Sunday evening before the mall closed (I know....gasp out there for all of the preemie moms but I had to do it quickly with lots of Purell!) we decided to take Carson and Eli to see Santa before Eli's big surgery. Carson had been asking about Santa for a few weeks and watched The Polar Express Saturday night before bedtime. Al dressed the boys in their matching blue jeans and light blue sweaters that Gigi bought them and off we went. The mall was not crowded at all since it was 20 minutes before closing on a Sunday night (see preemie moms....I did plan!). We waited in line for about 5 minutes behind a little wiener dog in a Christmas sweater and two older and somewhat bratty kids. Then it was our turn!
Carson was jazzed about the whole thing. He had his list planned out and ready to recite all of the toys he wanted for Christmas to the jolly bearded man sitting in the oversized display chair. Eli was completely oblivious to the whole process and continued to be so throughout everything. Carson hopped up on Santa's lap and rattled off his wish list and even added in a few things that Eli 'wanted' since "E-eye can't talk berry well yet". In his three and a half year old voice we heard, "...tools and talking Bobs and even two train tables but mommy says you will only bring me one because I have to share with E-eye...". Oh if we only remembered the video camera. It is wonderful seeing the childhood joys of Christmas blossom in your children's eyes.
Next came the picture. Carson smiled big and proud because we coached him earlier in the day by saying that Santa loved little girls and boys who smiled big and showed their bright shiny teeth. Eli still sat there less than amused and more than confused about why mommy and daddy were standing ten feet away while he was sitting on a strange man's lap and everyone was saying, "Smile, say cheese, Eli....over here!". Eli then proceeded to lean over and reach for the ball on the end of Santa's hat and start pulling the hat off. It was priceless! He had found entertainment in this whole boring adventure. At least both boys are looking at the camera for the picture. Eli looks like a butterball turkey(he weighed 22lbs 6oz and was 31.5" at the hospital Monday!) and Carson is still a bit pale and oh so skinny but this is our official 2006 Santa and the boys picture.