Elf on the Shelf 2015 – Day 15

The last two summers of my high school career, I practically lived in a tent on the shore of the Harlan County Reservoir. Most weekends I spent camping with my friends (more like my second family) Scott and Tammy and their daughter Katie, and I wouldn’t trade the fun we had or the memories we made together for the world. Other weekends, I sequestered myself in my campsite alone, soaking up the solitude near the campfire and writing, writing, writing.

Always writing.

Funny, I don’t have much desire for camping anymore. Looking back at all those weekends at the lake, I see them now too with a much sharper perspective, and I realize they were a bit of a band-aid on the loneliness and depression that defined my adolescence. And while I still enjoy the occasional late night campfire, that’s about as far as it goes these days. I have no interest in trying to sleep with only a thin sleeping bag between my body and the cold, hard ground. I enjoy hot showers and running water and clean toilets too much to spend more than a day away from them.

Plus, I married myself a city boy whose idea of “roughing it” is going more than 4 hours without a satellite or wi-fi signal.

Cosette and Leo decided it might be fun to give it a go when they found Cadence’s little toy camping set in the basement but, like Stevie, they stayed close enough to home to make sure they were warm and comfortable and within a few steps of a well-stocked refrigerator.

Cadence wasn’t quite sure what to make of the elves this morning, but giggled madly at how Cosette and Leo were trying to squeeze themselves into a tent and onto a little 4-wheeler that are way too small.

Silly elves.






Elf on the Shelf 2014 – Day 7

It all started with a dental appointment…

Cadence and I had appointments a few weeks ago to get our teeth cleaned, and the hygienist saw a tiny little shadow on one of Cadence’s molars. A couple x-rays later and it was confirmed…the beginning of a cavity, right on top of one of her teeth.

Now, for a kid who has had exactly three sips of soda in her life (she has tried a sip of Sprite, a sip of Ginger Ale, and a sip of Root Beer, and hated all three) and who drinks at least a gallon of milk a week, we were a little surprised by the news. We’d started brushing Cadence’s teeth when she was just a baby, and had worked it into our morning and evening routines.

Yet, perhaps our fault was allowing our little girl to assert her independence and take over the job herself. I guess we forget sometimes that Cadence is only 4, and that she might not be doing the most thorough job when she’s left to “do it myself” as she so often insists.

And so, we made an appointment to have the teeny cavity filled. We did our best to prepare Cadence for what was going to happen, but how to do you really explain to a 4-year-old that your mouth is going to go numb and the dentist is going to stick a drill in your mouth, chip away at your tooth, and then fill it back up again, good as new? We explained it all as well as we good, and then we did what any good parent would do–we resorted to bribery. We told Cadence that if she was good and brave and didn’t throw a fit, we’d take her shopping for a new toy. We knew there were a few things she had her eye on. She agreed.

Overall, she did really well. She climbed into the chair like a big girl, and didn’t seem to mind at all when the assistant smeared on the mint-flavored topical anesthetic. She just sat in the chair wearing a pair of Elmo sunglasses, listening to her playlist on my iPod, and watching Cartoon Network.


But about the time the doctor came in and started talking to her about what was going to happen, showing her some of the tools he was going to use, and the drill, Miss Cadence started to get a little nervous. The doctor told her he wanted to get a look at her tooth, and managed to give her the shot without her even seeing the needle. She cried a little, and complained about the bright lights shining in her eyes. And she had a momentary freak out when the shot kicked in and her mouth started to go numb. But by the time the doctor returned to start working on the cavity, she was doing okay. Stevie and I held her hands and talked to her while the doctor worked, and in 10 minutes, it was all over and her tooth was good as new again.

The minute she was finished, everything was right as rain. She smiled sweetly when we told her how proud we were, and asked if we could go buy a toy…or two…seems she talked her Daddy into sweetening the deal on the way to school that morning.

Totally worth it.

Yesterday Stevie and Cadence got to work building the Ninja Turtle Lego set she picked out, and they spent the evening playing and giggling and helping Leonardo and Raphael and Master Splinter defend the lair against the bad guys.

And it looks like Cosette wanted to get in on the action, but managed to get herself caught. Cadence discovered her this morning, and immediately jumped in to help the Ninja Turtles free her favorite elf…












Now, try to stay out of trouble, Cosette.

Project Life 365 – Day 58 – Nook

One of the things Steven and I love most about the home we purchased just over a year ago is the big sunroom that one of the previous owners built onto the original house. It’s bright, spacious, and the moment we saw it, we knew it would be the perfect space for Miss Cadence to have a playroom all her own.

See, here’s the thing…I may not be the tidiest girl on the planet (just ask my hubby, he’ll attest to that), but even I get to the point when the clutter starts making me crazy. And nothing makes me crazier than dozens of toys strewn haphazardly through the house.

Seriously, I can’t even handle it, folks. If you’ve ever been trotting down the stairs carrying a basket full of laundry and stepped square on a Matchbox ice cream truck with your bare foot, you know where I’m coming from. That shit huuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrts!!!

So, one of the items at the very top of my list when we were looking at homes was ample space for Cadence to play and keep her toys organized enough so they couldn’t cause the grownups in the house any bodily damage. And it wasn’t enough for her to just have a room, because let’s face it, sending a kid to Time Out in his/her room when it’s filled with toys? Hell, you may as well just give them a tub full of ice cream and candy to go along with it. No, Cadence’s room would be a place to relax and sleep, a place to keep her clothes and books and maybe a few stuffed animals, and that would be about it. The playroom, which would see most of the action, would be the place for all the toys, games, art supplies, and everything else.

Best decision ever.

Sure Cadence often drags some of her toys to other parts of the house in the midst of her imaginative play, but each day we get to see our little girl’s imagination stretching beyong it’s limits as she soaks up the sunshine in her own little nook of our home. And each night as we’re winding down the day, she makes a clean sweep and puts everything back where it belongs and earns another quarter to put in her piggy bank.

And sometimes she even lets me catch of a glimpse of her on camera as she plays…


Merry Christmas!

Better late than never with our Christmas photos, I guess, but hey, at least I managed to get them posted while it’s still 2012.

Considering the year we’ve had, I consider that a great accomplishment.

All in all, I’d say we had a pretty great Christmas and I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Enjoy!






















































Elf on the Shelf – Day 20

Who doesn’t love sushi?


We’re big fans in this house. All of us…even the kids.

Don’t knock it ’til you try it folks.


And when Cadence found Cosette and Rango in the middle of their little sushi date this morning, she jumped right in and played waitress and brought them refills on their tea.


Elf on the Shelf – Day 17, 18, & 19

Yes, I’m playing catch up again. I hate it, but the whatever this sickness was that hit our house, it was brutal! I spent Friday night and all of Saturday in a feverish stupor. If it weren’t for the fact that both Steven and Cadence were feeling better and keeping each other entertained, I’m not sure we all would have survived. And major kudos to my hubby for remembering to keep up with Cosette’s antics while I was down with the sickness.

Silly elf.

Friday morning, she made us laugh with her pin art self-portraits…



And Saturday morning, we discovered her dunking herself in Cadence’s little toy basketball hoop…



And, just this morning, we found her hiding in the bookshelf…


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