Thursday, January 28, 2010

Don't Cry For Me, Argentina!

The truth is, I haven't left you!

I finally have two kids napping at the same time and finally felt the need to get my pictures off of my new camera. Here are a few to keep you happy. I have to admit that I have taken very few pictures of J lately mainly because I tend to shoot these of the little miss when he is taking a nap or is at school. There is also the fact that any time I take out the camera he yells, "Take a picture of me! Take a picture of me!" Then I have to take a picture, show him the picture, ogle about how great the picture is and so on. It gets tiring. I have to admit that this isn't how I always feel, but right now I am pretty annoyed at J for deliberately pushing his sister down so that she would get hurt. He announced it, did it, then laughed as he ran away. Needless to say, he was put in his room to think that one over and to give me time to come up with a reasonable consequence. Anyway...

Little Miss loves dressing up like a bear to scare the kitties.

I have an unfinished post about Christmas, which I am going to still add with some pictures. I keep writing posts and then not finishing them. I really am sorry to those of you that look forward to these. I can say I will try to do better. With the impending 4th birthday on the way next week, I better. For now, enjoy these.

That's a blueberry and some whipped cream, not a big gross booger.

PS. I forgot to mention that my daughter is now 8 months old! And standing! And looking like she wants to walk early like her cousin L! Please do not encourage this!!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

I Know You Still Want to Hear About Christmas Even Though It's Feb!

(okay, i tried to post this about ten times, but blogger did not like my new camera and kept rejecting my photo uploads. I finally got it to be nice to me (feb. 4)

The last of the family visitors departed on Monday, so I finally have some time to figure out how to use my new camera and share the fun of Christmas with you.

I feel like Christmas went on for about 16 days because that's how many days J didn't have school, and that's about how many days he was spoiled by the attention of one person or another in our house. It was great though.

We began our Christmas fun by taking J to see the Nutcracker downtown. I had no idea if he would be interested or if we would be leaving early out of boredom, so we just went with it. Anybody who ever goes to the Long Center in Austin, get a glass of wine. Let's just say the pours are very large, and it can be very dangerous when you pre-order your intermission cocktail and happily find an extra glass that you didn't order sitting with the drinks you did order. It made The Nutcracker that much more enjoyable! Turned out that J loved every bit of the show--the dancing, the jumping, the swordfight, the toy soldiers, getting a nutcracker of his own during intermission, eating goldfish and a cookie at 9 pm, and clapping for everyone. He was very sad when we put away the music and his book a few days ago and is looking forward to going again next year.

The S family cookie exchange party was the following day. This year I decided to do it smaller, so I only invited mamas and new babies. Dads and big kids went for a play date and enjoyed each other's company without destroying my clean house in the process. Cookies and pomegranate chamagne cocktails for the girls and mayhem running around for the boys. It was a win-win for all involved. There was a bit of drama with our good friends C and Z at the end. They were involved in a car crash that ended up totaling their car, but thankfully they were both fine and the car did its job of protecting them. We spent the rest of the day being grateful for our health and for each other.

My parents and brother arrived a few days later, just in time for B and I to discover that our refrigerator wasn't working properly. We noticed that our milk wasn't as cold as normal, but I just chalked it up to the fact that rice milk probably just doesn't get as cold or something like that. Well when the rice milk felt luke warm and the fridge registered a temp of 55 degrees on the top shelf, we knew we had a problem on our hands. Merry Christmas!! We took everything out of the fridge and put it in the garage fridge (thank God for that!). B proceded to use a hairdryer to melt ice that he found at the back of the fridge. I know you aren't supposed to do that, but all we had in our heads was, "Where will we put the prime rib?" We were desperate. Once B got as much ice out as he could, we let it run empty for a couple of hours to see if the temperature would stabilize. No such luck. We decided to deal with the situation after Christmas when we could unplug the entire thing. In the meantime, we only put beverages and things that didn't really need to be kept that cool in there. Everything else was kept outside.

Christmas Eve was lovely with some cookie decorating at one of J's house in the morning followed by our traditional Rudy's BBQ dinner. K, C and her fam also joined us for the fun. B and I received a fabulous gift of Whole Foods cooking classes from them. Then it was time to play Santa and go to bed.

As a child, Santa used to individually wrap the items in our stockings and leave it by our beds so that we had something to do when we woke up in the morning. In some ways, the stockings were almost more fun than the gifts under the tree. Having them wrapped made opening that mundane pair of socks or toothpaste that much more exciting. Not very green mind you, but not so bad when you consider that Santa saved all of the small leftover pieces of wrapping paper from the year before. I decided that our Santa would do this for J this year.

Fast forward to Christmas morning. I thought that J would be up at the crack of dawn. Instead, both he and S slept in. J slept until 7:45 and then proceeded to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to himself about 5 times before he wandered out of his room. Santa left his giant stocking propped up against his door so that he wouldn't trip on it in the dark. It fell to the ground, J ran past it, realized it was there and said, "What is that thing doing there?" So much for needing to keep him occupied.

J's big wish this year was for a bike. Did you know that Santa's elves work magic on craigslist and help you find red and black bikes? They do. The only problem is when you pick up the bikes in the dark and don't notice the scratch marks and extra work that is going to be required of you when you get it home. B ended up putting on a new seat, grips, painting the chrome, and spot painting the body. It really looks great now. Did you also know that it is nearly impossible to find a helmet that doesn't scream, "Please beat me up now!" I was so excited after searching high and low to come across a blue one with a single soccer ball on it. J also asked for knee pads and elbow pads. He even got racer gloves.

So there J was downstairs looking at the Christmas tree. Naturally the bike was too big to fit under the tree, so it was placed over by the couch. J ran to the tree, scanned all the other gifts, took a deep breath and said, "But no bike." He didn't know what to do with himself. I told him to turn around and that's what he literally did (a 360) Then we told him to look by the couch. When he saw the giant package, his heart lifted a bit. He unwrapped it, got excited at the sight of the bike, looked down beside it and said, "No helmet. I can't ride it because I have no helmet." I told him that maybe Santa put the helmet with the other presents. This wasn't any good. The poor kid was nearly in tears. We told him to try out the bike inside without the helmet. As he was doing that, I grabbed the bag with the helmet and placed it out in the middle of the room. The kid died when he saw it. Phew!

Christmas was pretty light for the Little Miss, but that's the way it should have been considering that her favorite things that morning were the bows and paper. Besides, she's been too busy with things like crawling and pulling up to be bothered to stop and play with a new toy or two.

B and I went to see Trans-Siberian orchestra one night. His boss gave us tickets to that and to another holiday show that we also took J. The show was really good, but because it had been non-stop excitement, B and I actually fell asleep during part of it because we were in the dark. Oops. It was just a quick snooze, but honestly the rest of the show was good.

We had more visitors for New Year's, which meant more spoiling of grandchildren. There was also babysitting available for going to the movies (haven't done that since last Christmas) and picking up craigslist finds like china cabinets. I've been looking for awhile, and B and I couldn't really agree on a style, so I finally found one that was a compromise. We need to do some clean up work to it, so I'll post a picture when it's done. Everyone who has seen it thinks it was a great find. I'm just excited to get stuff out of my garage and into it!