First of all, thank y'all for the sweet comments about our baby girl. We are so happy, and it just makes it all the more fun for you to share in our enthusiasm! Thank you!
I made four batches of my now-traditional peppermint bark last weekend. And, y'all, it was so much more fun than it has ever been before, because I now have legitimate kitchen helpers. The boys pulled the mini candy canes from their wrappers and dropped them into the Ziploc bags, then got out their wooden hammers (and a magic wand) and pounded them all to bits. It was fabulous!Elf on the Shelf. I felt a little guilty I hadn't done it earlier in the season, since I was hearing about how much all my friends' children were enjoying their elves. Apparently, there is a nationwide love affair with these elves. We read the book, and talked about how the elf would be in a new place each morning when he woke up. I told him he should "Pick a name for the elf." What did he pick? Why, "Pick," of course. So, we put Pick in his starting spot and really didn't discuss him much more that night. Then, a few minutes after I'd put him to bed, he timidly came out of his room and asked with big, worried eyes, "Do he stay pretend until nighttime and then he get real and move around? He going to come in my room during the nighttime? He going to bite me? I want him be put away." We'll try again next year, ol' Pick!
So, then, with Pick retired for the season, he asks me a few days ago, "Mommy, Santa Claus just pretend like the gorilla at the Halloween party (of which he was completely and totally terrified)? Santa Claus just dressed up, not real?" Panicked, I just launched into the story of Saint Nicholas and said "and that's where Santa Claus comes from!" He didn't seem satisfied, but he hasn't pressed the question. I sure thought I had a few years of him even understanding the concept before he started questioning it! Oh, man.