Sunday, November 29, 2009

Deck the halls… with non-breakable items

A little background: after we have given thanks, spending the week with my father and family in North Carolina. We would cut down a Christmas tree, jam it in the car and on the long drive back to Baltimore, blast Christmas music passing truck after truck full of trees headed for the big cities.

This marked the start of the Christmas season for us.  Now we're in a different situation. Spending Thanksgiving in North Carolina isn't always going to be a possibility let alone bring a tree back.

However, the German tradition of putting up the tree on the 24th is not an option.  The tree is too beautiful not to enjoy for the month of advent.
Saturday morning, the sun peaked out for a few hours. A welcome break after 4 weeks of rain, we set off to start a new tradition. Packed into the car (minus Holly) we headed out to find a tree farm we had heard about.

Less than the 8 hours to North Carolina, 20 minutes later driving out of Schoenberg, we almost passed our destination. To the left we saw a house with two dozen rows of trees in front, all about the size of a big twig, something Charlie Brown would be happy with but not what we were hoping for. We kept on driving and found the perfect tree at the local Nursery in Schoenberg.
Saturday night we had our own Thanksgiving dinner and after Stella went to bed, we put the tree together.

Do you remember the movie "Close Encounters of a Third Kind"? Remember when the Alien spaceship landed and all the humans just stared up, dumb in amazement, eyes glassed over, speechless?

This is the only way I can describe Stella when she first saw the Christmas tree all lit up this morning. This little being, dwarfed by this enormous, luminescent, living tree with all sorts of dazzling and sparkling things…in our living room. She stood motionless for a few moments, then kicked into high gear, inspecting every corner, branch, light and ornament. Stella is especially enamored with our bugs bunny ornament. Every time she runs into the room, she points it out. We purposely tried to keep all breakable ornaments out of reach and the classic Norman Rockwell image comes to mind as she is standing on her tip toes, stretching as far as she can, trying to reach the shiny antique glass ornaments above.

She is enthralled with every ornament, the snowmen, the snowboarding Santa, the sparkly bells, the "balls". She roars back at the English Bear. Stella runs around the tree pointing at all the different ornaments and sometimes grabs them. We're trying to tell her that they are for looking only. Hopefully she'll get the hang of it soon. I would hate to put a gate up around the gorgeous tree.
This evening while at the dinner table, Stella grabbed the newspaper and opened it up as if she was really reading it. Now this isn't anything out of the ordinary, Stella loves to look at books and magazines. But what made this such a funny scenario is that she grabbed the paper, sat back in Maja's lap to read and when she was done with the page, she folded the paper together, grabbed the next page and opened it up again, looking intently at what was on the page. If she wasn't a toddler, her actions would mimic a wall street investor reading the numbers with his morning cup of coffee.

Stella loves to dance. When I come home from work, before I can take off my coat, she's asking, well demanding our hands to dance. Singing "wir haben eine ziehharmonika" (we have a harmonica), we stand in a circle stomping our feet. By the chorus, instead of swaying, we lift Stella up swinging her back and forth. She finds this totally cool and doesn't want to stop. When she hears a song playing over the stereo that she likes, she'll start bobbing to the beat.

There is a trampoline at the toddler gymnastics that Stella loves to jump on. She is now getting the hang of jumping on her own. It is really funny to watch her try and jump by herself. She hasn't quite gotten the hang of it yet. If she is walking when she tries, she it looks like she is trying to take long exaggerated steps as she lifts off of one foot, extending to her toes, look of amusement on her face, reaching with her arm as she lands with her other foot, only to repeat.
If however Stella has your hands, let the stomping action begin. With both hands secured, she lifts off and stomps and stomps and stomps. She loves the exaggerated spring Daddy gives her as she jumps up too.

We've mentioned that Stella currently has a total aversion to the bath. She loves looking at the water, throwing her toys in, even dipping her foot in. She screams bloody murder when you try to set her in though. As an alternative we filled the tiny tub with water and washed her while she sits at the wayside. Then she found her cups, which she promptly filled and dumped all over herself.  Mommy, the carpet and the bathroom were soaked. But the child was clean!

1 comment:

  1. We missed you at Thanksving, but I'm glad you're starting your own traditions. Our drive to the tree farm was only 2 minutes this year instead of an hour...we went to a new place just down the street. Check out the pics on FB!