Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New For 2010

Being me can sometimes be exhausting.  Sometimes I get sick and tired of my need to make lists and cross referenced lists that must be updated many times over.  Sometimes it bothers me that I lay awake in bed and worry about things for hours that never even cross other people's minds. 

Stuff like, for example, I bought a snow globe at Target in 2008 that says 2008 and one in 2009 that says 2009, but I don't have one for Spencer's 1st Christmas in 2007 and could I possibly find one on ebay that says 2007 and how can I live with myself if I can't find one that says 2007 because then the collection won't be complete and hopefully I can find one that says 2007 so that I can then buy one for 2010 and continue with the tradition that I started, but what if Target stops making the snow globes when Spencer is like 8 and we have this stupid uncomplete collection, so maybe I should just quit now because what are we going to do with 20 snow globes anyway. 

I have conversations like this with myself daily.  Multiple times a day, actually.  Don't even get me started on the thoughts I have about things we'll have to do if we have a second kid to make that kid feel as special as his/her brother.

One of the lists I keep, in a word document of course, is a list of EVERY SINGLE Christmas ornament we own, who gave it to us/where we bought it and the date it came into our lives.  Three years ago I started a companion word document with Spencer's ornaments.

We had a good year this year, mostly because we actually traveled.  These are our new ornaments acquired in 2010.

This jolly little chap is from Vermont.  Can you believe I just stated that?  Duh. It's spelled out on his cap. 
So is this one, although it is from a different store in a different city.
These guys are from the same store in Maine.  I did some power shopping right before we left the state.
I bought this portly little porker at Hobby Lobby in August, right when they put ornaments out for display.  I didn't buy him to be an ornament, I just liked him because he's a pig.  He'll chill on the tree until January and then he'll go back to his post guarding the dishes on the hutch.
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt in figuring out where this came from.
This is from the same store in San Diego.  Isn't he a cool Santa?  Very bohemian hippy.
Not a bad haul for pre-Christmas 2010.  They join the rest of their brother and sister ornaments in real life and on The List.
I don't keep a word document list of decorations, but I do mentally remember the origins of most of our stuff.  Shockingly I haven't bought any new Christmas decorations for the last couple of years- really since Spencer was born.  I have been given stuff as gifts (and NOT gifts from myself) which helped keep me from shaking with withdrawal.  Anyway, I thought it was time to spruce up the house a bit.  A sale at Kirkland's helped.

My mom found this at a second hand shop.  It's a countdown/advent calendar. I will be bald by New Years Day trying to keep all those hearts with numbers from ending up in the sandbox, in the garbage, under the couch, in the car and down the street at the park.
Oh, and BTW, except for the outside lights, we're locked, loaded and completely decorated for the holidays.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Out of Town

We went out of town over the weekend.  Want to guess where?  Let me give you some clues. This is the car right before we left.  We pretty much filled our entire Santa Fe.  This is a list of things we brought with us: a crib matress with bedding, a body pillow, a dog bed, dog food with dog food dish, Ginger, a jug of milk, a bottle of wine, pita chips, hummus, a waffle maker, waffle batter in a can, a jug of maple syrup, a stick of butter, a box of mac and cheese, cookie dough in a tub, a fan, veggie chips, 7 bags of clothes/shoes/books/toys/jackets/toiletries, strawberries, Pam cooking spray, a stroller, an umbrella, and Spencer.  (Paul the fish stayed home.)    
Have you figured it out?  Camping perhaps? A 7 day trip to a foreign country? 

Nah.  We just went to Brendan's house.  He does live in a different county afterall.  It's only natural to bring your entire house when traveling 22 miles to spend 1 night.

The plan was for us to come over for dinner and to spend the night since it is a whole 22 mile drive home. Turns out we bought some appetizers and he bought a lot of appetizers. 
Spencer was just delighted about the whole thing.
Ginger was pretty happy too.
Brendan was happy when we arrived and then was probably even happier when we left.
After we ate 5,000 calories worth of appetizers and Spencer ate dinner, we made a gingerbread train.  It wasn't working so well when Michael pointed out that despite him reading the directions 4 times to only do frosting half-way down, we had ignored him and done too much frosting.
It still worked in the end.
This is where the crib mattress came into play.  Spencer stayed here until 12:30 am.
Then he joined us in the sleigh bed.  When I woke up this morning Spencer's head was on Michael's chest and his feet were on my neck choking me.  Comfy.
Ginger enjoyed sleeping on her own bed,
and then moved to the couch after Spencer went to bed.
We enjoyed some spicy salmon after Spencer went to bed.
On Sunday morning I fired up the waffle maker that we drove with us to Pinal County.  I also found this batter in a can.  It was actually quite tasty.  I will be buying it again.  Guess where I bought it?  Fresh & Easy, of course.
Check these babies out.
There was a teeny tiny bit of batter left and I didn't want to waste it.  It made this outline of a waffle.  I let Ginger eat it.
Brendan was invited to a lunch on Sunday and we didn't have enough time to finish the train before he needed to leave.  We brought it home and finished at the kitchen table.
Spencer ate about 1/3 of the candy.
He was pretty happy with the finished product.  He doesn't quite understand why we're not eating it yet.

Based on the amount of gear we needed for 21 hours in a bordering county, I'm thinking we'll rent a u-haul for our next weekend in Tucson.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Last Thanksgiving

Spencer has asthma.  He also has allergies.  One of the worst things that happens to him because of these conditions is called spasmodic croup.  Basically, croup is an inflamation of the upper airway that causes a bark like cough.  Spencer has spasmodic croup (and not regular croup) because he gets it a lot and it can be caused by something as little as the humidity dropping or an allergen in the air.  One of the things the doctors say you can do to stop the spasm that causes the cough is to breath in cold air.  Spencer woke up sounding like a sea lion on Thursday.  We started Thanksgiving Day by bundling him up (it was like 35 degrees outside) and then he and Michael spent a few minutes outside.  It didn't really help.
As upsetting as the cough is to us, Spencer deals with it pretty well.  He was all excited about his new fire truck shirt.
Our Thanksgiving was extra special this year.  My Aunt Jan and Uncle John, who live in Casa Grande, have been hosting for 26 years.  I haven't been there every year, but I've been to a lot of them.  It's just where we go every year.  Well, my uncle has a new job in the Bay area and they are selling the house and moving to California.  This was the Last Thanksgiving.

My dad and my Uncle Gary chilling by the outdoor kitchen/pool.
My brother Nick and my cousin Caitlin playing with baby Zoe.  Zoe is Caitlin's niece.  It was the first time most of us have met her.
Nick and Zoe
My mom, my cousin Blaine and my cousin Lauren (they are brother and sister).
My cousin Austin (Zoe's dad), my cousin Drew and his wife Aubri.
Nick and my Aunt Janis
My father in law Raymond and Michael
My Uncle John wanted everyone to share their memories of Thanksgiving.  More than a few tears were shed.
Kendra had a bit of a love affair with Caitlin's dog.
We have been taking pictures in front of the outdoor fireplace every year since Spencer was born.  I figured we would do it until he met some girl and started going to her house for Thanksgiving.  These are the last one's we'll ever take.  It was nice of Spencer to cooperate.

Definitely no
Are you kidding me?
This is the best we got.
Spencer wanted nothing to do with Uncle Nathan.  Nathan was forcing a hug.
Finally.  Time to eat.  I always make this praline topped sweet potato casserole.  I think I'd be asked to leave if I didn't bring it.
Kendra invited her friend Holly and Holly's husband Hector.  I don't think I got a picture of him. Kendra and Holly are not biologically related, although they look like sisters.
And when I join in we look like a trio of sisters.
Meet my cousin Jack and my fat face.
Everybody wanted to get in on the fireplace picture action.
Spencer was having none of it.
Maybe with just his beloved Gramme and Grandpa?
Definitely with Grandma and Papa.  He's cute, but not exactly cooperative.
My Aunt Janis and cousin Austin, deep in conversation.
Baby Zoe got to eat squash.
Totally not pre-planned.  Everybody wearing purple.  It's basically my family, minus me, Nathan and Spencer.
3 sisters with our mother?
I wanted to get a picture of Spencer with his 3rd cousin.  Zoe was all for it.  (BTW- that's Zoe's mommy Julee in the background.  Did I get a picture of her face? Not so much.)
Spencer ran out with a quickeness.
Then I bribed him with some candy and this is the best we could do.  I think they look a little bit alike.
Do you like the house in the background of the pictures?  It's for sale for a steal of a price. It's got 4 bedrooms plus a den, 4 full bathrooms, pool, outdoor kitchen, outdoor fire place, indoor fireplace, formal dining, and gourmet kitchen.

Can I help put you in this house?  All I ask is that you let me come over on Thankgiving so that I may take a picture in front of your outdoor fireplace.