Monday, January 10, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is My 4 Front Teeth...

Alice certainly didn't understand what the holiday season was all about this year, but I do think she enjoyed her first taste of the festivities and some of my favorite traditions.

She's been enjoying her very first Christmas present since Thanksgiving, when Santa made an early stop to her Grandma & Grandpa Senge's house (aka Sunshine & Slick, as they're known around these parts). It took her the better part of a month to figure out how to actually jump in the jumper, which is funny to me since she spent most of her first months being bounced on an exercise ball - you'd think bouncing would be instinctual at this point. Anyway, we think her jumping is utterly adorable (shocking, I know) and hope to get a good video soon so you can all enjoy as well.
These are literally the best photos I've been able to get. I'll keep trying...
Like any sensible parents would, we woke Alice up on Christmas Eve and took her to the 11pm Candlelight Service. Though she was tired and subdued and almost fell asleep again according to plan, I had to take her into the foyer so her habit of moaning while drifting off wouldn't disturb the rest of the congregation. We walked and bounced and listened to the service and the choir from the other side of the door and the glass. The carols were her lullabies and I sang alone for her and for the teenaged usher who passed out bulletins and candles to late-comers. She and I took our seats inside again when the caroling started in earnest and Alice watched wide-eyed and quiet as candles were lit one-by-one and I tried to keep her cozy bear suit from catching aflame. We carried that light into the dark night only to find a dense fog had rolled in. Without Rudolph to guide us home, we drove extra slowly through the deserted streets. It was the magical kind of Christmas Eve that I love, and I know Alice will love too when she's old enough to appreciate. If she were older, I'm sure I could have convinced hear that I heard sleigh bells in the distance.

Alice didn't get the memo that on Christmas morning, children are not to leave their rooms until the streetlights have gone out. In her defense, the fog kept the streetlights lit way past when stockings and presents should be opened. By the time everyone else ambled down, Alice had already eaten breakfast, gotten her hands in a gift meant for someone else, and embarked on her first nap, so we got started without her. We let her "open" a few presents once she rejoined us. She loves crinkly paper but (like a proper baby) stuffs it directly into her mouth. So we just opened all her presents and gave her the toys to play with. We loved watching her explore each new thing, she was particularly enamored with the giant lego-esque blocks from her Auntie, and apparently the center stick on her stacking toy, per the picture below. 
She also loved the fun toy her little friend Eli brought her, and they had a really great time staring at each other. We think there might be something there that wasn't there before...
We traded babies!
We were excited to introduce Alice to one of our favorite Livermore activities and took her out to sample some of the local wines. Just kidding. We took her, but we didn't let her sample anything! 

For all you non-Livermorons, if you're ever in the area, be sure to schedule an hour or two to meander through the hills and stop at a few charming and unpretentious wineries (almost all fit that bill). More often than not, the winemaker will be the one pouring your tastes. Charles R. even signed our bottle!
Alice also partook of another fine Livermore tradition and made her first trip to see Deacon Dave's Christmas Light Spectacular (unofficial title by yours truly). It was past her bedtime and she wailed in the car all the way there and all the way home, but stopped long enough to enjoy a walk through the display of bajillions of lights (actual numbers not included on the website, oddly enough).
Alice was having a tough time sleeping and keeping her schedule while were away from home, and it didn't help that she was constipated AND teething. I think her favorite Christmas present was the last three of her top teeth. Sing it with me now, "All I want for Christmas is my FOUR front teeth..."
Can you count all four?

We headed back to Burbank on Tuesday after Christmas so we could all get some sleep. Alice thanked us by sleeping 12 hours straight. We spent the rest of the holiday break hanging out together as a little family and getting some things done around the house.

One of my very favorite traditions is watching "Little Shop of Horrors" on New Year's Eve - when I don't have some fabulous party to attend, of course (which is never, obviously). This year, we turned on the cult classic while Alice was playing on the floor just a bit before her bedtime. She was definitely into the awesome musical stylings of Mr. Rice & Mr. Menken. I think this is another tradition she's really going to enjoy when she's old enough to boogie and belt out those tunes with me. 
FYI, we don't normally let Alice watch TV. Don't get me started on the issue of babies watching TV, that's another post for another day... 

In other news, Alice is working on mastering proper hands-and-knees crawling and has also started to pull herself up to standing on anything that will support her. The couch is the safest bet, which she loves, but we can't turn our back for a second or she's all over the "skull cracker" coffee table and the treacherous walker on wheels. I caught her standing up in her crib the other day. We lowered the crib to the lowest setting immediately after that...
Curtains! Yikes!
I hope you all enjoyed a lovely holiday season and a wonderful start to this new year!

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your posts Erin. It's so fun having a little window into your world. There's no other way to describe your writing style than delightful.

    I hope Alice is back on schedule now. She's such a sweet little peanut!

    p.s. The picture of Alice and Jon watching Little Shop of Horrors is adorable.


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