gratutious snow photos from down south

Destructive yet pretty:

Attempt #1:

One of our favorite neighbors,  Mr. Joe and Ms. Doris, provider of MANY vanilla wafers (for NK) and many bank suckers and candy (for Nate), had their grandson in town from Mexico.  He had never seen snow.  It was awesome.   There was a not-intense snowball fight which, despite his 17 year old cool, I believe, he enjoyed immensely.  I forced him to take this photo so I could print it for his grandparents (I know, such A MOM move).   BUT COME ON:

She can't help The Cute:
 Snowman #2.  Much better.

Late night snot removal (steam shower) resulted in my eldest falling asleep on, uh, clearly NOT MY CHEST (or even really in my arms) because HE TAKES UP MY WHOLE BODY.  That foot down there on the right?  His.  How is it almost the same size as mine?!

My mind has already forgotten that I didn't feel 100% at this time.  SNNNNOOOOOW!! 


you guys. seriously. christmas was horrible.

Officially...Worst. Christmas. Ever.

Not in like the grand scheme of life but in the grand scheme of Christmases I have experienced in my 30 plus years of Chritmases, this one... JAYSUS. 

Mostly, I slept through the 48 hours that made us Christmas Eve and Christmas day, shivering crazily beneath piles of various blankets until it was time for my next dose of medicine to make me sweat it all out, gulp down some purple Gatorade and start the process all over again.  (Mostly hovering in the 100-1 range but topping the charts at 102 sometime in the wee hours of Christmas morning - who even gets a fever that high as an adult?  Maybe people do?)

I really thought Christmas and I had a truce going on in 2012.  I was a good little holiday girl - sent out the cards on time, had a lovely little cookie (&wine) party, made the neighbors little gifts, PUT UP A TREE.  (And, to be clear, enjoyed it all.)  I EVEN thought for a minute I might be swayed to be on Team Christmas as an adult after all...until THESE SHENANIGANS.   

Look, I'm not trying to BE DRAMATIC (clearly I am; no one has ever been sick before) but I think I was awake (like out of bed) three times Christmas Eve and day.

I attempted church Christmas Eve. (Fail; was back in bed within the hour.)  I also attempted to watch Nate (and Nora of course) open Santa gifts Christmas morning.  I am not going to lie to you here (sorry kids!) - I don't really remember this.  I know Karl dressed me in heavy blankets and planted me on the couch and that Nate was really, really excited but that's all I got.  (In case you were curious,  he received an Aaron Rodgers Packers jersey.)  My last words croaked as Karl hustled the kids out the door at 8 a.m. Christmas morning to go to his moms.  "Take some pictures."  Here's what I got.

(Right.  You are seeing NO pictures there.)

His dad came over later.  I slept.  Here are the pictures from that:

(Right.  Same same.  Nate got a scooter! I think.) 

Around 5 p.m.  Snow and sleet and ice are all happening, mostly with the ice.  Please remember this is technically a Southern blog and the South = unequipped to handle significant ice or snowfall (fact).  Our power went out we all panicked (read: I roused myself to put on pajama pants and tennis shoes and a snow hat!) and headed over to Karl's mom's house for lights! food! warmth! more christmas! (or, more sleep if you were in my situation).    One hour later her power went out.  Our neighbor texted - our street/house had been restored.  (He also unplugged our failed Christmas crockpot dinner and fed our dogs - thank you neighbors!)  Unfortunately, K's mom lives down some pretty steep roads and it was solidly sleeting/icing (apparently you could hear the trees snapping all night long - I slept through all that nonsense) so Karl decided it would be safer to stay.

We did not realize we would not be able to get out.   We had no milk and one diaper (PREPARED!) and they received an estimated power restoration time frame of 7 to 10 days.  

Day after XMAS:

I'm alive.  These tree branches, not so much:

Street to the left  (Apparently there was a firetruck trapped sideways somewhere behind these trees): 

Street to the right:

While he may NOT remember to take any photos of YOUR BABIES AT CHRISTMAS, Karl is kind of stellar in a crisis situation (deliver your babies unassisted, get you home safely in a blizzard - BACK OFF in the case of the zombie apocalypse please and thank you.)  

He hoofed it up this hill alone and found a random stranger (now friend?) to drive him to our house (they also dropped several other new friends off at various places).  He got our truck, parked it at the top of the neighborhood and we all hoofed it out in our pajamas.  (Ok FINE I was the only one in pajamas; Karl was in appropriate snow pants and boots.)   First trip - me and the kids; second trip - inlaws and their dog, sister-in-law and her 7 year old. 

We all squeezed in to our teensy, cozy house, ate a meal and crashed - well, Nate and I crashed down the street at our neighbors house.  (Due to the number of people to beds ratio in the house.)   Today,  we got sister-in-law's car out and the inlaws scored a hotel room for a few nights, so it's just us snuggled up warm and feeling thankful to be with power. 

And, honestly, even though it kind of sucked (Let's face it - sleeping through Christmas when your kids enjoy it most?  That kind of blows.) - in retrospect, I can't complain.  My fever is gone, everyone is safe and my kids are warm.   There are still 1,000s of people without power in Central AR (with crews working day and night to restore since Christmas day) so, if you are in AR and know someone who is cold, invite them over or bring them some warm food.  (If you are cold and reading this, this is your invite: COME OVER.)

Oh, and don't worry, I DID leave my sick bed long enough to iphoto shoot the children in the snow.  Images to follow... it's not every day we get snow MUCH LESS A WHOLE FOOT OF IT!   Nora's first snow!  Snow people all around!

That turned out much more lovey dovey than I intended.  Guess there is still some Nyquil pumping through this blood after all! ;)


the evil cheerio :: he'll get ya

The Car, Land of Lost Cheerios.  (And various other snack foods used as bribery to GET IN THE CAR.)

The Characters: 
Nate, enormous bowl of (dry) Cheerios in lap, chowing down.
Nora Kate, whining steadily, holding out her hand for him to drop Cheerios in one by one.

Me: (dryly, every 5 seconds) "Nate, give your sister a Cheerio.  Nate, seriously, just give her ONE (damn) Cheerio.  Nate, come on, share.  NATE."  

Nate (who hasn't said a word through the pleading): "Mommy, that Cheerio said 'NO!' but I said yes.   (Solemnly hands over the O.)

"It was a talking Cheerio." (Well.  Clearly.)

This one apparently talks out his eye. 


other reasons not to move

My sweet neighbor, Amy, sent me no less than 10 videos of herself singing Christmas carols (the same carols that she and her friend Bonnie intend to perform for us this weekend - no surprise performances for me!).  She followed those up with audio files of the first three chapters of the current book I am making her read.

This can ONLY be rivaled by the time she texted me this: 

Seriously, if you don't have a hilarious pre-teen girl in your life to iMessage with, you need one.   I highly recommend. 




Here are some, uh, things.

I got all my Christmas cards in the mail.  Today.  Last year, I was spazzing out because Shutterfly sent (and I ordered) so late.  This year, I ordered early but lost motivation half way through addressing and stamping.  Now done.  On to, uh, shopping?  (I adore Christmas cards - maybe more than Christmas?  But you all know this.)  

I love my job; it's overwhelming at the moment.  My kids get out of school next Wednesday for the duration (until after the New Year) and I have no idea how I'm going to get the work done in the office hours I'm scheduled. 

We looked (and put an offer on) a house this weekend.  It had a unicorn sun catcher (You know you made one of these in the early 90s.  Don't lie.) in the upstairs window which I took as A SIGN we were destined to get it.  UNICORNS!!  Alas, it was only on the market 6 hours and someone wanted it waaay worse than we did.  (Offer price PLUS PLUS!) Mostly, we were/are glad (two PINK PINK tiled bathrooms y'all) but the location was seriously amazing.  We put the offer straight cash (and by that I mean no contingency offer b/c obviously our house is not on the market), not straight cash like we could pay for the whole house cash) so, again, probably for the best.  
    Major selling point.
To make myself feel better, I painted some furniture yellow and boxed up a bunch of stuff in our house.  (Possibly in preparation for us to sell it?  We are unsure.  But decluttering is always good, right?) 

Unwaxed and in a weird light; I'll photograph once it hits the living room.

I also consumed several burgers with APPROPRIATE amounts of cheese.  IN THE NAME OF FAILED REAL ESTATE. 

And spent some time with my 15 month old.  HOW?!?

We have no Elf on a Shelf to share (sorry I'm on Team Don't Get It when it comes to the Elf -  why does it make mischief to help your kids behave?  I know people swear by it.).  We do have a (mostly decorated) tree up and we will be staying home for the holidays (after the 10 hour post-Thanksgiving drive that should have been less than 6 we are wary.)

I'm waiting to get HIT WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT. 



we've moved on


Nate has moved on from his video game obsession to something new: FOOTBALL.

Exhibit A:
Karl:  Nate, what is 7 + 3.
Nate (blank stare): _______
Karl: Nate, how many points do you have if you score a touchdown and a field goal?
Nate (proudly): TEN!!

Exhibit B:
Karl and Nate playing in the yard.  Karl is playing quarterback and Nate is rushing toward him.

Nate: I'm going to sack you.
Karl (throws the ball forward and away).

He's four.  

Exhibit C: 
The obsessive score-checking every morning via the ESPN app on one of our phones.  (Example of breakfast table conversation: 'MOMMY, did you know the Packers beat the Vikings yesterday?')

You guys.  Seriously.  He, like, understands how it works.  He knows half the NFL quarterbacks and recognizes all the logos.  When we play in the yard, he wants to do it by the rules...first down, second down, extra points, punts.  It's out of control.  Out. of. Control.  Karl and I don't even like football that much.  I've watched more NFL games in the last month than possibly my whole life.    Guess it's time to start setting up a family fantasy league? 

Favorite teams: the Packers, the Broncos and the Bucaneers
Teams he roots against: The Whirlin (also know as New Orleans) Saints and the Detroit Lions