Holidays Parenting Pets Photography

52 Weeks of Brotherhood: The One with the Dog Again

First we tried our annual dog picture in front of the tree with antlers.

The One with the Dog Again

Callie didn’t seem too amused. So we took them off.

The One with the Dog Again

And she smiled like a good dog (but my lighting was way off because I broke my external flash). (Check out Instagram for a better photo.)

The boys seem to be really in to the Christmas traditions and Advent activities this year. Tonight’s activity was to go on a Christmas Light Scavenger hunt. Before we were halfway done, LittleBrother declared this the “best Advent activity ever.” I found myself agreeing. It definitely felt like a step up from simply “going to see Christmas lights” as we’ve done ever year during our activities. Additionally, as I made it a “family” activity instead of a competition between individuals, the fighting remained rather minimal.

By rather minimal, I mean that I only raised my voice a few times. Hooray!

They’ve really gotten into baking and making holiday treats as well. We’ve baked cookies and made our holiday white chocolate popcorn. By we’ve, I literally mean we with a heavy emphasis on their help. They’ve done more with baking this year than in any year prior and, again, with minimal arguing. It’s actually felt mostly enjoyable, if just a little bit noisy. Also, as it seems we are somehow required to listen to Straight No Chaser’s version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” while baking, I can only handle so much repetition. They, however, could listen over and over and over again.

We’ve also shopped for daddy, enjoyed an art night, and generally spent a lot of time as a family. Their only complaint thus far is that I’ve made them stick (pretty close) to bedtimes, except when we spent the weekend away, as they’re still in school through this Friday. I know they’ll feel a little more excited when they can sleep in each other’s rooms and stay up later than usual.

I’ll invest in some ear plugs—or just borrow BigBrother’s.


She’s Not Very Scary

When I looked back at the pictures I took of our fun in the snow last week, I finally understood why people feel afraid of Callie.


I mean, yeah. Those teeth look pretty vicious. And she barked really loud while biting all of the snow; really, she was biting at snow in these pictures.


So, yeah, she looks mean. But…

…all she really wants to do is run…

Running in the Snow

…and play with her boys.

Playing with Her Boys

And then, when she’s finally exhausted herself, she wants to go inside and rest on top of a heating vent, take a long nap, and then snuggle her human beings.

She’s not very scary at all. She’s the best dog we’ve ever owned*.

* = the only dog we’ve ever owned.