Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All I want for Christmas

This weekend, my company hosted a children's holiday party.  The tickets were a hot commodity around the company, so I was grateful to be able to score some for the Shoup family and a friend of mine.  Everybody knows the holidays are about friends and family, with some good old fashioned balloon animals thrown in for good measure.  What's that you say?  There are no balloon animals in the nativity?  That's only because nobody has tried to make a camel with two humps yet.  They are still stuck on monkey in a tree. 

A very extremely organized friend of mine scored a table large enough for the group of us.  I showed up late for the party thinking it started half an hour later than it did.  I know, nobody reading this blog is shocked that I showed up late.  We could have wound up sitting on the floor for all my excellent planning!  When you walked in, there were tons of festivities for the kids all over the place and there was no being strategic about which place you should visit first.  Since Santa and Mrs. Claus had not arrived yet, we sat down and got K some snacks to eat. 

She really did like the broccoli, I promise!
While we waited for Santa, we tried to take in some of the other activities.  First on our list was the aforementioned balloon animal.  The animals were really elaborate though and it took a long time!  While we were patiently waiting, Santa arrived.  We ditched the balloon animal guy quick and in a hurry!  Santa vs a balloon animal and the balloon animal wins every time!  The kids were all given personalized gifts (well, as personalized as age and gender would allow), so there was a plan in place for how to meet and greet with Santa.  KIC showed no fear and was prepared to give her spiel again, to a sane Santa this time.
Nope, not excited at all!
For the love of God, take the picture already!
We left Santa and went to obtain our balloon animal and get our face painted.  By this time, DH and I had the system down.  One of us would wait in line with KIC and the other would be a placeholder in another line.  It made for a lot of waiting.  A lot of waiting.  But KIC and the other kids with us were good sports about it, considering it was well past naptime for all three (yup, KIC still takes a nap.  I know, I AM a lucky dog!).  Everyone got a balloon animal (some got two) and everyone got their faces painted.
Before we left, I had the bright idea to stage some photo shoots with the props around the party location.  We got photobombed a LOT by children hyped up on candy canes and snow cones.  Seriously, it really was like Candyland up in that piece.  We did get some good shots though.
Jordin adopted us for the picture - we are clearly all she wants for Christmas.  Who can blame her?  We are kind of fab.

Serously, someone needs to give these parents some direction.  Must KIC do everything?!?!

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Shoup and the Shoup Family Zoo to your family.  May your days be merry and bright!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Day I Broke Up WIth Santa

Tis the season for parents and children alike to flock to visit Santa.  KIC, having a working mom with no patience, generally doesn't get to visit the mall Santas.  I know, mean mommy.  This year, however, with the help of NannyK who can go during the day when there are less people and less ill behaved children, KIC had the benefit of going to see Santa.

There is a garden center in our area that is known for a magical Santa.  The Santa is known for remembering children year after year and people come from all over to visit.  The garden center is not far from where I work, so it was agreed that I would meet NannyK and KIC after work.  We don't go out as a trio very often, so I was looking forward to being a witness to this magical Santa experience.  I left work a little late and was fretting that I was going to miss it.  As you'll soon see, I should have been worried about other things.

I arrived at the garden center just as Santa made his appearance.  Since this Santa has been doing his thing for awhile, he has a pomp and circumstance routine he likes to follow.  I was preoccupied finishing up some work and since NannyK was on show mom duty, so I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have.  His routine elicited some chuckles from the parents, wide eyed wonder from the kids and then it was time to move into Santa's workshop.

It was in the workshop that things got super interesting.  Between the children being forced to hold each other's hands and dance, the elaborate indentured servitude ceremony (he had each child pick out their workshop in Santa's village.  KIC, not surprisingly, chose to work with the reindeer.) and the staring contest the bossy six year old lost to NannyK, things were awkwardly entertaining.  Finally, it was our turn to see Santa.

KIC presented her very carefully written letter to Santa and prepared herself for her spiel.

Santa:  I see your name is Kaitlyn (read from the letter).
KIC:  Yes, and I have been a very good girl this year...
Santa:  YES, you HAVE!
(NannyK and I beamed with pride).
Santa:  Now, I see here, you have on your list you'd like some books.

Here's where it started to spiral downward.  KIC didn't write that she wanted books and KNEW she didn't write it.  She looked at NannyK and I like "What the heck is this guy talking about???"

KIC: ...
Santa:  And that you want a doll for Christmas.  Now, I have two kinds of dolls:  Babies you can feed and dolls you can dress.  Which kind would you like?
KIC:  Dolls you can feed (Not true as she has asked Santa for an American Girl Doll, but I let it roll).
Santa:  A doll you can feed!  Now, here is a blue ribbon from me.  When you wake up Christmas morning, you will know the gift is from me because it has this blue ribbon around it.  Now, for Christmas eve, your mom makes good brownies.  I would like for you to put a brownie on a plate for me and a carrot out for the reindeer.
Me (alarmed):  What the?!?  Brownies??
NannyK (all INTO it):  You do make good brownies.
Me:  ...

It was at this point, we could tell Santa was wrapping up.  NannyK and I approached the sleigh; me to take an "official" photo with Santa and NannyK to get KIC.

Santa:  And who do we have here?   (pointing at me) Grandma and (pointing at NannyK) Mom?
Me (goggling at Santa, not entirely sure of what I just heard):  ...
NannyK (desperately trying to salvage my pride):  Uh, no, no, I'm the nanny and she's the Mom.  We're a team! 
Me (weakly):  Yeay teamwork.

If you need me, Granny Shoup will be nipping som spirits in the corner.

It wasn't a total wash.  We got this little gem: