Christmas Snow In San Diego

What happens when you sneak off to the snow after Mass? You freeze your tushie off because you’re inappropriately dressed. Little kids don’t care about cold and these guys don’t care about the cold.

This is what snow looks like from Shelter Island in Point Loma. However, these are the Cuyamaca Mountains and we went to the Laguna Moutains which are directly behind them.

img_3283Ready……..Aim……

img_3284FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

img_32771Once Gavin figured out how much fun it was to throw snowballs at daddy, it was very difficult to get Gavin to do anything else.

img_3286At four o’clock I shoulder axe and in the afterglow, I link a line of shadowy tracks across the tinted snow………

img_3289Hey! Where’d everybody go? Ooooh, they’re off to make yellow snow.

img_3291Here’s Graham hoping he can roll himself into a giant ball and as he rolls, he gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger till he can wipe out an entire village.

img_3282It’s getting waaay too cold. Time to come home and decorate the tree.YAY!

img_3298The kids decided to make their own decorations because our ornaments were too hard to locate. Graham and Madeleine strung popcorn and Madeleine made lots of ornaments and put ribbon on the tree. Garren and Gavin hung some toys that my Aunt Lee brought from her house for them.

Madeleine made a special note for Santa

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Tonight we’ll take our kids to a party and then we’ll  introduce the kids to the, “Midnight Mass”. I loved it when I was a little girl. All the carols sung, the Nativity scene, the joy, the anticipation of Santa coming the next day,  the candles and everyone dressed so beautifully. I realize that’s a shallow reason to love the Mass, but that’s how I remember it as a little girl.

I can’t wait to put them to bed afterwards and listen to them sleep while pjdaddy and I (well mostly pjdaddy) put together Christmas toys, wrap presents, fill stockings and listen to Christmas carols.

Dang! I’m getting excited!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Barenaked Ladies- ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”/ “We Three Kings” Medley Feat. Sarah McLachlan. One of my favorites.

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Christmas Cheer

Come on guys, we’re gonna go Christmas caroling. Won’t that be fun?

Do we get paid for it?

Um, yeah, that’s the Christmas spirit.

We do?

NO!!! How is that spreading holiday cheer if we get paid? We sing outside people’s homes to bring joy to them. We do get cookies and hot chocolate afterwards, however.

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pjdaddy with my mom and graham and madeleine. Garren is with, who else? Mariah.

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We had a pretty good crowd show up. It’s funny because we went down the same neighborhood my youth group and I used to carol on when I was a teenager. There was less of us back then, so we were able to be towed on a flat bed and sit on bales of straw. Very cool.

There was probably about 100 people there on this night and it was neat to see all the people come out of their homes so they could listen to us sing. One house, that just happened to be my Godparents’, knew we were coming and had hot cider and brownies waiting for us.

img_3137A photo of the crowd with my family

img_3138Here’s everyone scattering because of cars. Bruce, the guy with the guitar is my old youth group leader and one of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet.

We finished and went back to the church social center for cookies and hot chocolate. It was  a lot of fun. I’m hoping  that it’ll be a good memory for my kids and when they’re older maybe they’ll pass on the tradition to their kids.

December Nights at Balboa Park

I’ve always loved Balboa Park, noooo, not the part where the men hook up for sex in the public restrooms, the part with the museums. Back in my early 20’s they had one museum a month free. Aside from the beach, this was a fun activity for a starving college student.

Another thing that’s really cool about Balboa Park? “December Nights” It was called, “Christmas on the Prado” when I was a kid, but it’s still the same. Santa, The Nativity, The Christmas lights, hot chocolate and holiday cheer.

Pjdaddy and I took the kids Friday night. It was wonderful. We took a 2nd cousin who’s 5, not sure if he’s “removed” or anything because I don’t know how all that cousin stuff works, and we went with some long time friends. We brought the cousin thinking he’d play with Garren, but it turns out he developed a crush on Madeleine and spent the evening walking into walls and being silly to make her laugh. At one point we were in line to see The Nativity and he and Madeleine were having a deep discussion about what were to happen if they got lost, he told Madeleine, “I will never leave you. I am a boy and it is my job to take care of little girls if they get lost.” The people behind us thought it was hysterical. I did too. 

They had an ethnic food fair and an International Christmas Festival at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. My kids got to try soda from Sweden, a chocolate dessert from Scotland and my non-adventurous children ate hot dogs from America.

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You know how many shots I went thru to find one where I didn’t look like a complete and total lard ass? And no, I have no idea why pjdaddy felt the need to spread his legs SOOO freaking wide. Although he has impregnated me 6 times. IYKWIMAITYD. Here’s our family Christmas photo taken in front of a big tree they light up every year. No, it didn’t dawn on me to actually get a picture of the tree.

Our kids got a picture with Santa. We waited in a long line to see him. Interesting how well behaved kids are when they’re in line to see “The Great One”. I didn’t have to behave as I already knew I was getting coal. They have it set up so you can see Santa, but if you want a picture with him, you have to pay $5. Of course if you don’t pay to get a picture with Santa, you get stink eye. I got a whoooole lotta stink eye as kid, after kid, after kid, after kid, after kid went and sat on his lap and my friend Laurie took their photo. In all 6 kids got their photos taken. Santa told them to hurry up and get the show on the road. If he’d actually asked him what they wanted for Christmas he prolly would have told them they’d shoot their eye out, or something to that affect. He did look like Santa however, so I’ll give him that, but that’s it!

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I’ve never seen Gavin so fascinated with anything as he was of Santa. Unfortunately I didn’t get the photo, but he turned and just stared into Santa’s eyes with pure awe. Santa took every photo with his mouth open. Cotton mouth anyone?

Here’s Graham finding out I want him to sit on Santa’s lap.

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Ha, just kidding Graham. You can stand next to Santa.

Poor Garren was starting to not feel so well and wound up looking like crap in his Santa photo. To make it up to him, I’ll post a picture of him at the train museum.

Madeleine insists on having me take photos of her eating all the time. “Mom, take a picture of me eating this.” Mom, take a picture of me eating this.”  I freaking hate pictures of me like that. I picture people thinking, “no wonder she’s chunky, she doesn’t stop eating” . “She’s eating in every picture.” ” COW!”  Issues much?

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My Godmother, Shirley, was kind enough to buy ALL the kids hot chocolate and a ginger bread cookie.

All the museums were free that evening, but the kids were getting pretty worn out by this time and wanted to go home. There was however, one museum that was required visiting as far as I was concerned. The Train Museum. Garren and Gavin are obsessed with trains and I would be a fool to not hit this place when it was free.

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Poor kid looks miserable doesn’t he?

We found out too late there was a beer garden, but all in all it was a wonderful evening. Oh, and it turns out they still have free museums on the first Tuesday of the month, but it’s even better now, all the museums are free that day.

Did I mention I’m glad to be back home?

I Get To Do A Room Make-Over! Woot! Woot!

My 6 year old daughter Madeleine decided she wanted to get rid of all her toys and only have art type stuff in her room. She really wants to be a clothes designer when she grows up.

Now I have a clean slate for Madeleine’s room. She absolutely wants NOTHING princess. That’s too baby-ish for her. She recently had to get  braces and a palate expander.

 

This is akin to a medieval torture device, but she thinks it makes her look like a teenager and she so desperately wants to be one. Cuz it’s cool, you know.

I decided to go to the craft store to pick up some fabric to make a bedspread for her. The pattern requires the width of the material to be 45″ wide or more. Did you know the sumbitch manufacturers are shaving off the width of the material? I did not know this (course my sewing teacher told us about this, but I didn’t think it could be that bad, WRONG!). I bought all the material, preshrunk it and it turned out to be BARELY 41 inches. This sucks.

She wanted a Bratz themed bedroom and with ever so gentle prodding from me,   *cough,  I convinced her to have her room chocolate and hot pink. Ok, I admit it, I begged. Bratz dolls look like little hookers. I tried  to tell Madeleine they didn’t dress appropriately because their guts were hanging out.

In real life people can’t wear the clothes the Bratz dolls can. Most people’s bodies don’t look like a Bratz doll, they look like this:

COMPLETE AND TOTAL AWARENESS REGARDING BODY SIZE AND WHAT LOOKS GOOD ON ONE’S BODY FAIL!!!

I made the mistake of trying to tell Madeleine that girls who dress like that look naughty. 

Naughty? Naughty how?  What do they do?

Crap, fatal mistake. There’s no way in heck I was going to say they look like hookers or sluts because there’s no way in heck I was going to explain to Madeleine what those were.

Um, nevermind. It’s just not a very good look.

*prays this look will be out of style before Madeleine becomes a teenager, cuz she’s so not dressing like that

Man I get distracted easily, so anyhoo, Madeleine and I compromised. I’d make her bedspread hot pink on one side and chocolate brown on the other with brown and pink pillows and a brown bedskirt and I would put Bratz appliques on the pillows. Madeleine suggested her walls be painted chocolate brown with a wide pink stripe down the middle and two thin stripes on either side. Yes, she thought of that on her own.

But the whole idea got blown thru the roof because of cheap manufacturers. It has to be at least 44inches wide so there’s no seam in the middle of her bed. Luckily I was able to take the fabric back because I hadn’t cut it. So Madeleine and I went hunting for new fabric for her bed. We could not find the right size pink and brown, so we had to settle for a new design idea.

Ya know how hard it is to find fabric 45″ wide anymore? VERY FREAKING HARD!

After about a half hour looking at fabric, this was a Joann’s Super Store, so there’s a lot to look at, she finally found the one she wants.

 “That’s it! It’s very adult-ish I want this and a zebra striped bedskirt

Adult-ish? bwahaha hahaha haha, awwwww, so cute.

Turns out fabric is 44 inches wide. Perfect enough. I take it home wash it and lay it on her bed and read the words on it. “Vogue” Exquisite” “Lovely” “Treschic” “Teasing” “Glamorous”……wait, rewind…..TEASING? Teasing? Are ya serious? At first I thought it said texting which is just as bad, but teasing? Why on earth would they put that on that fabric. I mean, I know it’s “adultish” and all but teasing? The whores win again. Might as well send Madeleine to school in a pair of shorts with the word, “hottie” across her bum.

There’s a word after the word “Teasing” but it’s covered by a “little black dress”. Please someone tell me “teasing” is part of some sort of French fashion phrase my ignorant little self doesn’t know about?

So this is her “before” room………there’s no after yet, just got the material last night.

Her room is so tiny it was too hard to get a full shot of the closet and door from inside the room.

When my good internet friend lauraw found out about Madeleine wanting to only have “designing” stuff in her room, she sent Madeleine a big ole box of fabric bits and notions and beads, buttons and bobbles. The coolest box of goodies a girl that’s into that kind of stuff could ever want. Madeleine has no toys now, only the stuff from lauraw and her Bratz fashion head.

My intention is to put a drafting/craft table to the right of her little storage thingy. I saw this on craig’s list and I want it, but can’t seem to talk the chick down any. My girlfriend Mrs. D sent me this picture from Ikea that looks pretty awesome as well.

Mrs. D also suggested a zebra rug. Faux of course.

Any decorating ideas and suggestions will be gladly taken and secretly scoffed at. No seriously, anyone have ideas go for it. I love the help.

Ahhhh, A Relaxing Hobby

I figured with all the crazy going on in my life lately, I needed to do something just for me.  I wanted to take a class. A class that didn’t require studying, or tests or term papers.

Something that was relaxing. Something stress free. I got myself the “adult learning” flier from the library to see what I could find. Maybe some sort of knitting or sewing class?

Once back in the day, I got myself the, “Learn to Knit” guide, video included. I got my knitting needles, my yarn and I started the video. They presented the first stitch. I could not do it. I rewound the video and tried again. I could not do it. I rewound the video again….finally after doing this several times, pjdaddy exclaimed, “For the love of God! Give me those needles and I’ll show you the stupid stitch!”

I gave up on the idea of making anything from “Vogue Knitting” and went about my life.

Until.last.week.

The adult learning center flier said it had crochet classes. I sooo signed up.  I didn’t really know much about crochet, but it had to be similar to knitting, right? I mean they both use yarn and a needle, or two, but this time I’d have a real teacher.

Oh man, this is gonna be great. I’m going to be able to crochet myself some blankets for those long winter nights in north Florida when the avg temperature gets down to like, 44 degrees or something. brrrrrr!

I got my yarn, I got my needles and I fantasized about all the things I was going to make once I learn how to do this stuff. Hurry up first day of class!

First day of class: I walked into the classroom and was horrified. I knew I’d walked into Grandma Hell, when I saw they were all drooling over a crochet magazine that had this: 

What.The.Hell?

Meh

Doesn’t matter. Apparently I’m incapable of crocheting. I am not even good enough to make that non-drug induced crocheted straight out of the trailer park flashback .

I can’t do a double stitch. Teacher said it’s because I talk too much. This could be true.  I’ll just have to bring the instructions home and have pjdaddy show me how it’s done.

Seriously though, not a fan of crochet. Knitting- Pretty. Crocheting- Not pretty.

Since I paid for this class, I will finish…….um, and I suppose  I’ll admit it’s still a break from the kids, so, I will not give up! I will learn this thing called crochet and make each and every one of you the following for Christmas.

 

What? You know you want it.

Bike ride anyone?

This Friday I am planning on participating in Critical Mass. Not sure which role I will play -Rider or Spectator but either way it will be a fun experience.

I love stuff like this but to be smart, I will be extremely reserved…..I imagine the Sheriff’s academy would frown upon arrested recruits.

Interested? See if Critical Mass events take place in your town. Ride on!