Friday, January 8, 2010

Laura's Visit

My sister, Laura, was supposed to have a conference in Denver, so she booked her flight to stay a few extra days with us. The conference got canceled, so she got to spend even more time with us than originally planned. Nate had been gone for over a week and had extended his trip, so it was really nice to have a fun distraction and another adult around to help out!

The first night Nate left for his trip I read about "The Elf on the Shelf" on a friend's blog. I had never heard of it, so after researching, and then have a moral dilemma over it, I decided to go ahead and order it. My kids' behavior was in need of improvement and I thought it might help. Plus, I was feeling overwhelmed with single-parenthood. So the first night Laura was here, I knew the package was supposed to arrive. After dinner I told the kids that I thought Santa might have left a present for them on our porch. Sure enough he had. So we read the book (all the while me feeling guilty that I was totally perpetuating the myth/manipulating my kids/somewhat lying).

They were pretty excited about it though. You're supposed to name the elf. Harrison really wanted Dan (his favorite Bakugan guy) and Elizabeth really wanted Theodore (her favorite Chipmunk). Then Harrison really wanted Buddy (Will Ferell's character in Elf). We compromised and came up with Buddy Theodore Elfkins.

Buddy didn't have as much of the desired effect that I was hoping for. Probably mostly because I didn't have it in me to constantly remind them about him. But there were times that knowing Buddy was watching improved behavior. I also tried to make sure to point out the positive things that Buddy was noticing too. They loved looking for Buddy each morning and finding out where he would sit that day. I was also sure to remind them that Jesus and Heavenly Father are always watching them and what they think is even more important than what Buddy and Santa think.

This is the night that we went to Hacienda. We also ended up making a stop at "Hobby Wobby!" Laura had heard of Hobby Lobby and was excited to see we had one here. She had the kids totally wound up and chanting "Hobby Wobby! Hobby Wobby!" They still do it.
The kids love Laura!

One of the things we did while she was here was go to the dollar store and buy presents for each other. She bought for them, they bought for her, and for each other. (We became big fans of the dollar store this Christmas, it's the perfect place for kids to pick out presents for other kids!)
Although, they still needed a little direction. I had to talk Harrison out of getting Laura a Shrek bracelet and glow sticks. Instead they got her a cute Christmas tin and a chap stick to go in it (her lips weren't used to the DRY, unusually COLD weather we were having).

Laura was also able to deliver all the Christmas presents from my mom. We let the kids open their Christmas outfits from my mom so that they could wear them to church. We actually ended up getting Elizabeth a bigger size of the dress my mom had gotten her and she was there when we got it. She was also there when we picked out the shoes on behalf of my mom. So she was pretty confused when she opened the presents she already knew about and we said they were from Grandma. "No they're not. The dress is from Wal-Mart and the shoes are from Target."

Harrison was so excited to open presents. I had warned him that they weren't toys, so he still showed lots of enthusiasm even though they were clothes.

After going to Melanie's annual cookie exchange Saturday morning, we went to the school's Winter Festival in the afternoon. We got to see Harrison and his class perform lots of Holiday songs. He was just chillin' during the whole performance. Leaning against that wall like it was no big deal. He did sing every word of every song, which is a huge improvement over last year's Christmas program!

The next morning the kids donned their Outfits of Christmas Present for church. As I was finishing getting ready, I asked Laura to take some pictures of them. I was chuckling to myself as I overheard her struggling to get the kids to cooperate. This pictures is classic.

I heard her saying and doing all the things I do to try to get them to both look at the camera and make normal faces.
Like me, she finally accepted that this was the best she was going to get.

Even though we mostly just went on with out normal, everyday lives (which I felt kind of bad about), we really enjoyed having Laura come visit. She helped so much! She entertained Elizabeth at stores while I did most of my Christmas shopping and then helped me wrap a lot of it. She took Harrison to school and picked him up (he was really excited about that). She went with us to story time, she sat with the kids in the car while I ran into every King Soopers within a 10 mile radius looking for these certain Christmas dishes. She listened to me through two different breakdowns (the pregnancy hormones were raging and Nate being gone for 2 weeks did not help!) She just made everything easier and more fun. We love Auntie Wawa!


Shannan said...

I love the picture of Harrison opening the pants! What a face! thanks for commenting on my blog. Everytime I get a comment I feel so happy! What a loser!
The pictures of my teeth really looked pretty good, but in real life you can totally tell the front especially are crooked. My ortho said it would keep getting worse and it is starting to crowd in the bottom. I decided to do it now where I only have to fix a few and therefore only have to wear the braces for 9 months, than to wait and let is get worse and have to do it for longer.
but really these things hurt so much I'm kind of like, "really at my age what's the point?!! Who cares if I have crooked teeth!!"

good luck with your's almost here!

Dan and Dee said...

Laura looked like she had as much fun as the children. What a bonus that she got to come for so long with the canceled business part of it.
Your children are gorgeous and you all look great!
Tell Laura hello, and good luck with the rest of the pregnancy!