I hope all had a blessed Christmas. We did! John made out like a bandit. Bill & I decided not to exchange gifts this year as we pretty much buy what we want/need all year, and since this was not the year for extravagences, what is the point? No more nice jewelry for me until John graduates college, and Bill's most recent heart's desire, a 28" path gas-powered snowblower with heated handles was quickly replaced by some local guy who "put us on his list", and comes by and plows the entire driveway for $30. Bill never has to worry about when he's going to get it done, how much time he's going to spend getting it done, or how cold/wet he's going to get getting it done. He kept our little "paid for" 20" blower for the patio and for the path to the doors. In these woeful economic times, it seems like a much more frugal route to go.
John had a blast for Christmas. He kind of grasped the concept of Santa this year, although much better after Christmas than before. He really enjoyed presents as the following photos will show. He enjoyed his own presents, as well as helping everyone else open theirs. It's funny, now, at New Year's, Santa is quite the icon, and not the scary beast he was 3 weeks ago when we took him to Santa's breakfast.....
Charlie Browns Christmas Tree! Not only did we not get it up until the 20th, it's got exactly 3 ornaments on it. Two are the ornaments that John made in daycare last year, and the third is an ornament that his teacher gave him. In the rush to make our garage habitable for Bill's damaged car, our Christmas ornaments got buried in the middle, and we didn't have the energy to dig them out. Pathetic, I know. I guess, if I really liked anything but the stuff from my great grandma and some Goebel ornaments my parents gave me, I may feel differently, but most of it is junk, and when I do unbury it, I'm going to trash the majority of it and start afresh (starting this year......Lowes had some snazzy stuff 75% off after Christmas!)
John found this present first, a Thomas train track. He wasn't sure what to make of it, but he really enjoyed all of the individual pieces that I bought to go along with it.
What to go for next? The little train piece in his hands? The package from Aunt Karen and Uncle Michael? The package from Cousin Elle? The Tonka dump truck? The huge present from Grandma and Grandpa? The possibilities are endless............
In the end, the Tonka dump truck won! It's been transporting tons of goodies ever since......
Next season on Emergency, our favorite firefighter/EMT ready and engaged for action. Lactose ringers and IV line on hand....
Here we have our tall boy carrying around his favorite, Bertie the bus, while scoping out the presents at Grandma & Grandpa S. Present scoping is secondary only to scoping out the known hidouts for candy stashes....
Those better not be Santa's bell's I'm hearing - I'm still a little freaked out by the guy in red......A week later, he was more than willing to give the same Santa doll a big hug.....
In one of the finest packaging faux paus ever, this Thomas toy is SCREWED into it's cardboard home with a plastic housing and metal screws. The instructions advise parents and kind uncles to unscrew and dispose of said housing and screws. What a fricking WASTE! Not to mention, my in-laws had nothing that resembled the type of screwdriver that was going to get those screws out. In the process said screws got stripped by multiple attempts to get them out with scissors, knives, etc. Since we've brought the toy home with the stripped screws, we can't find a screwdriver that will get them out. Now, the real drama. Do we buy the "as seen on TV" do-dad that instantly unscrews stripped screws or let the kid play with it as is since the remaining packing material doesn't seem to impede play??? And to think that they have degreed engineers that think this crap up! Son, when it is time, research heavily "packaging engineer" - sixteen years from now as it will either be a most lucritive or heavily mocked profession.
John checking out clothes from Grandpa & Grandma S. LOL, obviously appreciated far more by mommy & daddy!
That pretty much sums up Christmas. It was nice, and fun was had by all.
We spent New Year's Eve at home, happily.
For a while, it didn't look like that was going to happen. We had a windstorm Saturday night, and our power went out sometime around Sunday 7 AM. I was fairly comatose at the time, and kept hearing beeping. All I could think was that it was the middle of the night, and that one of the smoke alarm batteries had decided to go. "Why the hell do they always go during the middle of the night?" I thought. The lump next to me that I presumed to be Bill didn't move so I started to get up when another mindblowing noise shook my world. I couldn't figure what that was, so I jumped back into bed and curled around the warm lump, which I quickly figured out was Little Dog. I looked at the clock, which was blank, and then looked at the TV, all while the shrilling noise kept going off. The blue TV light kept flashing. Finally Bill came in and said the power was going on and off. Then it when off. Thankfully John slept through the racket. The shrilling noise was the carbon monoxide detector right outside his room, which Bill removed as soon as he figured out it was the source of the commotion.
We figured the power would be on shortly. Not so. By Sunday night, the heat in the house had sunk to 60. Quite tolerable by all parties, no biggie. By Monday morning, it was 55. Somewhat unpleasant, but we left for most of the day. As it was 49 outside, there wasn't anything we could do with our refrigerated/frozen goods, which pretty much sucked. By Monday night, everything in the fridge started smelling, and everything in the freezer was unthawed. Had it been colder out, we could have put the frozed goods in a cooler in the yard, and kept the refrigerated stuff either on the sunporch or garage. Unfortunately, because both were either less insulated or received more sun, they were warmer than the house, so there was no saving anything in the freezer or the fridge.
By Monday night, it was 50 in the house, and only John was a happy camper about the situation. Who knew toddlers that crave routines were so resiliant? John took everything in stride from the very beginning, from not being able to see his Thomas shows, and not being able to have the Christmas tree lit, to not being able to have books read. His mantra was "no Tommy, no power", "no lights, no power", "no books, no power". It was just amazing how he understood. When he asked for lights, and we told him no, because there was no power, he didn't tantrum, he just repeated, " no power". When we started dressing him in multiple layers to keep him warm, it was "keep warm, no power". He just kind of accepted the whole situation calmly and without question. He accepted what was going on and went with the flow without question or issue. Now, if Bill & I could learn from that! Little dog, too. He was the worst of the bunch.
We craved to temptation Monday night, and lit Duraflame logs in the fireplace. As we have never had the fireplace checked out or cleaned, and wanted at least glass doors before we lit a fire with John around this was a big deal. Luckily, everything worked fine, and I think the temp in the family room might have rose a degree or two with the hall doors closed.
Tuesday, it got down to 46 in the house, and DTE still couldn't give us a definate fix time. We found a hotel that took dogs, packed the bare minimum and took off with numb extremities around 5pm. Again, John was the trouper of the bunch handling the hotel stay like we had taken him to Disney. Little dog looked miserable for the most part, but this is the same dog that for the first time ever had tried to bury himself under the covers with me earlier in the day - no way he was staying home in uncertain temps. Bill & I were so-so about the stay, we were happy to shower and get out in a warm environment, and happy to sleep under something less than pioneer days layered blankets.
Wednesday, Bill called DTE and got a recorded message that there was still no fix time.........Bah Humbug. The place we stayed still had openings for New Years Eve if need be. I wanted to go home for a while. We left at 10:30 and drove around for a while, and finally wandered back home around 11:30. We could see from about mid-street that our outdoor lights were glowing red (we replaced the clear bulbs for Christmas). We happily walked in to find the tempature back to what it was set at, and according to one of the clocks that would have cycled through from when the power went back on, the power had been on for 13 hours. Hallelujah!
A nice peaceful new year's eve was spent at home with another duraflame log - now not needed for heat, but for pleasant decoration.
I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas & that 2009 is a wonderful new year!