Advent Calendar

Michaela has been the "keeper of the calendar," making certain that an accurate record of the remaining days of Advent is kept.

Christmas time is here and the tree is decorated, the advent calendar is almost full, there is candy everywhere, cookies are always baking, children’s energy levels are at 110%, and now daddy is home for the holidays. (Which is why he finally had 10 minutes to sit down and compose a blog post.)

Michaela is thoroughly excited and deep into the Christmas spirit this year. I can’t count how many times we’ve watched “The Polar Express,” “The Santa Clause,” “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” and the various Disney specials.

One of the special highlights of this year has been Michaela’s meticulous and very accurate maintenance of the family’s Advent calendar. Every morning she goes through the ritual of getting a candy cane (made of pipe filters) and hanging them on a loop for each day of Advent. She then counts the remaining days and boldly declares how many days remain until Christmas. It’s kinda like the “town crier” of our Christmas season — except she’s a little girl and yelling in the living room.

Our valiant tree

Note the survival instincts of the wild tree ornaments as they migrate to the top of their arboreus land in fear of two-year-old predators.

Melanie is still a bit oblivious to the whole holiday happenings. All she knows is that daddy cut down a tree, inexplicably placed it in our living room, and decorated it with a ton of shiny, breakable objects. It’s funny how the ornaments of our tree have slowly “migrated” to the top of our faithful Balsam Fir. So far we’ve had no major incidents, but there have been more than a few times when we would need to rescue various items from Melanie’s curious grasp.

As for presents: we have the girls shopping all done! Michaela will be getting a new desk for her room. She’s been spending a good amount of time playing on her own and coloring in her room. It’s something we’ve been encouraging for three reasons: 1) the benefits of exercising her creativity through coloring, 2) allowing her some freedom to play in her room without constant parental supervision, and 3) allowing mommy and/or daddy to spend some time with Melanie without “little miss jealous big-sister” having to demand your attention.

Melanie is getting some sensory toys to help with her ongoing therapy. One of the cooler items is an indoor tent and tunnel. Melanie loves to explore tight spaces: boxes, body socks, etc. The tent will give her a safer space to play. Connected to the tent is a flexible tunnel that she can crawl through. It’s a good therapy practice and she loves the tunnel her therapist uses. Now she’ll have the same toy at home all the time.

As for Kelli: she will receive a very nice gift. Of course, I cannot divulge the surprise in this post as Kelli will most likely read this soon after it’s published. But rest assured you will probably read about it later. 😉

Oh, almost forgot: for Keena, we got her a bath and grooming. That right – she got a day at the spa. In fact, I’m writing this post while I wait for her to be “de-furred.” She has been a shedding mess so far this winter. (Yes, the dog grooming was probably more for me and Kelli, but Keena always enjoys a day out.)

If you don’t hear from us later:

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!