I would have no blog if I had no kids

And here’s proof:

Exhibit A:
Vincenzo, seeing a picture of Kevin from before we had kids: “Oh yeah, I remember that.” 
Me: “You do?  You weren’t even born!” 
V: “I know.  I have a very good re-magination.”

Exhibit B:
Me: “V, do you like your bed?” 
V: “Yes I do.  Who doesn’t love my bed?”

Exhibit C:
Me to V: “Cover your eyes and count to 15.” 
V: “I can’t count to 15.   But I can count to 20!”

Exhibit D:
Me to V: “Yikes, you’re really crunching those tic-tacs!” 
V: “It’s okay; my teeth are screwed in really tight.”

In unrelated news: Every Tuesday night three of our BILs come over for Rock Band.  On  Thanksgiving I may have *accidentally* suggested they all grow soul patches to look more like a real rock band.  It’s becoming apparent they may have accidentally taken me seriously.  Stay tuned.

In unrelated photos:

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Snuggly Christmas Party

Okay, show of hands: how many of you left for a Christmas party this year looking more or less like this…

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…and came home looking more or less like this:

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It happened as soon as we showed up for the party—half an hour early because yes, we are 70 years old.  Kevin was handed a Snuggie and given a stack of liquor tickets he needed to pass out to everyone who showed up.  It’s not that Kevin was on any sort of planning committee or anything for this party; it’s just that his coworkers, it soon became evident, are accustomed to making Kevin do things they personally don’t want to and Kevin, it soon became evident, is accustomed to wearing a Snuggie at work.

I had no idea. 

Then someone said, “Hey, you wore your party Snuggie tonight!”  And someone else said, “That’s nice you put clothes on underneath it this time!”  Kevin fessed up that he has a bright orange one at work he refers to as his “hunting Snuggie,” and sometimes he asks other people wear Snuggies in his presence.  I’m not sure why, but I feel a bit like Tiger Woods’ wife right now…only if Tiger Woods were Ed Grimley.

Anyway, while Kevin was enjoying his own warped idea of fun, I was really on a roll.  I was introduced to a guy named Craig and as I shook his hand I said, “I read your list all the time!”  (This was followed by a few seconds of awkward silence before the few seconds of raucous laughter.)  (Sometimes it’s tough being the only genius in the room.) 

There was a pool shark there who played a game of pool against me and gave me some tips along the way.  When he missed a shot, I gave him a few tips too.  After teaching me a couple things he said excitedly, “I could take you in about three hours!”  There are several ways this could be interpreted.  Choose the one that is most interesting to you.  Keep in mind the guy looked like your grandpa.

The best part of the party was the photo booth which we in no way monopolized.

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(There are more, but you get the picture.  Get it?!  Oh, that’s right, you probably didn’t because the photo booth was being hogged.)

I met a bunch of Kevin’s coworkers I hadn’t known before and couldn’t get over how young everyone was.  Then I realized it’s not that Microsoft is hiring younger and younger people, it’s that after eight years of these Christmas parties we have somehow gotten eight years older.  Nobody told me it was going to be so hard to be 25 years old!

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Mama Costco is on duty!

Christmas, turtle style

We’re only a week into the Christmas season and there’s already so much I don’t want to forget.  Like how Vincenzo arranged the nativity set:IMG_6720

…because, after all, the Wise Men have gifts that must be delivered.  (He also thinks it’s the funniest thing ever that the shepherd’s staff broke off and now it looks like the shepherd is pointing accusingly at everyone.)

There are things I don’t want to forget like heading to the playroom at a Christmas party to see how Vincenzo was getting along and having the adults say, “Is this kid yours?  He’s awesome!”  And driving downtown, when he said breathlessly, “Mom, do you see the lights?  They’re beautiful.”  Riding the tractor at the tree farm when he saw a ditch of water and exclaimed, “Look Mommy!  A waterfall!”  Him wanting us to read the Grinch over and over and over again and correcting us every time we read the title, saying, “It should say ‘How the Grinch Tried to Steal Christmas.’”  Bringing our tree home and Vincenzo smelling it, saying, “Mmmmm, it smells so good I wish I could eat it!”  Decorating our tree and him creating a ranking system where his favorite ornaments get put on the higher branches—which explains why our angel topper has a motorcycle ornament hanging from her halo this year.  Vincenzo pointing out Jesus doesn’t have an “activity cord” in the nativity book we read to him.  How in his letter to Santa he added, “Whatever you bring me I will like.  You see, I’m not really picky.”  Making Christmas sugar cookies in ghost shapes because…because…actually I have no idea why.  Because Vincenzo decided to.

It is surreal being a parent during Christmas time.  You realize that the little things you do without even thinking about them are actually making Christmas for your kids.  You feel the burden of making the season magical, and you feel anxious that you’re going to forget something—a present or a return letter from Santa or the rum for the Egg Nog.  Christmas Eve comes and you realize that if you don’t fill the stockings and hang them up when your kids are in bed tonight, Christmas actually won’t come for them and this scares you because, frankly, you’re tired are considering just forgetting it and going to bed.

But you fill them, even if it’s just with $.55 boxes of Kraft mac ‘n cheese, and you get a couple hours of sleep before your kids wake up and blink at their bulging stockings and think—no, believe—that something magical happened while they slept and that this one person who never forgets a single boy or girl came through once again.  Because as tired and as stressed out as we are, we could never ever forget our own little boy or girl.

That’s where the real magic is.

Christmas duds

QUICKIE: Vincenzo: “Wouldnt’ it be funny if instead of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ it was ‘Eye of the Reindeer?!’”
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We hit up our city’s tree lighting festival this year.  I’m beginning to think it’s not that every event we ever go to is a dud…the events are actually really cool and it’s just me and Kevin that are the duds.  We had been told by several people that this is THE BEST TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY around, and we assumed they weren’t lying as it was hosted by Miss Teen Washington (!!).  But Miss Teen Washington was slightly overshadowed by the video game motor home with its fancy seizure-inducing strobe light and the gigantic spotlights on top to let all the aliens out there know VIDEO GAMES ROCK YOUR PLANET SUCKS NEINER NEINER.

Miss Teen Washington looked a little chilly, but at least she put on a warm jacket for the occasion.  (I think that young boy is in line for her autograph…or…something.)

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Then there were the parts of the ceremony that were confusing.  Like these, I kid you not, side-by-side booths:

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Finally came the moment everyone was waiting for…10…9…8……..….3…2..1…ON WITH THE TREE LIGHTS!

Nope, not this one…
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Still no… 
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Not quite…
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TA-DAAAAAAAAAAA!  There it is!  Isn’t she a beaut?
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The guy loading up his kids next to us after the ceremony was all flushed with holiday spirit and as he drove out of sight I swear he yelled, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!” 

It must just be us. 

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Cornbread taco bake
Baked squash with butter and brown sugar

Another slice of MrsMouthy’s pie

It’s hard to keep pace in this family.  The things that come out of everyone’s mouth are, to say the least, hard to explain.  Here are a few gems from the past week:

1. Kevin, eating a chicken breast: Look, I’m breast feeding!

2. Kevin, after accidentally opened a bag of chips from the bottom: “This is called baja-style.”

3. Vincenzo, watching a football game: “Mom, did you know football players can count to 20?”  *pause*  “Just teasing!”

4. Vincenzo created a game last week he calls “Whack the Mullet.”  I don’t really understand it but I love the part when he yells, “I AM NOT YOUR MULLET!”

5. Vincenzo, climbing on Kevin: “I am SUPERPASTE!”

6.  Me to my mom: “…and then two people ran through the crowd with big poles that had metal wing thinggiess on top that went WOMPA WOMPA WOMP…”

7.  Kevin, picking up a cup in the living room: “And why is there a pair of underwear stuffed in this cup?”

Like I said, hard to explain.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Leftovers.  Deal with it.