Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

Corbin is sleeping in and I am savoring the quiet and enjoying a cup of coffee before the craziness sets in. When he gets up, we will be making Christmas cookies that we somehow haven't gotten around to cooking, running to the cleaners to pick up my comforter (spaghettios + kid with stomach flu + white down comforter = Mom silently cursing the world), packing up presents and clothes to go hang out at my parents all day. We will go to 10 p.m. mass at Corbin's school because his class gets to help present the lamb and the baby Jesus. We used to go to midnight mass each year, but since all of the kids have been born, we have gone to a 6 p.m. Christmas Eve mass at my parents' church. So it will be interesting to see how the kids hold up. Sometime, I need to help Santa wrap his presents. Although, as I told someone yesterday, with the way Corbin was acting, Santa might just flip us the bird and fly on by tonight. Corbin had been up late the night before and woken up too early so he was a major crab. I hope he sleeps in for a while this morning so that he is well rested for this evening. Darn, he just woke up. So much for that theory.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Funny Mikey

My nephew, Michael, is five and cracks me up. A couple of months ago, I was playing Scrabble with Carson (my niece) and Corbin, and Mike was laying on the couch, watching Transformers. It was the beginning of the movie, when the transformer blows up a military base, and we had the following conversation:

Mike: What the HELL just happened?
Me: What did you say?
Mike (suddenly shy): Um, I said 'what the hell'.
Me: You know, you really shouldn't say that word.
Mike: O.K.
Me: You should maybe say "what the heck" instead.
Mike: Oh, I'm not allowed to say that.

He is always hilarious to watch open presents. Last year, the first gift he opened on Christmas Eve was from my parents. They'd gotten each grandchild an outfit and a toy. He opened the outfit first and burst into tears, yelling "I got clothes!" He was so someone stuck an empty package of candy.

Birthdays can always be interesting too. When he was three, he chose the moment of opening gifts to start using the phrase, "What the...?!" He never completed the sentence, but said that as he unwrapped each present. Of course, it is hard to hold in laughter but all that does it make it worse. My sister still has no idea where he learned that. At his fifth birthday in August I got him some Star Wars action figures and a lite saber, and when he opened it, he exclaimed, "Oh no." Kind of like "Oh no you di'nt." You can't make this stuff up.

In other fun boy stuff, Corbin thinks it is hilarious to fart on me or right by me. We went through that a few years ago. I would probably be traumatized, except I grew up with a brother who would come over and fart directly on my head when we were younger (although he was too old to be doing that). What can you do but roll your eyes and tell him to knock it off. If he doesn't get a reaction, he moves on.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's next?

2008 can officially go eff itself. My cousin, who is one of my best friends, just called to tell me that her husband has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

This would be a traumatic experience for anyone, but my cousin lost her mother to cancer five years ago. My aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. She had a double mastectomy and chemo and was declared cancer free. Seven years after that, she found out that the cancer had returned in her spine. She went through treatment for four years. Bone cancer is not something that you can cure, but they would treat it to keep it from spreading to her organs. It eventually spread to her liver and brain, and she passed away in 2003. Most people do not live as long as she did with bone cancer. It was in virtually every bone in her body. Walking was painful. She couldn't bend over to pick something up off the floor. One day she was having blood drawn and the nurse turned her arm over and broke it. My point is that she truly suffered. When she couldn't teach anymore (incredibly, she taught up to five months before her death), my cousin quit her job to stay home and take care of her during the day. My point in sharing all this is just that this is really a sucker punch for her. She knows that this isn't the same as her mom's cancer, but it is still terrifying.

They will be getting a second opinion. Please pray that comes back negative. And pray for strength for their entire family. They have three boys aged 3.5 and younger. Please pray that Niki gets the help she needs from family and friends. She lives in Atlanta, and I obviously don't have the means to get down there. It kills me to be so far away and not be able to help her.

And seriously, two more weeks of 2008 is two weeks too long.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Giveaway

Tara, a friend from high school (and with whom I shared numerous gossip sessions during AP English), has posted a great holiday giveaway. Visit her blog and comment to be eligible for some sweet Avon prizes! An added bonus - Tara has an exceptionally adorable daughter who is lots of fun to read about!

The Family Tree

Last year my job consumed so much time that Christmas seemed like an afterthought. I know that sounds horrible, but I was working about 60 hours a week, dealing with Corbin having issues at school (with the Horrid Teacher), etc. so I was just not able to enjoy my favorite time of year like I usually do. While I WISH that I had a job to go to (seriously, I'm going stir crazy), I am trying to embrace the fun of Christmas this year, while I have PLENTY of time to enjoy it. :)

Thanksgiving weekend we decorated the tree. I usually don't do it quite so early, but I figured that a little extra cheer couldn't hurt.
We got out our five boxes of decorations, and it looked like Christmas threw up in my condo:

I put the lights on the tree...

...only to discover that half of them were burnt out. A trip to Wal-Mart yielded new lights and a couple of ornaments for Corbin, including this, which was only $2 (and is really glittery and cute in person):

We also had a picture done with Santa for free. The Super Wal-Mart on Telegraph was giving out free 5x7's, and the pictures were of the same quality that you would pay $15 for at the mall. I still can't convince Corbin to visit the Santa at the mall, so this is the first "Santa" picture we've had in a few years. Since I've explained that the mall Santas are not the real "Santa Claus" (they work for him), he thinks he is cool with writing the letter and making sure that he is extra good on the nights when I have to give my updates to Santa (what am I going to use for bribery in a few years?!). He was so excited about the picture that he wanted to put it on the tree:

We've always had a tradition in my family where my parents would give ornaments to us each year, and I have continued that with Corbin. Therefore, my tree is exploding with ornaments. But Corbin has a great time getting them out every year and hearing about where each ornament came from. When Corbin was little, I would get him the Hallmark baseball ornaments each year (Mark McGwire is pictured above).

A couple of Corbin's "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments follow. He was born in 2000, so the "millennium baby" stuff was fun.

Also, my "Baby's First Christmas" ornament:

I'm sure I will share more ornament shots throughout the next few days. Here is Corbin with the finished picture (although I swear that the tree looks bigger in person. Or my child is just that tall!).

Still alive...

I know...I've been missing. I haven't really felt the creative spark lately. But I'm still trucking.

My computer pooped out right after Thanksgiving. Two weeks later (yesterday) I finally found out that they have to replace my motherboard (I don't know what that is, but it sounds awesome) and my screen. Don't know what happened to cause the problems, aside from my bad luck with electronics in general. Seriously. The last digital camera I bought crapped out about 8 months after I bought it. The manufacturer replaced that for free. The thug who snatched my purse may be giving the replacement to his dear old granny for Christmas...or it may be sitting in some pawn shop, having been used to feed his addiction to blow. (I think the word blow is fun to use in reference to drugs, but I have to admit, I am not totally sure what drug I am referencing). But hopefully I will have my computer back next week.

I've started working out everyday again. I did ten miles on the exercise bike and 1.5 on the elliptical machine. I find working out is a better alternative to watching daytime TV and drinking a bottle of whiskey. (Note: I've never really drank an entire bottle of whiskey. Especially in the middle of the day. I just like to be dramatic.)

My parents were in a really bad car accident on Saturday night. They were driving to a meeting out in House Springs, and were driving down highway 30 and a 17-year-old girl pulled out right in front of them. We think their car is totaled, but, thankfully, everyone is okay. Just a little bruised. I picked up my parents from the accident site and took them to get a stiff drink. Everyone's nerves were a little shaken, but sitting across the table from them, I couldn't stop thinking about how grateful I was that they were not injured...or worse. Life can truly change in an instant.