Sunday, December 27, 2009

Liam's first Christmas in the U.S.

We had a great Christmas here in Davis and were joined by Grandparents Tim and Sally and Uncle Bri.  Our "Charlie Brown" Chrismtas tree was loaded up with wonderful ornaments, including some Rajasthani dolls and elephants brought back from India, a Kenyan Santa from the Quirks, a cute raccoon from the Warings, and a wooden snowflake from Aunt Marsha.  Here's a shot of Brian and Liam reading next to the tree:

Liam pretty-much, kind-of, sort-of got the whole Christmas story thing.  He semi-dictated a letter to Santa, thanking him for being nice to the reindeer, but when it came time to leave out snacks for them, he decided he was Rudolph and ate up the carrots and apples we were urging him to leave for his night-time visitors.  Presents were fun and included a school backpack (very grown up), some beautiful homemade blocks from Topher and Marie, some instruments, and some tubby toys (the biggest hit).  He unwrapped most of them on his own, but mostly enjoyed cutting the wrapping paper with his scissors, and was less inclined to actually find out what was inside each box.

We enjoyed a nice Christmas dinner with our upstairs neighbors, Deepa and Anand:

Some good walks (I think my mom is the crocodile from Peter Pan in this photo and Liam is pretending to be a ferocious Captain Hook):

Liam's favorite activity, reading time (my dad probably read this book to Liam about eight times):

And some good family time:

We gratefully received letters, gifts and photos from so many of you and wished, of course, that we could see you all, but we thought of you and hope you, too, had a good Christmas. 

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tahoe Holiday

We got to spend a delicious day in Tahoe with our friends Chris and Christine Hanson, and their friends.  It was magical partly because of the snow.  It. Was. Perfect.  Not for skiing, but for everything else.  It was that ideal mixture of dry and fluffy but just warm enough to be as malleable as clay of the gods.  It was the kind of snow that is deeply satisfying to your kids, both inner and extant.

We left Davis a bit late (after gymnastics, you see) and with traffic, snow, putting on and driving with chains, and more snow and more traffic, it was more than 3 hours before we arrived.  The awesome part was that Liam was a total trouper throughout the whole ride.  Not only did he not complain, but self entertained, and allowing us to talk to each other the way other adults do.  It was great:

When we arrived there was already two and half feet on the ground, and the place looked marvelous:

We spent that afternoon and evening rollicking in the snow and digging paths, building chutes, forts, and snow people.  Chris helped me build an awesome snow arch that stood a magnificent 6 feet:

We went to sleep nice and tired, and got up the next day to find that another foot and a half had fallen overnight.  This was my trail from a morning venture to the car for the camera.

Again, we played in the snow, and friends played with Liam.  The snow made it easy to get that two-year old excitement about the world.  Chris and Luna played with him in the early morning

Then Ilyse and Liam played doggies, and took turns feeding each other snow:

Then, all-of-a-sudden, we had to go home.   But what a holiday.

Santa in Solano Park

We set up our 3rd family Christmas tree on Friday night.  It might be the first one Liam remembers.  Or not.  It's a tall and spindly thing, and we keep it in a pressure cooker.  Just our style.  That night we also went to the Solano Park community center for a Christmas dinner, at which Liam met Santa.

Here, Santa responds to Liam's probing questions regarding the stability of a mass of toys upon an airborne sleigh undergoing certain amounts of angular momentum.  I didn't really follow the conversation, it got too technical.

Eventually I decide to take a picture as I imagine any good dad should.  But neither Liam nore Santa are keen on the idea of being documented as having met.  Perhaps it's because of the previous discussions and trade secrets, but I can only guess.