Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ah, The Peat

Let's just get right to it. It's been cold 'round here. Freakishly, ridiculously, nightmarishly cold. And I don't appreciate the perky comments I've been hearing lately about the "warm front" that has shuffled through - Kurt Mellish and his meter can go boil themselves in a vat of sunscreen if it pleases them so much. As far as I'm concerned, these last days of alleged "fifty degree highs" are only better in the way that Death is better than Instant Death. I still can't feel my hands. The only reason I'm handling the arctic blast so well is because it's festive and has put me in a cheery, jolly mood. Come January, some may consider me a mite petulant.

I think Andrew may have inherited my thin blood, bless him. Here he is crouched over the heating vent a couple mornings ago.

And here's what Elsbeth thinks of old Jack Frost.

Actually, I think The Fiery One, oddly enough, is a little more warm blooded. These are her "crazy eyes" that make me laugh hysterically. Here's a little must-see video footage.

Speaking of my sweet Nib, she and I got to spend a little extra quality time together last night ... in the ER ... waiting for steroids. She'd had a wee runny snoot and I put her to bed early as she had opted out of her nap. About an hour later, she woke up very upset and making a horrible, barking sound every time she tried to breathe in. A dear friend of ours is a pediatrician, and I probably shouldn't mention his name because he's a quiet, humble sort that doesn't like a lot of attention (ALLEN PEABODY), but he happened to be at home - and awake! - when I called rather frantic, looking for sound medical advice. He heard her through the phone and told me it was croup and that she needed to head on over to the ER. Phil was at a Bible study, so I called a neighbor to come hang with Andrew until he could get home, then realized that he had the car seats with him. Fortunately, Elsbeth had started breathing a little easier, so we were OK to wait for him to jet home. By the time we saw the doctor, she was doing well enough that he didn't think she needed a breathing treatment, just some 'roids for the next couple days. Just what TFO needs. I'm holding out that she might grow a handsome mustache in time for Christmas. Wouldn't a 'stash look mighty honcho with the full pigtails she can wear now?

My Precious continues to grow and grow before my eyes. He went off to church yesterday in khakis, a plaid shirt and a sweater vest that made me want to swoon. I took the most adorable picture of him with Phil in front of our Christmas tree, and my computer can't seem to read it. Blast! You'll have to imagine.

My rational engineer seems to be growing more in touch with his feelings in his old age, having a more difficult time dealing with disappointments (really tragic things like a torn hot dog bun will leave him in tears), but also so full of spontaneous hugs and kisses and "I love you"s. It's like he knows how to take me to the point just before I decide to leave him duct taped him to the porch swing 'til his daddy gets home, then he comes up and kisses my hand and decides to make me an ornament for the tree. Ah. the mood swings I experience!

This year The Grinch was chosen for Christmas Movie Night. He seemed to enjoy the movie, which was a relief since he didn't love the book (odd for a Suess lover like himself). Mean characters and upsetting events (like a stolen roast beast) get to him rather easily - he still has no desire to see Rudolf ever again after being distressed by the Abominable last year. Anyway, the movie itself was a hit, and the pizza and chocolate chip cookies didn't hurt, either.

I'm just so excited for Christmas this year. Having these little people to share it with really does make it so much more magical. We get to be here 'til the 28th with the amazing, added bonus of having my parents and Bradley come to visit for a few days! Be still my heart! Then off to South Carolina for a wonderful celebration with Phil's family. Bliss. Just praying that my sweet Nibblet is back to her old self by then and able to take it all in.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Alright Foo, Get Ready To Float

Getting a Christmas card photo this year was challenging. The above is my favorite one to hit the cutting room floor. As you may have surmised, TFO wasn't down for a photo shoot. At some point after that picture I began shoving candy into her mouth in a futile attempt to make her smile ... or at least stop yelling. All I accomplished was to make her start yelling for more candy, and when it didn't come fast enough she sobbed and drooled candy slobber all over that beautiful coat. So what I've learned is, when at first you don't succeed, keep pressing on until you've made everyone crazy, then try to squeeze in just a couple more shots until they want to kill you. Then take a few days off and snap a quick photo of the kids in their pajamas and call it a day.

Jeff, Jessie and darling cousin Anna-Kate came to visit last weekend. They walked in the door after hours of driving and we immediately shuttled them out to the bitterly cold, dark park to witness the most pathetic Christmas tree lighting in the history of the universe. You see, there's a big tree at the back of the park that is in the shape of a Christmas tree. And so someone decided to string a few white lights in the center of the tree in a triangular shape, as the natural shape of the tree was not quite good enough. There was a big countdown, the 15 bulbs were lit and a local high-school chorus whispered some Christmas songs, then we shuffled back home to see if we could rekindle some feeling in our toes.

The next day was a little better. We made them run out to main street shortly after waking up so that we could catch the Christmas parade.

This was a little more of an event, though still very charming small town. Andrew thought the whole thing was fabulous. I mean, is there anything better to a 4-year-old than having hundreds of people walk by hurling handfuls of candy at your head? He had wisely chosen to wear cargo pants, and I'm surprised he was able to walk home without them dropping around his ankles.

Elsbeth decided the parade was pretty cool, too.