Thursday, December 16, 2010

Harrison's Day Off. Part II

Arriving at the Capital, we very quickly found the Christmas Tree. In a very un-Harrison moment, the little guy broke free from me and couldn't wait to pose for the camera. By himself, he walked around the tree, every once in a while turning around to find me and say "cheese". While doing some exploring, we wandered around the balconies surrounding the tree, walked through the library, enjoyed the many pictures on the walls, floor, and ceiling. We even poked our heads into the legislature for a few moments. A big highlight was when we found a tour guide who offered to take us into the sealed off Senate chamber (not used any more thanks to Nebraska's unicameral government) and the Supreme Court. Our behind the scenes tour got even better when Harrison and I posed for a few pictures in the court. Sadly, due to the presence of a stranger, Harrison became pretty introverted and wouldn't say anything fun, like "order in the court!"-though the guide and I certainly tried hard.
After we explored the main level, the two of us ascended 14 stories to explore the dome. Harrison was more than eager to pose for some more pictures, as we explored the murals and ventured out onto the walkways that surround the exterior of the dome. While in one of the walkways, we almost found ourselves locked out of the building as a tour guide was closing off all the doors, thankfully we saw her before she locked the door we were behind. To make up for the mistake, she lead us to the west walkway and took our pictures together. It's impossible to see in the picture, but behind us in the distance are the railroads, which Harrison loved, because he could see the trains from "way up high"! After exploring a bit more, we wandered down to the main level where we journeyed to the governor's office. After stopping by, for no other reason than we could, and the door was open, we found our way out of the capital and to grandpa's office across the street, where Harrison explained to grandpa how high he went. The best part of the day was being able to witness Harrison come out of his shell, and enjoy something new, all by himself.

Harrison's Day Off. Part I

I suspect today started a new tradition in the Philson Household. "Day-off", as named by Grandpa, is a day that the boys get to skip daycare and spend a day of fun, having adventures with a designated grown-up, in a one-on-one fashion. Last week Noah went to a Tractor show with Grandpa, while Harrison went to pre-school. Today, Noah went to pre-school and Harrison and daddy decided to go to the State Capital to see the really big Christmas Tree. Of course before we could go, some silliness was required at home. Not only did we eat breakfast on the floor watching cartoons (awesome) but we played with the picnic blanket and took some pictures sitting together.The whole time Harrison kept asking if we could start our day off (by that he meant leaving the house).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Making a list, checking it twice, and performing a random spot check to ensure accuracy....

...which is how Noah and Harrison ended up meeting with Mr. Clause. Not one of his helpers mind you, but the real thing. Daddy's college held a Holiday Open House and invited Mr. Kringle to come down from the North Pole to visit all the good boys and girls. All day, Noah was telling everyone he met how he was going to see Santa. When asked where he was going, Noah responded with "The North Pole, silly!" Kim did her best to coach Noah through proper Santa etiquette, "when he asks what you want for Christmas, tell him how you want dog food." (Kim was clearly giving Noah a hard time, and dog food became an on-going joke throughout the day).
As we arrived at the open house, Noah began anxiously looking around, "oh no, Santa isn't here, I can't see his reindeer." Due to this revelation both boys were a little anxious about jolly Saint Nick not showing up. To everyone's relief Santa was inside, and Noah promptly asked where Rudolph and company were. Santa was quick to advise that the sleigh was hidden so that the cars and people wouldn't spook Donder, Blitzen, and friends. Additionally, we discovered that Santa's elves weren't able to come for the merry event to assist,therefore the Doane Tiger stepped up, this frightened Harrison, who was afraid the Tiger might eat him. Big brother did a great job of comforting Harrison, and making sure that Harrison was as far from the Tiger as possible.

Sticking to script, Santa Clause asked the boys what they wanted. Harrison remained quiet, choosing instead to grin mischievously, Noah answered with "My mom and dad, say I want dog food." The room full of my faculty and classmates erupted into laughter (good thing I don't know most of them) and Santa made sure to tell the boys that it isn't about what mom and dad want, but what they want. So Noah began negotiating with Santa about getting some new John Deere tractors. All was well, until the Tiger tried to give the boys candy and toys, Noah anxiously accepted, but Harrison had a small panic attack standing next to Santa all by himself (Noah had run off) faced with a confrontation with his arch-nemesis the Tiger. Good thing Mommy and Daddy were able to come to the rescue. The experience was great, and everyone had fun, now the hard part is waiting for Christmas morning!