Friday, December 31, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Since we're all snowed in today, plans to visit Chattanooga postponed, I thought I'd share some of the sweeter moments of our Christmas celebrations.
Sweet Nicholas, my nephew:
Kyle showing Dawie how to check out the scores on tv:
When people ask Dawie his name, he now says Thomas:
Princess Caroline in her Fancy Nancy best -- and chocolate kiss evidence on her mouth.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Need a hint? First, note the discarded box of clothes. Now check out the expression on Nana's face as she exchanges a glance with Josie, who appears to be sitting next to a box of princess-glitter dominoes.
As mama of the prostrate kid who is indeed not praying but throwing a fit because "clothes are not fun!" what should I have done? Honestly, I was so stunned that my first reaction was to, of course, grab the camera and document the moment for a future blog post. Check. My next impulse, which I only partially stifled, was to burst out laughing. Not because it was funny, but because in that moment every person in that room, all 12 or so, were mentally revoking my parental license. I mean, right? Was this not the quintessential parental failure? Yes, I know, she's 4, but didn't I teach her anything? I hate it when those teachable moments happen in front of the whole world, because you know all those people watching just want to see you jerk a knot in the kid's ungrateful tail. I was just relieved it happened at my mom's and not some extended family member's home. I would most certainly have died on the spot.
Still, for a few moments, everything hinged on how I would respond. So flying totally by the seat of my pants, here's what I did: I called her over and whispered in her ear -- with no anger and no sympathy, just matter of fact -- "Nana loves you and she gave you a present for Christmas. Let's take a look at it." She looked down and saw the cute glittery outline of a butterfly on the front of the pink shirt. I asked, "What do you think?" She said, "It's pretty. " I said, "I know; it looks just like something you like to wear. Now what do we do when someone gives us a nice present?" Then I turned her toward Nana and suggested she thank her for the pretty outfit. She did.
And that was the end of it.
Until we got in the car to go home. And we were without an audience. Then Caroline and I had a lengthy conversation about giving and receiving gifts and what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior. And the art of being grateful and appreciative when every bone in your 4-year-old body wants to cry. She, in true Caroline fashion, tried to negotiate with me about how maybe when she got a little older, she wouldn't cry when someone gave her clothes as a gift. And I realized it'll probably take several conversations for the message to stick.
The conversation came up a couple days later when I pulled out the outfit to put away and she said, "Nana gave that to me." And I said, "Yes, I distinctly remember you opening this one." And she burst out laughing and said, "You said stinkly! Hahaha!"
Monday, December 20, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
When you live in the sticks, a trip to town is a big deal. For the second time this season, Caroline and I had a girls' day in town. We started with a trip to Kmart to "borrow" their decorations because C wanted to be like Dawie.
Then we met Mama Norma for lunch and to see The Nutcracker performed by the children's theater.
Caroline's friend Sarah was a little angel in the performance.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Last year, my mom and I started a new tradition. Soon after Thanksgiving, before the stores get mobbed with shoppers, we crash a big box retailer -- in this case, Kmart -- and stealthily stage some pictures among their Christmas decorations.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Yesterday, Caroline and I went to the movies to see Tangled. It was her first time. She was in awe of the cavernous theater, the effect of the 3-D glasses and the booming surround sound and let everyone around us know how cool she thought it all was. We clearly don't let her out much. Before that, we had hot chocolate at Poet's, and shopped for her a Christmas outfit and some gifts for her teachers.
We were so on a roll, I figured the perfect way to cap off a Hallmark weekend would be to bake homemade cut-out Christmas cookies together.
Cute, right? Here's kind of how it went: "Wait, don't press down the sifted flour; we want it fluffy! No, you can't lick your finger and stick it in the sugar. Go wash your hands, please. Hold on, don't lift the beater out of the bowl while it's running. No, you can't lick the beater yet. Watch your beads; they're dragging in the flour. No, you can't lick the beater yet. Wait, don't stick your finger in it; we don't touch the food while we're baking. No you can't lick the beater yet!! Ok, watch out his head is coming off. Your icing is dripping down the front of your dress. Really, half the bottle of sprinkles on one cookie? Look, we have all these cookies still to decorate. Forget it; I'll freeze the rest and we'll try this again another day. You wanna watch Barbie?"
It was beautiful.
A few minutes later she decided she'd get dressed and go outside to pet our new stray cat. It was 29 degrees. Have at it, kid.
And this is for Nana, who wanted to see Dawie's new haircut. He was none too happy about the bathtub intrusion and kept shouting, "No cheese! No cheese." Which basically meant, "I'm not smiling. I'm trying to poop."
Which is exactly what he did one minute after I snapped these pictures.