Here it looks like Zach is explaining something to Santa- notice how he's talking with his hands. I imagine Santa's thinking, "Heh- get a load of this kid. He sure likes to talk!"
This is where Drew is starting to think, "What am I doing on this guy's lap? Who is he, anyway? Mom!!!! Dad!!!!"
As we waited in line to see Santa, I watched an event that was really sweet. There was an older couple ahead of us in line a little ways. They had what I assumed to be their daughter with them- she was grown, but probably had Cerebral Palsy or something. As they pushed her wheelchair up to Santa, the daughter was SO excited, and it was really sweet. She was so happy to be seeing Santa, and I thought about how it was sad and also neat that she probably believes he's totally real. Santa treated her like any kid, and talked to her, hugged her, and gave her a little book when she was done. It was kind of a touching thing to watch.
After visiting Santa, we made another decision that I thought was crazy- we went to the play area at the mall. On a Saturday. In December. To me that just sounds like a dumb idea, because the play area is always packed on weekends, and you add that to the fact that there's only 19 days until Christmas and the mall is more crazy than ever, and it's just asking for chaos. Well, amazingly, the play area was not a crazy as I thought it might be. The boys got to play for a little bit before we headed upstairs to eat.
Enter crazy decision number three- we went to the food court at 12:15. On a Saturday. In December. And that was when I realized why the play area wasn't packed- it was because every single person in the mall was in the food court, trying to find a seat at which to eat his lunch. Zach and Mike headed to Chick-Fil-A while Drew and I went to Panera. Drew and I were in line for about 1 minute before I realized he really likes lines about as much as I do, so we left the line to find a place to sit where I could feed him some delicious pureed fruits and veggies. I weaved the stroller through the food court until I found some people about to leave, and I hovered over them until they cleared their trays. Thankfully I only had to hover for a few seconds- they were getting up right as I saw them. So Drew and I sat down and I started feeding him while we waited for Mike and Zach to get their food at Chick-Fil-A. The next thing I know, Mike and Zach are at our table, and Mike's saying how we have one unhappy kid on our hands. I couldn't figure out what Zach could be unhappy about- he had gotten exactly what he wanted for lunch (chicken nuggets and fries with a side of ranch- so healthy, I know), so why was he upset? Mike gestured over to another section of the food court, which was when I realized there was quite a bit of smoke in the air. Turns out there had been a small fire in the food court a couple minutes before Mike and Zach got to the table, and I had been completely oblivious to the whole thing. As we ate the firemen came, half the food court was roped off, and the smoke dissipated. It seems that after our little incident with the kitchen fire yesterday, Zach got a little spooked when he first saw the smoke in the mall, which was apparently very copious. Then he heard someone say something about there being a fire, and that didn't help his nervousness at all. We heard later that a floor outlet that caught on fire, I guess. That doesn't really inspire a lot of confidence as far as being at the mall goes...
Last week when I got out some Christmas decorations, I made the mistake of letting Zach see gingerbread house kit that we have. It is something I really want to do some day, but I think next year might be a better time for it, when both boys are a little older. The box has cookie cutters for all the pieces of a gingerbread house, but then I will have to make and bake the gingerbread and icing from scratch, and I have to get all the candy for it. This all sounded like a bit much right now, but Zach saw it and really wanted to do it, so I said we could over the weekend. Well, yesterday after the fire, Auntie Carol's (Grandma Cynthia's sister) package came with a different gingerbread house kit with all the candy, icing, and gingerbread pieces included. Saved by Auntie Carol!! So today Zach, Mike, and I got to work on our gingerbread house. Zach wore his special tiger mask (a gift to Zach from Auntie Carol when Drew was born- she gives great, creative gifts). Zach got to work on it a bit more tonight with Grandma Cynthia, but we need to finish it tomorrow.
Here we are working on the house:
Tonight we had Mike's work Christmas party at a local restaurant. It was so good. We were bummed that a few people, Curt, Laura, and Kevin, couldn't make it. Curt had his own work party and Kevin and Laura are stationed at the hospital for a while. Laura is one of Mike's employees, and she is 25 weeks (I think) pregnant and due in mid March, and she is on bedrest until further notice, basically. Poor girl. She has to lay in bed with her feet above her head for at least a few more days, I think. This is Laura and Kevin's first baby, and Laura went to the doctor yesterday and found out that she was already 2 cm dilated. Mike and I stopped by the hospital to see Laura and Kevin after the party and to deliver some dessert, a new book, and Laura's Christmas present. She seemed in really good spirits and she looked good. If you are a prayer, please pray for Kevin and Laura and their baby. Thanks. Laura, if you're reading this, hang in there, and call me if I can do anything for you!
The exciting thing that happened today is that our painting got done! It looks great! I'm on a quest now for some new wall hangings to compliment the new paint, and once I find what I want and get it all on the walls, I'll post more pictures. I really love the living room. It's so fun to have color!