Month: December 2012 (Page 1 of 2)

Finally Christmas!!

After working through both Christmas Eve and Day, I was able to celebrate Christmas.  On the night of the 25th we went to Ben’s family’s get-together of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  It was so nice to be out with folk, eating turkey and gravy, and opening presents for the kids.  I was on call, but luckily nothing came up.

Bright and early the next morning we packed boy and dog and presents in the car to go over the river and through the woods.  My other siblings arrived later that evening, and family was finally all together.  We even had more snow falling.  It finally felt like Christmas Eve.

This morning we opened presents!  I’m typing on my new macbook and LOVING it.  My old laptop had been on life support for most of this year.  We were all thoroughly spoiled.  Jack ate a chocolate wrench for breakfast.  We spent the rest of the day fiddling with new devices, quietly entertained and enjoying each others company.

Jack received a splendid array of things good for boys – toys, books, toothbrush, candy, and clothes.  He went sledding both today and yesterday and LOVES it.  (Photos will be in another post.)  Ben and I gave him a camera for Christmas.  He went nuts with it!  Immediately starting snapping pictures of everyone and everything.  I’m going to keep his photos on my flickr account for sharing.  The only editing I did was deleting duplicates and super super blurry pictures.  Instead of reviewing the scattered few I took today, please enjoy Christmas from Jack’s point of view!  The full set is here, but my favorites are below.

Christmas Day
Christmas Day
Christmas Day

Christmas Day
Christmas Day
Christmas Day
Christmas Day
Christmas Day
Christmas Day
Christmas Day
Christmas Day

Engine House

Today Jack and I made a “engine” (gingerbread) house for an “engine” (gingerbread) man.  The man was quickly eaten by a giant named Jack.  He also gobbled up more decorations than he put on the house.  So I enjoyed myself with the decorating.

I laughed to see that Ikea included diagrams for this kit, just like a bookcase.




He tired of helping with my toffee tile pattern and decided the make gumdrops sprout out of the roof instead.


For reasons I can’t understand, he insisted on stuffing the chimney with candy.

Engine man meets his end.
My side:
Jack’s side:

Spolied by the Nanny

A coworker confirmed my suspicion that nannies are the WORST when it comes to spoiling kids.  Look at this last week.  Every day she gave him a present.  First a book.

Then a truck set.

Spoiled by the nannySpoiled by the nanny


Spoiled by the nanny

Spoiled by the nanny

Spoiled by the nanny

He loves it and loves her.  She took him out to all his favorite places last week.  Even took him to see Santa!

The Culprit:
Spoiled by the nanny

(The truth is, we love her.)

And it’s only December 21.

I’m working the 24th and 25th.  We are having Christmas dinner with Ben’s extended family.  Then Christmas with the Waterhouses.  Then Christmas with the Masons.  The festivities will go through January.  How much more can Jack take?  A lot, I think, and it’s a good thing.  Because there’s a lot more spoiling to come.

How time flies!

Is Christmas really in one week?  Where did the time go?  I was sick all of last week and everything stopped: the wrapping, the baking, the potty training, the crafts, the house cleaning, all of it set aside while I struggled through work and rehearsals, never able to shake off the cold.

It was fun having my parents visit, but I felt like I was only half present.  I hope they enjoyed their time with Jack at least.  I did get to show them the Humble Pie Shop, and I got to see the Van Gogh exhibit with them, and of course Ben’s commencement.

After all that they (almost gleefully) took Jack so Amanda, Ben, Brian, and I could see the Hobbit.  We got Jersey Mike’s subs on the way to the theater and queued up for a good seat.  I haven’t waited behind ropes for a movie since Serenity.

It paid off, we got center, front row of the back section, with the bars that I love to use for foot rests.  Add a giant coke zero and bucket of popcorn and I was ready for the next three hours of high frame rate hobbits. 


Good movie.  Of course I have my quibbles.  And Brian is right, “Peter Jackson has lost all sense tone.”  And I still hate 3D.  But I still enjoyed it immensely.

Sunday I slept as much as possible.  Skipped church and tithing settlement.  Watched the Arisocats with my boys.  Toast for dinner.

Today I’m feeling better.  Just residual coughing and nose-blowing.  No head-pounding or debilitating fatigue.  I slipped back into our usual Monday routine.  I don’t know why I’ve had so many Mondays off at work, but it’s nice.

Jack woke and quietly played in his crib while I stole and extra thirty minutes of snoozing.  Then we got up and each had breakfast.  Sausage, eggs, and berries for me.  Sausage, berries, and toast for Jack.  Then we unloaded the dishwasher.  I started some laundry and vacuumed while he ate.  Then we made muffins.  Jack got a lot more excited to eat them when he saw that they look like cupcakes.
 Then it was time for dressing and brushing teeth, before head out for the library.  Story time is at 10:30 on Mondays.  We swap out new books for the week and read and sing songs.  Jack LOVES it.  There’s a solid routine that he can follow:

Library frog1) return old books
2) open the “frog box” to see the hint the librarians left about what the theme will be
3) Say hi to the real frog
4) browse new books
5) drink at the kids fountain
6) sit for story time, which includes:
  a: receiving magic from the wand
  b: open and shut hands song
  c: letter of the day and ABC song
  d: stories/dances alternating
  e: goodbye song
  f: more magic from the wand
7) get a stamp and sticker
8) Help check out new books

He’s getting so much better at group story time too.  At the start he would just sit quietly in my lap.  Wouldn’t join in anything, he only listened.  Now, well, not so shy:

Story time
Story timeStory time

He likes to say hi to all the kids and ask them questions.  He even started sitting up front, away from me last week.  Before and after the session he grooves to the music.

After story time we get groceries, gas the car, and go home for lunch.  Then play for an hour and it’s naptime! 

Routine is good. 

Ben’s Commencement

Even though Ben finished his degree in August, and started work in September, we celebrated at his commencement on Saturday.  He was given the Lady Ada Lovelace award for “outstanding achievement in computer science or computer information systems.”  Sort of a Best in Class award.  Ben will try to tell you that it’s not a big deal, and that really he was the only student who bothered to apply.  But I don’t believe him!  It’s a major award, bring out the leg lamp!

My parents came up to attend his commencement and do some Christmas shopping and Jack time.  Here are some pictures from the ceremony, the whole set is on flickr here.

Having his award announced: DSC_0200

And receiving the award (taken from the jumbo screen, we were way in the back) DSC_0206

When they got to the roll call to hand out diplomas, they skipped ahead two pages! So I was totally unprepared when Ben’s name was called.  I managed to get a few at least.

(those people standing up blocked my shot of him shaking hands) DSC_0219 



But the afterward pictures are what matter anyway 🙂 We are so proud of our graduate! 

I tried to have Jack wear the hat.  He wasn’t up for funny hats after having to skip his nap.
Or maybe he was declaring his intent to skip college.  So my parents each got two bachelor degrees now?  Fools! Send me to trade school.  Bob the Builder is my hero.  I got my tools and my flannel – I’m ready!

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