Thursday, December 29, 2011

As it worked out, it was just the 3 of us on Christmas Eve. We headed to mass 30 minutes early knowing the Chreasters would have the placed packed to the gills, ending up with some quiet seats in the back row. As we are a bit of a traveling show with the diaper bag and car seat, this was a perfect spot for our little group. Halfway through mass Henry decided to fuss briefly but was soon fast asleep after a quick walk out to vestibule. Becky and I went up to communion only to end up standing right behind Jackie Purcell, a local celebrity here in Anchorage.  She's the undeniable #1 weather reporter in the state and we got a chuckle out of it. The saying up here is that Anchorage is a small town, which we have proven by crossing paths with the Palins at Costco and Target (Honestly, it's not all Palins all the time). Even though he was due to eat, Henry made it through church as a model of quiet peacefulness and saved his hunger cries for home. It may have been his Christmas gift to us.

Henry seemed to enjoy the It's A Wonderful Life dvd that flickered in the living room, which probably has a great deal to do with the endless contrasting of light and dark on the screen. Black and white is probably a perfect level of visual excitement for him these days. We explained to him very clearly that Santa would not come unless he went to bed like a good boy. He drooled, smiled, and happily squealed a great deal, though in the end he made it to bed smoothly and quietly. Santa would indeed be stopping by our home.

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I don't know how many gifts were under the tree in total, but it seemed liked 90% of the pile was for Hank. I believe this will happily only get much worse as the years tick by. After a nice morning bottle and some carols we tried to get Henry to start tearing into some gifts. He tried a bit, but seemed to descend into the crinkling of paper once he had a decent enough piece in his hands. The present would end up half open and mom or dad would have to finish the job.

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He made it half way through his gifts and then become suddenly overcome by yawns and general fussiness. We quickly sprinted through the second half of gifts and gave this little guy a nap. There was just so much Christmas that the poor guy was all worn out!

(as always, more pictures here)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We are in remarkably good shape in terms of preparing for Christmas. The cards were off in the mail about 2 weeks ago, the decorations are completely in place, the packages have been mailed off, and the elves came by this past weekend and baked their way through almost uncountable cookies.

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Here is Hank at 5 months of age exactly, happily anticipating the moment when he can grasp and crunch the mountains of wrapping paper under the magnetic, glittering tree that he cannot stop gazing at. He's pumped, even if he doesn't know anything about this time of the year yet. His personality has been coming out stronger and clearer over these past few weeks, and it seems composed completely of laughs, smiles, inquisitive grabbing, giggles, coos, and joyous shrieks (see the video below). He has just become able to roll himself over (and over, and over), so the happy days have begun for Henry and a new door has opened for Mom and Dad.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

St Nick stopped by

Henry may not be much of a talker yet, but he is all about Christmas. He loves gazing and reaching for the lit tree, fiddling with hanging ornaments, and giggling along with mom's voice as she croons Christmas in Killarney and Melaka Liki Maka. However, he was able to whisper to us that we needed to make sure his shoes were set out for St Nick's day, and we were not about to disappoint little Hank. Sure enough, he found his shoe filled with a gift from old St Nick.

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As you can plainly see, he's one excited little boy!

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I don't think he much cared about the stacking toy he received, but I do know he LOVED the wrapping paper. Aside from holding onto a wet, used burp rag, crinkly paper is the greatest thing in the world this young man knows. He'll have his fill of paper to crunch and lick within a few weeks.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I make no promises regarding how well we will finish the Christmas season, but we are currently doing a bang up job. We snapped off a half dozen pictures of the three of us on Thanksgiving, picked a good one, and promptly had Costco print up our Christmas cards. Out came the decorations from the crawlspace, up went the newly purchased tree, and back into the crawlspace went the empty boxes. Upon mailing the cards and tweaking the decorations a bit here and there we'll be in tall cotton as they say.

I'm sure there are many Santas to be had across Anchorage, but given some existing errands at the snazzy downtown mall, we decided that Henry would have a grand time with that Santa. I suspect some lower end locations throughout town have 150 lb Santas with poorly fitting fake beards, which is something we'd really like to avoid. Not the fifth avenue mall! They've got a jolly guy with a legitimate beard and stomach. We're talking A list Santa here. Henry never cracked a full blown smile, but remained very content as he always does when being held in a position where he can endless gaze at new places and people. If he even has a personality or disposition at this age, it is undeniably one of quiet interest and wonder at the wide world opening up before his eyes.

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