Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas from all of us!

We hope you all have a good one!
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Sunday Scribblings-Holiday Memories

The prompt this week is holiday memories. I have so many. Holidays were always the best for me. All my grandparents and cousins on both sides lived within a 10 minute drive of me. Every Christmas Eve, we would head to my maternal Grandparent's house for fun and Christmas Day would be at my paternal grandparent's house.

The party with mother's family always included the most amazing southern food. From fried chicken to dumplings to BBQ to coconut cake to chocolate cream pie, it was a feast. We would open gifts and laugh and play until it was time for midnight mass where my father would always sing. We would even grab all the cousins and go out to sing carols for the neighbors every year.

Christmas day, up at dawn, all eight of us would wait at the top of the stairs. Mother and Daddy would go downstairs to the den with the camera and ooooooh and aaaaaaah for what seemed like an eternity. We just could not contain our excitement. They would then say, "ok, we're ready" and sixteen footsteps could be heard barreling down the stairs just to be the first to see what Santa had brought.

Chaos ensued. Paper being torn and thrown around. The screams of "Yeah!!" " Wahoo!!" and "Thanks, Santa!!" as the toys were revealed could be heard throughout the house.

We would head then, to my father's parent's house for even more fun and presents. We would eat more wonderful food prepared by my grandparents and play with our other cousins until dark.

I cannot imagine how on earth my parents pulled off Christmas every year. From the expense of it all to just the logistics of putting together all those toys for eight children. Where were the presents hidden? When did my parents go out shopping? These are still mysteries to me.

I'm home this year for the first time in as long as I can remember and the first time since I've had children. When Jon and I thought that we would avoid the travel and make our own holiday traditions here, I'm not so sure we had any idea how sad we both would be not to be in the middle of the chaos.

Our Dallas "family" has invited us over for Christmas Day. We'll have new memories this year. It won't take the place of being with my family but I know we'll have a good one!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's Santa Time!

My boss got an email from a local shopping center asking us to take advantage of "Holiday Family Night" which meant that they some free food for the kids and a visit from Santa. They wanted us to create "buzz" for them on our blog. So, since my boss lives in the 'burbs and this shopping center is really close to my house, I was given the "beat".

So, here's the hilarious part to me, first, this is not a family-focused shopping center. They could be, but they are not. The only family store they had in it was Gap Kids and they took that out a couple of years ago. Imagine the hippest urban mall you can think of next to a university and you would be close. It is a mixed-use mall with loft apartments on top of the stores and restaurants. The stores include Gap, Urban Outfitters, upscale clothing and West Elm.

THIS outdoor shopping mall decided to lure families on a cold December night with the promise of free food for the kids and an outdoor showing of A Christmas Story. Yes, you read that right, an outdoor showing of A Christmas Story on a Monday night in the middle of December. Don't get me wrong. That movie is a must on the Christmas list but honestly, outdoors in December? with kids? No thanks, I'll watch it when TBS runs the 24-hour marathon.

And then there was Santa. This poor Santa was placed in a chair outside in 30 degree weather with NO ONE around, of course, because no families ever go to this shopping center!

And that made it the greatest Santa experience I have EVER had!

We pulled around to the parking garage, and there was (that poor) Santa. Sitting alone in a chair with a beam of light shining on him. Jack started screaming. It was probably one of the greatest moments I have ever had as a Mom. So, we meet Dad there and Jack goes running down the stairs to see Santa. He plopped in his lap and immediately asked 25 questions about where the reindeer were and the elves and the toys and will Santa join us for dinner at the pub, etc.

No two-hour wait to see Santa at the mall like I had last year. No other moms impatiently waiting and tapping their foot while my three-year old thinks of all the toys that pop in his head. No $35 Santa photos. Just Jack and Eva with the big guy.

Santa, as it should be.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sunday Scribblings -Dance

We can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind, 'cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance, well, they're no friends of mine....

I saw this prompt on Sunday Scribblings this week. I can't seem to get The Safety Dance out of my head as I'm writing this. I'm not quite sure why.

It would be difficult to find a prompt that I have spent more time doing than this one. Dancing is probably my most favoritest thing in the whole world (next to singing Bon Jovi on a karaoke).

I love dancing. I've written about this before but my kids and I have "dance party" each night before bed. Mostly, we dance to The Kung Fu Hustle but we sometimes mix it up. Jack is not so much a dancer. He likes doing the kung fu moves in the "hustle" but mostly he just watches me. Eva, on the other hand, she's in the center of it all. That music starts, and she starts squealing and clapping. She loves dancing.

My love of dancing started very young, in private. I was a large child and incredibly awkward in that I was the tallest girl in my class and not so much a petite flower. I tried ballet but I can't tell you the trauma I still have of that horrible time. Man! I was B-A-D!

But I always danced at home. I danced with my Dad on the counter, as he sang to me. I danced in my room to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. I danced to Joan Jett and the GoGo's. I danced all the time.

I finally took my "dancing skills" I had honed in my bedroom public with I was a teen. My friends and I would go dancing every weekend at an 18 and over club in Virginia called.......wait for it.........Ferrari's. Ah, yes Ferrari's. Some of my fondest memories were made in that club in a strip mall. That's where I learned to do the "running man", the "Kid 'n Play", made up "the Kristi Dance" and many other now hilarious dance moves. As a matter of fact, when I went to NY this weekend, I was able to bust some of those moves after a few cocktails. 37 years old and I've STILL got it! :)

I thought I would do a list off the top of my head of songs that have the word "dance" in the title. I came up with 20:

-The Safety Dance (of course)
-Dancin' on the Ceiling
-Dancing Queen
-Last Dance
-Dancing in the Street
-You Should be Dancing
-Rythm is a Dancer
-Let's Dance (David Bowie)
-Save the Last Dance for Me
-Dancing with Myself
-Shadow Dancing
-Dancing in the Dark
-Shall We Dance? (from The King and I)
-I Could Have Danced All Night (from My Fair Lady)
-Dancing in the Sheets
-Slow Dancin'
-Dance with Me
-I Want to Dance with Somebody (Whitney Houston)
-I Don't Feel Like Dancin' (Scissor Sisters)

Off the top of your head, what did I forget???

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Poetry Corner

As I mentioned, I went to NYC this weekend to spend time with my friends and see my dearest, Joseph. As I have mentioned in previous posts, Joseph has his first book of his poetry out. I was so lucky that he had a reading the weekend we were there.

I thought I would post a poem he read. I think it is just beautiful.

Imagined Love Poem to my Mother from my Father

My mermaid, I watched you scaling milkfish.
Your hands and arms were silver,
and your body flecked
with otherworldly raindrops.
You were a silver mine to be mined.
Perched on a high branch of your mother's
mango tree, I saw only a glimmer
of the blade as you scaled the fish, upand-
down strokes, repeatedly,
gracefully, like an artist whose gift flows
through her veins. A strand of your hair
danced across your forehead, sweat
trickled down the joyous strained lines
of your neck, and your breasts, like twin
bells, I heard their transcendental
sounds. The glistening, naked
milkfish escaped the warm Pacific
for such honor. Kismet, chosen by Neptune,
it entangled itself on the fisherman's
net and beckoned you with its fresh,
clear eyes. You sliced
its stomach, sweet blade twisting
in me, scooped out its innards,
the heart, pulled out the gills
from underneath its head's protective plates.
I almost fell off the tree, there was a deep
aching in my chest, and my breathing
was shallow. Crouched beside the spigot,
your brown arms pumped briskly for water
as you cleaned the fish, cradled
by the softest hands, blood
and scales streaming onto the earth.
Didn't you hear the fish mouthing my words
as you were salting it: Do unto me, the spy
up on the thick fruit tree, as you have done
unto the milkfish? One day I hope
to recite for you these verses
and in my voice you will hear,
from across the oceans surrounding
the archipelago, as if reverberated through
the ages, the voice of our future son.
© 2007 Joseph Legaspi

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stalking--Is it really a crime?

I was off to NYC this weekend with my pals for my annual visit. When I was single, I used to go monthly. Then, I got married and went quarterly, now, sadly, it is an annual treat.

Basically, I stay with my dearest Joseph (without hubby and kids!) and my girlfriends stay in a nearby hotel. What makes it really fun is that it just puts me in the Christmas spirit.

I've been doing alot of things recently to get me in the spirit from our annual Christmas tree cutting ceremony, to watching as many of my Christmas favorites as I can (White Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Year Without a Santa Claus) but nothing gets me going quite as much as my New York trip.

So, on to the stalking. My "celebrity sightings" seem to be feast or famine when I go. This year, we were a bit up. We saw Andy Samberg, Seth Meyers, Lucy Liu, Fred Schneider (from the B52's) and who I'm pretty sure is Giuliani (I'm counting him anyway).

I have to say I'm a pretty cool cat when it comes to celebrities. I mean, I don't gawk or take pictures. I know they are just normal folks trying to go into a paper store or head to the bank or whatever.

But, since my SNL radar was up, I had hoped to see who Joseph calls my "girl crush", Tina Fey. I just love her. I'm not kidding. She's so amazing. Smart, hilarious and a UVA grad! How can you not love that! I'm also such a huge fan of 30 Rock, I just can't stand it.

AND I totally think we could be friends. She's a brunette, I'm brunette (mostly), she's a mom, I'm a mom, she wears glasses, I wear glasses, she knows Alec Baldwin, I once saw him in a bar. See, so much to chat about already!

That said, I think I might fall apart if I met her.

It might be another Bill/Felicity moment.

Let's go back to 1999, shall we?

Joseph and I once met William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman on the street in NY. We had seen an off-broadway play with "Bill". We were standing outside of the theatre just chatting away about the play when I notice Felicity Huffman standing next to me. I turn to her and completely blurt out very loudly "Sports Night is my favorite show!" She looks at me and says, "thanks?" Embarassed, I walk away. Joseph laughed at me and said, "nice work, way to be cool." Then, all of a sudden out of nowhere, Bill Macy is standing next to us. He looks right at Joseph and says, "do I know you?" Joseph very sheepishly, "uh, no, we're just really big fans." I chime in, "yeah, big fans." He said, "thanks?" And they walked away, hand in hand.

We can now only get within 300 feet of them but it was totally worth it.

Maybe it's better I didn't run in to Tina.


Parents beware. Know your children's friends....

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sunday Scribblings-Walking

Funny this was the Sunday Scribblings today.

My family and I took my favorite walk of the year today. We went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down our own tree.

We started this tradition about six years ago, the Christmas after we got married. Jon is Jewish so he never had a tree growing up. When I told him that I was going to head to the local tree stand to purchase, he went online and found a farm.

Every year since then, we've headed to the surrounding areas to cut down our tree. Some farms have hay-rides to the fields (as this one did today), most have little shops where they sell homemade pies, cider and Christmas tree ornaments. The place we went today even had a train ride through the property. Jack had such a great time. It just puts me so much into the Christmas spirit.

Running through the rows of trees, Jack looked at every tree. Can we have this one, Mommy? This one? We finally picked our tree. It was a small one. We usually get two trees. One small one for the den and a big one for the dining room.

Jack and Jon grabbed a saw and T-I-M-B-E-R down it went.

This week, Jack and I will make ornaments for it. Heck, we might even string popcorn!

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas! Now, if only it would drop below 80 degrees!!

The Wiggles

Jack and I were playing on You Tube earlier and we found this video.

Maybe I spend too much time with The Wiggles.