December 2010

Putting Presents Back in Christmas

File under: christmas

Christmas was lovely as ever this year. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the Reeds, and then we spent the 26th at my parents' house. We got to see some good friends and family and gorge ourselves on tasty food and drink.

Christmas definitely gets more and more fun with Greta each year. She didn't want to ask Santa for anything, but she did want to write him a letter. Pat helped her, and I was amused to see she edited her letter, although I will say she needs to work on her buttering-up skills.

Greta was thrilled with almost everything she got for Christmas, but she needed some convincing here and there. Here I am trying to explain why the book The Secret Garden is a good gift, and I finally ended up saying, "Oh, you'll appreciate it someday!"

Luckily Pat is a better present picker than I am.

Here's the present I'm personally most excited about.

Ooh, another present we got for Greta that I found more enjoyment from than she did is Jenga. Pat and I played one rousing game. I love the expression on Greta's face in this picture.

Fast forward to the following day. Here is my brother gracefully crawling out of the new "castle" he got Greta.

My dad surprised my mom by getting matching Crocs boots for both her and Greta. My mom's reaction was priceless.

Greta got a potholder loom, which is a bit of a McCarthy tradition. Here she is also modeling her new boots from Grandpa, a Tinker Bell dress from Uncle Phil and Aunt Becky, and a hair bow from her little friend Oliver.

My dad got me a NaNoWriMo mug and T-shirt, which I was thrilled about. This is my new favorite mug, just barely inching my This American Life mug out of its previous first-place ranking. Sorry, Ira.

Pat and Greta have this week off and are enjoying some daddy-daughter time while I'm working (like a poor sap).

In other news I have been getting over a rather unpleasant cold and have a nasty cough that won't go away. I told Pat today I have high hopes that sometime in the next few days I'll be able to go a day without coughing so hard I almost puke. Sometimes it's the little things.

We hope everyone had a great Christmas and are enjoying the joyous joys of the joyful season.

Fran

Happy happy

File under: christmas

We hope everyone has happy, safe holidays and enjoys their time away from the usual grind.

Oh hai

File under: greta

Whew! I will say that it's been sort of tricky regrouping after NaNoWriMo. It was lovely ignoring emails and dirty dishes and Christmas shopping and having a completely valid excuse to do so. My reality isn't nearly as interesting or fun as being in I'M-WRITING-A-BOOK mode, and I guess I've been a little woe is me. I miss making time for something that's important to me, even though I did plenty of complaining at the time. Apparently I just complain a lot. This is probably not a newsflash to most of you. Anyway, the update on that front is that I am taking some time away from the book right now based on some advice I received. I am still jotting down more and more ideas for things I want to include, and I hope to get in a good editing schedule once December is done. (Notice I didn't commit myself to starting in January, although I hope I will start then.) Thanks so much to those of you who have left comments or messaged me with feedback or words of encouragement. In addition to complaining a lot, I also thrive on getting attention. Aren't I a ball of awesome?

In other news, this past weekend Greta had her first dance recital. It was a fundraiser for Golisano Children's Hospital with a variety of dance performances throughout the night. Greta and her class danced to "Tip Toe, the Dancing Elf." If you haven't had the pleasure of hearing this earworm, then you haven't lived. The performance was pure chaos, but it was the cutest, most enjoyable chaos I've ever seen.

WARNING: If you watch the following video two or more times you may have "Tip Toe, the Dancing Elf" stuck in your head for five or more days.

I can't express how happy it made me to see Greta actually go out on the stage and have so much fun. Thinking back to how scared she used to be of everything, I can't believe my little girl has come so far.

Here's Greta with two of her best buddies. I love these girls to bits.

I posted the above picture of Greta from before the show with her makeup on and posted it on Facebook, and a couple people made rude comments. I feel the need to justify heavy makeup on a four year old, which I fully agree would be completely ridiculous in almost every instance, by saying the following:

  1. The teacher sent us instructions telling us exactly what makeup to put on the kids so their faces wouldn't be completely washed out under the lights. I put it on exactly as specified.
  2. Even the neurotic moms (and I realize I am included in that group) put makeup on their kids. Every single one.
  3. I was actually quite impressed by my makeup application skills. Sure, I was an art major and could paint a mean trompe l'oeil, but I have never figured out how to put makeup on my own face.
  4. I think she looks cute with buckets of makeup on. I feel a little guilty about *that* part.
  5. I didn't want a single thing standing between Greta and getting on that stage and having fun. If putting some eyeliner on my kid will make her feel excited enough to go on stage and set up a positive experience for her first dance recital, then I am ALL ABOUT IT.

I love my kid more than anything in the world. Am I going to start putting her in pageants? Hell no. Will I put makeup on her a couple times a year for recitals and other performances? Heck yeah. Anyone who wants to criticize that can go ahead. If you want to keep it in your head, though, that would be preferable.

End rant. Thanks to the Reeds and Greta's Grandma Norma for coming out for the recital. It was such a fun weekend!

Fran