Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Country Christmas

I've included the word "country" in the title of this post because A) that is, indeed, where we were and B) that's the predominant subject of the pictures I've got. And that's not such a bad thing, because despite the cold, we enjoyed the beauty of dear old Calico Rock, AR, as much on this trip as we ever have. It really is "the natural state," and I love it more every time we visit.

Mer did the coolest thing with Keddi and Papa. They walked out to the back field, past the pond, into the forest...and cut their own little Christmas tree. Dad planted it in a perfectly red Folgers container and we had a great time decorating it with some of the ornaments that hadn't made the varsity tree this year.

Meredith was proud to show Tia Sarah her handiwork. Sarah appreciates these things.

So then some present opening ensued. Mer is an equal opportunity present opener. She just wants to open. Yours. Mine. Keddi's.

Meredith truly loved every present she got. Even the clothes. Each item had to be tried on immediately, which was slow and, I imagine, cold. But she insisted. Here she is, taking a break from the action while wearing several new items and playing with several new items.

Every guy needs a tiny toddler to shine a stocking stuffer flashlight directly in his eyes early on Christmas morning.

So, Christmas or not, there are fish that need catching.

We went down to the river to watch the boys fish. It was a sparkly, cold, clear day. It was hard to convince Mer that she didn't want to get in the water, but once she put a finger in, she got the message. The White River water is so cold, all the time, that you can't even jump in on a hot summer day after hours of boat fishing in the scorching sun. Well, you could. But I wouldn't recommend it. Water water everywhere...

Done fishing for the day.

After we deal with the fish, we move on to another important routine in the country:

...Feeding the birds. Papa has a giant bird seed stash and he loads up the equally giant Taco Bell cup so that Mer can feed the birds to her heart's content. She takes her work seriously. I, personally, find it a bit tedious to accompany her for the distribution of the entire cup. I kept asking Dad: "Really? The whole cup?" And he just patiently said, "Yup. That's how we do it." And that, my friend, is why grandparents will always be cooler than parents.

Speaking of cool: Uncle Mamoo always finds a way to make us proud. And we're not even being sarcastic. Especially when he's willing to play Ring around the Rosie with Meredith.

The snow didn't come ON Christmas. But it did come, and it was lovely. Treacherous for those poor family members stranded just 45 minutes away. But lovely.

Eventually, her feet were cold enough that a ride on Daddy's shoulders was welcome.

Later, we went for a run in the snow. Which changed to sleet. And then to very very very cold rain. And then back to beautiful snow. It was one of our best runs ever. Don't worry, Mer only accompanied us to the end of the drive, and then the wise-beyond-her-years girl went inside for hot cocoa.

And, finally, I tried out the tripod for the first time.

It was a very happy holiday.

Coming Soon...

Christmas pics. Just as soon as I recover. Any minute now. Soon...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Now I Get It

Until you've watched your kid in a performance, it's hard to fathom what all the hubbub is about. Now I get it. It's fun to watch your kid onstage. If your kid likes being on stage, that is. Which mine does. A lot. If we were looking for confirmation that Meredith has her dad's penchant for performance, we've got it. Meredith was front and center in the recent First Baptist variety show, and she didn't shirk a bit. Now in this first picture, she's playing it coy while Walt belts it out on the top row. But later we'll show you how she turns on the star power.

Two videos is probably a little more toddler choral action than you're looking for, but since Chris filmed in 9 second increments, well...

So there you have it. Our child's first performance. Thanks for coming out.

Merry Christmas from the Lareaus!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

After Ketchup...Catch Up

The Lareau Technology Hub is returning to normalcy, so I have some very random pics for you.

A couple weeks ago (has it been that long?), Meredith and Mommy went to the Brooks Museum Festival of Lights. There was fake snow, which was especially enchanting since we had unseasonably warm weather that day (80 degrees, 80% humidity, 80% miserable). There were crafts, but Mer and I escaped outside to work on those since, as one writer put it, all of breeding Midtown was inside the museum for this free event.

Another happening in recent weeks: Play-doh time with Uncle Mamu. (Has Mamu just been looking for an excuse to play with Play-doh OR WHAT?)

There was "put the puzzle to sleep" time, featuring the new Christmas blanket and pillow from Aunt Deedoh.

There was a psuedo-Christmas morning, where Meredith was kind enough to tell the rest of us what to do. As if we haven't done this a time or two.

But to her credit, she did delight in giving other people presents. She wasn't entirely gentle in the delivery of those gifts, but we'll chalk that up to excitement.

More information is not always better, but the recent improvements in technology have allowed us to post video. So here's Mer talking about Maggie the cat.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Toddler Angst

Folks of all ages work out serious issues in their dreams. A few months ago, Meredith was yelling "MINE" in her sleep pretty frequently. We've worked through some sharing issues, so now we're on to new topics. Last night Meredith whimpered in her sleep, cried out a little bit, and then very clearly said "I need some ketchup." Poor deprived child.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Lareaus are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

The good news is, we have a new hard drive.

The bad news is, we have to load all the stuff from the old one on to the new one and without the immediate, physical presence of Dear Old Uncle Dan Dan, things are moving more slowly than anticipated.

Hang with us. Cause when we DO get back online, it's going to be an embarassment of riches. So to speak.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Yooo-Hawww, Santa!

Meredith is pretty good with words. [Aside: Don't worry, I recognize her weaknesses as well. For instance, she's incredibly bossy.] Anyway, she learns new words and sounds with surprising ease. This alacrity with vocabulary makes it particularly amusing to me that she CANNOT say "Yoo-hoo" -- you know, the traditional "hello, are you out there?" sound. I think she combines Yoo-Hoo and Yee-Haw. And gets Yooooo-Hawwwww. So last night as we strolled home from the park in the near dark and admired the Christmas decorations, Mer looked for Santa. Loudly. YOOOHAWWWWWWWW? SANTA? WHERE ARE YOU?????? If this doesn't make you giggle, try saying Yoo-Haw outloud.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Still Thankful

Yes, the Thanksgiving post has been seriously delayed, due to technical difficulties at the Lareau household. These technical difficulties might bring one to ask, "When I pay for my Comcast service, exactly what does this get me?" The answer, in my humble opinion would be, not much. Because despite the significant monthly expense, I'm still standing out on my (COLD) back deck every morning, holding the laptop at eye level, hoping desperately that WEST9976 hasn't password protected his signal yet, and that it will come in clearly if I hold the computer just so. So. Things for which I am not thankful: Comcast.

Also, I didn't take anywhere near as many pictures in Colorado as I would have liked, due to being a bit sickly. These are the best of the small lot. And it should be noted that some things were photo-prohibitive. Like our trip to the park when the windchill was about 8. That's right. 8. There were some great moments where Marme, Grandpa, Chris, Mer and I sprinted across the field, avoiding goose droppings, to "play" at lightspeed, and then sprinted back to the car. But if I'd taken pictures, I might not have my fingers anymore. You wouldn't want that.

Now, on a more positive note: Things for which I AM thankful.

Aunt Erin, Meridy in a great hat, and Hazel, the kitten.

The ever beautiful Cheyenne Mountain.

Great Grandma Poo's cozy home, and Marme Karen's kindness in putting up loads of wonderful Christmas decorations.

A husband who doesn't hesitate to look silly. Who, in fact, seeks out such opportunities.

Snow to start the holidays.

A brave daughter.

A sweet family.

Aunt Kayle...a wonderful friend to Mer.

More snow. And God's Christmas decorations. Cheesiness intended.

Thanks for sticking around for this long, and tardy, post.