Monday, December 28, 2015

If there was any confusion about how much Henry is into Christmas, let's dispel that now. He's bananas for Christmas, at times almost uncontrollably.

Henry and Piper sleep in the same room, and for convenience we still have a baby monitor in that room; the main idea being that if Piper wakes up and needs some help we can respond to it before if becomes an air raid siren that rustles up Henry. And old habits die hard, so the monitor is clicked on each night.

Early morning on Christmas Day the noises started. The first occurrence at 2 am was a rustling on the monitor, a thump of feet leaving the bunk, followed by thudding feet towards the door, the door clunking open, silence as Henry peered at the dark first floor, and then a clunking of the bedroom door as he tumbled back into his room. Ditto at 6:30 am as well. Both times Mommy and Daddy whispered prayers that he wouldn't take a turn towards our door. It wouldn't surprise me if we snoozed through a few other expeditions.

How Piper slept through this thumping and clunking is a Christmas miracle. I quickly grabbed a 7 am shower and hustled downstairs to start the oven for the breakfast casserole. Around 8 am the whole house was up, buzzing, and soon filled with mountains of torn paper.

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Piper seemed genuinely excited, though mostly because the house was filled with new things, papers, and excitement. She was marginally interested in tearing open packages, but heavily interested playing with her Duplos.

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Full set of Christmas 2015 pictures.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The holidays are becoming more of a blur each year as these kids get a little bigger every day. This year we've seen Santa four times, largely because here in Alaska we're so close to the North Pole. We saw him on a whim at Bass Pro, and then on purpose at a work event and the Christmas Train. By the time Santa showed up after the Preschool Christmas play, Henry was ready to take a pass.

"I told him last week that I wanted a Matchbox Treasure Truck. He knows. Let's get some juice."

Good point.

Later that day he received the treasure truck as a planned reward for all the hard work that led up to his narrator part.

"Looks like Santa won't need to bring that treasure truck. I bet he knows something else you'd like."

"Yes. Santa is going to bring Legos now."

A very calm, pragmatic young man.

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As you can see above, Henry has a genetic ability thanks to his father for putting his hands in his pockets and politely waiting for life to get moving again.

The Santa train was well worth it again this year. Santa jumped in our booth and said, "Hold up your finger. Thumbs up!"

Santa was being confusing. As you can see, Henry went with the first sentence.

Santa train pictures here.

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All Christmas play photos here.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas Nativity Play

Friday the 11th had a big, bright circle around it on our calendar. I arranged to be out of work that morning, our cameras were given fresh batteries, and Henry's nice sweater was set aside.
Henry's preschool Christmas concert was set for that Friday and would involve a handful of Christmas songs like last year. Given that the kids are 4 this time around, the school upped the ante and added a nativity play along with the songs.
About a month ago Henry's teacher approached us with the idea of Henry reading the narration while the play moves around in the foreground. It seemed like a great fit -- Henry is a good reader and dislikes singing and walking around in costume. Henry soon jumped on board when it was explained that there would be no costume for the narrator.
So we soon began practicing the script nightly, noticing his clarity and volume improving each day. Ms. Nancy also reported the same strong results from their school practices. Each iteration got better and better, but as parents we were nervous about what show time would bring. Speaking in front of a crowd isn't even fun for most adults.
Skipping to the result, Henry did great. He was not rattled by a full room of people and their glowing smart phones, nor did he neglect to aim his words into the microphone. As parents, we couldn't be prouder of our young man.
After speaking to the principal after the performance, I can report several more reasons the 4 year old Christmas performance was a smoother event than other 2015 performances at Amazing Grace.
  • There was no nudity. As in, a young lady did not pull her dress over her head.
  • There were no "runners" during the performance.
  • There were also no accidents during the songs.
 The entire nativity play is below, and it is 9 minutes in length.