Sam and Play-doh

Last Christmas, Sam received an advent calendar from Grandma Navarro. This year, to fill it, we bought a package of mini play-doh tubs and Sam got one every other day. This proved to be a mistake; the regular infusions of a small volume of play-doh led us to only allow him to play with small amounts at a time. The small amounts made it hard to make anything meaningful, resulting in it being abandoned quickly, dropped on the floor, and otherwise abused and thrown out. Yesterday, Emily made a large batch of Kool-aid playdough. Sam had a lot more fun with that!

Scenes From the Visit

It should come as a surprise to anybody who reads this blog that one of Sam’s favorite activities was reading with our visiting family. Needless to say, he’s having a GREAT time!

More Christmas Coverage

This year, Uncle Robbie and Aunt Katrina are visiting with us, having arrived on Christmas Eve from Phoenix. We’re having a lot of fun enjoying a nice low-key holiday filled with long stretches of watching Sam, chatting, and general relaxation.

Speaking of Sam, this year is his second Christmas and his first that he could appreciate what was going on. He still doesn’t completely understand Christmas and why present after present came shooting his way when he just wanted to play with what he had, but he’s having a ball! He’s particularly fond of the tricycle that Sampa gave him (he calls it his “cycle”…repeatedly…the boy’s obsessed) and the legos that Robbie and Katrina brought with them. He pooped out pretty quickly with the present opening, though, so we still have about half of his presents to open! We’re hoping to do so after Sampa arrives today.

After letting Sam have his nap, we decided to get out of the house and put the new cycle to use by going for a walk around Green Lake. It was pretty cold but once the wind died down it wasn’t too bad. Sam had a great time sitting there while poking at everything with a stick that he found along the way. We then spent some time in the playground – Sam was particularly fond of the swings!

After we got back, it was time to make dinner and relax for the evening. We ended up staying up until 1:30 chatting with Robbie and Katrina. It was a blast! Now if only Sam didn’t wake up at his usual 7:00…

An Early Christmas

When we were preparing to get married, the pastor that was doing our ceremony asked me to name the one thing about Emily that I wanted her to know that I really liked that I didn’t want to change. Being the slow-thinking person that I am, I told him that I wanted her to know I didn’t want her to change anything about herself to match some version of her that she felt that I wanted her to be. It sounded good in my head and apparently good enough to him that he repeated it during our ceremony. It was a cop-out. I couldn’t think of anything. That’s not to say that there aren’t things about Emily that drive me crazy (in a good way), just that I’m not always good when put on the spot. What I should have said was her silliness. One of my favorite things about Us is that we’re silly – that we play and sing and dance and come up with silly stuff all the time.

What does this have with today’s post, you ask? Well, tonight we were sitting around the table enjoying dinner, listening to the Pink Martini Christmas album (Joy To The World…check it out…it’s amazing!) and I started boogying to a particularly energetic song. Sam, true to his Castillo heritage, started dancing along. That got us to thinking – wouldn’t it be great to get a video of Sam dancing in his high chair? Well, I had a pretty good idea that one of my presents included a tripod for my camera so we (I) decided to open a present a couple of days early so that we could set up the camera and then encourage him in a little chair dancing – and that is what we did.

Except it didn’t work. Once the camera was pointed at him, our little performer decided he’d much rather pay attention to his food, the cat, and just about anything other than the music and camera. Cest la vie.

Later, however, Sam decided that he’d follow our example in a little pre-Christmas present unwrapping. *this* we were able to get on camera, including the ensuing investigation and playtime:


Almond Rocha

Friday night Emily went over to a friend’s house for a book club. They had read Olive Kitteridge. From what she told me, it was a depressing book full of bad people making miserable decisions. Needless to say, I didn’t read it.

Emily came home later that night, excited about all the fun she had had with her friends. One thing overshadowed her night, however – almond rocha. Apparently one of the ladies showed up with homemade almond rocha. Well, Emily HAD to make her own. We bought the sugar, the butter, chocolate, and almonds. She heated the sugar, butter, and almonds to 300 degrees. She then spread the hard crack in a baking sheet and put bits of chocolate bars on top to melt. Once the chocolate was melted, she smoothed the layer of chocolate and added the last of the almonds. Needless to say, we didn’t wait the whole (recommended) night for it all to cool. But that was okay, it was GOOD! As far as I’m concerned, I’m happy to stay home alone with the kiddo if she’s going to come back with ideas like this!