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Christmas Card

From Family 2010

We are terrible about sending cards out, so consider this your holiday card.

In a lot of ways, this is better than any of the other cards you have received this holiday season. This one has links to videos that are long and full of kids opening presents.

So go check out the final version of our Family 2010 album at Picasaweb, and watch the videos below.

Oh, and I’m not going to embed it here, but on our channel you can watch a really cute video of Sophie praying in her sleep.

We are continuing a family tradition from when I was a kid in which we open one non-Santa present on Christmas Eve before going to bed. Both of these presents came from a program at work where gifts are purchased specifically for children using donated funds. Pretty neat stuff.

The next two videos will immerse you in our Christmas morning present opening extravaganza. Many thanks to all the friends and relatives who helped make this possible. We love you all.

Later that evening I went around to see what the kids were doing. This is what I found.

That’s all for this year, folks. Halfway through next month y0u can expect our January blog post. Until then, many thanks and much love from the Haddad family.

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Filed under Celebrations, Holidays

Taking it Easy

From Family Stuff

I’ve been taking a break from work since Monday last week, but it’s off to work again for me next week. These two weeks have gone by far too quickly.

The goal has been to take it easy and relieve some of the stress work was inflicting on me. I’ve had a good time hanging out with Rochelle and Sophie during the day (driving them crazy) and I have felt a little less stressed out. My lower stress levels have helped me feel a little better prepared to meet the challenges of parenting, and I think everyone has benefited a little from having me around more (or, at least, I’d like to think so).

Sophie has been getting cuter and cuter, and Micah is growing and learning every day. We haven’t done anything terribly exciting, but that’s the point of taking a break, right?

We did find a cool Lego store not far from where we live, and we took Sophie out there last week and we intend to take Micah soon. We’ll probably have pictures of that for next month.

Oh, and we have the kids’ Halloween costumes pretty much done. Sophie’s can be seen in our web album, but Micah’s is a surprise for next month.

Don’t forget to check both our Family Web Album and our YouTube Page. I’m currently uploading the last of five new videos and there are 19 new photos (starting with this one). At the YouTube channel, just click on the Uploads tab (between All and Favorites) and check out the top five videos in the list.

How the Kids Are

Micah

Micah news… What to say? We’ve been working on his lying. It turns out he lies to us a lot. We’ve always suspected it, and we’ve been aware of several (if not most) of the lies, but the problem began to become chronic. So, I had a definitive talk with him touching on: Satan is the father of all lies, even small lies can turn into big problems, and we need to know the truth because parents and teachers can’t help him if we are supplied with false information about his state of health or how an accident occurred (the whole thing started when he lied to me about how many days it had been since his last bowel movement – it had been long enough ago that he had convinced himself that his body magically no longer had the need to poop).

The talk seemed to go well, and I gave him a chance to come clean on any lies he had been perpetuating (the talk took place in the bathroom where I had him sitting on the toilet and, eventually, he pooped). Since the talk, I have noticed an effort to be more honest with us, but it’s a small effort.

It turns out that many of his lies are not intentional attempts at masking the truth, but are in fact the result of his complete lack of ability to portray sequential events even close to the way they actually happened. I think this ability was damaged as a result of his unbridled use of invented “facts” to support his cases in the past (I believe many lawyers and politicians suffer from a similar cognitive¬†anomaly). We’re working on it, but it’s been rough.

I have seen some improvement over the last week, and I believe there is plenty of hope for him.

On a more positive note, Micah and I have begun reading through a book you may have heard of: “The Dangerous Book for Boys.” It’s full of fun stories, information, ideas, games and miscellaneous boy stuff. Some of the material is definitely targeted at boys a little older than Micah, but it won’t hurt to look through it now and let him have a solo go at the book when he’s older.

Sophie

Sophie’s big thing has been picky eating. The only things she’ll readily eat could be counted on your fingers. Late in September, though, I made a discovery that might help ensure she eats more rounded meals.

We’ve known for a while that she loves ketchup enough to try almost anything with it, but we had only used it for things like eggs and a few vegetables in the past. Most of the time we would squirt some on her plate and let her dunk her food in the ketchup.

This time I squirted a little on her plate and pretended to dunk some of her food in it. Then, I slipped the food in her mouth and she quickly devoured it. I did this with stuffing (which she was refusing to try) and green beans (which she always detests). Soon, over half of her dinner was gone and we hadn’t even touched the ketchup.

She was enjoying the food so much, that I just had to break the news to her. “You know, Sophie, I haven’t actually put ketchup on any of your food.” I saw her brow furl while she contemplated the meaning of what I told her, but it didn’t slow her down any.

Eventually she decided to eat just the ketchup with her fork, at which point she stopped eating the rest of her food. By then she had eaten plenty of dinner though, so we just watched and smiled.

The next night after dinner she turned to me and said, “I need a bath.” So, she got one.

Also, she finally settled on what to call her pacifier. For a long time she would just point and say, “peeeeeeeees.” Now, it’s: “Bau-bau.”

Most recently (just yesterday, in fact), she got tired of us denying her the use of her “bau-bau” during waking hours. Generally, if she is laying down getting ready to fall asleep, and she asks for it, we’ll give it to her. However, she often asks for it outside of sleeping time, and we say no (or ask her if she wants to take a nap – she generally says no to the nap).

Yesterday she started doing a horrible fake cry (even she can’t keep a straight face or keep from half smiling) and whining with the cries, “bau-bau.” It really sounds pretty sad, but it’s no Hollywood performance. She tried this three or four times throughout the day, and each time her performance was met with laughter from us – and no pacifier.

Finally, I can’t get off the subject of Sophie without telling you about her obsession with checking the mail and going to the playground.

She asks, frequently, to go check the mail. Starting at eight in the morning all the way until the mailman comes in the late afternoon, she asks, “mee-oo?”

Taking her to the playground is the most fun I can hope to have in a day. She runs around, asking for help into the swings (she likes the little kid style swings, but also loves to ride the big kid swing on her belly) and climbing around the other equipment. One of her favorite things to do is go down slides. Spiral slides are her favorite because the descent is slower and more controlled, but when she’s feeling adventurous she’ll have you wait to catch her at the bottom of a long straight one and she’ll zip down into your arms. She has so much fun, and she loves exploring.

Until Later

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From Family Stuff

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Filed under Normal Life, Vacation