Monday, December 13, 2010

Traditions continued...

After our Friday experience, we then planned a trip Saturday afternoon to the Manito Conservatory. We visit the Christmas lights display almost every year.  I thought this year would be really fun because Boo was at an age to appreciate it. I forgot my camera, however, and Boo slept through the entire exhibit. We do our best and life happens. I still always like to see the flowering jade plant that must be a century old.

On Sunday the plan was to make and decorate cookies that we would deliver to grandparents for Saint Lucia day the next morning.  My mom beat me to it and brought over 5 dozen cookies to decorate.  The kids had fun eating their creations and racking up a sugar dosage in two hours that they normally don't see in a month. Okay, not just the kids- that canned frosting is addictive.  When I read the can's ingredients  I couldn't help but toss the leftovers away right then and there. I stayed up and made gingerbread scones to deliver in the morning because I didn't see the grandmas wanting there own cookies given back. I couldn't find powdered saffron at the last minute to make St. Lucia buns, so I just went with the traditional gingerbread theme.

So this morning, Monday, I got up early (for me it was early, but there seemed to be plenty of people out and about by the time we left the house) and woke the kids. They dressed in their white gowns and put on their respective head-wear while I bagged up the scones and we were off to see the grandmas. Baby Dragon kept asking me if it was really morning when it was so dark outside. He then asked if I would sew a matching gown for his doll. All this chatter happened before we left the driveway and I was just trying to escape before Boo woke up again and missed her morning snack. We made it to Great-grandma's place and she was already up. Then we went to Grandma's house and she was already up. Finally, we made it to Nana's and Papa's house and woke somebody up. Saint Lucia Day tradition is waking up family members with coffee and special pastries while singing. We haven't learned the "real" song yet, so we just sing our favorite good morning songs. The kids were greeted with hugs, dog kisses, and hot cocoa.  I think they like it.  A lot.

Some December Traditions

Friday night we headed out to Coeur d'Alene to see the lights around the hotel on the water. We like to have hot cocoa inside the lobby by their fire.  We found some coveted seats near the fire, but it became pointless as I chased Boo constantly and Grant stood in line for cocoa. Baby Dragon felt comfortable enough to sprawl out on the floor in everybody's way and Fairy Girl wanted to go on the boat ride that we never mentioned going on that night.  **Sigh** So back to the tradition that started to feel so very forced. Some seats by the windows opened up and we moved there. The seats were in a partially walled area and we relaxed a little then knowing that we only had to block one exit for Boo. Did I mention Boo had conjunctivitis and looked like she'd been wailing and left alone somewhere because of the redness and swelling? That added to the glamour we were trying to capture anyway... So here's a few photos because after all it was better to leave the house than to have stayed and done nothing. There was a little bit of fun snuck in there somewhere.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Day of Four-year-old Musings

Sunday we went Christmas Tree hunting. But that morning, we mosied around the house, enjoying our warm little nest. Baby Dragon came into our bedroom and looked out the window. He asked, "Why are there so many footprints in the snow?" I answered, "Because you and your sister walked all over the yard two days ago." He countered, "But it's morning." Then I understood what he meant: the snow should be fresh and untrodden every morning, because every day is new...
We eventually made it to Elk, WA to hunt for our tree late in the afternoon. As we pulled in to the lot, we recognized that this where we got our tree for Fairy Girl's first Christmas. Apparently neither of us has any space in our brain to remember we've been somewhere until we're there again. I even think I said I would never go there again because there were such horrible diesel fumes on the hayride. But here we were again so we took a hayride up to the tree farm and hiked to the top of the hill to look at the Grand Firs. The snow was deep and hard to walk in for the kids. We had Boo bundled up like a fleece gnome and I wore her on my back. We deliberated on tree preferences, and we eventually picked Daddy's. Fairy Girl was worried that the tree was too narrow at the bottom because most of the lower branches were pinned to the ground in the deep snow. We were not disappointed; the tree has a lovely "skirt". The tree cutting process goes as such: consider, choose, hug the tree, take a picture with it, stand back and let Dad saw it, then yell timber! It smelled so good. Lemony and cedar-y and fragrant. Maybe that's my favorite part, the fresh release, the smell of the cut. We all yelled "timber" and Dad pulled it through the deep snow and tree wells until we got back to the path.

Baby Dragon found a branch and wanted to keep it. It was a pathetic branch, sort of a Charlie Brown pick, but he was so happy and had so many imaginary prospects for it, that we brought it all the way home and it's in a vase on his dresser. The sun was setting as we walked back down the hill and waited for the hayride. This time the kids got to sit right behind the tractor (not diesel this time) and this inspired much tractor play at home.

When we pulled the tree into the house, put it into the tree stand and cut the baling off, Baby Dragon climbed into my lap and said, "September!" I said, "wha?" He said, "September." After a few repeats, I finally asked him to help me understand. He replied, "I want you to say what you said when we cut the tree down." Oh, duh, "Say Timber!" Hence, "September," to a 4-year-old! Makes me wonder what else he hears me say that I am not really saying.