Friday, December 24, 2010

I will cancel Christmas.

I have made that threat the past couple of weeks. At those times where Elle's cooperation or attitude have been a little poor to put it very nicely. It's one of those tactics at the time I felt needed to be pulled out of the back pocket. Elle would ask what she needed to do so Christmas wasn't canceled. I told her it's very simply you need to listen and be respectful. For the most part it seemed to work. Most likely I couldn't pull the canceling Christmas card next year. I don't think I could actually pull off canceling the whole event for a child. Especially as she has gotten older she more and more enthralled by the whole mystique of the season. It's also a time to take in her excitement because I'm sure time will fly and the day will come where it's not so special. Now I have to get back to preparing the meal for Christmas. As shown below the gifts are in place, the cookies are out awaiting Santa, and christmas is still a on. Much to the excitement of my daughter. May you all have much joy and love this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Who stole Santa's extraordinary magical sack?

With the holidays comes movies in that very genre. For all the classic movies that bring great memories there are also about ten times that amount of truly awful holiday movies. As a parent we have to at times partake in movies for the season that might not fall into the great category.

One of these exceptionally awful films that will never be listed with the greats is an animated children's film from '07, "Christmas Is Here Again".  The film involves a young orphan on her journey with a band of assorted characters as they search for an item that will bring the magic of Christmas back. Someone did dump money on the voice talents but, I think the writers were neglected. A film student could write a great thesis based on this film. Granted I could waste a tremendous amount of time weeding out all the awful in this picture. That would not do justice to the one gleaming theme that the whole movie revolves around, Santa's sack.

The running joke which I am going to go out on a limb and say I think the writers were fully cognitive of is Santa's sack. In typing the aforementioned phrase it feels like a few times too many. I believe they must have had a bet going on how many times it could be said and ways they could describe it. I lost count when it went over triple digits. Watching this film with the family brought sophomoric giggles to myself and my wife. Elle was laughing at actual events in the movie. Our differing timing of laughs did raise suspicion in Elle. With the laughs came some wonder on "how this movie got made"? Despite what we as parents thought about the quality of the film, Elle enjoyed it. Her quote, "The Santa's Sack movie was hilarious". If you dare have the desire to view this film we found it via Netflix's instant streaming. See if you can make through the movie without laughing for the wrong reasons. I almost forgot about the the surprise in the film. Unbelievably it has to do with the sack and the magical material it's made out of. Really, I don't want to spoil that surprising twist. I've said enough, now enjoy your holidays.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Tweets.

This is a collection of some of Elle's quotes that originally appeared on Twitter. Per my wife's request here are some tweets.

"Dad, you take care of spiders, bats and other yucky stuff that mom and I don't like. That's why we love you."

"Dad, I don't need to go to bed. I just need a quick nap and then I'm ready to totally stay up all night. Sounds like a good idea to me."

"Dad, it makes me smile when you teach me things."

"Hey, Mom, blow me a kiss I'm wide open."

"Let's play hide and seek (hides under the table). Don't forget to look under here!"

"If an ant gets lost can it find it's way home or will it join another ant hill?" Me:"Your questions are getting harder to answer."

"Dad, I can count on you to take me to school & you can count on me to try not to go to school."

"I have a smart thing in my head. I know a thing or two, you could learn a few things from me."

"I don't want to go to school tomorrow but, can you pick me up late so I get to play on the playground."

"There's nothing to really see in New Jersey, right?" Me:"I don't know, I've only driven through it."

"I'm not excited about school today, how about we spend the day together & have fun & you can just tell mom I went to school."

"Hey, dad, you forgot to take me potty." Me:"You're right, that's important." Elle: "Sometimes you forget, that's why your lucky I remember."

My daughter was wriggling oddly and crossing her legs as she was walking. Me:"You need to go potty, right?" daughter:"How did you know?"

"When am I going to be old enough to take an adventure around the world?"

"Dad, I have good news & bad news. Good news is I'm all dressed for bed. Bad news is I put my pants on backwards."

"A little gleam of mischief came to my eye and I said to myself, 'Ah ha, I don't want to go to sleep & that's why I'm not in bed'."

"How about I make a deal with you. I will stay up later & take a longer nap tomorrow. Works for me & you get to enjoy my company."

Daughter's argument for not going to school:"I don't love my friends at school, I love you & mom, so I won't miss them like I miss you."

Daughter's late night attempt at blackmail:"The more you say "No", the more I'm going to come into your bedroom."

Flipping through a magazine when my daughter saw a picture of the "Real Housewives of Bev. Hills". She asked why they all had the same face.

Daughter's random thought of the day:"I wouldn't want to be a minion. I like doing my own thing & being me."

"I'm going to design & build my own house where I can do whatever I want. Only problem is I'll have no one to read to me."

I may have made my daughter into a foodie. When I asked her what type of pizza I could make for her she said chorizo, mushrooms & olives.

"I just want to tell you something you should know. Never follow a monster if it's not nice. That's all I have to tell you right now."

"Most of the time I'm a pretty nice girl but, sometimes I can be a mean girl. When I am mean I like to apologies for it."

"When you tell me I can read only one book before bedtime that makes me sad. I learn from books & I need more than one book to learn."

When I told my daughter what a "Chupacabra" is she thought it was the funniest thing she heard "this week so far".

My daughter is reading a book about Celtic Myths. Her quote: "this book is wicked exciting".

"When I see a monster I say 'what a fuss'. For example, dad, 'two headed monster, what a fuss'."

"My best friend at school is no longer my best friend. But, I'm still civil to her even though she hit me with a book."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thankful my holidays are different.

Once October ends it seems that all the Christmas decorations make their way throughout our city, the box stores and malls. I have to admit I don't get filled with the spirit and excitement that the holidays bring. Now I say holidays because we celebrate Christmas and Chanukah. It's not an attempt to be politically correct. But, one side note that I have noticed is that in the area we live in people are very adamant about it being "Merry Christmas" and not "Happy Holidays". As I tend to do I'm getting away from the original track intended. The holidays before marriage and fatherhood were a voyage in misery.
I'll keep the misery part short so I can get to the brighter side of this post. Growing up we went through the motions of Christmas. The decorations would go up around the house. I was put in charge of the design and implementation of the decorative lighting outside. When it came time for the actual family gatherings that's when the warmth came. I mean that in a very sarcastic way. The warmth actually was as pleasurable as a punch to the face. I remember long dinners of just utter silence except for the sound of forks and knives in use at the dinning room table. If there was talking it would come from one head of the table, that being my mother's perch. Those words would be the type filled with a little stinging venom on the end. Now looking back on it reminded me of Festivus but, it was unfortunately not a sitcom that ended after half an hour and no feats of strength were performed. Just to sum it up: the holidays growing up were not joyous but, the food was good.

This past weekend Elle and her mother excitedly placed the decorations in the house. I took care of bringing all the supplies together. Admittedly I hung back from actually decorating. Because I felt that they both needed that bonding time. Especially since mom had to be away for much of the week on a business trip. As much as they were enjoying time together, I felt a sense of happiness watching them be together. When we do get togethers, it's usually with my wife's family and family friends who have become an extension of her family. The first time I joined in the celebration of the holidays it felt as if I was stepping into to alien territory. There were hugs, laughter and smiling. They always welcomed me with open arms. Our conversations could run from the recent up tick in programs about hoarders, cooking or just life in general. It took a couple of gatherings for me to not walk into the situation with defense shields up. I think finally I am comfortable with the fact that the holidays aren't a run through an emotional pain gauntlet.

I owe a huge debt of thanks to my wife's parents, Elle's Gram and Papa. Because of the phenomenal way they brought up their daughter. It was the polar opposite from the way that I was brought up. I admire the love, the care and joy they touched her life with. I'm fortunate enough to have our daughter receiving the same gifts. I truly can't put into words the gratitude I have for how they have welcomed me into the family. From then to now I am truly thankful that my holidays are different. I believe the big difference is the joy and the love for one another that the holidays seems to highlight. So cheers to the ones we love, may this holiday season shine as a bright reminder of the ones we give thanks for.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wishing my husband the happiest of birthdays

Those of you that read E’s blog are lucky enough to get a sneak peak of what an amazing husband and father he is. He’s patient, loving, and incredibly dedicated to his family. He makes being a parent and a husband seem effortless, even when my job takes me away from home as it did for what felt like most of this fall. I know it can’t possibly be as easy as he makes it look, so on his birthday I wanted to make sure he, and everyone else, knew just how lucky Elle and I are that he is who he is.
I spent a whole glorious week with him and Elle while I was off for Thanksgiving. Last Sunday I started to prep Elle for the fact that I’d have to go back to work the next day. I don’t know what I was expecting – tears, pleas for me to stay home, requests to let her accompany me to work. I assumed she’d feel as sad about vacation’s end as I did. Instead she just looked at me and said, “Ok, mommy, that’s fine. I had fun with you, too, but I haven’t had time alone with Daddy in a while and I miss that.” I was a little surprised that I didn’t feel insulted. Watching the two of them interact without the distractions of life’s stresses for a full week, it was easy to see just how important their time together was to her.
One of the many examples of this is Elle’s wicked sense of humor and how much their playfulness clearly shapes the way she interacts with others. Now I like to think I’m pretty funny, but this has her father all over it. The two of them have inside jokes that I don’t even pretend to understand. Usually they revolve around super heroes, potty-humor, or wild animals (I still don’t understand where their fascination with cobras comes from). And they play these elaborate games, egging each other on to come up with schemes of escalating craziness. To trap her nemesis, the Nasty Squirrel, and have him deported. To break into the bank pictured on the back of a Euro I brought home from my last trip because she thinks it looks like there would be lots of gold and jewels inside. Elle’s imagination and curiosity is astounding and I think these exchanges have a lot to do with it.
Edgar always talks about how all of the kids in Elle’s class are so excited when she walks in. She regales us with stories of being nice to the new kid, making up games to play with her friends, and asking her teacher tons of questions when they learn something new. When he picked her up the other day, her teacher told Edgar, “she’s just the coolest kid”. While we of course agree, it’s nice to hear that we’re not completely clouded by parental bias. The fact is she’s the coolest kid I know for so many reasons. And I firmly believe that a lot of it has to do with the fact that she has the coolest dad I know. So happy birthday to my wonderfully fantastic husband and thank you for all that you do for us!