Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Memories

Some of my favorite holiday memories of 2009
We loved the delight on Max's face when he saw Santa's presents--he gripped his broom, yes broom, and took his Elmo slippers to his Papa to put on him and refused to open any other presents for a while. (As I type this, he just walked by me sweeping his broom along the floor!)

All of Max's grandparents and his great-grandmother were here bright and early Christmas morning to see the excitement.

Making Christmas cookies was fun with all the grandmas. Max pat-a-caked the dough but didn't seem to care much for the baked cookies. The icing, on the other hand, was an entirely different thing.

Snow pelted the mid-section of the U.S. and we received enough to have a white Christmas. Although not everyone was able to make it though the storm, we hosted 20 family members in our home.

Playing Dirty Santa is always entertaining with my family. Plus, I lovelovelove my present of pottery this year! Garrett received the re-gifted, unopened Elvis dvd. I have a feeling we'll see that in the game again next year.

A local artist created two pastels of Max, which we gave to our parents for Christmas. Although completely unexpected, I think they both liked them immensely.

The office had a fun luncheon where we exchanged gifts and ate yummy food. They tolerated playing a Christmas trivia game. It's great to work with such nice people.

I'd never before chosen donated to the Angel Tree. While I was checking out at Walmart, my basket filled to the brim, I looked over my son's head at the tree, still filled with angels--someone's baby. I saw a child walking around the tree, looking at tags, and wondered if he searched for his name. He seemed satisfied and left. After dropping off our supplies at home and retrieving my husband, we all returned. On Christmas day, I kept wondering about our little Christmas angel and hoped she enjoyed her gifts. I definitely plan to do that again.

G, Max, and I built a snowman in the backyard. Max gleefully ran through the yard. Only when he landed on a patch of ice and couldn't get up did we realize he'd lost his right shoe. I followed his tracks in the snow--one Nike tread, one socked footprint--and discovered he'd lost it at the site of the snowman. His little foot was so cold, but he was having so much fun he cried when we brought him inside to warm him.

Seeing the Christmas lights in Branson with my parents as well as with Max who managed to stay awake in the car long enough to enjoy both viewings.

In all the hubbub of the holiday, Garrett and I forgot to open our stockings or presents from each other. When everyone else was asleep that night, we remembered and raced into the den to retrieve our gifts. We rushed back to the bedroom and opened them. It was a quiet, cozy end to a busy day.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Journal: magical powers

Sometimes I wish I could control time.

Sometimes I wish I could control my hair.

Journal: What superpower would you like to have and why?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Big boy toothbrush

Pulling the purple Abby Cadabby brush and toothpaste from its package, I said, "Max, do you want to brush with a big boy toothbrush?"

He ran all the way to the bathroom while chanting, "Bzzzzzzzzzz."

Although it wasn't an electric toothbrush like Mom and Dad's, he didn't seem disappointed. He brushed his teeth for ten minutes and cried when we finally took it from him.

This morning, I urged him to brush carefully and tried to guide it to better clean his teeth.

He furrowed his brow and jerked the brush from my hand. That didn't stop Mommy Who Cleans Relentlessly. I dove back in, trying to explain that he needed to brush the backs of his teeth so that the milk wouldn't rot them. (Hey, I clean him relentlessly, but he's still on two bottles a day.)

He jerked the brush from my hand again and aimed it at my face.

I said, "What are you---" and he shoved the brush in my mouth and waved it around. Then he pulled it out, stuck his hand on his hip (still holding the toothbrush), and said, "Bubbabwaha gungha bu, Mama."

Translation: How do you like having someone shove that thing in your mouth? Not nice, huh, Mama?"

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Garrett and I had an entertaining afternoon in two historical homes. The first one hosted a Christmas celebration that told visitors all about different cultures' take on the holiday. Among many others historical figures, we met Father Frost from Russia and a little Icelandic elf. Black Peter from Turkey handed me a stick when we entered the room. I later found out that meant I'd been naughty this year.

Don't tell Santa!

Afterward, Garrett and I went to an open house held by a writing friend of mine. She and her husband restored a home built in 1908. They did an amazing job. Like me, her husband collects Frankoma. He has more green dishes than I do--his service is for 24--and served beautiful, tasty treats on them. Since both of them have artistic leanings, their home revealed those touches. Jim's handmade baskets, soapstone carvings, and beadwork were prominently displayed. I loved Karen's cozy, quirky study. She collect possums--because she thought they'd be rare--and the entire room was filled with possum paraphernalia: a tinsel possum, stuffed animals, books, pillows, etc. Hilarious! Writing in a quirky, fun room like that must be inspirational.

We enjoyed our day with friends and festivities.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Journal: Do you see what I see?

Ten years after Lasik surgery, I picked up a pair of glasses. Apparently, many women require adjustments after having children. Stupid hormones.

Confession: I actually totally love them. One reason is I can see to drive at night, which is a good thing. Another reason is they cover up any hint of laugh lines forming around my eyes. Plus, it's always fun to look different. I think I may get several radically different styles. Just for fun.

Journal: Write about seeing with new eyes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


We toured the Titanic museum when the temperature in Branson was about the same as the temperature of the water on that fateful night back in 1912. When we entered the exhibit, the tour guide suggested we touch an iceberg display. I'm sure it was impressive in the summer, but I had my down coat and lined leather gloves on. The weather outside had prepared me. It also made an impression on me as to just how cold and frightening it must have been for all those people who were awakened in the middle of the night on a ship they thought was unsinkable.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the museum. It was fascinating. The tour guides were dressed like members of the crew and were soooo polite. Seriously, they were probably as courteous as those on the ship itself.

They were full of interesting facts, too. For example, did you know that the black and white floors of that beautiful staircase--a replica was made for the movie--were linoleum? Linoleum! On the glitzy Titanic. It was new and modern, and so it was installed as part of the ship's first class fancy floors.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Santa Clause

Dear Santa,

It was an honor to meet you tonight in Branson, Missouri. You seemed very nice when I met you for the first time...but I heard you when you told my mom to drop me in your lap and run if she wanted a picture. I also heard you when you said I was already starting to cry.

I. Was. Not.

I was just surprised. How many other guys in furry clothes and a beard do you see running around in the Ozarks?

No, wait, let me clarify.

How many guys in furry clothes with flying reindeer do you see running around in the Ozarks?

See?! You're a little intimidating. Plus, Mom, Dad, Papa and Grammy were so excited to meet you it made me nervous.

Just to be clear: I am not afraid of you.

So...there's no need to avoid our chimney at Christmas. I'll even leave you and your reindeer a snack.

Baby Max

Friday, December 4, 2009

Journal: criticism

He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.
--Abraham Lincoln

Journal: Write about a person who has the right to criticize.