Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Without a doubt, this is my favorite time of year. I love the lights, the decorations, the music, the excitement, the memories/nostalgia, the anticipation, the traditions, the generosity, and the spirit of this season celebrating Jesus' birthday. Experiencing it with my girls is quite possibly the best thing ever. 

We started early this year, decorating before the leftover turkey had even been consumed. 

We searched for the perfect singing/dancing holiday creatures. Which of course required testing the singing and dancing capabilities of each and every one simultaneously much to the chagrin of Lowe's employees and customers. In full disclosure, we didn't actually buy one (insert shameful face here). I'm not THAT crazy.

We made hot chocolate on chilly days, a first for some of us. 

"Leese like ha chalat!"
We visited Santa and enjoyed time with the best of friends. 

We protested coats continuously, a theme not just reserved for the holiday season.

No coat. Not cold, Mommy!
We incorporated Christmas into our homework assignments. When asked at school to draw an event from beginning, middle, and end, Elle produced this masterpiece. In case you can't tell, she has depicted with amazing (to unbiased Mom eyes) accuracy our family assembling and decorating our tree. I only briefly felt publicly shamed for depriving my children of a real tree. My favorite is the last panel showing a beaming Mom and Dad watching with pride as Elle and Elise hang the final ornaments in place. In reality, there should have been an angry Mom and Dad sighing in exasperation as the Taller Child picked up and promptly dropped the largest, fanciest, most ornate ornament in the box. After repeatedly being asked to wait for parental assistance. Oh well. Sometimes life is prettier in pictures. 

For the record, our 12ft artificial tree is now on Craigslist. Vowed to go real next year.
In a similar theme of life appearing rosier in pictures, this photo's caption could say something sweet about adorable sisters playing reverently with the nativity. 

More accurately, it should include a voiceover from Fed-Up Mom, "If you two can't share baby Jesus, I'm going to have to take him away!" Go go gadget Christmas spirit. 

There were attempts at creative holiday-themed breakfasts.

Green egg tree, canadian bacon ornaments, turkey sausage trunk, and gouda star
We celebrated with Elle's Kindergarten class at their party... including Gnam Gnam Bistro boxed lunches, gelato, and 90% of stay-at-home moms (and an equally disproportionate number of dads present). You know your kid goes to a yuppie public elementary school when the party dessert is gelato. 

Adorable songs performed by the class

I can't compete with gelato. But I can still exert a low-level degree of control over Elise's sugar consumption at daycare by sneakily signing up for juice boxes and showing up with these alternatives. 2 year olds can't stage a coup over these cuties, can they? Surely the red noses and googly eyes are enough to distract from the lack of high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors? One can hope.

Our elf was very calm this year (i.e. Mom was very lazy and uncreative), and didn't get into too many wacky situations. But he did generously bring the girls pajamas a few days before his return to the North Pole.

Letters to Santa were written. In Kindergarten handwriting and spelling "Der Santa, I wut evrethig", which really alleviates the trouble of individually listing all the items circled in the myriad of toy magazines Elle perused. Her mainstay requests were Magnatiles, Schleich animals, and a Snoopy sno-cone maker. 

We were thus armed and ready for the holiday festivities to begin. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, indeed.

Much to be thankful for

I didn't take many pictures at Thanksgiving this year-- just tried to be in the moment with family, and focus on being... Thankful. 

For sweet sisters. 

For Nanny kisses. 

For shared laughs.

For snuggles. Furry ones included.

For really really good food. 

For being blessed beyond measure. 

It doesn't get much better than that.

Monday, December 16, 2013

They're creepy and they're kooky...

They're creepy and they're kooky

Mysterious and spooky

They're altogether ooky

The Golding Fam-i-ly

We Halloweened with the best of 'em this year...
Complete with pre-holiday festive wear

A few spooky lunches

And a fun night of trick-or-treating with neighborhood friends

For weeks, Elle had adamantly requested to be a sheet ghost. Completely baffling to me, as I really pegged her for more of the sparkly sequined or otherwise over-the-top something type. But nope, every plea I made to get her to traverse the aisles of Target looking for a suitable (i.e. pre-made) alternative was met with dramatic resistance, so Sheet Ghost it was. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, unless you're a sewing misfit like me. My talents lie in creative food art, clearly not any sort of fabric manipulation. I started with a sheet, measured out length, arm holes, and facial orifice holes. Not sure what went wrong with the latter, but the ghost ended up with just enough hypertelorism to significantly limit her peripheral vision. Any slight movement of the unsecured costume on her head led to complete vision loss, and the subsequent disaster you might think would result from a blindfolded child running through the neighborhood with an unevenly cut sheet entangling her feet. She was a trooper though, and took full responsibility for the costume decision. She steadfastly adjusted it and perservered until the last couple of houses when she relented and went as a white turtleneck and tighted.... marshmallow? At this point she sheepishly said, "Mommy, you were right. Being a ghost is hard. Next year, I think I'll be something else". 

Elise chose agreed to be a butterfly, reusing a costume her sister donned in a Halloween of yore. She was adorable, and LOVED the concept of running up to the houses and filling her bucket. She even said her version of "Thank you" and "Happy Hawoweeee!" 

Da-da-da-dum. Da-da-da-dum.
The Golding Fam-i-leeeeeeee

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


The littlest E has been overshadowed by her big sisters of late (I'm afraid you may have to get used to that, oh third offspring of mine), but I thought she deserved a short post of her very own. These ultrasound pictures are from about 18 weeks (now 27), and were taken with my iphone so quality is  marginal. Nonetheless, I think she's pretty perfect.

And yes, upon Jay's request I have looked again to confirm that she is, in fact, still a girl. 
We'll see you soon, little one.

Last beach trip of the summer

I'm rather delinquent with these pictures, but now that the arctic temperatures and dark-at-5pm times are upon us, I thought I'd relive a few moments from our last trip to the beach of the summer.

Next year, there Will Be Three. 


This fall, I officially became a soccer mom. First the minivan and now this. 

Elle wanted to play soccer in the YMCA league with her friend Grace, so we obliged and she tackled her first season of competitive sports. Ok, sports of any kind. It's hard to say whether she'll turn out to be the athletic type, but I think she had fun and she clearly enjoyed basking in the Dragons' undefeated status. Regardless of how much actual input she had in the team's success.

It sounds ludicrous to say, but I think she was at a significant disadvantage starting so late (yes, apparently 5 is late in the soccer prodigy world), as most of the other players had a year or two of experience, and at least understood the rules. Some appeared to be middle schoolers masquerading as 5-6 year olds, both in size and athletic prowess, and at the very least the rest had grasped concepts like which way to kick the ball and the difference between offense and defense. So it took most of the season for E to get it, and even at the end I'm not sure she fully understands that, when on defense, she doesn't necessarily have to stay planted in the spot Coach placed her in. Let me tell you though, she guarded that 6 x 6 inch square of grass with her life.

My job for most of the early practices and games was to make sure E was not sitting in the grass analyzing flowers or chasing butterflies on the field. I never played soccer, so my coaching advice was often met with skeptical glances or chuckles from the more experienced parents. Apparently my understanding of the term "off-sides" is a bit distorted. 

Elise loved eating snacks cheering on her big sister, and tried to rush the field whenever possible. During practice, the coach would ask the team, "Everywhere we go, we what?", and little E always responded enthusiastically, "RUN!"

Then there was the fateful day when Elle got chosen to play goalie for the final quarter of one of the last games of the season. My heart dropped into my duodenum when I saw it happening. She doesn't have a clue what to do! They're going to kill her! I envisioned an onslaught of rapid-fire shots pummeling my melodramatic sensitive firstborn, and the impassioned meltdown that would surely ensue. But, largely thanks to a 6-foot-tall 6-year-old beast of a stopper, no goals were scored on her watch. She even made one fantastic sliding save, with only the minor caveat that the ball was headed way out of bounds and she had to run about 20 feet out of the goal to "save" it behind the sidelines. Still, the crowd cheered. With some creative editing, that could make the SportsCenter highlights reel. 

So far, she says she wants to do it again next year... although when asked what her favorite thing about soccer was, the answer is unfailingly "the snacks".

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Elle: All three Golding girls are wearing zucchinis!
Me: You mean bikinis?
E: I'm going to call them zucchinis.

Good to know the rules don't apply to you, little one.
E: I want to be grown up enough to stay up late but not enough to have to do dishes and laundry.

E: Can I have a pet lion?
Me: How would you catch him?
E: I'd ask a cheetah to get him for me.

After using the bathroom at Kevin Harvick's house during a party, E comes running out to find him (in the midst of conversation with a rather large gathering of people): Mr Kevin! Mr. Kevin! Your toilet paper is Wonnnnnderful!

What, you don't have head shots of your kid in a guillotine? With gratuitous painted blood? 

In keeping with the bathroom humor, E states while on the potty, "Mommy, I think my butt is trying to tell me something, but I guess it doesn't know that I don't speak butt."

Love the new fascination with the word "Butt". Thank you, Kindergarten.

E: Daddy, can you turn down that music? It's bursting my ear wax.

Fry Art.

E: Can we ride in a tangerine?
Me: The fruit?
E: No, not the fruit tangerine, the boat tangerine. You know, the one that goes underwater.
Me: Oh, you mean submarine!
E: I'm going to call it tangerine. (See above)

Reading books before bed, and Jay comes in for prayers. E: Daddy, what did you just eat? Your breath smells pear-ish.

Out of the blue: I may not be the best listener, but I do draw the best pictures for our family.
Way to focus on your strengths, E.

Me: Since you never really used your balance bike, maybe we can get Elise to start riding it?
E: Oh no, Mommy! She will surely fall to her death.

When asked about excessive talking at school: But Mommy, I had important things to say!

And a few Elise-isms, which are gradually increasing in prevalence...
Driving by the llama farm on the way to daycare-- Me: Elise, do you think the llamas will be out today?
Lil E: Yah!
Me: Oh well, no llamas out today. Maybe they're still sleeping.
Lil E: Night-night llamas!

Lil E (puts her lunch bag over her shoulder and waves to me): Bye-bye Snap Snap!
Me: Snap snap?
Lil E: Puts down bag (with perceived exasperation) and opens and closes her hands: Snap snap! Bye-bye snap snap!
Me, assisted by the hand motions: Alligator? Bye-bye alligator? Ohhhh! See you later, alligator!
Lil E: Yah! Bye-bye snap snap!