Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas is over, and we survived.

Yah, I know I haven't posted in a couple days, but it took a while just to create a path from the kitchen to the Christmas tree and from the Christmas tree to the puter room. I figured I'd better post something before the death threats started to arrive from my mother, and just to update everyone.

Santa wasn't done at our house until 4 in the morning on Christmas eve, mostly because there was a little boy upstairs thumping and tiptoeing around most of the night.

Usually, this is the norm around here on Christmas. Phil and I finally get to bed, and usually two hours later he's ready to go. Then we end up visiting relatives while in a stupor, and that doesn't make for much holiday cheer.

This year was different, though, because we weren't greeted until 10 am, so apparently he waited up and waited up and waited up and likely fell asleep just before the sun came up.

Was fine by me!!

Usually we don't let him go downstairs until after we do. Usually we get our coffee and then head downstairs.

Sebastian was in a panic this year though. He was terrible the week leading up to Christmas, which led to my favorite parental tactic: Santa blackmail. Seb was so worried that Santa might have caught wind about his recent adventures and decided to not visit us afterall, that he was dang near in tears, so Phil cheated and let him run down to take a peak.

Sebastian scored big this year. He got his blimp and the Shellshocker (still no battery for that yet, don't get me started because that's a whole other post in itself) and his army guy with the parachute, as well as tons of other things.

Was fun this year because everything he opened was followed by a "Oh COOL!!" or an "OH WOW! JUST what I ALWAYS WANTED!!" hehe. In previous years, he always opened something and barely looked at it because he was wanting to get to the next thing. This year though, he got so excited about everything that it took us over an hour to get through every gift because we kept stopping to pull things out of their boxes as they were opened.

Santa was good to me, too. :) This year I got the Sims for my psp, a food processor that will keep me from ever having to chop anything ever again in my life, a Gizmo which is kind of a hand held mixer with different attatchments for drinks etc (Santa must have gotten tired of my Mixmaster living on the counter all of December).

Santa also raided some poor craft store and bought 1 of every knitting needle they had. I also got the entire first season of Little House on the Priarie on DvD (don't laugh, that show kicks ass...) I also got a thermal shirt and bottoms set, which I really wanted since they're so comfortable and I haven't had any since I stretched the last of mine out when I was pregnant with Seb.

My dad sent me a bunch of knitting books, all of them are great and give me lots of ideas for things to do this year. My favorite one is called Socks Socks Socks, and the patterns in it are just incredible. A nice mix of patterns, both ones I know I can do easily and ones that will push me a bit. He also sent us a gift card for Target, and I'm eyeing that as helping us get new blinds for the living room and kitchen, and they also sent a new headset for Phil, which was really a present for me, so I don't have to listen to him cuss at his old headset. :)

After all the hohoho here, we headed off to Phil's mom's house, where we had even more hohoho and a terrific dinner.

Was really nice, but I'm really glad that it's done and over with, and that we can move on to the New Year and de-Christmas our house and get on with things. :)

Hope everyone's holiday was safe and happy.

A couple more pics...



Here's a picture of Sebastian by the tree with Firby, and then another family on the stairs picture that we always seem to end up with every holiday. :)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Twas the night before Christmas....


Well, here we go.

Sebastian is excited, but he's still tolerable. I'm guessing that will change as the day progresses. We've only had to track Santa on Norad twice so far, but I'm sure that within hours we will fall into our usual Christmas eve pattern of sitting at the computer and refreshing over and over and over again.

All my packages that we sent out, appear to have been delivered, but I'll know more about that once my mother is home and verifies that her package is indeed waiting there for her, like the UPS webtracking says it is.

That battery pack I ordered for overnight shipping two days ago, is not here. I'm pretty disappointed about that. One of the major toys he's getting, and he won't be able to play with it.

The gift I ordered for my father-in-law is not here either. I ordered it on the 7th, their ad promised next day shipping, it didn't ship until the 15th, and it's still not here.

Looks like I have some nasty feedback to leave on Ebay after I've had a glass of wine tonight.

I've got everything out and ready to go for Christmas eve dinner tonight. I'm going to make Penne in vodka sauce, and my favorite cheesy bread recipe. If we're lucky, the vodka will make it into the sauce.

Sebastian and I made more chocolate crinkle cookies last night since they were a big hit and disappeared, he and I had a good time rolling them into balls and dipping them into powdered sugar. I would like to have some time to do cut out sugar cookies today, because I think it would be a great way to pass the time before Sebastian needs to be in bed.

Still need to clean up my disaster of a living room. On top of all that, I'm hoping to have just a bit of time today to knit, just for sanity's sake.

Carrots are ready for Rudolph.

A big shout out to Andi for sending me such a terrific package that arrived yesterday. Best coffee I've had..hell, the only *real* coffee I've had in like 9 years. Say "hi" to our friend Stephanie for me. :)

Anyway, lots to do but not much time, so it's short and sweet today.




Thursday, December 22, 2005

Three days...

...and my holiday projects are complete!!

This is the second drawstring bag I finished day before yesterday. If it looks familiar to you, then you're right. I used the same pattern from a book I posted about last week, this particular pattern is the same one they featured on the cover.

Just because my holiday knitting is done, doesn't mean anything else is. The lovely thing about the holidays is that every time I finish something, I turn around and find something else I need to do before I can even relish in any sense of accomplishment.

I've gotten a lot of wrapping done. The bad thing is I still have a lot more to wrap. The really bad thing is that I'm expecting two packages still, and whether or not they arrive in time is kind of up in the air.

One is the battery pack that goes with the blasted Shell Shocker toy that almost drove me to drink trying to track down. Granted, the battery pack was shipping from a different place than the actual toy, but it's not here yet, the seller is no longer a registered user on Ebay, and they're not answering my e-mails, which leaves me in a bit of a pickle. Either I wait and trust that the damn thing is going to arrive, or I order another one from elsewhere and have it overnighted and just run the risk that I can end up with two battery packs.

The fact that they're no longer registered on Ebay and that they aren't responding to e-mails is enough for me to risk ending up with two battery packs, so I ended up hitting Amazon and ordering a new one. I guess if the first one arrives I can just send the second one back or just put it aside just in case.

Then, Sebastian wanted an airplane. So badly that when he finally opened his last present on his birthday and found that it wasn't an airplane, he burst into tears. Mind you, he didn't say anything about an airplane until THAT DAY, so apparently we were supposed to have some sort of telepathic powers that let us know.

I ended up ordering a little remote controlled plane on the 14th. It was supposed to ship on the 16th, but it didn't ship until the 20th, and since this company has 3 warehouses-furthest being in Oregon and the closest being in Illiniois, they're showing an expected arrival date of the 23rd-27th which pretty much screws everything up.

And of course, you can go to the USPS website and try to track it, but of all the companies, the US post office is the worst with updating their tracking system, because it still shows as being accepted from the merchant on the 20th, with no other updates.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it arrives, and making back-up plans of obtaining a letter from Mr. Santa himself explaining that Rudolph tragically stepped on that package and that Sebastian has to wait for a replacement to arrive, and hope that Sebastian is too busy with other toys to be disappointed.

So let's sum up the joys of Christmas, shall we?

  • Missing packages.
  • Still more wrapping to do.
  • My house is a wreck. It looks like Christmas ate birthday, tree needles and birdseed, and then vomited all over my living room.
  • I still have more cookies I want to bake, but I can't seem to find my kitchen counter at the moment.
  • I have this gingerbread house kit sitting on my table to do. Looks like construction is going to be delayed a bit...until next Christmas.
  • I still have the Thank You cards from Sebastian's party sitting here for his classmates, and for some blasted reason, I've forgotten all week to put them in his back pack for him to take to school.
  • There is a pile of laundry in my bathroom that is refusing to walk itself down to the washing machine. Well it was a pile yesterday, today it's more like a mountain.
  • Sebastian has somehow convinced himself that he doesn't have school tomorrow and he really does. Despite my showing him the calendar which clearly shows that he has school, he has decided to take a stand and refuses to go.
  • Our blind cat has gone from tree climbing to sleeping on presents which means that every time she jumps up on one, her claws rip the wrapping paper.

All this, and here I am, sitting at my computer, typing away.

Ho.

Ho.

Ho.

*Edit* I couldn't post this thing without at least sharing one positive note with you all:

This week, in New York, the mass transit system is on strike, and everything is gridlocked, jammed up, delayed and otherwise FUBAR'D.

And I don't live there. /dances with glee

Hey, was the best I could come up with. And I did it dispite the fact that the asstards at the news stations need to interrupt Martha, Ellen and my soaps every 15 minutes to update us and let us know that ...there is a strike going on.

My new sock project!



Now that I have all my holiday projects completed, I can get back to some of the other things I've been wanting to get done but just haven't had time to do.

First up is another pair of socks. I've only gotten the first one started, and I still have about an inch and a half to do yet before I can get started on the heel flap, but I'm quite pleased with how it looks so far.

I tried to include a close up of the stitch pattern because it really does look kind of cool. I'd never done this particular stitch before and it was a bit tricky for me to figure out, but once I fiddled around with it a bit, it wasn't really as intimidating as I originally thought it would be.

I love doing socks because they're so portable- I can take it anywhere with me and even with five free minutes to knit, I can feel that I've gotten something accomplished. That, and they're not very expensive to make if you take the time to scour for yarn sales and if you're willing to substitute for a different yarn. Generally I've found that patterns always call for some obscure expensive brand of yarn and with some doing you can almost always find something close enough to get ya by without having to refinance your house.

Speaking of breaking the bank for knitting, I'm still hoping to win the lottery so I can get the two kits off Ebay that I visit daily to drool over. Unfortunately, they're Hanne Falkenberg kits, and they're beautiful, which means that I really don't have any way to justify purchasing these because I wouldn't be giving them to someone else as a gift when I'm done, I'd be keeping them all to myself. /queues greedy knitter cackle.

Like this one...the Scarf. I love the colors, I love the pattern that the stitches make. There isn't much I don't love about this kit except for the price tag. There's just no way I can allow myself a purchase like that unless it lit up or took out my garbage.

Then, the same seller has this nifty little swing jacket which I think is just as terrific, but awful pricey as well. Nevermind owning an $85 scarf...I don't even think I have a jacket in my closet that cost me as much as this kit, lol.

Just shows though, that sometimes it's really inspiring to get out and see what the designers have out there. Sometimes it inspires me to knit, other times it just inspires me to keep on knitting my silly socks until I win the lotto. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Teddy Bear Bread...and stuff


Today I got to spend the morning at Sebastian's school, helping his class make Teddy Bear Bread.

It proved to be an interesting situation, attempting to get a bunch of six and seven year olds to cut and mold their frozen bread dough into something that resembled bears, but in the end it turned out okay. The best part was walking in and having the kids recognize me, and Sebastian was so excited to have me there.

I slept like crap last night, I'm still a little stuffed up from my recent cold and my Afrin slipped over into the Christmas Hell that has become the side of my bed so that didn't really help matters.

Got up today and came downstairs after Phil left for work, to find our blind cat Willee stuck in our Christmas tree. The tree had toppled over and was laying over the top of Darwin's cage, and he wasn't all too thrilled about the whole thing.

I'm not really sure what it was that made a blind cat decide to climb a tree. I know that she has never climbed one before, because when we got her she was just an itty bitty thing that showed up on our doorstep already missing one eye, and shortly after that, despite a bunch of doctors including a ...get this...feline eye specialist, she lost the other one.

Anyway, she managed to get halfway up the tree, knocking down the tree itself and practically every decoration in her path. At first I thought the tree had just fallen over on it's own, because she was in the branches and not meowing or anything...just...hanging there-I didn't even see her. I reached in to grab the base of the trunk, and grabbed fur instead, screamed my head off and almost peed myself before I realized that it was just the cat and not some wild animal about to attack me. Then it took me five minutes just to pry her off the tree.

She's never been afraid of one dog gone thing, and I guess that includes trees. :(

I started wrapping presents today, I have most of Phil's done except for the one that hasn't arrived yet. Tomorrow I start wrapping everything else. Should be one hell of a mess.

Joy.

Really.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Six days...

I'm not really sure what I'm happier about-the fact that there are six days until Christmas, or that there are only six days until Sebastian is on vacation for a week.

I finally have most everything done that needs to be done. Everything I had to mail out has been boxed, covered with a mile of packaging tape, and out the door. Trick is getting it there in time.

Since the lady at our post office hates my guts for making her pay late charges seven years ago for a movie she brought in a month late even after I called her every day to remind her, I leave the post office job to Phil, because he's much more efficient at being an asshole to crazy postal people than I ever could be. I'm learning, but in situations like this, it's always best to trust these matters with the master himself.

I'm finishing up the last thing I need to knit before Christmas...a drawstring bag. They sure turn out nice, but I don't really enjoy doing them back to back because I get bored and I start eyeing other things that I want to get started on. It's my fault really, these little bags were kind of a last minute idea for putting presents in, and with the short amount of time I left myself, I had to make one right after the other. Thankfully I'm only making two, so when this one is done, I can move on to something else that's NOT gift related, and next time I'll remember to space them out so I can make other things in between.

I'll try to get a picture of this one up after it's done.

Took Sebastian to the doctor on Thursday for his cough. Because Phil and I have recently shared a lovely bout of pneumonia, I was pretty worried that Sebastian had it as well. The doctor was sure that it hadn't hit that point yet, but mentioned that his cough was pretty deep so he put him on some fairly aggressive meds just to get rid of it.

Prescription medication and my son generally do not mix. Granted, this is only the second time in his whole life that he's ever had antibiotics, but the first time he had them was last year for an ear infection, and he hated them so much that any meds we put down him would come right back up. This time, because he had THREE different meds to take, I got smart and let him chase each one with YooHoo. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Anyway, he just took his last dose of antibiotics today, and I notice an incredible improvement. Now, if I can just keep him away from the nasty little snot flingers at school, we'll be okay.

We spent this weekend getting our final touches done on family gifts, and it wasn't as bad as it usually is. Usually my first priority for Christmas is Sebastian and getting the gifts for people that need to be mailed out, and everything else is kind of a mad dash for the finish line. This year though I had already gotten a fairly decent start on everything else so the rest was easy. So easy that I'm wondering if I've forgotten something. /sigh

We got our tree yesterday. When Sebastian was born, we decided that we would always wait until after his birthday to do our tree, so there is a definite seperation between the two events. I like it much better this way, and even though Sebastian is at an age where he understands that his birthday and Christmas are two different things, we continue to do our established tree system.

I know people who have their tree up at the crack of dawn the day after Thanksgiving. I suppose this is okay if you go the artificial route, but I don't think in my entire life that I've ever had an artificial tree and I'm not about to start now, so to me, waiting a bit longer means less needles being tracked around the house.

Darwin, our African Grey, he has this Christmas stuff down. He knows when I move him that the tree is coming. As the tree is being brought into the house, he voices his displeasure by swearing at us. Well, either he is displeased, or he associates cussing with Phil trying to get the blasted tree into the stand.

Our Macaw on the other hand, is enjoying only his second Christmas. The tree to him is an incredible thing. I put him in his cage last night so Phil could bring the tree in and the whole time, he sat in there whispering "What's that?" over and over again. We got the tree in the stand, and I let Bumbles back out. "Come on!! Let's go!" he kept yelling as he stood there on his perch with one foot flailing around in the air desperate for someone to pick him up so he could go investigate. I scooped him up and took him over to the tree and he sat there, staring, his eyes pinning as he kept saying "What's that?" followed by an "Oh boy!" He's so much like a little kid, we laughed at him until he cocked his head and laughed back at us.

Sebastian had a birthday party to go to this weekend at the bowling alley. This was his first time bowling, and really I should be shot for not taking him sooner, because I really enjoy bowling. Apparently, he does too, because when it came time to sing happy birthday and eat cake, he refused to leave the lane, lol. When it came time to leave, he cried. We had to bribe him by telling him he could get something while we were out with the Toys R Us gift card he got for his birthday just to get him out the door.

He kept getting annoyed at the other kids who weren't quick to take their turns. The other kids would get side tracked and disappear for long periods of time and he would sit there, fuming because it wasn't his turn. Finally he got so mad that he stood up and started bowling their frames. They didn't notice, and I doubt they would have even cared if they had, but just a fair warning to anyone who ever bowls with my kid: don't make him wait.

I'm off. I have so much to do around here that I don't even know where to start. :)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My son, the snowman murderer.


Funny thing about Christmas. The closer it gets, the more awful my son becomes.

Is it really supposed to work that way? You'd think that with a visit from Santa looming over his head, that he would be a bit more careful about keeping himself in check.

Not yesterday though. Yesterday he was so awful, that he murdered our snowman.

I guess it all started when I got home from dropping him off at the bus stop in the morning. I was FREEZING my ass off. As I began to walk into the house, I realized that part of my problem was likely because the snowman was wearing MY hat and scarf, despite the fact that I had already taken it back once.

So once again, I stole it back and brought it inside to dry, and put it in a safe place where a certain little boy wouldn't find it and put it BACK on the snowman.

Fast forward to 3:00 pm, when I picked my adorable son up from the bus, and he got up the walkway and realized that I had taken my hat back. This did not go over well.

He cried. He screamed. I was like, "what the hell?" Apparently, he decided that by removing the hat, that I was going to hurt the snowman, and when I wouldn't back down, my son decided that he was going to get even with me, and proceeded to go outside and stomp the hell outta poor Frosty. I'd post a post-mortem picture of the poor fellow, but the pictures are just too disturbing for public view.

And I suppose I'm bad too. I'm an accomplice in this whole thing, because I didn't do a dang thing to stop Sebastian. I really didn't think he would go out there and kill his pride and joy, and then figured that if he was actually stupid enough to, then he was going to learn real fast that the only person he was really going to hurt was himself.

He stomped back inside, threw my scarf at me, and said "THERE!! I hope you're happy! Frosty is DEAD!!" I kinda shrugged and said "Well, it wasn't my snowman, it was yours. Do you feel better now?" Which is when he burst into tears, realizing what he had done.

Then let's move on to the Christmas decoration. After frosty bit the big one, I went through Sebastian's back pack and found a lovely bag, that said "To Mom from Sebastiano". It was decorated with snowflakes and a snowman, and closed with a garland wire. I tried to explain to him that it was a present and that we should wait until Christmas before I opened it, but he was so excited that he took it upon himself to open it.

Inside was an adorable snowflake, made out of popsicle sticks and decorated with beads and sparkles, with Sebastian's picture right smack in the middle. I thought it was great...and so did Sebastiano, because he took this time to explain to me that since HIS picture was on it, that it was HIS decoration and not mine, and that he was keeping it. More screaming and crying, and the whole time this is going on, I'm wondering who the hell this kid is that I picked up from the bus stop, because he sure the heck isn't acting like MINE.

It's days like that, that make me stop and wonder why the hell I'm so desperate to have just one more baby. I mean, I must really have a screw loose somewhere, because all it takes is for him to come up to me, cuddle up and tell me that he loves me, and I forget about everything else, even if he's only telling me he loves me because he wants Doritos.

He was up all night coughing and hacking, so maybe all this temper tantrum business is from him being sick again. I swear to god that I'm going to go down to that school and beat the crud out of someone until I feel better about how sick my kid has been and about how much school he's lost, because this is getting a bit ridiculous.

On a side note, he's going to the doctor today. Is it wrong of me to hope that charma will kick in, and maybe the little bugger will get a shot?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Whoa.



Sebastian and I managed to get out of bed and make it to the bus stop in eight minutes flat.

Not sure how we managed to do that since he is soooo slow in the morning, but I guess that's what I get for rolling over and going back to sleep after Phil wakes me up in the morning.

I'm on the verge of a sore throat, too. This means that the three whole weeks of not being sick that I have enjoyed so much are about to end. At the worst possible time too, when I have so much to do.

It's really dog gone cold here, too. Sadly, my hat and scarf have been sitting on the snowman in the front yard, and every time I mention that I need my hat, Sebastian gets upset with me because apparently, the snowman, made of SNOW, needs it more than I do. On my way into the house today, I stole my hat back so it can dry while Sebastian is at school.

Mr. Snowman is just going to have to adapt and deal with it.

Today I'm getting my packages in order with the hopes of getting them mailed out by tomorrow some time.

11 days to go....

gulps.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The countdown begins...


Well, every morning, Sebastian updates his little chalkboard where he's counting down the days until Christmas.

13 days folks!! Let the panic begin!! /cries

So today, I put Sebastian on the bus, hoping he doesn't have to be picked up later on from school.

I asked him at least a dozen times on the way to the bus stop how he felt, until he got annoyed with me and told me to shut up. He said he felt fine, even mentioned as he zipped past me down the road that he had his "hyper speed" back. I guess that's a good thing?

And if for some reason, he does get sick, I decided to at least make it interesting for everyone. He had a big ole bowl of fruit loops for breakfast. /Evil grin

I'm just nervous that he's going to realize that vomit at school=mom picks me up, and I really don't want him to start intentionally doing this just so he could go home.

Went to Wallyworld last night and picked up a bunch of stuff to make Christmas cookies last night. It's probably a bit too ambitious of a project, but I figured that it would be fun for Sebastian to decorate them. He was pretty insistant on making gingerbread men which I really didn't want to do, I'd already picked out a few recipes that I wanted to make and I really didn't want to add more into it, but as luck would have it, Toll House or someone makes pre-packaged gingerbread men in the freezer section, and we just happened to walk by them and notice them.

I was glad to see my favorite blog updated today. If there are any animal lovers out there reading, go check out this blog, and make sure to take the time to sift through her archives (I think they're listed by month on the right hand side somewhere):

http://spaces.msn.com/members/petpeeves6003/

This is a really well done blog by an ER vet, and from time to time she will post about the animals that come in that she works on. I like this blog because it's clear that she's someone who enjoys her work and you can tell that she puts a lot of herself into every animal that walks in, because when something turns out well, you get a sense of relief, and when she loses a patient, you can tell that it breaks her heart. This is really a very real perspective, with the good, the bad and the ugly, and I appreciate that she doesn't sugar coat or make anything pretty and fluffy because I think it helps pet owners understand where their vets come from when they deal with pets.

All my life, all I really wanted to be was a vet, but the more I really think about it, the more I doubt that I could have ever handled the emotional aspect of not being able to save an animal, let alone dealing with the owners of the pets who pass away. I really don't think that telling someone that their pet is too sick to save or that it has died ever gets any easier, and I'm not really sure that it's too professional to have a doctor or vet tech out there sobbing with the pet owners. No matter how sick an animal is, I think there will always be this sense of never doing enough or that you've let the people down somehow, even though you know you have done everything you can, and I'm the kind of person who sees an animal and loves it instantly, and I don't think that I could cope with not being able to make it better again.

Last month, when she had to put her own dog to sleep, I read her blog and cried. I guess the fact that I had lost my cat recently didn't help, but I think that putting myself in her shoes where she was a vet that couldn't do anything to save her own pet really made me sad.

Anyway, I check this particular blog on a daily basis hoping for updates.

I have a lot to do today, and I am cautiously camping my phone, just in case the school calls...

Nic

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Birthday boy...

Not sure what the heck is going on but blogger wouldn't add this photo to my post below without wiping out my side menu.

I'll show them! ><

Party's over!!

Well, the party was a success, and Sebastian had a terrific time.

The people at the party pretty much did everything, so we basically sat back, ate pizza, and took pictures. They put all the gifts in a bag for us to take home which was kind of nice, the only thing I didn't like about that is that 3 gifts got seperated from their cards, and I can't figure out which gift goes to which card for sending out Thank-you's, and I'm not quite sure what to do about that.

We had about 12 kids there and most of their parents came along with them, so our party room was pretty full. The kids played hard, by the time we moved into the party room they were red faced and sweaty. One mom, as she was taking her son home, commented that her son was exhausted, and told me that because of that, she should pay me lol.The end result is a ton of pictures and one of my dorky movies, and I'm putting a lot of them up and you're all going to be forced to endure them. :)

Sebastian blowing out his candles

Anyway, we finished up at the party, went to Phil's moms to do birthday presents for her, Phil and Seb since they all had birthdays this week, and then headed home. You'd think that Sebastian would be dead tired after a day like that, but he was going a million miles an hour. We let him stay up late since we got home late and he didn't get to open his gifts from his friends until we got home, so he was opening boxes and playing with things, and he knew Grandpa was going to be calling him back which gave him another reason to keep chuggin, but by 1 am est, he was still making excuses for why he needed to keep getting out of bed.

We finally got him to bed. I had one well-deserved glass of wine and decided I wasn't going to be up much longer, so I went in to check on him and he was passed out in his bed. The only reason I knew he was in there was because I could see a foot sticking out and one hand clutching the RC submarine my dad sent him...everything else was buried in the mountain of gifts he received. I could hear him snoring so I knew he was still alive under there, so I tiptoed out and shut the door behind me and crawled into bed.

Anyway, it was a great party and it was fun to see him running around with his friends. I wanted it to be a really great party for him and I think that mission was definitely accomplished.Enjoy the pictures :)

Barney.


Well, Sebastian had a choice of a visit from 3 characters. A dalmation dog, Elmo, or Barney. He chose Barney, which kind of suprised me but what the heck, it's his birthday.

It was kind of cute because we had one mom there who had a three year old in addition to her daughter that's in Sebs class, and instead of having her find a sitter for the youngest or having to just drop her oldest off, I just added the little one to the guest list so her mom didn't have to pay to get her in and so they could all come in together, and when Barney walked in this little girl was absolutely out of her mind over it.

In the party room..






The party room was really nice, there was plenty of room for all the kids and the parents. We ordered a couple extra pizzas and some extra pitchers of soda so the parents could sit down and have something to eat, as well, and that worked out great since there were chairs lined up along the walls in the room so everyone could sit down.

I know myself, when Sebastian gets a party invitation, I really never know if we're supposed to drop him off or accompany him, so I made it clear in the invitations that the parents were welcome to hang out. I saw a few dads out there playing video games so it's kind of questionable as to who enjoyed themselves more...the kids or the parents. :)

More pictures from the party...




Friday, December 09, 2005

Can't find a post or picture?

My mother just called me having a cow because she can't pull up our November Thanksgiving pictures.

If there's something you're looking for that you've noticed is no longer on this first page, then look to the right side bottom menu, and you'll find an archive, where every post I have ever made (and their pictures too, Mom ) will be organized by month.

They're all there.

Honest.

White stuff....everywhere.


Well, school got cancelled today. They would have had to have been really stupid to send kids off to school on a day like this, but I wouldn't have put it past them.

This made for a pretty nice day of rolling around in the snow, building snowmen and gathering accessories for them, and snowball fights....and let's not forget about the hot cocoa.

I have a lot to do tonight before Sebastiano's party tomorrow, but I wanted to get these pictures up before I started to receive threatening phone calls from certain people in the Florida area.

More pics tomorrow, if I survive the party. /flinches

Snow pictures...





What the Hell?

I was just browsing thru the news, and ran across this article about a kid who got suspended from school for speaking Spanish.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10372148/

It seems so odd to me that, in a country that supposedly embraces the customs and languages of others, and where Spanish is the most commonly taught foreign language in school, that some poor kid can get suspended for using his first language in the hallways with his friend.

Repeat after me:

Lawsuit.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Lovely.

K, so the flurries are starting to fall. According to this link, by tomorrow afternoon we're supposed to have up to 8 inches of white CRAP.

http://ww2.instaweather.com/wnbc/default.asp?cid=90&id=HOPTA&obs=full

See, back home, we'd get like, an inch of snow and school would be cancelled, people would stay home from work and the end of the world would be declared as the news would cover the tragic blizzard.

Here, we get a foot of snow and everything proceeds as normal. This, my friends, is not always a good thing, because brave drivers do not necessarily equal intelligent ones. If you catch my drift.

I would really be happy actually, if school is closed tomorrow, because I'm a tad bit concerned about putting Sebastian on a bus only to have the school nurse call me two hours later to pick him up. He says he feels fine. But he said he felt fine on Tuesday, too.

My little bug is awfully low to the ground. If I were stupid enough to try to get anywhere in the snow, I'd probably get half a block before I'd be pushing the snow...unless there has been a miracle and a plow has been by.

And if that's the case, I'll have to unbury my car, and then dig a path out behind my car because the jerks like to push a giant wall of snow right up to the edge of our driveway.

Then we have to consider the fact that I don't do snow. Yes. I am an absolute complete and total weenie when it comes to driving in the snow. Even walking gracefully in snow is a difficult task for me-someone always gets hurt. Let's hope there's a ton of snow on the ground in the morning, and a ton falling from the sky, and that someone from the school board is as big of a wuss as I am.

In my religion (my very own religion that I made up and that changes daily to suit my needs) snow is something that is best for sitting inside and looking at with a cup of hot cocoa in your hands.

If the rat bastards don't cancel school, I might just call em up and tell em that Seb won't be in school because we're observing a religious holiday.

:(

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sigh.


K. Well, I picked Seb up from school on Thursday, because he barfed at school. He was sick Thursday night, fine all day Friday when I kept him home from school, fine Saturday, fine Sunday. He went to school on Monday. Tuesday, the nurse calls me to let me know he's sick.

Again.

What the hell is going on? I guess he went to school on Monday, and got this stomach crap again? I know he has *something* because I have a touch of it, too.

I hate having him miss school, but I feel like a shit thinking he's okay and sending him only to have to pick him up later. I wonder what the school policy is before they start yelling at me for how many days he's missed school. Obviously the school nurse knows that he's legitimately sick, she told me herself that she was with him when he got sick.

And here his party is coming on Saturday. Yikes, I hope whatever this is goes away before then, because we've actually had 12 kids RSVP now. He's sleeping quietly, hasn't been sick now since after the lunch he had when I brought him home today, but apparently that doesn't mean shit since he can be fine one day, sick the next.

Grumbles.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tuesday


Today, I lack the creativity to think of any other name for todays post aside from what day of the week it is.

The picture in today's post is of a book I got recently. It's a terrific book, with beautiful photos. The only thing I hate about this book is that they've organized the patterns into time-lines, to give the knitter an idea of how long each project will take, and the time-lines are incredibly unreasonable.

I'm hell bent on bringing back the 80's. Also as a kid, when I was in ballet, there was nothing in the world I wanted more than a pair of pink fuzzy leg warmers. So this was the pattern I decided to do first. In the book, this pattern falls into the 2-4 hour category...and I'm sure this is totally possible, if you're a freaking octopus. It's a simple k-1 p-1 rib on a circular. Fast, easy and semi mind-numbing. It's been like, 5 days and I'm still on the first legwarmer with about 12 more inches to go. Think I'm gonna take a break and make a sock or something.

It's a great book with terrific patterns, but if anyone picks this book up, don't take the time frames literally, unless you have a minimum of three pairs of hands.

Today is Phil's birthday, and he was home most of the day because he got to sit in line first thing this morning at the lab and wait for his tests to be done. With our lab, it's first come, first serve...you can be there fifteen minutes, or you can be there for three hours, so he ended up having to take the day off because there was no way he could give a concrete time at work as to when he would be available.

Because he was home, my brilliant idea of the suprise birthday cake kinda went out the window. Ah well.

Although Sebastian was fine yesterday, he managed to get up at 4 this morning and get sick. Not really sure what the hell that's about, but he ended up staying home from school today. I hate having him miss school.

My quest to get people to RSVP seems to be working out okay. We are now up to 11 kids attending, which is almost double the numbers I had yesterday morning.

Turns out, some people don't know what R.S.V.P. means. I made my very first call yesterday, identified myself and I said "I'd noticed that you hadn't RSVP'd yet for Sebastian's party, and I was just calling to touch base with you to see if could attend so I can provide the facility with an accurate headcount."

The mother replied, "What do you mean when you say "RSVP?"

I was like, hrm.

I said, "RSVP is a phrase used in invitations so people who are invited know that the hostess needs a response as to whether or not you will attend."

"But what does RSVP mean?" she asked.

I went on to gently explain to her that it was actually a French phrase that means “Repondez S'il Vous Plait” which means "Please respond."

"Oh." she said. "I ain't never taken no French."

This is the part where I bite my tongue and stab myself with the nearest knitting needle so I don't accidentally call her an asstard, because apparently she ain't never taken no English, either.

Then as I suspected, there was one father who decided that by not RSVPing, he was psychically beaming to me the fact that his daughter would be attending....and then there was the mother who decided that by not calling me, she was letting me know that her son couldn't come because they were having company in from out of town that weekend.

I have learned a valuable lesson because of this. The next time I send out invitations, I won't use the phrase "RSVP". Instead, I will simply ask them to call me to let me know either way as to whether or not they will be attending, so folks don't have to enroll themselves in an ettiquette class, a French class or even an English class in order to understand my invitation.

Oh, well.

Monday, December 05, 2005

R.S.V.P.= Respond, Motherf*ckers!!

Irritation has set in.

I sent out 20 invitations for Sebastian's birthday party a week ago, and so far 7 people have bothered to call and RSVP, with only one that can't attend so far.

I understand that it's a busy time of the year, but these people should have been raised by my mother who taught me what RSVP meant before I was like, two years old, because I am actually wondering if people even know what RSVP even means anymore.

So here I am. My guest list was due Saturday. The party is now FIVE days away, and I don't know what size of a cake to have Phil's mom get. I don't know how many goody bags to finish. Sebastian is getting worried that not many will be attending his very first birthday bash, and maybe that's the most irritating factor of all, to have a kid who is finally brave enough to have a party and no one calls.

I have 13 people who haven't called, and it leaves me wondering what this means. Are they just too busy to pick up the phone? Have they forgotten? Am I supposed to assume that if they don't call, they won't attend? Or is it the other way around...does no phone call mean to expect them?

And the irony is, they haven't bothered to call, and I'm wondering if THEY would consider ME rude if I were to pick up the phone and call them. I'm really going to be left with no choice, because I'm not Miss Cleo, I don't have a crystal ball, and I have a lot to do still that I need a semi-accurate head count to accomplish.

On top of that, I have to write a script to follow for when I call these people, just so I don't get off track and get rude, snippy or bitchy with them.

Medic!!!

So. Thursday morning I get a call from the school nurse at Sebastians school, calling to inform me that my son has vomited at school.

I run down to pick him up, get into the nurses office to find him sitting there. He looked alright, he felt alright...I turned to the nurse and I asked what happened. She told me that there was a stomach virus going around, and gestured to the corner behind me where I saw a bunch of kids laying there apparently sick from the same thing, because she referred to them as her "victims". She opened a drawer where she had a full stock of plastic bags, handed me a bunch of napkins for the ride home, and sent us on our way.

I almost wondered if maybe something had upset him while he was at school prompting him to get sick, because he had seemed fine just two hours before, and all the way home, he was listing out what he wanted for lunch since he was so hungry.

Turns out I was wrong. This ended up being Sebastians first experience with the stomach flu, the poor kid couldn't keep anything up or in, had a horrible tummy ache, and I had to rock him to sleep Thursday night for the first time in about four years. Fortunately by Friday night, he was just fine.

Then, Friday night/early Saturday morning, Phil told me that his chest felt tight and uncomfortable, and that he was having a hard time breathing off and on. Phil saying anything at all about being uncomfortable is generally a sign that something significant is going on, so I went into panic mode, made everyone get dressed, and went to the Emergency room.

Four hours of heart monitoring, IV fluids and chest x-rays later, and we discover that he's got pneumonia. It kind of made sense, I suppose he probably got it from me from when I tried to bite the dust from one of the lovely things Sebastian brought home, and I was actually kind of relieved about it, because I was really quite terrified sitting there thinking of all of the things that could possibly go wrong. He's on some monster antibiotics and should be on the mend.

Saturday night we decided to get to the mall to see Santa before the real Santa rush kicked in. I decided that instead of paying sitting fees at Sears for them to do our Christmas cards, and then waiting for them to get done, that it made much more sense to kill two birds with one stone and just get Santa cards done.

Dressed Sebastian up in his Christmas outfit. He doesn't dress up very often, and on this particular night he was right impressed with himself. We had to peel him away from the mirror to get him out the door. By the time we hit Starbucks and got in line, Santa appeared to be finishing up a break, but even so, the line wasn't bad at all.

It was a different Santa than the one we had seen in the last six or seven years, but he was cool just the same. He impressed Sebastian by making a big deal about how he almost didn't recognize him because he had grown so much, and then asked Sebastian what he wanted for Christmas, where Sebastian proceeded to rattle off two toys that he had never mentioned to me ever before in his entire life. Santa's big voice boomed as he repeated the items back to Seb loud and clear, and all I could think of was "what the hell are these toys", and "why couldn't he have come up with these toys BEFORE I finished shopping for him..."

Then, we hit the new Target (in this house we pronounce it "Tar-jay") to pick up some new holiday decorations. We have never really purchased decorations before...everything we have decor-wise are things that Phil's mom passed down to us or that we received as gifts. We've never done lights outside or anything like that, partly because we don't have an outlet outside, and we've just never gotten around to putting one in, and partly because we've just never really thought about lights and such. I pretty much slap a wreath on the door and we're good to go.

That wasn't going to fly with Sebastian this year, so we picked up a couple light displays to put in the windows and some garland for our stairs, some new balls for the tree, and a new tree skirt for the cats to rip up. I always enjoy putting decorations up. I hate having to take the shit down.

I'm off!!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas Hell has begun. Warning: my holiday rant.



The only thing I really like about Christmas, is the day after Christmas. So begins our holiday timeline from Hell.

Starting the day after Thanksgiving and for an entire month after that, I stress out about what to get someone, whether I should order it online or go out and elbow my way through the mall to try to find it, whether I can get it in time, and whether or not I can get it mailed out in time to arrive for the holidays.

On top of that, we have to consider Holiday pictures for Sebastiano, decorations, and Christmas cards. Let's not forget about the handful of birthdays that happen right around Christmas, including Sebastians. Then we have school activities that I've volunteered to help with.

I hate Christmas cards. Am I the only person who detests sending these out every year? Are there really people out there who find joy in sitting down and filling these out? I mean, I don't even know where my address book is let alone if it's up to date. Before I met Phil, I never sent out one Christmas card. Once you get married and have a kid though, your Christmas Card Obligation Factor goes sky high.

Then let's talk about toys. This year, our son is really only insistant on maybe two toys for Christmas. Usually, that's easy. I go online the morning after Thanksgiving and order 'em, and they are here in just a couple days.

Unfortunately though, everyone else, their brother, and their dogs have all started ordering online. For me, this meant that the Shell Shocker (see above) and the other thing that Sebastian wanted, was sold out by the time I got online the morning after Thanksgiving. Everywhere. Well, except for Ebay. Ebay is partly to blame, too. All these people buy hundreds of these toys which contributes to why everything is sold out, then they jack the price up, and put them up to sell. And the sellers, they tout their items as being "Sold out everywhere!" and then you look in their inventory and find out that these assholes have 200+ of these items for sale, and you understand WHY they're sold out everywhere and only available on Ebay for $30+ more than they were retail. The worst thing is, I go to every online retailer I can find to see if they will have this silly toy in stock before the holidays, and when I find out that there is a slim or zero chance, in the end I resort to going to Ebay and coughing up the extra money after all. :(

Let's move on to Christmas eve. Let's just assume that you survive mailing out your Christmas cards, picking out the perfect gifts, wrapping 'em, mailing 'em etc. Now you have to wait for Santa to arrive.

This means checking his progress on the NORAD site. In our house, Sebastian basically sits at the computer all night and hits "refresh" over and over again like a crazed fanatic, eyes glazed over, just clicking and clicking.

There is no such thing as "bedtime" on Christmas Eve. Sure, you can put the little booger to bed, but he isn't going to sleep. Phil and I sit downstairs waiting for Santa to come, while listening to our son thumping around in his room. Generally speaking, he's pretty good about staying in there once you put him in there, but you always run the chance of some creatively made up excuse that he might use to LEAVE his room. You can go upstairs and beg, plead, yell and threaten Santa passing our house by, but this is all pointless and ineffective, and in the end you have the clock striking 4am with two pissy parents, powerless, tired, and desperate enough to consider drugs (for me, not my kid!) or nailing certain doors shut for the evening.

Finally, Santa comes. We trudge off to bed as the sun is coming up, being careful to boobey-trap doors so Sebastian doesn't sneak downstairs before waking us up because after all, the joy of Christmas is seeing the look on your kids face as they see the tree in the morning.

Approximately one hour and 45 minutes after my head hits the pillow, we are jolted awake by a wide-eyed, hyper, bouncing child furiously whispering "mommy? mommy? MOMMY?" If we ignore him (and we make a half-assed attempt to do so) he will climb into bed with us and start shaking us until we are left with no other option than to get out of bed.

Not without revenge, though. I send Phil down to make coffee and verify that Santa has indeed stopped by our house, and Sebastian is forced to suffer and wait until we have completed our first cup before we make our way downstairs. Now to those of you who might consider this "Cruel and Unusual Christmas Morning Behavior", let me just tell you that my siblings and I had to wait for my mom and my step-dad to polish off an entire CARAFE of coffee before we could go downstairs Christmas morning...so my son has it easy.

Then, whoever has been nominated to handle the video camera, has to make it downstairs before he does, to capture the moment.

Thus begins a sleep-deprived day of holiday and joy followed by a full week of attempting to recover.

Really, I'm not as negative and hateful during the holidays as this post probably leads you to believe I am, because by Christmas Eve I've pretty much been beaten into submission and I just go with the flow.

That's all, folks!