Sunday, December 20, 2009

December Halftime Report

At times this December it's felt like we were in the middle of a very intense rivalry football game like Army-Navy, Stanford-Cal, Yale-Harvard. As we go from activity to activity, play to play, we're fighting to keep our energy up so we can make it to the end zone. So far this December we've been to 9 different events, not counting playdates at the park and at friends' houses. It was all kicked off by the Got Milk? event on December 1 where H got the best face painting of his short life. I got to sample delicious lattes in between chasing H and R around the patio of Le Pain Quotidien. Everyone at the event got to go home with their own Got Milk? apron, a milk frother and CD of latte recipes.

Then it was four Christmas parties in the span of a week. H got to see Santa twice and R actually sat on Santa's lap without crying this year. I think giving him a big piece of chocolate right before he met Santa really helped. It's really strange, I never sat down with H and said, there is a man called Santa Claus and he brings presents with his reindeer on Christmas. Yet he somehow knew all about it. He kept asking Santa, "Where are your reindeer?" Santa pretended not to hear him. Before I knew it, even though I hadn't made up my mind whether I was going to have the boys believe in Santa or not, I was telling H, "Santa sees you, he only brings presents to the good boys." And before I knew it, H was crying and saying, "I want to be a bad boy, I want to be a bad boy." So at least I know he won't be tricked into doing something bad by a stranger with a present. Right?

Then we made our way over to the Treehouse Social Club in Beverly Hills for the HAMO playdate. The only packs of unopened diapers we had in our house were the Fisher Price ones we had gotten from Toys R Us on Black Friday at 6 am. I had never tried those diapers before but bought four packs because they were half price. Surprisingly high quality. I never even knew Fisher Price made diapers, but I will definitely buy them again. A long non sequitur, sorry. I told H that we were going to a place like Pump it Up Party because I couldn't really describe the TSC. Well, the TSC is nothing like PIUP. There is a giant treehouse in the middle with a slide and areas with different themes, like a game room (complete with Macs and Nintendo Wii), a supermarket room and craft area. H had a fabulous time, but when we were leaving, he said, are we going to Pump it Up Party now? What is it with toddlers and the fascination with giant inflatables? And why does the nearest PIUP have to be in the OC? I was exhausted after two hours of live children's music and running after R. H was ready for the afterparty.

Disney on Ice. By then I couldn't even remember to bring a camera. I had heard a radio message on KFSH that sometimes the best thing to do is just enjoy the event instead of trying to run around capturing the event. Yes, that's what I was doing! Except I wasn't really enjoying it because H ran away before the show started (thankfully he was found quickly by security) and R kept trying to run away during the show and we were asked by security to keep a tighter rein on him. I learned that the boys are, and I am, NOT ready to go to shows like this, at least not R for another two years. A few weeks ago, a friend forwarded me information about this product called Mommy I'm Here that you can attach to your child's shoe to prevent them from running off. I wish I had ordered it then! By the way, I loved the parts of the show I did get to see--especially the Tinkerbell portion in the second half. The flowers popping out of the sides of the rink were definitely an unexpected cool effect. You can still catch the show in various locations in the Los Angeles area. Read my previous post about the discount.

That brings me to this past Friday. (I have a good reason for the lack of updates, my sister-in-law was visiting the past five days and staying in the computer room so no internet for me!) Cookie exchange at the park. Umm...did someone forget to tell the weatherman that it is December and should be cooler than the middle of July? 85 degrees. R was sweating in corduroy overalls and H was drenched from wearing his bike helmet. Finally I just took off R's pants. Someone once said that a toddler can get away with just a diaper as pants until age 2. I wholeheartedly agree. At least if you live in the desert. It would probably be considered child neglect if you did it in the middle of winter in Minnesota. So, cookies exchanged, ensuing crashing from sugar high experienced, vow to never eat cookies made. Broken the next day.

I won't even mention the Christmas party yesterday except to say that I have now officially seen the worst white elephant gift ever. Worse than the poop tea given at the mom's club Christmas party, worse than the spool of half-empty blank DVDs at a previous church Christmas party, and worse than the enormous bottle of pickled peppers given two years in a row. I can't even describe it because it makes absolutely no sense, and yet it completely explains why 10% of the attendees at the party refused to participate in the exchange based on previous year's experience. What is the worst white elephant gift you've ever seen?

And somewhere in the middle of all these running plays, I've been fortunate enough to participate in some really great outreach ministries in our community, from putting together gift baskets for victims of human trafficking to filling toiletry shoeboxes for the homeless to getting up early to score $3 sweatshirts at Old Navy for the Fresh Brothers sweatshirt drive. Fortunate because it completes the message behind all the celebration during Jesus's birthday month, that he came to earth to help us all. Touchdown.

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