Wednesday, December 29, 2010

awkward christmas conversations

Awkward conversation #1:

It's candlelight service on Christmas eve. Right behind us is a family with a baby girl just one month solder than Yoda.  The conversation goes like this:
Dad:  Wow.  That is a really cute baby.  How old is she?
Rico: 5 months. Yours is adorable too. How old is she?
Dad: 6 months. But, I mean yours is really cute.
Rico: Thanks.
Dad: No, I mean - she is just beautiful. Really - gorgeous. (turning to his own baby, perched in her mother's lap). Seriously - she's much cuter than you.

Awkward conversation #2:
Rico: I can't believe I ended up with somebody who was a bible camp counselor, when practically everyone I know went to jew camp.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

christmas morning

We had a most wonderful Christmas.  It was filled with family and friends, and a candlelight service on Christmas Eve.  I promise to post more pictures later, but for now - here is a little taste of Christmas morning.  Kooka had picked out a very special present for Yoda's first Christmas - and it didn't get quite the reaction she hoped - but if nothing else, Kooka is an incredibly understanding big sister . . .

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

It's not that we're lazy - just busy - hence the lack of posts.

Christmas is our favorite time of year, and there is so much to do, and so many little moments we want to savor. Moments like:

•Christmas book - our version of the advent calendar.  Each day we unwrap one of 24 Christmas books and read them aloud.  Even though some of them are getting a little juvenile for Punk (Winnie the Pooh's Christmas, a board book called Santa's Workshop), the kids insist on keeping and re-reading all of the originals.

•Cheeseballs!!! It's an annual tradition - the kids do all of the grating and mixing - which leaves me with the wrapping and clean up.  This year, instead of Christmas carols we listened to the clean version of Cee-Lo's tune about 47 times (per Punk's request and Rico's absolute dismay).  (Put on a Santa hat, turn your speakers up full blast and click here while licking a brick of cheddar, to get the full experience)

• Christmas shopping.  We love it.  Kooka and I love picking the perfect gifts. Punk loves the atmosphere of the mall. Yoda loves grabbing things. And Rico - loves humoring us all, and mostly tags along for the camaraderie and the promise of caramel corn.

• The fireplace.  Our favorite place to hang out and watch the lights on the tree. Nevermind that Kooka has a mid-winter sunburn from tanning her little hide on the hearth one too many times.

• Sledding. We've only been once so far, but I'm sure we'll be back soon.

•Wrapping presents.  Of course Yoda has developed a love for unwrapping presents, which makes things tricky.  She can immediately recognize a wrapped gift.  Her little face lights up and she reaches out for it. But try to pry that curly ribbon out of her tiny grasp or curious mouth, and you will hear about it - for hours.

• Visiting Santa.  Punk is wishing for legos.  Kooka really hopes she gets an Ipod. And Yoda would really like some more curly ribbon, a roll of nontoxic wrapping paper and world peace (in that order).

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


It's my birthday today. A big one.  A huge one.  One so big that Punk threatened to decorate my cake with miniature grim reapers.  And for somebody like me, this is a big deal.

As long as I can remember, I have hated getting older. I especially despised birthdays.  After the age of six, birthdays became just a milestone - a passage of time.  I was one year farther away from remembering my mom, and one year close to my own demise - which I was positive would happen in less than 30 years.  (When paramedics came running into the house on the morning of my eighth birthday and declared my grandpa dead, it didn't exactly help the cause celebre' of birthdays. Neither did attempting to run away from home on my tenth. I don't have a great track record here.) I have cried on every birthday since age 16. It's been like watching the sand pour through a giant hourglass at an all too alarming rate.

So I'm pretty surprised to find, that although I've arrived at a significant milestone in my birthday career, I'm not the least bit upset.  In fact, I'm feeling pretty groovy about it.  It's not just the fact that I've kept a good ten years ahead of the grim reaper (though I must admit it's a bonus),  it's not that I've accomplished several things I've always hoped I would, or that I know I'm having cake tonight. It's more that I am terribly, wonderfully, utterly content with the direction my life is taking. I have friends who are funny and kind, kids who are intelligent and healthy, work that is fun and challenging, and a man that I fall in love with all over again at least three times a day.

So today I am going to watch the blizzard outside. I'm going to plug in the Christmas tree, turn on the fireplace and snuggle my babies - all 4 of them. Today, this is exactly where I want to be.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Yoda's first night in her new bedroom - alone!  We will either get more than the usual 4 hours of sleep, or less. My bet is on the latter.