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Archive for January, 2012

The Holiday Letter That Wasn’t

I’ve been plagued by guilt the last few days for not getting around to doing an annual holiday photo of the kids.  You would think that I would just buck up and snap a few photos and get on with it already, rather than continue to torture myself by the fact that there will one day be a missing year in the holiday section of the scrapbooks that I still haven’t started.  But how am I supposed to convince everyone on our annual holiday photo mailing list that I have the two cutest kids in the world when they both are in need of haircuts, and currently look more Shaggy than Fred?  Yes, I could round them up and drag them into town for haircuts, but that would mess up my weekend plans to do nothing and never change out of my pajamas.

So that got me thinking that maybe instead of the photos I should try my hand at writing one of those infamous holiday letters where people go on and on about how their perfect family has perfect jobs and gets perfect grades while living in their perfect house on the perfect cul-de-sac, driving their perfect car and going on their perfect vacations.  Except that you all already know too much about us to believe for even one moment that we could be, well, perfect.  I mean, most of you have seen our car with the broken side view mirror that we’ve been driving as is for at least six months.  And if you’ve been waiting for an invitation to visit us, well, don’t hold your breath because our house is so perfectly messy that I wouldn’t be caught dead having company.

After mulling it over for a bit, I’ve decided to go with the letter, but to give it an honest rather than perfect slant.  And, I am going to do it in one take, so prepare yourself for lousy grammar, run on sentences up the wazzu (you all know how much I love to use those!), improper paragraphing, and so on.  As I said before, I have big plans for my weekend and can’t be bothered with rough drafts and edits.  So here goes….

*****

Dear Family, Friends, and Those Perusing the Internet Unfortunate Enough to Stumble Upon This,

I hope this note finds you happy and in good health!  Please forgive the tardiness of this holiday update.  Perhaps those of you still waiting for Hayden’s birth announcement will consider this timely in comparison.  By the way, Hayden will be four this spring, but more on him later.

Patrick and I will celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary this year.  That means that this is officially my longest marriage to date!  I am happy to report that for the most part, we still like each other.  Except for those days when we don’t.  I mean, how much can you blame me if I get a little short with him after walking in on him brushing his teeth at the same time he is standing using the toilet?  Surely a day that starts like that can only follow a swirling downward spiral.  Okay, that hasn’t really happened — yet — although I fully expect that it could.  But some days are just like that, and what can you do if you don’t want to start all over at square one with someone else?  Which I may have to do, if he reads this.

So quickly, let me add that he has worked tirelessly over the past few years to keep us afloat in this dire market.  Really, I admire his tenacity, his perseverance, and his ability to remain positive and optimistic, despite being married to me, the incessant worrier.  He is an amazing dad, a pretty cool guy, and I’d say overall, I’m pretty lucky to be married to him.  In all honesty, this time around I’m not the least bit worried about the seven year itch.

Addison is nearly six and a half.  Don’t bother doing the math.  It’s hard to believe that this tall, smart, handsome boy is the same child that once fit in the crook of my arm.  He loves rock climbing, soccer, and riding horses.  It’s too bad that I have such an aversion to after school activities so he rarely gets to do any of those things.  But he’s already gone eight hours a day, and I just haven’t been able to bring myself to sign him up for something else that will take up more of his time.  Don’t worry though, I’ll be sure to pack his summer full of activity.

He is doing well in school, both Spanish and English, and I marvel at the fact that my baby is actually reading.  It seems just yesterday that I was hooting and hollering with joy because he said ‘mama’ for the first time, and now here he is reading me my bedtime story.  His favorite parts of school are recess and riding the bus.

He has replaced me as his best friend with a little boy named Michael.  While the rejection stings, it is fun to see him developing relationships.  For the first five years of his life, all of his friends were girls, so finally having some friends who are as into dirt and bugs as he is seems pretty cool.  Although, just the other day he did spend the entire afternoon dressed as a fairy princess after having me put his hair up in pigtails.  And he wants to be a flight attendant when he grows up.  No, I don’t lie awake at night worrying that he won’t be able to marry the person he loves because he might be gay.  I know that he’s straight because he already told me who he is going to marry when he grows up, and it happens to be a she.  Yes, he wants to marry me.  Hallelujah!  I must be doing something right!  And I think it’s good that he has such a  well- rounded clothing style.

Last night as I was putting cream on Hayden (he still has that horribly dry, itchy skin that is only mildly better in the winter), I suddenly realized how huge his feet have become.  After briefly wondering if perhaps I have been daily shoving shoes onto his feet that are several sizes too small, I began to reflect on how much he has grown in the past year.

Almost all of that delicious baby is gone, but in his place is a delightfully destructive little boy.  He has an incredible knack for flooding, breaking, and misplacing just about anything in his path.  He loves chocolate chip cookies and popsicles, his big brother and his stuffed monkey, legos and anything with wheels.  He has a surprising tendency to be shy, except around family.  We can’t get him to be quiet no matter how hard we try.  I’m proud to say he has great manners, and usually will help clean up the multitudes of messes he makes with only moderate pleading on my part.  He also enjoys coloring, and he has some mad dancing skills.  I am telling you, that kid can groove!

Let’s see…  Oh, he also potty trained himself last year!  He must have gotten tired of waiting on us to do it, so one day he just up and went, and that was that.  Sweet!  He has been in a Spanish Immersion pre-school since this past August, and has learned to say ‘Adios’.  He now knows that he is three and finally holds up three fingers rather than two when telling you so, and he knows that his name starts with an ‘H’.  We have high hopes for him.

I have enjoyed being back in the friendly skies over the past year.  Unbelievably, it has been 15 years since I began my career as a flight attendant.  Patrick and I have been to Hawaii together a couple of times, and we took the boys to Disneyland, and also took a long weekend trip to San Francisco, all compliments of my flight benefits.

I love having Addison and Hayden tag along on my trips because they act like I’m a rock star, or at the very least, the president.  They lean over into the aisle, point toward me, and announce to everyone in shouting distance that I am their mom.  Their grins stretch from ear to ear and they radiate pride.  I hate to burst their bubble by pointing out that I’m just slinging sodas.  I guess I’ll soak it up while I can.  I suppose, at the rate they are growing, it will be just a few more minutes until they are slouching down in their seats humiliated because the roles have reversed and I am the one announcing to everyone in shouting distance that those are my boys.

I am thrilled to share with you that I seem to have finally conquered the mountainous piles of laundry that have plagued me for years.  You can actually see the laundry room floor more often than not.  Unfortunately, my culinary skills still don’t expand much past the microwave.  Out of necessity, Patrick has become quite a skilled housekeeper.  Between the two of us, we are usually able to keep the house a step or two above disastrous, but we have two little tornadoes constantly working against us.  We both long for the day that we may actually be able to have someone else come clean our house on a daily, or better yet, hourly basis.  To that end, I’ve been entering the HGTV Dream Home sweepstakes every day, in hopes that we will win, turn around and sell the house, and then hire a live in chef, maid, and personal trainer.  Hey, you can’t win if you don’t enter!  And a girl can dream.

On that note, I wish you the happiest of days and many blessings in the year ahead!

xoxo Elizabeth

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