i have been M.I.A. for a bit.
this last weekend, i was in Madison, Wisconsin visiting my friend kelly.
it was a perfect mix of tourism and doing absolutely nothing.
as in, i saw State Street and campus, and met kelly's colleagues.
but mostly, we hung out on her couch knitting, addressing christmas cards, or eating the various appetizers we made to watch the MSU/Wisconsin game with friends.
now i'm back.
and tonight, while we were cooking dinner, we received a phone call.
from one of santa's elves.
anth had a very serious conversation with him.
he shared his wishes, and also took a moment to stress the fact that, "actually, overall, benny is a pretty good kid."
(looking out for his little brother. precious.)
benny took the phone and panicked.
he told the elf that he would like some more christmas decorations.
(i am choosing not to take this as commentary on my progress so far. which can't really be called progress at all.)
this made it necessary for daddy to call back and clarify that benny would like a stuffed angry bird, a leapster, and a few other odds and ends.
after dinner, we went up to get the boys undressed for bath time, and found a book in anth & benny's room.
as well as an elf.
on a shelf.
fortunately, the book explained everything.
the elf is from Santa's workshop and flies home to report back to Santa each night, and will show up in a different place in our house each morning.
the boys will have to find him in the morning.
the basic rules are:
1. we have to name him instantly.
2. we cannot touch the elf, lest he lose his magic.
3. we can talk to him, but he can't talk back.
so far tonight, the following things have occurred.
1. benny suggested the name. . . Benny.
2. this suggestion was politely declined.
3. benny suggested the name Ernie.
4. anth loved it. we officially have Ernie the Elf in our house.
5. the boys decided that, after their bath time, i would need to go in and get their underwear and pajamas, because Santa's elf would not appreciate such indiscretion.
6. benny decided that we needed to talk quietly around the elf, because if we are too loud, he will turn into ice. he also decided that, at least for tonight, it would probably be best if mommy whispered his Christmas wishes to Ernie.
7. anth has decided that there is no way he could really be an elf. because he's plastic. or that maybe he is a really good actor, like Woody and Buzz. or that maybe he is a spy camera for Santa.
8. ben found a permanent marker and drew in the book on the page where we wrote in the date the elf joined our family, our family name, and the name we gave the elf. he wrote a "B" because he wanted to add that he was the one who named the elf.
9. as i put anth to bed, he shared, "mom. i can't decide if tonight has been kind of mysterious, or just kind of creepy."
10. and benny chimed in, "it's freaky." from under his covers. where he attempting to sleep/avoid Ernie's gaze.
perhaps the elf should have started out in another room.
but, well. . . we can't touch him.
it's Santa's rule.