she’d thought about calling me at work since he seemed to be getting worse so quickly, but she hated to bother me knowing how busy I was.

Stevie and I were supposed to go to his office’s Christmas Party at home of NU President Hank Bounds, but I couldn’t leave Henry home so miserable. I decided to stay home with the kiddos, while Stevie headed out to the party.

Cadence was crushed. She’d been looking forward to a night hanging out with her friend (and babysitter extraordinaire) Sam Bates for like a month, counting down the days on her calendar on her way to Christmas. Had the heartbreak come a day or two before, it may have given her some time to prepare, but she was hit with the bad news of Henry’s sudden illness and a total change in plans when she walked in the door from school. Poor girl couldn’t hide her disappointment, and it wasn’t long before the tears started flowing.

When we asked Cadence why she was crying, we expected her to say she was sad because Sam wasn’t coming over. Instead, she sobbed about not being able to find her My Little Pony coloring book.

I honestly didn’t even remember that she had a My Little Pony coloring book, but apparently she did and we were suddenly nearing Defcon 1 because she couldn’t locate it.

Stevie and I scoured some of the familiar spots with no luck. Eventually, he had to leave for the party, but Sam Bates saved the day by asking if she could come over and drop off some gifts and hang out for a little bit.

Thank God for Sam Bates. Seriously, I may not have survived the evening without her.

And luckily, whatever crud struck Henry ended up being relatively short-lived. He ran a low-grade fever and had a bit of congestion for a day or two, and then the illness just sort of faded away.

Friday, Cadence’s godmother, Tammy, and I got to go spend some time helping out with her class Christmas party, and then Tammy came over for her and Cadence’s annual gingerbread house building. The two had a blast as always…

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And then, late last night after Cadence finally wound down from her class-party-gingerbread-house-construction-sugar-high and fell asleep, Cosette and Leo saved the day by finding the missing My Little Pony coloring book, right where you’d expect it to be hidden in a random Rubbermaid bin in the basement.

Way to go, elves. You guys rock.

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