Posts filed under ‘elliot’
proactive about forming traditions, or not; we all have them. i’m the type of person who despises routine, but cherishes the traditions that our little family has organically formed.
on christmas eve, we squish into the living room, and have a sleepover. there is always one gift opened, and that gift in itself is a tradition: footy pyjamas, and a toy made by me. we sleep late the next morning, and slowly get through breakfast, and reading the christmas story from the bible.
my kids are growing up, and so am i. they no longer “play” with the toys that i make them, and i no longer have the time to make weekly toys. so this year, i really struggled with what to make them for their christmas eve gifts. i didn’t want to break with tradition, but i also didn’t want to waste time and resources.
i brainstormed and consulted with friends and family, and came up with handmade ornaments. and now i kind of wish that i’d had the idea many years ago. the ornaments summarize the year that is coming to a close. in doing this, the kids can have a chronological record of their childhoods. practically, they can start a collection for their own trees in their own homes- days which are too rapidly approaching.
elliot has been into pokemon for years, but this year he was pretty focused on the release of a new game, and counted down the days for at least ⅓ of the year. given his history with pokemon (it was really the first “thing” he was into), i thought it fitting that his first ornament be a pokeball.
anne’s been in ballet for almost 4 years now, but this year she made the decision to focus on it more seriously. she doubled-up her lessons, and began daily practice at home. she’s even been teaching me!
tomorrow night we’ll continue our tradition of pyjamas, handmade “toy”, and a sleepover. i’m looking forward to seeing the reactions of my not so midgety-midgets when they see the new twist on an old tradition.
merry christmas to you all! thanks for reading!
i posted a brief note about how unbelievably amazing my kids are. somehow the post got deleted, so i’m trying again, but i’m feeling way less-wordy.
here are the pics you wanted!
when i was a kid i loved christmas, because i loved sneaking and snooping! i totally turned into a super spy as soon as the christmas tree went up, and i spent tons of time looking under beds and into the backs of closets. i’d unwrap gifts and expertly rewrap them to keep my misdeeds secret. sometimes i’d take a toy out of its packaging and play with it for a while, before sealing it back up until christmas morning.
i was so good at my surprise face.
when elliot announced that he’d been snooping in my studio the morning after i’d stayed up late sewing gifts, my surprise face was authentic.
he had been so extremely close to finding his gift! i listened, horrified, as he told me all about the “half used bag of stuffing” that he’d found and “the cut up pieces of felt” that he discovered INCHES away from the blanket that his gifts were hiding under.
after i’d picked my wits back up off the floor and quickly wrapped the gifts that he had almost found, it dawned on me that my kid was MY kid. oi.
some of you have heard me complain about how elliot found his kindred spirit in the calvin and hobbes comics a couple of months ago. he’s had his best friend “cheetah” since he was one, and the calvin & hobbes characters are such a perfect fit for the two of them.
look how little my boy is there! also how stuffed cheetah is. elliot has loved cheetah from the moment he received him, and they’ve done absolutely everything together! so when eli read calvin and hobbes for the first time and realized that there was “another” kid just like him with a stuffed-yet-real pet cat, and a HUGE sense of mischief, he was hooked. it wasn’t long before anne became “suzy” and water guns were being squirted all over the house. he drew pictures of nagoobians, and i think he said i was an alien?
as much as i don’t enjoy elliot going crazy mcnachos and emulating calvin, i do realize that it is partly my fault. i didn’t read calvin & hobbes when i was a kid, but i’m pretty sure i didn’t need any help with my impishness (i once tried to convince my youngest sister to jump off of the railing of a second story deck because “you’re really adopted, and your alien parents are here to bring you home, but you just have to believe and jump first”). it’s pretty clear to me that i’m getting back what i gave to my parents and sisters (and friends, and teachers, and babysitters). so this christmas i’m super excited to give elliot this:
i know my exasperated mother said more than once “i hope you have a kid just like you!” and i’m so glad that i do!
moments before the photo was snapped, he agreed to let me have my way with his hair, in exchange for eating whatever he wanted (as long as there was healthy food) for the ENTIRE following day.
he wanted to keep his reliable old hair-do, but his stomach convinced him to take a gamble.
um. oops. *technically* not a mohawk though, because the sides fade into the longer top, instead of ending dramatically with a fringe. details like that are important to my boy!
he looked himself over in the mirror, and spent a looooonnnnnggg time rubbing the short sides of his head before declaring “i like it! it’s like i have daddy’s moustache on my very own head!”
elliot insists that he never sleeps. every morning he tells me “i didn’t sleep last night, i haven’t slept for days.” my rebuttal is always the same: “elliot, i checked on you last night before i went to bed, and you were unconscious.” sometimes i talk to my sleeping boy or kiss his cheek or do something to make sure that he’s really asleep, so that i have further proof when morning comes. still he contends, and then boasts that he could stay awake ALL night. so when he started going on about it again on friday, i said “fine.”
“fine. you can stay up all night. but if you fall asleep while you’re trying to stay awake, then you can never ask to stay up late again.”
so last night of course, i was ready to die at 9:00. i’m usually good to go until around 2am, but last night was tough. derek and i watched scary dr.who episodes with elliot (trying to show him that he doesn’t want to stay up!), then i opened my crochet school videos and worked on that for a bit while elliot practiced his french knitting (corking). somewhere after that elliot entered the giddy over-tired phase, and there was a period of time where my yarn from my crochet was being thrown to the cat to play with and elliot was sitting on my head laughing his face off and calling me a “society” and then bursting out “hahah! i don’t even know what a society is!!!”. giddy turned into obnoxious then turned into “let’s watch a movie” and insisting “i can stay up all night”, but it was less like a boast and more of an encouragement to himself.
i fell asleep two-thirds of the way through hoodwinked, and woke up as the credits were rolling. elliot was “wide” awake, so i put on another video and crashed again. derek woke up when the credits rolled on that one, and thankfully— elliot was asleep! yay!
wow, i was pretty worried when i saw how alert he was at 2:30 am. this was only good parenting if we won, of that i was convinced! PHEW!
this morning he didn’t sleep in, at least not as much as i would expect a boy with a 3am bedtime to sleep in.
then, while the kids were watching sweet pea beauty just a few minutes ago, i found this:
no doubt he’ll insist that he didn’t sleep, but this time i have his sister as a witness and photographic evidence to back me up. i may throw in a kiss on the cheek as well. y’know… just to back up my argument.
we went back to the animal shelter on saturday and filled out the paperwork for adopting the pest who wouldn’t leave our house or my kids’ memories. i hate cats. i love my kids though, and when elliot realized where the family discussion on saturday morning was headed, his face made me confident in the decision.
elliot’s wrestled with and rejected several names over the last few days, but he finally settled on Percy for the following reasons:
- the cat was persistent at making us his family.
- elliot was persistent in asking his parents and asking God to give him a cat.
- “percy” passes the cute factor.
- “percy” begins with the “purr” sound.
there wasn’t a lot of time to organize elliot’s pokémon party, but with the help of the internet and the kids we pulled it off. here are some of the details in case anyone else out there is frantically googling “easy pokémon party” for their little one.
-streamers! they’re the easiest thing ever, and if you pull them from the centre of the coil, they’re already twisted and fancy-looking. it just requires tape and a sturdy chair to stand on before your house is ready to jump.
-balloons! the second-easiest decoration. seriously, streamers and balloons in a themed colour are transforming. the kids enjoyed drawing circles and stripes on each balloon to give them a pokéball look.
-printed and painted pictures, thanks to google images. i filtered the results so i had only large images, and printed them poster-style (which you can only do on a PC, apparently- so much for my superior mac!). then i taped them together and the kids and i painted them together. here’s the trick for making them look more polished: sharpies!! i love sharpies! once the paint is dry, trace the outline of your pokémon. we hung these colourful pokémon on all the walls along with a print out of their name and some info on each one.
-elliot wanted carnival-ish games, so using one of the above paintings, we played pin the flame on the charmander. not a lot to say about that one, i cut the flame off of charmander and we used it. ta.da.
-there was also a jar full of gummibears, and we pretended they were pokémon. i put some black ribbon around the jar and taped a white circle with a black border on top of the ribbon. there’s no picture, but it’s basically the strip & button that’s on a pokéball. the kids had to guess how many pocket monsters were in the jar, and they were surprisingly great estimators!
-bobbing for pokéballs. this game was really gross! it was obviously just bobbing for apples, but i didn’t have a barrel so i used the kitchen sink. the kids were really into the game, but they were spitting like crazy! the kids really loved this one, and i’m glad that elliot insisted on playing it.
-hot potato, played with a stuffed starly and to the music from the pokémon show. you can buy the album here, but your kids will want to listen to it 24/7 and you may not be willing to go there.
-twister, but instead of saying “right hand, red” i said “right hand, fire.” and the other colours were pokémon types (green: grass, yellow: electricity, blue: water).
-balloon stomp. i know there’s a pokémon that has a stomping ability, but i can’t remember it. i stuck a toy inside one balloon and the kids broke balloons until the winner found the toy.
- prizes! you can’t have competitive games without rewarding the winners. we bought miniature pokémon figures to give to the winner of each game. to keep it fair, if a child won a second prize, they got to give one of their prizes to someone who had yet to win something. everyone went away with something. as soon as they won a prize, i stuck it in their goodie bag to avoid things getting lost.
- goodie bags: completely uninventive, but i bought them. i ordered them just before the summer got crazy, and i’m glad that i did because there’s absolutely nothing pokémon in stores besides the cards!
- food: the party started in the evening, so the food was limited to dessert (and some un-themed sun chips when the kids seemed a little cranky at losing hot potato!).
-staryu cookies. star-shaped sugar cookies frosted with map-o-spread (i was out of time to make more frosting and really, sugar is sugar!), and topped with the top-side of a peach ring. i just used scissors to cut them in half and it wasn’t too tricksy. then i filled the centre with red frosting, and they were done.
-cupcakes. i used yellow & red cupcake liners, and frosted the tops. to make them look like pokéballs, i started with a black circle and then the black stripes coming out from the circle to the edge. i didn’t keep them perfectly centred or straight because i wanted each “ball” to look different and at different rotations… does that make sense? after i had the black outline, i star-tipped the red onto the smallest half (because i had less of it) and then filled in the other half and the circle with white. they weren’t very time-consuming at all, and the kids enjoyed them.
-ice cream. chocolate, not because it fit any pokémon theme, but because it’s eli’s favourite.
-elliot loves crafts, so his party had to include them! some of the kids weren’t so into it, but elliot and a few others were, so i don’t regret incorporating it, even though it wasn’t the most popular. i basically gave the kids ovals of poster board, markers, tape, scissors, pencil crayons, and anything else they asked for. they made their favourite pokémon characters. a couple eye holes and a length of elastic thread later, and they had their own personalized pokémon masks to take home with the rest of their goodies.