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a side effect of listening to The Killers

It seems like I haven’t discussed the mundane details of home life lately, so I know you must be on pins and needles with anticipation, reader. Here goes…

The goings-on are happening in our house. We are headed to Florida on Christmas Eve to be with Nate’s family, so Santa is coming to our house tonight, and Nate’s taking the day off work tomorrow to do the pancakes and present-opening. All this means I am running amok today to prepare. What is it about the holidays that makes us all loony tunes?

Vivi goes to school twice a week, and when she’s not at school, she can be found reading in her princess tent, harassing the kitty, listening to her dinosaur CD for the bajillionth time, and playing with Charlotte. These days, “playing” consists of smothering her with a blanket or whining “Charlie, stoooooopppppp!” Really though, she’s a great big sister and seems to care quite a bit about Charlotte’s well-being. If Charlotte is fussy, Vivi is almost always the first to suggest maybe she’s not feeling well, rather than my go-to diagnosis, “bratty toddler stage.” And she’s almost always right.

Charlie can also be found bothering the cat, but unlike Vivi, she hasn’t yet figured out she should do it with a long instrument from a safe distance. You should see the perplexed look on her face when kitty strikes back; but then thirty seconds later she’s back for more. I have to admit, there is something irresistible about that kitty. As I type, Charlie is trying to put a sticker on kitty’s face, and kitty is desperately attempting to defend her one square foot of sunlight on the couch. Poor kitty.

The girls had some great leaf-jumping yesterday while I attempted to bag up the suckers. Much to my dismay, a product of living in a compact neighborhood is that there are no wooded corners in our back yard in which to pile up the year’s leaves. To top it off, the neighbors to the back of us are grouchy gardeners who are not to be messed with, so I’m trying to do my part and complaining all the livelong day while I do it.

Although I haven’t been good about collecting them here, Vivi still says some funny “Vivisms.” Generally, they are now full conversation-length instead of the one-liners they once were and often involve a complicated question or two. Here are a few recent conversations.

The exact location of Heaven…
Vivi: Mommy, I know God lives in Heaven, right?
Me: That’s right.
Vivi: And I know Heaven is somewhere in the sky, but it can’t be higher than the sun because that would be too hot. So where is Heaven exactly?

On Christmas, grandparents, war, etc…
Vivi: Tomorrow is Christmas, and then Saturday we are going to see Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Katie, right Mommy?
Me: Yes! Are you excited?
Vivi: Yeah. And today I’m going to school, and Daddy’s going to work. What are Grandma and Grandpa doing today?
Me: Grandma is probably getting ready for us to come, and Grandpa is working.
Vivi: What is he doing?
Me: He’s flying his airplane to help the soldiers come home.
Vivi: What’s a soldier?
Me: A soldier is a hero who helps fight a war.
Vivi: Oh. What’s a war?
Me: Well, sometimes countries have problems, and soldiers go to help them figure out their problems and stop bad guys from hurting people.
Vivi: Like Batman?
Me: Yeah, kind of like Batman.
Vivi: Oh…(long pause) I got soul but I’m not a soldier…