Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Caroline is visiting Papa Ira and Grandma Libby and we were ringing in the new year with emma and alec. And their parents and their wii.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thanks to all who sent gifts and goodwill this season. Caroline was shockingly, vociferously gratetul for every gift she opened today - actual quote "wow - I've never gotten a new purple hamper for all of my dirty clothes before!" - up until she tried to play with the Meeba Pet she had demanded for weeks. Apparently, she's into instant gratification (no!) and is irritated that she has to take care of a virtual pet for an indeterminate length of time before she can open the little cartridge it's in. I think she thinks I'm going to play with it until it's "grown". Ha!

I think I might end up taking a hammer to the Meeba pet to free the furry toy inside. Shhh. Don't tell.

After a visit to the park with Aaron (close to 60 and sunny today), Caroline and I picked up a feast of Chinese food which should keep us full for the next couple days.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Caroline opened one gift this evening to help tide her over until Christmas morning. She opened some clothes from her Aunt Trish and Uncle John. I wish we had filmed it - I doubt any child has ever been quite so effusive about tights. And a sweater and shirts and a jumper. Caroline is apparently VERY excited about wearing tights, and has found many uses for her outfits. Amazing.

Either she is WAY more into fashion than we thought, or these were awesome clothes.

Emma's parents hosted a Christmas Eve party tonight for some very tasty food, some wii competition, and some caroling. I jumped into and ruined this picture at the last second.
Sally has a much better camera than I do.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Earlier this year, Caroline's Grandma Libby spent some time writing out a wish-list to Santa on Caroline's behalf. Of course, Caroline did the dictation. Toward the end of the note, my daughter declared that "no one loves Santa", so the letter was signed off with "Goodbye, Caroline". OK.

Today, I determined why Caroline has held Santa at abeyance. She sees him as a simple delivery-boy. Earlier this week, when the urgency of Christmas became apparent, she demanded to know whether or not we had sent him gifts to bring her on Christmas because, "no one can bring EVERYONE presents, mom". (Like, duh. Scheduling, woman! Think about it.) She's gotten quite a few gifts in the mail that she knows are off-limits until Christmas - and she doesn't want someone else's stuff because, who wants to figure that mess out?

So Santa = holiday delivery elf. It's really supported by all of the age-appropriate literature on the subject. There's no indication that he's doing anything but making arbitrary lists of the good vs. the bad (and really...really? come on) and riding around to every house in the whole world delivering gifts. So if he's the Christmas UPS man... haven't most of the packages been marked? He's got to know what is supposed to go where.

I'm pretty proud of this turn of events. What a smart kid I have. Magic and logic intermingled.

Friday, December 19, 2008

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Caroline in front of our Christmas tree this evening. She's had a blast hanging ornaments, and can't wait for Santa to visit. Unfortunately, Santa has done no shopping for her this year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cheryl is voluntarily holding Alanah's new sister. Perhaps she's softening on her stance on her one child policy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Alec, Ben and I went to the Cyclones game while the girls went to the Nutcracker. We almost made it to the halfway point before situations made us go back to Ben's house to play some Wii Sports.

Caroline joined her friends at a performance of the Nutcracker this evening at the Stevens Center downtown. The girls got all dressed up and were extremely excited. Sure, they didn't understand why there was no talking, but the ice cream afterward helped them forget about that.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

A friend posted something about this today, and it fired me up enough to write my own post -

Here in Winston-Salem, we are afforded, via our property tax dollars, leaf pickup. All we have to do is rake/move all of our leaves to the curb (not in the street, mind you, but towards the curb - W-S does not have all that many sidewalks) and a big truck comes around and vacuums them up. It actually comes a few times, so you have a couple of chances to get your leaves all to the curb. All of this - and the attendant rules - are pretty common knowledge.

Unfortunately, many of my fellow residents are, well, either ignoramuses or mortally fear covering a small area of their lawns for a few days at a time. This leads to massive leaf piles in the streets, which is extremely dangerous, limiting driving space on already narrow roads. Must a drive home from work be a game of MarioKart what with random piles of leaves in the middle of side roads? What if there are kids playing out there - don't they love jumping in leaves? What about school bus hours? We also have deer running around in the fall. Do we really need to make our roads more treacherous than they already are?

I propose a massive fine for anyone putting their leaves in the street. I think $500 for the first offense and $2000 per subsequent offense would be adequate to end the practice for all but the very, very rich who could afford to reseed or resod - barring the potential expense of human lives, of course - a narrow patch of dead grass.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Lovefeast at Wake Forest. Too many speeches and bible verses, not enough singing.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Yesterday, my friend Melissa asked me if I was living at my current address*. Of course, she asked me via instant message, and we ended up chatting for a bit. She later made a joke that we had only met 3 times -- and I chuckled to myself, and thought that was crazy. But on second thought, she was right. I have spent a collective total of about 10 hours with someone I consider a close friend. A girlfriend. And I know her pretty much only from the internets.

To explain our personal connection is a bit complicated. Our husbands and I are friends via a certain mutual friend. Adam had met both Jay and me years before Melissa, and for some bizarre reason (our charm? wits? love of beer?) Adam kept in touch with us even though he was many miles away from our mutual acquaintance, and many months from our first meeting. We were thrilled when he and Melissa met and married because Adam was so happy. We hoped she was truly the perfect person for him because he was someone we really cared about. Luckily, we all chatted via instant messenger soon after, and it was clear that Adam had met his match. In a good way.

Melissa and I have basically gotten to know each other via our blogs. Caroline is OK drew her as a reader early on, and then Melissa's own first pregnancy spurred her on to create the Baby Blizzard Blog. I'm not the #1 poster on my blog, but I am an active contributor/editor. Despite "knowing each other" (in the most appropriate way) for quite a while, the first time Melissa and I actually met was during the weekend of Banta's (the mutual friend's) wedding. And the very pregnant Melissa was kind enough to watch Caroline while Jay and I participated in the wedding ceremony. It takes some gumption to harness a frightened, angry 16-month old baby while you're 6-months pregnant. And then take her outside to scream and wait for her parents for up to 30 minutes. Yikes. We've been girlfriends since.

And since that day in 2005, I've gasped as I've watched the Blizzard boy... then BOYS... then FAMILY grow. I've been in awe of their collective ability (particularly Melissa's) to negotiate their many moves in addition to Adam's recent deployment to the Middle East. The Lerman-Zukowskis were fortunate to meet up with the Blizzards a couple of times in Georgia over the last year, and it was absolutely refreshing to realize that even though you now know people primarily via a computer, you truly can be friends. As far as us ladies go, I really AM inside Melissa's house every day. And she is in mine. And that... really ... is weird. Especially for someone who has long cherished visits, greeting cards, cakes, and lunch dates. But somehow, it's almost more personal and real despite being completely virtual. (Wow, I feel like I should be saying this in a VW bus while listening to The Dead.) Melissa is my girl. And even though she hasn't said it, I'm hers.

Point is, I'm pretty sure that the medium facilitating conversation is not quite as important anymore. It's the message and the vibe. And although Melissa has never sat on my couch to laugh at The Office with me - she has. And we've exchanged advice, thoughts, and friendship.

And that, as we say on this blog, is OK.

*To be fair, I (and, collectively, we Lerman-Zukowskis) have lived at this address longer than we've lived anywhere else

We joined Clayton and Sydney at the Children's Theatre for a performance of The Tailor of Gloucester. It was the most polished and professional performance I've seen there so far. And it was nice and short (although we thought it wrapped up the story a bit too quickly) and the singing and staging were very well done.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Since October 1, 2004