Because we have friends with awesome ideas, I had the 'good fortune' of getting up close and personal with a cow this week. After weeks of feeling like a cow myself, I have to say that it most certainly was a lactating girl's dream come true.
Hollywild is 'the' place to see Christmas lights. We caught the merry memo in 2008 when Andrew and I took Eliza and Henry, but sadly missed out on the experience last year. So, when we received an invite to go with friends for family night, we quickly said yes. For those of you unfamiliar with the Hollywild experience, picture this:
Having been freed from their car seats, children pile onto their parents laps for a leisure drive through a festively lit zoo. Ten minutes later, order and decency fly out the window as you enter a giant field of animals: zebras, cows, deer, ostriches, etc. With your recently purchased bag of bread, you do your best to navigate your vehicle near an animal(s). Making a total fool of yourself, you invent animal noises in hopes of seducing one to your car window to feed.
That's the traditional way of doing things. This year, however, we went Blaser style.
Add two more toddlers, a ten year old and Michelle and that would complete the above scene. Relax. The three newborn babies that were with us stayed warm and safe in their car seats in the massive cab of the truck.
Considering the myriad of cars vying for the animals attention, I was a little skeptical that we'd have the opportunity to hand feed anything. Oh Ali of little faith. What was I thinking? Jimmy was driving. A minute after entering the field, we were closing in on this hot mama.
And suddenly, I'm face to face with a massive cow. I become uneasy as I wait for the its large head to move. My inner panic fuels a verbal tirade that's full of stupid puns.
"Holy cow! Mooooooove!" Awkwardly, I simultaneously begin to scream and laugh. Hearing Henry's quiet pleas for home, I realize that my lack of composure is scaring him.
"Don't worry, Henry! Mommy will keep you..." I scream the final word, "SAFE!!!!" I recognize the substance flowing freely from the cows mouth. It's slobber. And it's drenching my leg. My conversation resumes with the cow.
"I promise to 'Eat More Chiken!' (you're welcome Chik-Fil-A)" The encounter soon passes. I clue into Michelle's hearty laughter. My dear friend had been bating the cow with bread that she strategically placed above my head; mysterious connection I held with cow now solved.
Still, as I said in an e-mail I sent her the following day:
"Seriously, I haven't laughed/screamed/cried that hard since giving birth. I loved it. So did the kids."
The night ended with a birthday party for Jimmy. Good times! The weekend prior was likewise filled with merriment. We took the kids to see Tangled. Personally, I loved it. I'm pleased to report that Henry and Lottie were well behaved. It was Eliza who had trouble handling the moments of suspense. But, she bravely persevered and came out singing the movie's praises.
Dec. 17th was the Ward party. After dinner, Santa arrived. After visiting with the children, he joined the kids on the dance floor. That was Eliza's favorite part.
Here's a sampling of their special friends!
The transformation from sugar cookie dough to cookie was a small miracle. Lottie was so kind to cooperate while the kids and I completed that project. The amazing sugar cookie recipe can be found on my favorite cooking blog here.
Henry calls his mouth, his "hole." He loves to show it off. That cute stinker could not keep that dough out of his hole. Despite my plea for him to refrain, he'd curl up on the kitchen chair, turn his face toward the opposite direction of Mom and nibble on his recently swiped piece. Eliza found the frosting and sprinkling of cookies to be another art project. I was grateful she was able to exercise those creative muscles in her brain.
Merry Christmas Eve! I have never been so eager for Christmas Day to arrive. This season has been magic! Kids will give that gift to you. I hope your day is full of love and cheer. Finally, here's a wonderful Christmas video (five minutes) to share with your family. It can be found here. We'll be watching it tonight.