Every year since TK Heather has intently designed a leprechaun trap to put out the night before St. Patrick's Day. It's apparently something they discussed at school.
She has been a bit distraught that for 2 years now she has failed to catch one. They are just too clever to fall for her tricks.
This year she thought up an entirely new approach. Instead of trying to trap a leprechaun with force she built a playground. She hopes the leprechaun enjoys it so much that it will stay, but if not, she hopes it will have fun. This was entirely her idea and Jess and I find it awesome.
So she designed and built this playground. Jess helped with the bench, slide, and tree; but otherwise Heather built it herself. Look at that swing! Entirely her own design! And the sandbox is full of sand (bits of colored paper) and has 2 functional shovels and buckets! The big lumpy things are gold nuggets. In the center there is a pond. Beyond the pond is a flower and a blade of grass.
Then she wrote a letter for the leprechaun:
(Reproduced below with spelling corrected for readability)
Dear Leprechaun, I hope you enjoy the playground! It's called Leprechaun Park, but I didn't have time to make a park sign and monkey bars. Next year! But there is some gold! There is also a swing and a sandbox with buckets and shovels. There is a slide and a bench along with other things you will discover yourself.
P.S. Please sign your name here every year. Thank You!
We got a Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. We opted out of the cut-our-own route this year. The trees haven't been in good shape due to the drought, it's a long drive, and it doesn't save any money. So we just grabbed one from the hardware store.
We wanted another Grand Fir, like we had last year, but no one seemed to have them. So we ended up with a Nordmann Fir. It seemed to hold its needles well, but it has no smell at all, and the needles have an almost plastic-y appearance. We're going to try for the Grand Fir in the future (they apparently start stocking them a few weeks after Thanksgiving).
I added some berry-like lights to the decorations this year. I thought they'd look neat hanging from the trellis / wisteria. The effect wasn't quite what I had hoped, but I think I can re-work them next time around to have a better outcome. The picture overexposes the lights hiding their color, so they're more colorful looking in real life.
On Christmas Eve we got the girls to bed and awaited Santa's arrival.
To discourage Heather from diving right in to the living room in the morning Jess set up streamers across the doorway:
Then it was to bed for the night....or so we thought. At about 11:30 Heather got out of bed and came in to our room trying to tell us something, but refusing to open her mouth. She then ran into the bathroom (thankfully) to throw up. Once that was out of her system, she started freaking out about the streamers. She was apparently interpreting them as locking us in or something. We got her back to bed....and then Corinne woke up. And around 4 she seemed to decide she was done sleeping. And finally a little before 7 Heather got up, so we might as well all get up...
Surely Corinne doesn't have the cognitive capability to have been anticipating getting up Christmas morning, but she was definitely feeding off of Heather's energy throughout Christmas Eve day. They were both completely loony.
Anyway, up we got, and much excitement was had. But first with the requisite anticipation-building pictures:
Corinne ignored the shiny gifts and the colorful "Tote-a-fort" and bee-lined straight for the bowl of M&Ms on the desk (with lurking alligator) and starting shoveling them into her mouth (the kid is a chocolate fiend):
Heather, however, knows the routine and went for her stocking:
Gifts were opened, breakfast casserole was eaten, naps were taken, fun was had by all.
Corinne loves the fort:
Heather helps me open a gift (I think it's Funny Bones!):
Jess got a new jewelry box:
The brain flakes are lots of fun:
Heather, of course, wanted to do some science and try out the first project from The Magic School Bus Science Club (12-month subscription service). We built a model lung (balloon), chest cavity (plastic bottle), and diaphragm (plastic wrap). It actually works too. Pulling the plastic wrap will inflate the balloon. This picture is Heather recording her observations about the experiment.
A nice ham dinner was had later on in the day with fresh rolls, of course, and many dessert options. I had been having waves of mild nausea throughout the day, but my stomach seemed to settle down by dinner and I was able to enjoy the feast.
Corinne was thoroughly worn out by the day. She napped twice, so we thought she'd be up later than usual, but at about 7pm she dragged a pillow up to me, climbed up in my lap, set the pillow on my legs, folded in half on to the pillow, and fell asleep.