A few weeks ago Amanda had the idea to have an ugly sweater Christmas party.  A few days later we got an invite to an ugly sweater Christmas party for small group leaders at church, so we got to try out our outfits.  Amanda wore tonight what she’s going to wear tomorrow, except she’s going to wear a blue sweater with presents on it that’s too big for her.

My outfit, by the way, was as follows.  Keep in mind that Amanda coordinated the whole thing.  I wore my white pinstripe pants with a red flannel shirt, black shoes and a Santa hat.  (Milly, by the way, seems to be afraid of the Santa hat.  She freaks out when I pick it up, never mind putting it on my head.)  Over the flannel shirt comes the coup de grace: a white sweater with Santa’s face on it, ringed by a wreath.  But this is no ordinary sweater.  It’s one Amanda borrowed from Hannah, and Hannah, at some point, cut the sleeves off of it.  So it’s like a tank top with the thickness of a sweater.  After we got home I took the flannel shirt off from underneath the “vest”.  It took Amanda several minutes to realize I’d done it, despite talking and interacting with me.  She just never really looked straight at me in that time I guess, but when she did she had taken a drink of something had to spit it out because she had to laugh.  I blocked her from getting to the sink just to see what would happen, so she found a cup and spit into that.

If I can bear the temperature, I think I’ll wear the sweater by itself tomorrow for our party.

We had a nice time at the thing tonight.  Cyra watched Milly again.  We mostly hung out with Nick.  (Amy was at home because the babysitter didn’t show up.)  Evan Vetter saw me when I first walked in and seemed to be blown away by my ensemble.  I got a number of comments on it, actually, even by the girl who ended up winning first prize.  I actually voted for her.  You could tell she’d put in some effort.

A photo booth was set up.  Amanda and I invited Nick to take some pictures with us.  We found a creepy gas mask for him to wear, and that gave us some great pictures.  The last picture we took was one of us holding a sign that said We miss you, Amy.  After our last picture Kirsten Paschal and Marie… I can’t remember Marie’s last name.  Anyway, they went in after us and we told Nick to pop in on their pictures, gas mask and all.  It was pretty funny.  I mean, it really was creepy because he’s so dark you’d almost miss him, but there he is in that gas mask almost coming out of the dark right behind the two girls.

So you know how I was watching the Duke-Colorado State game last night?  Well, I fell asleep on the couch during halftime.  As you may recall because I’ve probably complained about it enough, the fast forward button doesn’t work on our DVR, so since the recording had finished and started over I had to let the game play all the way through the first half again this morning before I could watch the second half.  The timing worked out so that I was able to get Milly up just in time to watch the second half with me.  She cared enough to chant “Let’s go Duke!” a few times for me, but other than that she was mostly just waiting for me to finish using the TV so she could watch Horton Hears a Who.

When I brought Milly downstairs she brought with her two very small lady bug toys and a larger magnet one along with two necklaces that she calls snakes and a cow we got from Chick-Fil-A at the daddy-daughter date night some time ago.  Milly hung the necklaces on the Christmas tree and then I asked if she wanted to put the cow, which has a key ring on its head, on the tree too.  I had to tell her to use the ring, but she figured out how to do it on her own.

Milly showed a good bit of attention to various things hanging on the fridge this morning, and at one point she brought me a card of a George Pocheptsov painting and told me something about it being her favorite, though the phrased it funny, putting “favorite” a little early in the sentence.  I wish I could remember exactly how she said it because it was really cute.  Anyway, when I asked her what was on the picture she said it was like Daddy and it was like Mommy and they’re friends.

Milly also peed on the potty today, not once but twice!  It’s very exciting news for me and Amanda because, you see, Milly showed great promise months ago when she got up from her table, walked to the living room and peed in her little potty.  We thought the end of diapers was near.  Since then though she’s refused to sit on the potty almost entirely.

So here’s what happened today.  Milly was sitting at her table watching YouTube videos about how letters and how to draw them while scribbling on some paper with a pen.  Somehow, maybe because of the way she was sitting in almost a sideways kneeling position, she peed and a good bit of it came out of her diaper and leaked onto the seat.  In order to get get her clear while I cleaned it up I took her to the bathroom, where her potty was, took off her diaper and told her to wait there while I cleaned up the pee.  She didn’t seem to mind.  I got her the iPad and her paper and pen to keep her occupied while I cleaned up the mess.  She decided to stay there, and given her potty attitude, I figured that was a good thing.

So she sat there in the bathroom drawing and watching educational videos while I did some work.  After a bit she said something about getting her up.  I didn’t think about why she’d ask to get up when she could have easily stood up herself, but I did pick her up.  When I did, the potty cushion stuck to her butt and fell on the floor.  When I went to pick it up I noticed that she had peed in the potty, so I danced around and clapped and made a big deal and told her I was so proud of her.  She wiped herself (pretty well, I might add) then we went to the kitchen where I got her some animal crackers and Smarties (you know, the little candies) and she told me, “Daddy, I so proud of you.”  We had a fun time celebrating.

On her way home from work Amanda picked up a couple things.  She got some gel-like Christmas window stickers and a little tiara (for a buck).  She explained to Milly after she got up from her nap that every time she peed or pooped in the potty she could put another sticker on the window.  She also told her that any day she used the potty she could wear her crown (not crayon, Milly).  Milly looked so cute wearing her potty crown.  That motivation worked, apparently, because she wanted to sit on the potty for a while and eventually peed again.  We once again rejoiced merrily, gave her a sticker, some animal crackers and some Smarties.  Milly once again told me that she was so proud of me.

I just really hope this will stick.  Amanda told Milly that for Christmas we wanted to not have to buy any more diapers.

Zach Dotsey