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    2010 in review

    December 31st, 2010

    It’s always interesting to look back, and I’m amazed each and every time just how much change 365 days can bring. Let’s see. In 2010:

    Happy New Year, everyone!

    Foto Friday

    December 31st, 2010

    Baby & Daddy cuddles

    Now is this comfy TV watching or what?

    Sharing Christmas ’round the world

    December 25th, 2010

    This year’s European snow blizzard left my mom stranded in Bulgaria. I’m happy that she gets to spend this holiday with her mom, but also a bit sad since we had planned for her to join us here. However, Skype was our friend today and brought both S’ and my (missing) family closer for even just a little while.

    Our day started surprisingly late. G didn’t wake up until 7:30am. Given that yesterday was a 6:00am wake-up call, I had expected today’s to be the same. I should be thankful, though, since next year, G will likely be knocking down our door at 5:00am to open gifts. Late last night, after my stomach bug had finally ran it’s course, I finished putting out the rest of G’s toys, specifically the big ones that I had not enough paper-wrapping skills in the world to manage. Until now, the rest of the gifts had been under our tree and G paid absolutely no attention to them. However, as he walked into the dining room this morning and saw his shopping cart and easel, his eyes lit up and immediately asked to “open it!” Then all was lost. Daddy was still brushing teeth upstairs. My mom was trying to get connected to Skype, and here I was with an impatient toddler trying to keep him away from new toys. It’s like keeping peasants from the invasion of the Bastille.

    G’s main role today was to hand out boxes. He did an excellent job. Until now, he’s had no interest in wrapped packages. I think as of today that will change.

    S2 on the other hand, spent the morning session of activities 1) eating; 2) pooping; 3) supervising the gift distribution. In that order.

    Mom and Grandma. 6,500 miles away, but still with us today.

    The tree: pre-gift opening devastation

    G and his Daddy

    “Where’s my loot?”

    Holding up gifts for Gamma to see

    Winner of the “Most annoying toy!” category this year. Also, winner of “Batteries will magically run out overnight” category toy too. I need to take video of this for you to understand why. Cute otherwise.

    G, showing off his new tool-set to Grammie.

    Christmas is hard work. S2 conked out for a heroic 4hr nap.

    A week ago, we took the boys on a walk around one of the streets in the neighborhood, known to decorate for the holidays. I hope we’ll get to do this every year. G is excited about the lights, so we thought it’d be fun. And it was. Every house on the street was decorated. Some far exceeding Christmas lights quotas. Apparently, decorating for the holidays is listed in the purchase docs if you buy a home here. Talk about pressure, huh?

    Look at this crazyness!

    Merry Christmas!

    Bounce-houses: the evil, disease ridden weapons of bio-warfare

    December 24th, 2010

    Would you like some time off from school/your job? Have you missed some cuddle time with your toddler? Has it been awhile since you’ve bonded with the porcelain god? Well, then come on down to Crazy Jumpers and rent a bounce house for your child’s next party event.

    I jest. But it is true. Every single time a child at G’s daycare celebrates a birthday, and the parents rent a bounce-house, it feels like the plague spreads through the school 2-3 days later. Every.single.effin.time. Last Thursday I saw a bouncer deflated as I was picking G up. I joked saying “Gee, I wonder what bug we’ll fall victim to this time?” Well, this event’s party favor? The stomach flu.

    S came down with it yesterday and he was miserable. I’m falling victim to it today, and I am hoping… no… praying, that the boys (especially S2) don’t go through this next. We think G might have had it a few days back, and gotten off with the, ughmn, rear-end effects, but not with the pukies. I am at least thankful that S is stronger today and can handle him while it’s my turn to lick wounds in bed. Having us both be bathroom confined with two kids has to be impossible. I gotta tell you, this whole “In sickness and in health” part of wedding vows has a whole different meaning when you add kids to the mix.

    The part that sucks is that G doesn’t even like bounce houses. He’s scared of them. The closest he’s come to being in one is at the opening, while no one else is inside. Yet, once his friends get sick and drool over all the toys, he comes down with it too. And as much as the teachers do a great job sanitizing, by then it’s just too late.

    Yes, I know this is a side effect of daycare, and normally I can roll with the punches. Today I’m just pissy because 1) the parents got sick too; 2) I have an infant that I can’t do anything for if he gets it; 3) my family is visiting and I worry about passing it onto them, and 4) did I mention it’s Christmas Eve?

    Merry Christmas y’all. I hope someone leaves some Gatorade under the tree.

    Ok, who can teach me the Vulcan nerve pinch?

    December 22nd, 2010

    It’s actually kind of a serious question. You see, G is trying to drop his sole nap at home with us. And I’M NOT READY!!!

    In lieu of nap-time I’m trying to institute quiet time. However, quiet time, when we leave G alone produced him grabbing everything he could reach out of his closet and throwing it out in the hallway. He was making a “tower”.

    Oh and here is Daddy trying to “model” good napping behavior. The result? S got a good nap in. G on the other hand, again decided to build a tower. This time out of books… over the Daddy.


    On the 5th day of Christmas…

    December 19th, 2010

    4 a.m. gave to me:
    One snoring husband
    Two snoring children
    Three toddler loveys
    A four legged fur-ball

    I’m thankful we have a King.

    PS. Yes, I recognize that the 5th day of Christmas is really Dec. 29th, but the song wouldn’t have sounded as good if I went in the negative numbers.

    A Santa tale

    December 18th, 2010

    I suppose this will be the last year that I won’t be interrogated about Santa by the kids. I still stand by my goal to not lie about Santa being a jolly elf that delivers presents one night a year. At the same time, I’m trying to be sensitive to my friend’s desire to “perpetuate the Santa magic” and not have G and S2 be the ones to ruin Santa for them. I’ve spent some time this year getting my story straight on 1) Who is Santa?, 2) Is he real? and 3) Why does he hang out at the mall?

    Here’s what I have for now. Length and detail of below story may vary to match the attention span of asking child.

    A long time ago, in Greece, there lived a man whose name was Nicholas. Nicholas came from a very wealthy family. He was very kind and caring, and he liked to help people.
    In the same town Nicholas lived in, there also lived another man who was really, really poor. Nicholas, secretly gave him money to help his family out. Over time, Nicholas’ deeds turned him into a saint in the eyes of people. Many began to call him Saint Nicholas (Saint Nick). Because of different languages, other people call him Santa Claus, or Santa, for short. What Nicholas did, was so special, and so nice, that every year, around Christmas, people dress up as Santa Claus and give gifts. Nicholas’ spirit of generosity and kindness is alive and the gifts we receive on Christmas day are through that spirit.

    There is, of course, a problem with my Santa plan. S, for example, is so fatigued of two-year old tantrums, that he would very much like to instill the fear of Santa (or more specifically the fear of not getting any loot on Christmas day). All so that he could milk out a few weeks of good behavior. I kind of think that if G knows it’s us that are getting him said gifts, then it would behoove him to be nice to us. Plus, at this point, I don’t really think he cares much for gifts, so Santa or no Santa the tantrums will continue.

    Anyway, that’s my Santa tale. Let’s see how it holds up.

    Meanwhile, today, we took the boys on their Santa deliveries. This will likely be the last year I pick for G. I’m hoping next year he’ll decide what he wants to donate. This year, however, on G’s behalf Toys for Tots is receiving a Melissa & Doug fruit crate. He received this for his birthday this year and has loved it. I’m hoping that another child will enjoy this set as much as G has. I was actually a little worried how today’s drop-off would go. I pulled out the unopened toy to show to G side by side to his set. I was worried that if I pulled it out at the Fire Dept. he’d freak out and think we were giving away his set. So now, here there were, side by side, two fruit crates, and G insisted that both were his and that “My need it!” (aka he needed) the second, new set. But it went well. G dropped off S2’s donations in the bin, and then dumped the fruit crate in there too without any protest.

    Speaking of S2. He donated Gum Drop pacifiers. Being a whole 6w old doesn’t really give me a great depth of “toys” he enjoys, so the pacis it was. S2 slept on the job, but I didn’t expect any different from him on this trip.

    I’m excited and happy about how today went! I’m really hopeful that in a few years, G and S2 will be really excited about gift drop-offs too and also picking out the toys they want to gift to needy families.

    Here’s this year’s video of our drop-off. It’s jittery and you stare at G’s feet awhile, I know, but it’s not easy to hold a toddler and a camera and walk at the same time.


    Foto Friday

    December 17th, 2010

    I’m not sleeping. I’m just thinking real hard!


    G gets the star honors this year…


    …and gets Hi-5s for a job well done


    Bath-time fun. We clean ourselves. We clean the shower door…

    … and then sit in a bucket (3 sizes too small) to take a rest.

    A boy and his umbrella

    December 16th, 2010

    Do you have any idea how hard it is to get photos of G these days? Or more specifically get him to cooperate for said photos. Yeah, well, it’s hard. Which is why I was dumbfounded when G agreed for me to take his picture WITH his umbrella.

    While I couldn’t find him the yellow umbrella he requested, I found a cute monkey one instead. Best part is that G likes it! We’ve had to have words about when he can use his umbrella. We’re OK to keep it out of the house, but are still trying to convince him that he can’t open it while in the car. Small steps, I say.

    Anyway, to give S a bit of a break from the Big Dude, I took him and his umbrella on a photo date. G even occasionally posed. I know!!!! Shocking.











    Now… what else I can get him excited about so that he’ll let me take photos of him.

    Silly Goose!

    December 14th, 2010

    I had to take G for an emergency pedi visit today (don’t worry, he’s fine). As we’re driving back from the appointment, I felt a shoe hit my seat and land right over my emergency break. Joy. A toddler who’s taking off his shoes AND it’s raining outside. Double bonus. This is then followed by hearing his sweet voice call out “Mamma, look-a me!” As I peak in my rear view mirror at him, I see him pulling on his sock with his teeth. He had stretched the teeny sock out so far, I think it’s now a knee-high. I shook my head and tried not to laugh. We then proceeded with the following exchange:

    Me: G, you’re silly. You are a silly goose.

    G: Noooo!

    Me: You are too. You are silly. Silly goose.

    G: Noooo!

    Me: Ok, if you are not a silly goose then, what are you?

    G: A Fiffin!

    And there you have it. He is a Fiffin.