Friday, December 11, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, #43

1. Mia and Lauren got to meet Santa after our church's Christmas program last weekend. I'd talked extensively with Mia about what she wanted to tell him, because I knew she'd either become super nervous or super excited at the actual opportunity. Practice makes perfect, I figured. I don't know if it helped, though, in the end. She was too shy to sit on his lap (and who can blame her?) so I held her as close as she would allow while she mumbled through her smile about the bike she wants.

Lauren -- the sweetheart -- would go nowhere near him. She screamed as loud as I've ever heard her while trying to climb up and over her daddy's shoulder. I'm just glad we didn't try to go to a professional photo-op Santa. It wouldn't have ended well.

2. In keeping with our Christmas preparations, we got our tree this week. Mia and Justin went to pick out a tree together one evening and came home with a finger-friendly Frasier fir (I think...). When we dug out the ornaments and decorations, the girls were beyond excited. Lauren wanted to wear the tree skirt, and I think she really pulled it off well, don't you?

Mia couldn't be left out, and when given the chance, she stole the show. Look at that spinning grin; life is fun.

3. Each new decoration or toy pulled out of our storage boxes was an exciting event. Squeals and giggles filled our house; I could begin to understand that we're creating our own holiday traditions. I forget that these days are the ones that my kids will look back on as either comforting and filled with joy, or chaotic and disorganized. I want to be more intentional about experiencing the holidays with my kids' perceptions in mind.

Because my perceptions would all focus on the sweet, round, sticky cheeks of my babies. Surely there are more worthwhile things to pay attention to. Though I can think of very few.

4. Mia waited patiently all through the tree decorating process for her special job: placing the angel on top. And by patiently, I mean that she jumped around begging for it while we tried to get a word in edgewise. We told her the angel was always the last one to go on -- the most important ornament. Therefore, she had to show some restraint and calm the heck down.

She got it just right. All of her jumpiness translated into a careful, precise placement of our delicate angel. I like thinking of things like this: who would've thought when we bought this angel for our 3 foot, pre-lit tree in our newlywed apartment that our 4 year old angel would be carefully topping our family's tree with it now. The course of our lives, no matter how mundane and common, never ceases to amaze me.

5. Here's what has long since ceased amazing me: Lauren's staggering ability to disrobe the tree of every low-range ornament within her reach. I'm so ready for her to get bored with stealing ornaments, but I also know that's not likely to happen before New Year's. It's just too fascinating -- all the jingly, shiny, dangling toys that are the perfect size for her tiny hands.

6. The tree decorating was finished on the evening of Mia's birthday. That morning, we'd given Mia two books as part of her birthday gift: The Nutcracker (Thanks for the recommendation, Udubalum Mama!) and Alice in Wonderland.

Of course, she wanted to read one of her new stories that night by the twinkling lights of the tree. Magical.

7. I was so excited to find this copy of Alice in Wonderland for Mia, because it's illustrated by one of my favorite children's book artists, Allison Jay. Two of my recent library favorites have been illustrated beautifully by her. I can't really pinpoint what it is that I appreciate so much about her work (I'm really not artistic), but it definitely intrigues me.

And, while I don't know how much of the story Mia is understanding, I can tell she's enjoying it. We talk about the adventures and mishaps, the pictures and imagery, and if nothing else, her mind is engaged. I loved hearing this story as a young girl, and I hope she does too. Plus, she's hearing some really wonderful writing and storytelling. Maybe since she's so young her 'willing suspension of disbelief' will be that much easier to come by, and will grow into a love of reading -- something I truly hope for.

Something else for which I truly hope? That you all will have a beautiful, peaceful, and love-ful weekend. Hop over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!


  1. The pictures of your girls wearing the Christmas tree skirt are adorable! And your tree turned out so pretty! I love what you said about children looking back on these days with comfort and joy. So true, and so easy to forget from our hectic adult perspective.

  2. Beautiful children and a beautiful tree. I love the pic of Lauren with (or should I say without?) Santa. That's the same reaction my Millie had! He is kinda creepy, if you think about it...

  3. The tree skirt pictures are definitely cute. They look like little Christmas ambassadors!

    My kids cannot resist ornament temptation. I'm thinking of banning them from the tree until they've outgrown the urge, but that would land me the top spot on the World's Crankiest Holiday Mother list. (P.S. Love the photo of Mia putting on the angel! Precious!)

    That "Alice in Wonderland" looks fabulous. Mia's inspired me to read by Christmas tree light tonight :D

  4. If we ever meet in real life, can I squeeze Lauren's cheeks?

  5. Une Autre Mere - He IS creepy! You are so right. I have no intention of forcing my girls onto Santa's lap, ever :)

    Lenae - I, too, wish there was some way I could keep the kids away from the tree without it seeming completely counter to the joyful Christmas spirit. "Look at this fun tree full of gadgets -- but that's enough, now look away." Somehow it just doesn't seem fair. So we'll be cool holiday moms, if a bit frazzled :)

    Chelsea - Yes, you may. As long as I'm allowed to rub your big pregnant belly. I know...I'm incorrigible in my quest to convince you to have a baby.

  6. It sounds like you have a house full of holiday cheer. I like your thoughtful approach to the holidays--thinking about them from from your kids' perspectives and everything--but keeping yourself focused on their "sweet, round sticky cheeks" will probably give them that special set of happy holiday memories anyway. After all, having a low-stress, well-organized Christmas is good, but having a Mama who obviously adores you is better. Sounds like you've got it covered on both fronts!

  7. I am also very tempted to limit my tree decorations to lights. My toddlers have "re-decorated" every day since we put it up. At least all our ornaments are unbreakable!

  8. That sounds like such a fun time! It reminds me of my parents telling about the time that we were getting out Christmas decorations; with everything we pulled out, I would exclaim, "This brings back so many old memories!" I was five or six at the time. It sounds like your daughters are going to have some great "old" memories by that age, too! :)

  9. What a sweet post. Thanks for reminding me to keep it about the kids.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?