Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's a Wrap - Christmas 2006

Tree with obscene amount of gifts, Christmas Eve after Santa arrived

Back deck with drifts (3rd refrigerator area)

Our new coat/backpack rack!

Anne-Marie with Ryan and Parker

Play Structure flocked for Christmas Day, 2006

Putting the tree up after Thanksgiving means that by December 30th, one is DONE with the Christmas decor. And I'm about ready to insist that all the loot 'find a place'. Where? Who knows. And who bought the children all this stuff?!

Star Wars stuff remains the big hit of the season. Parker wakes up, and instead of crawling in bed with us, stumbles around the house until he finds his light saber. He is literally weaving around, bleary-eyed and barely awake, wielding the thing. Ryan, however, is still my smoochy pooch. He faithfully flings open his door and trots down the hall to leap into bed with us and park his frosty feet on me; burrowing me out of my warm spot.

And snow! Yes! We have snow - 3 feet of it in places, and more on the way. My sister and her fiancee were thrilled to be here for 3 days and be able to snowboard in the neighborhood (Yes! We have big hills here! With rocky gorges at the bottom that will crack your very tailbone if you land on them v. sailing over them - just ask my future brother in law!) But after shoveling 2 feet of snow off your driveway and then having it snow another 15 inches a few days later? Yeah; we're Over It. I'm just glad the children are off school so we don't have to risk life and limb by getting out in this. And of course, having 15 people in the house for 5 meals means we have plenty of grub - 2 refrigerators full. With the overflow being stored in snow banks on the back deck! In fact, I parked steaming pots full of ear-popping hot green chili in drifts; boxes of meats from Petit Jean; plopped cartons full of bottles of wine/eggnog and other libations right out the back door so they'd be handy and chilled for the meals on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year

I'm optimistic about 2007.
I think those who have alot, will share.
I hope those who are passionate about their religion, their views of government, their views on human rights, their views on consumption of resources; will have an epiphany and take a moment, a long moment, to see the opposing view.
And that may make all the difference.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fairly quivering with exitement!

In the true Spirit of the Season, I am going to harass the hell out of a telemarketing outfit that is calling our DO NOT CALL listed, UNLISTED home phone number. Tonight they made the fatal mistake of being rude and then hanging up on me when I requested a supervisor. BIG Mistake.

Have you heard the call played on a radio station from a clever person, interrogating a telemarketer? It's WonDerFull. The callee pretends he is a detective with a police department, investigating the scene of a murder. Which has happened at the home of the phone number the telemarketer has called, and who is now embroiled in the crime. The 'detective' quickly obtains the telemarketer's name and address. You can hear the panic in the telemarketer's voice. Insisting over and over he is a telemarketer, doesn't know the victim etc etc. The 'detective' quizzes him on the number the caller is calling from (I did a *69 and got the number when they called tonight, so I know they are an outfit out of Manhattan) and says "Yes! That's the one - we've got dozens of recorded calls from that number to a local pay phone and the murder victim's phone, setting up drug drops and even murder for hire - we've notified local law enforcement and they are on their way to your location right now (talking over shoulder to a pretend police officer about making sure a 210 was called in, etc). He repeats "Do NOT hang up - it will just be worse for you if you run! I may be able to help you if you just hang on..." and then goes on to give him gruesome details, requesting the 'coroner' to notice this and that stab wound, "Gosh, I can't believe somebody would gouge out eyes!" etc.

Anyway, I have to find the script for this. I found it on somebody's site a while back and laughed myself wheezy hearing it. I promised myself I would use it on the next rude telemarketer. We have an unlisted number, are on every do not call list, and take great pains to put DO NOT DISTRIBUTE/DO NOT SELL on everything in which we have to release a phone number. So I kinda feel well within my rights. I'm going to call and report this outfit too, as the fools are also calling after 9 pm.

Now that I've vented, who knows if I'll have the chutzpah to actually do it. I may type up a quick script in word, just to further vent my spleen.

Ah, can you tell I'm avoiding boring chores?

I am painfully polite to telemarketers. Most immediately remove our number, returning the courtesy of my tone and reasonableness of my request. But ones who don't? I'm loaded for bear and have a script! I should record the call...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

List of Haven't Dones:

Haven't Done the Christmas Cards.
I haven't Done The Photo. (The copying of it, that is)
Maybe I'll send out New Year's Cards...

Haven't Done the Ornaments on the Top of the Tree.
I'm scared to get on the TALL ladder.
Maybe we'll finish it Christmas Eve, when there's 20 people here...

Haven't wrapped the gifts.
If the kids are in bed, so are we.
Maybe I'll do it Christmas Eve with my sisters...

Haven't done the Christmas baking.
If I get any fatter, I won't fit in my clothes!
Maybe I'll bake with Anne-Marie and her sister and my sisters...

Haven't plugged in some of the exterior lights.
I keep forgetting to buy outside-rated extension cords.
Maybe we'll buy them this week...

But you know what's funner?
My list of HAVE DONES!

We have:
Gone to a party every single day since Thursday of last week; and *gasp* - one was even called a CHRISTMAS PARTY! With Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and a few Christians, too!

Hosted a couple of fun dinner parties, where people actually honored my request to NOT BRING ANYTHING! Thank You!

Taken videos of fun things with Parker and Ryan;
Like sitting on Santa's lap;
Hunting for that naughty Runaway Gingerbread Boy, and the principal of Parker's school had caught that Gingerbread Boy;
Santa Claus (and a Really Good Santa Clause! With a nice dog named Holly!) reading The Polar Express to Ryan's class, and handing out sleigh bells and Christmas books;
Parker and Ryan making Hanukkah drawings for our Jewish neighbor, Frank. And Parker even actually gave Frank his drawing! Ryan decided to keep his menorah, but we needed one anyway...

Made ornaments for teachers and family with those iron-after-assembled bead thingys! And - well, we had a disastah on the ironing board in that Dear old Mommy plunked one down and it UnDid! All over the floor! And the boys were good sports and helped Dear Old Mommy put it back together...

Poaching in lots of bubble baths, and sitting in front of the fires, and lying in bed playing with babies, and having conversations and lovely, relaxing times.

Reading lots of Christmas books. And will continue to read the books and fall asleep in puppy-like heaps.

Obtained the movies for Christmas viewing:
Christmas with the Cranks
The Santa Claus
Love, Actually (with a nod to blackbird for reminding me how very wonderful that movie is).

This has been a very good Christmas season for us.
And it's only going to get better!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Meeting Santa's Helper

Ryan with Santa's Helper. This is a photo I never thought I would capture a couple of years ago; maybe even last year. Ryan not only sat on the dude's lap, he talked to him! In a normal, conversational voice. Understandable, and everything.

Ryan and Parker. Ryan doesn't like loud noises or lights. So, he shuts his eyes for any posed photo. But, all in all, not a bad shot! Again, me with the thrill of seeing the boys sitting on the lap, and no screaming and flailing.

Parker with his first face painting. "I'm not washing my face for a week, Mommy!"

Parker on the Big Guy's lap. Much discussion of the gift requested, a blue light saber with noises. I hope that's what Santa got.

The boys playing with Nana's entry decorations. They spent 15 minutes giving everything a good workout.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Unexpected enthusiasm.

Parker wanted to have some children from his class over during the Christmas break. I decided he could host a 'winter social' and limited him to 4 girls and 4 boys from his class. With Ryan and Parker, that would be 10 if all attended. Definitely Do-Able. Especially with the help of Anne-Marie, our college babysitter who will be on break from university; an athlete and a no-nonsense Amazon type of girl.

We haven't decided on all the diversions yet, but there will be a clue-driven treasure hunt for the craft materials followed by a working-on-craft flurry, and a movie and popcorn in the theatre room.

The children will bring their own brown-bag lunch, and I will serve a brunch for the parents (Menu TBD.)

I expected the invitees to be excited about it. But what has surprised me, and touched my heart a bit, is the enthusiasm of the parents! Turns out they have all been looking for an opportunity to get to know each other.

Any ideas for the craft? I think they are mostly Christians, one Jew and a Hindu. For a send-off, we're going to do a variation on a Buddhist theme -- The children write 3 things on a small piece of paper: 1) The persons they love the most; 2) Their wish for the World and 3) Something they are wishing for. We will tie this to a helium-filled balloon (one for each child) and then do a simultaneous release.

I've got quite a few days to plan more. I'll have Anne-Marie bring a friend to help her, so I will get to visit with the parents.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dry as a Bloggy bone, here. Nuttin' to say

Lots going on, but I'm spending much less time on the computer.

Have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS or HAPPY HANUKKAH in the meantime. I'll be back.

I think.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I got De Blues Tonight.

The LAST of the Big Stuff for Baby is sailing out of the house. Tons of books, toys, clothing (except for the cherished stuff from Foster Mothers, Arrival Clothing -- three beautiful outfits, each time, PLUS a formal one-year birthday Hanbok -- and other special baby clothing that has been washed and preserved in special boxes). Lovely things that we all loved and used. It's going, going, gone.

I've done well with all this General Purging.
Until Today.
Today, I sold the Mountain Buggy Urban Double.
The Cadillac of jogging, all-terrain strollers.
My lifeline to the outside world for years, with 2 toddlers 11 months apart in age.
It is detailed and shined up, even the tires have been armor-all'd, for it's next owner. A lucky young mama who is expecting her 2nd baby in a few months.
I was just downstairs, ready to wrap her up carefully in her original shipping materials and carton. And I started to cry.
I am done with babies now.
And even though I'm sure we're done (come on, I'm 53 and Ken's no Spring Chicken, either!), it's sad to turn the lock and hand over the key.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I'll Be MEME for Christmas

It's going around, this Meme...

Hot chocolate or eggnog?
Hot chocolate, and eggnog lattes, Thank You.

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Oh my Goodness! He is a Wrappin' Fool!

Colored lights on your tree/house or white?

White lights on the indoor trees and on the house. Colored old-time lights on the outside decks and patios. Colored lights on the big 2 dimensional train display outside.

Do you hang mistletoe?
Mistletoe is a SCOURGE in this State. It is strangling our pine trees and conifers up in the high country. *spit* MISTLETOE?! *spit*

When do you put up decorations?
Thanksgiving weekend. The trees are almost fully decorated. Don't have exterior lights up yet, but tomorrow IS another day...

What does your favorite christmas meal include?

Eggs benedict and waffles for breakfast.
Cold cut buffet for luncheon.
Standing Rib for dinner, with twice-baked spuds, different baked vegetables, and chocolate cream pie.

Favorite christmas memory from childhood?
The year I got my Raleigh English racer. We were in Okinawa. I think I was 8.

How do you decorate your christmas tree?

With ornaments from my grandmother, mother, in-laws and out-laws; with ornaments collected from every trip; with home made ornaments that family or I have made; Parker or Ryan's hand-made goodies from over the years.

Snow! Love it or leave it?
I love snow and cold weather.

Can you ice skate?
Yes, very well forward. Not so well backwards.

Do you remember your favorite gift?

Getting Parker Christmas of 2000, and then Ryan Christmas of 2001.

What's the most important thing about christmas for you?

Being with the people I love.

What is your favorite christmas tradition?
Having the entire family at our house, usually overnight.

What tops your tree?
Our ceiling.

What is your favorite christmas song?