... when he's around I can never get any blogging done.
And now, here are the highlights of the last week and a half, in convenient summary form:
December 22 Randy worked the whole day so I was on my own to prepare an appetizer to take to the Big Family Christmas Extravaganza the next evening at Randy's aunt's house. I found a recipe I liked (Cheddar Cheese Straws from the current Family Circle magazine), fairly certain we owned a food processor, which was necessary for this recipe. I emailed R, and he confirmed that we had one somewhere. I found one in the basement and began work on the recipe.
R had suggested that I double the recipe, since there would probably be about 25-30 people there. Now, the food processor I had only held about a cup of anything at once. I was supposed to grate 2 pounds of block cheddar cheese and add a total of 4 cups of flour. I drove myself absolutely freakin crazy trying to get everything to combine in a way that was somewhat workable. When R called on his way home from work, I was close to a breakdown. I told him that there was no way I was going to be able to finish this recipe. He helped me calm down and said that he'd help me when he got home.
He came into the kitchen and saw where I had spent the last several hours struggling, and said "Why are you using that little bitty thing? We have a big one under the sink!" Well, NOW ya tell me. So together we got the dough made and kept it in the fridge overnight so I could bake it the next day.
December 23 Got the cheese straws made and took them to the Christmas Party, where they were well-received. I always feel like people are just patronizing me whenever they say good things about my cooking. I have some self-esteem issues, I guess.
The highlight of this annual gathering is always the Gift Exchange. Everybody brings a bunch of goofy shit and then we take turns pulling a gift from the pile or robbing our neighbors. It's funny to see what the kids get. Ryan got a Chia Homer Simpson Head. I think CHIA must be the ancient Mayan word for MOLD, cuz that's all I see growing on it. I hate the stupid thing, but Ry was beside himself with glee.
December 24 It's Christmas Eve, and no matter how much shopping I do up to this point, some unknown force draws me to shop on this day, every single year. R and I work hard to get all our gifts purchased by December 1 so we can relax afterwards, yet I go shopping anyway. This year, I went out because I realized I had nothing to give to R for Christmas.
I loaded up the kids and we went to Old Navy to find him some cargo pants. Sometime while we were shopping, Tommy lost the Thomas Train Character he had brought in with him. I was so mad. We looked through the entire store three times, then I gave up and I said we had to leave. As I was leaving the parking lot, I had a thought. I had Beebie call the store from my cell phone and ask if anyone had turned in a little red bulldozer. Luckily, someone (a parent who knows how expensive those things are, no doubt) turned Jack the Bulldozer in to a cashier. And there was much rejoicing.
December 25 Kids went to bed great so we had all of our wrapping done before 10. Then they were up at 6:30am, and Christmas was pretty much over by 7:15. The boys loved their Robo-Boots and Light Sabers. We got some great footage of them fighting with lightsabers in the dark (since, as usual, the kids were up before the sun). Beebie liked the Bitty Baby Santa brought her. The pants I got for R were the wrong size. I know what the right size is, I just pulled the wrong size off the rack. Poopy. I thought I was going to get through Christmas with Zero Returns. Nope.
Then we all went out to my Inlaws for lunch and presents and General Merriment. The kids all got cool presents and my MIL made THE most fantastic lunch, I mean WOW. She made this stuffed pork tenderloin that was just phenomenal. I'm still thinking about it. Whenever we go there, we eat well. It always smells like something awesome is cooking when you walk through the door. What's cooler than that? I wish I could pull that off in this house.
The Inlaws gave the kids a portable DVD player for the car. R and I had discussed getting one for the kids, but then we figured they'd just fight over it. And we were right. It's great to take places, but in the back of a Mazda with 3 kids trying to watch it, well, it's problematic to say the least.
For Christmas I received Dove Milk Chocolates, Werther's Chewy Caramels, and a Knitting Magazine that looks like fun.
December 26 We spent this day cleaning the house like mad, as my parents were arriving at 6pm. I put the final touches on the slide show and burned it to a disc. Six minutes of baby/kid/teenager embarassing photos of my sister and her hubby set to the sappiest song I could find - Celine Dion's sugar coma-inducing "Because You Loved Me" - followed by the Alabama Crimson Tide fight song. It was brilliant. Mom and Dad arrived late, and we took the kids over to their hotel to open gifts. Tommy got Thomas Train Legos, Ry got the Darth Vader Voice Changing Mask, and Beebie got Mall Madness, which we've played nearly every night since.
December 27 Wedding Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner. The rehearsal went quite well, everybody knew what they were going to do, and Dad, who was performing the ceremony, only got choked up once or twice. The dinner was great. The location was great, and they let the groom's family decorate the entire place with Alabama Crimson Tide decorations. Seriously.
The slide show was awesome. It made my sister cry. I didn't mean to, and the sappy song wasn't even audible (dang!), but looking at pictures of herself as a kid I guess made her think about what a pretty darn nice childhood we had. There were some really funny pics in there, both of her and of Bobby. I received many, many compliments on our efforts. People thought R and I should do slide shows professionally. Sure, in our spare time... The bride and groom presented us with a bottle of the BEST barbecue sauce in Texas, and I nearly wept too.
On my way back to the car that night, I found a hat lying on the ground. It was like the coolest Irish Import Wool hat, in brand-new condition. I gave it to R to wear, but Ry soon claimed it. It appears in several wedding photos.
December 28 WEDDING DAY. I had to print the place cards and re-print the place cards, and buy myself some shoes, my daughter a hair bow, and my sister some pantyhose (she's 6'2" so that's not the simplest task in the world), then pick up the boys' ties, but other than that, all went well. The boys looked sweet in the vests that Bobby's sister made, and Natalie's dress drew rave reviews. All in all, it was a very nice wedding. Nobody cried during the ceremony, which was nothing short of miraculous. I was really nervous about that. I knew if Dad hesitated for even a minute, that everyone in the place would lose it. Here are some photos.
Note to self: Don't buy new shoes to wear to an event that requires a LOT of standing in one place.
At the reception, my Big Secret was revealed. My cousin Kristin has a nose stud, which I think is wicked cool. I told her I was thinking about getting one, and she said "You should! Next time I see you, I want you to have one!" So I said, "Listen here, Lil Miss Thing Thinkin Yer a Badass, lemme just tell ya about what I have pierced..." So I told her of my pierced nipplage, lest she think she was cooler than me. I told her that the only ones who knew were my best friend Yet (who was sitting next to Kristin at the reception) and my husband, and my kids. As soon as I told her I thought maybe I shouldn't have, but screw it, I'm a grownup. What's my mom gonna do?
December 29 Tommy's 3rd Birthday Party. Every relative in town for the wedding attended. T's favorite gift was the Thomas Train Set from my inlaws. Here's a pic of that -
Nat and Ry spent the night at the hotel with Nana and Pop Pop, so R and I took T out for ice cream on his birthday. He stayed up till 10 and thought he was stylin.
December 30 Beebie and Pie (I should just go head and mention that Ryan is often called Pie, Mr Pie, P, Mr P, Pio [pronounced PEE - yo] and countless other nicknames that have evolved over the course of his life) had spent the night at the hotel and gone swimming after breakfast for two hours. My poor dad, who is 71, was in the pool with them the entire time, God love him. Mom and I took Emily's bouquet to be preserved. It's going to look awesome.
I also watched the Mizzou Tigers in a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the Independence Bowl.
December 31 My parents went back to Texas and the kids and I spent the day just shopping the 75% off Christmas sales and waiting for R to get home. At this point, I had no idea what day it even was. I still don't. I just know I haven't done laundry in the last 2 weeks. This will soon be rectified.
We never go out for New Year's, simply because I think it's stupid. We've kinda started a semi-tradition of going to Ted Drewes for frozen custard and watching the ball drop on TV. This year, after the ice cream, we came home and put jammies on and R and Mr P played Ry's new Xbox game which he calls "Star Wars Legos". I don't know what the real name of the game is. Randy and Ry played this game until after 10pm, long after Nat and I had conked out. So I didn't even see the ball drop in Times Square. I assume everything went ok, though, as I didn't hear otherwise.
How the hell old is Dick Clark anyway? I realize he had a stroke, and I'm not trying to be insensitive to that fact, but dude... pass the torch already. We won't think less of you. Reeg is ready and willing. Incidentally, Reeg also has a Christmas CD which is full-on cheesy. I bought it at 50% off. Also got Brian Wilson for 75% off. I love to buy Christmas CD's after Christmas.
But I digress. I woke up in time to watch part of Saturday Night Live, which featured Ashlee Simpson as the (cough) Musical Guest. I'd like to know who told that skank that she can sing. What's with the platinum hair and black eyeliner??
January 1, 2006 Not a real eventful day. I took Nat to the mall to exchange a DVD and I bought the Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar for myself. Call me selfish.
January 2 We found a white fake Christmas tree for $10 at Wal Mart. We also found some really fun retro-vintage style ornaments. I can't wait for next year.
We also started Nat's Science Fair Project. She's growing plants with Miracle Grow and without. Hopefully they'll sprout before the project is due on February 6th. I'll keep you posted.
Now it's January 3. The kids go back to school tomorrow. I'm counting the hours.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
... when he's around I can never get any blogging done.