Friday, December 27, 2013

We had Henry pretty pumped on Christmas Eve for Santa. Who's coming tonight? "Santa." How is he getting here? "Reindeer!"

After presenting Henry with the dish of cookies, he gingerly walked them over to the television stand. Becky took the milk over in tow. Once situated safely on the stand Henry declared that the reindeer needed an orange, and quickly went running for the fridge. Soon an orange was brought to the party and all was well. We explained that for Santa to come, good little boys needed to now head for bed. With Santa and his reindeer rationed up, Henry proudly marched upstairs holding his rag, eager to read a few stories before hitting the sack.

Unlike previous years, Henry tore through any and all wrapping paper quite easily. The only hiccup we kept hitting was a need to crack open the toy at hand rather than unwrap everything first. With mommy and daddy's steady hand, the gifts were unwrapped steadily and the trucks were the immediate hit. Within an hour the train set was in heavy use and the workbench was getting pounded on. Home runs at every corner.

Henry seemed to really enjoy all the evidence of Santa's visit.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The annual cookie marathon occurred just before Christmas and unlike years past, it happened on a Saturday rather than a Friday. With a Saturday the baking can begin around lunchtime leaving the evening for decorating the cookies. Having an entire day greatly cuts down on decorating fatigue (in the past there have been quite a few plain, single color cookies as the operation struggled to find the finish line). In this case everyone had enough spring in their step to give it a 100% through those final moments. The team played like champions.

During the first part of the day I watched Henry very closely as his curiosity was not to be trusted with an oven opening every 12 minutes for a few more trays to zip in and out. After naptime the oven sat cool and he safely cruised around the first floor, finding himself entertained and tickled by all the bakers. As the chatter and work drifted into the night, supervision decreased.

Henry is free to open the fridge at anytime to get his milk, and he safely does. The door opening is not a cause for concern, especially in a busy room. However, after a few minutes some chocolate was detected on his lips and after a short investigation, the evidence was quite clear.

We do make a priority of good nutrition around here, but on cookie day it's like herding cats, so we let it go a bit. The culprit below just worked so hard you have to applaud his tenacity. If he carries this vigor into his schoolwork, it will be easy sailing.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The holiday spirit is in full swing here. Henry and I stomped around the deck on Sunday, shoveled off a foot of new powder, and finally hung some icicle lights. I started a nail every so often, wound the wires around it, and then stepped back to check on my helper. He was very interested in using the broom rather than the shovel, mostly because the shovel is a bit cumbersome for his gloved hands. When they were all hung as best could be, I held up the supervisor and he tapped each nail a few times with my hammer (he refused to use his plastic hammer -- he knows the real stuff when he sees it). We experimented with the blinking frequencies on the lights and decided to just have them on and simply avoid the seizure inducing settings.

It's all about songs lately. "Daddy, sing 'Who wouldn't know." "Sing 'Jingle Bells." I always comply. I usually know the refrains just fine, but the verses are tough. What I forget, I just make up and keep going. Henry seems to enjoy it, but more importantly he obviously recognizes my little tricks. "Daddy, sing about "Jeep/Snowplow/Dump Truck/etc." Over and over again the requests come, and each time Daddy's song is different, even if the vehicle is the same.

IMG_3466 (Large)

The floor in the master bath is getting the boot and like all projects, Hank is involved. He gathered his toolbox, hard hat, carhartt's, and came on up. I gave him a dull scraper and off he went. His enthusiasm lasted about 15 minutes, but for that quarter hour, he was a machine.

IMG_3484 (Large)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

For some reason December 7th was stuck in my mind as St Nick's day, but thanks to a few posts on facebook, we were quickly reminded that it was the 6th. St Nick already had his presents prepared so we were not taken aback. We told Henry how he had to leave his boots out for St Nick and he quickly complied, placing them on the steps so St Nick wouldn't be able to miss them. Henry is enjoying (read: occasionally breaking) the Christmas decorations around our home and is definitely getting a sense of the season. He is able to clearly say Santa and if his excitement for St Nick was any evidence, he's going to be pretty pumped for Christmas Eve.

IMG_3433 (Large)

Henry and I sat down to build a small toolbox (thanks, Home Depot). He really seemed to enjoy the sanding and hammering portions, though in the end he only wanted to find a way to use his drill. Life is always exciting when you begin a project with the sentence "Go get your tools!"

IMG_3450 (Large)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Last year's visit with Santa was an experiment in terror, so we crossed our fingers and let bygones be bygones. That was 17 month old Henry. We're now living in the age of 29 month old Hank.

We prepped him in the days leading up, "Santa is coming soon! What are you going to ask him for?"

The answers were clear -- "Presents" and "Delimber." A succinct desire.

IMG_3392 (Large)

Aside from talking up Santa, we knew props would be necessary. If you look closely in the picture you'll see that Henry is not about to let go of those trucks. It all worked out very well. Santa talked with him a bit and asked him several times what he would like for Christmas. Henry sat politely and happily, but would not offer a single word. A few smirks, no tears, so off we went to the museum.

The museum is always fun, but it seemed an especially wise choice on a day that started at -11. It may have warmed up to 0 by the time Henry was running around the exhibits, which only confirmed that we had a good Saturday plan.

IMG_3400 (Large)

Thanksgiving was a great time as always. Henry and Bella played very well with each other and there was way too much delicious food. Life is pretty good.

IMG_3370 (Large)