Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa's House

Did you know that Santa has a house in Midland? He comes and stays here every year for the month of December. It's a delightfully magical place. You walk in and there are things! happening! everywhere! Trains are running, elves are working, airplanes are flying through the air. It's really quite fun. And then, of course, there is Santa!

Last year, Ella was 5 months old and really didn't care too much about Santa, though as I recall she thought his beard was fun. And Julia. . . well, Julia cried. Not too surprising if you know our girl. She did NOT want to sit on his lap. Well here, look at the picture from last year:

Notice the death grip on Clark.

So this year I had low expectations. My goal: no tears.

We walked into the house, and the girls were both very excited about the decor. Loved all the action. About halfway through the line, there is a sleigh photo-op. We snapped a photo:

Then we attempted to get one more with Julia looking at the camera:

Julia was still distracted, and Ella desperately wanted to be held. This did not bode well for Santa-time. At this point you could tell that both girls' anxiety levels were rising.

As we got closer I would let Ella take a look at the kids in front of us in line, and let her see that they were sitting on his lap. I told her she could do that if she wanted, but she didn't have to. And I tried to make it very clear to Julia that she didn't have to sit on his lap. No one would make her do anything she didn't want to do.

Ella went first. She wanted nothing to do with Santa. But, I didn't force the issue, so she didn't cry. A picture with Santa with no tears. 1 girl down, 1 to go.

Clark set Julia down on the stool next to Santa. You could tell she was nervous.

Julia has a hard time talking to strangers. But I think she felt she had to tell Santa what she wanted, or else she might not get it. So I was bursting with pride as I watched her muster up all her courage and say, "I want Hello Kitty squinkies and Hello Kitty slippers." I think it took every ounce of bravery in her little body. But she did it! And she didn't cry! I was so very, VERY proud of my girl.

Then we played in the igloo outside, and all the anxiety was forgotten.

Mission accomplished. NO TEARS. Maybe next year we'll get girls smiling at the camera while sitting next to Santa. Baby steps.

Snow Day!

The last day of November we had the first (and only) real snow of the year! It was enough to delay the public schools for 2 hours, which means NO PRESCHOOL. We were all a bit bummed, especially since it was my day to co-op, but we made the most of it and got some play time in.

Julia delights in snow angels. And she says she is going to make a "Snow Baby Jesus." I'm not sure what her thought process is there.

This was Ella's first time really in the snow. Last year she wasn't walking yet, so she didn't really get to experience it. I don't know if she quite knew what to think of it. But since Julia loved it, Ella was willing to go along for the ride. She wants to do everything Julia does. And so far, Julia enjoys having Ella around. I think she likes to show her how to do things. It makes her feel like the Mom.

It was also a great opportunity to discover what kind of snow gear we needed for the upcoming winter season. I couldn't find Julia's mittens, so she wore some of Ella's, and then I couldn't find one of Ella's other mittens, but Julia wasn't about to give up the ones she had on, so Ella got one mitten and one of my gloves. We rectified that situation within days when I saw some kid gloves at the dollar store. And then I found Julia's mittens. And then I found Ella's missing mitten. So our hands are COVERED. I also learned that Ella doesn't have winter boots or snow pants. (I say this like it's shocking. We lived in St George for 4 years. Of course we didn't have winter boots or snow pants.) Good thing Christmas is coming up - Ella's needs will be covered in 4 short days.

Um, Christmas is in 4 days. WHAT?!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our Budding Photographer

Julia has become quite the little photographer. I knew she liked the play with the tripod and pretend she was taking pictures, but I really didn't know how many pictures she had been taking with the real camera. I vaguely remember giving her permission to do this, but I didn't realize just how many pictures she was taking. So it was a fun little surprise to see what was on the memory card. It kind of makes me think of little Clarky's "Sounds Around the House."

Here is a smattering of the findings.

While I wasn't paying attention to Julia playing with the camera, I also wasn't paying attention to Ella playing with the phone. It would appear that I need to pay closer attention to my children.

Oh, so that's what's under the couch!

Two of her favorite subjects: Maggie and Violet.

And then Maggie posed with the ball.

Ella doesn't sit as still as the dolls.

I'm not sure what setting the camera was on, but I thought the reflection from the Christmas lights was exciting.

The map!

Another common theme: coloring book pages! With very little coloring!

Dad and Ella. So he was fully aware of this shot, obviously. Maybe I shouldn't feel so bad.

And she even took a video of me playing the organ.

It's fun to get a glimpse of her world, don't you think?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ella's Stats (from October)

Oh hey, Ella had a 15 month doctor's appointment. 2 months ago. On Halloween, actually. I am finally getting around to cleaning off my desk and I have a little piece of paper with the stats on it. So, 2 months ago she was:
  • 21.3 lbs (25%)
  • 31.5 inches tall (75%)
  • 18 inches around her head (48%)

Long and lean, apparently. Though, the way they do percentiles at this clinic is a lot more fuzzy than the way they did them at our old pediatrician. The old clinic plugged it into the computer and let technology calculate it for them. The new clinic has the nurse eyeball it on the chart. I feel like your choices are a) 25%, b) 50%, or c) 75%. So who knows, really.

Good, now I can throw that paper away.