Thursday, December 31, 2009

what christmas is all about...

dear little leah,

i had a breakdown.

on christmas morning.

i know, i'm unbelievable. you can say it. it's true. you'd think i would learn my lesson by now. i guess i have learned it. i just keep forgetting.

on christmas morning after you woke up (at 9am...thank you!), daddy went to turn on the christmas tree lights, power-up the squeeze box to play our christmas music and tune the tv to channel 36 so {in absence of our own fireplace} we could watch the yule log burn as we opened our presents. you walked out and weren't at all interested in any of your gifts. you weren't excited about ripping off the paper. you didn't squeal with joy at you new dolly and stroller. i'm quite sure you still don't even know you had a stocking full of treats.

it just wasn't the way i pictured it. it wasn't the way your third christmas was supposed to be. your third christmas was supposed to be all about learning to sing jingle bells, baking cookies for santa {and me being able to use santa as an excuse for your extra good behavior}. christmas was supposed to be all about opening up warm new jammies, watching a christmas movie together and then reading "the night before christmas" and the true christmas story.

your third christmas was chaos. it was a regular day. you did wear your new jammies, but you were only interested in eating breakfast, sleeping and watching backyardigans. no excitement. no wonder.

so i broke down. i cried. i laid on the living room floor and just lost it. i think your daddy thinks i'm crazy.

i think i'm crazy too. because after i broke down, i remembered. i remembered that lesson i've learned over and over throughout my life. i remembered christmas isn't about gifts wrapped underneath the tree. christmas isn't about baking cookies for santa or reading "the night before christmas." christmas isn't about using old saint nick to threaten you with good behavior.

christmas is about Christ. it's about being together as a family and enjoying one another. it's about remembering all the ways we have been blessed this year.

i'm happy to report that we did do this. we thoroughly enjoyed having daddy home from work. we've spent loads of time together. and i i'm pretty sure we've enjoyed one another.

and that makes me feel blessed.

isn't that what christmas is all about? :)


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

dear santa {2009},

dear santa,

wow. what a year.

because my naughty/nice status is a bit confusing this year, please allow me to explain. i'll begin with the naughty:

first, you may or may not have heard that i have what some may call a little bit of a temper problem. an anger management course has been considered, but i'm just not sure i have the attention span to sit through one. i'm working on it. it's frustrating, though...i have so many things to say and i can't say them! there are so many toys i want to play with and i can't figure out how to play with them! there are so many good things i want to eat but i'm not supposed to eat them {my crib especially}!

since we're on the topic of eating things i'm not supposed to eat, i think my mommy mentioned that my crib looks like a beaver lives there. so does my mommy's newly-painted and reupholstered chair. sorry about that. things are looking up. the parents finally got wise and covered the sides of the crib and they watch me carefully around the chair. oh, and about jeff and sarah's chair: we'll reimburse them. i promise.

second, i'm pretty certain you know about my sleeping situation. i went from a champion sleeper {one of the things that put me on the nice list last year} to a very mean, horrible, terrible, awful person during the night. i scream. i flail. i pinch. i hit. i grab. i kick. i. get. mean. but this really isn't my fault either. i can't help it. my tummy hurts so much. and i get night terrors. and sometimes i just plain don't like my parents. but i know it's not their fault. they were nice enough to find me a medication that works so i can get my beauty rest. it's working...for the most part.

i don't really like to talk anymore. i'm totally over it. talking is overrated. there are so many other ways to communicate, don't you think? panting, screaming, grunting, hitting...all good options. i'm very creative that way.

okay, okay, so i don't love to play with my toys. or my crayons. or anything really except my dvds and my cd player {unless i can put it in my mouth}. i'm just a modern gal. i like technology. just because it's new doesn't mean it's bad. there are lots of good things you can learn from dvds...and good, wholesome music is played on my cd player. mom even switched it to christmas music for december, so really, i'm just doing her a favor by playing it all day long.

i'm a library reading-time drop-out. i know this sounds bad. it just wasn't for me. i'm more on-the-go than all those goodie-two-shoes. i like to run free and experience life at full speed. no sitting down and relaxing for me. give me a book on cd, sure. just don't make me sit there.

i think that's all i have for my naughty list. if you have more in your file, please notify me at your earliest convenience so i can clear them from my record.

as for the nice checklist, it's a good one:

i learned to walk! did you read that correctly? I LEARNED TO WALK! this alone should place me on the nice list. i told you i would in last year's letter and i did! i held up my end of the bargain for sure. and not only did i learn to walk, i learned to run. and i've held on to this skill for dear life as the rest of my body seems to be deteriorating. that's got to be worth something. i think it deserves triple nice points, don't you?

i started school this year. i'm so good at school. my best subjects are kicking soccer balls 101, going up and down stairs 201 and eating 500. i'm so good at eating snacks. my teachers really like me. i'm sure if you contact them, they'll give me rave reviews. the other kids like me too. i stand up for them when they're bullied. i share my slobbered-on toys. mostly i just stay out of their way.

last year i mentioned i was really good at letting my mommy do my hair. i know i hit a rough spot this year...and i'm still not totally out of the rut, but i'm getting better. once in awhile she can get some cute pigtails in. i'm working on it. plus, i let her cut my bangs and it's done wonders for my appearance. you can have my mommy thank me later.

last month i got an mri. for a two year old, that means general anesthesia. enough said.

we took a road trip last month and i slept the whole way. both ways. i was a champion in the car. and when i was transferred to beds both times, i went back to sleep. i'm becoming such a good traveling companion. i know i don't like it when i have to stop at a red light {and, as i mentioned before, i communicate my displeasure with high-pitched screaming}, but i'm a mover and a shaker. just tell my parents to use the freeway more often. fewer red lights.

i give the greatest hugs. my mommy and daddy just eat them up! i have a sweet, sweet giggle. once in a blue moon i shout out the words "mama" or "daddy." it takes a lot of effort and concentration, but i do it for parental benefit. they seem to like it. i do still love reading. i know most people don't consider eating books the same as reading, but it's the same material no matter how you look at it. i'm learning to communicate with my eyes. i have such pretty eyes, don't you think? i'll keep working on that this year. i promise i'll be better at communicating by next year. and i'll work hard at keeping up all of my other skills - especially walking.

well, mr. kringle. i think my arguments can only lead to one solution. the nice outweighs the naughty. i'm just a fun-loving gal. people have a hard time not liking me. and i'm not trying to boast. i'm just laying out the facts.

if you need gift ideas this year {you can pass along any extras to my parents}, i'd love some backyardigans paraphernalia, books, music, maybe a baby doll and something that makes noise. i like to make noise.

merry christmas!


little leah

p.s. thanks for not laughing at me when i didn't realize i was supposed to sit on your lap, not in front of you this year. sometimes i just need someone to hold my hand and show me the way.

p.p.s. are you younger this year? or is it just me?

Friday, December 11, 2009

baby jesus

Dear little leah,
December 2009

Many years ago, when your mama was very small (like you!), I made a very special nativity set. I wanted to teach your mama (maren), and aunt kelli, and uncles scott and dan about Jesus and how He came to earth so that someday we could go back to live with Heavenly Father.

I made the nativity set out of fabric so children could touch it and use the pieces to act out the story of Jesus' birth. I didn't want children to be afraid to touch and move the pieces nor to worry about breaking anything. Many nativity sets are shiny and breakable, and grownups are always saying, "you can look at it but you can't touch it!" Not this one. You can touch it and feel the warmth that comes from hearing the story about Jesus; of Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem to pay their taxes and while they were there Mary knew it was time for her baby to be born. Joseph and Mary didn't have any place to sleep and the innkeeper said he didn't have a room for them so they went to a stable - a cave, really. It must have been cold and not very clean because animals lived in the stable. But that night Mary didn't worry about where she was - she was just happy to bring her little baby boy, Jesus, into the world. She held Him, and rocked Him, and I'm sure she sang Him a lullaby. Love filled the stable that night.

Lots of people were waiting for Jesus to be born. And Heavenly Father wanted everyone to know, so He put a big star in the sky right over the stable where Jesus lay resting.

And angel came to visit some shepherds who were busy tending their sheep in the fields. The angel told the shepherds to look at the star in the sky...if they followed it, they would find Jesus. Follow the star - it will lead you to the Son.

Wise men in a far away country also saw the star in the sky - people in many countries saw the star and knew that it was a sign from heavenly Father that He had sent His Son. The wise men traveled a long, long time to come see Jesus. They brought Him presents because they wanted Jesus to know that they loved Him, and they wanted to thank Heavenly Father for giving them the gift of His Son.

Little Leah, this fabric nativity set hasn't had any children to play with it for a long time. Your mama and kelli and scott and dan are all grown up and there aren't any little children in my house anymore. I've wondered for a long time what to do with this nativity, but this year I knew exactly what to do.

You see, Jesus came to earth to heal us. We all need Him and can't go back to live with Heavenly Father without Him. But sometimes we all get busy and we forget about Jesus - sometimes we get careless and do things that make Jesus sad. But Heavenly Father sent you to our family to help us remember Jesus. You are pure and you haven't forgotten Jesus. I know that if you held this little baby Jesus in your hands you will love Him and take care of Him. And He will love and take care of you. So, will you be the caretaker of the inn and all of its inhabitants? Your mama and daddy can help because I know that they love Jesus, too.

Little Leah, I'm so glad you're my little granddaughter. I love you so very much. Heavenly Father and I talk about you a lot. He has let me know what an amazing daughter of God you are.

Merry Christmas, little leah.
With lots of love, grandma hauley (grandshmoj)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

leah jekyll/leah hyde

we've had some jekyll/hyde action going on at our house lately.

this is from our last day in san diego. after an escapade inside denny's. leah hyde may or may not have rubbed ketchup all over the wall.
this is a few nights before that. leah jekyll being her regular, silly self.we much prefer leah jekyll.