Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas Buzz

Santa Claus is coming to town, Santa Claus is coming to town ...

Ok, I know that it is still November, and that it hasn't passed Thanksgiving yet, but I am in the Christmas spirit. Sue me. Judge me. Ridicule me. Do whatever you want, but I'm not giving up that Christmas buzz. You know the one. The buzz that makes you tap your toes and hum along with Christmas music. The buzz that makes your eyes shine as you stare at lights strung on trees and houses. The buzz that makes you snuggle close with your loved ones while the wind whips outside your home and you watch Christmas movies. It's here. And, I've got it.

Now, I used to be one of those people who insisted that you shouldn't even start seeing anything Christmas-related until after Thanksgiving. My birthday is always right around Thanksgiving (sometimes on the actual day), and I think my distaste for pre-Thanksgiving holiday cheer stemmed from my birthday getting lost in the shuffle. However, as I've grown older, I've changed my tune.

Remember when you were a little kid counting down the days until Santa came? I used to open one tiny door on my advent calendar each morning and couldn't possibly imagine that the 25th would ever arrive. Now, being older and having children of my own, I feel like the entire month of December flies by in a blink of an eye. In fact, you can toss November in there, too, because it's over pretty much right after Halloween. Entire holiday seasons would be over before I really had enjoyed them. In light of this apparent fast-forwarding of time, I've decided that I'm going to get over my previously stringent rule on pre-Thanksgiving Christmas cheer. I will welcome that Christmas buzz when it floats my way, even if we are a week before Turkey day.

Tonight, a full five days before the 4th Thursday in November, we fully embraced the Christmas cheer. We bundled up the girls and went to see the Legends Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Now, different cities have different lighting ceremonies. You've got Rockefeller Tree Ceremony in New York with Al Roker hosting and Justin Bieber singing. Here in Kansas City, the big lighting ceremony is the Plaza Lighting Ceremony on Thanksgiving night, hosted this year by meteorologist Gary Lezak and the awesome Eric Stonestreet (a KC native aka Cam on Modern Family). The one time I remember going to the Plaza Lighting Ceremony was on my 16th birthday. It was cold, ridiculously crowded, and we didn't get anywhere close enough to see anything happening on stage. It's not worth braving the crowds to see that again, as amazing as I think Eric Stonestreet is. So, we went with the low-key, closer-to-home Legends, hosted by meteorologist Brett Anthony and Santa Claus.

On a side note: Seriously, what is with weather guys hosting lighting ceremonies? Is there some kind of correlation between TV weathermen and Christmas? An unwritten rule of which I was not aware? It's just baffling to me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Girl time with Aunt Amber

A couple of weeks ago, Cory's sister came up from Ft. Worth, Texas, to visit. (I used say she lived in Dallas, because I thought it was all in the same. Plus, Dallas was the more well-known of the pair of cities. I've since been informed that there is a HUGE difference, and a certain person from Ft. Worth does not want to be mistaken for someone from Dallas. So, now you know. Feel free to take that little nugget of knowledge and run with it.)

Amber was actually in town for her high school reunion, but we got to steal some time with her. She flew in on a Friday morning, and was able to help pick up Molly from preschool. The minute Molly saw Amber sitting in the car, her face broke into a giant grin. Molly's face, that is. Well, probably Amber's, too, now that I think about it. And, you could just tell that Molly had been talking the teacher's ear off all about it as she beamed and pointed excitedly to our car. Having your aunt come into town (on an airplane!) to visit can cause quite the hullabaloo in a preschooler's day (in a good way, of course).

When Amber comes to town, you can guarantee the activities will be girl-centric. The last time Amber was in town, she took Molly out for an afternoon of shopping with Joan (Cory's mom). Molly came home with a brand-new ballet outfit, complete with sparkly skirt. You tell me, what little girl doesn't want a pink, sparkly ballet skirt? Not any living in this house, that's for sure. And, on top of that, Molly got to skip her nap. She thought she was pretty hot stuff.

This visit, there was no shopping excursion, but Molly did get something she never gets with Mommy. She got her hair french braided. I'm not quite sure how I missed learning that skill growing up (especially considering I always had a braid in my hair), but Aunt Amber is awesome at it, so Molly had her hair braided while I watched and tried to learn. Amber said I needed to practice on a Barbie to get the hang of it. So, what do you think Molly's been having me do when we play with her Barbies now? I'm getting better, but still not great on a live human child. I think they're too squirmy.

On Amber's last night in town, we were able to bust out the dance moves and boogie down in a Molly-style impromptu dance party. Cory's parents are re-doing their kitchen and getting new carpet in their house, so they had taken out all the furniture for the workers coming the next day. You take a huge empty room, big windows reflecting as if mirrors, a basket full of dress up clothes, and a hyped-up 4-year-old, and what do you get? Why that's right! A dance party.

Just wait, the pictures are as awesome as you think they are:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween time (a few weeks late)

I really wanted to be creative this year for Halloween. I know there are not too many years left where I can have absolute say or at least much persuasion over Halloween costumes. Therefore, I wanted to take advantage of this and pick out absolutely adorable, coordinating Halloween costumes. I thought and thought and thought. For some reason, my creativity was non-existent this year. I simply could not come up with anything I thought would suffice.

So, this year, the girls were witches. I know. Completely out-of-the-box, no? And, truly, Charlotte refused to wear her hat, so she didn't even really look like a witch. She was supposed to be a candy corn witch, but without the hat, we just called her a candy corn. And, Molly did insist that she was a good witch, not a scary witch whenever someone asked. So, those are kind of different. Right? Maybe?

One thing about Halloween, it's not just one day. The girls actually get several wearings out of their costumes, which thrills Molly, and it makes me pretty happy, too. Better to spend money on a costume if they can wear multiple times. And, yes, I did buy their costumes. I have friends who handmade their children's costumes, even down to the trick-or-treat bag. (I'm looking at you Sarah and Ella!) We've already discussed my distinct lacking of traditional housewife skills, so I'm sure it comes as a surprise to no one to discover that Molly and Charlotte were store-bought witches. In fact, they were online store-bought witches. I'm not sure if that makes it better or worse.