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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Kissing Under The Mistletoe

San Francisco is not exactly a bastion of holiday spirit. The city is mostly devoid of tradition since it is a fairly new city with ├╝ber-liberal non-sectarian tendencies. It's also transient and becomes quiet during holidays when everyone goes back "home". But every once in a while you see something unexpected that reminds you that the holiday spirit is indeed alive. Someone has been stringing mistletoe above the crosswalk at random intersections in our neighborhood. This is taken a couple of blocks from home, near the Mission Dolores church (historical fact: the oldest structure in San Francisco, it survived the great earthquake and fire of 1906 which leveled the city).


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa Tracking Command Center

Q: What does Santa and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) have in common?

A: NORAD provides exclusive coverage of Santa's journey as he makes deliveries around the globe!

This very cool website makes it easy for those-of-us-who-believe to track Santa and his reindeer (including Rudolph) as they criss-crosses their way around the world delivering presents from the North Pole, past the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, Taj Mahal, and beyond.

NORAD has been providing this service for over fifty years and is staffed by volunteers each Christmas Eve who give us high-tech and low-tech options for tracking Santa as soon as he leaves the North Pole:
  • download Google Earth (free) and find Santa and crew in 3D
  • visit the website for tracking updates
  • email the Command Center for Santa's logistics
  • or even call the Center to speak with a rep for an instant update on Santa's global whereabouts
How in the world do they manage to track Santa so closely, you ask? With radar, satellite Santa-cams, and heat-seeking infrared technology (thanks to Rudolph's nose) of course.

CLICK HERE to find out more on NORAD's Santa Track website. Be sure to check out the service's history and FAQs.

Smells like a new Christmas tradition.

Sketchy Santas

We recently took Jack to Santa's Village at Macy's to have his first picture taken with Santa. Jack is a pretty sociable little guy so he didn't cry or make a fuss, but he did have a healthy dose of wariness about being plopped on the lap of a stranger with a white beard, on a throne, under hot halogens.

There's something hilarious to me about our tradition of obviously contrived pictures with Santa.

That's why I found so funny.

You won't find Jack's picture there - well, not this year at least.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oh What A Wonderful Year

This was a wonderful year for us with lots of memories. Jack entered our life and we had a houseful of visitors to welcome him including Grandparents Lola, Jimmy, Pat and Ed, and Cousin Peggi. Stella turned 1 this year. And we travelled to Alaska for a family wedding, to Portland Oregon to see the West Coast grandparents, and we are off to Boston and Maine next week to see the East Coast grandparents, more family, and several friends.

Here's a glance back at 2009.

BEFORE YOU HIT PLAY: make sure your volume is up

HIT PLAY, THEN: click the link to "Full Screen" to get the biggest and best view

- click any picture at any time to enlarge it (and click again to return it to its original size)
- there are videos, so click "Play" wherever you see it

Happy Holidays Everyone - peace and love.

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Greetings from Mindy, Tom, Jack, & Stella

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Standing and Crawling, Oh My!

Jack has been standing with increasing agility for some time now. He can pull himself up to standing from a seated position and slowly cruise along furniture.

In the past few weeks, he has been scooting around on his tummy - imagine GI Joe style, but backwards and in circles. He was able to get himself to his knees but only rock back and forth. Yesterday, he decided to put it all together and crawl. Slowly, but surely and unmistakably. Uh oh. I guess you can only procrastinate on childproofing for so long.