Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A final post before the new year is upon us...

Well, it seems as though time is moving quickly these days as we are enjoying good times for the holidays.  We had a great time on our trip last week and it is hard to believe it is New Year's Eve already.  I have been feeling a need to organize things, get rid of junk that clutters our tiny home, go through the closet and remove unworn items (Why do I have button up shirts?  I never wear them. Well there is one I like...but I never wear that one either.) You know, start the year organized and refreshed.  

This feeling has remained merely a feeling as I lounged about today playing blocks and trains with Mason.  He recently discovered that toll gates are incredibly fascinating while we were down in LA for Christmas visiting my family.  He had read about them in a book of his called Traffic.  You may know it, it is about a little car on its way home...wait, what am I saying? It is highly unlikely you have ever seen it.  It was on the "give away table" at school as they were thinning out the library collection.  Anyway, you can imagine what it is like.  It is a running commentary of what you would see out your window if you were on a drive.  Take Mason on a drive sometime and you will notice all that you ignore and take for granted each day.  He is an observer.  He takes it all in and tells you all about it as you travel from place to place.  He particularly loves when you drive through tunnels, by trains, by fountains (even ones that aren't working), machines at work: bulldozers, back hoes, jackhammers, etc.  

This book introduced him to the wonders of the toll gate.  The text is simple: The toll gate is shut.  The toll gate is open.  You can create your own visual.  Mason loves these pages of the book and will go back to them numerous times each read.  Well, when we entered a parking garage in Santa Monica last week, what did we see live and in person???  Not just one, but several toll gates.  Just about every day we got to see this brilliant invention.  At the Farmer's Market on Christmas Eve, Mason kept searching for more toll gates and had Grandma stand and watch with him as many cars came in and out.  He gave a detailed explanation to Grandpa who had missed out on the fun when he met up with us that day.  He was sure to tell him about how the toll gate was open, then when the car went through it shut, complete with hand gestures so he could really get the idea. 

Well, today while building, Mason discovered that one of his train track pieces guessed it, a toll gate.  "Mommy, play toll date with me."  Gs are still pronounced Ds.  So, much of my morning was spent taking turns opening and shutting the toll gate and driving my little truck through.  If I stopped to try to do something else around the house I was called to back to toll date duty.  I finally gave up on trying to motivate to do something more in the way of being organized and embraced the giant mess of toys and played toll date with my boy.  It was a great day.

Happy New Year, may you find time to notice the simple things around you.  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Local Flavor

So we recently took part in our local Christmas tree lighting event.  It was a chilly Thursday evening and excitement was in the air.  Mason was reluctant to wear a coat, but decided it might be worth it when the hopes of a possible cookie treat was in his future. OOOOOoooohhhh!

There was a big band that must have been freezing, especially the horn section. Mason loved the music and gave generous applause at the end of each song.

All the pageant winners from our little city got to introduce themselves to the crowd.  Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance on stage as well as two dogs masquerading as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". Mason liked them, too.

After a sing-a-long, they lit the tree.  The photo is a bit dark, but the tree was quite pretty on that wintery evening.