Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

  • Child Nestled, cue the Sugarplums...Check
  • Stockings hung, with care...Check
  • Husband upstairs, watching TV...Check
  • Dogs asleep in front of the fireplace...Check
  • Presents stuffed under tree...Checkbook
  • Large glass of wine, alone downstairs, relaxing...Ahhh.
Merry Christmas to all my readers and followers!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Who You Callin' Ho?

Our daughter loves Santa Claus.  No, she LOVES Santa Claus.  At 20 months old, she can't have made the connection that Santa brings us toys and gifts.  She just likes Santa.  A LOT.  "Anta", as she calls him, has his face plastered everywhere this time of year, and kids take notice.  He's basically the toddler world's Oprah.  He listens to your sob story, then rewards the crowd with shouts of "You get some Lego's!  And you get some Lego's!" to the screaming adoration of his fans.  Whenever we see him in one of his many ubiquitous forms, be it in person or on a dessert plate, Sabrina points him out and shouts "Ho Ho Ho!". 

Arizona fills up with old people from the north this time of year, and I have to say, I've never seen his sleigh going 20 miles under the speed limit with the left blinker on for three exits causing me pain and anguish on my morning commute.  He doesn't whip out the checkbook to pay for one gallon of milk in the express lane at Safeway.  Heck he's so busy he never even has time to ramble on and on with no clear ending in sight about something he did in the '50's while he fumbles with his Miracle Ear.  He's almost the anti-snowbird.

Two weeks ago when we went to visit him at his winter castle in Superstition Springs Mall we had to wait in line for 45 minutes to get an audience.  Throngs of children played happily around the Styrofoam ice mountain while hidden cannons shot a fine spray of soapy foam "snow" high into the air.  Like real snow in American cities, it burned their eyes if they got it in them.  For many of these kids, the happy times stopped when they realized they were next to see the Fat Man.  They stood frozen, like one of his reindeer in the headlights, when it was their turn.  One by one, their parents created meal tickets for some future therapist as they wrestled them down onto Santa's lap, literally screaming with holiday cheer.  I silently dreaded that while Sabrina was pointing at the train saying "Choo Choo" now, in a minute I'd be one of them.  And I admitted to myself that after standing here for almost an hour listening to the genius 8 year old behind us ask his father over and over how it could possibly snow in Arizona (Really kid?  Really?) that no matter what, we were gonna do this thing.

Turns out there was nothing to worry about.  When I plopped her down on Santa's lap, she gave him a hearty "Ho ho!" followed by fist bumps.  Yes, I have a one and a half year old that fist bumps Santa.  She gave him a hug and a kiss, we took an incredibly overpriced picture, and off we went.  While she had a good time, little did I know this was the creation of one of Santa's super fans.

This morning as we arrived at day care I had forgotten that Santa was going to be there too.  For someone who's gonna have the world's eyes on him in little more than a week, he sure does whatever he can to get out of work.  No wonder he's so fat.  Anyway, when we walked in and saw him, the uber fan was excited.  There were two other parents and four kids in front of us, and they had no intention of sitting on his lap.  They were in deep negotiations when from her perch in my arms Sabrina waves and yells out "Hiiiiiiii!" at the top of her lungs. 
"It's not our turn yet Sweetie these kids are in front of us we have to wait."
"Hiiiiiiii" followed by dramatic (and loud) air kisses to Santa.  I almost expected her to scream "Hey remember me I sat on your lap two weeks ago at the mall".
The daycare director came over and said "Well Sabrina what are you going to tell Santa?".  This set off a loud chorus of "Ho ho ho!" which was repeated several times.  At this point, all the adults in the room are laughing and the parents in front of me said "Um, why don't you go ahead of us...".  Sabrina decided this was her cue and wriggled away from me and ran to Santa.  They had a good bout of "Ho ho"s together while shaking jingle bells.  We snapped a few free* pictures (*if you don't count the thousands of dollars a year it costs to go to daycare in the first place) and went off to class.  There was of course a loud scream of "BYE!" as we exited.  She babbled extensively until I left, no doubt about how she'd never wash this hand again or something along that line.  Ah, youth...

Daycare Santa!

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Chase"-ing the Perfect Picture

It's time to take a picture for our Christmas cards.  How hard could that be?  Round up the troops and snap away.  Except next to Sabrina, the next biggest ham in our family is our Black Lab, Chase. 

First, gather the gang...

Take One, all three of them have that "Do we really have to do this?" look.  That won't work; they look like rejects from Christmas Vacation.

Chase, already bored, decides he's finished and gets up to leave.  I don't think so.  Sabrina meanwhile, has suddenly discovered she has feet.

Chase is corralled and brought back to the fireplace.  As the camera snaps, he decides it's been 4 1/2 seconds since the last time he kissed Sabrina on the lips.  Her lips apparently taste like beef liver, because licking them is one of his favorite pastimes.  Sabrina, bonded to her loving doggie brother, will usually (Note: At this time, I dangle a shiny object off screen for those of you who are better parents than me to look at so you won't read the rest of this sentence which concludes...) open her mouth so he can clean it out like you lick frosting out of a bowl.  Don't send me letters because I know all your kids are disgusting too.  And yes, she thinks it's funny.

"OK enough shenanigans!", we shout.  Let's do this thing.  In response the next photo we get is what I'd call "Epic Holiday Photo Fail".

I'm not sure what's going on here; nearest I can tell Chase is giving Ripley the "Ha ha I got out of wearing my Santa hat by being impossible while you got stuck with the goofy collar" tongue tease.  The feet Sabrina recently discovered a few photos back are being relieved of their shoes.  Arrrrgh.  Seriously?

Finally, we take what we can live with, although I am temped to send this one to the dog lovers in our family.  Happy Holidays!

(In reading this post, I  have to say Ripley's boredom with the whole thing really irritated me because while he stayed still during the entire process, he never quite lost the "I must find some way to stop Christmas from coming" look on his face.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Something

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now we're off and running in December.  Gregg and I have, over the course of 11 childless Christmas seasons, developed our own little traditions.  As Sabrina's second Christmas approaches, we're revamping to include her.  Last year she was barely 8 months old and did what 8 month old's do at Christmas...not really much of anything.
"What's Santa bringing you?".  Blank stare.
"Look at the stocking I made you!".  Blank stare in a different direction.
"Mmm, delicious home made cookies.  Not that you can have any of course."  Burp, in a blank sort of way.
The most active participation involved gumming down some snowman print wrapping paper.

This year she already "Ho ho ho's" every time she sees a Santa, exclaims "Ooooh, liiiiiights" if even one bulb is lit somewhere, and I can tell she can't wait to have tree to climb in the living room.  So this weekend, down come the decorations from the attic.  We've sort of established, based on last year, that getting a tree is a Papa-daughter event. It works for everyone; they come back with a nice tree and I don't have to follow them around making subliminal suggestions that the one they are picking is too expensive.  (Oh look at this one, it's beautiful and doesn't have the little bald area the more expensive one you're looking at does.)  And besides, no one ever races me to the car to bring the dry craggy tree to the recycle center after New Year's.  So let them deal with getting it.

*Note:  My sister and I got a permit to go up north one year and cut one down.  I agonized over whether birds lived in it and could barely bring myself to make the first cut.  I don't think my sister would do that again.  We looked at every tree in Prescott during a snow storm until I found one untouched by bird or beast.  I think.

We're going to be watching The Grinch, Santa, and Rudolph again this year.  Last year was a (you guessed it) blank stare down, but this year I think she'll get a kick out of it.  We've been listening to Christmas music as well, and learning the old favs like Santa Claus is Coming to Town and my favorite, I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus.  Well, Mommy doesn't really work for us and I still think Santa's a muscle bear who just hides it all under that ermine outfit of his.  And really, what straight guy wears ermine?  Elves indeed...

Here are some pics of our Thanksgiving weekend when Grandmama came to visit from Texas.  More about the holiday plans later!

With Grandpa and Grandmama at the Railroad Park

It's a's a's a pillow pet!

The Girls

Thankful for cousins!

Ahh, downtime.