Monday, December 28, 2009

It Wouldn't Be Christmas Without...

*A visit to Santa:

*Aunt Erin capturing the most amazing photos:

*Presents, presents, presents!:

*Family love:

*Trying out new toys:

*An angel in the church Christmas pageant singing beautifully (and picking her nose)


Merry Christmas, All! Love, The McClinton Clan

Monday, December 21, 2009


Since I was sort of in and out of sleep last Christmas, for all intensive purposes, we can call this year my first Christmas experience. And there really isn't anything quite like it! The whole world is magical, and not just for one day, but for a whole month!

So far this month, we have...
*tried to open the presents under the tree (Sister had success, I keep getting caught)
*been to our annual Rowdy Rebel playgroup Christmas party
*Made ornaments and decorated cookies at our craft day (Don't be surprised if many of you see them under the tree this year)
*Watched Sister's first ever ballet performance (Mommy cried a little to think of how big she's gotten, Nana came and surprised Avery, and I sat like such a good girl. There's a video in the link, and Mommy says not to tell you that the entire performance was enhanced by some leotard eating and nose picking sessions by Sister...)
*Went to the Kid's Crazy Christmas Breakfast and Puppet Show at Nana and DD's church (WOW! WOW! WOW!)
*Hung out with DD one day while Mommy got to go to Avery's Class Party

We're not even to Christmas Day yet, but already I can say that I love Christmas!
Kate So This Is Christmas?!? McClinton

Monday, December 14, 2009

Meeting Santa

For the last two years, I've kept my distance from the Jolly Old Man. I wasn't interested in coming down the stairs in my own house until I was sure that he had left after delivering the presents.

But this year, I'm starting to understand that I need to let Santa know what I want for Christmas so he can get me just the right presents.

We had a party at church on Wednesday night, and... Santa stopped by! He was loud and jovial, and so I clung to Daddy and didn't quite have the bravery it takes to sit on his lap and tell him what I wanted. I've been telling Mommy I want a Barbie from Santa, but when he gave me my present, I was surprised to find baby doll stuff instead!

Mommy said maybe next week we'll go see Santa at the mall. She said he's not so excited when he's not at a party and then I can sit on his lap and give him my "Santa" wish list:
a Barbie
a train set
"one of those things where you stand on it and use one leg" ("a scooter?" "yes, Mommy. And Santa will bring me one with Snow White on it.")

Until then, hopefully Santa is a mind reader because I certainly didn't share my wish list with him Wednesday!

Avery "Santa Stranger Danger" McClinton

PS - We mailed out our Christmas cards this weekend, so, in true McClinton tradition, we've included the outtakes in our weekly pictures.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Regarding Avery

A few thoughts about our precious oldest daughter...

*She's into sticking made up words into sentences right now. We think it's because she watches Dora and thinks it's normal to have random words you don't understand stuck into conversations. Her most frequent word is "mizzapihza", often said in reference to someone, as a silly exclamation, and always before saying "amen" while praying.

*She's developed this whole new sense of humor in the last month or two. For one, she learned the "why" game from our friends Summer and Alyssa and can barely hold herself upright from laughter when she plays it. For example:
Avery: "Nana, ask me a question and I will say 'why'."
Nana: "Avery, did you have fun tonight?"
Avery: (giggling) "Why?"
Nana: "Avery, what's your favorite color?"
Avery: (laughing harder) "Why?"
Nana: "Where are we going?"
Avery: "Why?"
Uncontrollable laughter.

*Another new development, to be filed under the Sense of Humor heading, is that when Nana calls on the phone, Avery likes to ask to speak with her. When Avery is handed the phone, she will yell random words like door knob, face, and a new favorite, linoleum. Sometimes Avery gets to yell upwards of 10 words at Nana in any given conversation.

*And yet another Sense of Humor item: When leaving anyone behind, Avery says, "I'm leaving you now", and the other person is expected to them break down in (fake) tears and beg her not to leave. She's a barrel of laughs!

*Lastly, and on a more serious note, I am starting to see so much of me in Avery that it is really unsettling at times. There are moments when I look down at her and am taken aback at how much I feel like I am looking in some weird time-travel mirror. Plus, her spirit, both the fierce and loving parts of it, reflect back to me so many of my childhood memories. Below is an email I sent my mom the week before Thanksgiving about the matter:

I just dropped Avery off at preschool and I had the most wonderful full circle experience.

Some of the most vivid (and best) memories I have from my school days were taking the random roses and cookies to my teachers. As an adult, I don't remember why it was so special, I just remember that it was.
So I made cookies for Avery's teachers for their Thanksgiving 'gift'. I let Avery carry anything in that is different or new for school, so I handed them to her as we pulled in the drive thru. As the teacher opened the door, she started oohing and aahing over the packages Avery had and then the other teachers outside stepped in and carried on about the presents and how much her teachers would like them, etc. She told the teachers what they were and they oohed and aahed some more.

Depending on when a child is dropped off, they either walk straight inside or wait on the bench for more friends, and this time Avery was the first to the bench and climbed up, put her cookies next to her, and beamed as she patted them. It was almost an out of body experience for me to watch her face portray those same proud feelings I remember so well - the feeling that you have something to give that is worth the giving. She glowed and I couldn't believe how poignant of a moment that was for me. Some of the best experiences you were able to give me growing up may have seemed so small, and now I'm here, able to give them to my daughter, and to get to watch it take place on her face was nothing short of glorious for me.

(AND YES, It snowed this weekend! Couple that with a week long birthday celebration for my 30th and it was one amazing weekend.