Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas to remember

I don't start singing carols the day after Halloween. I hesitate to set up the tree until mid-December. I do NOT shop on the day after Thanksgiving. I love Christmas, but I'm happy to let it creep in just a couple of weeks before the actual day. Christmas really "starts" for me at the Jensen family party, and this year was no exception. This was the first time that many family members were able to meet the boys since we missed the party last year (gasp!). It was fun, but poorly timed right in the middle of nap time. So, the boys were awake for the entire ride, wanted nothing to eat since they were busy running around and throwing wooden blocks, and were uber-grouchy by the time that Santa arrived. However, Peanut did a good job which was astounding because he really hates strangers lately. Santa did eventually talk him out of his bottle. Sam was less than thrilled but handled it well at the beginning. Then, his emotions, fear and lack of sleep got the best of him.

Then, a few days later, I received a phone call that really pissed me off. I'm probably not going to write about it here, but it (and all of the ensuing phone calls and extra work caused) did NOT bring me holiday cheer. In fact, it was generally missing from our house until Christmas Eve. Bub and I tried really hard to not spoil the events for the boys, but it was hard. It's still hard and will continue to be this way for a while, I'm afraid.

Grandma and Grandpa came out to have their yearly sleep over. We had a nice dinner and as much fun as we could muster. The boys went to bed early (thank goodness) so that Santa stopped at our house in decent time. I'm not sure why he bothers stopping, though, since the four grandparents bring the boys more loot than will ever be necessary for just two little people! After Santa left, the wind started to howl and didn't stop for more than 24 hours.

Everyone was up early on Christmas morning, but we had to wait for Papa and Nana to arrive so we started making breakfast. This turned out to be a mistake because the boys weren't in an eating mood, and Papa has no patience for silly stuff like food on Christmas morning. (I had forgotten this from my childhood, but the more I think about it, the more I remember being awakened at 4am or 5am because he just couldn't wait any longer!) So, we all shoveled food into our traps as quickly as possible so that the chaos could begin. Presents, tissue, paper, bags, and TOYS everywhere!

The wind continued to howl and a huge storm was predicted, so Grandma and Grandpa packed up and left by 11:30am (although I'm sure that Grandma would stay forever if Grandpa would let her!). Papa and Nana were out the door by 11am because they still had to feed all of the horses at three different houses. We got the boys down for a nap and tried to watch TV while the power flickerd on and off and on and off and on and OFF!!!

All power gone around 1pm. We waited for the boys to wake up, and after several calls to the power company, we decided to head to Papa's house. We were planning to meet little bro and big bro for dinner anyway, so we just arrived early. (This only meant additional time to eat....) The boys played with cousin Billy, and we hung out with little bro and his ex-wife (just get remarried, already!). The wind continued to punish us every time we walked outside. We kept in touch with our neighbor to find out if the power was ever coming on, but after five hours, we decided to go home and get our sleep-over gear and our dogs. We figured that even if the power came back on, there would be no guarantee that it would stay on, and the boys just can't sleep in such a cold house!

So, all of the sleeping arrangements were changed at Papa's house. (This would later prove disasterous as little bro walked into our room - usually his - buck naked. Don't even ASK me why he wasn't wearing PJs!!!! I have no clue.) We drank beer, played the Wii, talked, laughed, ate, and laughed some more. Little bro has finally accepted the marathon challenge, and I'm really looking forward to it. The boys didn't sleep well at all because all four of us were crammed into a small double bed, it was super dark, it was a strange place, and Wii playing went into the wee hours.

Sometime in the middle of the night, the wind finally died down, and we were hammered with snow - 8" or so. We were very happy to return home late the next morning, and the boys went down for a nap in their own beds almost immediately. This was when we realized that although the furnace was turning on, it wasn't blowing any hot air. $180 later, we had a new ignition dohickey, and it now works like a charm.

Whew! What a holiday. This will probably be one of the images I see in my mind for the rest of my life when I need to conjure up a happy moment:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Way to go, bro!

Can I just say right here and right now that I'm so proud of my little brother?!?!?
He has been smoke- and chew-free for two weeks!!!!!!!!
He started his quitting adventure with the help of one of those new non-smoking medications - you know, the ones that come with a warning about the thoughts of suicide?!?!?
Well, when the urge to commit homocide just about did someone/anyone in, he decided to stop taking that and just tough it out on his own - which he is doing - admirably. He even made it through the family Christmas party with only one smarty-pants remark (which is good for anyone - especially someone who just gave up two huge vices)!

Way to go, Jake. I'm incredibly impressed!

Is the marathon challenge finally on?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I did it, Hon!

Grandma refers to Grandpa as Hon or Honey all of the time. So, it's no surprise - but a real crack up - that Meatball walks around the house calling out to "Hon" constantly.

Both of them are always excited about zipping up their own PJs, and after the first couple of successful tries, I would exclaim "You did it!" Now, no matter what Peanut does, if it goes the way he wants he shouts "I did it!"

Bub is teaching Meatball to say "seriously, dude" which is a riot.

And, since we are so concerned about Peanut gaining weight, we put him on the scale 3-4x/week. He knows to stomp on it to activate it, waits until the number stops flashing, and then steps on and waits until the reading stabilizes. Then, he points to the numbers and says them "2-3, 2-3" just like we do when we are so excited that he hasn't dropped back to 22. (It was a sincere struggle to get him to add that entire pound!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Why Santa may not come to our house this year

I woke up early on Saturday because the boys were awake (shocking), and I needed to wash a sink full of dishes. Then, I had big plans of going for a run when Bub awoke, come home, shower, make muffins, and go to the local Santa parade with some friends at noon. However, when I logged on to double check the start time, I found out it was two hours earlier than I thought! Oh crap! So, I started the muffins (one batch chocolate chip and one batch almond), gave the boys some cereal and juice, and made enough noise that Bub had no choice but to get up. Then, the second she was out of bed, I jumped into my jeans, sneakers, and levi jacket, and went to take the truck to the parade route to save a spot.

Oh yes - big hurry - less than an hour to find a spot, walk home, shower, dress, and finish with the boys. But, wait! What the.....?!?!? There are no people/chairs/saved spots at the start of the parade. Shit! Where does the parade start? So, I just started driving through town until I saw some people setting up their chairs and parked there. So, I've now parked at least 3/4 mile farther than I had planned which means that I have that much farther to rush back home. Note to self: besides KNOWING the start time of the parade AND the route, remember to wear a bra when leaving the house. Always.

This bra-less-ness wasn't going to be a big deal when I was just walking the original three blocks home. But, now that I have much farther to go and less time than I planned, I needed to hoof it. I'm a runner (a slow, heavy one, but still a runner), so no biggie IF I were wearing a supportive under garment. I ran as much as possible while just holding myself in place - a much harder task than it seems.

ANYWAY - back to Santa.... So, we rushed around the house and got the boys ready to go. I left the house with wet hair and was lucky to have a jacket and shoes on. We met Papa, Nana, and our friends, ate muffins, and drank coffee and hot chocolate. Finally, the parade started - in the reverse direction from all of the other city parades. It was small (it IS December, after all), but it was fun. Well, fun for everyone but Kali whose hand was stepped on by an over-eager candy grabber who didn't even apologize! The floats were cute (compared to the dismal 4th of July parade), the marching band was non-existent. The boys picked up some candy with the help of Nana and Papa. Bub became Kali's best friend, and I spent the entire time going back and forth to the car.

Jingle bells announce Santa's approach. The jolly fellow arrives atop a stage coach pulled by six very nice looking black horses. Luckily, the parade encountered a challenge with forward motion at the exact time that Santa was to pass us, so he was temporarily detained right in front of us! As Santa is known to do, he spent the extra few minutes waving to the excited kids (ours weren't excited because they don't really get Santa, yet) and saying Santa-esque things like "Ho-ho-ho!" And, at the very moment that he "ho-ho-ho'd" our group specifically, Peanut projectile vomited all over the street. Santa seemed less than amused.