Monday, December 18, 2006

Santa Claus has left the building

Last night we had a holiday gathering at our house to do our Secret Santa exchange. The house was full of people and there was food and wrapping paper flying all over the place. I enjoyed watching all the kids (and adults) opening their presents with delight. Unfortunately we were having so much fun that we forgot to take pictures. Yes, that is some serious funage being had because we are all camera-holics, so for us ALL to have forgotten, well, what can I say? Extravaganza indeed. I only managed to get a couple of pictures of Sophie and Christian in their PJ's after all the excitement was over (will add them later).

There were so many presents exchanging hands at once, that it was sheer chaos. I grabbed Christian's presents and scampered to the nearest unoccupied corner of the room and hid them like a squirrel hoarding nuts. I can't open presents in chaos...I need to put them aside and open them in peace and quiet. Tonight I'll "help" Christian open his presents and I'll take a couple of snapshots for posterity's sake.

On Saturday I took Christian to our community's club house as they had been advertising in giant signs that Santa was coming to meet the children from 10:30 am until 1:30 pm. Chris took his morning nap at 10 am, had lunch at noon, I cleaned him up, changed him, and got him all dressed up to go see Santa. I figured he didn't know or care about who this scary bearded person was, but at least I would try and see if I could get a picture of him on Santa's lap (mind you, he sometimes doesn't even want daddy to hold him, so yes, this was definitely wishful thinking on my part).

It was about 12:45 when I left my house to go pick my mom up (so she could help me with the child-restraining/picture-taking); we got to the clubhouse promptly at 1pm. Since it had been raining, there weren't mobs of children outside, so I figured we had Santa all to ourselves. We parked the car alongside another family who had even brought a video camera..(crap...I didn't bring the video camera!). We all got out of our cars with the Christmasy dressed children in tow and walked up the steps of the establishment.

All was merry and bright until the reindeer crap hit the fan when Mr. Guy Security promptly informed us that Santa had left:

Me: "what do you mean he left? on a break you mean right?
Guard: "no, he's gone, he just left about 5 minutes ago"
Me: "but the sign says until 1:30!...and it's 1!"

At this point the video camera family is now listening in on this conversation. Needless to say, that lady was pissed off too. We went inside to find the responsible party ("the office manager") and let her have it: 4 children sulking, 3 babies crying, 2 mother's yelling and a video camera in a pear tree. The end result of it was that we were just out of luck. Since it had been raining, no one had shown up for the past 20 minutes, so they told Santa he could go. The lady kept saying over and over again that we were right and that she was so sorry, and what did we want her to do about it because there really was nothing she could do. Leave it to my mom to say "yeah there is, YOU go put a Santa Suit on!". Hee hee. Go mom. We made the best of a bad situation and took pictures of Christian in Santa's empty chair.

I ended up driving to my local mall to shell out 14 bucks for a picture with Santa (what a rip). And not even a nice smiley one either, a crying-why-are-you-making-me-sit-on-this-scary-man's-lap picture, then again, I kind of knew that would happen. Last year's picture was so easy.... I hope next year's is better.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year

I'm feeling very Christmasy these days. I find myself humming Christmas carols at work and bopping along in the car to Christmas carols. I guess since I'm around others, I have refrained from getting all teary eyed so far. Most of my Christmas shopping is done, except for my work secret Santa. My tree is up and all the presents are wrapped. My Christmas cards are ordered and in envelopes, the labels are printed. Ok Christmas...I'm ready, you can come now. Ha ha...don't you wish it were that easy?

Actually the only thing that has me freaking out these days is my upcoming trip to El Salvador. I'm excited to be taking Chris to meet my entire family (well, those he hasn't met already) and taking him to my home country to spend Christmas. I can't wait for him to experience Christmas as I know it, as I grew up with it. For me, Christmas isn't Christmas if it's not spent with my family in El Sal; it just doesn't have the same feel to it. As exciting as the trip is, it's also pretty scary to be getting on an airplane with a 14 (almost 15) month old that won't sit still for two seconds.

Unfortunately, I didn't purchase a seat for him, so my mom and I will be juggling him back and forth between the two of us. We have been buying little toys and putting them away for some weeks now. We plan on taking them out on the plane to entertain him. What started out as a little purse full of toys, has become a large sack full of toys. Ho ho ho...Santa came early...and in the plane too! Ok, is it just me or does that sound dirty?

Anyway, speaking of Santa, I think Santa has gotten a little carried away this year with the present buying for Chris. Since my little boy can't really write yet (well, not in cursive anyway), I wrote the letter to Santa for him. That's all fine and dandy, except that mommy, has a bit of a shopaholic streak in her and well, let's just say Santa will be visiting El Salvador AND Miami this year. I don't think he can fit all the presents in one place, and in one trip! If this is just for a one year old, I'm scared to think how out of hand this will get when Chris can actually ask for what he wants. Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening.

On Sunday, we went to a holiday party and there were some little people there for him to play with. He got to see his friends Gaby and Sophi again and got to open a secret Santa gift! On Saturday evening, we went to Amanda's party to wish her a happy 30th birthday...she's hiking on up that hill (hee hee). On Saturday morning, he had another photo session with Amy and managed to pee on the Santa hat while I was changing his diaper. Never a dull moment I tell you.

I don't know if I'll be posting again before I leave because this coming week is chock-full of excitement! I have to pack my bags for the trip, I have to pack Christian's CARAVAN for the trip, my friend Ayleen is in town from Tampa, my mom is having a holiday party on Saturday, I've got one planned for Sunday, and my friend Jen is coming from LA on Tuesday. Fun times. Can anybody guess who is going to be exhausted on the plane on Wednesday?... any takers?

Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas cards...or not

Wednesday night Lilli came over to help me take pictures of el niƱo for the Christmas cards this year. I figured I would need help since he doesn't really like to sit still anymore. Last year's pictures were so easy to take. He just sat there and didn't move, so I was able to dress him up in all sorts of wonderful outfits and click away. This year...not so much.

Not only did he put his hand in his mouth for 20% of the pictures, but he also... ripped ornaments off the tree, tried to eat said ornaments, played with the props, crawled away from the picture, walked away from the picture, pried off the Santa hat, looked the other way, and had a tea party mid photo shoot. With all these shenanigans, you're probably wondering if we even got one good shot. I guess you'll just have to wait for your Christmas card in the mail to see what the final outcome was. Hee hee.

Monday, December 04, 2006

This is the way we

brush our teeth

brush our teeth

brush our teeth

This is the way we brush our teeth so early in the morning late in the evening.

...swirl, swoosh and spit.

Looks real huh? Ha ha. Actually, there's a story behind the toothbrushing (when isn't there a story Claudia?). After reading and hearing repeatedly that I should start brushing Christian's 6 teeth. I finally decided to get to it.

Saturday night, as I was trying to bathe him, I put baby toothpaste on his baby toothbrush and tried to brush his teeth. Ha ha. Anyone who's ever tried to brush a one year old's teeth will tell you that you'd have better luck with a kangaroo. He punched, scratched, pushed and screamed as if I were trying to shove a drill in his mouth. I of course, got hard-headed about it and forced the issue. At the end of the ordeal I had a wet shirt, a crying toddler, a toothbrush that was flung across the bathroom and a 6 little dirty teeth.

Once he was in his pj's and ready for bed. I realized that perhaps I had not gone about this brushing expedition in the best way. I decided to let him watch me brush my teeth with my toothbrush and then give him his toothbrush so that he could stick it in his mouth himself. "Look Christian, just like mommy". No such luck. He screamed and threw it across the room. It appears I had scarred him for life. He would forever have a fear of the toothbrush.

Yesterday, I tried again. I gave him the toothbrush and he wouldn't even look at it. He pushed it away. I brushed my own teeth in front of him and then tried to brush his teeth, but he started freaking out again. This time, I was not as persistent and I stopped. I figured I would try again later.

Last night after his bath I drained the dirty bath water and filled the tub with clean water and lots of toys. I tried giving him the toothbrush again (without baby toothpaste) to see if he would just stick it in his mouth. He grabbed it and threw it again, so I just put it in his bathtub with the rest of the toys. Once I stopped trying to give it to him, he picked it up and promptly put it in his mouth. It was cute because I could tell that he was trying to do the brushing motions that he had seen me do earlier (including the swooshing and spitting). I clapped and sang and showed him how happy I was that he was brushing his teeth like a big boy.

There was no toothpaste on the brush, but I figured that it was a start. He was definitely getting more brushing done than I was able to that's for sure. I'm hoping that was the last I'll see of the flying toothbrush and the Oral-B-ophobia, but for some reason, I have a feeling it's not.

I hope my friends Lilli and Adrian are taking notes as they will have their own little bundle of joy in July. Congratulations guys!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thanksgiving Thievery

It's been so long since I blogged that I forgot what I last blogged about. I've been reprimanded by the masses, so I will try and cough up a decent blog post (let me not even get started on how far behind I am on my blog reading...sorry my bloggy friends!).

I'll be sure to include lots of pictures so I can distract you from the short and uninteresting post. Ooooh...pretty pictures!

On Nov 18, Chris and I went to Andrew and Rebeka's birthday party. Before the party, I took him to our neighborhood playground and he had a jolly old time on the swing and on the slide. (Please pardon my fashion choices for him, but it was cold that morning and we don't have many cold weather clothing options in Miami).

In the afternoon, we headed over to the birthday party. Andrew was celebrating his first birthday and Rebeka was celebrating her fourth. It was Christian's first time in a bounce house and let me just say that he didn't like it too much. He clung to me like a baby monkey and wouldn't let go. He played a little in the park and practiced his walking skills on the sand (much better fashion choices this time...check out the cute converse! Ooo la la!). I don't think he quite gets the whole slide concept yet as he was trying to go up the slide. We ate some yummy food (notice the ever-present ring) and had a great time with the birthday boy and girl.

That evening, Christian tried a Pupusa for the first time; it seems we just missed National Pupusa Day by five days too! What a coincidence; I didn't even know such a day existed! The first bite caused him to make a face, but he was happily munching along after that. I guess his Salvadorean half was coming through!

For Thanksgiving, we went to Ruben's (Ren's brother) house and had a glorious feast of turkey, green beans, yams, corn quiche, stuffing, rice, coconut cream pie and pecan pie. Chris had a good time playing with the coasters and throwing the toothpick holder around. I had a good time watching the owners of the house run around, hiding all the breakables. With good reason too because he cracked the toothpick holder and then stole it; I found it in his diaper bag the next day! What can I son is turning to a life of crime!