The Story of the "Photo Shoot"


 This is how it all started: Zerberts.






WTF… We do this to ourselves every friggin’ year! We get the kids some nice Christmas Jammies (but not like these Christmas Jammies). Then pose them in front of the tree and snap some adorably cute photos to send out to all our friends (or to at least post to Facebook for our friends to download to their own computer). What a nightmare!

First, the Christmas Jammies were not to be found this year. We got a great pair for the 2 year old… Red ones with penguins. Apparently they don’t make cute jammies for 6 year olds. So he’s wearing fleece jammies with “Official Ball Club” and a skull and cross bones. Not exactly Christmas. But fleece will have to be the Christmas part.

Now for the posing. This is where it got interesting. It’s totally a 2 person job. One to take the shots and one to keep their attention and give instructions. More people would probably be better.

So for every shot like this


 We also got duel nostril picking






Or upside down






Or one kicking the other






 At first we wanted to just try them sitting next to each other. They were having trouble sitting still.


Heck, we just having trouble getting them to sit up!

There are currently 52 pictures in our Christmas 2013 photo album. I’m not sure how many we deleted – at least another 20. Once we figured out how to get the 2 year old to cooperate things went a bit smoother. He’s a ham for slapstick comedy. All I had to was whack myself with a paper tube and use that same tube to make fart noises. “Ewww. I pooped my pants” would send them in hysterical fits of laughter.


Eventually, we got something acceptable.

Merry Christmas.
From our zoo to yours!

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Woody’s Watching!

Christmas time is here again. I love it. This year we will have a white Christmas! Since moving to Canada 4 years ago, a white Christmas has been iffy. Weird, eh? When you think of Canada you usually think snow. Year round snow like permafrost. Igloos. Cold. Oh, there’s snow here, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes it doesn’t come until after Christmas.

Anyway, this is my favorite time of year. The lights, decorations, the cheer, the excitement, the food… it’s glorious! And with 2 kids I can be the kid I am with them. I love the snow! Let’s go sledding, build a snowman, have a snowball fight! Let’s build an igloo (no, we’re going to live in it). I love to go running in it. It’s amazingly quiet. And now, to add to the excitement of snow and counting down to Christmas, we have Woody, our Elf on the Shelf.

I’ve read many statuses about dreading this little “watcher”. I forgot to move him! The kids touched him! I’m not that motivated to make him do silly things! Well, I love ours as much as the kids do. It’s fun coming up with ideas or trying out ideas discovered elsewhere. To see the kids faces when they find him every morning is totally worth it. I know, I know… it’s just one more lie we are telling the kids. First Santa, now this. But I’m guessing as the kids grow (even into teenagers one day), we will continue to have Woody around. One day they won’t believe. One day they will know without a doubt about Woody’s secret… he’s not real.

But, to we who believe and dream, he is real. Like the Velveteen Rabbit. Like Buzz and Woody. Therefore, Woody the Shelf Elf is going to be around for a long time. And one day it’ll be their turn to hide Woody. One day they’ll be allowed to be in charge of the nice and naughty list we currently use. One day. But not today. Today, Woody still has the magic of Christmas, reminding us that no matter how excited, how tired, how tempted, we still need to be good. And come Christmas Eve, we will be allowed to touch Woody because Santa is coming to pick him up when he drops off presents. We will hug Woody good night and bid him farewell until next December 1st. In the morn, amid the excitement of presents and wrapping paper will be a touch of sadness that Woody is not there to share the Joy with us. I assume this to be true for the kids for it’s certainly true for me.

Now my inner child wants a mint chocolate chip cookie that my outer adult made. He’s been a good boy today so he gets two.