Saturday, December 27, 2008

Business first! I have been tagged by Tammie...and I promised her that my next post would take care of that tag...well...the post AFTER this one will take care of that Tammie! I PROMISE!


Today I wanted to share some memories of Christmas 2008.

Last weekend we bundled the girls into the car to look at Christmas lights. We do this every year...even before the girls joined us. This year was extra special though because it was the first year that BOTH girls actually paid attention, noticed and pointed out displays, got genuinely excited, and truly enjoyed themselves. Honestly, Hope has never given a toss about looking at lights, but suddenly at age 5, it was cool. And Claire? She was more into it last year at 21 months than her sister was at 4 years. And Mama? I found two houses within spitting distance of each other that had the infamous "leg lamp" dead center in their front room windows. LOVED IT!

The next day Santa made an impromptu appearance after naptime. He's done this every year since Hope came home and yet she never expects him...and I'll be darned if Daddy doesn't miss him every single year. Go figure. Hope was her usual bubbly, bouncy, exuberant self and Claire? Well, Claire didn't really want a whole lot to do with Santa. At one point she popped that bottom lip out and I thought there were going to be tears. She did sit on his lap for just a long as Hope was sitting on his other knee. Yet, as soon as he left? She couldn't stop chattering about "Tanta!"

Christmas morning is always fun. Hope races into our room and wishes each of us a Merry Christmas and then begins to ponder if Santa truly came the night before. We all get dressed and have breakfast...applesauce pancakes. Hope is even more into tradition than I am if that's humanly possible, so we try to have something special for each holiday breakfast too...and Christmas morning you have applesauce pancakes...period. By the time we're done eating the girls are getting a severe case of the wiggles. So! Upstairs to brush your teeth then Daddy waits by the Christmas tree with the video camera to capture the wonder on their faces when they first spy their loot. Only this year? They both charged in there while Mama was finishing getting the pancakes on the table so we missed the initial facial reactions. However, by the shrieks of "Somebody got a sled! I think Claire got a dollhouse! HE WAS HERE!!!!!" I'm thinking they were fairly pleased with the outcome.

And they are happy! The dollhouse was for both of them and they have played with it every day. The sled is also for both of them and Hope is losing her mind...she wants it to snow so, and I quote, "We can all put on our boots then Daddy can pull us up the hill in the sled while Mama takes our picture." I think Hope's favorite gifts are a tie between her Tag Reader and her box of Legos...she only puts the Tag Reader down long enough to play with her Legos! Claire's favorites this year? Hmmm...probably her Wonder Pets playset...and a tie between HER Legos and her coloring book and crayons.

And what did my true love(s) give to me this Christmas?

First, there were no gifts this year that I cried over...not a first, but definitely few and far between. The reason being that about halfway through the girls opening their gifts my head felt like it was going to explode and only got worse as the day progressed. By dinnertime two doses of meds and a nap had taken care of my "dumb head" as my dear grandmother used to call it.

The Gift I've Wanted For the Longest Time

YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!! I got my green phone! It has so many bells and whistles I hardly know where to start! My first cell...way back when...was one of those bag phones...remember those? After that I would take Garry's old cell when he would get a new one. I really had no need for one other than in an emergency so it was no big deal. As the girls get older, and one is in school, and I am out with Claire running errands...there is a need for a phone in working order in case something happens to Hope at school and I need to be contacted. The phone I had been using was becoming less and less reliable...wouldn't hold a charge...would shut off on a whim...Garry had long forgotten the code to get into the voicemail box...which was flashing with a message. So was I happy when I opened THIS little package? You BET! When I asked him if he needed to turn my old one in his response was, "The guy at the store didn't want it...but The Smithsonian was interested."

The Gift I Will Treasure The Most

Technically this was for both Garry and me. Hope created this ornament for both of us at school. You KNOW how I am about Christmas ornaments!

The Gift I Am Enjoying The Most

These are the cutest...most comfortable...warmest...WONDERFUL slippers I've ever owned...and they're green! I hate slippers...but I'm always cold from late summer until late spring! In years past I always received those Dearfoams...things. Yes those darling little booties are warm...but they also are made out of some of the most disgusting's impossible to walk in them without making loud scuffing/shuffling noises...and they explode with no advance warning. I apologize to anyone who enjoys their Dearfoams...I've just never had good luck with them! So this year I picked out my own slippers from L.L. Bean and put in an order with Santa Garry. I love them...AND him...and they don't make a single solitary sound when I walk!

The Gift I'm Looking Forward To Partaking In

You may remember I love tea...and I'm mad for McVities digestives...and a good read. Next week while the girls are napping? I've got a date with my fireplace and these three delightful items.

The Most Creative Gift...Ever

Well...that would be the gift I received from Terri. As she reads my rants about being stressed out of my mind and how that leads to chocolate binges...which then lead to crashing and even more mood swings...she spins a clever plot.

Friday while we ran out to hit the 50% off sales at Berean, Barnes & Noble, and Claire's, Terri was playing Santa's helper.

After we returned home I checked my email and there was a message from her telling me to look on my porch. I found the most adorable snowman mug stuffed with bags of peppermint hot chocolate. I was thrilled because...well...I had just finished a peppermint hot chocolate! I sent her a message thanking her profusely. Sometime later she emailed asking if I had discovered the chocolate "strips". I hadn't. I opened the packet containing the envelopes of hot chocolate and discovered two bags each containing three strips of chocolate. She instructed me that I was to use one of these when I got stressed out. The little bit of chocolate wouldn't make me crash and when I finished with one of them I would feel so good the stress would simply melt away. She also gave me instructions on how to remove the can use your imagination.

So, with her instructions firmly in mind, and one of the strips firmly in hand, I started the task of removing the chocolate. Of course, the side I chose to remove first revealed nothing. However...upon divesting the OTHER side of the delightful little strip? Well...that girl had taken a picture of an aforementioned actor that I've had a crush on for years...laminated it...and covered it in chocolate. And no...there was nothing lewd about the picture...he looks pretty snappy in a suit and tie! And no...I'm not telling you who he is...a good portion of you already know. I think I've got 5 more of these little strips to look forward to! The girl could make a FORTUNE selling these...a fortune I tell you.

My Most Unexpected Gift

God's timing is something else, isn't it? If I've learned nothing else in 46 years I've learned that lesson. When I woke up Christmas morning the thought that popped immediately into my mind was the day Hope joined our family. I could see Mme. Xu's face just inches from mine...her eyes twinkling...her soft smile...shaking her head yes as I verified I was there for Zhu Han Tao...and then she handed my Hope to me...and all I could do was say, "Thank you...thank you...thank you..." and cry...and hold my baby close...and smell her hair...and whisper over and over "I love you Han Tao." Memories made all the more precious as I wasn't able to be there when Claire joined our family.

Shortly after savoring those precious thoughts I had two very loud and very excited girls in my bedroom wanting to know if Santa had come...he has friends...he has...

Peace, joy, and blessings for 2009!


Terri said...

Hmmmm...not a speck of chocolate to be found on that picture...go figure :)

Mel said...

Oh my heavens no! I don't want to be WASTEFUL! ; )

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