Dec 23, 2010

Merry Christmas All!

We went to Macy's last night for Santa photos. I would have skipped it this year but we've done it every year since Evie was born, including with Ainsley the year she came home from the hospital on the 22nd of December. If I could do it that year, and the year it snowed, I could do it this year.
While we were there Steve found this Christmas ornament for my collection.  I've been collecting them since I was a girl (okay, teenager but I'm old enough now that I consider teenagers girls) and try to add one to the collection every year. See....Once upon a time I really loved Christmas. As the years go by I have less energy for all the hoopla. Especially this year with Ainsley's eyelid surgery and it's underwhelming results. So here it is, the "perfect ornament for 2010". I know some of you are going to want your own.....

Thanks honey, I love you! After 18 years together you know me too well. Coming home with this ornament actually cheered me up a bit because I am funny like that. I will look back on it with fondness some day like the ornament from when Evie was obsessed with Madeline, or the vintage tin Mickey for the year we went to Disneyland.

Macy's now has the "Santa Land" in a location at street level but there isn't an obvious ramp and there are stairs, not making it wheelchair friendly (though we are still using a stroller and waiting for her new wheelchair to arrive). Never mind the disabled,  because we all know they are seldom truly considered but HELLLO?! what about the customers.... lots of parents with small children in strollers?! Anyway, Steve had to carried the stroller down the stairs. So naturally when I spied the manager I went to quietly complain about the lack of accessibility. He informed me there is apparently a back entrance if you can find it.  He did however rush us to the front of the line because of Ainsley. I wasn't expecting that but really won't complain about not having to wait an hour in line since it did give me an hour to get some gifts. Happy as I was to be rushed to the front of the line it was almost over so fast that it took some of the fun out of visiting Santa. Still I was happy not to endure an hour of kids and adults staring at Ainsley as we worked our way through the line and all the emotions that come with that and trying to show a bunch of strangers that we are a normal family. 

Unfortunately she was was TERRIFIED of Santa even though we showed her the Santa pictures from prior years before we left. I thought it would help prepare her....NOPE. I thought she was big enough to sit in Santa's lap by herself this year and that way I didn't have to be in the photo for the first time in years! Well that didn't go so well. She especially didn't want to sit on his lap, but like the good girl that she is, she did.  We were able to calm her down so they could get this lovely photo in which there is not even a hint of a smile to be found.

After the photo each of the kids took turns telling him what they wanted. The Pokemon Wii game for Adrian. The Amercian Girl doll Felicity for Evie. When it was Ainsley's turn I had to choke back tears as I spoke on her behalf and said simply, "She's been through a lot this year.  Please bring her a special surprise."  If I'd said more I think I would have dissolved into a blubbering mess. Even though I didn't explain that "a lot" was actually: a brow surgery in January, adenoidectomy and granuloma removal in February, hip reconstruction in April, spica cast and brace until July, eyelid reconstruction and hip plate removal in December, and lots of testing in between; he seemed to understand without me actually having to say it. Santa was so kind and said he would bring a very special toy for a very special girl. Since she can't tell us what she wants my hope is that Santa guesses right.

They now shoot digital and print the pictures while you wait. This is great for procrastinators like us who usually didn't see the photos until after Christmas. The instant gratification is nice but Ainsley didn't seem impressed nor did it seem make up for having to sit in that scary Santa's lap.

On the way out the door we caught a glimpse of the reindeer.

And these sugary temptations. An entire YARD of giant gumdrops. Lordy!

 The train set in the window that turns on when you press your icy cold mits to the window to power the trains.

The kids really love it. They like to look for all the cute figures.

Like the abominable snowman there. See him?!

 Ahhh. I do it for them, even when I really don't want to leave the house. 

 Aren't they adorable?!

After 10 years of trips to downtown Seattle this may be the last. The Believe Meter is losing power.  Evie and Adrian are old enough that they know this Santa isn't the real Santa. (Sniff.) And Ainsley, well she just doesn't really care about such things. In light of the fact that we may be moving soon it's time to start some new traditions.

Getting them all dressed up was a good excuse to torture them with the camera. I was pleased with this shot.

Yay, we're done!

And since 2010 is the year of "Bah Humbug" this post will have to serve as our Christmas card since we didn't send them this year. I hope you understand.

Thank you all my loyal readers, may you have a Very Merry Christmas!


  1. What gorgeous kids! Love the last few shots in front of the tree!

    Your comment to Santa made the tears roll down my cheeks. I really do hope that Santa has something truly special for Ainsley this year...she deserves it.

  2. Beautiful children and what a fun family tradition. Merry Christmas to you too Susan. Thank you for following along with me on Jack's blog this last year. I cherish your support and your cyber-friendship. Someday, we will meet in person. I'm sure of it.


  3. .... and I LOVE your ornament this year! :)

  4. Susan you went and got me all have a Macy's? You said Macy's, I wanna go to Macy's!
    Now for sure I am so coming.
    (just thought I'd add some humor)

    You're so right Ainsley has been through so much this year, maybe Santa will gift her with a fabulous 2011, bright dreams, and you a stress free year. I want good things for all of you in 2011 dear friend.

    I don't think your beautiful family could be any more perfect in my eyes. You are all so wonderful and I am blessed to know you.
    Love your ornament, we do that each year too, new ornaments each year. Love it!

    May your family have a gorgeous Christmas this year!

    I need to go cry some more I just can't take that you went to Macy's and I didn't.

    All the love in the universe from me to you.

  5. Yes, I have to admit that your comment to Santa made me cry, too. I just let Murphy speak to him and then I ran. Some things are harder than they should be I guess. I completely understand how you're feeling this year. Last year Harlie had her second jaw reconstruction in December. We must have skipped going to see Santa. I just can't remember. It was a crummy season, that's for sure.

    I love the ornament Steve got you. So cute and so real.

    Bah Humbug to you, too!!!
    ~Christy xoxo

  6. Your ornament is fitting for my feelings this season as well. I love the photos and can sympathesize with Ainsley with sitting on santa's lap. We don't take Colton anywhere near Santa's lap. Beautiful photos Susan!