Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday update...

Thank goodness Christmas is over. It was exhausting but a lot of fun.
Christmas Eve with my brother's family and egg-donor was a success. The kids got toys they really liked and muther left pouting like a child, as usual. She pulled another one of her antics and bought Gryffin a Superman cape after I told her that I was making him one for Christmas. Oh, but hers was made of hard plastic, vinyl and makes flying sounds. It also chokes Gryffin and puts him into fits when he gets it stuck on his head. But it came from a store so in her opinion its better than the humble one I sewed with love. I feel sorry for her that she still believes Christmas comes from a store and not the heart.
Christmas morning was wonderful. Mike and I woke up before Gryffin and had enough time to enjoy a cup of coffee together and look at the tree with its sparkling lights and pretty presents all wrapped and stacked. When I woke Gryffin up it took him a few minutes to even notice the presents or the incredibly shiny red drum kit set up next to the tree. He was more concerned with why Santa would be so mean and not leave any cookies on the plate for him to eat. Anger gave way to excitement when we pointed out the drum kit and presents. Santa was forgiven.
Mike took the week between Christmas and New Year's off and its been wonderful having him home. Wednesday when reality sets back in and he goes to work will be hard. For all of us.
Tonight we are having a New Year's party. It was planned to be at Robin's house but she's feeling under the weather so its going to be here. Nothing fancy, just good friends and lots of laughs. We are using this as an excuse to finally set up a bed in the guest room. Beqi and Eddie live across the river and through the crazy so waiting until tomorrow to drive home would make us all feel better. And its not like Gryffin already doesn't refer to the guest room as Beqi's already. That is where the sewing machine is so in his mind that's her room. Last night I was in there doing a little sewing and he peeked his head in and scolded me for playing in Beqi's room. I think my kid is smitten.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas update post has been delayed due to a horrible accident. Mike and I have been trapped under an avalanche of toys, boxes, wrapping remnants and food with an overwhelmed, finicky and slightly cranky toddler. As soon as we dig ourselves out and have a good stiff drink, I will give the play by play.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


The Ultimate Johnny Cash Christmas Collection. He can even make Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sound a little sad. I love it!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Super Heros don't get stage fright

Last night was Gryffin's first Christmas program at Day Out. Holy comedic relief, Batman! My MIL attended with us, which made Gryffin really happy. We all dropped him off in his classroom and we headed to the gym to find a seat. It was packed, packed with holiday sweater wearing women, kids and newborns, proud grandparents, the Midwestern assortment of 'the don't get out much' crowd and the 'keeping up with the Jones's' families. Before the curtain went up I spent most of the time crowd gazing. I saw women gossiping about the family in front of them, I saw men fumbling with their camcorders, I saw kids being cute and being brats. The whole time I thought how lucky I was. I had had a really awful day but at the end here I was about to enjoy the best show on earth. The best because my kid was in it.
The lights went down and some really bad country Christmas song began assaulting our ears. I can only assume there were problems wrangling that many kids and toddlers on stage because we had to listen to this song twice. When the curtains finally rose there was a slew of camera flashes and parents struggling to find their child in the mass of them. We didn't have that problem. Gryffin made himself very noticeable as soon as the first song started. Very noticeable. Basically, he was the only kid throwing imaginary Spiderman webs and Super Hero punches into the crowd. He was deflecting all the bad parental behavior in the audience and returning it with Toddler Tasers. He was jumping up and down and sending his own brand Christmas Spirit in the form of one/two punches. No, he didn't hit any of the other kids; although, he did try to take the big red bow out of the hair of the girl in front of him. I'm pretty sure that during Jingle Bells he was singing about how Batman smells and the Joker got away. It is his favorite song, ya know.
When it was over we picked up Gryffin and headed for the cookie table. Yup, I was so proud of my Super Hero that he deserved a cookie. At the cookie trough I had a hard time controlling big eyes and fast fingers as he began touching and even tasting things only to put them back on the serving platters. I quickly scooped them up in horror, hoping no one else but Dianne noticed. By the end, he had a plate piled high with sugar. Not a big deal to most parents now a days but we don't let Gryffin have a lot of sugar. This is why...
On the way home we decided to drive through the moneyed part of the town and Gryffin was talking (and singing the Batman song) the whole way. I had never heard him talk so fast or so much! When we arrived home he was literally bouncing. Tigger ain't got nothing on him. We let him stay up about an hour past his bedtime, we're dumb but we aren't stupid. Finally after wrestling him into his jammies we all cuddled on the couch with Dr Seuss's, "How The Grinch Stole Christmas". I swear as I was reading I could see the sugar crash hitting. One moment he was fighting keeping his eyes open, the next he was asking questions like a riled prosecutor. I knew he wasn't long for the waking world when he started turning more than one page at a time and even closed the book before it was over. We tucked in our little Super Hero and I swear, he was snoring before we even closed the door.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Devil Monkey, Stop Throwing Wrenches!

Or "How To Not Start Your Very Busy Day"
It started off well enough, I got the menu for next week done, I got a good start on the grocery and errand list, I got both of us dressed, presentable and fed. I packed Gryffin's Day Out lunch and bag and took it to the Jeep, when I noticed that I had left his door open. With the ker-thump of my heart hitting the cement, I turned the key. Yup, dead. AAAAAaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!
I called Robin, who shall be knighted and so named- Robin The Heroic, she threw on clothes and came over. The Jeep finally started after a few attempts.
There was still hope for the day when I got Gryffin to Day Out only 30 minutes late. Then I got to the parking lot. The Jeep didn't want to start. Oh, not because of the battery, but because I was out of gas. I limped it to the gas station that, thank God, was across the street and put my last few bucks in.
Hmmm, risk more wrench throwing monkey attacks and hit Sam's and the grocery store or stay home, clean, wrap Christmas presents and decompress? One means taking a two year old on errands tomorrow, the other means possibly getting stranded in cold, wet, snowy rain. I don't know which is worse.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Finally, playdate!

My kid was going through withdrawals. So was I. Today I'm hosting and have visions of all the lil' chil'en playing nice and quietly while the Moms yak it up. Yeah, I'm kidding myself on that one. I just hope there isn't any pint size fist fights or hair pulling.
Yesterday I took the Day Out opportunity to wrap some Christmas presents. After bringing Gryffin home, I was taking off my coat and putting my purse down when I heard, "Presents!" and the sound of ripping paper. Oh crap. They were all presents for Mike but it looks like I have some rewrapping to do.
Also, at Day Out yesterday his teachers gave him a Christmas stocking filled with goodies, a Matchbox car, a sno-globe and a few candy canes. Now he knows that presents come in stockings too. He already checked the stockings hanging from the mantle this morning and whined because they were empty.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Just another post...

Monday play date was cancelled due to the fact that everyone is broken. We are either sick, in pain or springing spouses from the hospital. Jeez Santa, what did we do to get put on the double secret probation naughty list?
Yesterday Gryffin was very disappointed that he wasn't able to go to Clara's house, but reading a few books and a little TV time quickly cured that. We are all hoping to get together later in the week and will be going out for a night on the town, sans children, Saturday. Thanks Wendy, your babysitting services for all the kiddos is much appreciated and your sanity questioned!
Today is Day Out. Since it is the next to last day of it until after the first of the year I really need to crack down and get some stuff done. Last night I thought I would have to spend today in the doctor's office but this morning I woke up feeling pretty good. In comparison to the last few anyway. I pretty much overdosed on decongestants and cough medicine last night after a really heinous cough attack and went to bed early. I have yet to cough this morning and after stretching out the back muscles feel that after the old 3 to 1 combo our dentist filled us in on, I will be feeling about 80%. I can deal with 80%.
The last time I went to the dentist he told me that 3 ibuprofen and 1 Tylenol, when taken together, has the same level of pain killers as prescription pain pills without the stoned side effects. It works for us too. With all the back problems Mike and I have its been a life saver.
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor and don't even play one on TV so don't go taking what I just said as gospel. I don't need any numb-nuts, morons suing me because they did this and had some adverse reaction.
Speaking of, I better get to medicating and moving before my muscles and mind settle into this nice, comfy couch and blanket even more.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Yeah Baby! We got snow, only about and inch or two but its still coming down and a lot more in the forecast. Break out the sled, scarves and cocoa 'cause we're gonna play. Heck we might even go all vigilante and tag the neighborhood with snow angels. Or we may just address some Christmas cards, make some ornaments and watch the flakes fall.

Friday, December 14, 2007

One and done- a certainty!

Today I looked after Lil' Eddie for a while. Let me tell you, I love that kid. I love my own kid. And they seem to love each other. I picked him up this morning and on the way back to my house they were giggling and laughing and tapping out tunes with their feet on the backs of the seats. While here they played and wrestled and chased each other around the house creating chaos in their wake. It was a blast. Later I drove Lil' Eddie to his Grandma's. On the way the boys napped like angels and when I was unloading the Ed-man Gryffin had a meltdown because his cohort in crime was leaving.
We are now home. Gryffin's in the bath and I'm sitting in the hallway making sure he doesn't hurl a soaking Batman and Superman at me. I'm also sitting here letting the muscles rest. Changing two diapers, filling two sippees, making lunch and snacks for us, chasing after, attempting to clean up after and wrangling them both into car seats was a little more than I could do on a daily basis. I don't know how parents of more than one kid do it, let alone those with twins or more. Holy hectic, Batman!
Side note: without spreading their business around, be sure to put Beqi and Big Eddie in your prayers. They are having the year from hell. Good thing 2007 is almost history.

Traveling to Brussels

Last night we took a little culinary adventure. I made beef stroganoff, which is one of my staples because its cheap, fast and low fat (at least my version is) but our vegetable accompaniment was new to all of us. I thought it weird that at 35 I had never tried brussel sprouts so I bought some. Growing up vegetables weren't prevalent in our diet unless they came from a can, which aren't really vegetables since all the nutrition has been leached out and salted to hell. The old egg-donor would only buy corn and green beans. To her credit there was the occasional bag of fresh carrots though. Anyway, last night I steamed a batch of brussel sprouts and I really liked them. They tasted like a combination of cabbage (duh) and spinach. The boys however were a little more critical. Gryffin took one taste and promptly stuck out his tongue letting the little sprout tumble from his mouth and presented a look that only meant I had scarred him for life. Mike's reaction was slightly better. He kept them in his mouth, trying to chew without them touching his tongue and finished all that were on his plate to provide a good example for Gryffin. Bless him. I won't be fixing them again for fear of my men sprouting picket signs and needing therapy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Nonadventures of Hacky Von Cougherstein

I'm thinking about formally changing my name to Hacky Von Cougherstein.
Yesterday I felt pretty good. I got the house clean, I made a Superman cape, knitted and cooked dinner. Last night the dreaded chest rattlers came back with a vengeance. It seems the night time brings it on. Hmm, vampire coughs, go figure.
My MIL came over last night for a Gryffin fix and I asked her about pains I've been having. Being a nurse I trust her medical opinion. She said that I've most likely torn some muscles from coughing. Now that's talent.
At least I can still knit. I've got plenty to keep me occupied.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Baby Jesus thinks laser light shows rock.

Last night we took Gryffin through Lady of the Snows Shrine to look at their Christmas light display. Thousands upon thousands of lights, he really enjoyed it. We promised to take him back when it wasn't drizzling so he could ride the camels and donkeys and catch the laser light show. Because nothing can tell the story of our Savior's birth like twinkle lights and lasers.
While driving home we passed some decorated houses that would make Martha Stewart shudder. Me too, for that matter. Therefore:

The Ten Commandments for Outdoor Holiday Decorating
1. Thou shalt not use one color, unless it's white. A house lit up all in blue makes it look cold and spooky, one all in red makes it look like Satan's going to be attending the celebration.
2. Thou shalt not decorate with burnt out strands of lights. Seeing a bare spot right in the middle just screams 'I don't care'.
3. Thou shall pick one theme and stick to it. Nothing is more confusing than seeing a Nativity, a Menorah and Santa all in the same yard. Unless maybe the Baby Jesus is in a cage match with Santa.
4. Thou shall be selective. Just because you have a bagillion lights and thirty seven light up snowmen doesn't mean you should cram them all into your 20x12 front yard.
5. Thou shalt not use animatronics. The animated, light up reindeer are just creepy.
6. Thou shalt not decorate with plastic flowers. This one holds all year.
7. Thou shalt not keep the Christmas decorations up through Easter. Nothing is more pathetic than seeing them in Spring, especially when you are still lighting them up!
8. Thou shall go all the way or not at all. Don't half-ass. Jesus hates half-assers.
9. Thou shalt not dress your plastic geese like Santa. In fact, just forgo plastic geese altogether.
10. Thou shalt not use inflatable anything! Everyone and their dog has those dumb inflatable decorations. Their nothing special and only give the impression that you still love to decorate your house in country blue and ceramic ducks.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Ho Ho Argh!

The blue and green scarf is mine. Remember, its a first attempt.
The skull scarf is for Mike; although, I'm thinking of making one for me but putting a little pink bow on the skull. I'm already about two feet into it and just today I realized what a big neck Mike has so I am going to have to go get more yarn. Hey, he needs that big neck to support his huge brain so I better not complain too much.
I'm really hoping to have his done before Christmas so I can get started on Gryffin's. I don't ever think I will be as proficient or talented as my friend Robin but I do enjoy it. It has taught me a couple things too:
1. Football can be tolerated when knitting
2. Knitting keeps me from munching while watching TV
3. Always put my knitting away, otherwise a certain 2 year old will undo all I've done when I sleep in

Saturday, December 08, 2007

My scarf is done! Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm behind on the picture posting. I hope to rectify that tomorrow. Anyway, my scarf is done and I'm quite proud. Mistakes and all. I have even started on Mike's and bought the yarn for Gryffin's. Look out, I'm on a roll!
I am feeling much better. I can breathe again but I'm still hacking up gunk like a cat with a belly full of fur. From my collar bone to my hips my muscles ache and I have this terrible pain in my right lung but... I'm up, dressed and have ventured out into the public today.
We went downtown today to pick up some coffee, look at the gingerbread houses and get craft supplies to make decorations for Gryffin's very own Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I can't believe Christmas is so close. Our tree is still bare, there are no other decorations adorning the house, I haven't even thought about the Christmas Eve menu, not a single present has been wrapped. Heck, thinking about it, I don't think I've covered everyone on the Nice list. And no Christmas cards have even been addressed. Argh, here we go again.
I guess this is just part of the holiday season. Being stressed and frazzled so that when the New Year starts it can be done with a deep sigh of relief.
I will take consolation in the fact that I am almost done with knitting my scarf. For a first effort, its not too bad. I will wear it as a badge of honor and hopefully look back on it to see how far I've come. I've kept my first stained glass project for that very same reason. That way, when I really goof something up I can glance over and tell myself, "Yeah, but its a lot better than that piece of crap". Stagnation is the enemy, improvement is the goal- not perfection. Once I'm done with the scarf, I've promised to make one for Mike. Then Gryffin asked me to make him one last night too. I guess I've got my work cut out for me. I figured out last night how to incorporate a multicolored pattern into my knitting so I'm going to challenge myself a little with Mike's. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Don't hold it against me, Santa.

Still sick, but on the mend. We were scheduled to get flu shots this morning but the only one of us that was well enough was Mike. I will just have to reschedule for Gryffin and I.
Last night the Monday Mommy Posse, kids and spouses were supposed to meet downtown at the Santa House to get the kids pictures taken together. But it seems we aren't the only one's under the weather. We will try again next week. Since I was feeling pretty good last night we decided to go ahead and take Gryffin to see Santa and get his picture taken. Only about a 15 to twenty minute wait, which isn't bad. Gryffin spent it racing Mike and playing with a puppy. I spent it dancing around trying to keep warm. When it came our turn the warmth of that little hut felt so nice. Gryffin saw Santa and was pretty cool until Santa reached down and put Gryffin on his lap. Gryffin immediately started crying and latched onto me with a death grip. It took a while to calm him down. Santa was cool, as he was last year and talked to Gryffin trying to calm him down. A candy cane, a request for a drum kit and some Superman discussion led to Gryffin calming down enough to be willing to stand next to Santa for the picture. Gee, my kid doesn't want to sit on some strange man's lap, I'm not going to get bent out of shape about it. Even Santa agreed that its not such a bad thing. I would love to paste a copy of the picture but I don't think our scanner is working yet from the computer crash. It will come soon, I promise. Next week when we go with the MMP Krewe the kids will get a picture of all of them together, which will be pretty cool. And maybe Gryffin will be a little more comfortable knowing that Little Eddie's got his back in case Santa gets weird.