Friday, December 21, 2012

It's In the Mail

I just today mailed our holiday cards. We are the people who still stuff a real picture into a card, we all sign the card, and I hand address the envelopes. I don't know what's wrong with me- maybe next year I'll finally give in and order the whole business online and let them mail it. But this year I already had cards (yes, I bought them on sale the week after Christmas) so we went for it, again. Except Connor had a cast on his right wrist and was bothered by how slow it caused him to write, so I had to wait on it to come off before I could talk him into signing cards. But we finally did it!

The following pictures were not used for this year's card.

Chip and Chloe both REALLY lobbied for this one. It's their favorite picture.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chloe Wins Zoo Lights

On Friday, we went to Zoo Lights with Chip's parents. When we first walked in, we heard the announcement that Magic Mr. Nick would be taking the stage in five minutes. As you might remember, we love Mr. Nick. You might also remember that Chloe wants nothing more than to go on stage and participate in one of his tricks. Fortunately it wasn't too crowded, so Chloe had a prime spot in Mr. Nick's line of sight. She raised her hand for everything. What are some magic words? "Please and thank you!" she yelled when called on. "Your parents must be very proud!" Mr. Nick (ironically, as you'll soon see) joked. A bit later, he informed us that leaving milk out for Santa was a Southern thing, and asked us to guess what they used to leave out for Santa back in Illinois. "Bourbon," Chip joked to his dad. Chloe raised her hand earnestly yet again. I figured she would say hot cocoa, or maybe egg nog. But you already know the punchline to this one, because you're smarter than I am. "BOURBON!" Chloe yelled when called on. Yes, she brought the house down with that one. Proud of her, indeed.

But she had clearly made an impression on Mr. Nick, so when he needed a female volunteer from the audience, guess who was called to the stage? She was awesome up there, not shy at all. When the trick was over and Mr. Nick asked the audience to give her a hand for helping, she was totally reluctant to leave the stage, waving good-bye to her adoring fans before finally skipping off the stage and happily back to us. Mission accomplished!

Next we went into the Animals of the Night exhibit. Chloe's CLUE class had recently studied animals, ending the unit with a trip to the Zoo and a class on these particular animals. She schooled us good in that exhibit, even showing up Professor Bwana with the following exchange:
B: You know, these bats can't see very well!
C: Yeah.
B: They actually see using sonar!
C: Yeah!
B: But do you know what sonar is?
C: YES! They see using echolocation! Now let me tell you about these sloths. They only come down out of the trees once a week- to poop! They can just pee from where they are.

From the Animals of the Night, we headed to the ferris wheel, which had a line that was prohibitively long. We decided to go watch the ice skaters for a bit instead before checking out the rest of the lights and leaving. But no, not Chloe. She needed to skate. Once again, she was completely fearless. Because believe me when I tell you, she is not a skater. She can't even handle Fisher Price rollerblades in our driveway. But here, with all these people whizzing by and falling and a million eyes on the rink, she wanted out there. So we paid our money and went around the rink until way past her bedtime. By her own count, she only fell eight times!

We discussed that night how my kids are such rule followers, which they come by naturally on both sides of the family. But whereas Connor is hesitant within his rule-following boundaries, Chloe feels completely free there. She is just totally fearless and confident and it amazes me time and time again. She continues to be my idol. Even when she's digging in her ear on local television.