Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Some people like to spread cheer during the holiday season.  I like to spread fear and discontentment.  

Let me back up.  My sister has been dating a guy named Joe.  She went to Australia for Christmas and was in a rush before she left, so she asked me to drop off a little gift for him that she bought. 

Yesterday afternoon I went to his house and knocked on the door.  A very pleasant, 30ish blond woman comes to the door.  Immediately I think, "Oh no, is this is ex-wife, here watching the kids?  This could be really awkward."  In fact, I tried to think of something I could say so I wouldn't have to leave the gift, but I'm just not that quick.  So here's how the conversation went:

Me: Hi, is Joe here?
Ms. Pleasant: No, he's not.
Me: Okay.  My sister wanted me to drop this off for him.  Would you give it to him?
Ms. Pleasant: Sure.  (with just a hint of a question mark at the end of "sure")

So I immediately go home and email my sister so that she knows his ex is currently reading her card.

Of course she immediately emails him and asks, "Is there any chance your ex was at your house today watching the kids?"  And he responds....

"No, but it is a funny story.  Your sis got the wrong house but just happened to go to a neighbor's house whose husband is also named Joe.  

The poor lady thought her husband was having an affair and that your gift was from a mistress.  She finally figured it out after she got herself off the floor."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A few notes from Daddy

Two weeks away from Christmas, these are the happenings in the lives of my kids (at least as I see them):

  1. Max is in partial potty-training mode.  He likes to wear big boy underwear, and is happy to use the toilet when we ask him, but really the only thing that motivates him to use the toillet himself is #2.  Apparently he's happy to sit in his own pee, but not his own poo. 
  2. Aviva loves peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, corned beef, and candy.  It makes me happy because no one else will eat PB&Js or Reubens with me.  
  3. Max wants LOTS of presents under the tree because that's how Christmas Trees look in the cartoon movies he's been watching.  Thanks Disney.  Thanks a lot.  I know that really it's my fault that I let him watch TV, but still.  I tried to turn the occasion into a teaching opportunity and really the only take-away was Max learning that he can trust his dad but not santa.  I don't know how it happened except that I was free-lancing.  Hopefully with Aviva I'll be a little better prepared.
  4. Aviva can cry and/or scream for an infinite period of time with little or no provocation.  Most recently (as in immediately before this post), she cried for 30 straight minutes as I first made a PB&J and then showered.  The crying started and stopped like a light-switch, with the only respite occurring while she shared the PB&J.  There is no ramp-up time and she has only two settings: quiet or full-throttle, "I'm really TO'd."  (Currently, she's screaming from the top of the stairs where Max and Keely were last seen playing; not sure if she wants me to rescue her or if she's waiting for Max and Keely to come back.)
  5.  I'd forgotten how cold Michigan gets.
  6. Kristin has started making Christmas candy.  Is there anything better in this world than a wife that is devoted to carrying on the traditions of her mother?  Didn't think so.  Not when the mother is DBQ.
  7. Max and I went out on the pond in the back a little while ago because it had frozen through.  Max loved it and it reminded me that sometimes all it takes to make a kid happy is to show them something novel.  
  8. Max and Aviva have lots of tender moments, especially in the morning and at night, right before bed.  A few nights ago, Max and Aviva hugged for a good 10 minutes.  And no one can make Aviva laugh like Max can.  I have come realize why my own parents wanted so much for us kids to be friends.  It's the best thing in the world to see your kids love each other and play with each other.  
  9. It's going to be hard for Uncle Travis to be Aviva's favorite uncle at Christmas.  Background: every time we see Travis he does his best to win over the hearts of all his nieces and nephews until he is undisputedly the favorite uncle; it usually works.  Well Aviva has a fever, and the only cure is more Uncle Shawn.  Let's see what tricks you've go up your sleeve this year, Uncle Travis.  It's on. 
  10. Aviva likes when Kristin combs her hair.  I'm pretty sure it's an inherited preference, as Mimi Ellis LOVES to have her hair brushed.  

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Aviva finally cut her other front tooth.  For about 3 months now we've been enjoying her one tooth smile.  It never fails to make me laugh.  I can't help but think she looks like a little cartoon character.  (It should be noted however, that mostly she's crying like in the picture in above).

She is the feistiest little thing ever.  She gets super jealous in two situations.  
  1. When Max is upset and wants me to hold him.  She throws her hands up in the air, screams at the top of her lungs, and hits my knees over and over until I pick her up too.  
  2. When Abram kisses me or hugs me.  She screams until he pulls away and then she stares me down for a good 30 seconds, as if to say, "don't mess with my man."  So sometimes when Abram wants to kiss me I tell him he'll have to wait until his girlfriend isn't around.

Jesus' Birthday

We decorated our tree before we left for Maryland so when we got back we'd be all set for Christmas.  It was so much fun with Max because he is SO excited for Christmas.  It's all he talks about.  Whenever he plays with friends he tells that that we're going to have Christmas at our house (like it's a special Ellis Family event).  

Well, the other day I was trying to take advantage of a teaching moment and I told him that Christmas is Jesus' birthday.  Instead of the interested reaction I had hoped for, he burst into tears because he thought I was saying that only baby Jesus was going to be getting presents for Christmas.  Nice.  I have a feeling getting across the true meaning of Christmas might be a little tougher than I originally thought.