Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Mewy Kissmas!"

From the Vaughans and the Longs, best wishes for a very Merry Christmas/ Hannukah/ Kwanzaa/ Festivus! You know it's been a good Christmas when you've managed to stay in your pajamas all day long.

On Christmas Eve Jen and Micah joined us and we had another couple over for dinner. There were supposed to be 9 adults total, but at the last minute three had to drop out due to pink eye. You've got to have a wide social circle with kids because any time you try to plan something, folks inevitably have to bow out sick.

Anyway, it was a lovely evening. We had an Italian feast, with Jen's famous tomato bread (sounds healthy but is deliciously naughty!), penne pasta with spicy sausage tomato sauce, a lovely garden salad wtih homemade dressing, and my first ever tiramisu from scratch. We had white Russians, red wine, apple cider, gluwein (German spiced wine), and champagne. It was oh so festive. Roan wore one of her Christmas dresses and her Santa bow in her hair. Adam and Elisa, our dinner guests, are expecting a baby any day now (due Jan. 6th) and they already seem to have the magic touch when it comes to kids. Roan thoroughly enjoyed having them as an audience, er, I mean, reading them every book in her library, showing them how high she can jump, etc. We finished off the evening with a girls vs. boys game of Cranium.

Jen and Micah stayed over last night so we could open presents together first thing this morning. We had not played up the anticpation of Christmas morning to Roan beforehand, because honestly it's been tough enough lately getting her down to bed without her wanting to stay up for Santa. So this morning she was a little surprised to learn that Santa had been here and that we could finally open the enormous pile of presents that has been under our tree for weeks.

She started out opening presents with incredible enthusiasm, but before long became overwhelmed by the huge volume. And, slave drivers that we are, we felt compelled to encourage her to tear into present after present just to keep the festivities from dragging on all day. As it was it took us almost till noon to get everthing unwrapped!

We shot lots of video of the morning on our camcorder. We rarely break it out because our little digital camera is so covenient, but special occasions like today seem to warrant it. I just want to say a big thank you to all our loved ones out there who sent packages. Not a single gift went unappreciated, I can promise you. It had been quite a long while since we had updated her stash of toys. Most of them were from around her first birthday or earlier. Even her books were starting to get stale. So now she is sitting pretty. She got a new baby doll, a doctor kit, a t-ball set, some clothes and blankets for her babies, art supplies, some adorable clothes, lots and lots of terrific books - some even with audio CDs - just all kinds of terrific things.

She was literally worn out with excitement. Each single item so elated her, that the combination of them all was overwhelming. It was almost impossible to get her down for a nap. We heard her talking to herself and playing with toys over the baby monitor for quite a while. And then when we went in to get her up from her nap we laughed at how she had piled up virtually every new posession into her bed with her - even her new socks and training pants. It's a wonder she could sleep in there at all; there was no room for her.

She's been going through this "my" phase lately, feeling compelled to claim everything in her vicinity as her own. My mommy, my daddy, my Jen, my Sasha... you get the picture. With all of these new worldly posessions today it's a wonder she hasn't sprained anything claiming them all.

Santa wasn't just good to Roan. He also brought us grownups some fun things. Micah got a compressor, Arwen got a wii, Jen got a new coat, and I got everything on my list. We have spent most of the afternoon and evening playing games on the wii. It's really a blast. I'm not a video game person at all because I don't really like sitting in one spot for long. But with the wii, a lot of the games are physical. In boxing you actually punch. In tennis you swing the racket. In golf you swing your club. It's a hoot. I figured it would be something fun Arwen and I could do together this winter when it's too cold to go outside. And it's great for parties too. Oh and by the way, I kick @ss at boxing!!!

One other thing I thought I'd post photos of is the wardrobe I sewed over the past couple of weeks for Roan's doll Baby Marty. She loves this little cabbage patch kid, but the clothes it came with just do not stay on. I can't have folks scratching their heads any longer about why my kid is toting around a naked dolly! Since you can't really buy clothes for this doll line I thought I'd use some of the fabric scraps I had lying around. I had a lot of fun doing this. Probably too much fun. It was hard to make myself stop.

You can see the rest of what I made here here.

Marty got a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, two pairs of panties, two dresses, a bonnet, a hairband for her bald head, a bib, a backpack with a dolly sized book and teddy bear, and a blanket to match one I made for Roan. Normally I despise sewing and view it only as an unfortunate means to a necessary end, but this time it was a blast. Partly it was the mental exercise of figuring out the construction without patterns, and partly it was imagining Roan's excitement. It was a lot of work and there was no telling whether she'd like any of it at all. But I got the biggest thrill when I asked her if she liked it and she said, "I love it!" Aww, that's my girl!

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all our dear ones, near and far.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Lolli & G-Pop came to town for a nice little visit. We managed to cram pack all kinds of Christmas fun into the weekend. Lots of dinners in, a few strolls down the cute little commercial districts in the neighborhood, a holiday party at Roan's school, multiple Santa sightings, two tree trimmings, and cocoa and cider aplenty. We even had an early Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebration.

Such a big change from last year, when Roan was an oblivious lump. This year she's taking it all in. She loves all things snowman. She says things such as "Christmas tree, I like it!" and "Mommy have present. Roan help!" When asked what does Santa say she most often replies "Ha ha ha!" with a devilish laugh.

She has been such a joy. Now I can understand why parents go to so much trouble to make Christmas magical for their kids: the wonder and joy in their tiny hearts are multiplied for us. Seeing her response to Christmas lights, "Woah! so pretty!" makes me want to take her to see every light display in down. Her excitement at opening presents - even on behalf of other people - makes me want to shower her in gifts. Of course when she wants me to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reigndeer for the 10th time, that's an entirely different story.

Clearly Lolli & Pop understood this phenomenon, because they came prepared. On Christmas Eve Roan got to open her first present: some special new pajamas. This was always a tradition when Jen and I were kids. And I was hoping it might turn the tables on Roan's recent entrenched resistance to changing into jammies at bedtime. She either wants to go naked, close to naked, or wear her playclothes which are inevitably filthy from the day's fun.

If she disliked pajamas, that was all forgotten as soon as she opened her new pink and blue striped ones with matching snowman slippers. She adores them. Even when she's not wearing them, she likes to carry them around with her. She especially loves the slippers. When it turned out that I too got a pair of slippers on Christmas morning, she was over the top with excitement.

Of course now we have the inverse problem. She wants to wear her slippers all the time, even outside the house. We have had a couple screaming temper tantrums over this. And she often orders me to put my slippers on too. I try not to let her order me around, but she's so dang adorable!

We also had a Saturday Morning Breakfast while Lolli & Pop were here. We shot this quick video of Roan and Audrey playing in Roan's bed.

I think I forgot to mention that we have moved Roan over to a toddler bed. She took a flying leap over her crib rails, and would have landed right on her head were it not for an acrobatic diving leap by her daddy. Going to the big girl bed has brought on a new bevy of nighttime challenges related to settling down to bed, staying in bed, and sleeping through the night. She also has taken a step backward with regard to interest in the potty. My gut tells me these new freedoms and priveleges, while exciting, also bring with them a need for reassurance and comfort.

Sorry the pictures are rather blurry. The flash on my camera broke. I should be getting some pictures from Lolli soon - she took lots of good ones.

Also, soon to come - photos of my latest obsession. I am sewing doll clothes for Roan's Baby Marty (it's a cabbage patch kid that "pees"). She gave it a boys name but refers to it as a girl, so it's getting a whole new wardrobe complete with dresses, hats, underwear, and... if I can get over a couple last engineering hurdles... a backpack. Once I got going on this, I just can't make myself stop. It combines two things I love: creating something cute for my adorable little girl, and doing something useful with fabric scraps that would otherwise go in the landfill. Arwen is ready to have me sent off to the looney bin, however. "Can't we just buy this stuff?" Well, yeah, but what would be the fun in that?!?

Friday, December 12, 2008

San Francisco

Here are some belated highlights from our trip to San Francisco the week before Thanksgiving.

This is in the airport just before we got on a purple airplane. She was very excited. She's into purple. (Not as much as pink though...)

Reading books with Feefa in the car.

Playing in the discovery room at the Academy of Sciences

Dinosaurs go "Roar!"

Dim Sum: Yum Yum!

Feefa and Roan in their hats

At the beach

Roan's first time to see the ocean

Writing her name in the sand

Fun at the farmer's market

A quiet spot in the garden at the Hunter's Point studios

At the playground

Playing at the Louise Bourgeois Crouching Spider sculpture on Pier 14

Napping on Daddy

At the Palace of Fine Arts

At the beach

First time for Dim Sum


We had a really nice visit. Thanks to Feefa and Charles for spending some quality time with us, and thanks to Jim and Mike for the wonderful accommodations. We all had so much fun!