Things have been a leettle bit busy around this joint as of late.  We have a holiday to celebrate, people!  Therefore, I have a few days of Christmas to relate all at once. You understand, right?

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . .

Two Too Close Names

In the immediate aftermath of Ellie’s birth and then naming, Jac and I struggled with what to call our newest little girl.  Yes, she had a name and what a name it was! but what should we CALL her? Cat? Caddie? Cati? Elizabeth? Lizzie? Bets? So many, many good choices!  Jac was quick to decide on Ellie – don’t tell him I told you, but he is terribly fond of the show CHUCK and the main character’s sister Ellie.  I was thankful then that he took charge and made the decision and continue to count my blessings as the name suits her well.

What we didn’t consider, however, in those moments was how tricky this would prove.  See, we already have an Allie in our midst.  And said side by side Allie and Ellie are an awful lot alike.

This CA visit is testing all of our tongues.  The kid’s ears pick up the differences and they are frustrated with having to correct everyone.  Allie gives impatient, slitty-eyed stares at being called the wrong name and the adults struggle to be clear about WHO they are calling when the older Allie carts the little Ellie on her hip.

We try and remember to call OUR Ellie ‘El-Belle’ or my preferred ‘Belle-Belle.’ (Have I said this already?  How Max said, “When we call Ellie Belle-Belle, we’re calling her ‘Beautiful-Beautiful,’ right?” Agreed.) This works especially well when Allie is shortened to Al.

No matter.  Whatever we call them, together or apart, they’re great.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . .

3 Girls with Bangs.

Before we even set foot in California, Tess was persistent: “Mom?  Pleeeeease tell Foggy that Philip cut my hair and I didn’t.” The countdown was on for the trip to the Salon and a visit to Foggy.

Bless that woman.  How we all love her! She treats us well (“Spoils” would be the more proper term) and makes us beautiful, too.  Can’t be beat in our book.

This was Ellie’s first haircut and for her it took one hug from Augie and they were friends.  No fuss, no fighting, just cool as could be.  And Tess?  “The Haircut” is no longer noticeable thanks to the wonder of Augie’s scissors.

Now if only she lived in Rapid . . .

On the 4th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . .

4 hours of freedom

Let’s be honest: most of the time I am plotting ways to escape from my kids.  I day dream and fantacize about peace and quiet.  I take most any excuse to run an errand alone.  I live for nap time.

But God, in his infinite wisdom has programmed mother’s so that when we get what we most desire, that is time away from our children, we miss them so much it’s unbearable.

I do believe you call that irony.

So it was that when we went wine tasting with Aunt Cristie I found myself aching for my kiddos.  Granted, it could’ve been the wine talking, but I grew nostalgic and sentamental.  At the cafe/tasting bar where we wrapped up our 4 hours away, I watched two little girls and felt tears welling.  How fast the time passes!  My boys are losing teeth, Ellie is working on potty training and what if we never have another?  Each second away from them seemed wasted and I grew anxious to see and smell and touch them.

When I finally did get to where they were, they were less than interested to see me. In fact, it took more than a few minutes before the boys even knew we had returned and while the girls greeted us with smiles, they were more than happy to join the action taking place around them.  And really? Just looking upon them satisfied the longing in my chest.  At least until the next time we parted.  Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . .

5 pairs of earrings

My pal Trisha has many talents. Perhaps the one I most admire is her 6th sense about gifts.  She just KNOWS what a person would love, often before they know it themselves.  It. Is. Amazing. Back when I turned 29, she sent me the loveliest pair of earrings from an artist I had fallen in love with. But here’s the thing:

No one knew I loved this artist!

I know, right?

So anyway, I have continued to love those earrings and wear them A LOT.  Some more jewelry from Darlybird was on my mind as a gift Jac could get me but I kept forgetting to mention it.  When I finally did remember, it was late into December and I just said something in passing.

Christmas came and went and I had a full stocking of wonderful things from Jac.  Alas, no earrings.  As we readied for Mass the morning of the 26th, he bolted for the door.

“Wait a minute! I DID get you something else!  Where could those be?” He dashed to the mailbox and came back triumphant and a little embarrassed.  I didn’t care WHEN I got them, just that I had some.

He listened! And not just ONE pair but FIVE.  Five!!!!  Pretty great, no?