Archive for November, 2007

Santa Who?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2007 by Hitty Jean

I remember being a child in the grocery store with my mother…when I noticed Santa was there!  Wow!  But wait a minute…wasn’t Santa at the store we were in just ten minutes ago?  And didn’t he look a little different?  My mom mumbled something about him being an elf…and…cough…sputter…

As a mother, I try to uphold the Santa myth.  Why?  Well, because my mom says I have to.  (Isn’t that a good enough reason?)  It is tiring, stressful, and I always worry about the girls stumbling upon my cache of Santa gifts and spoiling the entire thing.  I have a lie prepared for that scenario.  All in the name of them believing in this guy in the red suit.

I have several problems with the whole thing…which also apply to the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny…etc.   And don’t get me wrong, I do believe that magic is a special and important part of childhood.  It is fun to make magic seem real to them – they are just so darned cute about it.  But really.  Santa is everywhere today.  To the point that I avoid taking my kids out and about on errands this time of year.  He’s at the pharmacy, in the mall, handing out candy…we even saw Santa in a restaurant once.  And he always looks a bit different.  This may not be apparent to the under four crowd.  Maybe.  But the discerning four and over is going to start noticing.  Can we stop having a Santa in every store, people? 

I don’t find it to be fun.  It dilutes Santa-as-celebrity to have him everywhere.  It takes away a very large part of the mystery to see him every time you step out with mom or dad to do an errand.  Santa is just too overexposed to be believable anymore.  

Also, each family culture has a different Santa myth going.  Santa wraps gifts differently in each house.  In some houses Santa doesn’t wrap at all.  In some houses, the adults get stockings.  Some don’t.  And I think you get the picture.  When my children start comparing notes with their friends, things get tricky.  We need to get our lies stories straight, people!

I always thought I’d panic when the girls figured out Santa wasn’t real.  Surprisingly, I am GLAD to have Tater "in the know."  Boy, was she mad at me.  But what a huge relief for me, as a parent, to be able to stop lying!  Pit~Pat has it figured out, pretty much, but can’t/won’t let go.  And that is okay with me, too, since it is such a disappointment to find out the whole Santa-thing is fake.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  My brother showed me the gifts, hidden away.  I was insistent that they were the gifts from our parents.  He said wait and see.  On Christmas morning, when those toys said "From Santa" on them, I was one bummed-out seven year-old, I tell you.  But as a mother, I am glad that I don’t have to lie to my two oldest anymore.  I get so exhausted waiting for everyone to fall asleep…then we’re doing the Santa thing and it’s well past my bedtime.  Then I spend all of Christmas day exhausted.  Ick. 

Now what about that sitting on Santa’s lap stuff?  When Tater was less than one, there was a (grrr…) Santa at Dan’s company Christmas party.  Tater was terrified of him.  Then, one of Dan’s associates put her on Santa’s lap.  She flipped.  So did I (though I hid it better.)  And everyone else thought it was so cute.  They even took a picture.  WHAT is up with that???  It took me forever to calm her down.  Poor baby.  She was traumatized.  It was cruel and unnecessary.  Tell me, in this day and age, do you really want to sit your young child down on a strange man’s lap?  Weird if you think about it too much, which I try not to.

So, I’m the mean mom who doesn’t take her kids to see Santa.  And they still see him everywhere.  He’ll be at the Christmas party my mother takes us to every year.  And funny thing is, Dassa walked right up to him one year and sat down on his lap.  All by herself.  He gave her a candy cane.  I have a picture, too.  I’m confused.  Maybe I’ll have this Santa stuff figured out by the time I’m a Grandparent.  Though I do know I won’t be taking my grandchildren to see Santa.  Their parents can torture them.

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That’s Dan and his sister.  Hard to scan an old picture in a frame.  But let me tell you, he is looking a bit nervous, and his sister is looking only slightly happier.  Probably because she didn’t have to stand next to Santa.  It’s a lovely picture.

I think I’ll set up a manger scene.  Why do we celebrate Christmas?  Is it all about some guy in a red suit bringing presents to all the children?  No, girls.  It’s about the birth of Jesus.  I’ll tell you all about him.  Ask me all the questions you want.  I won’t even lie.  Not once,  I promise.  And because we celebrate his birthday on Christmas, everyone gets presents.   Though I think Jesus may have a strong opinion about this.  But he isn’t talking.

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Evening Light Show

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2007 by Hitty Jean

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Cute Quotes…and Soup

Posted in Uncategorized on November 27, 2007 by Hitty Jean

The other day, I was picking up when I came across an unrecognizable tiny plastic thing.  I held it up to Dassa.

"Do you know what this is?"

Dassa: (taking it from me and turning it over…)  Oh, that’s my catcher~dister.  It goes with my Littlest Pet Shop.

Me: (taking another look…)  Oh, yes!  So it is…Could you put it away, please?

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Another time, Dassa was trying to say something about our fruit bowl.  It really isn’t a bowl, but a three-tiered, wire basket thingy.  She couldn’t quite figure out what it was called, and eventually said, "Could you get me a banana out of the healthy food holder?"  Of course now we all call it the healthy food holder.

:::Today I am stalled in my holiday preparations, nursing a cold.  Again?  Funny thing is, I made some really yummy soup.  I found the recipe online and the author said that right after she made it, she came down with a horrible cold.  Me too.  Hmmmmmmm….

But really, it is the BEST soup.  EVER.  If you follow the link, consider yourself warned…though what better than good homemade soup to nurse a cold?

Tourists

Posted in Uncategorized on November 25, 2007 by Hitty Jean

Yesterday, we drove to Portland, Maine for the day.  So much fun!  Our first stop was Crescent Beach State Park on Cape Elizabeth…it was so beautiful.  We had been in the car for hours, so the girls (dogs, too) ran off some energy in the field by the entrance.  The ocean air was magnificent, and it was so nice to spend a gloriously cold day at the shore.  We followed a trail back to our car, which led to some wonderful exploring and discoveries along the way.  After a walk about Portland, we rode the "Santa~Express."  The narrow gauge tracks are only two feet wide and the train runs on coal and steam, which definitely added to the coolness factor.  Lots of lights too, plus the beautiful harbor and a glorious moon which we couldn’t quite capture on film.  After a burrito dinner (what else…) we drove home…tired, but excited about our adventure.  :o)

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I loved Portland so, so much.  What a *great* place!  I am longing to live there.  Now, to convince Dan…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2007 by Hitty Jean

Peace on this day of thankfulness.  Here are a few pictures of today, as we prepare to panic  welcome family into our home for a traditional turkey feast:

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A Visit with Hitty…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19, 2007 by Hitty Jean

Hittys are alive.  They truly are.  Some say it is because they are wooden, and trees are living.  But it never ceases to amaze me that with each Hitty we adopt into our home, there comes a unique personality.  And they seem to "do" things.  Really.  Here is an example:

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It is a cold day in late autumn.  There is ice on the pond.  A quiet day, to say the least.  I find the Bitty~Hittys sitting on a window sill.  They look pleasant enough, but look closely at Bitty Pipah (on the right.)  She loves action.  Doesn’t she look a bit peeved that Nothing.Is.Going.On.

???  She does, doesn’t she!!?!!

Okay, now some Hittys are content with the slower days and are perfectly capable of amusing themselves.  Here is a picture of Hitty Maris:

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She has a bear friend with her, and she has found a bowl of "Jingle Shells" to play with.  (They really do jingle when you run your hands through them.  Wonderful things, those Jingle Shells.)  And she looks pleasant.  Serene, even.  But certainly not at all peeved that Nothing.Is.Going.On.  In fact, truth be told, she likes it that way.

Okay, well, the Bittys are a restless bunch.  Even the most easygoing Bitty has a tendency to get nudgie when not given enough to do.  I checked on them later in the day, just to be sure that Pipah wasn’t leading them all into trouble.  And this is what I saw:

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I hadn’t moved them.  I think they are alive.

Anticipation, Pricey Pencils and Birthday Parties…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17, 2007 by Hitty Jean

The girls just left for a birthday party.  Not just any birthday party, mind you.  This is our neighbor, who just turned 10.  She is one of Pit~Pat and Tater’s favorite friends.  And she really loves Harry Potter.  So, off they go, to a Harry Potter Birthday Party.  They have been counting down the hours all day.  They tried to convince me that watching television would make time go faster.  Forget it.  So they colored:

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We purchased these new pencils yesterday.  The girls are calling them "The Artist Colors" and in fact they are called that on the beautiful tin.  And with names such as "Wipe Your Feet" and "Frog in the Valley" the colors are made even more glorious.  They almost forgot that they had four more hours to wait for the party.  It was at least an hour before any of the three decided they’d had enough, and the quality of the pencils was evident in their results:

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Tater put every color to use and my camera couldn’t capture the vibrancy of her designs, but they are so beautiful.  And to think I had a slight palpitation (I am prone to them, after all…) when I saw the price.  But I was using a gift card, and that somehow justified the purchase.  They were worth every penny.  I learn that lesson over and over again.  Quality art supplies inspire quality art.  They really do.

So…time passed, thanks to the pencils, some music, a bit of baking and present wrapping…This birthday present has been declared the "Best Ever" by Tater and Pit~Pat.  It is a sweater a-la Molly Weasley.  We (I) embroidered her initial on the front, and it is all in Gryffindor colors.  We tea-stained some crumpled paper and printed out a tag, which states on the back that this is indeed a "Molly Weasley Original."  The card was made with a Hogwarts patch we had on hand, which I sewed onto some cardstock:

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We then packaged it all up in a mysterious box, tied with a knitted "ribbon" that Tater had made.  I am pretty sure the birthday girl will be thrilled.