miércoles, 26 de diciembre de 2012

Christmas 2012

I have it all. Let me elaborate.

Christmas was today. We had been anticipating this day in the house for at least a month. I was excitedly telling Libby all about Jesus' birthday story from her children's Bible, and practicing the Happy Birthday, Jesus song. I don't know, it felt different from last year's. Libby is more aware of stuff for one thing, so I honestly wanted it to be perfect. It was.

I guess, in my sick mind, I want my children to have all I didn't have. I don't think that's sick actually; it's healthy. The next generation has to be better than the previous one. For instance, my mom tells me that when she was growing up her mom was so poor that my mother only had two pairs of socks to go to school. She washed one and wear the other. But on winter, the socks sometimes didn't dry, so she had to wear them wet. I believe that's true; I don't think my mother would make up that story. And I guess that's why I had more than 30 pairs of socks to go to school or be around the house while growing up.

I want my children to get up on Christmas - and not only Christmas, but everyday- knowing how blessed they are to have all they have. I don't want them to take anything for granted. Case in point: when Libby is older, and able to reach the counter, I'll teach her to make bread kneading by hand. That's how I began. It takes you way longer than with the electric mixer, but I want her to appreciate that mixer, you know? I want her to know that we could go without every little thing we owe, and still we would be fine. 

Showing off her teeth

Because the truth is Emerson and I didn't have any of this. Not the mixer, not a car, not a double stroller, not a Keurig, no Netflix, not an iPhone... and we survived. Not only that, but I want them to realize that God is the Giver of all gifts, that we could never out give Him, and that Christmas is that perfect day when our Savior was born. He was, is and will be the best gift of all.

With that in mind, I was really excited with all the gifts and the fact that I got to spend some money on cake decoration supplies. I wanted to bake a cake for Christmas morning so that we could have a party for Jesus. I also wanted to surprise Emerson with his gifts, but I wasn't able to do that. The first surprise I tried to give him were some beers that I bought for him, but he knew that I was going to the store to buy them, so it wasn't really a surprise. I mean, I don't have a car, and if I use the debit card he knows!

After that, I bought something online for him, but due to a misunderstanding I thought he had found out, and so I ended up telling him about it. I also wanted to throw them a surprise party for their upcoming birthdays, but he said he wants to go camping. So you see, it seems it's not easy to surprise him. Anyway, I hope one day I'll get to surprise him. 

Enzo has been sleeping 9+ hours at night. He had a couple of rough days, but pretty much he has slept five days in a row like that. He is such an easy going baby. He is talking more and more everyday. He smiles and he loves his big sister. I can't stop wondering how he will be like when he is older. He seems calmer than Libby was. He is really sweet. He likes for us to talk to him, and cuddle with him, but if I tell him that I need to get stuff done, he just hangs out in the swing or rests on his pillow, no crying, no nothing. 

Enzo talking

On Christmas Eve we went to Merritt's house to spend the evening with her family, but before that we took some family pictures. Enzo looked really cute in his Santa outfit, the same Libby wore a year ago. Libby and Mommy were dressed almost the same. I honestly think she is prettier than I am :)

After four shots, Daddy said the photos were as good as they were going to get. So I guess a ten-minute photo shooting wasn't bad. I didn't sweat it this Christmas, I know perfection is an impossible target when it comes to a photo with two children and a dog. 

"Smile, Brother!"
My Libby

"So Santa is a fake?"
"Ok, Daddy. I think I'll live."

"Hmmm... Then why am I dressed like this?!"

We had a "good" time at Merritt's. It was kind of crazy because there were a lot of people, and I was chasing Libby around. Elizabeth is fearless, she wants to do things the way adults do. She is not as cautious with stairs as she should be, so she almost fell. She also shared her cheese with Enzo while I went to the kitchen to have a sip of water. I cannot lose sight of her, because if I do, that's what happens. Enzo was crying and that's how I saw the cheese pieces in his mouth. 

I felt terrible I couldn't have a normal conversation with anybody, because Libby is on go time all the time. When I let her go freely, she was just grabbing stuff she shouldn't grab, and although I know she is only a child, I also think this is the moment when boundaries and respect for other people's stuff has to be taught. So I normally don't let her grab whatever she pleases if we are in a house that is not ours. Sue me. 

If she was not grabbing stuff, she was chasing the cat under the Christmas tree, going over the train tracks - thank God that train didn't work anyway- and taking ornaments from the tree. Then she fell face forward against the chimney where some pointy metal things were, and I'm glad she didn't poke her eye. Why is she not like this when we are home? I guess everything is new for her when we are somewhere else... And the moments she wasn't getting herself in trouble and wanted to play with Kori, she was just being pushed and taken toys away from. That evening after Kori pushed her from the third time without anybody intervening - not even me- Libby just walked away, and didn't approach her anymore. Lots of wisdom going on there, even if it's learned the hard way. Oh, toddlers... 

Christmas checkerboard cake

My cake was pretty, and it was delicious. I'm proud of my learning skills over YouTube. Libby freaked out when we were cutting the cake. She is going through this thing where she doesn't want to be left alone with anybody other than Emerson or me. I guess it's more with me. At church, she freaks out every time we leave her in the nursery. And it's just not a little cry here and there. No. It's I'm going to scream my lungs out. Before having children I used to think those kind of children were nuts, and the parents even more, for not wanting to leave them there. Now a days, I don't think the child is nuts, I think this is normal, specially if your child stays home with you. I do think however, that we should keep trying. We let her cry until they come and get us, which usually happens pretty soon :)

So, I gave Libby to Merritt just to cut the cake... it was awful. But nothing a hug from Mommy and a piece of cake couldn't change.    


We came home around 8:30 pm, and we read the Christmas Story from Libby's Bible. We practiced the song, and we prayed. The next morning we woke up, we sang, cut the cake, and opened presents.

That Jesus ate the whole cake

Enzo and Libby gave Daddy some Tostitos and Spinach dip, and I gave him a paddle to taste beer. Libby gave Enzo some formula, and we gave him a set of boats for the tub. Libby got some Goldfish from Enzo, and a soccer ball from us. I got chocolate Kisses from Libby, and a french press from Daddy. 

Happy with her ball
Practicing for the team photo

After that we just hung out together. Libby took her nap, I drank a beer, we watched TV. I honestly don't understand what's the purpose of repeating the same movie over and over and over. We watched A Christmas Story all day long, and I didn't even like it. I guess the little boy is funny, but my sense of humor is not the same as Emerson's. Are TV channels like TNT or AMC really struggling or what? 

On the weekends all they have running is The Shawshank Redemption. If not that, it's Good Fellas or A Bronx Tale. It's okay to watch them once in a while, but Emerson gets into his Italian personality and starts talking to me like one of those guys. That's why I can't stand The Godfather. He's like, "You broke my heart, Fredo. You broke my heart". And if I tell him he needs to help me do something, he says, "What's the matter with you, huh?" or "Come on, huh?" or "Take it easy, huh?" or even "OOHHH!!", like Pauli in The Sopranos.  

I don't know... I guess it's just a matter of likes and dislikes because I could be watching Legally Blonde, Miss Congeniality or Shrek 2 over and over again, and it would be fine. Even Remember the Titans, I really like that one.

Making my first batch of beer 

At the end of the day, we tried my new french press that he bought me for when we go camping. Well, it's not only for those trips, but it's compact, light weight, and made especially for that. The last time we went camping, I had to go buy cofee to the park store. The coffee was awful. Emerson said giving me that was going to be like opening a Pandora box. I guess it could be, but I guess one of the main differences between Emerson and I is that I don't strive for perfection as much as he does. 

Here's the thing... He took this personality thing at work and he scored highst in the C DiSC Dimension. Some of his "defects" are:

*He is precise, focused, and accurate. I'm more like all over the place.

*He makes decisions in an analytic way. Really? I hadn't noticed that when I tell him how I'm feeling and he tells me what I should do to stop feeling that way. 

*He craves a reserved atmosphere. That means he doesn't talk.

*He likes to adhere to strict rules, and so tends to be over critical with people. Really? I hadn't noticed that either when he tells me to close the cabinets' doors every time I open them, or tells me to move the bathtub curtain in a specific way, or reorganizes Libby's books -that I organized minutes ago- because they are not perfectly organized by size in her bookshelf. 

And let me tell you something, that Libby is going crazy, too. This morning she asked me to close the cabinet's door. I could swear that's what she meant. I left it open, she pointed at it, and said, "Ah!" She continued with breakfast after I closed it. 

I share some of Emerson's craziness, I guess, or maybe, he has molded me to his way.  But anyway, this perfectionism sometimes shows up at times when it shouldn't, like last night when we were ready to use my french press. I love my husband, but sometimes he could be such a nerd. Okay, so they say coffee tastes much, much better with the press than with the regular coffee brewer, and even greater than instant coffee. He was actually measuring the water temperature with the thermometer he uses for  his beer; I guess that was my idea. So I'm also kind of a nerd, too, but only sometimes.

So then we decided to compare the temperature of the water when it's boiling to the water that comes out of the Keurig, but the Keurig was dirty, and so I cleaned it. But Emerson could still see some dried mold, and he had to unscrew a tiny part, and clean it almost to perfection. And then we tasted the coffee with both waters. And if that wasn't enough, he wanted me to brew now with the regular coffee maker, and I did. We were having this coffee tasting exercise like we do with beer.

Okay, so by the time we did all this, my coffee was warmy, good enough for him to drink it, but I like it hotter. I tried it by itself and it was great, but I like milk and sugar. I know it's like drinking a glass of Jack Daniel's with Sprite, or having a michelada with Chimay Blue, but that's how I like my coffee. So what?

When I have my coffee in the morning, I like everything to be quiet. It's like I disappear. I don't know where I go, but I disappear. I only want a sip of quietness if that makes sense. I don't get that EVER. By the time I'm making coffee Libby is up, and she usually helps me make it. We celebrate when the drops of coffee start pouring down. I usually have to drink it in a hurry because she's pulling on my pants saying "Prrrr" and offering me a crayon, which means she wants me to draw her a P.

So last night when everybody was asleep and I had that first sip of quietness, my husband was talking, talking, talking, which he NEVER does!!! Didn't he crave a reserved atmosphere??!!

Why do you have to be talking right now, Emerson?? I just want to drink my coffee. I know, I know. No. The coffee surface doesn't look as oily with the coffee brewer. Yes, it is because of the filter. Yes, it looks oilier with the french press. No, I didn't know you could mix several coffee beans to get a more complex flavor like you do with beer. I would like to try that later. I guess the water temperature from the Keurig is not hot enough. It's a workout to crush those beans. He needs to be quiet. How do I tell him to shut up? No, you don't tell your husband to shut up. But I want him to shut up so that I can drink my coffee. What is he saying? I just hear blah, blah, blah. I want to drink my coffee. It's getting cold.  All I want is to taste my coffee. All I want is silence... EMERSON, SHUT UP. JUST SHUT UP!! LET ME DRINK MY COFFEE! 

It's amazing how fast a mind works. I actually just said what's in bold, but I actually thought all that, and probably more in less than, what, one minute? Poor Emerson... he sat down on the floor, and he let me have my quiet sip. I just needed one sip. After that, we talked about all the nerdy things about the coffee, and the beer. And we watched The Office, and ate Tostitos, and Kisses.

After the day was over, I had this sense of contentment. The day was awsome. The gifts were awesome. But even without the gifts, we still have each other. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. There's not a gift in the world that could make me happier. I don't think the way I used to think. There was always something to look forward to, and I wasn't joyful if I didn't have it.  Five years ago I used to think When I have this, then I'll be happy. But that's not longer me. All this stuff is just stuff, and it's nice to have a french press, and a paddle for tasting beer, and a Keurig, and Netflix -I wouldn't make it without Netflix sometimes when it comes to Libby.

But my husband, my children, and our lives together are the most valuable gifts I have from God.

See? I have it all.

Carpet Photo Shooting 

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