Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holly Jolly Christmas

As we started planning for Christmas, we kept talking about how Holly would react. We have a lot of beautiful glass ornaments that spent the season in boxes. We weren't sure if she would play with the tree or the presents. We decided not to put up the ornaments this year just to play it safe. We didn't know if Holly would try to open the packages. We tried to protect Holly through our Christmas planning.

It turns out Holly was fine near the tree. I saw images of Holly playing with the girls and knocking the tree down, but that didn't happen. In fact Holly went near the tree to sniff the ornaments and packages, but she didn't try to eat anything or rip any packages. Mostly it was just something she found interesting as she passed by.

We had a few mishaps. We had a wooden Christmas tree about four feet tall in the foyer. One day it fell on Holly as she played tag with the girls. Holly spent the rest of the season afraid to go into the foyer near the Christmas tree. I tried to pull out cookie sheets and dropped some other baking sheets on the floor. The noise frightened Holly as she started walking into the kitchen.

What made us laugh throughout Christmas was walking Holly. She despised the outdoor decorations. A blow-up Santa? She barked the entire time she walked by the house. A lighted nativity scene? Holly stood in front of it barking. She wanted to be certain that those people knew not to come near her. She protected us from those blinking lights. No matter what, Holly wasn't going to let those blinking lights attack us.

Christmas morning Holly sat near the tree while the girls opened presents. She was funny because she walked all the way around the house rather than go across the wrapping paper. The girls made a pile, which Holly saw as a wall. She really wouldn't go near it until we created a path for her.

Our first Christmas with Holly was much easier than we anticipated. It wasn't that we thought she would be intentionally destructive, but she's a big, lanky puppy. She still plays a bit too rough at times. She isn't always in control of her body as she runs around. It's adorable unless you think the dog is going to take down the Christmas tree.

If we're luck, and Holly calms down a bit more, I anticipate putting our art glass ornaments on the tree next year. She passed her Christmas tests this year.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pink and proud

Holly has cemented herself as the girls' dog. If Oreo wanted to be near any one of us, Holly wants to be near the girls. As long as her girls are home, she doesn't care if she walks at the usual times or if she stays home with them. She sleeps with the blond twin every night. As long as the girls are in their bedroom, Holly stays in bed with the blond twin.

Today their friend Amira came to play. At first Amira was afraid of Holly. Truth be told, Amira is smaller than Holly. She's barely taller than Holly and we're sure Holly weighs more than Amira. For a while Amira was afraid of Holly. About an hour or so later Amira was laughing and playing and treating Holly like her dog.
Just when we thought she couldn't do anything else to cement herself as the girls' dog, the girls and Amira came out of the girls' room just laughing. They could hardly control themselves. Finally they parted and Holly came into the room.

Holly had on a pink shirt the blond twin recently outgrew. The girls managed to get the shirt over Holly's head and over her paws. Holly was prancing behind them because she didn't want them to leave her in the room. She was decked in hot pink with her tail wagging.

Once we stopped laughing we told the girls to take off the shirt. Holly might have been willing to model it, but she was trying to bite it off her legs. She didn't like it very much.

When they left the room Daddy looked at me and said, "The dog won't let us dry her paws, but she lets them put a shirt on her?" If we had any doubts about Holly's loyalties, her time as a t-shirt model removed them.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A change in our gift policy

We were driving home from horseback riding lessons when the blond twin said, "I don't care if you get us anything but horseback riding lessons for Christmas." I was about to tell her I'm happy that she likes to horseback ride so much when the brunette twin said, "Why would you ask for something you're going to get any way?"

In my head I heard that screeching sound tires slamming on road make. I was trying to process what the brunette twin said while these words came out of my mouth, "Who said you're going to get them any way?"

On the one hand the brunette twin knows we'll support their interests, as long as they are reasonable. Horseback riding lessons at a local stable are probably going to happen fairly regularly. Ski lessons on a Colorado mountain after watching the Olympics? Surfing lessons in Hawaii after watching Soul Surfer? Not going to happen.

On the other hand, I couldn't help but wonder how entitled the brunette twin was beginning to feel. It's not a development we're happy about. I always say the girls "get around" because we take them to a lot of different places/shows/restaurants. It's stuff we liked to do before they were born. We just added them to the mix as they are old enough to enjoy these things.

She won't remember what she said, but we decided it changed how we determine their presents. Stuff we might have just given them, like concert tickets, are now going to be wrapped and given as a gift. They needed long underwear and warm winter gloves for some outdoor activities. Those are under the tree. We're starting with their Christmas presents and will continue as they get older. They might not notice, but the brunette twin's comments certainly will change the way we think about what they get and how they view it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Passing the boots

This morning we woke up to a couple of inches of snow. It wasn't much, but it was enough that the girls needed snow boots. The brunette twin realized her snow boots from last year didn't fit her. Of course, I thought about this a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't do anything about it.

I walked into the garage and grabbed my back-up snow boots. These boots are fine for the days when I'm shoveling, but not comfortable enough to walk the dog. I handed her the boots and told her to wear them.

She said they were a bit big, but they were fine. She looked at me and said, "In a few more months we can share all your shoes."

I knew this day would come. I just thought she'd be older than fourth grade when it happened.

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's not a party room

Just before we were supposed to walk out the door this morning the girls started screaming at me from upstairs. I didn't quite understand at first because they were both yelling at the same time. I ran upstairs to find the brunette twin in tears outside the bathroom saying "I'm sorry" over and over again. I immediately knew what was wrong.

For some reason the girls have a nasty habit of clogging the toilet lately. This was just the latest incident. I looked at them and said, "It's a bathroom, not a party room." Immediately after the girls ran downstairs to find the plunger while I tried to clean up the overflow.

They have to go into the bathroom together. They stay in there with the door closed sharing secrets and laughing. Sometimes we hear loud, belly laughs. Whatever they are talking about they find hysterical. I used to find it adorable.

The problem is they forget why they are there. They don't pay attention to the details, like how much toilet paper they are using and flushing the toilet completely. The result is Mommy or Daddy end up with a plunger in our hands was too often lately.

We're going to have to create a rule that only one of them goes into the bathroom at a time. It's time the party room went back to its original use as a place to do your personal business in private.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The band aid girl

The blond twin has the strangest obsession with band aids. She puts a band aid on every cut, bruise or mark. It doesn't matter if she's even bleeding.

It's as if she thinks band aids are decorative items. We try and try and try to explain to her that band aids aren't for decoration. We discuss how band aids have a medical purpose.

She doesn't care. The blond twin just goes through band aids like nothing I've ever seen. She uses all sizes, all the time. She gets upset when we run out of band aids.

It has gotten to the point that we hide them from her just to make sure we have some if we ever need them. Yes, we hid band aids. It's as crazy as it sounds and we know it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I got all intrigued for nothing

The brunette twin is the ultimate eavesdropper. If she's on the same floor as us when we talk she always seems to hear us and ask a follow-up question. She has to know exactly what we're talking about at all times. I keep telling her she doesn't need to know about every conversation, but she doesn't listen. She's sure we're having a fascinating grown-up conversation.

This morning I was on the phone with Daddy when I said, "They don't even know it's down there." 

The brunette twin was sitting right next to me at the dining room table. She was supposed to be eating breakfast, but she was just staring at me. I kept talking to Daddy while she waited impatiently for me to hang up. Knowing that she was anxious to ask me about my phone conversation I kept talking to Daddy.

As soon as I hung up she said, "We don't know what's down there?"

I said, "It is not your conversation, don't worry about it."

The brunette twin started begging to know what we meant and pleading with me to tell her.

I sighed and said, "We were talking about the hot water tank and why we don't have good water pressure in the bathroom."

Her face fell. She said, "I got all intrigued for nothing? That's not right."

I told her to stop listening to my conversations and she wouldn't be so disappointed. It's not going to happen, but maybe she'll think twice before interrogating me about every conversation.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We have a winner

This year the girls participated in a school program called Battle of the Books. During the semester each team had to read certain books in preparation for the Battle of the Books trivia contest.

Today their teams went up against other fourth and fifth grade teams. It sounds like it was a spirited competition. In the end two teams were tied -- and our girls were on each team. After a tense overtime, the brunette twin's team -- Tie Dye Ponies -- won. The blond twin's team came in second.

When they got into the car after choir practice, the brunette twin was about to explode. She couldn't wait to tell me the big news. She went through every detail, explaining over and over again how her team won. She was thrilled.

The brunette twin said, "Finally it's my turn. Sissy had her poem published. She won the fire department coloring contest. Now my team wins the Book Buddies contest. I won something."

She wasn't gloating as much as she expressed her relief. She finally won something. She knew that we'd talk about her victory the same way we talk about the blond twin's poem being published. Tt was like a weight lifted from her shoulders.

I didn't remind her that she won a trophy during golf camp a couple of summers ago. She won for her skill, but in her mind it didn't really count. No one from school appreciated her victory.

The brunette twin spent the rest of the night basking in her victory. Even her sister couldn't resist smiling at how proud the brunette twin was about her victory. The victory glow won't last long, though. The brunette twin started planning for next semester's Battle of the Books competition tonight. She's ready to defend her victory.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The problem solver

We were walking to school when the brunette twin told me she was having trouble with a boy in her class cheating off her work. I told her she needed to tell the teacher so her teacher could stop the boy.

I explained that the teacher would know he was cheating because he would have the same answers as the brunette twin. She looked at me and said, "Not really."

She then went on to explain that she already talked to the boy about cheating. Since he kept doing it, she started putting wrong answers on her papers. Once he turned in his paper, she'd go back and put all the correct answers on her papers.

I just smiled at her. She wanted me to understand that the teacher might not know he was cheating since they didn't have the same answers. I told her that her solution was very, very clever, but she still had to tell her teacher what was happening.

As soon as I left them at the school, I called Daddy. We were so amazed at her solution. We always say the girl is very clever. It was fun to hear how she solved her class problem in such a creative way.