Christmas According to My Two-Year-Old

Posted on Dec 25, 2013 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

Christmas According to My Two-Year-Old 0

“Santa… Reindeer… Jesus!”

This is how Elisabeth explained Christmas to me.  Seems like a pretty sound explanation. At least for a two-year-old.

I have to say, I was pretty psyched for Christmas this year.  This was the first Christmas I’ve celebrated in a long time with a child present who gets Christmas.  Gets the fun, the joy, the celebration.  Well, sort of gets it.  See above.  Not to mention, Elisabeth was featured all over one of Tokyo’s premier department stores in their Christmas ad – on billboards, placards, shopping bags, the works.  I mean, when your daughter is basically the face of Christmas in Japan*, it’s easy to get into the holiday spirit.  See below.

Christmas Baby!

She never looks this angelic.

Anyway.  We tried to impart upon Elisabeth the importance of Jesus on this special day.  And indeed, Elisabeth loves her Fisher Price Nativity Scene (“Jesus’ House,” as she calls it), complete with a light-up manger and flying angel.  However, Jesus didn’t drive around base on a fire truck handing out candy on Christmas Eve; Santa did.  So Santa made the more lasting impression this year.  As did Santa’s lack of sleigh.  “Reindeer?” Elisabeth asked, perplexed, as Santa passed in an open-air vehicle.  She’s been obsessed with reindeer, Rudolph in particular, ever since we let her watch the 1964 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer film a couple of weeks ago.

“The reindeer are resting for tonight,” I explained.  She bought it.

Later that evening at church, following a prayer in which the pastor touched on the real reason for the season, Elisabeth excitedly exclaimed, “Santa!”  She continued to joyously shout for Santa until I silenced her with a blessed pacifier.  “We’re celebrating Jesus!  Baby Jesus!” I whispered.  “Santa!”  Okay, then.  Not much to argue with there.

Even later that evening, Elisabeth became increasingly concerned about Santa’s milk and cookie situation.  I don’t know where she learned about the milk-and-cookies tradition, but it was sure stuck in her head.  “Santa milk cookies.  Santa milk cookies!” She repeated over and over and over to Damon, shaking her little finger at him and nodding her head in earnest to communicate the importance of leaving Santa milk and cookies.  “I promise I will leave milk and cookies for Santa,” Damon tried to reassure her.  She wasn’t convinced.  “SANTA MILK COOKIES!”  In hindsight, we should have put out the milk and cookies before we put Elisabeth to bed.  Next year.

All this love for Santa was cute, but a bit unexpected, considering how Elisabeth reacted when she actually met the guy.

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Trying to flee from Santa.

Nevertheless, Elisabeth’s feelings for Santa overcame this unfortunate experience, and the first thing she said when she awoke this Christmas morning was, “Santa milk cookies?”

Damon and I took her downstairs, giddy at the thought of how giddy our daughter would be when she saw the brand new toy kitchen Damon Santa had worked on till 1:00AM.

“Ooooh, look at your new kitchen!  Santa must have brought that for you!”

Elisabeth took a cursory glance at the kitchen before running to the table where the cookies and milk had been left.  “Milk cookies,” she said, satisfied that Santa had indeed received his deserved treats.

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Examining the remains of the milk and cookies.

Then we moved on to presents.  This is where we lost Elisabeth.  Though she was enamored of Santa, she certainly didn’t grasp that he brings presents.  As she’s only two, she would open a present, immediately immerse herself in that present, and totally forget that there were several other presents waiting for her under the tree.  Thus, present-opening took approximately all day.  I suppose I should appreciate her leisureliness – it won’t be long before she’s up at 4:00AM ripping through packages in minutes.

Elisabeth did eventually show interest in her kitchen – thank goodness – and busied herself with that for the rest of the day.  In the evening, she asked to watch Rudolph and we obliged, even though it is horribly boring.  Though this was Elisabeth’s second viewing of Rudolph, she was mesmerized.  (She doesn’t watch much television…)  Tonight while putting her to bed, I asked her about her day.  “Did you have a special Christmas day?  What did you do?”

She paused a moment, then her face lit up.  “TV!” she exclaimed.

And in the end, that’s what Christmas meant to my 2-year-old.  Santa… Reindeer… And the chance to watch TV.

Merry Christmas!

 

*A slight exaggeration, perhaps.

 

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Confessions of a Pregnant Mom

Posted on Dec 12, 2013 in Pregnancy Stole My Cool

Confessions of a Pregnant Mom 2

Friends, my posting here has been sporadic at best.  Sure, life has been busy.  My husband was deployed.  I have a lot on my plate.  Blogging takes a back seat.  Blah, blah, blah. The real reason I haven’t been blogging frequently?  I’m pregnant.  And in case you’ve never been pregnant before, I’m here to tell you, it’s hard.  And get this, it’s way harder the second time around, when you already have a little Tasmanian Devil to chase after all day. Don’t get me wrong – my husband and I are overjoyed about the soon-to-be addition to our family.  Babies!  Woohoo!  I love babies! But I emphatically do not love pregnancy.  And I’m highly suspicious of women who say they do.  (You should be, too.  They’re probably liars.)  That first trimester – kill me.  The nausea, the fatigue, the general feeling of not wanting to do anything ever except hide under your covers all day and night.  Who’s with me? During my first pregnancy, I had terrible nausea 24-7 for the entire first trimester.  Luckily, I worked from home, meaning I could stay in my PJs until whatever hour I wanted, and then whenever I felt like I was absolutely going to die, I could just crawl to the couch and lie there eating Saltines to my heart’s (and stomach’s) content. This time around, the nausea was not as terrible, nor did it last as long.  Thank the good Lord!  But the exhaustion was so much worse.  And it’s Elisabeth’s fault.  I mean, I love her to death, but she is so freakin’ demanding.  Can you believe she still expected me to get up at 6:00 AM with her!? During the 1st trimester!?  Criminal, I say! All this to say, I was basically in a semi-conscious state for the past three months, and did not possess the energy to even type a simple blog.  I also reached new lows of motherhood.  Like, “Call CPS, This Woman is Unfit to Parent” lows.  I should probably keep this to myself, but what fun what that be? So here you have it,...

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Night Stalker 2.0

Posted on Nov 27, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

I recently wrote about the war raging between my toddler and me.  Guess what?  It’s still going on, and I’m still losing.  Bedtime has become the worst battle. I should cut Elisabeth some slack.  We travel a lot.  One day her dad is home.  Another day he is gone, and doesn’t come back for a long time.  It’s a lot of change for a small person, and she handles it pretty well.  Except at night.  I don’t know if she thinks that if I leave her at bedtime, I won’t be there in the morning, or if she just likes to terrorize me (I think it’s the latter), but the child will not go to bed. She launched her bedtime campaign small, insisting I sit in the rocking chair while she fell asleep.  That’s not a big deal.  That’s why they made a Solitaire iPhone app, right?  But gradually she began taking longer and longer to fall asleep.  Every time I tried to sneak out of the room, the rocking chair would give me away with a telltale creak.  Every time Elisabeth would wake. “Mama?” she’d asked, making sure I was still present. Followed by, “Mama sit down!”  Every. Single. Time.   And also, when did she become so bossy? I started to employ a new strategy.  Every time she caught me leaving, I would say, “I’ll be right back.  Mama’s just going potty.”  Elisabeth respected that.  If a girl has got to pee, a girl has got to pee.  Did I feel bad lying to my child?  Eh.  I figure on the scale of parental lies, this one ranks pretty low.  Plus, I always do come back eventually to check on her. Anyway, the potty excuse worked for awhile.  I would slip out of her bedroom under feigning incontinence, and she would fall asleep.  But then she caught on.  “Mama!  Sit down!  Mama.  Mammmmma!” She would moan until I resumed my rightful place in the rocking chair, playing Solitaire until my hand cramped. And just so I wouldn’t forget my place, she became quite particular regarding the placement of...

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Just Say No

Posted on Nov 19, 2013 in Pinterest Stole My Cool

Just Say No 2

After Elisabeth’s incredibly anticlimactic 1st Halloween last year, I know you’re all dying to know how I handled the holiday this year.  Even three weeks after the fact. So here you go: I didn’t. I just said “No”.  I said “No” to Halloween.  I said “No” to the Pinterest and Etsy-inspired expectations.  I said “No” to the frilly tutus and over-the-top costumes which require a professional seamstress to craft.  I said “No” to dressing my child up as a character whom she wouldn’t even recognize, because she doesn’t watch any TV except Elmo.  And I said “No” to Elmo, because, well, a neighborhood kid was already going as Elmo and I didn’t want Elisabeth to steal his thunder.  Plus, I hate Elmo.  That voice.  It’s the worst. Anyway, I almost didn’t say “No.”  I spent a couple of wasted hours searching online for the perfect costume, which let me tell you, doesn’t exist.  After marveling at how expensive and grossly tasteless most TODDLER costumes were , I said, “To Hell with this overblown holiday!” I then went to pbkids.com, where I at least knew the quality of the costume would be semi-decent, found the cheapest option on sale, and purchased.  Bonus?  It was gender-neutral!  Should I ever have a boy, guess what he’s going to be?  A pumpkin! Yup, I bought Elisabeth a freaking pumpkin costume.  Quite possibly the most boring, predictable Halloween costume available.  Such was my rejection of Halloween’s unspoken costume competitiveness (who will have the most creative costume? the cutest kid? the most original outfit?), I dressed my daughter as one of its principal symbols.  I suppose I could have dressed her as a black cat, and that would have been equally cliché.  Maybe next year. My newfound freedom from the reigns of our Pinterest-obsessed mom world felt goooood.  I definitely spared myself a few gray hairs by not worrying about something as trivial as a Halloween costume.  Because guess what?  The costume choice mattered not at all to Elisabeth.  She would have screamed her head off no matter what costume I dressed her in. Ah,...

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My Kid Stole My Cool

Posted on Nov 14, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

My Kid Stole My Cool 5

Welcome to my new blog!  It took a little longer than I expected, but it’s ready now, and I hope you like it. Thanks to everyone who sent in blog name suggestions.  I got a lot of good suggestions, and several that gave me a good laugh.  I appreciate it!  Turns out though, that I came up with the name on my own.  Who would have thought it possible? Now, about the new blog.  Before anyone that knows me calls me out, I was never “cool”.  Hardly.  But on the scale of Coolness, I definitely ranked higher pre-kid than I do post-kid.  Can any other moms relate? -The sleep deprivation that turns you into a character out of The Walking Dead?  Not cool.  (I’ve never actually seen the show, but I imagine new moms are even more terrifying than flesh-eating zombies.) -The yoga pants that become acceptable day-wear?  Not cool.  But hey, they’re the only thing that fits. -The jumbo diaper bag that’s replaced all your chic handbags?  Not cool.  Even if it’s designer, it’s still a diaper bag. -The spit-up in your hair?  Not cool.  Oh, and when was the last time you washed your hair?  You can’t remember?  Me either. -The wasted hours spent browsing Pinterest in the quest to become the perfect mom?  Non cool. -The peanut butter smeared all over your clothes? And everything else?  Not cool. -The minivan? *Shudder*  So very not cool. Much of this blog is about how my expectations of motherhood were stupendously off.  I thought I could retain – if not my coolness – my pre-mom attitudes and appearances.  That I would effortlessly transition from a fun, fashion and fitness-loving, jet-setting childless woman into a fun, fashion and fitness-loving, jet-setting mom.  And while I strive to maintain my former sense of self as a mom, it certainly manifests itself in different ways.   In my personal favorite post, The Christian Bale Scale, I wrote: “I always thought I’d be that mom that everyone hates because she always looks put-together: cute outfit, coiffed hair, bright-eyed.  But no.  Sadly I’m the hater,...

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When Touring Goes Wrong

Posted on Oct 24, 2013 in Travel Traumas

When Touring Goes Wrong 0

Let me tell you about my trip to the Cupnoodles Museum today.  It did not go as planned. My mom is visiting again.  This is her third trip to Japan, and in trying to come up with new things for us to do, I came across this: Foreign Visitors Pick the 20 Coolest Places in Japan.  This list reminded me of the Cupnoodles Museum in Yokohama, something I’ve been meaning to check out while living here.  An entire museum devoted to instant ramen?  Obviously a must-see.  Do you know that you can even create your own cup of noodles?  From an amazing 5000 flavor combinations?  Mind. Blown. This was just the kind of fun, quirky Japanese thing to do while my mom is in town. Today was a dreary day.  Overcast, and drizzling by the time we reached Yokohama.  That time, by the way, was around 11:30.  Elisabeth’s lunch time, and getting to be mine.  We made the short walk from the train station to the museum, and my mom handled the ticket purchasing.  We were assigned a time slot to visit the interactive noodle-making factory.  11:30-11:50.  In other words, right then.  No problem, we were all hungry, and what better way to warm up than with a hot cup of ramen? We made our way up to the noodle-making floor, and were handed more tickets.  Then we were directed to vending machines.  Ostensibly, we were supposed to purchase the noodle cups from the vending machines.  This required more money, and as we had already purchased six tickets for who-knows-what, I asked for help from the nearest employee.  Asking for help meant handing him my fistful of tickets and giving him my best confused face.  He magically produced three square bowls (as opposed to the round cups found in the vending machine.) Ohhh, had we unknowingly purchased some fancy cup of noodles?  Perhaps a special edition noodle cup?  Had we won a prize?  I didn’t know, but I did know that I wasn’t about to find out, so I just took the cups and moved on to the drawing...

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