Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Christmas!


We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, as we did. Now that the whole craziness has subsided and our blood-sugar levels have stablized a bit after all the cookies and candy canes, I guess it's time for an overdue update. Gosh, I wish I were better at blogging. I just can't seem to find the time.

Here's a (not-so) quick recap:

I had to remind myself a few times that this was Mei Lin's first real Christmas (since we don't know if her foster family celebrated Christmas at all last year - probably not). I guess it seems like she's been here forever so it's hard to believe she wasn't here last year, too. She loved everything about Christmas! She loved the trees, the lights, the cookies, candy canes, the music, Advent candles, Advent story, the presents...the whole thing! She was in awe of the first lighted Christmas tree she saw at Old Navy and squealed and yelled "Avent" whenever it was time to light the candles and read from the Advent book. As we'd read, "For He shall be called Immanuel, which means...." she'd say "God wiff us" (that's God with us), but her favorite part was blowing out the candles. She also walked around saying "Santa, Santa, ho-ho-ho" and singing her own version of Christmas songs.

Of all the new gifts this Christmas, the best gift is having Mei Lin finally here with us. She is such an amazing, precious little gift.

Why pictures of Megan are rare....

We hosted a little party with some of Miyah and Mei Lin's friends and their moms. Since we've all become too busy for regular playgroups, this was a fun time to get all the girls together.

The girls silently doing a craft

Miyah loved Christmas, too. She loved celebrating Advent and could recite nearly the entire Christmas story from the Bible after reading The Advent Book each night. She was dressed in antlers and a red nose nearly every day of December and could be found tied to her doll stroller (sleigh) delivering gifts to our stockings. What an amazing imagination she has and what a good Santa's helper.

Which reminds me of something. Have any of you parents had to deal with this one?

A few weeks back we were having trouble with Miyah not being completely big, fat lies, but lies none the less. Lies like whether she'd already had a glass of apple juice that morning. Anyway, I was onto her and I knew I had to deal with it, so we had a couple of talks about telling the truth and that if she wanted people to believe her and trust her she had to be truthful in even the smallest matters. She happens to be a pleaser, so once she undestood, she quickly changed her ways.

So, here's a subsequent conversation one night and the real issue at hand:

Miyah: Does Santa REALLY come and bring us presents for Christmas?
Mom: Some people believe that he does. Do you believe that?
Miyah: Well, that's what you said, and you ALWAYS tell the truth.
Mom: (catch breath...then...) I told you that???

Honestly, guys, I never told her Santa comes to bring presents. I happen to be one of those weird parents that doesn't particularly like Santa. Sorry. Shocking, I know. I've actually had people look at me like I'm a horrible mother when I've shared that.

While mostly harmless, I see and hear too much Santafanatacism for my liking. I don't want my kids to feel that the birth of Christ isn't exciting and amazing enough itself that we have to make Christmas about some guy who brings gifts (if we're nice).

That's just MY opinion. I know it isn't popular so please don't write me with all the reasons you DO or I SHOULD celebrate Santa. We're both good mommies regardless. I don't think Santa is bad, it's just not how I choose to celebrate Christmas. Our kids read books and watch movies with Santa, because it isn't the worst thing in the world and let's face it, it's unavoidable. So, Miyah has read and seen quite a bit of Santa. We just downplay it as much as we possibly can.

Anyway, I didn't have the guts to come right out and say know. She quickly changed the subject and hasn't questioned it since, but somehow I still feel kind of guilty.

Which leads me to another story, further fueling my dislike for the Big Jolly Guy (half joking here). One week before Christmas, after being asked by friends and strangers for the millionth time what she wants from Santa (argh!), Miyah informs us that the ONLY thing she wants from Santa is a Rudolph costume. HOW and WHERE do you find a Rudolph costume with less than 6 shopping days and only 5 shipping days (the only way I shop anymore) 'til Christmas??

She has the antlers and painted nose, what more does the girl want? Even the endless reaches of the internet couldn't find us a Rudolph costume, except for one being sold on ebay with an ending date of Dec 24th (??). So, instead we ordered a reindeer bathwrap (kind of like a towel with a reindeer-face hood) from a woman on ebay. A few days later we got her package with a stuffed monkey instead of Santa's gift!! Thankfully Target sells reindeer bathwraps, too (and much cheaper). So Miyah, I mean Rudolph, is happy with #*$%#*% Santa...just kidding, I don't even curse :).

Why couldn't we find something like this? LOL! Almost scary, isn't it?

On to cheerier things....

My parents came for Christmas and we had a wonderful time. My mother was particularly entertaining on Christmas Eve while staying up late and under the influence of Ambien. I won't embarass her, but I do have video if you ever stop by (kidding, mom).

For the second year in a row, Miyah found the star and baby Jesus before opening gifts Christmas morning. This year the star was a little cloissonne star from China.
And then the opening begins...
Matt's going to kill me for posting a pic of him in his glasses (sh!)

This is where Mei Lin quit opening gifts. We're hoping for no more fighting/sharing issues now that Mei Lin has her own Leapster.

Miyah in her Rudolph "costume" from Santa...Mei Lin gave Miyah a little Rudolph whose nose lights up

Matt and Megan have had a wonderful Christmas break, too. Matt was quite relieved after all of his mid-terms (including a 30-some page Humanities exam), but has worked quite a bit during the busy retail season. We all saw a lot of movies. Pat and another dad took Megan and her friends to see National Treasure 2. Matt and Pat went to see I am Legend, Pat and I saw August Rush, and I saw a chick flick with some friends.

And just in case you haven't had are a few photos from our trip to the mall the day after Christmas.

Miyah loving the carousel

Mei Lin hating the carousel

Miyah bravely feeding the stingrays

Mommy kind of freaks out when the stingray splashes up for food

Well, enough about our Christmas. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas!
And a Happy New Year!

6 incredible comments!:

Jillian said...

Hey, Cindy! I absolutely love the pictures you post on this blog. Mei Lin is getting so big! And she's so beautiful, too, as are your other girls. (I've tried to photograph Megan, too -- yeah, that's a challenge! :})

And you know, we have never done Santa, and one of the two reasons is precisely what you've mentioned here -- if you DO tell your child that Santa is real and that he brings presents, then you are lying. And we decided long ago that we weren't going to "play the lie" at Christmas. The other reason I don't like Santa is because he teaches conditional love: "If you are GOOD, I will bring you presents." Unlike Jesus, who says, "Nobody is good except for ME, and I will bless you anyway." So no tomatoes from this VERY anti-Santa mama! (Once the kids got older we started watching the old, classic Santa shows on video, but we didn't start that until they were old enough to grasp the difference between real and pretend. So it's not like I think watching "Santa Claus is Comin' To Town" is evil or anything. LOL!)

Anyway, I've enjoyed this wonderful holiday update! You have such a beautiful family.


Amy said...

We have a Santa day in Germany Dec 6Th. Santa brings cookies. Christmas is all about Jesus for us. I tell my kids we bring the gifts, just like Jesus got gifts from the wise men. I like the new blog look. I some how just love the brown tones best. Happy New Years.

Sharon said...

Wow! I come on after being away and you have a whole new blog face! It beautiful. How do you do that?? I also have to say I have that exact picture of that hand at home, just a different body behind it! Now I might have the courage to post mine. I love Matt in his glasses...very handsome and better than an arctic hat! Everyone looks great. Hope your super family all have a super New Years!

Kayce said...

Great pictures Cindy! Glad you all enjoyed the holiday together.

missy said...

I love the new look of your blog! Your Christmas photos are great. You have such a lovely family. We love going to Stingray city, too...freaks me out as well : )

Amy said...

Cindy, I would invite you to come with us to Italy but I'm taking my parents. I think it’s not going to be a real vacation trip. My dad isn't very healthy. We are going to have to go super slow. Mom will want to go,go, go…but dad needs to go slow . Stressful! I'm sure you had better plan a trip with your best friend. You are welcome to join Nicole and I in Mexico in August. We would love to meet you some day.