Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Who?

I've never given much thought to Santa Claus. I mean, he's nice enough, I guess, but I just personally don't get into the guy. Growing up, my mom would always have one gift for us from Santa on Christmas, but we all knew it was from her. I don't remember believing in Santa OR learning that he was not real. I don't even have any Christmas decor depicting Santa.

So you can imagine my surprise when Madeline really took to the guy this year. I don't know where she learned so much about him, but suddenly she's pointing to Santa here and Santa there. And, sure enough, he's EVERYWHERE! I had been wondering a few months ago if we should do the whole Santa thing with Maddie, but had been leaning towards not. Until now. I guess Maddie made the decision for me.

Her latest thing has been learning the song "Santa Claus is Coming To Town". So when I received the gift of the Andrea Bocelli "White Christmas" CD a few weeks ago, Maddie made me repeat that song over and over again. I'll admit the song has grown on me, but especially when Maddie sings along with it, or on her own.

Following are three (very cute) renditions of the song by Maddie, in five-day increments.

video
This first clip is 2:21 long.

video
This one's short--:39. Please note where she acts out the "sleeping" part at :20. Also note the "Santa Claus is coming by"--she made it rhyme when she shortened the song. Clever!

video
This one's 2:41. I have to explain that Maddie insisted I film her singing this song along with Andrea on the CD. I really just wanted her to eat her breakfast. So when you hear me insisting, know that I was not trying to do a Jonbenet sort of thing--it really was her idea.

Favorite parts are at :47 when she excuses herself, and 2:18 when she finally gets her yogurt back and then proceeds to fold her arms to wait for the prayer. I love that this is caught on video, because it could be the first time she's wanted to eat but patiently folded her arms instead! I love it.

Also, I didn't get through the entire song, but at the end Andrea asks the children's chorus "Who's coming?" and then they sing "Santa Claus...". Maddie lately says, "Mommy, who's coming?" and waits for me to sing "Santa Claus...". So cute.


I'll take this occasion to admit that I have stooped to using Maddie's new-found knowledge against her. About three times now I've found myself saying things like, "Maddie, you'd better not cry: Santa Claus is coming to town!" or "Maddie, he's going to find out who's naughty or nice...!" Bribery. Works every time, too.

One time, soon after she first learned the song, out of the blue Maddie said "Mama, I'm not bad." And of course I freak out inside, saying "Of course you're not bad, Maddie", all the while thinking "Where did she get THAT??!!" And then a week later it clicked..."He knows if you've been bad or good..." Sheesh.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Who's Who & What's What

Did anyone else have a Who's Who in their Junior High Yearbook? You know--like Best Hair, Best Smile, Best Personality, Biggest Flirts? I did. (I'm just now wondering, as I look back on my 8th Grade Year, who it was that decided Who was Who, and what they based it upon?)

I just got back from a trip to the Bay Area, and in honor of the Monte Vista 20 Year Reunion--the main purpose of the trip--and Memory Lane, I will document my trip in Who's Who and What's What.

Best Addition to our trip: Aunt Caroline. She decided to come right before we left and joined up with us in Reno.

Cutest Passenger: Madeline

Biggest Sport: My Mom, travelling when she wasn't feeling the best. So glad she came!

Best Co-Driver:Wendy. OK, she was the only co-driver. But still!

Best Eyes: Maddie and Maria

Best Photo Sequence of Cutest Passenger:

(This last pic is really to die for.)

Best Beach Picture: Muir Beach

Runner up Best Beach Pic.

Best Oldest Friends I saw:Valerie and Joanna. (Just don't look at this pic of me! Yuck. I had to antique it to help it.)

Best Instant Friends:Maria and Maddie

Most Fun Cousin who joined us for the day:Romney (black shirt)

Funniest & Scariest Memory:
1125 Nielson Street. Albany. Visiting the house my mom and aunt grew up in from ages 0-10, and being taken on a tour of the inside by the current residents. We saw every room!Driving up Marin Street to the top of the Berkeley hills. And I mean, The Top. So scary. Here we are at 15 The Crescent. (Don't try to leave out the "The". I've tried.) Again, we toured.

Best Joiner of Reunion Festivities at my coaxing:Sheri (middle). So glad she came.

Best Part of the Reunion:
Being responsible for gathering this many Stone Valley School alumni at the reunion and getting a picture. Who cares about high school? For me, the best part was seeing all these people who I went to school with from 2nd--8th grade!!! They are the ones I remember and love the most.

Most Adaptable: Greenbomb family. (Pictured here: Celia and Pam. Read funny story behind this pic I stole here.) We tried and tried to find a time to visit these folks, but kept changing things on them. They agreed to us coming by for a bit one afternoon. AND even served us the dessert they were going to give us that night, right then at 3:45! It was so yummy too! Thank you, Pam!

Best Hostesses:
Anne, Kim and Maria

Best Smile:Carma Gaggero (far right)

Zaniest Uncle Visited: Uncle Gus

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just Because


Ever want to post on your blog, but don't feel like writing that day? Check your "Drafts" file...you just might find an unpublished post there! For some reason I wrote this a year and a half ago and never published it. Shame on me! I made a few edits, and here you go.

I have such a great husband. He's gone for a week to North Carolina, and since I'm missing him, I thought I would blog about him. I met Ray at the point in my life when I had finally given up on dating or meeting anyone. We were actually set up by his mom, which is pretty cool! He has a smart mom!

Ray is smart too. In fact, he graduated from high school when he was 14 years old!

Ray is very giving. He lets me have my way the majority of the time.

Ray is an incredible father. He adores his "little girl", and its obvious that she feels exactly the same way. They are so fun to watch together. Just as long as he doesn't try to tell her "no"! :)

Ray loves cars: reading about them, talking about, figuring out what's wrong with them, pointing them out and identifying them. Seriously, he'll see a car approaching from the other direction about a half mile away and can tell me the year and make--especially with the older cars. He would love to buy me my dream car, if only I had one! Sadly, he couldn't have married someone less interested in cars! But because of Ray, I have a much better appreciation for, and knowledge of, cars.

Ray is very responsible and dedicated. In the seven years that we've been married he's taken maybe three sick days off from work. Maybe. Could be two.

Ray has the wonderful ability to balance me out. Sometimes when I get really upset or anxious, he has the natural ability to just relax and help me find whatever I lost or figure out a solution to whatever my dilemma may be. Last month the diamond in my wedding ring got caught and fell out of while doing laundry. I looked for it in a panic, gently shaking each piece of clothing whilst staring warily at the thousands of holes on the inside of the washer. It was the first time I ever wished for a bigger diamond--one that couldn't fall through! I couldn't find it, so I finally told Ray. He came down and calmly looked through each article (no shaking) and spyed the little rock tucked under a fold of my t-shirt.

I've always been amazed at Ray's ability to pick out the perfect card. You might not think that's a talent, but it is. He somehow always seems to find the card that goes right along with our lives at the moment. And the card either always makes me either laugh or cry (the good kind). Always!

I love Ray.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Clueless (me)


Yesterday, as I began to make dinner Maddie decided it was time to pull over her little chair to the kitchen sink so she could play in the water. Seeing that this would never do, and feeling justified because Maddie had not watched TV much lately, I asked her if she would like to watch a show.

"Tubbies!!!" she screamed and off we went to start it.

A few minutes later, Maddie came into the kitchen. "Where Tubbies go, Mommy?" And she looked genuinely confused. Well, so was I. I could still hear the music and sounds of the show in the background, so I was pretty sure they were right there on TV where we had left them. But she asked again.

"Where did the Tubbies go?" I asked as I began wondering if we had some sort of stuffed-Tubbie-character that I had forgotten about. But no. So I told her I didn't know.

Not a second after Maddie asked me yet again where all the Tubbies had gone, I heard the robotic lady's voice in the background on TV ask "Where have all the Teletubbies gone?" Then Maddie screamed euphorically and ran back to the TV, as they apparently had been found.

How fun that was for me to be drawn into her play like that. I was so impressed, because I'm pretty sure she was pretending about not knowing where they'd gone. This was not her first time watching this video, after all.

About 10 minutes later Maddie invited me to come watch her show with her. I told her I would in a bit, as soon as I got dinner simmering--but before I could make it in there Ray came home. Maddie then invited him to come watch Tubbies with her, which he promptly did.

The experts say you're supposed to watch TV with your kids if you must allow them watch it at all. So glad that Ray is covering that task for the both of us, and knows what our child is watching.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Goes Around...

Unrelated photo of my mom with her five kiddos. I thought our unplanned matchability was uncanny!

I was talking to my mom the other day, can't remember about what. Anyway, she started to tell me about how to do something or other, and I said, "I know, Mom. I Goog**d it." And then I made this stupid little joke about how we don't need our parents anymore...we have Goog**. To which we both laughed. It was a JOKE, folks!

Yesterday I took Maddie to the park and while there a bee stung her on the finger! How dare it! I don't care if she was attempting to pick it up!!! Anyway, as I was carrying her home my mom called. After she told my why she called, I told her Maddie had just gotten stung, and what was it I was supposed to do for bee stings again?

She asked my dad, who said something about pure clay. Only my dad keeps something like "pure clay" lying around the house. So I asked her what else...and my mom said she didn't know for sure--"just look it up on the internet"!

Uuuuh...OK!!!

Don't think I don't realize that I brought that upon myself!

------------------------

Maddie is fine, is apparently not allergic to bee stings (thank goodness!), and only one bee lost its life in connection to this post.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A First


After a few years of wondering, yesterday was my big chance. I accompanied the congregation on the organ during Sacrament Meeting at church. It was so fun! I was just subbing, but would readily do it in the future if asked. What a cool thing. I sent sweet thoughts to friends who have accompanied in the past (that's you, Ann and Suzi!) and feel like I'm in your club now. The organ players club.


You might think I didn't know how to play the organ! Well, I don't!
A few weeks ago our current ward organist, Jenn, invited anyone interested to come have a lesson. So I went on Thursday night and she showed me the ropes, and while there she asked if I would sub for her on Sunday! I felt a bit duped, thinking I had just come for a lesson, but she explained that she had someone else lined up to sub but they were no longer able to. And she had asked about four others already who couldn't do it. So I hesitantly accepted.

Here's the secret. I learned that our Church has a deal with an organ company that sets it so that at the push of a few buttons, you can play the organ pretty much like a piano (but it still sounds like the organ)! So you don't have to worry about foot pedals or anything. You just push the Bass Coupler button and a few others and VOILA! It's AWESOME! It's such a beautiful, powerful and versatile instrument, and now even rookies like me can play, much to the chagrin of real organ players no doubt! But we all start somewhere, right??

With my new "skill", I wonder if I might someday play this organ! There's always hope! Ha ha.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cousinlicious

The much awaited event that happens annually is the Was' fam reunion. Four of the five of us kids and our parents live locally, so we eagerly await the visit of our other brother, Ben, his wife Tasha, and their three kids, who come from the other side of the Rockies. We are always overjoyed to be graced with their presence each summer, and we fill up every spare moment of the week with something or other.

Tennis-playing was big, especially now that Ben has practically gone pro! Getting together to eat and talk is a standard.

We always celebrate the kids who have summer birthdays.

Here are Sophie, Maddie and Rachel enjoying dinner. We go to a different house or location for dinner every night.

Kids outnumber adults now, so they are required to form lines, lest we get overwhelmed.



The adults-only dinner at Rotella's was nice, and it only took 2 babysitters for all the kids!

Next year we plan to start having a Girl's Night Out as well on one of the nights. Not sure why we didn't think of that this year!

Good times.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sticker Power




Life Is Good

We went to Ray's friend Jason's wedding this past weekend in McCall. It was held right on Payette Lake and we had ourselves a good time.

This rainbow was more vibrant than any I have seen in awhile.

Blurry, but cute.

Here's Maddie really enjoying herself!


Our happy little family.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mills

Her name is Camilla. She commonly goes by "Millie". My aunts re-nicknamed her "Milla". And I call her "Mills". She says we can call her whatever we want, and that's what we all do.

She's my niece (Ray's sister's daughter) who came to stay for two weeks, and basically became my family's mascot. Everybody loves her, and she loves everybody. She is wild and crazy and fun. She went back to St. George, and a light seemed to go out here. We all miss her and can't wait until she comes back next summer.



She became good friends with my nephews (on my side) Graye and Sam. As you can see.

She did Maddie's hair all cute and stuff. Then Maddie tried to do her doll's hair the same way.

Maddie, Ray and I love her tons. Come back, Mills! Come back!