Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa in The Hills

Visiting Santa in The Hills isn't like Santa in A2. In A2 you go to Briarwood, stand in line for a few minutes while looking at fake snow and mangy-looking stuffed animals, sit on the worn patch on Santa's knee while a zit-faced teenager takes your picture, get a broken candy cane, and be sent on your way. The grainy picture costs $14.99 and comes with a "sweet" graphic that says "Merry Christmas 2008!" printed across the bottom. Niiiice.

In The Hills, visiting Santa is billed as "An Experience". We arrived at Somerset at 9:30 am Sunday morning and walked up to the castle to make our "Santa Appointment". First available: 4:42 pm. Mind you, this was on December 14th. So we went and did a bit of shopping before going back home.

When we arrived back at The Santa Castle we were greeting to a mob of toddlers, babies and older children running around in their holiday-wear like court jesters flinging oversized checkers at one another. Lily promptly joined in the fun and tried her best to procure as many checkers as she could get her little hands on, even if it meant stealing them from very stoic little boys in the midst of a serious checkers match.

When it was time for our appointment I rounded Lily up and approached the Santa counter, Santa Pass (yep, that's what its called, I kid you not) in hand. The people at the Santa counter have pretty much the most powerful job in all of Oakland county during the holidays (think bouncer at the most exclusive club in NYC). When my Santa Pass was verified, we were allowed into the holding pen to wait our turn with the jolly elf. The holding pen contained numerous velvet-clad benches arrayed in a semi-circle facing the stairs that led to Santa. We walked into the pen and sat down on the bench closest to the entrance. "Oh, no, you can't sit here" a young Maiden admonished. "You have to sit here" she said, pointing to another bench 6 inches away from the bench we had chosen. Good grief. We then had to switch benches 4 more times to ensure that we were in the proper order amongst the rest of the lucky chosen in the holding pen.

When we finally moved to the final waiting bench, I knelt down in front of Lily. "What are you going to tell Santa you want for Christmas?" I asked. "Ba-bies!" she yelled. "And a choo-choo train!" she added, nodding her head. Good, I thought. All that practice was about to pay off! Young Maiden approached the top of the stairs..."Now presenting, Princess Lily!" she squeaked. We walked up the stairs to Santa. At this point, Lily looked at Santa, looked at Husband, and clenched tight to his jacket, her faced beginning to crumple. Uh, oh. I thought, picturing a photographer's nightmare. Quickly, I said to Lily in my most cheerful voice "Look! Its Santa!!!!! Blow him a kiss!". She did, and the rest was a mad blur of flashes and smiles as she sat on his lap, gave him a hug, and told him what she wanted for Christmas.

When it was all over, I happily skipped down the steps and shelled out $30 for these beautiful pics. Santa in The Hills may be a gigantic pain in the ass, but seeing my angelic child's face in these pictures make it all worth it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'm Famous!

Check out the It's Lovely, I'll Take It blog in my sweet blog list. One of the photos I found made it on the site (Two Bottles of Beer...) I'm famous!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Lily's Mama! Lily's Mama!

Lily's been going through a bout of separation anxiety the past couple of weeks. She hasn't been napping the past couple of days which makes it worse. She's extra weepy and hates any sub teacher at school. Every morning its "Mama! Mama! Lily's mama!" Even when I'm holding her its "Lily's mama!" Lily's mama!" (at least she has possessives down. And while I'm bragging she's also counting to 20 and singing the whole alphabet, frosty the snowman, rainbow connection, ring around the rosie, twinkle twinkle, and old macdonald. She also can finish any sentence of any book we've read her in the past month.) So while its nice to be loved, its also exhausting. Hopefully she'll be back to her happy, confident, independent self before I know it. I know one day she'll want nothing to do with me, and I'll look back on her clingy monkey phase with longing. Although today I think it'd be nice to just make a trip to the bathroom without a little one-person audience!

Friday, December 5, 2008


So somehow Husband and/or I have agreed to host numerous holiday engagements this month. I think many, if not all, of our "sure" "yeah" "why nots?" happened in September, when we were still delirious over our new house that is over 1000 square feet bigger than the old one. Suddenly, however, after we had 30 people over last weekend from Husband's bike racing team, and now that we are anxiously anticipating the arrival of countless staff members from my lovely elementary school tomorrow night, our super-big house isn't seeming so spacious. Then, as if that weren't enough, we also agreed to host Didu's entire extended family for Christmas in two weeks. As if adult parties weren't bad enough, that party will include "The Hellions", whom, admittedly, are over the foaming-at-the-mouth, propelling-one's-self-around-in circles-with-one's-feet-while-laying-on-the-floor, touching-every-painstakingly-decorated-sugar-cookie-with-grimy-hands stage, but who now are in the dyed-hair-in-the-face, black-nail polish-wearing, uber-tragic teenage stage. Just thinking about all of this makes me damn happy I've got a stocked liquor cabinet at home in anticipation of all of the impending merry-making that's about to occur. In the words of the underpaid angry department store Santa in The Christmas Story: "Ho....Ho.....Ho...."

Monday, November 24, 2008

I boss Dada. I boss.

A few weeks ago, Husband got Lily out of her crib in the morning and brought her to our bed--a weekend morning habit. After kisses and hugs to Mommy, Lily starts in on her demands...usually "Sesa! Sesa!" or "Get up Mama!" or "'Amon Dada, 'amon" or "Lily eat! Lily eat!". This particular morning, after her list of demands was rattled off, I said to Husband, "Lily's the boss!" after which Lily replied, "I boss Dada. I boss," knowingly nodding her head. My sakes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

5th Grade Camp

For the 7th year in a row, I went to 5th grade camp for three straight days. I swear, I'm a glutton for punishment. Here are a few of the things I did while at 5th grade camp this year:

1) Listened to 47 ten and eleven year olds scream their heads off about 100 times
2) Ate food with nitrites, nitrates, MSG, and high fructose corn syrup at every meal
3) Whispered to three boys to zip up their pants in order to avoid their embarrassment
4) Dressed up and sang like a duck
5) Interpreted for an alien with blue hair (who also happens to be a colleague)
6) Reminded kids to be respectful about a thousand times
7) Saw a tree that had been struck by a tornado. Its bark was ripped off and inner wood was twisted like a cork-screw
8) Scored a goal while playing human Foosball
9) Reassured my fellow staff members that no, the parents in the next cabin could not hear us talking about them.
10) Rolled my eyes at a mom who constantly barked at the kids
11) Blocked the door when the same mom tried to barge into the staff's room
12) Watched kids dissect owl pellets (nasty)
13) Breathed through my mouth, trying not to vomit, while walking past the septic field 30 times a day
14) Skipped out of the reptile house in order to avoid possible salmonella contamination
15) Said the words "Ding dong" countless times
16) Listened intently for the words "And it is." to prove a point.
17) Accidentally swore in front of kids a few times.
18) Talked to Lily on the phone everyday
19) Explained why calling a kid poor might hurt his feelings
20) Was truly disappointed that the parent judges didn't let the staff win the Dutch Auction.
21) Watched my principal on the zip-line

Oh what fun.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Lily had quite the Halloween this year--parade at her school in the morning, parties at Mommy's school in the afternoon, over-the-top complete with train, mountains of food, and king-sized candy bars neighborhood party in the hew Hills 'hood, and a very brief jaunt trick or treating in the evening. Here are some pics from the lovely day.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Little Punkin 2007 and 2008

Holy crap. It may be cliche, but man, kids grow up so fast! For the past two years, we've gone to Jenny's Farm Stand in Dexter and chosen our pumpkins for Halloween. As luck would have it, on a recent trip to Baby Gap at the outlet mall, I found the same outfit for Lily that she wore last year, in her new, big girl size. Here are some pics from last year:

And here are some from this year!

Farm Fun

Last weekend that weather was amazingly warm for October in Michigan, so we decided to take Lily to the farm. She had a great time running through the corn maze, looking at roosters, turkeys, chickens, ponies and of course her favorite--the pigs, building a love/hate relationship with the "guys" (her word for scarecrows), and playing around in the butterfly garden. Mommy, Daddy, Papa, and Tana all ran around after her with wipes, trying to prevent animal feather, fur, and feces from entering her mouth. Yuck. But it was all worth it to see the look of joy that graced her beautiful face all afternoon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

World Cup 2031, Here We Come!!!

Lily had her first soccer class last Saturday. I'm thrilled to say she had a blast, and she looks darn cute in her uniform, too! She scored goals, kicked down cone towers with amazing accuracy and agility for a nearly 21 month old, and just generally rocked. She was by far the star player in her class (would you expect anything less?). Husband told me that the most World Cup players were born in January. That, along with her superior athletic genes, make her a shoo-in for the 2031 USA Women's World Cup Soccer Team.