Tag Archives: Christmas

Semi-Merry Christmas

This last week has been a blur.  Other than needing to be in Elko on Monday last week, we had nothing we ABSOLUTELY had to do.  We were leaves on the breeze, floating to where we needed to be, whenever we needed to be.  There really was no other way to be, given the circumstances.  Many people had agendas and we found the best tactic was to have no agenda ourselves.  And I’m happy to report that worked pretty well.

It was a rough week.  It’s hard to see your family hurting like that and not being able to do much at all to make it any better.  I hurt for them, especially during the somber (and rather chilly) graveside service last Wednesday.  The best I could really do was pray for peace.  Of course, there were glorious and much needed moments of levity sprinkled here and there.  A lot of family drove in for the service and evenings were spent talking, reminiscing and laughing.  That laughter was a salve for the soul.

We will be going back in early January for a special memorial service.  I’m hoping for less raw nerves but the little I know about grieving, I know better than to really expect that.  I know that grieving takes so much longer and there are many more hills to climb.  There will certainly be more praying.

We returned home to Reno on Friday and while Kile and I were determined to try to keep up the spirit for the sake of the kids (especially the little ones who didn’t really understand what was going on and were just simply excited for Christmas).  I think we were mostly successful.  This is judging from the enthusiastic reactions yesterday as we plowed into the rather gluttonous pile of gifts under the tree (seriously, next year we have to scale back.  WAY back.).  Christmas Eve was as wonderful as I could have hoped for.  We had a nice late lunch at Red Lobster, attended services at church and drove around looking at Christmas lights on the way home.  Then the kids all opened their Christmas pajamas and headed off to bed.  The rest of the night was spent assembling gifts and watching movies and then collapsing in a heap sometime around midnight.  And Christmas morning…. oy.  The aforementioned gluttonous pile was outrageous and we literally needed to take BREAKS.  I don’t remember exactly how long it took us to open everything but it took HOURS.  Crazyness.  But the kids were in heaven.

We had a nice dinner and just like that, Christmas was over.  It’s always bittersweet… I knew this Christmas was pretty much a lost cause as far as my own holiday spirit went.  I think I got as into it as I could and I think it was the same for Kile.  But it was so lovely watching the kids reactions and absorbing their joy.  THEY had a great Christmas and that’s the biggest thing.

Now next year, all bets are off.  We are having a fantastic Christmas or ELSE.

Need a little Christmas

Well.  I meant to post again before now but you know how it goes.  One thing and then another and then everything REALLY goes to pot and you just never, never know.  Life turns on a dime.

I meant to tell you all that my birthday wasn’t all that awful.  At least once Kile made it home and all that.  The day was just a wreck and I assure you it would have been a wreck even if it weren’t my birthday.   It was just a day where everything was going wrong.  And I was extra annoyed because it was my birthday and no one wants “one of those days” on their birthday.  And I also started to think that perhaps having a birthday at all in this day and age was for the birds because it only serves to breed discontent.  Bah humbug and all that.   The evening was downright nice though, with cake and presents and the knowledge that at least the day was over.

But you know?  I think that’s just the way of things this month.  This year.  I love love love the month of December but this month has done me (and mine) wrong and so now I’m mostly just looking forward to New Years Eve and watching that darned ball drop on yet another crap-tastic year.  I doubt any year could out-suck 2004, but 2011 is in close contention.  I won’t be sorry to see it’s back side.

No one is really in the mood this year.  Well, except for the little kids.  And it’s for them that we are trying to put on a good face.  But it’s hard.  I mean, we can’t even bring ourselves to finish decorating (who needs a wreath on the door?  bah humbug!).  We forget the kids advent calendars more often than not.  And Jeffrey the Shelf Elf has had some rather half-assed ideas for surprising the kids.  Our hearts aren’t quite in it.

You may recall me mentioning last year that my brother in law was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  I can’t recall if I mentioned it or not before things went “radio silence” on Facebook about such things.  I could look it up but I just don’t have it in me at the moment.  Anyhow, we found out last October and he spent the year traveling back and forth between Elko and Salt Lake City for treatments.  We went to Elko for both Thanksgiving and Christmas last year.  Mostly because we’d read up on the odds.  And we wanted to spend what could be his last holidays with him.

He made it to another Thanksgiving.  But Christmas?  Not so much.  We got the call that he passed on Saturday morning.  All of my desperate prayers this last month for him to make it past Christmas for the sake of his family were for naught.  Oh, I’m sure it’s for the best as far as he is concerned.  But the rest of us?  For his family?  No.  This is awful and it’s awful timing.  No two ways about it.

So tomorrow morning we’re loading up and heading east to Elko where we’ll be until Friday.  It’s going to be a hard week.  If we were having a hard time getting in the spirit before, I can only imagine how hard it’ll be now.  But we have to try.   And I will be happy when Christmas is past and we can just go back to dealing.

Better luck next year?

“Haul out the holly
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again
Fill up the stocking
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now

 

For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
Candles in the window
Carols at the spinet

Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
It hasn’t snowed a single flurry
But Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry

 

So climb down the chimney
Turn on the brightest string of light I’ve ever seen
Slice up the fruitcake
It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough

 

For I’ve grown a little leaner
Grown a little colder
Grown a little sadder
Grown a little older

 

And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder
Need a little CHristmas now

 

For we need a little music
Need a little laughter
Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter

 

And we need a little snappy
“Happy ever after”
Need a little Christmas now”

In defense of the Christmas movie remake

This afternoon while trying to kill some time before dinner, we watched “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  You know, the one starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch.  This movie gets a lot of flack from people who believe it’s a sacrilege against the original Grinch cartoon.  I don’t think this is entirely fair.

For one thing, you can’t really compare the two.  Yes, they originate from the same storybook, but I think that’s pretty much where the similarities end.  The cartoon is indeed a CLASSIC… required viewing for the young at heart everywhere.  I feel it’s important to get at least once viewing every holiday season.  There’s nothing to beat the animation, the flawless narration of the tale and the spirit invoked by the story.  This version certainly has no equal.

However.

I don’t think loyalty to the classic is any reason to discount entirely the “remake”.  No, the Jim Carrey version fills an all-important “goofy holiday movie” quotient.  In fact, if this version falls flat anywhere at all, it falls flat when it gets too sentimental which doesn’t happen often but when it does it comes off as slightly insincere.  But at the goofy stuff.  It scores a direct hit.  Jim Carrey is fantastic as The Grinch, bringing his own special brand of silly to the story.  In fact, it is with The Grinch where this movie shines and provides us so many laugh out loud moments, we can’t help but quote then year-round.  I submit for your consideration:

That there is possibly my most favorite scene in the movie, though I do have MANY.  Yes, I dare say there is plenty of space in my heart for BOTH versions.  Plus it makes the kids laugh.  That’s Sunday Afternoon Gold, right there.

Now, some remakes are definitely better than others.  I’m thinking “Miracle on 34th Street” in particular here.  I never did care for the saccharine 90’s version with that annoying kid that was showing up in every family movie there for a few years.  The original, in that case, is very hard to beat.  Though I can admire that they tried.

I’m not sure how I’d feel about a remake of “The Christmas Story” or “Christmas Vacation” though.  Those ones may be off limits.

But making cartoons into live-action or computer animated versions?  I suppose I can get behind that.  Think of how cool a re-do of “Frosty the Snowman” done live-action style would be?  Or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer done in computer animation?  Done by the right studio (and not some fly-by-night type of outfit), the end result could be fantastic.  I’d love to see someone try.

What do you think?

Cashmere: A Love Story

Once upon a time, there was a man and his wife.  Neither of them had anything made of cashmere, that most delicious of fibers.  And they were okay with this.  They figured those cotton and/or acrylic sweaters were just fine.  What difference does one little (lush) (and luxurious) (and completely wonderful) fiber make?

Oh.  It makes a difference.

Which could account for the astronomical price tag.  Kohl’s has some relatively reasonably priced cashmere sweaters.  The ladies’ sweaters are $100 while the men’s sweaters are $120.  For cashmere, that ain’t bad.  But still.  It is faaaaaaaar out of our price range for clothing.  We are the original cheapskates, after all.  I start feeling woozy if I spend more than $20 on a pair of jeans.

But Kile started to yearn for cashmere.  So I thought, I’ll get him some for Christmas.  I went online on Black Friday (since we were in Elko and the number of shops to procure cashmere at in Elko is somewhat limited) to kohls.com and found an excellent deal on a cotton/cashmere blend sweater for Kile.  Sold!  He would be so happy to get that, I was sure!

Fast forward a couple weeks and it was my birthday.  My lovely in laws gave me some spending cash for my big day and we happened to be browsing around Kohl’s when I came across a most lovely cashmere cardigan IN MY SIZE and priced to sell at a significant discount.  I just couldn’t pass it up!  After another discount and everything I paid all of $30 for that sweater.  A 100% cashmere cardigan for $30!  Unreal!

Kile was jealous until he opened his gift on Christmas day and saw his own sweater.  I started to wish I had gotten him 100% cashmere instead since now that I could feel the difference, I knew he needed to have it.  But, c’est la vie, yes? Still, the bug was planted.  And when we went shopping after Christmas during one of those awesome Kohl’s sales, Kile was able to find a lovely blue cashmere sweater on sale for $40.  Naturally, he snatched it up.

Fast forward (again) a few more weeks to just a week or two ago.  Once again, we were killing time at Kohl’s (sense a theme here?) and I happened to notice a fuzzy sleeve protruding from the clearance rack in the women’s department.  CASHMERE.  That particular sweater wasn’t my size but I was inspired to look closer.  I was able to find TWO (count ‘em: two!) sweaters in my size.  One was a lovely dark fuchsia color and the other a bright and cheerful teal.  And, as I told Kile, have you ever seen two colors that look MORE like they belong to me?  Again, these were $30 apiece and I could not resist the cashmere at that price.  And this time for a pullover!  THREE cashmere sweaters!  How lucky am I?!

Kile looked (though not terribly closely) in the men’s department for cashmere there but came up empty handed.  But before you start feeling bad for him, lets see what happened this last weekend. Where, you guessed it, we were at Kohl’s again (hey, we like that store!).  I started to comb through the men’s clearance racks, hoping for a swatch of delicious fuzziness to catch my eye.  And this time?  We were triumphant!  We found Kile TWO (count ‘em: two!) sweaters!  One a navy blue with a gray argyle design on it and the other a solid dark gray.  And this time?  They were $20.

TWENTY. DOLLARS.

Like I said, you just cannot pass up these prices.  At least, not when you are US and when you’ve caught The Cashmere Bug.  We were full-on enamored.  After we found Kile’s sweaters, I wouldn’t even LOOK at the women’s clearance racks.  Because I knew if I found cashmere there and it was $20 that I would buy it and really.   Isn’t THREE cashmere sweaters plenty for ONE person?   Cooler heads must prevail, after all.  And I do strive to be a reasonable person.

It was really hard though.

Now, don’t bother going to kohls.com to look for cashmere sweaters at these prices.  It’s not there.  No, this is on a store-by-store basis.  A little hidden gem hiding in the clearance racks, waiting to be snatched up.  That is, if they have any left by now.  Which, if the rest of the human population is anything like us?  Isn’t terribly likely.

But keep your eye out.  And if you’ve ever thought about cashmere like I did, and you have the opportunity to try it out, then you will understand my love.

Now if you’ll pardon me, I have a sweater to go pet.

In which I blink and December is nearly over

What the heck happened?  Didn’t we just have my birthday?  What happened to Christmas?  All I remember is posting about my birthday and then I spent the next two weeks with knitting needles permanently attached to my fingers (moreso than usual even, if that’s possible).  Next thing I know, we’re days away from New Years and my head is spinning.

Ugh.

But Christmas was nice.  We went to Elko to spend it with Kile’s family and we really did have a nice time.  I think our gruesome twosome were a bit much for our hosts, but they’re a bit much even for US so I can’t fault anyone for that.  Mostly, I’m just embarrassed to inflict our crazy selves on anyone.  Hopefully this will get (much) easier as they get older.  But both of them (yes, even the cute pink one) were pills and overstayed their welcomes about 2 hours into the visit.

Kids are FUN!

But even with the headaches that they gave everyone, we had a good time and I’m glad we went.  Watching the joy and wonder on both of the little ones faces was priceless.  Liam was SO into Christmas this year.  It was adorable.  Oh and apparently Santa is his close personal friend.  I guess he’d have to be, as naughty as that child was this last week!  I’m still not sure how he got such nice presents instead of a stocking full of coal!

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Making Liam's Day

The kids posing with Santa

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Pretty in her Christmas Dress

Everyone really loved their presents (especially Liam, who got a Fisher Price iXL.  To anyone who has a 4 year old and doesn’t know what to get them?  GET THIS THING.  It’s his precious.).

We came home the day after Christmas and I feel like the last day or two has been spent staring at the walls, trying to get our bearings.  We were supposed to drive down to Sacramento this morning to meet up with my family but guess what!  Winter storm.  Of COURSE.  I mean, out of the whole week today (and tomorrow) are exactly the days that would have a crippling winter storm hitting the mountain.  So we’re not going, mostly because we aren’t wanting to get in a situation where we get stuck anywhere.  But it’s a huge bummer.  I never get to see my sister or her family, let alone at Christmas time.  Sometimes living where we do really just kinda stinks.

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?  Do you fancy adding a free Tassimo T20 to your holiday haul?  I can tell you on good authority that is a pretty swell little machine.  Head on over to my review blog where I’m reviewing this single-serve brewer and (gasp) giving away a free one!  Yep!  Go leave a comment, because the giveaway ends December 31st at 10am PST.

Consider that my lil’ Christmas gift to you all.

Remember this!

Last year, I didn’t start knitting Christmas gifts until well into December and I stressed and was knitting clear up until about midnight on Christmas Eve and I PROMISED myself that I wouldn’t do that to myself again.  I swore that I would begin Christmas gifts in the summer, if not earlier!

Fast forward to this year.  I didn’t start a darn thing until after December 1st.

D’oh!

I did start earlier.  And to be perfectly honest, I have gotten more gifts completed this year.  BUT, I will have less for my own immediate family.  Is that the trade-off?  More for other people = less for my own kids?  I should at least have something for Kile, provided I can finish it TODAY.

Gulp.

I feel wretched.  In fact, yesterday I had a mini nervous breakdown when I let the pressure get to me.  The kids were… impressed by my display.  And I was humbled when my 2 1/2 year old daughter came up to me, patted my arm and said, “Don’t cry, mama.  It’s okay.”

Today, I’d like to think I have better perspective on all of this.  I know that it’s going to be a rush to finish.  And hopefully I will.

But next year?  I will not do this to myself again.  Yes!  I swear!  I will be knitting LESS, in fact.

I won’t be knitting as much for people outside of my immediate family.  It’s not that I don’t want to share my knitterly goodness, it’s just that I don’t think handknit stuff is appreciated as much by others.  And it’s nothing against THEM.  But the amount of time (and this year, STRESS) that goes into making something isn’t quite worth it.  I’ve done a lot of worrying about what to make for people, how they will receive it, if I picked the right color(s), etc and so forth.

And I’d like to be able to focus on my husband and kids.  Who put up with my knitting, appreciation or not.  I would love to knit socks for Kile, mittens and hats for the kids, dresses for Evie’s doll, and all of that.  And maybe even a hat or fingerless mitts for myself!  I know!  I’m wearing last year’s “prototype” fingerless mittens and I have no hat.  Because I have NO time to knit anything for myself.  And after Christmas?  My customs list is already booked so I’ll be back to THAT particular grindstone right away.

I know I did this to myself.  I’m a work-aholic.  I’ve got no one to blame but myself here.  But next year, I SWEAR, I will do it different.  I want to enjoy this week leading up to Christmas, not feel buried under pressure and stress and angst.

Hold me to it, Internet.  HOLD ME TO IT.

Stringent Christmas Tree Rules

I do love me some Christmas.  And I do take a good deal of things about Christmas seriously.  The music. The movies. The traditions.

The tree.

See, I think we’ve achieved Christmas Tree Nirvana.  And I’m fully willing to admit that perhaps I have strange ideas about such things *cough*, but I’m also practical.  And years of experience have taught me what sort of tree I want to have.  I didn’t just come up with these Rules overnight.

Kile and I just had a talk about this.  Because while I do have my Rules, I am aware that maybe he would like to deviate from those rules.  Maybe he might feel an urge, now and then, to get a real tree.  Horrifying, yes.  But he has assured me that as much fun as it is to hunt down and have a real tree, he prefers our tree so much more.

Here are my Rules.  Nothing grinchy about having rules about Christmas trees, is there?

1) No Needles on My Floor.  I cannot cannot cannot CANNOT abide Christmas tree needles.  They get EVERY. WHERE. And you find them MONTHS later.  They are insideous.  And with little kids, I just couldn’t feature letting a baby learn how to crawl, grabbing fistsfulls of tree needles off the carpet, even though I JUST vacuumed up about 10lbs worth 2 hours ago.  Needles stress me out.  I don’t need any extra stress.

2) No Putting Lights on The Tree. I hate putting lights on the tree.  Correction: I hate when Kile puts lights on the tree.  Because Kile hates putting lights on the tree.  He gets crabby.  Which makes me crabby.  And 10 hours later when the lights are finally ON the tree, NO ONE is in the mood to decorate and have any sort of fun with the stupid thing.  Putting lights on a Christmas tree is torturous. Our tree has 1100 lights on it.  I KID YOU NOT.  When you first turn it on, it’s DAZZLING, almost blinding.  I love that.

3) No Narrow Windows of Enjoyment.  When you get a real tree, unless you want to be swimming in brown needles, you’re best to be getting the tree about the second week of December or so.  Which, depending if you’re going out of town for the holiday, doesn’t leave a lot of time to enjoy the hardwork and the simple majesty of the tree.  I like plenty of time to enjoy my tree.  I also like not HAVING to take it down but rather CHOOSING to take it down.  And no, it doesn’t stay up too far past New Years, I assure you!  But yes, we put up our tree early.  Because that’s how we roll.  Our tradition has us often putting it up right around Veteran’s Day.  It works for us because it’s right after that that things get busy.  Family visiting, going to visit family, blah blah blah.  It’s a nice way to start up the season.  I love having that whole extra month to admire my gorgeous tree.

4) No Expensive Trees.  See, a lot of people look at artificial trees and think: “Wow, that’s so expensive!”  But the easy solution here is to go get one after Christmas.  They go on a massive sale and you can score a really awesome deal on a great artificial tree and then for the next 10 or so years, you don’t have to spend another dime on a tree.  Or you can do like us and get lucky.  We walked into Sam’s Club one year after Halloween and found this tree of ours for sale for $120.  Considering how tall it is, how many lights, how full and good looking it is?  And the fact that it has that “fold up branches” thing where you don’t have to individually put on each branch?  Made it a SUPER bargain and we haven’t regretted a single day for buying it right there on the spot.  Shoot, look at real trees!  Of course, the only comparison I have to base it off of so far this year is the ones they were selling at Whole Foods which HAS to be a little on the steep end.  But still, those were $50 trees and they were about 6′ tall at best and these were the sorts that would drop needles.  I could just TELL.  When you think about shelling out $50 each year, it adds up!  Factor in the cost of lights to string on it, tree stand and all that… well it’s not terribly cost efficient to go real either.  Unless you’re okay with the tiny $20 Charlie Brown Christmas trees.  Which I am not.  Which leads me to:

5) No Tiny Charlie Brown Christmas Trees.  Maybe this makes me a tree snob.  Charlie Brown felt sorry for that tree and put love into it and made it lovely.  I get it.  But 4′ trees just don’t do it for me.  Or 5′.  6′ might be pushing it.  I like a TALL tree.  Scraping the ceiling.  As Kile said, he likes to have to look up to see the star.  We like our tree to be the focal point of the living room, not just some extra accessory that you trip over on the way to the television.  (Of course, this comes from the people who’s TV takes up a good portion of their eastern wall… *cough*)  The point is: we like our tree to be the sort you can’t just overlook.  You gotta see it.  Because there is a lot of it.  And you can’t see THROUGH it either.  That’s a big thing with me too.  I can’t abide seeing the “trunk” on an artificial tree.  I like thick, lush branches.  Which also brings me to:

6) No Lame Looking Branches.  Our tree right now is just perfect in pretty much all regards but especially this one.  It has a “mixture” of needle styles and each branch has about a bazillion and one little branches and when we get it out of the box, the thing that seriously takes the longest to do is fluff the branches up because there are so many.  And I’m okay with that.  The branches look natural, is the important thing.  This can be a tall order with artificial trees.  We just got darned lucky when we got ours, I guess.

The only thing that artificial trees DON’T have is the scent.  We solved that this year by getting a Wallflower thingie from Bath and Body Works in their “Fresh Balsam” scent.  It’s plugged in right next to the tree and I swear, it smells JUST like a real tree.  When we come downstairs in the morning, that smell wafts up to us and it’s just perfect.  But I thought of a great solution:  they need to make an artificial tree that has a scent thingie like that BUILT IN.  It makes so much sense!  And each time you plug the tree in to turn on the lights, it starts the scent thingie going.  Voila!

Rules aside, one of the best things about Christmas is the tree.  The trick obviously is, finding out what works best for you and your family.  We’ve found our Tree Nirvana.  Have you?

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I need a yarn diet

I have a weakness.  It’s yarn.

I can’t resist pretty yarn.  And while I have bins upon bins upon piles of yarn threatening to overtake us all, I keep seeking out more more more MOAR.

It is luscious, soft and full of promise.  What will it become?  Fingerless mitts?  A dress for Evie?  A flirty little shrug?  Something else completely fabulous?

But gosh, even if I started right this minute I’m not sure I could ever knit everything I have.  Well.  I probably COULD.  But then I couldn’t pet it in a non-creepy and totally loving manner.

So despite this constant urge to acquire new and more beautiful yarn, I’m putting myself on a yarn diet.  Yep, you heard me.  NO MORE new yarn.

Well.  At least until after Christmas.  After Christmas?  All bets are off.

Who says it’s too early for Christmas?

Like most bloggers, I can’t bear to leave up a depressing post like that for too long.  But on the other hand, we had a weekend in there and it was, as usual, busy busy go go go and, well, blogging kinda falls behind on the weekend.

But now it’s Monday and that means it’s time to pick at belly button lint, sip coffee, stare at walls and blog.

We’ve started embracing Christmas around here.  And I *know* that Halloween is just newly at our backs and Thanksgiving is still over a week away.  Don’t pester me with details.  We take our Christmas seriously around here.  Our tree is très fake but no less lovely and we always enjoy putting it up as soon as we can manage it.  That, traditionally, is sometime around Veteran’s Day.  So this Veteran’s Day, we broke out the ornaments and got to decorating.

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And yes, I realize it looks pretty much how it looked last year.  Things don’t change much around here.  It’s comfortable that way.  Anyhow, this tree is a source of much enjoyment for everyone in the house.  The little ones where so happy to wake up and see it the next morning (since we had done the decorating while they were in bed the night before).  Kile had predicted that Evie would see the tree and say, “Pretty!” and that’s exactly what she did.  She is fully enamored of the tree.  Liam enjoys it too, but maybe he enjoys turning the lights on and off more than anything else.  Either way, this is a tangible reminder that Christmas is coming soon and everyone is feeling just a little more festive.

We kept up the Christmas hijinks yesterday when we stopped in at the mall.  Mostly because I knew there was a Starbucks in the mall.  I was dragging and had a pounding headache, the sort that you know a good cup of joe would cure.  While going to the MALL didn’t really fill me with joy (if the Target on that end of town had a Starbucks in it like the one out in Sparks does, we’d have gone there instead in a heartbeat), the promise of caffeine propelled me onward. We didn’t even stop in at the Disney Store (usually our first stop when we go) before heading to the coffee.  I was on a mission.

I noticed while we were there that Santa had set up shop in his usual spot behind the Starbucks cart.  And he looked kinda lonely.  Every now and then, a family would trickle in and visit with him but there was absolutely no line whatsoever.  I knew I wasn’t strong enough to resist that sort of temptation.  So after we drank our respective drinks (it worked like a charm, by the way, headache was GONE!), we graced Santa with our presence. Evie was… not so sure.  She was certainly happy to see him, pointing and saying “Ho, ho, ho!” (which is what she calls him).  But when in front of him, she hid behind my leg and hid her face behind her hands.  Santa can be kind of intimidating up close and in person.  Liam did not have this problem.  He was a little shy at first, tugging on the hem of his shirt and mumbling his answers.  But once Santa started talking to him about Lightning McQueen, Legos and Batman, Liam warmed right up and they were fast friends.  He happily sat on his lap (we tried Evie on his lap as well but she just cried most piteously so we ended her torment and let Liam enjoy the big guy on his own) and posed for the cutest Santa picture ever.

Liam visits with Santa Claus See that?  That’s a happy boy right there.  Santa gave him a little gift for being such a champ about the whole thing, both kids were given the requisite suckers and we went on our way.   Liam may frustrate every last living cell of my being most times, but I do love how outgoing he can be.  And it was so worth it to see him have that moment, something he’ll probably remember for years.

We browsed around the mall and oohed and aahed at a variety of things.  No purchases were made, however,  We’ve actually already finished most of our Christmas shopping.  I say most because I still need to get some things for Kile and we may pick up a few more things for the kids.  And of course, this doesn’t take into account the things I plan to knit for everyone which OMG DON’T REMIND ME FRANTICFRANTICFRANTIC.

Some people may be sticks in the mud and insist that Christmas doesn’t begin until after Thanksgiving.  To them I say a hearty “BAH HUMBUG” and hum a bar of “Jingle Bells”.  You’re all just lucky we don’t start all this up in the middle of October.  Or, you know, July.

Wassup?

Yeah, it’s been a busy few days.  Or rather, a busy few weeks.  Turmoil and upheaval have been the name of the game and that’s not exactly ideal conditions for blog posting.  That and the god-awful cold I’ve been sporting for two weeks or whatever now and I’M SO SICK OF BEING SICK IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY.  (As I was typing that I had a monster coughing fit that I was sure was going to eventually produce a LUNG and now have tears streaming down my face from the whole event.  GAH.)  So busy?  Check.  Upheaval?  Check.  Sick?  Check check check (one for each toddler and me included).

Wanna see some mid-upheaval pics?

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Not pictured: installation of the range top hood/microwave from last night.  Or the putting together of the various consoles and media cabinets to contain the media in the first picture above.  It’s a lot better now, but still not 100% taken care of.  The dusty tv on the floor has since been sold on Craigslist (we dusted it first of course).  The old entertainment center remains, sitting out of the way in front of the china cabinet, waiting for Kile’s co-worker to claim it.  The dvds are stashed but the old VHS movies need to find new homes.  So yeah.  A lot of upheaval.

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Speaking of all these changes and purchases… I’m really so happy with it.  Our new TV is just amazing.  I have also discovered the wonderfulness of Netflix and their instant streaming feature.  We’re getting it through the new blu ray player and OMG.  I didn’t know such a wondrous thing existed!  And, frankly, it makes our OnDemand look like crap.  Which it isn’t.  But there are so many awesome movies available to us now, just a click of the remote away!  The other night?  We watched “Somewhere in Time”.  YES, REALLY.

I can die happy now.

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Which reminds me, I had the WEIRDEST dream the other night.  And when I told Kile about it, he cracked up because I am insane and only I would think crap like this up.  I had a dream that we found out I had cancer.  And apparently it was pretty bad and the doctor wanted to put me down.  Yes, like a sick dog.  And this was just accepted as what you do in my dream, though when we told people, I had this thought like, “Really?  Like a dog?  Oooookay…”  I wasn’t too upset about it, which is also weird.  But yeah.  I woke up and was marveling at the weird crap my fever-addled brain comes up with sometimes.  I mean… dang.  That’s totally out of left field, is it not??

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I’m happy to announce that all family members now own a pair of Sketchers shoes.  Kile completely loves this brand and he got two pairs back after Christmas with some Christmas gift money, taking advantage of a completely awesome sale.  I think it was basically 2 for 1 or something?  Anyhow.  Harry has had Sketchers for a while because they’re the only shoes that even try to withstand the abuse he piles upon them.  He can actually OUTGROW them before they fall apart.  Score!

Kile wanted to get the little ones some new shoes so we stopped in this last weekend.  Now, I should mention that Liam is basically a clone of his father and has a mad affection for Sketchers.  It was one of his first words, even.  I’m not even remotely kidding.  He had a pair of Sketchers sandles last summer and he has been trying to convince us to let him wear them all winter long too.  So now he has his very own pair of Sketchers sneakers.  And whenever he wears them, I catch him staring at them for long periods of time, studying the details and fawning over them.  He LOVES them.  I fear what will happen should we ever want to put another pair of shoes on him.  Shudder.

For Evie, we got an AWESOME deal.  They were having a sale on kids boots, which is kind of obscure.  And they didn’t have much left in Evie’s size.  But we found a pair of Ugg-style boots a size up from what she wears that fit great.  And after the discount they were $12.  TWELVE. BUCKS.  That’s awesome.  And apparently she’s a Sketchers fan too because she stares at the sparkles on them all the time when she’s wearing them.  The first day, when I was getting her ready for bed, I took them off and you should have SEEN THE FIT she threw.  I feared for my life.

Girl likes her boots.  Just like her mama. :wub:

Kile let me get a pair too, so I got some athletic style shoes (no, not the ones that are supposed to tone up your butt) and I wore them the other day while we ran errands and they are SO AWESOME.  I think we’re all believers now.  Which is a shame because Sketchers are generally not terribly cheap shoes and I am a cheap person.

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I *think* we’re going to Elko this weekend.  Kile has been sketchy on the details to me.  I think because he knows that I am loathe to leave behind my new TV.  And, yes I am.  It will be hard.  Tears might be shed.

But then I think of how nice it would be to see everyone out there.  And I even think of all the knitting I could get done in the car to and from.  And I guess it’s not so bad.

But I sure am going to miss that TV.

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I think I had other stuff I wanted to say but now I’ve completely forgotten.  I blame the phlegm.  And the sound of Liam banging around as he wakes up upstairs and the knowledge that I have to go get him and unleash him upon poor Evie who doesn’t deserve a brother as mean to her as he is.  But that’s life, eh?

Happy Tuesday, everyone!