Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review - 2009


We made it through another year.

Glad that's over.

Seriously though, the past year seems to have flown by and gets added to the list of eventful years in the life of the Griswalds.

A brief recap, if you will.

January - The Monkey turned TWO! What a joyous and happy event that was.

February - A road trip to Arizona to celelbrate Ross' Grandma Bea's 80th birthday. It was wonderful to catch up with family and go to the zoo.

March - Another road trip - this one to the butt crack of civilization - Casper, Wyoming. Sorry folks who live in Casper, but man, time to spruce that city up and get rid of the terdlets under the bugs bunny statue.

April - Lots of basketball watching and turning my boy into a gym rat. Thanks Uncle Willie for giving us something to do. And, we planted our first ever garden. Big Mistake!

May - Ross and Annie a year older and welcoming Chicker to the world.

June - Adjusting to two kids - yikes! Glad we survived.

July - Swimming, summer fun and Shavy Jones. I'll never get tired of shaved ice.

August - Trips to the zoo and the end (sniff) of summer. I went back to work and boy oh boy, was I in for more than I bargained for. It was such a shock, I got my hair dyed brown...what has become my natural color. Bye, bye blond.

September - Cousin Maddie starts to help with the boys and the Monkey gets toilet trained. Yeah! Pull weeds in our garden, I mean weed patch.

October - Halloween - ick. Ross and I realize that our lifetime goal of avoiding all holidays has evaporated and we are now stuck.

November - Visits from Isaac and his mom and dad for Thanksgiving....lots of fun time hanging out with family and figuring out how to play indoors all the time because it's so cold outsisde. Harvest the garden of weeds. We failed miserably at that one.

December - The Chicker's first Christmas - and he learned to crawl. Lots of toys, merriment, and love from our families. Thanks MK for all the help.

The new year that is only hours away promises to be a great one. We'll try to be brave and travel a bit, sell more shaved ice, celebrate more birthdays and anniversaries, and enjoy the time we've got together as a family.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

15 years ago today...

IMGP6535 brother was born.

The biggest shock to my almost 17 year old life and the greatest adventure ever.

I love my brother. I remember walking into the hospital room right after he was born as vividly as I remember the birth of my own two kids. I always will.

After one of his basketball games this season, he rode home with me and the boys. As we were walking out of the school he said to me, "You realize that all these people probably think you're my mom."

Yes Willie, I know. People have always thought that I'm your mom and then always will.

And guess what - that's perfectly okay with me.

Meow, Meow Daniel Tiger!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A major holiday with the Griswald's wouldn't be complete without water leaking somewhere!

Christmas Day

We had a wonderful Christmas. Thank you sooooooooo much to our wonderful family for sharing such a great and exhausting day with us.

Of course, the person who least likes Christmas, me, was the first one up on Christmas morning. I think that I just wanted to get the show on the road, the day started, and be on our way. The sooner we entered into chaos land, the sooner we'd come home to the mess we created.

Chicker woke up at 8 and the two of us decided it was our duty to wake up the older brother. We did. It took him a minute to figure things out, then we headed to the basement to assess the Christmas delight. Ross and I didn't do a very good job of explaining good old Saint Nick to the kid however because all day long, whenever he was asked, "Did Santa Claus come to your house?" he promptly replied, "Not yet!" with emphasis. However, when asked, "Did you get presents this morning?" he emphatically and frantically replied, "Yes!" and started to list off his pirate booty...most importantly a baseball bat and ball.


We left home and headed to my parents house for a great morning of opening gifts, a delicious breakfast (thanks mom) that left us all stuffed, and then some awesome lounging around. I had a great nap on the floor and didn't even mess up my hair. Thanks for loaning me the spongebob pillow, Willie. By mid afternoon, both of the boys were entering Jekyll/Hyde meltdown modes, but we packed up and trucked over to my grandma's house for even more gifts, food, and merriment.


My grandparents are amazing. They can't walk so good, breathe so good, or hear all that well, among other things, but they are two of the kindest, most generous people I know. My grandma spends half a year shopping for about 53 people comprising about 13 families. Her gifts are always thoughtful, beautiful, and specific to each individual family member. I love my grandparents, and my parents more than I can ever express in words - I cannot even generate the thoughts I need to think up the words. I do know one thing - my grandma has the softest hands I've ever touched and I love it.



The day was a whirlwind of paper and ribbons and bows and toys and laughter and joy. On the ride home we had two sleepy boys that we were hoping would settle in for a long winters nap.


As soon as the car was in the garage, the boys were up and ready for action; toys, hungry hungry hippos and.....

Chicker figured out how to crawl.

On Christmas Day!

He's crawling everywhere and grabbing all his brothers toys. This leads the brother to take the toy away, yell, and then push the baby brother over, for good measure.

And, in our family, what major holiday would be complete with out a little bit of water damage?

After our long day, we were finally home to play - the boys in the basement and me in the family room sorting and organizing and making piles. I carried clothes upstairs and had to use the bathroom. The toilet I selected was a bit low on water, leading me to the conclusion that it was plugged. I flushed for good measure - it was plugged alright - and went downstairs to identify the culprit and order him to fix things promptly.

To make a long story short - the plugging, and the flushing led to overflowing.....lots of overflowing of lots of brown, stinky water. And what does a good toilet over flow on a carpeted floor from a toilet with a crack in it get you?

Why, toilet water leaking through the ceiling in two spots right into your living room, that's what.


And a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Get the flash player here:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas - see you next year!


My challenge to myself is to not blog again until after Christmas. Or maybe even, until the new year.

Shutting down.

Turning off.

Tuning out.

I want to spend time with my family and not worry about the internets.

I wish you a happy holiday.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

When you're in my heart, your in my family

Oh, how we love this song in our house. Have you heard it? We sing it all the time.

It might be our theme song.

Last night, we had a family party.

There are lots of babies. I love babies.

There are three babies all the same age, each one month apart from each other.

thee months, three babies

This picture was of the babies on the 4th of July, they were all new and still tiny and squishy.


Here are those same babies now. Growing up, getting cuter by the day.

Friday, December 18, 2009

My own little rebellion

I didn't wear a watch today. I only looked at my naked wrist maybe half a dozen times.

My children were happy and well behaved today. The had naps. When they wanted not when the watch told me.

It's dark now and bed time is looming. I'll be going to bed early, without looking at a clock.

For me, that's a pretty liberating feeling.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's about time

So It's a week before Christmas and we finally have a tree. We've been trying to get one for about a week and the two grumpy children in our house have dashed the plans every single night.

On Tuesday night we finally gave up and just bought a tree at the grocery store as part of our regular weekly shopping. I gave up total control and let the boys pick it out. It isn't the Charlie Brown tree that I lovingly appreciate every year, but it will do.

This morning, we decorated.


I guess now it's actually beginning to feel like Christmas.

That, and the fact that I've spent 10 wonderful hours wrapping Christmas presents for my grandma. I look forward to wrapping week every single year and have managed to work my fingers off in a few days this week. Oh, how I love to wrap. I really do. It's cathartic for me, I think. All I need is a diet coke, some presents to wrap, and a xanex. Those three things together really hit the spot. It's like being on a beach.

Really. I'm serious. I like to wrap that much.


Monday, December 14, 2009

My Gift Guide, 2009

In the last few weeks at work, I've been called upon to help create a presentation titled, "Holiday Gift Guide, 2009". I've now done the presentation twice and figured that I'd share the websites, or at least some of the websites, with you, my humble blog followers.

All 10 of you.

Really? There are a whole 10 of you?


Here it is, enjoy (oh, none of the blog links are active, because I'm too lazy to really do the linking. Just copy/paste if you want to look.) – give a gift playlist to someone you love, like an old fashioned mix tape. – gift subscriptions – handmade gifts for everyone – get your design on a t-shirt – put your favorite tweet on a t-shirt – flip digital video cameras – iphone, ipod, itunes, computers – skins (covers/protectors) for all your electronic devices – toys for your kids – personal energy generator – eco friendly, bio-degradable pens – all natural body products that support women of Kenya – eco friendly arts and crafts products for kids – photo books, photo cards, calendars – photo books with lots of great themes – sell you book as well as get it printed – personalized printing – greeting cards, cards for events, etc. – connect to your flickr account and print business cards, note cards, etc with your own images – personalized printing – you want it printed, they’ll do it and usually at a discount – personalized word clouds – new tool for making videos online – free accounts for teachers – pro show gold software that lets you make fantastic slideshows – great camera stuff and ideas for your pictures

This year for Christmas, Ross and I decided to set a price limit and purchase our own gifts - stuff we really wanted or needed, with out having to bother telling the other person. It worked out well. I've wrapped a few of those items so we have something to open "from each other" on Christmas morning with the kids. Corny, yes, but I'm really excited about it.

My favorite gift to myself this year came from here:
I got myself one of these, with each of my boys initials and a super long chain so I don't choke.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

True love

Just a little while ago my husband told me that if the price was right, he'd sell me into slavery because I've proven that I can birth sons.

If that isn't true love I just don't know what is.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Squirt:: 7 months


Last night your dad and I went out without you and your brother. We talked about how quickly time is flying by, and that we're getting old. Your dad said that he feels like he's already got one foot in the grave (I promise, he was just being dramatic.) and that you and your brother are growing up so fast it feels like time is just blowing past us like a tumbleweed.

Except, it isn't. Sometimes time feels like it's going to fast, but right now time is moving perfectly for me and today you are 7 months old. I vividly remember the day you were born, as I'm sure I will for the rest of forever but I am also so excited that you are growing up. I've been thinking all day about what to write and I'm not really sure. You are such a special boy and I love you so much.


This past month, it seems that pretty much everyone, including your grandmas, has taken to calling you Chicker, or the Chick, or Chickie. You'll be a grown man and that nick name will probably stick with you for the rest of your life. I'm sorry about that, but sometimes that's just the way things go.

In the last few weeks you've made lots of great progress. You want to crawl, and have figured out the backwards scoot; you can pull yourself up onto almost anything that is standing still and you even think that you can walk when we hold your hands. I'm amazed at how well your motor skills are developing. You're light years ahead of your brother at this age.

You're eating #2 foods, think bottles are stupid except in the middle of the night, and are starting to figure out a sippy cup. Just the other day I gave your hair a trim - the third trim since you were born. Your hair is crazy by the way. It stands up straight on one side and lies flat on the other, just like mine.


When you were a tiny baby that just nestled into my shoulder every night I was convinced that you would be the sweetest most unassuming and calm little guy in the whole world. I think that in that regard, I was way of the mark. You, my little boy, have a wild and determined streak in you. Those hawk eyes of yours, I'm afraid, may be designed for mischief - and stitches and emergency room visits and maybe even bugs...something your brother and I are not looking forward to.

You love to be the center of attention - and scream at the top of your lungs when you aren't. The other night your dad was saying the prayer at dinner and as we all bowed our heads you started to scream. Then, that crazy brother of yours screamed back at you. Then you screamed. Then he screamed. The prayer never really got finished that night because your dad and I were laughing to the point of tears at the comedy unfolding before us.


That's right kid - you love your brother. And he luckily loves you back. The dynamic between the two of you is, well, dynamic. I know that you'll have your rough patches as brothers probably tend to do, but you two will be the best of friends. I can see it as you watch him, and in the way that the Monkey plays with you.

I guess for me, as your mama, the last month has been my favorite not only because of who you are and the amazing personality your developing, but because you're my little chubby wubby. I think I spend hours a day squeezing your legs, kissing your cheeks, and holding your ankle-less feet in my hands. There is no way that a picture can document how wonderfully squeezable you are - trust me, I've been trying. I know that you're going to follow in your brother's foot steps and that soon, this wonderful chubbiness will be gone. I long for it to stay - but it's okay.



I've got plenty of pictures of you in the bathtub to remind me of just how squishy you were.


I love you Chicker! And so does everyone else, probably in the whole wide world.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My other boy friday - Proud of the big iggy


Yesterday was an important day.

The big ninth grade star of the basketball team, my brother, faced off in his first ever non junior jazz tournament game against a six foot eight center. The opponent may have been taller, but definitely not better than my brother with with his sweet pump fake and reverse cross over moves.

I'm always impressed with the moves.

Man - where does he get those from? Why me, of course. (Right Willie?)

After a tough game with traditionally poor oficiating and guards who forgot they were on a team, we lost by 13 - the amount of free throws the guards missed.

My brother though? He played his heart out and was definitely the best athlete and team player on the court.

He didn't get the ball much, but when he did, he made things happen.

And, perhaps most important in my book, that brother of mine went eight for eight from the line.

He shot 100% under pressure. With an obnoxiouus crowd of junior high twerps and grumpy parents screaming at him.

He was cool, calm, and collected on the line.

Total awesome-ness.

We're proud of you Uncle Willie!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

growing up

My sweet baby Monkey isn't a baby anymore. He'll be three years old in about six and a half weeks.


I cannot beleive it. Lately, after a busy day of question after question about the weather, the tv, the baby brother, and the diets of dinosaurs I often find myself at a computer after the boy has gone to bed looking at baby pictures and old videos. I'm shocked at how quickly he is growing up.

Though we have our daily battles - I think we're too much alike for our own good - I love this little boy more than anything in the world. He is my boy through and through and I wouldn't change anything for one minute.

I love the funny things he says, the crazy dances, and the brilliant mind. Oh this kid is so smart I tell you! It just makes me grin from ear to ear.

So does the fact that he calls marshmallows, smashmellows; tennis raquets, tennis rackakets; his blankets, his blanklets; and a rhinocerous a rhineroserous.

This is my boy last summer. Can you beleive it?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

An Acessory

Last night we went to an event. It was an event where men rule.

Luckily we weren't there very long. I felt like my husband's purse the entire evening.

His very large acessory. The large acessory that bothered to try and look nice, like patent leather, just to carry the diapers and popcorn and be set down when it gets in the way.

You see, in a world where "men rule" the wives are usually trophies - they are there to look nice and speak when spoken to. They are introduced, "This is my wife..." and then vicarously excused. It seems to be assumed that they all stay home with the children and spend thier days in the lap of laundry luxury - that they don't think or talk or have jobs and interests.

It's just one of those things. No changing the system. But it really bugs me.

And just for the record, I don't enjoy being the handbag.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Getting into the spirit - just a little bit

My Christmas cards are addressed and sealed - just waiting for festive stamps.

My shopping is COMPLETELY finished except for three gifts. That's like, 98% done.

My boys and I pulled out our measly supply of holiday decorations on NOVEMBER 30 (i'm okay with measly, we don't have the storage space) and decorated our living room with our Charlie brown tree, nativity, and a few other odds and ends.

The Monkey has a light up snowman in his window. We put it up last night and then walked out into the street in the bitter cold to take a look and giggle with excitement.

I bought my Monkey a 2ft tree (Can't beat $7 at Target) and it's decorating his dresser.

We made a paper Christmas countdown chain - but the kid hasn't quite grasped the concept yet.

We might get a tree this weekend and I can hardly wait to wrap some presents. I'll wrap yours for you, if you want me to.

point is?

I'm trying this year to really be excited and have a little SPIRIT.

Now, if only we could get our dad on board....then it might be a festive holiday for sure.


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