securing his spot on the naughty list

I took Declan with me to the grocery store this morning to grab a few things for Christmas brunch. He got to ride in the race car cart all by himself and was especially well-behaved, even at the end during the checkout process. When we got to the car, I realized the explanation for this good behavior. He had swiped a full size BabyRuth and was sucking the chocolate out through the wrapper. Here's a picture of my little klepto, complete with his chocolate-smeared devilish grin:


happy birthday to me...

Today is my birthday. Today I went from being thirty to being in my thirties. Totally different, by the way! I think on the eve of every birthday I imagine the utterly blissful birthday that will surely come the following day. Nothing will get lost and no one will raise their voice. There will be no crying, no red lights, no temper tantrums. There will be cake for breakfast and champagne for dinner. I will get fabulous presents in all the right sizes and colors, parking spaces up front, phone calls from long-lost friends, and free coffee from the Starbucks.

Instead, I was awoken by Ava looking for her uniform. She couldn't find it anywhere. She had looked, she promised. I inch out of my bed, careful not to wake the baby who had been in bed with us since 3:45 a.m.. I put my glasses on and stumble into Ava's room only to find her standing there with her uniform in hand. She had found it. Awesome! Then Emerson can only find one shoe. There is nothing to pack for the girls' lunches and Ava won't take leftover pizza, so I have to find my checkbook to write her a $3 check (because her school doesn't take cash) so she can buy lunch. I have to put said $3 check in an envelope inside a folder inside her bag. This is the protocol, unless you want to receive a nasty post-it message. This I know from experience. The problem is, I am out of envelopes. I live in a house of little people who like to write "letters" and put them in my envelopes and draw postage on the front and put them in the mailbox out front (with the flag up of course)! So I have to put my $3 check in one of my nice stationary envelopes, which probably costs about $3. Awesome! By the time we get out the door, I am approximately 20 minutes late to Emerson's school. I then get to the mall for my relaxing day of birthday browsing with Finlay and Declan, only to find that Finlay is screaming and hungry. I pump in the parking lot, while Declan watches Charlotte's Web. He thinks Wilbur is a dog and yells "DA!" everytime he appears onscreen. Which is a lot! As I finish pumping, I glance up and notice the security camera above me, which probably has had a nice view for the last 15 minutes. Again, awesome!

The one shining star in my morning is this:

It is a birthday card from the Starbucks. It is a voucher for for a free birthday drink. Any drink, any flavor, any size, with any additional number of espresso shots. Just for me, because it's my birthday. I get so excited taking a picture of my free birthday drink card, that I leave it on the counter and forget to bring it to the mall. All in unison now...."Awesome"! Lucky for me, my mother and mother-in-law both sent me Starbucks gift cards for my birthday. Maybe my obsession with the $5 latte has gotten out of hand. It's not like I want this for my birthday cake next year:

Ok, I kind of do! But whatever...

I did end up having a great birthday. I went out to dinner with my amazing husband and 4 kids. (Boy were they surprised at the restaurant when the "5 plus a baby" they had on the books ended up being 2 adults, 2 kids, a toddler needing a highchair and a baby!) Everyone was relatively well-behaved at dinner. And we came home and I got to open presents, which were all in the right color and sizes, thanks to that aforementioned amazing husband (and the Anthropologie wish list I created online).


'tis the season

Christmas is in full swing at the Sprinkel household. We have (wait for it...) four trees up and decorated. I raided some friends' magnolia tree and even made a wreath. It was my first wreath making experience but I'm pretty happy with the result. See?

But my favorite part might be the advent calendar. Here's a look at the final product:

The girls are having so much fun with all the activities. So far we've written letters to Santa, watched a Christmas movie, drank hot cocoa (with jumbo marshmallows), decorated the (real) Christmas tree, and made Christmas cookies.

Here's a picture of them (heavy-handily) decorating sugar cookies:

There's lots more fun to be had this week. Tomorrow's going to be a surprise for the whole family, since I've completely forgotten what I wrote on Day 7's card!