Dipper is the most adorable kitten in the entire world.

Dipper

He is happiest when he is touching another living thing, so if we aren’t actively holding or petting him, he will scale the most accessible pant leg and find a place to get cozy and nap.

Dave and Dipper

He doesn’t mind if you’ve got stuff to do. He’ll go along.

The cat on his shoulder

And because he owns our hearts, we will walk around bent at a 90 degree angle to let him. In fact, he is perched on my left boob as I type to you.

It’s December and we’ve been doing Christmas things. Julia, Phoebe and Jack danced in our dance studio Christmas show, or shows. There were three. Julia was in all of them. Bee was in one and Jack was in a different one. The girls were snowmen.

Phoebe and Julia after their Christmas show

Jack was a Nutracker bon bon and I would love to show you video of that, but they asked us not to take video of the show and though I did it anyway (like at least six other people sitting in front of me), I figure I probably shouldn’t post it if we weren’t supposed to be doing it, even though you know someone probably put theirs on Facebook. What I can show you is the requisite after show shot.

Jack and Julia after their Christmas Show

(I love Julia’s hair like that. She normally wears bangs that nearly cover her eyes and the only reason she isn’t wearing them like that here is because this was the required hairstyle for her performance. I love seeing her face and asked her if she might like to wear her hair like that more often. She said NO.)

We’re already a third of the way through our Christmas countdown. This year, it looks like this (with a cute guy standing by).

Christmas Countdown 2016

Each box contains a candy treat for each kid, a slip of paper with an activity to do, and an envelope with instructions and Lego pieces to add to the scene we’re creating. (You can see the Lego scene over the cute guy’s shoulder.) The Santa sack is packed with wrapped Christmas books – we open and read one each day. And finally, there’s the Santa beard cotton ball countdown. So far, our activities have included hanging candy canes on the Christmas tree, drinking hot cocoa while wearing whipped cream Santa beards, a trip to the Festival of Lights at Oglebay –

Sidebar: Look! Thanks to the kindness of a stranger, we actually got a family picture while at Oglebay! And I am sharing it even though I am fat! What!?!

At Oglebay's Festival of Lights

Now, back to the list.

– making paper snowflakes, making red and green paper chains, opening a surprise snowball, visiting the Christmas store and choosing a family ornament, enjoying warm sugar cookies and eggnog, and tonight, we will be going to see a live Nativity scene.

Fa la la la la, la la la la.