Tag Archives: holidays

Six.

 

six

sigh.  SIX

So last month Jr turned 6.

Six.

S.I.X.

I still can’t wrap my head around the concept.

Don’t get me wrong, he is every bit the 6 year old, all full of energy and sass and silliness, and sucking up knowledge like a brain vacuum clad in an ever-rotating sheath of superhero wear.

But still…  He’s just a baby, right? I mean – he was JUST a baby. In his itty-bitty baby-wear, cozied down with me in his nursery all dozy and smushy and sweet….  He was JUST a toddler.  Clinching his tiny little potato-fists as he teeteringly ran around the back yard collecting rocks and referring to himself in the not –quite-correctly pronounced 3rd person. (“Coo-Cur fill bucket with rocks, mama.”  OK buddy. Andplusalso please never stop saying that.)  He really was JUST my tiny little guy.  And now he is an almost-1st-grader, leaving me in the dust on his two-wheeler with no training wheels needed (Hey – he beat me,) and just generally being a super big boy.

So this year when we talked about what kind of birthday party he might want, he wanted “just friends mom!”

Oh.

(We compromised and had grandparents too – a decision which saves my mommy butt a bit later in this fateful tale.)

So, after closing my eyes and saying a little prayer, I sent out invites to 6 of his little buddies with the words “parents welcome to drop off, or join in the fun” included.  On Purpose.

Um yeah – they ran like the freaking WIND from our lego-birthday-décor-laden house that day, people.

Straight up – I felt the breeze off their backs.

I don’t blame them a damn bit.

And anyway – it would be FINE, right?  I mean come on- one kid couldn’t even come, so it was 6 boys including Jr.  I had lego-themed activities to do, there was cake to be eaten, and presents to be opened…  It was only 2 hours – it would fly by, and I was totally prepared.  No Problem.

Um.

Problem.

So each of them had 2 little lego guys and accompanying cars to assemble, and we all got together around the table so they could get started.  The first set was tough for them, and I thought I was sitting pretty – PLENTY time consuming and yet entertaining for them, it seemed.

BUT WAIT.

They. Got. Faster.

The second set went super fast for each of them, and suddenly we were moving into “guess how many legos are in the jar,” a good 20 minutes or so before I had hoped to.    Plus, there was yelling.  EVERY COMMUNICATION from 6 year old boys in a flock is apparently done at MAX volume.

The Grandmothers must have smelled my fear – both have backgrounds in education, and they swooped in, offering the cheddar bunnies and veggie tray to the kiddos and creating an on-the-fly coloring contest while I regrouped.

Cake was eaten and gifts opened in what MUST have been record time, and then we ushered everyone outside to play (and yell some more) in the back yard.  It immediately started to gently rain.  We did NOT immediately go in.

At the two hour mark, parents (looking relaxed and refreshed,) returned to collect their offspring, now happily attempting to build the tallest structure they could from Jr’s collection of duplo blocks.

Jr looked happy, the Grandmas looked tired, and the house looked like a nursery riot had broken out.

So I guess that = success.

But hear me now people.  Believe me.

Next year? Next year we are going to the damn skating rink.

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DON’T GO!!!!

Oh look…  it’s January, 2017… As in, AFTER the holiday season.

No more singing along with Bing Crosby (or tap-dancing with Danny effing Kay,) or indulging in my mom’s fudge or cookies both or Christmas songs on the radio, or Elf-on-the-shelf escapades, or get-togethers with friends and family or staying in jammies all day long just because you can…

I feel as though I have barely blinked, and now it is time to take down all of the holiday cards I looked so forward to finding in my mailbox each day.

Oh the glorious mess.. I even put them on The New fridge!

This year, more than other years even, I seem to have a significant case of the post-holiday blues.

I can’t let it go.

Tonight, after everyone is in bed, I am 100% sure I will sneak over and turn on the Christmas tree lights.  I will sit in my cozy Vicki’s Secret reindeer jammies with my hot toddy (hello, first cold of 2017,) in the glow, wondering where the season went.

Oh yeah… soooo twinklehhhh.

I can’t watch TV- flipping to the Hallmark channel to find Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sophia having reclaimed their nighttime reign from the grips of the 24/7 holiday romance offerings made me shoot the candy cane in my mouth clear across the family room.

They traveled down the road, and back (to Hallmark) again.

In the coming days I will watch the lights being taken down around the town,  (granted it happens slower along the Colorado front range where us natives like to leave up outdoor lights until after the National Western Stock Show is over, toward the end of January,) and I will stifle my urge to scream “DON’T GO, HOLIDAYS!”

I can’t hide it, I am having a tough time closing the door on it all this year.

For goodness sakes – it’s becoming a THEME on Instagram for me:

Santa charm still firmly affixed to mimosa, as seen Jan 2nd.

Yep

Even Jr is over me it at this point.  Yesterday, on his last day of holiday vacation from school, I took a break from reports on my laptop for some coloring time (we lovey the coloring… I will color with that kid until College if he lets me,) and I busted out the pile of holiday coloring books when he said I could pick the picture.

“MOMMMMM!!!  Not those! Put those AWAY! It’s OVER!!”

Poop.

Are you sure?

(He is still letting me watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and my two new favorites from this year:  Nina’s Hanukkah Adventure from SproutTV and The Snowy Day from Amazon.  For now.)

Maybe it is him getting older, or my parents getting older, or ME getting older (yes, we all do that, Keri;) or Jr being on break for so long and us getting into a new routine, or the sense of uncertainty 2017 is bringing, or  missing the family in Texas we didn’t go see this year… or it is just subconscious laziness about putting away the holiday décor.

Maybe, as I used to dread and now pray, I truly am turning into my mom.

The snow falling outside would have seemed festive just days ago….  Now it is just going to make getting Jr to school tomorrow a PITA.

The Christmas sock collection is getting put away, the wreath is down off the door, and laying out a spread of appetizers can no longer pass for dinner (OK lets not get crazy, Keri – that will ALWAYS be dinner at your house.)

Sigh.

Can I just cling?   Just through one more weekend… Just until this latest cold/snow snap moves out of the Colorado front range?

Then I promise to bring up the boxes and un-deck the halls.

(But I am keeping the damn coloring books out.)

The stash.

Shhh…  they are hidden behind the table by the couch, we have a brand new box of super sharp crayons from Santa if you need to jingle some bells or something to get you through.

No judgment from the girl clinging to her pikes peak blend with 3 pumps of SF peppermint, yo.

None. At. All.

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The most wonderful time of the year.

Family 2016 a.jpg

This year we were all about traditional… except a little askew – because us.

Have I mentioned I’m a holiday  card junkie?

Not only do I consider it my personal duty to pepper the globe with Season’s Greetings from our little family, but every December I practically skip to the freaking mailbox every day to see what treasures are buried in between grocery circulars and gift catalogs.

I can’t get enough warm winter wishes – I am always jonesing for the next jingle-gram to come fa-la-la-ing down the lane in the postal carrier’s bin.

I don’t care what variety it is – I love them all.  Any incarnation of the family photo card is always a favorite of Keri’s – the punny theme pic (we did the “have your selfie a Merry Little Christmas” version last year when I just couldn’t even with the professional photo shoot for the season,) the collage of kiddos in various adorable hi-jinx surrounding a sweet shot of mom and dad smooching,  the traditional single full card family pic with one simple greeting scripted along the bottom….    I am a total sucker for seeing your sweet family’s faces and I “ooo” and “ahh” over them all season long.   BUT WAIT – there is also the stunning traditional folded card, complete with beautiful imagery and heartwarming holiday sentiments nestled in a foil-lined envelope.    Ooooo – or the family news letter!!   A winter window you can peer though into the year’s ups and downs for those you love. (I know some loathe these, but I ADORE them!!  It’s like a coffee date catch up stuffed in an envelope and shared right to your door. )   If it includes a crayoned in drawing of a holiday scene from your offspring – that shit is going to be on my office builtin board until it disintegrates. (Seriously – the cutest menorah  a 7 year old ever drew has a spot of honor on my wall right next to a Christmas tree my nephew crafted when he was 4 that will never be usurped.  Kid art gets you instantly into the Keri hall of holiday fame.)

This year I am rigging up a ribbon/clothespin display situation on the coat closet door since our new and shiny fridge is an off-limits zone for magnetized decorating.  It is going to be EPIC –twice the space to fill.  No card crowded behind another.

YAAASSSS  Holiday Card Kween.

If you are thinking of shrinking folks off of your card list this year I say NAY NAY – this season send more love than ever – don’t subtract, ADD.

And if you find yourself with an extra, there is always a girl in Colorado looking for her next fix.

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Halloween Hangover

Jr BEGGED The Mr to blow up the Minion “just one more time” after Halloween. This happened. Look dude, when vampire Minion passes out off his pumpkin on the front lawn, Halloween is over, m’kay?

It’s snowing.  Along the Colorado front range tonight, it is FINALLY snowing.

Thank goodness – maybe it will serve to usher out what I have started referring to as our “Halloween Hangover.”

This year, in this house, Halloween just won’t freaking die.

Jr has been busting out costumes (or random parts of costumes) from the stash in his dress-up corner, and emerging from the basement play area to “trick or treat” though out the house.  He sets up stuffed friends with craft pom-poms at various locations and proceeds through the house collecting the pom-poms in his PB Kids personalized jack-o-lantern bag, and then comes back to the TV room for “the Halloween party.”

This party involves playing the Peanuts theme song and dancing. Over and over.

And over.

Don’t get me wrong – I totally believe in the Great Pumpkin, and I am strangely proud of how long a 5 year old can ration a candy supply (1 piece in his lunch, 2 pieces after school,) but let’s move Spookley off the top of the toy bin and start shining the play stove to cook up some Turkey, eh?

OR – if we MUST – then at least relent to letting mom pack up the colorful leaves and decorative gourds in favor of mistletoe and tinsel and stockings hung by the chimney with care, shall we?

We have had years of being fairly frightened of Halloween. Last year I had to carry him out of the garage kicking and screaming to get the trick-or-treat train movin’ around our ‘hood.  This year suddenly he is determined to see it last for.ev.errrrrrrrr.

The ridiculously warm weather has been no small contributing factor, I think.  I mean, it still LOOKS like Halloween outside – all leaves crunching under his little feet and clear blue sky against not-quite-yet-bare trees.  I get it, I really do.

But I am not here for it anymore, people.

The minute we got him home from school, I dressed him up like Ralph’s little brother in A Christmas Story and shot him out the back door to frolic in the 1/2 inch or so that had accumulated thus far.  Because we are moving on, yo.

MOVING. ON.

So snow on, snow storm…. blow the Halloween Hangover from these halls, pronto.

 

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Here we go again….

Ahh, the holidays…. The most wonderful time of the year.

In yet another telltale example of how I am slowly succumbing to the ways of the suburbs, I found myself longing to bust out the Christmas decor prior to Thanksgiving this year (although still not the day after Halloween, like the boldest in my hood , because Jr needs some recovery time in between giant Inflatable Frankensteins and seizure-inducing jingle-bell-rock lighting displays, yo?)

I also broke down and caved to The Mr’s requests to get a larger tree for The Casa. Even I had to admit that our medium height, thinner profile tree that worked perfectly in the tiny corner of The Treehouse looked a bit sad in our cavernous vaulted-ceiling living room.

So, a week-and-a-half before hosting my first actual traditional Thanksgiving, The Mr. dragged all of the bins of decorations up out of storage, along with the new tree (purchased at 90% off sometime around Valentine’s Day, TYVM,) and I set out to deck the halls.  That tree?  That tree was my Everest.  It is tall, it is heavy, and its directions ?  Non existent.  Also – my cute little condo tree was pre-lit, but not this bad boy – OH NO – this is 100% Keri-illuminated. (Props to my dad who did that every year on the family tree….  and how did my husband disappear SO fast when I mentioned that the lights might be a dude job?  Christmas magic or just a fast car?)

Getting the star on top? Short girl, big ass tree – this shit pretty much actually happened to me:

GIFSoup

Except not even that cool, because I tipped off a stepladder, flopped forward clinging to the tree (still determined to just get the dang star on,) and took it down, becoming hopelessly tangled  in a heap of faux-branches and precariously strung twinkle lights that took a good 10 minutes to extract myself from, at about 11:30 at night.  No one woke up, and I considered just sleeping there until The Mr came downstairs to assist.  But that is NOT the kind of “holiday family story” I want my 3 yr old telling at school.  (He already told his entire class that he was “VERY thankful for Bacon” during their Thanksgiving discussion.)

So, the ginormous tree eventually got the star up on top, and Jr assisted in the decorating of it it by doing all the things that I remember used to piss my mom off when we did them:  hanging 20 ornaments in a 10 inch square section of tree,  hanging ornaments on the afore-mentioned lighting cords instead of the branches (maybe DON’T stab that metal wire hook INTO the cord there, sparky,)  grabbing uber-delicate old ornaments with his “Hulk-smash” preschooler grasp, attempting to eat the ancient foodstuffs from the old-school DIY ornaments of my youth, and on and on until I was frazzled as heck and he was squealing with 3-year-old Christmas glee.  (Cute and understandable, but an untamable force of nature, to be sure.)

The pull of super-sizing the decor hasn’t been contained to the inside of our abode either – Where once I swore I would always be strictly a “tasteful wreath on the door ONLY” kind of gal, I have been sticking silver bows and greenery everywhere on the front of our house.  There are even two spiral, clear light trees staked into our lawn.  (FYI – setting those things up is like stretching a really big spring well beyond where you should be – I let go too soon on the first one and it shot like a rocket half way across the street.  You’ve been warned.)

If we get all True Confessions about it , I would actually like to see a single strand of clear/white lights tracing our roof line.  But I don’t see The Mr heeding the call of his inner Clark Griswold, and Keri draws the line at anything involving a ladder.

Maybe.  But all the neighbors’ lights look so pretty….

Another holiday season in the subdivision is off and running – we also survived another round of the holiday party last night.  This year The Mr made an appearance, I secured seating to eat right away and parked him in it,  and all that ended up coming home in my purse was a goody bag from santa.

Let it never be said that Keri doesn’t learn from experience.  (And next year – The Mr is putting that damn star up on the tree.)

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