Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009

I spent the last day of 2009 doing all manner of exciting things-- playing with my kids and niece in the snow, losing* in a riveting game of scrabble, and...well, I guess that's about it.

On second thought, it wasn't all that exciting after all.

* Technically I wont admit a complete loss. I protest the results based upon vioaltion of rule number 3, point 5: No outside assistance is allowed. You broke the rules Flash**!

** Flash is my mom's new nickname. She's menopausal.
We'll be having a conversation and mid sentence she'll walk out onto the deck, where it is 20 degrees and snowing.

Oh, and Flash? Keep your victory. I believe we're even now.

And back to my day...

I tried to get a picture of the three amigos in the snow. Normally I would say that having 3 of 3 looking at the camera, with 2/3 of them smiling was pretty good.

But when the remaining third is giving me a steely-eyed death glare, it takes away some of the victory.

But don't let him fool you, he was having a great time.

Only I had bought him some snow boots that light up when he steps, and he kept falling over while trying to watch his own boots light up.
Life's tough when you're two.

Alex Kate asked me to put her in this tree and take her picture.
I obliged.

But her snow pants are way too small and she wasn't able to bend all that well.
So I just wedged her in there and hoped for the best.

 My niece Kennedy.
 This girl is quite the character.
I make her tell me all the time that I'm her favorite aunt. Then I ask her who her second favorite aunt is, and she reminds me that she doesn't have any other aunts.

And by some strange coincidence, Miss Kennedy also has the same exact food allergies as this guy:

"What ma? I've got allergies?" 
He doesn't care, as long as I leave him alone to finish his Curious George fruit snacks.

My kids think fruit snacks are an extra special treat.

"It's the Man with the Yellow Hat's Hat, Mama! Only it's blue!"

Boggled her mind I tell you.
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I shall resume my New Year's Eve plans that include cuddle time with my laptop and seeing what's on Flash's DVR.
Don't be jealous. 
Maybe I'll even spend some time contemplating the year to come and thinking up some goals I'd like to achieve. 

Happy 2010 to you all, and may you be blessed in the coming year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Plethora of Nonsense

Check out my snowman.

Not bad, eh? Josh sent the kids some things from Korea and this might just be my favorite.

Korean play-doh is a totally different consistency and much easier to create with. If you're ever in Korea, pick ya up some.


Today I drove back over to western Michigan with the kiddos and my little niece Kennedy. It was a fairly uneventful drive, with the exception of the occasional:
"He's touching me!"
"Derek sneezed and it got me wet!"
"I need to poop!"

Turns out that 9 times out of 10, that "need" is actually just a want and can be delayed until you reach your destination. Luckily for me, the odds held true today. I'm not a big fan of stopping on road trips, especially when it involves getting 3 kids in and out of car seats in winter.

Then again, I am also not a fan of cleaning poop off of clothing and car seats.

It was a gamble.

Speaking of gambling, until last week I had lived 30 years without ever buying a lottery ticket. But when I was trying to figure out what to buy for Josh's grandmother for Christmas, I was assured that she loves lottery tickets.
"Good morning, could I please have $20 worth of Bingo and Cash Word lottery tickets for my children's great grandmother?" That is how I ordered.
I didn't want the man to think they were for me.
I'm really not sure why.

And then I find out that for Grannie Annie's stocking stuffers, PtB had bought her smut! Apparently she has quite the affinity for romance novels, specifically historical fiction set in Scotland. I wrapped them, and I do believe I might have blushed when I read the back cover. "Taken by the Laird" had more than one connotation if you know what I mean.

Poor Grannie Annie was corrupted for Christmas! Gambling and smut. Next thing I know, she'll be riding her Jazzy chair to the corner bar.

I have no reason that I am posting these pictures, other than that I'm fairly certain he is the cutest thing in the world with his little legs dangling there.

And how to round out such a nonsensical post??
Oh yes, I believe this will do it.

Now I have to go and think of some resolutions for the New Year.
Any ideas?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pat the Bunny Strikes Again

I have no idea what I will blog about when I return home, but I just can't pass up the opportunities that PtB provides while I'm still here.

True statements about my dear mother in law:

- She courts a surface-level romance with technology. She owns the equipment, but falls just short of understanding how to use it. She has an iPhone, can access the internet from it, but is completely unable to adjust the phone's volume. She has a Facebook page, but can't for the life of her figure out how it "works." I'm at a loss to explain. It doesn't work, it just is.

- She can never find anything. Her keys and purse are never in the same place twice, and never the first place she looks for them. Her methods of cleaning pretty much revolve around throwing piles of things away, which often include non-trash items such as saucepans, silverware, and remote controls.

- I've never met anyone who can make as big of a mess while cooking as PtB. When she's cooking with eggs, I just remove Derek from the kitchen entirely lest flying egg particles trigger an allergic reaction.

And then there are her photos.

I asked if I could upload pictures from her camera to see if there were some from Christmas morning that I would like. As I scrolled through her pictures from the last 6 months (apparently she doesn't know how to delete them), I came across a recurring issue:

Did you like that last one?
It's me getting stuck in the kids' new Christmas toy.
PtB got all giddy and grabbed her camera, sure that it was her turn to embarrass me. "Wait 'til this shows up on the blog!" she taunted.

Yet another way she doesn't understand technology.
Silly Bunny, it's my blog. Nothing shows up on it until I put it there.

But because she has provided me with so much blogging delight these past months, I will be a good sport.

Here's me with my child bearing hips stuck in the tunnel:
Finally emerging
And this gem of a photo of half of my head
Good work PtB!

- Oh, and it would also be true to mention that she is the most giving and selfless person I know. Almost to a fault.

I mean, look at the way she continues to "give" to my blog? ;)

Love ya, Bunny!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Merry Little Christmas

We had a merry little Christmas, and I hope you did too!
The elves worked hard on Christmas Eve to make sure everything was ready for the big day.

Hey Derek, get excited much?

And that was just a box with some clothes in it.

Screen Daddy was able to join us for a bit to watch some of the fun. He brought along his mustache, Chester.

Love you Screen Daddy!

Chester, not so much.
Though he's looking better than in the earliest stages of growth.
Or maybe I've just been apart from my man for too long.

Fortunately I have this picture on the mantle to remind myself of the handsome man I married:

Ahh, that's better.
And now we can continue with our regularly scheduled programming.

Here's Derek showing Daddy some of his loot.

Alex received many accessories that she put to use immediately. Like chapstick that we didn't realize would show up so brightly.

And I'm sure you are all dying to know what Gone with the Wind ornament PtB received this year. Right?

Well I will make you wait no longer-- this one is called, "Frankly, My Dear."

And I think we all know how that line is finished*.

Who knew Hallmark came in PG ratings?

* If you don't, then you shouldn't be reading this. Haven't I already instructed you to read the book??

And it has been brought to my attention that I forgot an ornament in my last post. I don't know how I missed it, as this one has a flickering fire background. It's called "Atlanta Burning."

Happy now everyone? Geesh, you'd have thought I'd forgotten one of my children at the mall they way I heard about leaving that ornament out.

But I must say that all of this talk makes me want to read it again. So I think I will. For what I believe will be the 8th time.

PtB also added to her tacky salt and pepper shaker collection this Christmas. This is my favorite of the new additions:

Interestingly enough, she doesn't use any salt shakers in everyday life. Nope, none of them hold enough of her drug. Instead she just pours right from the big 'ol industrial sized source.

And to add a bit of irony to her addiction, she buys "lite" salt, and then uses three times the amount to get to the appropriate level of tongue-numbing flavor.

My, I'm certainly veering off topic today, aren't I?

While it wasn't quite the same without Josh here, the kids really had a wonderful Christmas and were lavished with gifts and attention.

Now I'm just going to have to figure out how to live with them again once we're back at home in the real world.

Grandma and Aunt Jessie have convinced Alex that she is, indeed, an actual princess. Listen to the end of this clip.

And now if you'll excuse me, her highness is requesting that I remove the skin from her grapes and banish her minion brother to the dungeon.

I kid.

Well, kind of. I'm sure if she thought that I would, she would ask me to remove Derek from her stash of Christmas toys, or possibly just remove him period.

Now I'm off to work on addressing Christmas cards.

I believe that I addressed here that being on time is not one of my best characteristics.

Merry Christmas Everyone! And best wishes for a happy and healthy 2010!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gone with the Wind, Christmas Tree Version

When we were pulling out the Christmas ornaments to decorate the tree, my dear daughter paid me the highest complement. She said, "Look Mommy! Grandma has an ornament of you!"
She held up this:

I can assure you that I don't own a dress like that, nor have I ever worn red lipstick, but yes, honey, that's mommy!

Well actually it's none other than Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler.
My most favorite of literary characters in my most favorite of books.

Now, if there are any of you out there who have not read Gone with the Wind, stop what you are doing and correct that immediately. Stop reading this post, postpone Christmas, cancel New Years, go read the book.
Your kids might not be happy, but you will thank me later.

As much as I like to poke fun at Pat the Bunny for all of our differences her weirdness, this is one area in which we are in complete agreement. How do I know that she likes Gone with the Wind as much as I do?

Well she told me, silly.
That, and her tree is covered in these:

Oh and look at her here...
Ready to take on the world,  one man-sized candy cane at a time. Don't you find the non-peppermint kind to be the most delicious? I'm sure Scarlett does, she's just a non traditional kind of gal.

When she got to this one, Alex said-- "It's me and Daddy!"

But of course, it's Rhett with his little Bonnie Blue. Naturally I can understand the confusion, as Alex's Daddy is also talk, dark, and handsome. Though he doesn't pull off the mustache in quite the same manner. Rhett's manages to avoid the look that says "I'm walking around a playground with a leash but no puppy."

And here's one I like to call "Indecent Proposal"

Proposing to a woman in widow's mourning. Oh, that scoundrel.

And here with Ashley, who doesn't hold a candle to Rhett Butler.

Don't you want to just shake her?! Stop it Scarlett, he isn't worth it!

This ornament reenacts the jailhouse scene with audio and moving parts:

And this one. This one is my favorite.

 This type of passion should not be allowed to be displayed on a family Christmas tree. I have to hide in the back lest the children ask why he is carrying her away and I am forced to tell them that he's taking her to the bedroom.

Oh, the romance.

Josh? Are you out there? Come home soon. I need some romance in my life.

And this one I call, Happily Ever After.

Hey, it's my Christmas tree (kind of) and I can make any ending I'd like. So there.

And that ends this evening's production of "Gone with the Wind", as told by Pat the Bunny's Christmas tree.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just the Facts

Because it is 11:00pm, and I shopped with the masses today, and fought the traffic, and spent the last several hours wrapping presents, I can only offer you these brief snippets of my day. Just the facts, no time or energy for (very many) embellishments.

Things that are true about my day:

1) The roads were crazy and the thought went through my head that, if I were to get into a car accident, I would refuse any medical assistance because my legs are just that hairy. Sorry people, but it's the truth. My husband is far away and it's very cold outside.

2) Pat the Bunny's shower is the bane of my existence.
Infinitesimal adjustments to the hot and cold water knobs result in drastic changes in water temperature...about one minute after you make the adjustment.
Picture this, I get in the shower.
(Wait, don't picture that. Refer to point 1.)
Anyway, I go to make the water a little warmer by turning the cold water down a fraction of a millimeter. I wait. The shower gets even colder.
I repeat. Nothing.
Repeat again.
Now the first adjustment finally kicks in and it gets a touch warmer, then before I know it I have third degree burns because all of my micro-adjustments have caught up with me. So I turn the cold water up higher and cling to the wall until it adjusts. Then I'm stuck in icy cold water.
And so on.
And so forth.
It's a wonderful way to start your day.

3) I do not own a dog. But PTB does.
So when I volunteered to take Grace Louise out for a stroll this evening it did not occur to me to bring along a bag.
The temperature was still in the 30's, the snow was falling lightly, and I have a cute new alpaca hat I wanted to wear. (Well technically it's Alex's alpaca hat, but it's too big for her.) I thought it would be like a nice scene from a Christmas movie.
But I've never seen a Christmas movie where the girl* in the cute hat, walking her dog in the pretty falling snow, has to run from the scene of not one, but two instances of the dang dog pooping in someone's yard.
I felt bad, really I did, but I was kind of at a loss for what to do about it. I told Grace not to, but she didn't listen. Kind of like she didn't listen when I told her to stop pulling at the leash, and instead she made all sorts of terrible noises as if she were coughing up a hairball.
The only solace I found in my criminal activity was that it's going to be cold enough tonight to freeze the poop, which might negate any shoe destruction should someone step in it.

*term used loosely

4) I had a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks today.

And now I must go to bed, I need to be well rested before tomorrow's battle with the shower. Goodnight.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Deck the Halls

We put up the Christmas tree a week ago. Notice anything...strange...about it?

The kids played a big role in the decorating, as you may have guessed based on ornament placement. I've created a breakdown for all interested parties:

The great majority seem to be placed right about Alex's shoulder height. She was very serious about her decorating.

Derek's job was to sit around and look cute.

Mission accomplished.

His other self-appointed job was to break ornaments. That's where the other 2% ended up. Raise your hand if you thought I was just really bad at math.

The kids are having a lot of fun this Christmas season. They are loving the lights, music, and excitement.
The only thing missing is Daddy! We can't wait to be together again, and thank you Josh for sacrificing your holidays with your family to keep us all safe! Love you tons.

Here's a clip just for you...the best I could get of Alex Snow White singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I'll keep trying, because she loves to belt it out.