First was Zach's preschool Christmas program. It was very cute and went quite well, especially considering the school put all 80-something (3 pre-k classes and 4 three year-old classes) of their kids on stage at once. They sang 7 songs in all. Zach was right smack behind the microphone stand, but as I said before, Mike still managed to get a lot of decent pictures. I was in charge of the video camera, and I wasn't as good.
When the kids first came in, they were all looking for their family members. We could see Zach scanning and scanning the crowd for us, and he was starting to get a really worried look on his face, which about broke my heart. Then Mike sort of stood up and caught Zach's eye, and he broke into this huge grin and said, "There's my dad!" It was like you could see the joy and relief wash over his face once he realized we really were all there. I think this first picture is the tail-end of that smile. A little bit later he saw me, too, and gave another great grin.
Singing Here's Baby Jesus.
This is What Can I Give Him, and I like this picture because it shows how Zach sort of got stuck on one motion. Notice how he is tapping his head, but everyone else is putting their hands out. When they ask what they can bring Him, they put their hands out, but then they go on to say something about what a wiseman would bring Him, and they tap their heads (I suppose to go with being wise?), and then they go back to putting their hands out. I watched the video of this song and it's kind of funny to see where Zach gets stuck on the one movement.
Here's a video of the last song the kids sang. They had a blast, and so did we.
Since Mike had some time before he needed to be back at work, we had planned for today to be our visit Santa day. The mall nearest to us has a wonderful Santa- the same guy has been there every year since the mall opened when Zach was 18 months old. On evenings and weekends the line is so long, and if you know me well, you know I don't wait in line very well, especially when I have Zach and Drew with me. With our sweet little unknown factor we like to call Drew, we thought it would be best to go see Santa at a time when there wouldn't be a long line to wait in or a whole bunch of people in front of which to embarrass ourselves. It was perfect, though. Drew and I got into the mall a little after Mike and Zach, and they were the only people in line waiting for Santa. Santa was ready for the boys as soon as I got Drew out of the stroller. At first Drew didn't want to go right onto Santa's lap, but Zach couldn't wait. If you click on the picture below, you can see that, like always, Drew has 2 cars in hand. One is his "wy-wy," or fire engine, and the other is a Wheaties race car.
Santa asked Drew about his cars right away and that pretty much won over Drew's heart. Drew then let me set him on Santa's lap, which was nice because I really didn't want to be in all the pictures. Of the 118 pictures Mike took today, 48 of them were with Santa. What's neat about all the pictures he took is that they really capture a lot of Zach's facial expressions and though they are still photos, they also capture his excitement. Notice in this first one how he's talking with his hands.
Here, again, you can see Zach talking with one hand. He's also doing his nervous finger-rubbing thing with his other hand.
Santa took lots of time to talk with the boys, and had a lot of ideas of things the boys might like. A part of me wanted to draw my finger across my throat as if to say, "That's enough, Santa! Zach already wants every toy he sees in any catalog; we don't need any more ideas!" But then Santa told the boys to play nicely together and share with each other, and to listen to Mom and Dad and follow directions. I'll be interested to see if it carries more weight when Santa says it.
Eventually Drew didn't want to sit with Santa anymore, but Zach was definitely comfortable and happy.
I just think this is such a sweet picture, because Santa is giving Zach such a great hug.
Drew did give Santa a hug, but it was from the safety of my arms. I was fine with that, though. I have this picture of my nephew Cam when he was the same age Drew is now, and he's sitting on Santa's lap, face totally red, hand clenched in a tight fist, mouth open wide and tears rolling down his face. I was expecting a similar picture of Drew, but it really went much, much better than I expected. As I said, he's always sort of an unknown factor in any equation.
When we left Santa Zach realized he forgot to ask for a new driver for Mike, so I told him we could write a letter and mail it to Santa. In the meantime, I'm really trying to talk Zach out of asking Santa for that driver, because I am certain Mike does not need a new driver or any other golf club, but I don't want Zach to feel disappointed when Santa doesn't come through for Daddy. I guess if that happens, I'll just tell Zach that Santa must think Daddy already plays too much golf as it is, so he didn't want to contribute to that habit. I guess I'll just blame it on Mike. : )