Thursday, December 8, 2011

Our Family Addition

Last week I posted a blog entitled "We're Expecting," a title I thought would generate some interest which the blog stats confirmed as it is my highest viewed post thus far. While it does thrill me to see the stats and know that I have readers, if you are just joining me, please continue reading as I believe there are much better posts. Yes, the title was a little deceiving, but does prove the power of how important a good title is to generate interest. No, we are not expecting a baby as I'm sure this is the conclusion many a readers would jump to, but if you read, we were expecting an Elf On The Shelf to come stay with us until Christmas. When I posted last week, I had an Elf waiting for me on hold at a local gift shop until I could make it in and was in a desperate search for an Elf Skirt which turns this elf into a girl with the simple cling of Velcro. In a score for the mommy team, I found the skirt four and a half hours away at the Christmas Tree Shop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. No, I did not drive all the way there for an elf skirt, nor would I, no matter how many mommy points that would generate. No, we were there for the weekend and as my determination was quickly turning into desperation, a Google search of Elf On The Shelf retailers led the way and the skirt was purchased by my husband in a covert undercover mission while I diverted the girls attention to other areas of the store. While I toyed with the idea of letting our before named Ashley Elf appear and join us on our weekend away, I decided to wait until we returned home to as not lose her or have her to distract the girls from other weekend events.

Day 1. Monday
The girls woke up bright and early Monday morning with an Elf on our shelf. She was sitting on the tupperware container we had stored our Gatlinburg fudge in only the night before and had obviously ate a little bit. She also left a note in agreement to what Santa had told her of Gatlinburg fudge being better than any other fudge there is. The girls were ecstatic that their new friend had finally arrived and begged to take her to school with them, but of course I would not allow that.

Day 2. Tuesday
In an effort to make school mornings as easy as possible with two procrastinating girls, we have a nightly routine of selecting and laying out school clothes for the following morning. When we woke on Tuesday, the girls' clothes were thrown all over our living room along with books that had been knocked off a chair side table and scattered on the floor beneath.

Day 3. Wednesday
Ashley must have wanted to share a little of her home with McKenzie and McKenna because she created a winter scene in our living room. She took all the cotton balls from my decorative bathroom apothecary jar and had them covering the coffee table with Snowman Peeps scattered amongst her cottony snow. Ashley sat in the snow next to a peppermint candy themed Christmas tree ornament she brought back from the North Pole. Next to her was her written response on the same note the girls left the night before asking what she liked to eat in the morning. It turns out Ashley is very tired in the morning and doesn't eat during the day, but really likes the snacks the girls have been leaving for her at night. Again, the girls begged to take her to school, but again I would not allow it instead reaching a compromise to let Ashley ride to school with us. She staying in the back seat held up to the window so she could see our morning route, car line and the girls' school and was given to me to ride up front when the girls exited the car for school. She sat in the same place of my console all day with her eyes fixated in my direction, watching my every move.

Day 4. Thursday
Panties, panties...everywhere, well not everywhere, but in a trail between the girls rooms that would have Hansel and Gretel finding their way home with no problem. I woke the girls in a hurried rush as I had woke a little late myself and continued with our morning routine listening to the girls giggle at Ashley's nightly mischief.

While my husband keeps accusing me of having more fun with Ashley than the girls are, they are enjoying her much more. I will admit that it is fun tapping into the childlike creativity of being an elf. I never know what she is going to do until the girls fall asleep and I am forced to figure it out quickly before I go to bed each night. It is both entertaining and helpful to see what other's elves are doing in several of my friends' morning facebook updates. I find their posts give me quick and easy ideas where I may be over thinking and trying too hard to be creative thus making the elfing stressful. This morning I couldn't help but think that Ashley's notes could be very helpful in motivating the girls to get some chores completed without me having to nag them. Is that manipulative? Yes, maybe a little, but I'm not above a little manipulation if the girls will take direction better from their foot tall friend rather than they will me and avoid a argument or two in the meantime. If Ashley's going to live in our house, eat our snacks and make messes, I figure she could do something productive too and help the girls score some extra points with Santa by cleaning their room, fighting with each other less and taking some initiative in other areas where they are relying on us to baby them. Yes, Ashley is definitely going to explore this method and maybe December will be our month for some better habits to be born to usher us into the new year ahead. I'll update you on the progress or lack thereof.

Happy Elfing!

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