Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Small at Play

I was at my computer today, attempting to get some work done, and my Small One was playing with her little people behind me. She just got a new minivan for the little people, and it's all very exciting. I suddenly tuned into what she was saying in time to hear the following conversation:

(and yes, my 2 year old does use different voices for the different characters in her games)

Voice 1: You need a get out a there!

Voice 2: No, I not need a get out a here, I just a little baby!

Voice 1: No, you not a little baby, you a CAMEL. You get out a there!

Voice 2: Noooo, I not a camel, I a little baby!

You realize, I had to turn around and check this out. What was happening is that a camel from the Noah's Ark set had somehow gotten into the back seat of the minivan, and the dad of the family was trying to make the VERY reasonable point that it was sitting in the baby's seat. They argued back and forth about this a few more times, and finally, the camel was defeated.

"You're right," he said sadly, "I a camel."

To the little dad's credit he said "Oh, it's ok."

So, that was kind of him, I think.

Another random act of kindness has been happening today... I have a Nativity set that is a prized possession of mine, not because it's valuable, or even particularly decorative, but because it was handed down to me from my mother. It's the Nativity set I remember from my childhood, and that "baby Jesus" will always be the official baby Jesus replica to me.

This year, because my Small One has gotten over her phase of putting everything in her mouth, I risked putting the Nativity on the coffee table where she could have access. She's utterly delighted by this and has spent hours today recreating the Bethlehem scene, sometimes adding her own touches, like bringing a giant pink pig for a visit. But the most remarkable thing to me is this: she can't STAND that the baby is in a manger. Because let's face it, a manger is not a comfortable place.

She went through her toys and found a little crib. "Baby Jesus need a sleep in his OWN bed!" she announced. The giant pig agreed wholeheartedly. The engineer from the train set held the baby Jesus and gave him kisses. All in all, a lovely scene.

I'm hoping not to be such a slacker in 2009, and I'm also hoping to get a few blogs in over the holiday weekend, but in case I don't say it, I hope you all have a blessed and happy holiday season, and a peaceful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sad Moment in a Jolly Season

Just thought it fitting to let you all know of the passing of a small adventurer.

Yes, Sputnik the hamster died last week. Ironically, he died a peaceful death in the still of the night- alive at bedtime, passed on before breakfast. After a lifetime of escaping the confines of his little home for the perils of cats and dog and toddlers and electrical cords (which he considered a delicacy), he apparently died of natural causes. We're thinking old age, because he was huge when we got him, and never got any bigger, so we're thinking he may have been long in the tooth even then. And of course, hard living can age a guy.

RIP, little Sputnik, you will be missed.

But not replaced. And not because you could never be replaced in our hearts...no, just because I'll be dipped and fried before I'll have another rodent in the house.

Stay tuned, as the Oldest lobbies for a hedgehog. (I WISH I were making that up.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Almost a month!

Is it sadder that I've neglected this blog for almost a month, or sadder that I have unfinished blog entries waiting for me to post them?

My problem has been multifaceted. I find myself bogged down by things that I'm not sure how to handle, and certainly not with humor. This lack of humor obviously impedes my creative process, because I promise you all do NOT want to know the thoughts going through my head these days. My inspiration is low. In addition, my household of crazies is keeping me ultra busy these days, and there are very few moments in the day for me to think, much less create.

How am I having the time to blog right now? Ah, for that I must credit a beautiful thing called Yo Gabba Gabba, a kids' show starring these guys:

Now, some of the music is admittedly a little irritating, but the messages are good, (share, keep your hands to yourself, try new foods, clean up after yourself) and while the orange guy looks a little disturbing to me, my Small One is enthralled. We rented a dvd from Netflix, and 100 times a day she says to me, urgency in her voice, "I NEED to watch Yo Gabba Gabba".

For the record, I do NOT let her watch it as many times as she thinks she needs to, but tonight, we've had a huge amount of quality time, so I'm not feeling too guilty about sitting behind her using the laptop while she sings and dances with these weird looking dudes.

The reason for all the quality time? Christmas tree time! Whee! Yes, another holiday ritual through which I DRAG my surly teenagers, forcing cheerfulness all the way! Sing it with me- "It's the holiday season, so whoop dee doo!" Every Christmas, I plan a decorating night, with tree decorating, cookie baking, Christmas related crafts, snacks and treats, friends invited- the works. Every year, the teenagers act like I'm torturing them, but secretly, they enjoy it. (Yes, they do. Shut up.)

Here is proof they actually enjoyed it last year:

This year, we didn't take pictures. But THIS year, there's something new! This year is the first year my Small One understands what's going on!!! How cool is that? Last night her dad brought the tree in while she slept, so she awoke this morning to a pine tree in the living room. She SQUEALED, and when I came in a found her standing, openmouthed but smiling, in front of it. When she saw me, she turned and said "That's MY Christmas tree!" Tonight, of course, she spent much of the time either dismantling ornaments or lying under the tree in a trance, looking at the lights, but hey, at least she's into the spirit of the thing.

We've been working on the concept of Christmas. Santa Claus is an easy one, she visited him last year and there are pictures she likes to talk about with us. The deeper meanings are trickier for a two year old, but we've been working on learning about baby Jesus, and that seems to please her. She likes to point out baby Jesus in any nativity scene she sees. I've been feeling pretty good about this, until she pulled this guy out of the ornament box tonight:

Yes, most of you will recognize that guy- he's Yukon Cornelius, from the Rankin Bass version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. But Small One, she doesn't know Rudolph, much less Yukon Cornelius. She picked the little guy up out of the box, hugged him, then got really excited and held him up for us to see.

"Look!" she said, gleefully, "It's Baby Jesus!"