Saturday, January 28, 2012

Highs and Lows - Late January edition

The usual.  My list of Highs and Lows from the week.

'Cause I know you're all dying to hear about the exotic adventures we had this week...

High: Liam slept thirteen hours straight the other night.  Thirteen.  This blows his previous record of ten hours out of the water.  And he might have gone longer.  I woke him up at thirteen hours.

Low:  Liam didn't nurse for thirteen hours the other night. For you girls who have never nursed - or you boys who never will - let me give you a quick medical lesson:

Mammary glands are full of little milk fairies.  These fairies just love babies and they really want to make babies happy.  They know that babies like milk.  So these milk fairies study the baby closely and get a good feel for how often he wants milk.  Then, when it's about time for him to get milk, even if he's no where to be seen, the milk fairies start getting all in a twitter and start jabbering at each other things like,

"Is it time yet?"
"Has anyone seen the baby?"
"What if he's been kidnapped?"
"Do we make milk yet?"
"Poor thing must be starving!"
"I'm starting some milk!"
"Me too!"
"Me too!"

And so at approximately the time the little fellow would usually wake for a nip to eat, the mammary fairies produce milk.

When junior doesn't appear, the fairies don't think, "Huh, guess we don't need milk."  Instead they get all in a tizzy and start fluttering around in a panic yelling, "More milk!  We need more milk!  If we make it...he will come!!!" 

And as there is only a finite amount of space inside the mammary fairy house, things get crowded.  To the point where the fairy house is about to explode.

Did you know that mammary fairy houses stretch all the way up to the collar bone and around into the armpit?  And the entire house swells painfully if the baby doesn't come drink milk. 

Thus the Low.

Low: Medman had a conference at the end of the week and was gone for a couple days, livin' it up in the big city.  Drinkin' Starbucks, shopping at World Market to see if he could find me some mugs (good man), eating at Chick-fil-a and Red Robin.  And we were here.  Bored.

High:  After the first day of feeling aimless I planned about a thousand projects for the next day so I would stay entertained.  And it turned in to a fun day of doing stuff with the kids that I wouldn't normally do.  We painted sun catchers...
(No the playroom wasn't ransacked by ruffians searching for something very well hidden.  Why do you ask?)

...played in the snow...
Well, they played in the snow.  I stayed warm inside and took pictures.

...and made race car boxes so we could do Family Movie Night and watch Cars.

Yes, I know they are pretty pathetic cars.  Lame little half-wheels, small circle with a number on the side and headlights.  But my kids thought they were cool, so I instantly stopped suggesting improvements.  And may I highly recommend this?  They thought was cool and do you see how contained they are???  It was divine. 
No, I'm not letting my 5 month old watch TV.  The American Academy of Pediatrics tells me this will turn his brain to mush.  Well, maybe that's not what they say, I don't really know.  I just googled it enough to make sure it really was the American Academy of Pediatrics instead of some other arrangement of those same words.  But it's frowned upon.  So, uh, this is the first time Liam's even seen the TV.  Yeah.

Side note High - Liam is big enough for the exersaucer.  (Please, all my friends who have degrees in child development do not tell me it's bad for him.  If he reaches his second birthday and can't walk yet, I'll admit it causes him some problems.  Until then I plan on continuing to use it.)

High-  Liam has learned to suck his thumb!  Once again I do not want to hear any nay-sayers about this. I'm talking to you, Walmart checker-lady who always tells me Belle's teeth are going to grow in three rows one behind the other all from thumbsucking.   Thumbsucking is a gift from God.  It may be the real reason He gave us opposable thumbs.  It's not for grasping tools, people.  It's so babies can self-sooth.

High - Liam started solid foods.  What a big boy!

Low - This picture is proof that his olfactory sense does not work at all.  Because he started solid foods and the stench from this kid's diaper at this moment was unbelievable.  No, I don't know why I decided that was a good time to snap a picture.  I'm surprised it didn't fog up the lens.

Alright, that's all I got.  Super kid-focused and rereading this I can see that I don't seem to want anyone's opinion on my parenting.

Except here are two more cute pictures that I have hanging around and they are whining to be posted.

Dalton proudly displaying Belle's hair which he "made beautiful." And maybe strangling her too.

One of those adorable moments when all three are happy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Letter to my daughter after watching The Bachelor


My sweet Belle,

I sat and watched a show the other night where a roomful of beautiful women competed with one another for the love of a man.  I watched the drama as they quarreled, manipulated, flirted, cried and triumphed, but all I could think about was you.  I saw your fresh face smiling at your baby brother, heard your silly giggle as you told Daddy a joke and felt the weight of your head as you laid it sleepily on my shoulder.

I know your two-year-old mind dismissed everything I told you that night so I wanted to write it down for you.  Because someday, Lord willing, you will be old enough to listen and you will be wading through all the confusion that the world will toss at you about these things.  Things like beauty, strength and love.

So, my precious girl, here are the things I desperately want you to know.

1. The most beautiful women in the world look ugly when they are mean.  Beauty is complex.  It involves your hair and skin and eyes, but all of those things are just a shell. That shell is transparent and I promise you that whatever you fill it with will be perfectly clear for the world to see.

Your eyes will always be beautiful when they look kindly at someone.  You will have lovely lips whenever they smile a genuine smile.   And your nose?  Well, noses are tough.  You either have a good one or you don't.  Luckily for you, yours is adorable.

If you cultivate goodness and kindness and wisdom and strength then not only will that beauty shine out of you but you'll find that you breathe joy and beauty into the lives of those around you.

But if the most beautiful woman on earth lets herself be filled with jealousy and hatred, she will look like a troll.

2. No one, in the history of the world, has done anything out of envy and made it look good.
You'll be envious a lot, sweetheart.  Trust me.  You'll be envious of other girls shoes or hair or elbows. You'll be envious of their friends, their boyfriends, their poise, their intelligence, their humor. (Maybe even of their mother, just don't tell me about it if you are.)  You'll be envious of people you've never met and people you love dearly. 

When you focus on that thing that some other person has you stop caring about them at all and only care about the thing.  Envy will make you act like a child because it is an utterly selfish feeling.  Trust me, whatever you do or say when you are driven by envy will make you look like an idiot. 

So be on your guard against it.  When you see envy sneaking around (and you will) take a little time to be grateful for the things you do have.  And if you can't come up with anything, call me.  Because I can see that you have so much beauty and strength and wonder in you that it makes my heart ache and I'd be happy to tell you all about it.

3. Don't confuse SELFISHNESS with STRENGTH
Some of these women said terrible things to each other then defended themselves by tossing their pretty hair and saying, "I'm just being honest.  I have to say what I feel." 

Well here's a little nugget of wisdom for you, sweetie.  Not everything you feel is worth saying.   There will be plenty of times when you will have emotions tumbling around inside of you like a litter of puppies on crack.  Some of them will be worthwhile but some will be stupid and you should do your best to send them packing. 

You'll meet plenty of girls who don't agree with me.  They'll claim it is strength of character to blurt out any thought that crosses their mind regardless of who will be devastated by it.  But honey, a woman of strong character has the wisdom to shut her mouth until she's thought for a moment about what she's feeling to decide whether it's an emotion that she wants to own, an emotion that makes her into the woman she wants to be or one of those emotions that she should look square in the eye and say, "Yer outta here.  You and the hormonal horse you rode in on." 

4. Love
This one is a bit complicated, honey.  You'll spend a lot of time looking for it and thinking about it and being jealous of it.  It doesn't come in the same way all the time and it often ends up looking different than you thought it would. 

But I will tell you one thing.  If your hunt for love begins with manipulation, jealousy and games, it's going to have a very hard time finding its way to a happy ending.  Real love will start when you find someone, get to know him, and you guys spend time being kind to each other.  

And if you do it the right way, with the right kind of boy, it will involve a lot less drama than Hollywood says it should and a lot more happiness.

Oh, and one more thing the show made me want to tell you:  If there is every a boy who you are - I was going to say "kissing" but the thought of you kissing boys will probably give your dad a stroke, so lets go with - rollerskating with and he is openly rollerskating with several other girls. Like six...or seven...dozen...other girls,  STOP ROLLERSKATING WITH HIM.

This is not the type of boy that makes a good skating partner.  Someone who's really fun to rollerskate with will like you because he sees what an amazing girl you are.  He'll never ask you to prove to him that he should pick you over a dozen other girls.  He'll be smart enough to know you're the greatest thing he'll ever find.

The only reason you should ever even go near the guy again is to point him out to your big brother so he can kick his #**.   No, forget getting your big brother.  You do it yourself.  Go straight for his...ankles.  Those two-timin' rollerskatin' ankles.

I love you, my darling girl.  Go back to playing with your trains.  We'll chat again about all this in a decade or so.

Love, Mommy

(This post may be shared, but please give credit where credit is due.  Thanks)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How Pinteresting...Highs and Lows by pin

It's been a Pinterest kind of month around here.  Don't know what Pinterest is?  Well, find out at your own risk.

It's an addictive online pinboard where you can pin links to anything you find on the web that you want to be able to find again.  The addictive part is that you can browse gajillions of other pins on any topic imaginable.

But this week, I actually did a bunch of stuff I pinned - with mixed results.  Thus the Highs and Lows.

First I tried some recipes, but they sorta sucked.  Hoped for yummy treats to munch on while the Bronco's let their stress-inducing season fizzle out.  Got boring blah.   Both the food and the Bronco's subpar performance = LOW.  Moving on...

Then I tried to make these cool snow globe things for the kiddos:
Note:  If the recipe calls for water, baby oil, food coloring and glitter.  Don't
  • think it will work to substitute Karo syrup for the baby oil and
  • forget the food coloring altogether. 
 If you do it ends up pretty lame and your kids keep asking politely, but in a bewildered sort of way, "So...what is this supposed to do?"  Another LOW.

But there were HIGHS:

We did some great stuff in homeschool (click on the picture to get to the link on how to do them):

Do you know what happens if you put a little piece of Ivory soap in the microwave?  Go ahead, let your family make hypothesises.  Hypotheses?  Hypothesi?  Uh, let them guess.  It's pretty cool.  HIGH

There was a woman who made a printout for learning about the color wheel 
using water paints and an eyedropper. 
Fun, educational and not very messyHIGH.

We used tape and finger paints to paint like Monet.
Quick,easy and looks like a masterpiece.  HIGH.  

But the coolest thing that I tried was from a post that said you can IRON FABRIC ONTO YOUR WALL AND IT ACTS LIKE CONTACT PAPER.  Just peels right off when you are done!

Yup,turns out you can iron on paint and it causes no problems at all.  Who knew? 

The lady who gave me this idea (and I think she got the idea here,) wrote her son's name on the wall.

But, never one to let a project be simple, I realized that here was the chance to give Belle that huge wall mural of a tree I've wanted to give her but am too cheap to by the vinyl for!

Well, limited by the quantity of fabric and Hean-n-Bond I had, my grand plan was reduced to a branch with flowers, but I like how it turned out.

Besides the fact the photos were taken inside on a gloomy day, what do ya think?
What's more fun that purple swirly branches with pink and yellow flowers? 
 Nothing at all.


(Want a mini tutorial? Click here for one. )

Cool, huh?  If I could redo it I'd smooth out some of the curves (some of them are a little Nightmare Before Christmas-esque), but I'm not going to redo it.  It's for a two-year-old's room.  Two. 

After I finished ironing it onto Belle's wall (which was sort of a weird experience) she said, "Mommy!  I LOVE it!"

Of course at nap time she looked at it and started to cry and said, "I didn't want you to put that picture on my wall!  Take it off."

Nice.  But she's two.  I'm banking on her inherent wishy-washyness.  She'll come back around to liking it.  HIGH.

Fabric Wall Appliques- a tutorial

My favorite Pinterest-inspired project so far!

Fabric Wall Appliques!

Yes!  Just like you use fabric to applique on other fabric, you can create fabric appliques and iron them onto your wall.

And they are completely removable. 
Like vinyl.

Seriously, this is the most exciting household decorating DIY thing I've ever seen. 

Just imagine the possibilities....ANYWHERE I would put vinyl I could put FABRIC.  

Excuse me while I stare dreamily out the window...

I got the idea from Sharon at This Thrifty House (and I think she got the idea from Brassy Apple, and that's as far back as my research can take the idea.  Megan from Brassy Apple must be the creative mastermind behind this fabulous idea.) The original post showed Sharon putting her son's name on the wall in fabric (and she states that several years after doing this the letters peeled off just fine without damaging the paint.) 

Very cute, but I have a teensy problem in leaving projects small and simple.  It took about 2 nanoseconds for my brain to jump from "name" to "I can make that gigantic tree mural for Belle's room! The one that I've been dreaming of but have been WAY too cheap to buy from a vinyl wall sticker place."  (We rent, so painting a whimsical tree on the wall didn't seem like a viable option...)

Unfortunately I was limited by the quantity of fabric I had (trying to use up my stash) and the amount of adhesive I had bought, so my  gigantic tree mural turned into a pretty big branch with flowers. Still a big enough project to be worth doing (and probably messing up.)

This is how it turned out. You like?

So here's how to do it.  (This really doesn't require a tutorial.  Basically buy the adhesive and follow the directions for creating a fabric applique.  Except instead of ironing your applique onto another piece of fabric, iron it onto the wall.  But that would be too short of a post for me.  I'm wordy. So here's a tutorial.)

Oh, and tutorials are a little boring.  So here's a play by play of my project.  If you are bored, the actual steps are in bold.


Step 1: Raid the fabric stash that takes up massive amounts of space in your (son's) closet but you barely ever use.  Realize you can use up the pink swirly fabric that you tried to make into maternity pajama pants but you ended up stuffing the "pants" (for lack of a better word) deep in a box out of shame, fervently thanking God that no one saw you try to wrangle your pregnant body into them.

Step 2: Get some Heat-n-Bond Lite (the purple kind - Sewable for light fabrics).  It was under $4 and the sum total of the money spent on this project. 

Step 3: Draw a nice little picture on the papery side of the Heat-n-Bond.  (If you are doing letters, trace them backwards.  Really, it's annoying to ALWAYS forget this when appliqueing letters.  Especially when you are making a present and trying to fit "Lena" onto a tiny scrap of the perfect fabric for the wall in our little friend Lena's room.  Then you know once you retrace the letters backwards and cut them out and give them as a gift, her sew-savvy mother will see the additional lines on the back and know you traced them the wrong way the first time.)

Step 4: Iron the Heat-n-Bond onto the wrong side of your fabric per the instructions and cut out your picture.
This is not my iron.  Mine has that burnt up goo on it from ironing something or other too hot.  Which, by the by, I also found out how to fix through Pinterest.  Iron a dryer sheet.  So there ya go.  Edit: That whole cleaning tip did NOT work for me.  Just made my house smell like hot dryer sheet.  And not in a good way.

Step 5: Peel the papery part off the back of your fabric, place against wall and iron (I used "silk" setting) for about 20 seconds.  Presto Magico!  Gorgeous wall art.  And it does peel off just fine.

Final note:  If you decide to do a four foot long branch with lots of curls and swirls, you can use painters tape to position it on the wall until you are ready to iron it.  I do not recommend positioning and taping everything up before you remember to peel off the papery backing.  I have heard that doing that exactly doubles the time required for this part of the project.

Cool, huh?  If I could redo it I'd smooth out some of the curves (some of them are a little Nightmare Before Christmas-esque), but I'm not going to redo it.  It's for a two-year-old's room.  Two. 

Belle's first reaction:
"Mommy!  I LOVE it!"

Of course at nap time she looked at it and started to cry and said,
"I didn't want you to put that picture on my wall!  Take it off!" 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The beginning of the end...the machines are waking...

I have a fancy-pants smart phone and I'm suddenly scared that it might actually be smart. 

I've never been a huge fan of movies where the machines take over the world and destroy humanity.  If we're going to have some dramatic end, let's not have it at the hand of anything as boring as machines.  Medman would vote for zombies, my kids are convinced it's going to be monsters, but not machines.  Besides, in the movies the machines always end up looking like insects.  Yuck.

Anyway, to let my kids play on my phone I downloaded a Kid Zone app.  (Ok, this is only for Belle.  It's possible that D can already use my phone better than I can.)  This app lets you pick which games, videos, etc., you want your child to have access too and they can't get to any of the other parts of the phone.  That means Belle can not call Grandma.  Again.  You have to do something that takes dexterity, like draw a good Z on the screen before it will let you exit and actually use your phone.  Great idea, huh? 

Yesterday, in an attempt to keep her occupied while I finished my last blog post, I let her use Kid Mode.  I even added Angry Birds on there for her.  She was in e-heaven as she repeatedly shot her angry birds straight left off the screen, while the green pigs sat safely snickering off to the right. 

But then something went screwy.  I got my phone back and exited Kid Mode, but it seems my phone was reluctant to let me leave.  It did let me get back to the normal functions of my phone, but every single time I tried to exit any application, email, message, phone call or photo it popped up a little window saying, "Would you like to complete this action using Kid Mode?" 

No.  Not at all, thank you. 

So I checked the box that said something like, "Make this my DEFAULT" and then told it I did NOT want to use Kid Mode. 

But the next text message I closed?  Up popped the cheerful little box.  "Would you like to complete this action using Kid Mode?" 

NO.  Select same choices.  Push extra hard on the screen while checking "Make this my DEFAULT."

Got an email, read it, closed it.  Up popped the cheerful little box.  "Would you like to complete this action using Kid Mode?" 

Me:  Are you stupid?  NO.  Make this my Default. DO NOT USE KID MODE.

Phone (cheerfully): OK. 

Got an email.  Read it, closed it.   Yup, you know what happened.

I even went into the settings section to check that Kid Mode wasn't set up as a default.  Nope.  The Default option was sitting benignly greyed out.

I tried to show Medman my annoying problem and you'll NEVER GUESS what didn't pop up.  Sneaky frickin' machine.  Just acted totally normal. 

But this morning every time I touched the dang screen, up popped the cheerful little box.  "Would you like to complete this action using Kid Mode?" 

And after the 500th time doing this I felt my blood run cold and I quickly uninstalled Kid Mode.

It was happening.  Hollywood is right.  It is going to be the machines.

My phone was
  • ignoring the rules I set for it, 
  • wanting to stay continually in game playing mode 
  • and had just asked me the SAME QUESTION hundreds of time, even though it knew what I was going to say.

Artificial Intelligence has been born.  My phone has reached the intellectual level of my children.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cute, Not So Cute volume 2 (and homemade powdered laundry soap)

For about the last three years I've made my own powdered laundry detergent and I know I've chatted with friends who want the recipe (but I honestly can't remember which ones), so I thought I'd post it.  It's stupid-easy to make, works great and is practically free compared to store bought detergent. (Unfortunately, I can't remember where I got it to give credit where credit is due, but the recipe is tangled about here and there in the world wide web...)

But a post about laundry soap?  BO-RING!  So I'm interspersing soap-making instructions with a new volume of "Cute, Not So Cute." (Because we wouldn't want a short post, now would we?)
The soap 
I was always irked to finish my grocery shopping by dropping a 
$17 box of detergent into my cart (made extra expensive because it was 
dye/fragrance free for my sensitive-skinned kinfolk - 
why exactly does less ingredients = more expensive?  
Riddle me that.)
I had seen recipes online for DIY laundry soap that is super cheap and works great. Cleans well, keeps colors bright, doesn't irritate anyone's skin, yada yada yada.    

Cute, Not So Cute

Cute:  Belle does this hilarious stomping thing where she hunches over a bit, sticks her hands out in front of herself, squints up her face funny and takes tiny steps, stomping as hard as her 22 lbs can do with each step.  It's hilarious.  Picture a scene where some American Indian, dressed in traditional garb, is doing a stomping dance around a huge bonfire.  That's what she does.  Like this beautiful girl:
Image credit
And how Belle would love to wear something like that.  She's a smidge Cherokee from her father's side and it shows. 

Not So Cute: The other night I was trying to calm Liam down and get him to sleep (Any of you notice that I only talk about around three topics on this blog?  There's bodily waste products that don't end up where they are supposed to, odd things my kids do and issues arising from getting Liam to sleep.  Perhaps I need to branch out...), he was almost dozing off when suddenly there was this BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM and the floor of his room began to shake.  His eyes snapped open and I expected air raid sirens to start going off. 

I left the now crying Liam in his bed and ran out to find Belle, just inside her room (which is two feet from Liam's room), doing her stomp dance (as though her little legs were commercial grade impact hammers instead of tiny twigs) and singing a chanty sort of version of Away In a Manger.  And I didn't find it cute at all.

(back to the soap)

1 cup washing soda (sort of like baking soda but found in the laundry aisle)
1 cup Borax
1 bar of plain, old, regular soap  (I use Ivory)
(NOTE: The recipe calls for Fels-Naptha soap which can be found in the laundry aisle or sometimes with the regular soap, but I find the fragrance of it foul, so we use Ivory...)


(back to Cute, Not So Cute)

Cute: My parents came to visit and gave Dalton Connect Four for Christmas.  Then my mom played about a hundred games with him.  There was lots of, "Now wait!  You have to look at both of our pieces!  You might need to block me!"  Or "Now wait! You have to look at both of our pieces!  Is there a way you could win???"  And so Dalton "won" a lot of the games.  

Then D needed a potty break and headed upstairs yelling, "Mommy!  You play with Grandma while I'm upstairs."
Me: "Do you think I can beat her?"
Dalton: "Oh yeah!  She's not really very good at that game!"

And I laughed hard at how cute it was that the thought he was better than her.

Not So Cute: Grandma leaves town and now I'm stuck playing Connect Four.  So I continue the incessant coaching ("You have to look at both of our pieces!").

D: I don't need your help, Mommy.  I am good at this.  I can play you.
Me: Oh, really?  Ok.  All I'll say now is "You have to look at both of our pieces..."

And he continued to play in his devil-may-care sort of way while I literally bit my tongue to keep from nagging helping him and none-too-subtly stacked my yellow pieces into a line. 

Then suddenly his eyes lit up.  "I WIN!" he shouted as he dropped in his little red piece completing a line of 4 right in the middle of the grid which I had not at all noticed, being too busy only watching my own pieces.  

 "Mommy!  You have to watch both our pieces."

Not so cute.

(back to the soap)

1.  Shred the bar of soap in the fine section of your cheese grater.  This is as hard as the recipe gets, which isn't hard because soap grates REALLY easily.  So easily, in fact, that you should watch your thumb knuckle and make sure it doesn't hit the cheese grater.  I've heard that really hurts. 
 2. Add one cup Borax and one cup Washing Soda.  Mix together. 

Viola.   That's it.  Oh, and the great part?  It takes ONE TABLESPOON PER LOAD.   
Yup. One tablespoon for a ginormous load of towels or a humongous load of pee-soaked bedding or a monstrous load of poop-filled baby pajamas.  

One Tablespoon.

Some fancy math:
Borax < $4/box
Washing Soda < $4/box
Ivory soap < $0.50/bar

That means a recipe of this costs about $1.50 and I get around 50 loads from each recipe. 
That's 3 cents per load or 
$1.50 for as many loads as a big box of store bought soap. 

Yup, that's how ya stick it to the man!

Hmmmmmm, who is "the man"?  
Proctor? or Gamble? 

PS: This laundry soap doesn't make the water all sudsy.  Don't be alarmed if your water isn't.  It's still cleaning stuff, I promise.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Highs and Lows - 12 Days of Christmas

So apparently the rest of the world is back to normal (even though I've decided that I have no interest in having Christmas be over) and Jen's Highs and Lows have started again.

I just discovered that in the liturgical calendar that Christmas goes from December 25th to January 6th (the 12 days of Christmas.)  So that means TODAY IS STILL CHRISTMAS!!  Yay!  (jingle jingle jingle! ho ho ho!)

In fact, let's do a 12 days of Christmas Highs and Lows.  No, I have not thought this through until this very moment.  And I don't really know how they translate into highs and lows, but that's what I came here to post so I'm sticking with the title, come what may.

Prepare yourself for a mediocre post here.  No planning and very few good pictures...You're excited now, huh?

Here goes:

(You know the tune...sing along!)

For the Twelve Days of Christmas my Highs and Lows will be:

TWELVE million presents.  (The kids had mountain-of-presents induced ADD as they rushed from one box to the next, barely noticing what was inside before grabbing for another.  We did try to curb this enthusiasm and slow them down, but between nursing, trying to keep fires going and general crowd control I'm embarrassed to say that I actually had to ask my older sister what gifts she had sent.  Neither child had bothered to look at tags and a dozen of gifts were open before I thought to start reading tags for them.) -High and Low

ELEVEN fires flaming (or approximately that many cozy fires on cold nights.) - definite High.

TEN clicks from camera (but not getting any good shots)- Low

NINE zillion candies (that were knocked on the floor during gingerbread house decorating.  All of which were round and apparently motorized.  Oh, and the gingerbread was gross...) -Low

EIGHT inch tall mountain (of tissues.  As a solution to the crying in the middle of the night of "Mommy!  I have a tissue on my finger!" (which means she has a booger on her finger) I gave her a whole new box in her crib.  The next morning she said, "I had LOTS of boogies, Mommy.  Lots and lots."  Note the now empty box in the bed.) -Neither High nor Low, but funny.

SEVEN useless threats  (The number of times we told them, "LAY DOWN AND BE QUIET" before admitting that the "Let's all sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed on Christmas Eve!" idea was a bad one.) -Low for kids who had to go back to their own beds, high for us who got a good night sleep.

SIX dress-up outfits (one doctor and a bunch of princesses.) -High 'cause she's so freakin' cute.

FIVE camping friends. (No, this has nothing to do with Christmas, but it is cute.) -High

FOUR thousand miles (traveled by the gifts from farthest away - Thank you Uncle Bobby and Aunt Christine for our Irish  cozies!) -High

THREE yummy fingers- High cause he's cute, might be Low soon because the tooth is coming...

TWO yada yada - ran out of ideas and I need to go take a shower.... 

and a child born to set the world free. -High.

Well, there ya have it.  It's not much but it is my hope that you now have the Twelve Days of Christmas stuck in your head.