Christmas Countdown

We pulled down the Christmas decorations and I gave Leo the nativity set to put up. 

He clearly has not seen many nativity scenes in his short life. 


It’s such a first-grade interpretation of the wise men.  “Okay, line up single file, guys.  Everyone will get a turn.  Baby Jesus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  Hey! No cutting, Balthasar!”


Also, I love Joseph’s stance here.  He is so much the dad who hears the baby crying and comes to help but hasn’t the foggiest idea what to do, so he stands there leaning slightly forward as if just the gesture of being someone who wants to help is helpful in and of itself.  Am I right?!

As for the rest of our Christmasing, here’s what it looks like to date.

This is the part where Kevin starts talking about how they have perfectly nice pre-cut trees just ten yards away from here.


Inspector Leo.  He’s more the upper-management type.


But sometimes the only way to get a job done is to do it yourself.


Guess I forgot to tell them to say cheese.


Leo, rediscovering his favorite Christmas ornament: a golden unicorn with a fake diamond.  Of course.


Here we are decorating the tree:


Oops, wrong picture (that was last year).  Here we are decorating the tree:


Yup, so that’s where we’re at.  Counting the days until Christmas while also wishing it doesn’t come too fast so we can enjoy these brightly-lit, dream-filled, family-packed days.

Leftovers & some new stuff:
Cheeseburger soup
Chicken and sweet potato curry
Baked potatoes
Green beans and broccoli with butter
Brownie royales

Guyliner & Stuff

Vincenzo performed in his fourth play this weekend, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.*  He played a Vulgarian child, a Morris dancer and the passenger side wheel of Chitty.  Yes, a wheel.  It was the defining role of his entire acting career.  You know, because he’s so tired all the time.  (Ba-dum-dum)

There were many, many jokes made about his role—most of them by Vincenzo.  Like at dinner tonight:

Me: Vincenzo, if you could have any role you wanted in the play, what would it be?
Vincenzo: I don’t know.
Kevin: Driver’s side wheel?
Vincenzo: No, no—I’m not ready for that level of responsibility yet.

Or how any time I’d tell someone Vincenzo was a wheel in a play, Kevin would add proudly, “Not just any wheel; he’s a front wheel.”

Instead of telling him to break a leg, we told him to “get a flat.”

Pre-stage prep included multiple applications of guyliner.


It’s a moment I never didn’t think to imagine when I held my baby boy in my arms and envisioned our whole lives together.  It was nice.  We talked about, you know, girl stuff.  Like he’d say, “Humans are weird.  We draw on our faces and then pretend we’re other people on a big wooden platform.”  And, “Wait—if they don’t test this on animals, who do they test it on?”  It was such lovely time together and he looked so good with raccoon eyes (I asked if he wanted cat eyes but he said no thanks) that I told him when he goes through his emo phase, I’ll put on his eyeliner every morning for him.  We decided it was more likely he’d probably go through an emu stage than an emo one, though.

As for the play, it was hilarious on every level.  I mean, it’s not every day you get to see your thirteen-year-old son sitting around, dressed like this:


Or prancing around, dressed like this:


Or holding a cardboard wheel, like this:


I always like to get V a bouquet or present that matches his role.  I didn’t think I’d be able to do it this year but then my eyes fell upon…


The card went something like this:

You did a wheelie good job tonight.  We’re so proud of your drive.  I hope you’re not too tired to go to the cast party, but you’ll probably be fine—you’ve been on such a roll this week!

So Vincenzo, if you are reading this some day, I want you to know that, all puns aside, we really and Truly are proud of you.  (I couldn’t help myself.   Truly is another Chitty joke.)

(“Chitty joke” was not intended to be a joke in and of itself, but it looks like it is now.)

Seriously, though, we are so proud.  (Darn it, Seriously is also a Chitty joke.  It’s impossible to avoid these!)

Okay, we are proud of you, you look a-MAZ-ing in guyliner, and we love going to your plays.  It is so fun to see you come out of your cave and transform yourself into a different person on stage.  It’s something that surprises us, seeing shy, quiet you dancing a crazy jig with a bunch of girls twice your height or creeping around whispering chitty chitty chitty chitty, doing your best to channel your inner wheel while also conveying the message that yes, this is slightly ridiculous.  Thanks for all the laughs you bring us and to everyone else in the audience.  No matter what part you have in the play, you’re always the lead in our eyes.

Miso salmon
Brown rice
Something green

*Do NOT under any circumstances start reminiscing about fond memories of this movie and go out and rent it.  The movie is painfully outdated, makes NO SENSE, and is three brutal hours long.