December 2012

Monthly Archive

christmas

Posted by lynn on 30 Dec 2012 | Tagged as: family, melina, nalani

cousins_tree

bear_rudolph

Melina had been counting down the days since my birthday (conveniently, also the first day of advent), and was bouncing off the walls when December 24 finally arrived. Nalani (who still deserves the nickname echo for how she copies big sis) followed suit, and before long we were off to our Roseville celebration with Grandma, Grandpa, and a house full of cousins.

breakfast

presents

Melina and Lucas didn’t miss a beat in connecting over markers and stacks of plain white paper in Lucas’ art area. Nali and Ella immediately ran towards each other and asked to go outside. Noah played solo with his Legos and toddler Zoe said “hi” with outstretched “pick me up” arms to any adult in sight. We got the celebration rolling with no fewer than eight (might have been more) steaks on German’s new smoker, plus lasagna, a gingerbread trifle, and plenty of wine, beer, and other sweets.

three_generations

joey_me

The kids sprinkled the Ham’s front lawn with reindeer food (dry oats and glitter) for Santa’s crew, and set out cookies for Santa himself before going to bed, more or less successfully considering it was Christmas Eve. In the morning Nalani found her asked-for blue present with a black bear inside, and Melina a huge Rudolph with a light-up nose. She had been asking Santa for Rudolph for two years and he finally came through!

Happy holidays to all!

santa spirit

Posted by lynn on 21 Dec 2012 | Tagged as: family, kai, melina, nalani

family

kids

We’ve been gearing up for Christmas all month, starting with a family photo shoot (the visuals of this post) for our annual holiday card and, well, because we hadn’t had a family photo shoot since Nalani was eight weeks old. Now, at 2 1/2, she happened to fall off a swing right before the photographer arrived, but we still managed to get some sweet (if not-so-smiley) shots.

kids_longshot

poppers_mama_bw

We’ve also had performances: Kai and Melina sang in a beautifully staged and sung choral performance with their after school program; Nalani dressed as an elf for her preschool singalong; and Melina’s kindergarten class staged a re-enactment of the story of the gingerbread boy and girl. We’ve decorated gingerbread and cutout cookies with friends and classmates, made multiple batches of cookies, and decorated and re-decorated the house.

nalani_swing

melina_swing

We’ve had incredibly specific Santa requests, like this exchange I recently had with Nalani:
Poppers, what do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?
A present.
What kind of present?
A blue present.
What’s in the blue present?
A bear…. a black bear.

mama_nala_color

mina_dada

And we’ve been entertained daily by the Santa musings of an uber-curious five-year-old. Some recent examples follow. (I wish I’d written down more of them!)
Melina: Does Santa Claus ever die?
Me: No, he’s magical.
What about his elves and the rest of his crew?
They’re magical too.
When he delivers presents to China is it light out?
No, he delivers them at night there, too.
But since it’s daytime here when it’s night there, maybe we’ll see him in the sky?
Hmmm, I never thought of it that way. Sure, maybe.

A few days later:
How does Santa fly so fast? Can he fly without his reindeer? (Stream-of-conscious non-sequitur:) How do babies know to start growing in their mommy’s tummy?

And just tonight:
The thing about Santa is, he knows everything, but how does he know how *everyone* has been good or bad?

Most my answers to her questions focus on the magic of Santa, which translates easily into the magic of the season and the spirit of giving (Santa) in all of us. I have a feeling by age six she’ll have made this logical connection all on her own.

Happy holidays! Enjoy the magic of the season.

ballerina weekend

Posted by lynn on 16 Dec 2012 | Tagged as: friends, melina

arms up

finale

My little ballerina got a bit of a dream weekend, with both days filled with ballet. This morning she performed with her junior ballet class – and good friends Lily and Emma – in a real theater in front of an audience of a couple hundred parents and siblings. They all did beautifully! Not an ounce of stage fright from my “slow-to-warm” girl, and we saw confidence and joy emanate from her face.

flowers

nutcracker

Yesterday we joined Kendall and Rachel for a trip to Melina’s first viewing of the Nutcracker, at the Julia Morgan Theater in Berkeley. The performance featured students of the Berkeley Ballet, some of them not much older than Melina and the oldest still teenagers. They danced beautifully, Melina was mesmerized, and to top off the event we got to meet the dancers on stage after the performance.