It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas time around here.

here and here

I forgot I did have some photos of Bug decorating the tree. She hung all the sticky old candy canes (from last year? the year before maybe?) in her eye-view of course. Then the next three days we spent haggling over why she couldn’t eat them all day long. Finally, frustrated with my little negotiator, I threw them out. They were so gross. Not that letting a toddler eat a candy cane with all the sticky drool coating her chin and clothes is any less gross but I just felt bad letting her eat dust from last year’s Christmas.

I promised we’d buy some new ones at the grocery store. Which we did, of course. But I bought the little tiny ones that are not shrink-wrapped and funny thing, they don’t hang on the tree very well. Oh well. I guess they’ll just have to stay in the cupboard out of sight. Bah humbug. I’ll break them out for special treats so they don’t get all dusty for next year and repeat the whole cycle.

all decorated!

Here she is eating one. That kid loves candy canes. My mom says I did too when I was her age. I guess it’s not such a bad thing as long as she eats her broccoli too.

us

I’ve been trying to get a good picture of her in front of the tree for my yearly calendar that I give to the grandparents but I’ve been very unsuccessful. She’s not my little poser anymore. If I ask her to smile, she gives me her “Eba eyes” frown or runs away cackling. Getting her to hold still in low light is pretty much impossible. I should just take a picture of her as a blur and call it a day.

oooooh!

This one is sort of cute but not really Christmas-y enough even though she is holding an ornament. Those are the iron-on transfer-paper ornaments we made last year. I wish I felt like making them again. It would be neat to have photos for each year. I haven’t been very motivated lately. Not to worry though, usually great bursts of motivation follow lulls of mediocrity. I probably just need to lay off the sugar. I’ve been eating so much crap lately.

candy cane face

Speaking of eating a lot of cookies…yesterday was the Christmas walk in our little town. All the vendors come out and hand out cups of hot cocoa and cookies. There are bounce houses for the kids and bands playing live music on every corner. It’s pretty festive and loud. Forget trying to take a nap while it is going on. The town pretty much forces you to get out and enjoy Christmas—which is a good thing really.

This year was the first year that Bug and I actually “walked” the whole thing. I remember last year we strollered and the year before she fit in the baby carrier. I miss those days already. Funny how things change so much every year. More and more I’m finding that the stroller is more of a hindrance than a help. She always wants to walk anyway. She doesn’t keep up as much as I’d like (She is the worst lollygagger ever!) but I’m trying to learn how to slow down anyway.

queen of the petting zoo

I find myself getting so impatient with her as she wants to circle every tree we come across and pick every dandelion. I just have to tell myself that some day I’ll miss these years. Someday she will be impatient with me so I need to be kind and let her have her time. I think I read somewhere that you can’t really force a toddler to walk fast anyway. If you have the time, you’re better off just letting them dawdle and go along with the adventure of it. It’s hard for me though. Especially when I’m carrying her seven half-eaten cookies, a bottle of water, three balloons, my purse that is overflowing with all those things we might need and my coat that has become too hot to wear. Patience, thy name is motherhood.

enthralled

So anyway, that was fun. She loved the bounce houses. She loved the petting zoo and she LOVED the live music. I wish I had caught a photo of her dancing. But I was so loaded down with carrying everything I had a hard time being spontaneous with the camera. Excuses, excuses I know.

She really loves music. Part of me wonders if she might express her creativity (that’s in her genes) through music. I’ve plunked at the piano for years but I’m not really any good. I know Toby is musical even though he doesn’t play any instruments. He has a terrible knack for remembering tunes so well that they drive him insane. Isn’t that weird? He actually hates listening to songs that have strong melodies because they get stuck in his head so bad. I personally don’t have that problem so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

When we were listening to one band play, Bug was keeping time by swaying from side to side. The lead singer noticed and warned me that I might have a musician on my hands. I don’t know if he’s right. I think most kids are good at keeping time but I do know that Bug definitely has a penchant for music. She picks up tunes so fast and is always on key, often better than the adults.

Enough about that. I wanted to write more but she is dunking her pahs in her breakfast yogurt and now I have a mess to clean up. Later!

Avoid the crowds, visit the pumpkin patch in February

blending in

I think somebody told me a long time ago not to go to the local pumpkin patch in the morning because it is bombarded with all the schoolchildren on field trips. Of course I forgot this little bit of information when we headed off yesterday morning. Even if I had remembered it, I might have ignored that advice anyway because my day is ruled with an iron fist by The Nap Schedule. I’m a slave to The Nap Schedule.

Stupid naps.

We have to do everything before eleven in the morning because if we don’t and Baby Bug falls asleep in the car on the way back from wherever we went, then that is the END of the nap as I know it. No time to work on my computer, no time for freelance, no time to work on a blog post…pretty much no time for me. Which is a very very long day for me and my grumpy toddler. I try to avoid it when I can.

walk on the wind blown side

We made it to the pumpkin patch and back for The Nap but we were a little worse for it. I think I’m over the local pumpkin patch. It’s still great and I would send anyone off to see it for an adventure but I’m done with it. The smaller patches are just as much fun and you spend less money.

I don’t want to bad mouth the local farm at all because they are working very hard with the community to do a lot of good. They offer organic fruits and vegetables and I think they even have some kind of program where you can get a box of vegetables and fruit a week (I need to look into that more). They offer a lot of activities for kids. They’ve got the educational field trip streamlined down to Disneyland levels of crowd control.

croplifter

I think that’s where they are losing me: the crowd control. I felt very shuffled along with the crowd but we weren’t part of a group so we didn’t get the group benefits. No free pumpkin for Baby Bug. Of course I could buy one for her (and I would have but they were pretty sad rotten pumpkins to pick from). The employees tried really hard to include us but the groups ruled the day. And I understand that.

The groups were fun too. Bug loves other kids. I’m just not so fond of them myself. I love kids. Just not hordes of them all at one time. I just want to meander along and look at things with my toddler and not get clobbered by a gang of seven-year-olds.

rotten pumpins as far as you can see!

When we did break away from the crowds, everything seemed so trampled and picked-over. I thought we were early in the season but I guess I don’t know squat. There are a lot of pumpkins still but more than half of them are rotten. Maybe it was just a bad year with the heat.

So I paid eight bucks to ride on the wagon and feed the goats. We didn’t even buy a pumpkin. I’ve seen better ones at the grocery store. But I don’t mean this to be a big rant about how dumb the local pumpkin patch is. It’s just better if you don’t have high expectations. We needed something to do to pass the time and this was fun.

nibble nibble

It was worth it for the petting zoo. Bug has been really into petting goats lately. That was one time that I was glad I was not part of a school group. They came in and swarmed the animals and then after ten minutes or so they were shuffled out again. I know if Bug had been part of the group she would have been so sad to be forced to leave. So I let her stay and stay and stay. Because we could! What a privilege! We can hang out with goats all day!

feeding Fancy

As long as it doesn’t run into nap time of course.