Saturday, December 31, 2011

Santa’s Lap

As I promised after our last Santa visit, we saw Santa before Christmas.  Justin, James and I attended a Christmas party that the Army FRG (Family Readiness Group) put together.  It’s always great food, arts and crafts, games, and a visit from Santa.  This Santa (a very nice guy, by the way) wasn’t so Santa-y so, I was a little nervous that it would scare or confuse James.  Kind of like last year.


I was all prepared for confusion and tears.  I was prepared to tell James that this isn’t the real Santa, but that he works for Santa during this busy time.  I tried to prepare for a new fear of Santa.  In true Chollet fashion, I had all possibilities very well analyzed.  Or so I thought.

As soon as James saw the red suit, he was ecstatic.  He jumped out of his seat, “It’s Danta! It’s Danta!  It’s Danta!”  He patiently waited his turn to sit on Santa’s lap.  He stared and pointed and smiled and danced.  Every ounce within him believed that this was Santa Claus.  Just like his school picture, he didn’t smile, but he didn’t cry.  I was very proud.

FRG Santa

I was blown away by James’ reaction.  My favorite thing about my son is his innocence.  I never knew how concrete a toddler’s mind is.  If someone has a beard and red suit then, he is Santa.  Period.  No questions asked.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I couldn’t have been more pleased.  Another parenting lesson learned. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Tra-Tra-Tree!

We got our Christmas tree a couple of weeks ago.  Let’s just say it was a hit!

Christmas Card'11Christmas Card'111

For one Christmas and one more week of our lives, I get to hear James say “a tra-tra-tree!”  With all the inflection and enthusiasm in the world.  He loves Christmas trees.  And I figure by next year, he’ll either say it correctly, or say it differently.  But for now, I’m loving every tra-tree syllable I can get.


We looked at all the trees, picked out our favorite,


and were pleasantly surprised to take the tree with us!


Then we went home to bring the tree into our house… What?  A tree in a house?  James was filled with more confusion and excitement than I ever thought possible.

So what did he do?  He helped Daddy.

Christmas Card'112Christmas Card'113

{And I clearly, by the way, did not help.}

Christmas Card'114Christmas Card'115Christmas Card'116

Eventually a kid gets tired, right?

Christmas Card'117

But he wouldn’t let go of the tree.  In fear that it would soon be gone.  So we gave up his shirt instead.  In Mommy’s fear of sap stains.

Christmas Card'118Christmas Card'119Christmas Card'1110

And finally, he sat down.  On the window sill behind the tree.


We had lunch, James napped then, we decorated the tree when he woke up.  I put camera down for the day and decided to help out. :)

I snapped this from my phone one day.


And that’s the best/only picture we have of our tree.  If there is one thing proven on this Christmas tree day for the Helfers; it’s that boys are busy.  Very, very busy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

For G-G

This is by far one of my favorite videos.  Although James was in dire need of a haircut and was wearing a skull shirt, I’m just thankful I got this on tape.  Every time James gets a phone {or in this case, an old iPod} in his hand, G-G is the one that he talks to.  Every time, nearly every day.

So G-G, I hope you’re watching!

Translation: he talks to G-G, says hi to his favorite song The Monster Mash, then talks again to G-G.  Tells her he loves her and blows her a kiss.  Then, tells G-G to “watch!” while he slams the phone against the wall.  That’s when I step in and the video ends. :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

PJs with Santa

Friday night The Helfers attended an event called PJs with Santa.  And oh, were we excited!


We joined kids of all ages for milk and cookies, crafts, story time, movies on the big screen, holiday shopping and a loooonnnnngggg line to sit on Santa’s lap!  In other words, The Helfers enjoyed PJs without Santa, but enjoyed PJs with lots of other things.



First stop was The Little Gym.  As soon as James squirmed from my hand, he didn’t look back.

PJs with Santa

Callie and Chloe “Cacky” and “Chlocky” played too.  Only Chloe is still young enough to make sure Mommy is right with her!

PJs with Santa1

We did arts and crafts.


While having cookies and milk.


We walked through the holiday market… with a remote control shark “ish” swimming through the air.


James eventually grabbed hold of “ish” and was kindly asked to let him go.


I looked everywhere for Albert the Alligator, but he lives in Gainesville, Florida.  However, Cocky the Gamecock was there.  I completely thought James would run and cry.  Instead he was happy as can be to see Cocky!


We were having such a great time, but the line for Santa wasn’t getting any shorter.  The cookies and milk only got us so far.  Even through story time, we were starting to fade.


The kids were beginning to meltdown.  The smiles were turning to dazes.  You would think the clock struck midnight.


I believe it was 7:00.


So we said goodbye to Santa.  See ya at the mall, or Christmas Eve or somewhere.  But we will find you before Christmas.  We promise.


In good spirits or not, to sit on you lap.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

The Helfers headed south for Thanksgiving this year.  We beat traffic Wednesday morning and, I was ready to sleep for days after all the packing we were ready for the weekend!  First things first Thanksgiving morning… gotta get the turkey in the oven.  But at our house, it’s tradition that my Dad “flies the turkey” first.  We loved it as kids.  And apparently so does James.


James had been up for a couple of hours, and it was time for a snack!  When better than Thanksgiving Day to try a powdered donut?


I think he liked it.


Fast forward a few hours, a nap, and a wardrobe change.  We were expecting a couple of guests for dinner and James was getting antsy so, Uncle Hampton took him out to his boat.


Not out on his boat.  Just out to his boat.  In the yard.


I think at that point, it could have been the best day of James’ life {since Halloween}.


He tried so hard to steer and sit at the same time.


Saying “Watch!  I sit.”  Which sounds exactly like “watch, oh sh*t” so, I had some explaining to do Monday morning at school.


Nonetheless, he took his boat driving very seriously.  Pressing all the buttons.


Checking his blind spot.


And discussing the boat’s cleanliness with Uncle Hampton, using a leaf “wees” as example.


Only allowing for a few breaks here and there.  But never fully letting go of his driving face.


And then a friend, Zane, stopped by, Mommy took one picture, and enjoyed catching up with old friends!  I was proud of James for sharing, though.  He loves to play.


James jumped in a pile of mud then, it was time to eat.  We ate a delicious Thanksgiving dinner cooked mostly by my mom.


And then it was time to play again.  Ms. Ellen brought James a giant teddy/key to his heart.


I’ll never forget this visit with James and Uncle Josh.  He called him “Gosh.”  Every time Josh walked out of the room, James said “Gosh, where are you?”  Every morning, “Gosh? Gosh? Gosh?”  Every time he cried, “Mommy, Daddy, Gosh.  Mommy, Daddy, Gosh.”  And when Josh was there, James would just stare at him.  I don’t know if it’s because my brother is so tall, but James all of a sudden was star struck with him.  He didn’t have much to say to Uncle Gosh.  He just wanted him right beside him.  I’ve never seen James like that with anybody.  I couldn’t make sense of it.  Just thought it was sweet.  Actually brought a tear to my eye most times.  Until I found them playing after Thanksgiving dinner.  Gosh was helping James climb up the coffee table and then would hold him while James pretended to jump.  What boy wouldn’t love that?

I thought ‘oh jumping off tables. Great.’ And then I got my camera and watched.


For the next hour or so we did what we do every night.  Danced to The Monster Mash.  It’s hard to say no to “A ma mash? A ma mash? A ma mash? A ma mash?”  You eventually just let the kid dance.


He danced past his bedtime.  Then the adults continued to celebrate, and reverted to cell phones for pictures.


I know this one is blurry, but I love it.  Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, my Dad pulls apart the leftover turkey at the end of the night.


And last, but not least… I always find time to love my sweet little puppy.  So much that I share my coat on a breezy, beach night.


Happy Thanksgiving!