Monday, January 5, 2009

Have yourself a merry little...

Had a marvelous Christmas. The girls were both out of school sick most of the week before Christmas - which is probably a whiny continuation of my previous entry. They both rallied enough to attend school the 19th, the last day before the holiday.

Our Christmas eve was just magical, I can’t even remember everything but know that Hubby promised Thing 1 he would build a snowman with her… I told him it’s too cold, the snow won’t pack and besides, Wytie built 3 snowmen in his yard and a fort on our front right parking strip – which means there isn’t much snow to be had anyway. I suggested I’d heard there’s good sledding at the park up by the cemetery. In his unwillingness to every promise something to the girls and not deliver, we went sledding. Despite my fears that Thing 1 and I were coming down with colds again, and that it was too cold in general. We had two sleds, the kind of plastic toboggan thing and a foamy board slider thing… I bundled the kids up good and away we went.

Thing 2 wanted to go with me at first, but I crashed, and after that she wanted to go alone. She laid down on the toboggan thing and just sailed down the hill giggling all the way. Sometimes she rolled, but most of the time she did fine. Thing 1 wanted to ride the foam board herself, and it took once or twice but Hubby figured out to load her on it by hooking the toes of her boots under the front handles, and she sat on it with her hands in the back handles, and away she went. It would rotate some, but she’d sail on and on… she was wearing this hat I bought from Land’s End – I need another one of those, that looks like it has Rasta braids hanging off of it… with her snow boarder pants and that hat, she looked smashing, zipping along on that sled.

Hubby stationed himself at the top, and I stood at the bottom for the most part. I took lots of video, and I remember worrying that we’d been there too long and the girls or I might aggravate our colds, but when I look at the video it’s much too short, and I wish I would have stayed and filmed more. It was a beautiful crisp late afternoon, with all the blues and pinks of the sky and snow over the valley, and the brown tree tops … Just an amazing trip.

We came back and Hubby had planned to make spaghetti with our Kitchenaid roller. Thing 2 went first and it took her a while to perfect her hold, and of course the dough nearly outlasted their interest, but it was some of the best spaghetti I’ve ever eaten.

After dinner we let them open their new Christmas pajamas, and Hubby showed them where Santa was on the Internet Norad Santa watch. Then we read from the Bible while Thing 1 and 2 acted everything out with the Fisher Price nativity people and animals on the coffee table. We can't act it out ourselves as easily since there's only four of us, so we let Fisher Price and the girls take care of it. In between the shepherds and the wise men, I heard a distinct jingling and turned behind me to see - you guessed it – Santa Claus standing between the rose bushes at our front window. Thing 1 leaped up on the couch and saw him, but Thing 2 wasn’t fast enough so I grabbed her and sprinted to the front door in time to see him turning the corner at our front sidewalk and heading up the street. He stopped long enough to warn the girls to go to sleep so he could come back.

Thing 1 immediately lost all interest in the nativity and couldn’t get to bed fast enough. It took quite a bit of convincing to get her to stay up at all – she wanted to take Santa's advice and go to bed RIGHT NOW! We raced through the wise men part of the nativity with her hanging in the hall begging to go upstairs, we brushed their teeth and put them to bed.

Christmas day gave me some worries, I feared that what they asked for might not have turned out to be what they really wanted… but so far we’re okay. I think they had a good Christmas. I know I did. Hubby bought me a beautiful ring, since I seem to need more than one for whatever weight gain or loss I’m going through at the moment, and a Scooba, which is like a mopping roomba, and a Wii Fit board and a bunch of other things. I have learned that despite the fact that I think he has no time to Christmas shop, he always remembers me and makes sure my Christmas is special. I scored big time. We went over to Hubby's sister’s for Christmas dinner, and met her 2nd dog, a Sheltie named Jack. Now if we get a dog, I’d like a sheltie.

Christmas at Grandma and Papa’s on the 26th was also a huge haul for us… we went up with one small shopping bag full of gifts – mostly small boxes of jewelry from Italy for my brother's girls, whose names we drew this year - and returned with half a trunk full of new goods. The dark moment was one brief period when Thing 2 realized the gift ratio of adult presents to child presents wasn’t exactly even. Grandma gives three presents to each grandchild; one of clothes, one of toys, and one of books. Then they receive usually one present from the aunt or uncle who drew their name. Four gifts. For the adults Grandma goes a little nuts, I don’t know how many gifts she gave me, but I know it was probably more than four. Then one from whoever drew my name. When it was my turn to be passing out gifts to my brother's family, I asked “Whose turn is it?” There is Thing 2, sitting at the far side of the couch next to her aunt. She has her doll on her lap, her legs sticking nearly straight out because she’s too little for them to dangle, and this big happy smile of anticipation on her face. BIG happy smile. She's the cutest thing I've ever seen. Her little five year old hand shoots straight up in the air and she says “ME! It’s my turn!” This image absolutely charms me. She is so small, so excited… so very very cute. I didn’t know what to do. She’d already opened the clothes and the toy from Grandma (I hadn’t realized Grandma had one more gift for her) and the gift from her aunt, and I didn’t want her expecting something else…
So I told her as softly as I could “Thing 2, I think you’ve opened your presents.” She went dark. She clouded over. She gripped her doll and sat there stiff.
As soon as I was done passing out our gifts to my brother and his family, I went over to Thing 2, who was beginning to whine in a pre-cry mode, and picked her up and took her upstairs and as gently as I could tried to talk her down. She resolved herself pretty well, and we went back downstairs just as Grandma started passing out her last gifts, including a stack of books for each granddaughter. Thing 2 turned out happy, as she often does. I don’t blame her too much – her Christmas at grandma’s paled in comparison to her Christmas here – especially when her “toy” from Grandma was really clothes for her doll, and, well usually my sister does really well on gifts for the girls, but we had realized earlier that we had miscommunicated that I was supposed to be bringing the gift for Thing 2 for my sister to give her, so my sister quickly wrapped up and re-gifted something else, which was fine but wasn’t anything that would interest Thing 2 in the least… but you want your kid to be appreciative and not greedy, and it was a bit of a bind.

The rest of the holiday the girls did great, mostly playing with Wytie. There were a couple of days when I intended to have a playdate, but either the parent I called never called back, or Wytie came over so I didn’t call anyone. And then I got sick again and wasn’t really up to entertaining anyone anyway.

Christmas is still up, I’ve been putting off taking it down as I’ve been sick and uninterested in it, but started yesterday and the mess is already driving me crazy. I want it out and down… time to get to work.

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