Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tis the Season!

I know it's still November, but I'm jumping full force into the Christmas season this week.  I'm off of school for the entire week, so I've decided to immerse myself into Christmas.  It's not really hard because I aboslutely love Christmas time!  Once I'm into it, I kind of want to stay all year.  I've been known to keep up my Christmas decor until February before, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.  Yesterday was some pre Thanksgiving day sale shopping.  Today was visiting Santa day!!

Bailey was so excited to see Santa!  She's never been afraid of Santa or any other giant character people dressed up at theme parks.  She's just very intrigued by all of it.  This year she completely grasps the idea of Christmas, Santa, and the whole deal.  Brian even started using the "I'm going to call Santa" routine to get Bailey in line.  He called Santa about 10 times on Sunday to keep her from crying, throwing a fit, or whatever naughty/negative behavior was being demonstrated at the moment.  He even found a picture of Santa holding a cell phone to show her when he's calling Santa.  I told him that it's a little too early to start that bribery, but it works.  I even used it today when she was not talking nicely.  I called Santa and right away she stopped.  Then she wanted me to call him back to tell him that she was being nice, so I did.

We met Becky, Hailey, and baby Chloe at the mall for the Santa event.  The thought was that if Hailey saw Bailey being friends with Santa, then Hailey would walk up and talk with him too.  The plan didn't work because Hailey clung to Becky for dear life and would not even be coaxed down by candy.  You know a kid is seriously afraid when they won't come down even for a piece of candy.

Here's Bailey trying to talk Hailey out of her stroller.

While we were trying to convince Hailey to see Santa, Bailey just ran right up and started chatting with him.  I wasn't even ready with my camera crew (Toni and Mom) to start taking pictures.  My child is fearless--sometimes a good thing, but sometimes a bad thing.  She just walked right up and had a conversation with the jolly man.  On the way over to the mall, she said that she was going to tell him that she wanted a dolly, some toy games, and of course candy.  Last year we saw Santa so many times throughout the season, that she thought Santa = candy.  I had to tell her that she wasn't actually going to get the presents today, but just ask for them.  I kind of thought she might think that he was going to pull her requested presents out of his bag right there.  She was okay with that idea as long as she got some candy.  He gave her a candy cane and then she sat on his lap and smiled patiently waiting for the picture.  She was so excited that her smile is extremely fake looking, but I kept it because that's how Bailey is.  She can be kind of a poser with pictures, which sometimes results in fake smiles.  But I'll take 'em!  Then she immediately wanted to eat her candy and like  nice little girl, she then waited again (there was now a line) to go tell Santa thank you for her candy cane.  She wouldn't want to miss out on any presents just because she didn't thank him.  Toni got in trouble for taking pictures with my camera in front of the fence, but who cares?  We bought the picture and then went on our merry way.

Seeing Santa the week of Thanksgiving is one of the best little Christmas tips that I know.  You can almost always walk right up; you might have to wait a few minutes, but nothing like the first year I took Bailey.  We took Bailey and the twins and we waited for about an hour in line.  By the time we got to the front the twins were so petrified that they wouldn't stop screaming.  So I learned from that first disastrous year and now go my week off and it's quite an enjoyable time.

Here's an artsy shot by Toni of Bailey sprinting up to see Santa.  Click on it to make it bigger to see the pure joy and excitement in her face.

This was when we realized that Bailey was up chatting with Santa.  I love that she's giving him a hug, but keeping a pretty close eye on that basket of candy canes.

Here's one of Toni's illegal pictures in front of the fence--way to go Toni!

Bailey is posing with her candy cane.  I love her little pose!

Here she is waiting patiently with Grammy to tell Santa thank you for the candy cane.

Just too cute to pass up a chance for a photo op with this girl.  It's funny to see pictures of her now without her glasses.

What a difference a year makes!  Look at how much she's grown and check out all of her gorgeous long flowing locks!  I do love her outfit last year with her red sparkle shoes, but this year's is pretty cute too.  It makes me laugh to think about last year all she knew was that if she went up to talk to this strange looking man, she would get a piece of candy.  She's such a good sport about most anything involving candy.  I also think it's funny that it's the same Santa guy.  I wonder how much he gets paid; he is very good with kids.  Crazy to think that in next year's picture Bailey will be that much older and she'll be posing next to her little sister!  I'm excited just thinking about the matching outfits right now!!  So here's to the kick off of our 2010 holiday season!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Some Halloween Lessons Learned

On Halloween, we went over to our friends Becky and Ammon's house.  Bailey and their daughter Hailey are best friends, or mortal enemies depending on the moment.  We thought that taking the two of them trick or treating together would be fun for them.  Becky and I decided that we'd go trick or treating first, then come back and eat dinner after.  We thought that if we left around 5:30 little kids would be out filling their buckets with candy.

Becky and I tried to get some cute pics of the two of them together before we headed off to get candy.  These are about as good as they get, but they're still cute!
Bailey is checking out Hailey's pumpkin to make sure she doesn't have any candy yet.

We started out with their neighbors, thinking that for sure the girls would be successful in their first attempts.  We were wrong!  The first three houses that we tried, we struck out!  The girls were so cute and walked up to each house, but with each house they became more certain that this trick or treating thing was a hoax!  They were really confused about why we were asking them to go up to each door.  We decided to head over to our friend's street where we knew we'd get at least one house.

Here's Bailey looking rather dejected at another empty house and her still empty bucket.

When we got to Kirstie and Brad's house the girls were about ready to give up.  When Kirstie opened the door, Bailey walked right on in and was ready to stay the night.  We had our first successful house.  Their neighborhood looked a little more promising, so we continued on.  We thought it was weird that there weren't more kids walking around; it was now nearing 6:00 and the streets were practically empty. 

We were the first trick or treaters at most of the houses that we went to, but that also meant that the people who opened the door were still friendly and happy to see two adorable girls standing at their door.  Some people were smart and set up camp outside their garage door, so they didn't have to keep getting up and down all night.  We all took turns walking the girls up to each new door.  The girls were very polite and said thank you at every house.

About five houses into our night, Ammon and I walked the girls up to the door.  It looked like it would be a success because of all the Halloween decorations out.  There were spooky lights lining the walkway and some pumpkins by the door.  By now they knew the drill, walk to the door, knock, wait for it to open and say, "Trick or treat!"  Hanging on this door was a spooky looking witch.  When we got close to the door, the witch started moving, her eyes lit up, and it was making creepy sounds.  Hailey just turned around and started running away.  Bailey started screaming, "STOP, STOP IT!!"  It was hilarious!  Both of the girls were shaken up and we had to make sure that the next house was nice and cheery.  I really wanted to take them back and video tape it this time, but I thought that would have been a little too cruel.
Here's Bailey with her favorite, "Arrrr me tatey!" pirate pose.

Half way through, Bailey started to realize that this was the greatest thing ever!  As we would leave one house, she would say, "I love the next house!"  She even got brave enough that she wanted to walk up by herself, with us close behind her of course.

Just as we were done for the night, the streets started to get filled with more little ghosts and goblins out trick or treating.  It was close to 6:30 and practically dark.  Becky and I were amazed that that was the time to start walking around; we apparently missed the memo on that one.  Despite our early start, our first time trick or treaters, and the few scares we had, it was a very successful night.  When we went back to the house, the girls were ready to eat their entire buckets of candy.  We got them to eat some real food, but candy was constantly on their minds.  We had a great night with the Sullivans!
Around 8:00 we headed over to my mom and dad's house to be their only trick or treaters of the night.  We had to stop by so they could see Bailey, and because Toni got real dressed up for the occasion.  Toni was a little bored and really excited to see Bailey, so she got into the full Halloween spirit! 
Bailey did not know what to think when they answered the door.  I'm pretty sure it was the first time she'd ever gone through the real front door too.  She wasn't sure who the crazy witch lady was until we went inside.

Lessons learned from Halloween:

1.  Trick or treating starts when it gets dark around 6:30ish.  Forget trying to be safe with the little ones.  If you want the candy, you have to wait until it's dark.
2.  If there's something scary hanging on the front door, it's probably meant to scare the little ones away.  Be prepared with video camera to catch all of the spooky moments.
3.  Probably do a test run at your own house so the kids don't think it's okay to walk into every door that opens.
4.  The lesson Bailey learned is that Halloween is the greatest day ever!  She asks about the Halloween decorations and trick or treating almost every day.  Now that she's old enough to get it, she loves it!

Baby Girl #2!!

We found out on Friday that we're having another girl!!  I, of course, was very excited because I really wanted to have two girls in a row--even though a boy would have been great too.  Now the girls will be best friends/worst enemies throughout their life, but they'll end up on the best friend side of the spectrum.  I was also excited because I now know that I get to use all of the clothes I have at least one more time!  If you knew how many boxes of clothes I had in my garage, you would understand.  I was also excited because, it's no secret, that raising boys frightens me!  Brian always tells me these horrific stories filled with blood, bruises, injuries, hospital trips, knock out fights, and more about he and his brothers growing up.  I think his stories scare me so much, that my body is now only programmed to make little girls.  I'll try to deprogram my brain if we get to baby number three so Brian can have a boy :)  I know that everyone keeps telling me that I have no say in the matter, but I'm pretty certain that I mentally and physically willed Bailey and this  little girl to be girls.

I wish I could reveal her name at the moment, but we haven't come to any conclusions.  I'm not one of those moms who keeps it a secret until she's born, so as soon as we decide I'll let you guys know.  Right now I have one in mind, but I'm not yet 100% sold.  We also can't decide if we're going to go with the B name theme or just totally awesome names that we love.  The one name that we're thinking about isn't a B name, hence the dilemma.  I might just have to google B names and see if one stands out.

So for now, the Bronson family will continue to live in the land of princesses, fairies, bow, dresses, and dolls.  It's actually a really nice place to live!