Jan 03 2007

holiday recap #1

Published by at 1:36 pm under daily,kids

the idea of taking a blogging holiday sounds much better BEFORE the holiday than afterward, when you’re trying to think of all the stuff you were going to blog about.

and then (at least, if you’re me) you suffer from the ‘i have to tell everything in the PAST before i can tell anything about the PRESENT’ and then you just don’t post because who has that kind of time? to recap all that has happened? and then days go by and your blog sits there all cobwebby and sad.

So to keep THAT from happening (much longer), we’ll do a very quick recap. in a very non-linear way.

1. having grandparents around is a hoot. jocelyn is still at the age to be very excited and aimable about every little thing. Ethan however, is getting older, and is not particularly amenable to putting on a show of excitement/emotions for every little thing. I needed to point this out to my mom once, who understood immediately and demands/disappointment on not seeing Ethan hop up and down about something were put to rest. I think that this is one of the big steps from a toddler to a child. He has become more reserved. This makes him less baby-cute, but very sweet in that, ‘this is a little man we see before us’ sort of way. And it makes those tiems when he does show the little-kid-excitement even more exciting

2. jocelyn has still got the baby-cute thing rockin’ big time. the things she says and observes are hilarious, and always more so when heard in that still baby-esque voice. She picks up the xbox controller and says, “I want to GO A CAR!!” and it just slays the room. She is a master of theatrics and has little moans and whimpers that she strolls out whenever she feels she has been put upon. My older sister Ellen used to always call her second daughter Rachel, “AJ” — which stood for Amy Jr. She claims I am a very dramatic, theatrical person (who MOI???), and Rachel did everything in a big “oh, WOE is ME!” sort of dramatic way, thus the nickname. Well, NOW I know what Ellen was talking about, as Jocelyn is proving to be quite the AJ.

3. She is also quite the musical child. I know Ethan had little songs he sang too, but I don’t think he did it quite like Jocelyn. She is constantly humming or singing. The other day at naptime, I heard her over the monitor singing from her crib “Frosty the Snowman” over and over again, with all the correct words (even some I had been getting wrong for years). She will pick words from whatever she’s thinking or doing and put them to music she’s heard. The melody heard most often is Dvorak’s Symphony No 9 “From The New World” which was featured on an episode of Little Einsteins. In the episode, a ring from Saturn’s moon came off, and the Little Einsteins returned it in their rocket. (I recommend this show for the excellent music alone.) Jocelyn will sing, “Ring is going home..” or whatever else comes into her mind, whether it’s “Dolly’s haaaaas a biiiiiiib..” or “Daddy’s hair, daddy’s hair daaaaaaaaddy’s hair..”

What really astounds me is how quickly she’ll pick up a melody and repeat it. I’ve been humming “In the lovely afternoon” from Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” recently – just a few bars really, not even a full verse – and she’s already singing and humming away at it perfectly. Ethan loves music, but is fairly tone deaf (which doesn’t stop him from singing, thank goodness). It’s still a bit early to tell for Jocelyn, but she can carry a tune fairly well. I’d love to have a little singer in the family. I hope we can foster lots of love for music always in our household.

4. Speaking of singing… my mother is a fantabulous pianist. It was quite a joy to have her in the house. Whenever we’re together she plays and I sing. Sometimes it’s a frustrating experience. I was a voice major in college, and haven’t done anything vocal since. Most of the time, it shows. This time however, I have to say, I’ve still got it baby :)

When I was growing up, hearing my mom play was a constant in my life. She has always taught piano, as long as I can remember. She is always playing for church or other activities, accompanying others, singers, violinists, flutists, what-have-you. She went back to school when I was in middle school/junior high and for years, listening to her practice was how I fell asleep every night. She was always busy during the day, so the evening became her practice time. Some piano pieces are always “hers” in a way, because I’ve heard her play them so often. Names and composers always escape me, but me or my brother can always say, “Play the loud, crashy one mom,” and she knows what we mean. Hearing my mother play is probably the thing I miss most, living so far away from them.

5. Christmas eve presents of jammies will probably not become a tradition in our family, as they were fairly negatively received by Ethan this year. I should have known better, actually. I wrapped them up, and the kids opened them. Jocelyn liked hers fine, but Ethan was obviously expecting some of the Christmassy toys he’d been waiting for all this time, and expressed his displeasure and refused to wear them to bed. Oh well. Maybe if I don’t wrap them, or just call them jammies. “Time to open your christmas jammies!” — that might work. we’ll see.

6. The kid presents were a big hit. The only thing Ethan kept asking for anytime anyone asked him what he wanted was a “Toy Factory.” Some puzzling over this made us realize that he wanted a “factory” that was a toy. not a factory that produces toys. He has a “factory” on his geotrax train, so we supposed that that was what he wanted. A geotrax barrel loader was obtained, along with some expansion packs that had HILLS (GLORIOUS HILLS!) and Ethan was a happy camper.

Jocelyn received a trunk of dress up clothes, and a baby basinette and high chair. Both have had quite the workout, but the dress-up clothes have been slightly favored. They had other presents also, but these ones were the big santa presents.

7. I gave my dad and James a “photo safari.” Reviews were good, though not gushing. I suspect my father already knew anything that was offered in way of instruction, but still the opportunity to go into DC and shoot photos is still nice. James learned some stuff about composition, and you can check out the photos he took in the flickr set. I generally hog the camera, and he enjoyed spending some quality time with it. We may have to get him his own flickr account to keep our stuff separate, or maybe we’ll keep it all together.. not sure what we want to do. Guess we’ll see.

8. the lens is fantastic….. and my dad is/was right. we need a flash now. badly. and a camera case :) this MOMENT however, while I am very happy with the lens, I’m kind of enthralled by my second christmas present.

9. i had a little second christmas which i’ll talk about in a later post… involving a new SEWING machine, yay for me! it’s a very nice one too.

10. The week was just so nice and pleasant. The pace always move a bit faster when my mom visits, as she is very much a DO-ER. Always up, always doing, always wanting to GO GO GO, OUT OUT OUT. Me, i’m more of a home-body and would be perfectly content to stay home. There were times I had to call a stop to all the DOING, and there were also times when she had to grab me by the arm and haul me off to go DO, and it was all good and fun. The kids loved seeing their grandparents, and I hope we can have them for another Christmas in the future. Maybe sometime in 2007 we can have a family reunion, as I’d love them to see their cousins as well. A definite downside to living on the east coast is being so far from my family, and their cousins, a few of whom are right around their age.

I think that’s enough of an update for now. I’ll try to get more later.. and I’ll REALLY try to get some photos up as well. I have about a billion blogs to try to catch up on as well, so we shall see!

happy holidays and merry new year to everyone!

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