Tuesday, December 23, 2008

i can't wait

to spend Christmas with him. He marvels and wonders at carameled apples-- imagine how excited he will be to open up a new hammer!

The magic of Christmas is so tangible to me this year because of our boy.
He makes all things delightful.
If you ask him what Santa says he replies, "Ho! Ho!"
If you ask him what Jesus says he replies, "Peace!"
We figured Jesus needed to be represented as much as Santa, and "Peace be unto you" was too long for him, so he gives you the '70's version and it cracks me up every time.

We are off to spend the week between Christmas and New Year's at The Beach (capitalized because it is a proper noun in my husband's family-- they have a beach they have gone to at this time of year for over 40 years now). I have been looking forward to this all year-- a week full of my husband who will not have ANY deadlines or due dates or schedules to follow. We can't wait to share his beach with our baby.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

santa then and now

Baby G has never been super scared of strangers. He has his moments of anxiety, but for the most part he doesn't get really worked up about being in the arms of someone new. I had concerns with Santa, though. What child wouldn't be scared of someone with a giant white beard? His first visit to Santa's lap (last year when he was 5 months old) went off without a hitch because I just placed him in Santa's arms without him ever seeing who was holding him. He did watch me as I walked away so they could snap the picture and pointed at me like, "Hey, where are you going and who did you leave me with?" but there were no tears.
This year I was definitely more worried because I knew I wouldn't be able to hide the fact that he was sitting on a bearded stranger from him. He has also started to get slightly more wary with unfamiliar faces in the past month or so. The best thing we did was to get the Santa visit done early on in the season when there was absolutely no one waiting in line. Baby G got to take his time warming up to the idea, and Santa and the elves were more than happy to let Baby G walk timidly up to Santa and then run back to me as many times as he needed to. Bless the person who thought to have Santa have a book to read to kids. That is what finally got Baby G onto Santa's lap without any protest. He sat there for quite sometime looking at the book, definitely not feeling comfortable, but also not crying.

When I look at the two photos side by side I am amazed at how similar he looks in them. He is making the same, "I don't know about this Santa thing" face and he is pointing to me in both. I never thought I would be the type of mom to want to get pictures of their kids with Santa every year, but these are treasures to me now and I'm so glad I have them. But please, if Baby G is 15 and I am still trying to force him to sit on Santa's lap, feel free to smack some sense into me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

giving thanks at surf

I am a little slow in getting this posted, but I wanted to document our recent adventure to San Diego. My little sister #1 (whom Baby G calls, "Hah") was playing in the Surf Cup soccer tournament there over Thanksgiving so our little family tagged along for the fun. We all piled into the motorhome (or "bus" as Baby G says) and away we went.

Thank goodness for 3 little sisters to entertain the babe during the L-O-N-G ride. Baby G loves his "Ray-Ray" (little sister #3) and she is so good about keeping him occupied.When he wasn't strapped in, Baby G took control of the bus himself. Since it is a rather large vehicle and he is a rather small human it required all 4 of his limbs to control.
Our first full day there we ran to the airport to pick up J (he had to work that morning so he flew out to meet us) and then headed to Sea World where we re-discovered that the baby is still fond of live aquatic creatures, and is still not particulary fond of machine creatures that move while he is in them.

the rays
the manatee
(Yes I know, this one is not real. But it looked real and didn't move and that makes all the difference.)Ray-Ray riding the bucking manatee.Not fond:
a freaky zebra-elmo-pig mix that moved around and up and down
He started out okay on this one...
...but once it got going he changed his mind.
Baby G lucked out because he did not meet the height requirement for this ride. He would've hated it.
The next day (Thanksgiving) we went to Knott's Berry Farm (the photo of us riding the log ride--where Baby G looks scared out of his mind--from a few posts back is from this day). We stayed there until dark and then drove back a couple of hours so we could eat Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant by our hotel. Big mistake. Everything was closed. If you must know, we found a grocery store that was open and we all got to go in and pick out whatever "feast" we could find to take back and cook in our hotel room kitchen. I had margherita pizza on flat bread in the microwave oven and it was awesome.
Little sister #2 ("Maa-ee" as Baby G would say) and J switched one shoe each.
"Maa-ee" loves to take care of Baby G and would hold him all day if she could.
And you would all be sad if I didn't include another photo to show just how much Baby G loved all the rides.
But immediately after he would be fine and come out saying, "Gain, gain!" because he wanted to torture himself again.
The highlight of the trip for Baby G was the beach because A) it had "wah-wah" and live aquatic creatures, and B) it did not have any machine creatures that moved. What follows is about eleventy billion pictures from the beach, mostly of the baby 'cause he's cute.

We had lots of fun and are grateful to "Hah" for having soccer tournaments in such fun locations and to my parents for letting us crash their party. We're free to do it again at any time.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

home depot and hallmark will make all your holiday dreams come true.

This is our glorious Christmas tree:
I am positively in love with it for several reasons. One being that we got it at Home Depot (thanks for the tip, Lauren) for a fraction of the price of last year's (much smaller and less full) tree that we purchased at a tree lot. I love tree lots for the romance of picking out the perfect tree among them all, but this year I just wanted a real tree for a decent price. Home Depot provided that, but also so much more: truly this tree is an absolute beauty. And the piney fragrance that it fills my home with? I am in love.

The other reason I love this tree is that the ornaments that fill its branches have so much meaning to me. My mom started collecting Hallmark ornaments for her children to commemorate important events in our lives, to remind us of things we like, or just because they reminded her of us. This year I got all my ornaments and every time I look at my tree I love them more and more. Here is a sampling of just a few (we each have one for every year of our lives so far):

This one is called "World of Hope" and reminds me of some of the treasured experiences I've had in far-away places.
This one is because I am probably the only girl you know that loves sports enough to watch SportsCenter by my own choosing.
This stork is carrying a blue bundle with "2007" written on it to commemorate the year of Baby G's birth.
This actually plays music and I got it because I play the piano.
This one is brand new and is for Baby G. It is the spaceship from "Little Einsteins" and plays the theme song from the show. Baby G is obsessed with it (that's why it doesn't have a hook on it. He kept ripping it off the tree so I decided to just take the hook off and set it on the branches so that whenever he wants to play with it he can just go pick it up).
Lighthouses are special to J and I because when we were seniors in high school a bunch of us went to see "The Majestic." We were still pretending not to like each other at that point, but we were brave and sat by each other in the movie. In the movie the characters end up kissing in a lighthouse for some reason (can't remember), but at that part J leaned over to me and whispered, "We need to find ourselves a lighthouse." You better believe that I spent the rest of our senior year trying to plot a way to get to a lighthouse with him. We finally got to one right before his mission when we were in Hawaii.

In my family we are pretty much obsessed with "A Christmas Story." We watch it every year on Christmas Eve and we can all quote the whole thing. So this leg lamp was a must for all of us.
Another view-- "Fra-jee-lay. Must be Italian."

I think I got this fridge just because it is so dang cute. Or maybe my mom was trying to illustrate my love of food.
Here is the inside of the fridge:

This is a "1984 First Christmas" ornament to commemorate my birth.

To remind us of the 'round the clock care that a newborn requires (the hands spin around and around.)

Because we love to camp (the fire really glows).
And then these are just a couple of the other decorative measures we have taken to get in the Christmas mood around here.
I saw this present garland in the Pottery Barn catalog and thought it would be so easy to make. Mine didn't turn out as cute as theirs, but it is still a fun little way to be festive.

Last night J put the lights up on our house and Baby G would not leave his side. He kept his hammer with him just in case Daddy needed any help.
His little red nose is evidence of the freezing temperatures that he braved to help his daddy hang the lights.
Yesterday's snow made it finally feel like December, and I was really glad. I hadn't been feeling the Christmas love yet just because the weather has felt like September! I don't know how those of you who live in warm weather year-round do it. It just isn't Christmas without snow.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

we are mean parents

I felt bad when I saw Baby G's face in this picture (you'll probably need to click on it to enlarge it so you can see the look of terror), but that didn't stop me from taking him on the other rides he was big enough for. We are going to DisneyWorld in January. I have to get him ready somehow. If he thinks he is going to get away with skipping out on riding any of the rides in the magical land of Disney well then he was just born into the wrong family.
In my defense he wasn't like screaming through the rides and he actually kept saying "Again! Again!" when they were over. But the actual riding was a little intense for him.