Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Christmas Break

We did not travel or have Jerry take vacation time this holiday season. But our holiday was still bright. I collaborated with my siblings and parents to do a "Family History/Genealogy Calendar" which turned out to be one of the most meaningful projects we've ever done as a family. So I felt close to family, even though I was geographically not near most of my family. Jerry and I have kids that are old enough now anyway that we can have Christmas with just the four of us and it feels exciting.
Baby Ro is hilarious these days.  She loves bandaids, for one thing, which is a curiosity to me because Mr. Lo has always abhorred them (as well as hating stickers, finger-painting, and anything else...sticky).  Anyway, Ro burns through about a pack of bandaids per week, so I get casual about just handing her one when she shows me an imaginary injury.  In that photo above, Ro had asked for a bandaid at bedtime, saying her eyes were hurting.  I figured her eyes were just hurting from being tired, but unthinkingly handed her a bandage in her crib to pacify her and then left.  She fell asleep quietly like normal.  When I got her in the morning, I found to my chagrin she had a bandaid on one eye and was crying--not because she wanted it OFF, but wailing that she wanted another bandage to cover her OTHER eye!  I finally gave in and let her do it. Yes, she stuck them both in that exact placement all by herself.  She smiled the sweetest look of contentment afterward.  About an hour later, she asked me to take off the bandages, saying "Take off--see a little bit better."  Of course she screamed horribly when the adhesive pulled at her eyebrows and eyelashes.  But then said simply, "Thank you, Mommy."  Two-year-olds really are funny, funny, funny.
We made gingerbread (graham cracker) houses at a special library program on Christmas Eve.  Jerry wasn't there because he had to work.  :(  Note Baby Ro has a bandage on her forehead.  No, she did not get an injury on her head.  She just stuck that bandaid on for fun.  Other interesting places she has put bandaids: her ear, her hair, and her toes (taping all toes into one bundled package).  Sidenote: I was proud of Mr. Lo during the gingerbread project because he only ate Hershey chocolate, marshmallows, and pretzels--not any M&M's, gum drops, candy canes, jelly beans, etc. because we are doing a strict "NO Red 40/Yellow 5 artificial food dye policy" for him.  He has a clear behavioral reaction to those toxins.  He's remarkably self-sustaining on this dietary change, carefully asking anyone who hands him a snack, if it looks red/yellow/orange/green/purple etc. "Can you check the ingredients please?"  And sometimes when I've told him in a moment of weakness, "Oh, you can have a little food dye something or other," he says, "No thank you."  He has learned to feel the negative effect of the food dyes on his emotional state and tries his best to avoid it.  I'm so proud of his personal integrity to do that.  His preschool teachers tell me he is careful even at school when I'm not there, always asking before eating the snack to check if it has any food dyes.
Another activity we did during Christmas break was visit a local fun spot, Hop N Play.  It's too expensive for "everyday" fun, but since Jerry was working so much and all our friends were out of town or visiting with their own families, I got desperate and had to take the kids somewhere.  Lo Lo loved this oompah loompah inspired playplace.  He is athletic, strong and daring.  He did all sorts of gymnastics and romping around at this outing.  Ro seemed a bit overwhelmed by it at times, but had fun too.  I don't have many pictures because I was trying to keep a close eye on the kids to make sure they were safe.
The last fun activity we did during Christmas break was a visit to our local zoo/science center.  Why yes my kids were doing outdoor water play in December.  Gotta love California.  Ro and Lo could have stayed at this sand/water table for hours, but I dragged them away to look at the otter feeding.  We had a friend join us at this activity and had lots of fun.