Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2009 has been a wild ride! We've spent lots of time at Nana & Papa's house ever since the Hoopes' showed up! Brooke and Tess have had such a fun time together. Turns out they love all the same things: cookies, dollhouses, coloring & painting.

We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner & program. For the program, Tess helped tell the Christmas story with a Nativity scene that we made for FHE. Tess, Brookie & I also performed a toe-tapping dance to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (I drew inspiration from the Rockettes!). Ry gave his yearly rundown of "you-wouldn't-believe-it" Christmas news & Laura shared some little-known Christmas facts. Wendy shared her traditional "Twas the Night Before Christmas" yearly recap, which was as always, masterfully done. Papa closed out the night with a reading of the Christmas story from Luke.

I was so excited for Tess' Christmas present, I had a hard time sleeping Christmas Eve! I haven't been this excited for Christmas for a long time!

Monday, December 21, 2009


In an effort to ward off the snowstorm stir-crazies, we took Tess today to pick out our Christmas ornament for the year.

Compulsive boot-wearing is a telltale symptom of the snowstorm stir-crazies.

Every year we pick out an ornament that somehow represents that year. With so many "firsts" this year, I figured we'd have a lot to choose from.

Up until this year, Ry & I were the only ones who had a say in what ornament we selected. We decided to let Tess pick this year--with some parental guidance, of course.

Ry tried to entice Tess with the selection of Sesame Street ornaments, but she was only mildly interested.

I thought she would go for a cute Santa, or maybe a snowman or big snowflake in honor of our huge storm.

Tess had other plans.

I have absolutely no idea why, but she latched on to this horrible snare drum from the tree with all the over-priced miniature oboes, french horns, clarinets and violas.

She kept playing it with two fingers and saying "Pum, Pum!" She refused to leave it behind.

I tried to appease her with a nutcracker ornament that was playing a drum. We're learning that the age of 2 is not one of compromise.

2009: The Year of the Snare Drum

So our tree has a new addition. Our new ornament may be more symbolic than we realize.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowed In

Oh my...SNOW! We got hit with a total blizzard today!

We had 16-18 inches when we measured this afternoon. I'm guessing we ended up with about 20 inches in 24 hours!

Tess kept saying "Snowman! Snowman!," so we bundled her up!

We're a little underprepared when it comes to winter clothing, but we made do with her thumbless baby mittens and plastic bags in lieu of snowpants & boots.

All that bundling and she was finished once she caught a few snowflakes on her tongue!

So we spent most of the day keeping warm inside. Tess "helped" me make homemade bread and I made a double batch of soup.

Church is canceled tomorrow and it's going to take us awhile to dig ourselves outta here! Here's hoping all this snow won't keep the Hoopes and Davita from flying in next week!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rockettes & Antibiotics

This week was time for our annual Christmas program outing with the Higginbothams! You know, the one time of the year when we actually get a sitter and Tess suffers some horrible mishap? You remember last year's penny incident, don't you?

Well, this year Tess came down with a fever just in time for the Rockettes. I wasn't too worried about her because she was doped up on Motrin and my Relief Society President agreed to come stay with her.

The show was a lot of fun, but we kept commenting how much Tess would have loved it. She would have been in awe of the teddy bears dancing the Nutcracker and the magically multiplying Santas! Click here to see a sneak peek of the show.

Tess did OK while we were gone, but her fever persisted. After a couple days of high temps, I figured I'd better take her to the doctor. We came home with a diagnosis of Strep and an antibiotics prescription.

She's starting to feel better, but we've spent a long number of days housebound together. A favorite new phrase: "No, Mommy! Mommy go bye-bye!" Usually, this charming refrain is accompanied with a face that looks like this:

So, how do you entertain a tempermental 2-yr-old with a 103 degree temperature? I have no idea--if you have any suggestions, please let me know. She's watched her birthday Winnie-the-Pooh DVD about 389 times. If I see another Heffalump or Woozle I think I'll puke!

The only thing worse than having to watch Pooh over and over again is having to play Puffball (AKA "Ready!") over and over again. Puffball is a game entirely of Tess' own invention. One of our recent craft projects came with a bunch of puffballs, and instead of using them for their intended decorative purpose, Tess delights in using them in a game of catch.

The rules of Puffball are inflexible. The game begins whenever Tess interrupts whatever you happen to be doing (doing the dishes, changing her diaper, taking a shower) and says, "Ready!" When Tess says "Ready!" you know you are in for a long game of Puffball.

After Tess says, "Ready!," then Tess must sit on the red bench and you must sit on the floor. She throws the puffball and you try to catch it. Then you throw it back. If she misses, she says "Close!" and claps. If by some miracle she catches it, fireworks go off and she yells, "Yeah, Tess!" If you are too slow in throwing it back, she chastises you, "I hab it. I hab it." ("I have it. I have it.")

Also, if a puffball happens to fly out of range (only like EVERY TURN), say behind the bench, behind the Christmas tree, or under the couch, it is YOUR responsibility to retrieve it. You can't expect her to descend the red bench, of course. The game can escalate in complexity when 2, 3, 4, 5--even up to 6 puffballs enter play at once.

One final important rule: Trying to take a picture of Tess playing "Ready!" Puffball is apparently grounds for a nuclear meltdown.

She's happy to teach the game of Puffball to anyone willing to play. When we came home from the show, my RS President said, "For some reason she really likes that little puffball." Um, yep. Did I mention that I have a REALLY GREAT RS President?

Let's see--what other fun games have we come up with? Tess loves to play "Bye, bye!" in my closet. She goes inside, says "Bye, bye!" and closes the door. She waits for me to knock, then opens the door and says "Hi!" She gets mad if instead of knocking you, say, try and take a nap.
She also likes to find other treasures to entertain herself with in my closet:

For fun, we also decorated our windows with snowflakes. This morning, Tess was pointing outside and saying, "Baby, baby, baby!" over and over again. I didn't see anyone outside walking with a stroller, so I had no idea what she was talking about. Finally I realized she was pointing to the "baby" snowflake on the window. Phew! I was concerned there was some abandoned baby freezing outside!

One last fun (and appropriate) sickie game is "doctor." Tess was a bit traumatized by the strep throat swab (can't say I blame her). She keeps pointing to her open mouth and saying, "Ahhh--doctor!" Here are some pics of her pretending to take her own temperature (it's good thing I use the under-the-armpit method!).

We are going to be so grateful to be HEALTHY again! And to be able to leave the house!

Monday, December 14, 2009

T, (totally!) W.(wonderful!) O.(oh boy!)

We celebrated Tess' TWO year birthday with Nana & Papa last night. I've been trying to explain to her about birthdays, but it just wasn't registering. Once the party was underway though, it didn't take Tess long to figure out that a birthday is all about HER!

We had a yummy dinner in the fancy dining room, followed by cake & ice cream.

Things only got better when it came time for PRESENTS! Tess knows one thing about presents--you're supposed to OPEN them! She made efficient work of that task! Tess received some of the most fun, thoughtful gifts ever! She was thoroughly delighted with each one.

Nana & Papa gave her a really cute wooden food set. The gift is a prelude to the toy kitchen set they are giving her for Christmas. She likes the food so much, I wondering if we even need the kitchen!

The Wilsons suprised Tess with a funny singing/humming baby Elmo! He sings until you plug his binkie into his mouth, and then he can only hum! Too cute!

Tess loves the popping sound Elmo makes you take the binkie out of his mouth. Of course she wanted to sleep with Elmo last night. It was the last sound we heard before she fell asleep, and the first sound we heard this morning!

The second sound we heard was Tess asking for her "house, house, house!," referring to her great present from Dipsy & Papa! It's a fun village playset that folds out with a ton of different activities. We took it to playgroup this morning & 3 kids can all play at once! She's already mastered the counting apple tree and she loves the pizza parlor!

Ry & I gave her an expansion set for her choo-choo train and she received a CD with activity songs from her great-"grandma" Sister Emery.

What a difference a couple years makes! We are so grateful for our 2-year-old big girl. We certainly love our Tess! Happy Birthday, sweetheart!