Monday, December 26, 2011
Mr. Man getting a much needed Sunday nap.
I liked this whole "Christmas on Sunday" business. Our meeting starts at 9, and we told the kids they could open their stockings before church, but we had to wait till after to open presents. Also, they had to be ready for church before they touched their stockings. I've never seen them get ready so fast! It was a good deal.
Our meeting was great. Sarah played a flute obbligato to Silent Night while the congregation sang. That's my favorite Christmas song. It was really nice to worship on Christmas. It brought a good feeling to our hearts as we headed home to rip open our presents.
Jacob missed the whole "present opening" bonanza. He was sleeping so soundly when we got home from church, that we just left him to dream. I love shopping for a -1 year old. All I spent on my boy was $6.49.
Abigail has been our best toy-playing kid yet. It's nice, because I feel like it's money well spent when we get toys for her. One of her toys was a play cash register, complete with fake food and a working intercom. I overheard a conversation between Kate and Abby as they played with the register. It went something like this:
Kate: (of course, she was in charge of pushing the buttons and ringing up the groceries) That will be $32 please. I need your money.
Kate: Mam, I need you to pay me your money, or I won't give you your groceries.
Kate: (speaking into intercom) SECURITY!!! Come to check stand 1 please!
I told Neal not to buy me any gifts because I'm the proud owner to a new van and dryer. Neal ignored me and bought me a new 12" non-stick frying pan, some socks, perfume, and a steering wheel cover. He couldn't believe that I would be satisfied with a dryer. He just doesn't understand that this gal, with a fondness for laundry, is giddy for the new dryer.
I really needed that steering wheel cover because the previous owner of the van must have splashed after shave on his face and hands every morning before he drove to work. When I drive the van, it makes my hands smell like nasty Brut. It's pretty gross. I tried several cleaning products and procedures on the steering wheel, but it still transferred man smell to my hands. Hopefully the steering wheel cover works. I guess that's a consequence of buying a used car.
But, another consequence is what you might find in said "used car." When I was pulling out the drink holder (my diet coke cozy), I heard the jingle-jangle of change. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from, till I found the secret change compartment. There was $5 in quarters hidden in that thing! Then, we were driving down to Eugene, and I was fiddling with the secret sunglasses compartment, and I found some sexy new sunglasses! I needed new sunglasses because I recently misplaced mine. I love life's little free surprises!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
But the new Honda van is much sexier and younger, and it's time to move on.
Merry Christmas to me!! A new dryer and a new van, all in a few weeks time? I think I just might piddle!
Buying cars from dealerships is tortuous. We were there all day, and into the night. Abby and Jacob were with me for most of that time. At one point, an employee gave Abby a giant red balloon. The fun lasted a while. The next day, Sarah asked where the balloon came from. "You bought a new van, and all they gave you was a red balloon? You got a really crappy deal, Mom."
Look who had a birthday! She's a whole fart-teen years old, and she's the best!! Her nose is stuck in her new Kindle as we speak. Her choice of food was Outback Steakhouse (she'd heard about the "bloomin' onion," and also has a thing for Aussies), and an ice cream bar for dessert. Fourteen candles have a tendency to melt ice cream rather quickly.
On family night, we took a spin through the neighborhood to look at the Christmas lights. Our little area has a Christmas light route that gets quite a lot of traffic. It started almost 30 years ago with some friendly neighborly competition with Christmas decorations. People started driving by to see, more neighbors joined in, and it became a tradition. They take food and cash donations for the Marion Polk food share and raise tens of thousands of dollars, as well as tons of food every Christmas. Have I mentioned before that I love my neighborhood?This year they had a horse rescue group that was seeking donations. Look who got to torture one of the horses? A highlight of the night, for sure.
Many of the houses have big wooden stockings in their yards with the names of family members. The first such house that we saw with stockings was the house of "Jean" and "Bob." Kate looked, read, looked, puzzled, and then said, "Mom. What's a JeanBob?"
Duh, Kate. Duh.
Every year on a certain Saturday, Fireman Santa drives through every street of Keizer, sounds his sirens, and hands out candy canes and photo ops to the kids that chase him down. Actually, the Mom chased him down at our house. Kate was looking for her shoes.
Have I mentioned that I love my neighborhood?
This is about as comfortable as Abigail was going to get while she talked to Santa. If she would have known it was Scott, I'm sure she would have jumped right onto his lap.
Jake, on the other hand, was at ease.
I heart this boy.
This past Sunday, we had no problem getting the kids up for church that starts at 9. Usually, I have to do some stern "encouraging" to get Kate out of bed. But they were all up just after 6 on Sunday morning. The secret ingredient? A RA-coon (that's how Abby says it). Neal was letting the dog out before he left for his meetings, and the dog started going nuts. On the back fence was a giant raccoon. Neal ran upstairs to the girls room to have them look out the window at the visitor. They were pretty excited as they watched the raccoon walk back and forth on the fence. It was great Sunday morning fun.
I think the dog was agitated and piddle-suppressing for the rest of the day.
We are officially ready for Christmas. Except for the wrapping part. I have yet to wrap a single gift. Man, I'd better get started. My gifts look like crap when I wrap them.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I could stand to improve some of my parenting skills.
He looks like he just got the crap scared out of him.
On Sunday night, we made Christmas sugar cookies. I had to put on my patient face as all the kids, including Neal, hovered. I hate hovering. But I kept telling myself that I wanted them to have fun, so I had to deal with the cookie cutters being put right in the middle of the dough, not minimizing the scraps. Why does that bug me so much? It's no big deal.
As we were cleaning up and eating errant pieces of dough off the counter, I picked up what I thought was a piece of dough, and put it in my mouth. It was hard. It was Kate's tooth that she had lost earlier in the day. Seriously, so gross.
Last evening was the kind of evening I work very hard to avoid, because it was freaking chaotic. So chaotic, in fact, that I just kept laughing. I was working all day trying to type the Christmas letter one-handed, because Jacob was a bit fussy, and I was holding him for much of the day. I also had a million other things going on, but I could manage. Kate kept asking me to fix her pants. She had some serious butt crack going on because the elastic button thing had come undone and disappeared inside of the waist band. We had plans later for Family Night to visit a grandma in the ward, give her some cookies, and sing some Christmas songs to her. I thought I had it all covered. But then Sarah said, "Mom, I have to be at the school in a half hour. It's my Christmas concert tonight."
Crap. I totally forgot.
Ok, I would run to Burger King really fast, and get some whopper jr's. That will keep everyone happy and solve the time crunch problem. I decided I would bring Jacob in the hope that a ride in the car would make him happy. Of course, Abby wanted to come with. So, she put on her rain boots with no socks, insisted on a puffy pink coat that is size 24 months and was "fat man in a little coat" status, and lumbered her way into the van. Very noisily, of course. She only has one volume. And I don't remember the last time I did her hair. "MOM! When are you going to fix my pants! My butt crack is showing!" Kate yelled to me as I went out the door.
I got to the Burger King and ordered our food. When I got to the drive thru window and went for my wallet, I realized that it wasn't with me. Oops. When the worker lady opened the window to take my money and give me my food, I said, "Sorry. I forgot my wallet." I drove away really fast, glad that I didn't know them and they didn't know me. All the while, Jacob was fussing and Abby was talking about 30 decibels too loud.
I went home, empty handed, and it was time to go to the concert. "Sorry kids, but we're going hungry. We've got to get to the concert." All the while, I couldn't get through to Neal to let him know that our evening plans were changing fast. "MOM!" Kate said, yet again, "Fix my pants! They won't stay up!"
"Shut up Ralphie!"
I finally got in touch with Neal just in time for him to make the concert and accept the fact that he would be hungry. The concert was great. After, we visited with Sister S. and sang her a couple of Christmas songs, and Sarah played her flute. Abby played in the other room and tortured her poor pomeranian. It was so nice, not our singing or the pet torture, but the flute and the visiting. The rumbling of our stomach's made for fine back ground accompaniment.
Finally, we found ourselves at Carl's Jr at 9pm on a school night.
My drugs must be working pretty good, because I was able to handle last night and didn't kill anyone.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Remember that "6" that was on her report card? Well, we talked to her teacher, and yes, it was a typo. They haven't even covered fractions yet, and it was supposed to be an "x." It's a good thing we didn't take her to Dairy Queen to celebrate the unearned good grade.
My brother, Ryan, and his Utah-alum wife, Camie, sent this little hat in the mail, along with a matching bib and booties. It's hard to put on him and goes against all my better judgement. But they needed a picture, and it also works quite well as a sleeping cap. His large head is out growing his infant sleeping caps. So, he may or may not be wearing it at night, in the dark, where no one can see. . .
Fresh cut oregon trees for a song-and-a-dance price. One more reason to NEVER go fake.
A rare sight. He hardly every cries, so I had to snap a photo. Man, he looks like baby Kate!
The Salem South Stake puts on the most fabulous nativity display and children's play area every Christmas. It's become a holiday fixture for the entire town, Mormon or not. We took my parent's there on Saturday. I thought it would be cute to have my kids play the nativity parts, and my baby boy could be Jesus. As you can tell, they are very excited to oblige my whims. At least Sarah's friend is smiling. Little party poopers.
My parents were in town this past weekend for the blessing of this little fella.