Wednesday, December 28

Merry Excess

Santa overdid it. I'm going to have a long talk with that fat old man because it will be impossible for us to continue what we started this year--nor do we want to.

The problem is we never, ever buy toys. Nearly all of our children's toys have been gifted to them. However, this Christmas, it became obvious to me that Olivia and Lucas could use a few nice toys when I:

A. Realized it will peacefully distract them and allow them to learn, discover, and imagine--independently.

B. Observed Olivia listening to her brother's hearbeat just like their doctor does--but with a leftover silver ribbon from an old gift box. ( I'm actually proud of her for this one.)

C. Caught Olivia and Lucas fighting over (and nearly decapitating) this...

What is this you ask? Flat Stanley? No. This is a fake baby doll that came with a shopping cart that a friend gave Olivia for her birthday in August. It was merely a placeholder in the packaging to demonstrate where you put your baby doll in the shopping cart. Just a mere piece of cardboard to us, but to Olivia and Lucas---a dear, dear friend. If you could only see how excited Lucas gets when he sees this little girl. Olivia has a real baby doll, by the way.

So, a generous Kmart gift card spending spree, and two over-the-top grandmas later...this was our Christmas set up (BEFORE the grandma's added even more presents vtech stuff, pillowpets, tents, play tunnels, art supplies and play food, etc. ).

That damn (beautiful) doll house was my bright idea and nearly ended my marriage. It took us 5 hours to put that bee-otch together. We had planned to drink wine and enjoy our rite of passage as parents on Christmas Eve.
  • Olivia's Dora Tricyle? Easy (I did it). 
  • Lucas' Baby Car? No Problem (Charm City Daddy did it).  
  • Personalize and Set up Olivia's InnoTab? (Fun! me again) 
About 30 minutes into assembly of the doll do I say this...shit got serious. It was only in hour 3 that I finally burst into hysterics laughing myself to tears when I realized we hadn't even touched our glasses of wine.

We made it but many lessons learned for next year.

Santa Pic 2011

Now featuring a much happier Santa AND toddler, Olivia, and the nervous infant,  Lucas, in his first-ever Santa picture....

I think the only thing that gave Lucas comfort was that his sister was arm's length away. See him nudging her? He's like "hey sis, should I be worried?" Olivia's first reaction when she saw the picture was "Lucas was nervous."

Olivia's Christmas Program

We were gifted yet another school performance for the holidays.  He are the kids in the kitchen just before we headed out. Note: Lucas wearing his breakfast bib as a cape. The little man has full command of his walker maneuvering it through narrow areas forward, backward, diagonal and sideways with awesome precision.

This time I tried to outsmart my performer by getting a sneak preview of the song that she would perform, but she was on to me. She instead kept performing her Thanksgiving routine. To my surprise--as it should be I guess--her actual performance included two songs, "Merry Christmas to You," "Jingle Bells," and the class recited a nursery rhyme, "Little Jack Horner."  I've been trying to get a solo performance of the nursery rhyme on video with no success, but take my word for it! It's so CUTE!

Also during the Christmas break, we got a mysterious piece of mail. It was a thank you note from Olivia's teacher thanking Olivia for her Christmas gift (a Starbucks mug and hot cocoa) and that she looked forward to seeing Olivia after the winter break. Um, am I the only person that thinks this was AMAZING and NEVER, EVER, EVER got a stinking thank you note from any of my teachers (and I was a big kiss up--let me tell you)?! I was so impressed and excited for Olivia.  She, of course, thinks this is normal. But give me some time and I will overdramatize this (as I do many important lessons) and it will set in for her.

Monday, December 19

Lucas 8 months old

One afternoon, amidst a hectic and busy work day, I received this picture in a text...

...and I nearly lost it. My little baby is becoming a little boy before my eyes!

Somehow, Charm City Daddy got the little man to balance long enough to take this picture. Very cool, but also very scary.

Olivia's Musical Debut -Thanksgiving 2011

Olivia made her musical debut in her school's Thanksgiving Program. It was 30 seconds of pure delight, joy, pride, excitement.

Olivia smiling and clucking her arms in the middle.
 I wish I had video to share with you but it was only her clucking her arms like a chicken saying "Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Yuuuummmy! Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Yuuuummmy!" The end.
Olivia's cute LBD and Cheetah ballet flats.
They close and open the curtains between classes/performanes and her expression and beaming smile when she realized there was a live audience was priceless. We didn't run to the front or wave so she didn't see us and seemed okay with that. She waved back at other waving, smiling parents, however. Afterward she couldn't wait to tell us she was "on the stage!"

Lucas is an excellent spectator. He really gets into the performances, sometimes trying to sing along.

Lucky for us and her grandparents, Olivia does excellent private performances, on demand. I had her going non-stop all Thanksgiving weekend. Hello stage mom.

Lucas is on the Move

Lucas began crawling on December 17th, a date I'll never forget as it was witnessed by one of my dearest friends (thank you, pageants!) who my kids will always call Uncle Kevin! "Kevin Zoe- baby stylist" as I jokingly call him, was dropping off his usually carefully curated Christmas gifts for the kids.

He is fast and he crawls the textbook way, unlike Olivia who went side saddle on our hardwoods and then adjusted back to normal for rugs.

He crawls only to get to furniture or people he can pull up on and then he cruises around from there.  He is fearless. I'm afraid walking is weeks away.