Thursday, December 30, 2010

He appeared, and the Soul felt its worth...

It was my goal to keep Christmas more focused on a little baby in a manger than stuff. I failed. But I hope that-- amidst the Santa visits, princess costumes, Bitty Baby paraphenlia, glittery bows and unending stream of presents-- we imparted the true meaning of all the festivities to Elle. Did she sing Happy Birthday to Jesus with quite the same enthusiasm as she ripped santa-clad paper off boxes stuffed with... well... stuff? Nope. But hopefully one day she'll realize that the shiniest, glitteriest, most sparkling gift we'll ever receive came in the form of a baby lying in a manger in Bethlehem. That God loved us so much he sent his Son to live among us. As I rocked E Christmas night, I thought about Mary doing the same with her little one, only he was the Son of God. And as I laughed at Elle's rendition of Joy to the World ("Heaven and manger sing"), I thought of her smiling at His toddler antics. And I couldn't quite decide if Mary had to deal with tantrums...

Other secondary lessons of the season:
1. Family is awesome.

2. They may be Santa's crumbs, but they're still cookies. Finders keepers.

3. You might think them an unlikely pair, but Sock Monkey and Alphie are the best of friends.

4. You don't need a Fairy Godmother to be a beautiful princess.

5. Breakfast casserole makes you sleepy.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

In our younger days, my sister and I would institute daily Christmas Appreciation events the week preceding the big day. Wise beyond our years, we'd lament that the holiday festivities came without being properly appreciated. Keep in mind this is the same sisterly pair that would put ridiculously potent guilt trips on the other for neglecting certain slightly disfigured stuffed animals. Oh, pound puppy, I DO love you... despite your profound micrognathia...

That being said, I decided that I should pass on my holiday pathos tradition to Elle, so we embarked on a week of Christmas Appreciation of our very own.

Nothing says Ho Ho Ho like homemade Gingerbread Men. Apparently nothing also says Gigantic Kitchen Mess like Baking With A 2-year-old.

Nonetheless, we embarked on our jolly mission, complete with the Veggie Tales Christmas CD blaring in the background. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a cucumber in a sombrero singing Feliz Navidad.

The dough was mixed, chilled, rolled out, and cut into GingerPeople in a very gender equitable distribution.

Decorations were applied.

Some of us were more judicious with our button placement than others.

There is an inverse correlation between the tastiness and aesthetics of the gingerbread men. So you can only imagine how delicious these guys were.

Creating icing faces was a bit challenging. Meet Melancholy GingerMan.

But no matter how peaceful they may look,

The tree can be a dangerous place for unsuspecting GingerPeople when a certain 2 year old decides to nibble appendages when Mommy isn't looking.

See? Still smiling. Now that's Christmas appreciation.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Left without adult supervision for 5 minutes, Elle can whip up a snazzy holiday ensemble...
Which would be infinitely cuter if her chosen accessories weren't previously functioning as Stephanie and Brice's stockings, ripped down from the chimney with care...

E (more or less) respects the One Finger Ornament rule, although she elects to use what she calls her "Daddy finger"
Our elf, Elf, makes dutiful trips back to the North Pole each night between his various landing spots in our house. Apparently Mrs. Claus made a high-fiber meal one night while we were in Florida...

We went to see Santa, and E practiced her "Cheese" face

She seemed more enamored with the camera man than with Santa, but had no problem sitting on the big guy's lap and telling him she wanted a Ferrari. Wonder whose list she's been studying? Santa said he'd "see what he could do". Good luck.

Here's her look of skepticism that Santa could indeed fit the Pink Ferrari on his sleigh.

Turns out, she was absolutely giddy with excitement over her stickers, plastic yoyo, and candy cane. Maybe she'll forget about that other request...

I was pretty proud of my impromptu Play-doh Christmas Tree. Which of course I promptly disassembled and carefullly returned each color to its appropriate container. I have zero tolerance for contamination of colors. Don't test me.

We frolicked with giant inflatable snow people.

And almost got a family picture with all members smiling. 67% is above average.

Next festivity: Gingerbread Cookies!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

There once was a girl who went to Tampa
On an exciting journey with Mommmy, Mimi, and Grampa

The first leg of the journey would be hard to top
Could there possibly be more fun later?
Compared to riding up and down
On the airport escalator

But look as we start to board
The pilot stands there to entertain
"Are you ready for your flight?" he asks
Replies Elle, "I get to pee on a plane!"

Quicker than you could say "Octopus Tentacle",
we landed and were met by my genetic identical!
Elle greeted Stephanie with a heartfelt embrace
and we gathered to make a muscle face

We climbed, slid, and swung
And marveled at how popcorn can stick to your tongue

Elle petted a goat and gave him a kiss
Then Mom freaked out when she saw his pupil looked like this

The next event you won't want to miss
Elle rode a camel with Mommy and her sis

We fed a giraffe named Boris
Who was nice enough to smile and pose for us

Back at the house we splashed in the pool
and although it was cool
I doubt she will remember
Only what fun it is to swim in December!

Alas, it was soon time to depart
So we gave hugs with all of our heart
Soon we'll back to the land where oranges grow on trees, (Silly Mommy!)
but for now there's another airplane on which we can pee

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Elle-dolph the red-nosed toddler
Had a very sparkly smile
And if you ever saw it,
You would never think she's vile

All of the other toddlers
Nick, Logan and Isabelle are their names,
They laugh and dance and sing
joining her in Christmas games

Then one frigid December Eve,
just after the school Christmas Play
Isabelle got a boo-boo on her knee
and Elle-dolph kissed it away

Then all the toddlers loved her
And they shouted out with glee
Elle-dolph, what would you like for Christmas?

"A puppy dog and a Ferrari"!