Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

In the past month...

a lot has changed in our house. If you have been keeping up with us you know that the pacifiers are long gone. It is now a month past Christmas and the pacifiers are things of the past...a distant clouded by pink synthetic princess gowns and plastic pretend high-heel shoes.

The girls are one week from the big event...the princess birthday party. Its amazing and sometimes overwhelming to think that they are almost four. Look for photos next week of splendor that February 6th will bring.

Our little boy, little Sammy has conquered many milestones in the past month. At nine months he was a toothless stationary baby. Nowadays well...I think the photos speak for themselves.

Sammy's Motto: "Will crawl for food!"

(Actually he will crawl for anything now...
his sister's toys, little cars, bits of cat fur
and all the usual stuff babies try to put in their mouths)

Clapping to his favorite song, "If You're Happy and You Know It"

Standing with support

and of course smiling more now than ever before.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Greatest (Con) Story Ever Told!

Remember this dumb idea?

Well considering the fact that the girls are almost four years old we decided it was time to fix the problem we created. We entertained going cold-turkey and throwing out the pacifiers and never going back. But like all reasonable, rational and with it parents we kept putting off the inevitable until we could find the most painless method for all to get rid of the girls' pacifiers.

Over the course of the past year, the only place Natalie and Amelia could use their pacifiers was in their beds. We allowed them the freedom to seek out their pacifier at any time of day with the only caveat that they had to be in their bed. Amelia was the first to drop the use of a pacifier, but for some reason began using one again (on her own accord) during the fall of 2009. This confused us. Fortunately once Amelia bit through her's, rendering it unsafe for its intended use, the separation went rather smooth. Natalie, on the other hand, was so attached to her pacifier, her precious calming device, we wondered how we could possibly remove this most special object from her.

So what was our method of choice to rid our preschoolers of their baby soothing device?

Why...fibbing, lying and all out conning them with a story of how Santa needs pacifiers for new little babies.

Although this tale is a bit long, settle in and enjoy the unbridled faith that a child has in Santa and the unique ways that lessons in self-sacrifice can be taught to children. We figured you parents out there who have been through similar dilemmas may enjoy this story!

During the summer of 2009 two little sweet twin girls fell in love with everything princess. Specifically Disney princesses. More specifically Sleeping Beauty. (Why her? Because she wears the pink dress people, by now that should not be a surprise.) This new found passion helped us potty train our girls for the right to wear the coveted princess underwear (and let me tell you it took a while for them to learn that they can NOT wear the sleeping beauty pair every day even if they did NOT have an accident in them)...but I digress....

Along with their new love came the all-consuming desire for a dress-up princess gown, a princess crown, princess tap shoes (high-heal shoes in 3.5 yr. old terms) and a princess wand. As much as we wanted to fulfill their terms and satiate their desire we were not going to go out and just buy these items for no specific reason or occasion.

Our response, "I guess you will just have to ask Santa for those things." We started this mantra in August and basically put it on auto repeat for the following months. day..the most amazing thing happened. A parenting epiphany! A complete all out lie! The Greatest Con Story Ever Told!

We found ourselves saying..."Santa only brings princess dresses to little girls who give him their pacifiers!"

When asked by Natalie and Amelia, "What does Santa do with our pacifiers?"

On the fly we replied ever so sweetly, "Why give them to little babies that need them."

....and...believe it or not...not only did the twins buy our story hook, line and sinker...but they accepted it, agreed to it and starting preparing themselves mentally for the day they would leave their pacifiers at the fireplace door.

Amelia and Natalie began preparing for the separation from their pacifiers in October so they had a couple months to get used to the idea. And as parents we had a couple months to retell and emphasize the important details of our pacifier con story.

Jump ahead to Christmas Eve....that morning Mike woke the girls and said that today was the day Santa would be coming. Like most kids in December our girls asked everyday about "how much longer until Christmas?" Being told that the most exciting day of the year had arrived propelled the girls out of bed, down the hall and to the fireplace...where they did this...

Even Natalie who loves her pacifier more than most things did not hesitate to give hers to Santa. Amelia bit her's off three weeks prior to Christmas but of course Santa can fix anything and will do so before giving it to a little baby who needs it...just in case you were worried.

Honestly I was shocked at how easily the girls parted from these special tokens. I did wonder though if Natalie was going to realize that Santa comes after her nap time and want it back for one last hurrah. In the end she did but after her nap back to the fireplace her pacifier went.

To document this big moment we took a photo of the girls giving them up. Please excuse the hair and clothes as they were half dressed and not at all close to done with their morning "beauty routine".

To make the story as authentic and believable as possible Mike wrote a dictated letter to Santa to the girls. And as Santa, Mike wrote back to the girls after his special Christmas delivery.

So did it work? The magic of Santa?
I think the photos below tell it all.

Natalie: "Is it? Could it be? Look...I see pink..."
Amelia: (in her head) " oh, please...please...please...let mine be the same!"

Amazing...Santa even wrapped in Christmas princess paper!

"It worked! It worked. Santa did bring our dresses!"

Natalie: "If I gave away my pacifier there is NO way I am letting this thing out of my sight!"

Amelia: "Please fit, please fit. The tap shoes have to fit.
Mama, is this the right foot?"

"And look princess jewelry, we didn't even ask for that!"

Amelia: "This thing kind of hurts but its the price you pay for beauty!"

Christmas day was special in many ways. The girls ended up with more princess attire from other family members. Sam well, he was into paper eating more than anything. And as parents experiencing Christmas through the eyes of a child is something truly amazing and powerful.

We have not heard a word about the donated pacifiers since that magical day so I guess it is safe to say that the ending of the greatest con story ever told is one that which
both parents and princesses....

live happily ever after.