Wednesday, December 13, 2006


It's taken me 4 years, but I finally got a picture of one of my kids smiling with Santa.

I have several years worth of crying, trying-to-get-away pictures, and a baby-who-doesn't-know-what-the-heck-is-going-on picture.

Today, we saw Santa walk by in Wal-mart, and one of the employees told us they were taking pictures in the garden center. So I hopefully asked the kids if they wanted to go see him. Both immediately said no. I suggested that we wouldn't have to talk to him...they could just look. They agreed that would be okay. So we drove the basket over and they looked. I hopefully asked if they wanted to get out. No. However, they did notice a plate of cookies. Noah was willing to get out of the basket and talk to Mrs. Claus in exchange for a cookie. Sarah did too--but only if I held her hand. Then they both immediately wanted back in the basket. I asked if they wanted to wave at Santa, which they did. They were happy with cookies and waving, so I figured that was the best we were going to get.

Halfway across the store, Sarah says "Santa is a nice man. I wouldn't be too shy to talk to him now." I asked if she wanted to go back and see him again to talk to him. Yes. I thought we'd probably end up 'seeing' him and being shy again, but hope springs eternal and all that... We drove back over to the garden center. I got her out of the basket.

Lo, and behold, she went right over and climbed up on Santa's lap and gave him a big hug. He asked what she wanted for Christmas, and she said, "I just want a big surprise." He said he would make sure to have a big surprise just for her. She affirmed she'd been good all year, the little fibber. And they took a picture (printed in the photo department which we picked up after shopping) and gave her a candy cane.

It would be too much to hope that Noah would follow suit after seeing her do it. I'm just happy with my picture. Hooray for the Coca-Cola-sponsored Santa at Wal-mart! Gotta love the throne of soda can boxes. Not that I'm complaining; my grandpa was a Coca-Cola Santa for years when I was little.

Monday, December 11, 2006

What the kids are up to

Noah is a hyper little boy. He likes to jump, throw things, and count (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 8, 9, 10, 11, 8, 9...). Also he likes music. He requests repeats of his favorite songs on the Christmas CD in the car ("Play dat aGIN!") and loves to play with instruments (piano, violin, saxophone...).
Doesn't it totally look like he's playing a duet?

Sarah is devious in getting into things (no idea where she gets that). She likes to paint, have picnics, play computer games, and put things in bags. She's very interested in homonyms. Every so often, out of the blue, she'll announce, "A ring can be a sound or something you can wear." or "Park is what we do with the car or somewhere we can go to play." And it surprises me every time.

She also likes to make faces. And Grandpa taught her how to 'blow up' her muscles.

Karen likes to sleep. She sleeps a lot. Sometimes she doesn't want to sleep unless I hold her...usually around evening time when I'm trying to fix dinner or put the other kids to bed. She likes to be held.

Also, she was smiling at me this morning. She's done the reflex smiling for a few weeks, but this morning, I'm pretty sure she was smiling at me. We'll just say she was. I love baby interaction. :)

The end of an(other) era

Nuts. Noah is phasing out of nap-taking. Sarah quit taking naps around the same age, and it stinks. I'm now facing the stage where he really needs a nap or he gets so overtired he's cranky, hyper, and just plain crazy. And I can either deal with the over-tiredness or spend all afternoon trying to make him take a nap. I'm not sure it's worth the time and aggravation.

I even tried the 'quiet time in your room' trick today, but he stayed there all of 2 minutes before I caught him sneaking out.

My last resort is to make sure to plan an errand every day around 2 or 3. Then he can fall asleep in the car. Hmm.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Christmas MeMe

Okay, I only recently heard this called a 'MeMe,' but I've done them by email before, and it seems like a fitting name. And I like the blog format way better than spamming email. Thanks KetchupQueen!

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate all the way. I make it all kinds of different ways and with different stuff in it, but anything chocolate has to be good. I don't really even like egg nog at all; although, I did recently have a slice of egg nog cream pie that was excellent.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Well, what fun would it be if they weren't wrapped?

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? On the tree, I really like colored. On the house, either is fine. I like the icicle kind. For trees and such outside, it's back to colored. We did mix in a few white twinkle lights with the colored lights on our tree this year. They're 16-function twinkle lights, and the kids love pushing the button to make them do all different things.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No.

5. When do you put your decorations up? The tree goes up for FHE the Monday after Thanksgiving. The rest of the decorations go up sometime in that same week. Except for house lights--sometimes we don't ever get around to those. Ladder work is hard.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I like Polish sausage for Christmas breakfast, as is family tradition.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: Planning the annual Christmas raid. We had some of the most elaborate schemes for sneaking out to the Christmas tree to see the presents without getting caught.

8. How and when did you learn the truth about Santa? I think I was about 7, and I swear my mom just told me. Maybe I'd been asking questions or something, but all I remember was her getting out the photo album and asking me who was in the picture. "Santa, of course." And she told me to look closer. It was obviously Santa, silly. Finally, she just said, "No, look, it's Grandpa." And it was. Huh.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Depends. At my parents' house, we open 'family' gifts Christmas Eve and leave Santa's stuff till morning. At my in-laws', everything is Christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Lights and a mish mash of ornaments.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love snow. I haven't really lived in it for too long, so I might get tired of it (gray slush in the gutter is the pits), but even when I was at BYU, I still got excited about it. And now, I have to make a special effort to see any.

12. Can you ice skate? Uh...kinda. I've only been about 3 times, and the last time, I could stay upright and glide a bit...until I slammed into the wall or tried to avoid running down a little kid and ended up sitting on the ice.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Individually? Nothing specific. The year my husband got me a remote controll was awesome. (We'd bought a demo tv that was missing the remote, and the universal remotes were spotty in working it. He ordered a replacement from the manufacturer.) As a family gift, the trampoline year was legend. (As combined with the annual raid...where I sneaked through the backyard right past it without seeing it...)

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? The music, the caring about other people, the giving, the connected-ness...

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? I'm not sure I really have one. Banana cream pie? Does that count? Maybe slush...

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Hmm. My husband's family sings Messiah (almost) every year. We like to make candy. Caroling. My family's annual Monopoly Championship of the World. Funny how 'favorite' becomes a list...

17. What tops your tree? I have a felt, blanket-stitched star at the top right now.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Definitely giving. I don't really need anything, so getting stuff is just okay. But that's one of my favorite things about Christmas--shopping for just the right thing to make someone's eyes light up. Priceless.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? What? I have to pick one? Uh... I love Handel's Messiah, although that's not strictly Christmas (especially my favorites). O Come, O Come Emmanuel is high up there. Angels We Have Heard on High and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Picture a Christmas. I don't know. I'm not sure I've heard a Christmas song I didn't like (interpretation possibly, but not song).

Oh...I don't usually tag anyone to pass these on, but this is a fun one to do, so...Lisa--you're it. ;)