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adventures with snowflake: final week

i can finally wrap up snowflake's adventures with us. christmas has come and gone, family has come and gone, my ability to breathe has come and gone, and snowflake has officially scooted back to the north pole until next year.

day 20 started with snowflake crocheting herself a scarf out of sparkly "elf string," as harper called it. later in the day, harper realized the wreath i made for the front door also included elf string. whoops.

day 21, snowflake, gray kitty, and their friends yoshi, pink penguin, and puffles one, two, and three were caught playing an exciting game of scrabble.

day 22, snowflake got up early and prepared harper a last-day-of-school-for-2011 lunch of nutella, peanut butter, chocolate truffles, chickpeas, and, of course, syrup. gray kitty's contribution was a tin of sardines.

day 23, snowflake left harper a recipe for an elf's favorite cookie. we kinda ran out of time to make the cookies. maybe tomorrow.

day 24, snowflake's last with us. she was found on the fireplace mantle with a stack of presents for harper, henry, and wyatt (a new christmas book for each of them), and a note saying how much fun she had with us in december.

see  you in 11 months, snowflake!

and perhaps i'll get to a christmas recap later this weekend. then again, perhaps not. we'll see if the nyquil plays nice with my ability to recall and put words together. typing this post has worn me out in itself.


happy new year!

adventures with snowflake: day 16-19

nothing like four days in one.

of course, that's kind of par for the course around here. i feel like i have to do four days' worth of stuff every single day.


but onto snowflake ...

friday morning, harper had to look a little harder than usual. but she finally found snowflake and gray kitty on a shelf in the kitchen with some christmas decorations. guess they were having a "snowmen at night" sort of adventure.

on saturday morning we awoke to donuts on the table. snowflake must have brought us breakfast ... and she had some for herself, as well ...

harp begged us all day to please let her try an elf donut. we finally said okay, seeing that snowflake hadn't eaten any all day. harper took one of the chocolate with sprinkles, popped it in her mouth, and said, "mom! elf donuts taste just like cheerios but sweeter!"

go figure.

sunday morning, snowflake and gray kitty were playing hard to get. or hide and seek. probably hide and seek.

harper was so tickled with snowflake yesterday that she drew her a lovely picture. and wrote her a lovely note that read "i love you, elf!" and wrapped it all up in 12 layers of wrapping paper. this morning, when she came downstairs, she saw snowflake under the tree ... with her present all unwrapped.

harper was giddy.

five more days.

i have to admit, i might miss snowflake a little.

oh - by the way - we went to see santa yesterday:

and table update: still no word from pottery barn. sure would like it if they would at least get back to us to tell us that we are screwed. seems to me that would be the polite thing to do.

i swear, "polite" doesn't exist anymore. it's sad, really.

adventures with snowflake: day 14 & 15

yesterday, snowflake & gray kitty worked a jigsaw puzzle ...

today we discovered that at some point in the night, snowflake decided to add some sparkle to the garland in the loft window. and it didn't go well. and when gray kitty tried to help, it didn't go well for her, either.

what's that, you say? on day 14 they appear to be sitting on a real piece of furniture? well, yes, indeed. our dining room table finally arrived, after a two month saga. that is still going.

during the process of designing our house, we found the bennett dining table at pottery barn and decided it was exactly almost what we wanted. we (i) wanted something rustic, long & narrow, reclaimed. this was the not-reclaimed version of that vision. but the dimensions were perfect for the space allotted for dining, and fully extended this table will seat 10-12 people, which is what we need. so we decided either we'd find someone who could make a real reclaimed wood table, and i sent out several email queries, or we would, worst case scenario, get the pottery barn one.

around the time we closed on the house, it had become clear that having a table made wasn't in the cards. the people who actually bothered to return my emails were either a) not getting it, or b) out of our budget. so back to pottery barn we went. and the table was marked down. marc and i talked it over and decided to pull the trigger.

three days after discovering the marked down price, we called to order it. as the story of my life goes, the table was, at that point, discontinued and nowhere to be found.


the person i spoke with looked in the computer and told me that there were four tables left. "in the warehouse?" i asked. "in the country," she replied. all four were currently floor models ... three in california, one in arizona.

upside? all were marked down even further.

so i called all four of those stores. one didn't get back to me, one no longer had the table, one was helpful, but said the table wasn't in great condition, and the third - the arizona store - said yes, they have the table and it was only ever used in the window display and it's in good shape and they could get it to us.

if we work it out with ups.

so we called ups with the dimensions and weight, and found a table that size would cost us $1,700 to ship freight.

i threw up a little.

that was more than twice the cost of the table after markdowns!

so trey, the uber-helpful guy at pottery barn in arizona, and i discussed our options and ways around freight charges. then marc was telling me that a friend of ours runs a shipping company, and he could get one of his trucks to get it to us for about $300.


so two mondays ago, the truck went to pick up the table ... and found it wrapped in an unsatisfactory way. (one month of the delay was all about trying to find a box for the darn thing, and ending up with the pottery barn stock guys creating their own box out of other boxes. apparently, 10' long boxes aren't readily available.) three days later, the truck showed up again, said the boxing was now good, and started the trip to minnesota.

monday evening, we got word that the table was in. we had, literally, 90 minutes to get henry to swimming, drive 20 minutes to the warehouse, load the table into my suv, drive 20 minutes home, unload the table, drive back to pick up henry from swimming. and it all worked out perfectly, except that because both seats had to be down, harper had to ride freestyle all the way home. which made me ill, and made her giggle.

but we finally, after two months, had it in our house. marc went to build it and found that one leg had worked itself loose, but it wasn't anything a little wood glue wouldn't fix. then he found he was short two bolts, two nuts, and a 2" piece of dowel. nothing a trip to the hardware store first thing tuesday morning wouldn't fix. just before lunch, and just before leaving on a plane for a business trip, marc had the table ready to go. and it looks perfect in the room.

then i said the fateful words, "lets pull out the leaves to see how it looks fully extended."

um ...

no leaves.

are you kidding me?

that was two days ago. still haven't heard back from trey as to where our leaves are. however, if they are gone, we're up a creek without a table. and we're back to square one. and now we have to somehow get rid of this table that took us two months to get in the first place. because even though it's totally functional without the leaves, we need to seat more than six people. that was the whole friggin' point all along.

(must. control. stress.)

all of this is coming on top of so much other stress and uncertainty, and i'm at the edge. this morning i got up, got the kids off to school, went back to bed to sleep another hour and get rid of a crazy headache, and woke up at 11. i think my body is telling me it's done.

so tonight i will again call trey in arizona and see what he knows. and i will wait for marc to get home from his trip ... his flight has been delayed for the past two hours, so who knows if he'll even get here tonight. and i will go up and referee the fight that seems to have broken out upstairs in the past two minutes. and i will try to keep the big picture in mind and realize that, in the scheme of things, these are not big problems.

adventures with snowflake: day 13

today is a grumpy kind of day. it's gloomy, warm, the crappy inch of snow we had just melted ... for the first time in six years we'll be home for christmas, and the likelihood of it being white is pretty slim. whine whine whine.

i'm in a foul mood all around, but the elf made us giggle this morning.

snowflake helped herself and gray kitty to the four elf food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup.


little elfin sugar high.

adventures with snowflake: day 10, 11, 12

catching up, before my head hits the keyboard and i start to snore.

saturday, harper came down the stairs and found snowflake hanging out on the wreath on the entryway barn door ...

sunday morning, snowflake decided since we hadn't yet lopped off the 18" tall vertical branch on the top of the tree to make it short enough for our star, she might as well be the tree-topper ...

Day11and this morning, her herbaceous tour of the home continued as she and gray kitty climbed the bamboo ...

maybe tomorrow snowflake will have the time and energy to be a bit more creative.

adventures with snowflake: day 9

harper's excitement could not be contained this morning.

here's why:

a) snowflake was having a tea party.

b) with ariel and swimmer barbie.

c) who are harper's bath barbies.

d) and she hasn't seen them since we moved.

e) but snowflake found then and got them all dressed up.

f) and found a table and dishes.

g) "but mama, i don't HAVE a table and dishes!"

h) "snowflake is magical!"


this elf thing is kinda magical.

silly me for resisting so long.

adventures with snowflake: day 8

today, i think snowflake has the right idea. and i am thoroughly envious.

bathing in m&ms seems like the right idea.

my emotions have been way too on the edge this week. too many things, too many frustrating conversations, not enough sleep, not enough hours in the day, too much still in flux and undone and adding to my sense of ill at ease.

right now, the only thing keeping me from going completely mental is that in two weeks, my family will be here, we can relax and enjoy each other and laugh, and all of this right now garbage will be behind me. even if only temporarily.

i'm signing off and punching out for the rest of the day. time for a nice hot shower, a quick sandwich, and then we're off to watch my eldest perform in his first band concert. complete with tie and belt.

and i can't wait.

adventures with snowflake: day 4, 5, 6, & 7

sorry. file server's been down since saturday.

no access to photos.

not great, this time of year.

but: behold! snowflake! and her adventures!!

harper woke up to find snowflake had gotten the munchies in the middle of the night and helped herself to a bit of kringle. she forgot to wipe her face, though.

we got our tree. snowflake likes it.

Day6this morning she helped harper with the "countdown to christmas."

harper is still totally digging this elf thing.

i think she'll have a harder time finding her in the morning, though. snowflake has ventured to the basement. harp may not think of that.

(hee hee)

update: here's what snowflake did in the basement last night ...

what a crafty little elf.

adventures with snowflake: day 3

at 6:13 in the a. m. this morning, harper was very stealthily walking down the hallway. we told her to go back to bed. she tried to talk to us, but as she did, her eyes were looking into every room. finally, she admitted that snowflake is no longer in her room.

"get. back. in. bed," i told her, "or i will touch that elf and she won't return."

seriously. saturday is the one day i don't HAVE to get up at 6.

so go back to bed, she did. but she didn't sleep.

at 8 she came out and went downstairs to get some breakfast. soon, though, she came running back up the stairs.

"i went to feed my fish, and snowflake was in the straw holder by the aquarium! how'd she get in there?" she squeaked.

how, indeed.

then harper said, "and she still has the gray kitty with her. i guess she is real."

Day-3sigh. christmas magic is alive and well. and, apparently, is going to come with a 6 a.m. wake-up call for the next three weeks.