Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We're Expecting!

Yes, that's right, we're expecting in the Hodge house! We are expecting an elf to come stay with us until Christmas! Did you think I was talking about a baby? No, thank you, my hands are full enough as it is and my uterus has an aversion to such creatures growing inside of it. Sorry if I misled you, but I did get your attention, didn't I? So the real story is that we are getting an Elf On The Shelf to stay with us until Christmas. If you aren't familiar with what this is, don't worry, I didn't have a clue until last year when my many friends were posting about their elves's nightly escapades on facebook. An Elf On The Shelf is an elf that comes to stay in your home until Christmas. This elf's sole purpose is to keep watch over the home's children and report to Santa on how well they are behaving until Christmas. These little spies are also mischievous around the house, hiding, making messes and other creative little elf activities to keep them occupied when the children are sleeping or away at school. My girls were introduced to the elf last year by their teachers and would come home with giggles and stories of what the elf did in their classroom that day. We decided then that we would get an elf in our home this year, though I meant to pick one up on a post season sale, but unsurprisingly forgot. On a related topic, my sister is hosting a foreign exchange student from Thailand in her home, so I guess I could house an elf this year on the North Pole Elf Exchange Program, right? Yes, indeed, I'm not going to allow her to one up me on our ongoing parenting/humanitarian/super-woman sibling rivalry.

While I was planning on starting the elf inhabiting with the first of December, I'm assuming that other elf-participating parents began with the close of Thanksgiving. I say this because as soon as the girls returned to school from Thanksgiving break, they began talking about their elf and wondering when it would arrive. Thankfully, their best friend told them all they had to do was set out a glass of water, a few crackers, and a note to their elf and their elf would write them back with it's planned arrival date to their house. As efficient as they are, the note was completed before they even reached their bus stop and plans were underway for their elf to visit that night. Their note was left on the mantle next to a cup of water minus the crackers that their mom neglected to have in the house.

> Dear Elf
I really want an elf. I want 2 elves 1 good 1 bad. I want both that can be touched 1 baby 1 grown. I want the baby to be messy. Come even if we're not decorated.
From: McKenzie, McKenna

The next morning the girls were disappointed as their note and water were in their original place and there was nothing in return from their future friend. Turns out, our elf left it's note on the other side of the mantle >
Greetings from the North Pole!
Thank you for your letter. Santa gets lists and mail all the time, but us elves never get mail just for us. I have been picked by Santa himself to come to your house in a few days. Our elf records show that you have never had an elf at your house, so Santa won't let you have two elves this year. He said that if you take good care of me this year, maybe he will let another elf stay with us next year. So I am really busy right now in the workshop making toys and stuff. Santa won't let me come until I get all my list done. I think I will be all finished and packed to be at your house next Monday or Tuesday. I am very excited to get to come to your house. Santa told me you have dogs and I really like dogs. Please take very good care of me. I am used to Mrs. Clause taking care of me. She is really sweet and I have never left the North Pole before. Again, thank you for your letter. I have to get back to the workshop to get the rest of the togs made on my list.   
~ Your Elf

Well the girls were reeling in excitement and the morning ride to school was filled with questions and little known information about elves. They figured that their elf was probably at our house right that instant just to "check it all out Momma". Really? I being the "Google It" proclaiming person asked if they thought that our elf Googled where we lived. "Well of course not momma, they don't have wifi at the North Pole" answered McKenna. Elves have "Magic Powers" to locate your home and do all sorts of other things. I didn't even know my girls had all this elf knowledge, but I'm thinking I'm going to need to Google an 'Elves for Dummies' handbook to get me caught up on all the need-to-knows with having an elf in your home.

Now for all of you reading this and ready to call the Elf Gender Discrimination Hotline because I keep referring to our elf as an "it", please close the yellow pages and hang up the phone. The only reason I am calling it an "it" is because we are not yet sure if we are getting a girl or a boy elf. Of course my little ones want a girl, but all of the stores their mom has called is out of the Elf On The Shelf official Skirt that turns the initial boy elf into a girl elf. If a shipment doesn't arrive before Monday or Tuesday, the "it" is going to have to be a boy. Though it's been suggested that I make one myself or use baby clothes, my girls have seen the real thing and I'm not really sure if an imitation will be accepted. So at this point, we are going to let our elf's gender be a surprise.

The next night there were three notes left for the elf:

 > This one is McKenna's which apparently my computer and blogspot have joined forces against me to refuse to allow me to insert it any other way but sideways.

Dear elf,
You are very nice but can you please leave your note where I leave mine. I want to know if you are the baby before you come. Please tell me your name.

So I guess it's a little obvious that McKenna did not like the placement of the elf's previous note and she is taking charge of the situation to be sure it doesn't happen again. The concern of the elf being a baby or not determines if the elf is going to be exceptionally messy. (They are hoping for a messy baby, or at least something to blame their messes on....I'm onto them.)

This is McKenzie's in what I believe she must have really concentrated on her handwriting in because you can actually read it pretty well.

> And this one from both is just too sweet. The elf left a few notes again for the next morning and as requested they were left in the same place that the girls left theirs for easy finding. The elf also drank the water, ate the chips and really enjoyed the skittles that were left the second night. I can assure you that the elf is having just as much fun passing notes in the night with my girls as they are.

So as are expecting, you also can be expecting to read more about our Elf-scapades as Christmas approaches. As for me, it's late, I'm tired and I need to check and see what the girls have left their elf tonight! ;)

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