Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I'm stealing from my sister-in-law's blog because I really needed to document my kid's face just a little bit more this year. Oh, and while I'm stealing things, I'll take my niece's expression "I like your face" (courtesy of Lainey). You should hear her say it, it's pretty funny.

The "what-is-this? scrunched-nose" face.

The "I like it" face. My mom made him a plate with a drawing of Max from Where the Wild Things are and he totally got it.

The "Is this for real?" face.

The "having fun" face.

We took our Schofield family portrait with very little planning because getting Christmas cards out it very urgent business. Especially if Christmas is already past. I've always thought that how well the ones that married into the family blend in with the blood relatives is wierd. I guess I blend in really well with my in-laws, too. Maybe I'm becoming a racist, but all white people look alike to me. Oh, and now that our formal portrait taking is nearly over, I've devised a strategy for getting Luke to smile. We'll see if it works when we take the Mac-Diana-Luke pics soon.

I was spacing on the fact that it was the silly picture, which makes it turn out even better.

Big Girl Dress Up

My niece, Emmy, asked for Dress-Ups for Christmas. It got me thinking that big girls need dress-ups too.

And on that note...

My mom got me this for Christmas.

I'm not even kidding. Probably because every time I see the commercial I say "get me my credit card, I NEED one of those". I was , but only sort of. So far I've only worn the tiny one in public, but I wear the big ones while I'm cleaning and pretend I'm Betty Draper from Mad Men. That turns mopping and vacuuming into something fairly glamorous. Money well spent, mom, even if I never leave the house with it.

This is my other dress up. I made it yesterday and today from a cotton sweater that would have otherwise ended up at Goodwill. It spoke to me and told me it wanted to be a ruffly Victorian scarf. I'm not sure what else to wear it with because my wardrobe consists of jeans and 1/2 sleeve t's, but I'm going to wear it anyway and pretend I've got style.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Luke vs. the snow

Monday, December 28, 2009
I couldn't not post these. We tried twice to get Luke to play in the snow while we were still in Utah. He had a major beef with the ensemble (maybe because he's naked half the time at home and hates any clothes, let alone a big suit and boots) and was getting pretty upset. I got him calmed down and we went outside. The second I set him in the sled, he let me know this was not his idea of fun. The second time we tried he had the same reaction to the snow clothes, but there was no way he was letting me set him down, so we lasted all of 5 minutes. I even tried sitting in the sled with him, but he wasn't having it.

Major pout face. I don't blame him, as I'm not a snow person either. Maybe next year!

Where's the Gong?

My family has a tradition of doing a talent show near Christmas. This year was kicked off by a very silly dance by Emily and her friend Jordan. Much displeased that the tradition wasn't being taken seriously (you will see why this is ironic later), the family patriarch asked where the gong was and cut the act short. We planned to go youngest to oldest, and the real show started with Emily playing some Christmas tunes.

Next, we realized we didn't let Luke perform anything, so I had him do all the signs he knows. It was pretty stinking cute, and I was impressed he played along with me- he's got some crowd-pleasing instincts.

Peter followed with his violin pieces (I think he played Christmas songs too).

Kevin did an amazing number on the piano. He played the tune of "Mad World" but sang the lyrics to a Black Sabbath song (War Pigs). Apparently he had "Mad World" stuck in his head one day while listening to Black Sabbath, and realized they would mesh well. I've realized Kevin's talents are not to be underestimated.

From there we switched up the order because Jordan was going home and my mom didn't want her to miss her performance of a Christmas legend of how Santa came to be. It is done in a southern black voice and frankly I found it offensive, but I think I was the only one.

Bryan warned us all not to be embarrassed if our talent paled in comparison to his and then amazed us by touching his nose with his tongue. It was a hard act to follow. I'm trying to remember what we all did last year- I distinctly remember that Bryan did a recitation of the Cremation of Sam McGee because he went after my dad, who did the exact same thing. Great minds...

Mac and I went next and sang a couple of verses of "Baby it's cold outside". Both of us braved our fear of singing in public (we had only practiced this once). The whole time Luke was crawling all over us, trying to hog the spotlight.

Ciara showed us part of what she does at work. She works at a children's center with classes and we got to see a routine they do at the end. It was so high-energy and fun that I wonder how she makes her energy last all day. There is no photo record of this act because she was taking the pictures and we all forgot to snap one of her.

My dad gave us a choice of listening to a recitation of Casey at bat or a feat similar to Bryan's. We chose the latter and witnessed the bizarre crossing and uncrossing of his eyes.

Lyle showed us the world-record holding design for paper airplanes. Everyone but Luke and I made one because we needed to get to sleep- too much fun for one night!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Little Lad...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our little lad is tuckered out. Yesterday we got up at 5:00 (California time) and got on the road by 7:00. We probably spent too much time at McDonald's (at two locations), but I think it helped Luke to get his energy out so he wasn't a basket case. He didn't travel quite as well as he did on his way to Utah, but held up pretty well until the last hour, when he started to lose it. The weather was really nice both ways besides a little snow coming over the mountain into California. We went straight to my parents because we were celebrating my grandfather's 85th birthday. The house was about as packed as I've ever seen it- my entire immediate family plus some other friends and family. We opened some more presents and I really wish I'd had the video camera out- Luke started making this noise to every gift he opened that sounds just like the commercial below at the 11 second mark. We just call it the berries and cream noise. It was when he started making this noise that I knew he was a little loopy. We excused ourselves as soon as we could and went home to settle in for the night. I wanted to unpack so I could enjoy the Sabbath and as we unpacked Luke went around the house making the berries and cream noise at every one of his toys that he'd missed. Then the meltdowns started. I had completely missed his sleep window (you know the window where they're tired, but not over-tired and wired, where they'll go down easily and not fight it). The window was long gone and he was just melt-down city. A whole week of excitement plus the day of being strapped in the car, the cherry on top being the over-stimulation of my parents' house. He's been melting down at regular intervals all today as well, so I think it's time for the fun to be over and for us to settle back in to our normal routine.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Morning

Friday, December 25, 2009
As a Christmas present to me, Luke slept through the night. Not just 5-6 hours through-the-night, but from the time he fell asleep to the time it was morning. I know that most kids his age probably do that, but for us it's a pretty big deal. I'm not expecting it again tonight, but we're definitely moving in the right direction!

We were the first ones up and Mac made the executive decision to wake his sisters up. This was my first Christmas with a kid who is big enough to open presents, and that in itself is enough of a gift to me. Plus, I got some more loot to quench my consumerist thirst for at least a day or two. Actually, most of the presents that I got were not of the pure-consumer variety but more of the sentimental variety (and, yes, I teared up a time or two). It was so fun to watch Luke open his stocking and presents.

He went straight for the candy.

We got the whole Beatrix Potter Set in hard back. It was perfect.

Luke mostly wanted to play with the baby that played baby Jesus in the nativity last night. It was too heavy, though, and he kept tripping over it. I need to get him one his own size 'cause he loves him some baby dolls. And, no, I don't worry about boys playing with dolls. He'll just be a really great big bro when the time comes and then someday be a sensitive dad.

He also had to take a very important call. I think it may have been from his Nana or his Aunty Emmy.

Oh, and don't you love his jammies? They're so awesome- they can be footsies OR just the regular kind. I'm always the last one to know about these cool things.

It's not Christmas until

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I've heard quite a bit about Treehouse and was excited to see what it's all about. It's basically a childrens' museum/play space with different themed rooms. Luke had a ball running around and climbing on things. He loved the trains most of all but he also loved the fish, the music room, the fire engine, and the horses.

Maybe someday...(uh, if you can't tell this is the fake oval office. the fauxvil office, if you will).

On the way home I saw my FAVORITE Utah eatery and it only took one raised eyebrow for Mac to know he should turn in immediately. Can you guess which one?

Why, oh why is there no Fazoli's in California? Utah can have In N' Outs, so why can't we have some good fast food Italian? Hmmm?

row, row, row your boat

Cami was poised to have friends over for sledding last night and she blew up this kayak in the living room. It provided a whole evenings' entertainment for the two littlest before it provided a whole late-evenings' entertainment for some young adults.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's not possible...

Monday, December 21, 2009
...to be having any more fun. Luke is having a blast being surrounded by all his cousins, a whole new set of toys, and lots of adults to pay attention to him and adore him. Plus, his dad doesn't have to go to work! How fun is it to have your dad around all day? So much.

I put the kibosh on Luke doing this water color project about the same time as he decided to eat the paint. Partly because I don't think it's edible, and partly because it was picture day.

We headed down to kiddie candids at the mall to show off how adorable the Christensens' progeny is. They had a blast waiting for the photographer, but by the time she showed up, they clammed up. I don't think she was a bad photographer (but I know a better one- wink wink), I think the wait just killed the kids' good moods. They weren't terrible or anything, we just couldn't get them all happy and smiling all at the same time.

The pro pix:

"Um, am I supposed to be smiling?"

We thought maybe if the moms were all there, the kids would smile. And they did. 'Cept Luke.

Close up time.

After we got some treats and a ride on the carousel. I was on there partly to keep Luke safe, and partly because I like carousel rides.

Now we're having Jo's Mongolian. I've tried to duplicate it at home, and it's just not possible, so I'll enjoy it while I can.

Luke & Lainey

Although at first the native population was hesitant about the foreign visitor, it was determined after much thought that Luke's first objective in visiting was not to steal all the toys. Once this determination was made, much fun ensued. After a messy feeding ritual, both children needed to be hosed down. As you will see, Luke followed Lainey's lead, as Lainey is much more experienced at JoJo's house. And they say "when in Rome..."

I was in the splash zone.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Emily's Class Party

Friday, December 18, 2009
My mom is room mother for Emily's class. When things get down to the wire sometimes she calls me for back-up to get things done and set up. Bryan and Kevin went, too, at the behest of Emily. They had expressed some doubts about wanting to go, and she prayed for it at breakfast (or so I'm told). Apparently that laid the guilt on thick enough that they both decided to go. Good thing, too, 'cause it was the best class party ever. When we showed up she was very excited to see them. I, however, was about as welcome as the janitor. I think she's pretty proud of her big, tall, fun brothers. When we showed up the kids were still in the cafeteria for lunch, so we set up the room. Luke was so excited about everything- he just looked at all the posters and the rugs and kept wandering over to the bookshelf signing "book".

The theme of the party was something like world-culture-potluck (but the REAL theme is Christmas- but you can't say that because it's not politically correct and could exclude people). Anywho, the food was amazing. I tried to avoid the desert half of the table, but wasn't entirely successful. After the kids ate we headed to the cafeteria for games. The cafeteria smelled exactly as I remember my elementary school cafeteria smelling- something faintly sweet like canned peaches permeates the air. The first game was a "skiing" race. The kids stepped on paper plates and held the candy cane while they "skied" around the orange cone and then passed the candy cane to the next kid. It was lots of fun and they all got pretty into it.

Next up was "don't throw snowballs in my backyard". We took the mismatched socks in our house and stuffed them to look like snowballs. The students were divided in half and had to try to throw all of the "snowballs" to the other half of the room. Whichever team had the least amount of snowballs when the timer went off won. Some evil genius kid figured out how to cheat (he stuffed the snowballs in his shirt and dumped them on the other side of the line just as the timer went off). I'm not sure why I found it so funny- I guess it's just funny to me how differently people think. I'm usually the last to figure out how to cheat at something and the creativity of cheating amuses me.

Luke really wanted to get in on the snowball-throwing action. After the kids were done with them (and they didn't look at all like snowballs anymore) he played with them for a while. Taking them in and out of the bag, carrying the bag, throwing them, rolling them. It was a grand old time. That's my kind of snow play- clean, dry, and room temperature.

Last the kids did a couple of service projects. They tied blankets for Project Linus, a group that gives blankets to kids going through cancer, and they wrote letters to soldiers serving overseas. I read some of the letters and they were pretty sweet.

Most everybody found Luke to be pretty charming, even some of the boys thought he was really adorable.

Well, that's all for today. Tomorrow we head out to Utah bright and early- all our bags are packed and I'm headed off to bed soon!