Monday, January 04, 2010

I Read The News Today Oh Boy: Holiday Roundup Edition.

It's been a while since I did I Read The News Today Oh Boy (the title comes from The Beatles' song A Day In The Life, an explanation I should've given long ago, maybe.) But as I ease into this year sans laptop (our home computer gave up last Friday, perhaps-only-coincidentally after being used by our nephew to play online games), and having been out of my office for nearly two complete weeks, I thought I'd bring that feature back and give you not just a single day in my life, but a recap of the holidays (mostly) in pictures.

It's a recap of the holidays (mostly), because I didn't actually include any pictures of what happened on the holidays in question. Instead, these are all pictures around the holidays.

As you know from reading way back when, my holidays began with a thoughtful, generous, kind, overwhelmingly charitable act on my part as I spent the first two hours of my Christmas vacation bell ringing.

With the whole peace & love & understanding thing out of the way, it was time to party, holiday style, which we did in this case by taking the Babies! to Chuck E. Cheese's on Wednesday the 23rd:

Mr Bunches found a better way of playing Skeeball --
a necessary modification to the game when your
arms are tiny...

Mr F soon copied Mr Bunches' revolutionary innovation...
to lesser effect.
(He's throwing the balls into the zero-point slot.)

One good thing about taking three year olds
to the arcade? They don't know when they're
playing games and when they're just
watching someone else play. So watching
The Boy play a game while hitting the "One Player" button
is satisfying for Mr Bunches:

The Babies! and The Boy ended up earning about 200 tickets, which The Boy generously decided to donate to another little kid who was there. The Boy did that, though, with a complete lack of ceremony, dumping the tickets on the table in front of the other kid's dad. It's possible that the dad knew the tickets were donated; but, since The Boy immediately left after doing that, it's possible the dad thought The Boy had stolen the tickets from the kid and then had a change of heart.

Middle tried to get Mr Bunches interested
in one of the thrill rides, a swing that
traveled in a clockwise direction:

Mr Bunches wasn't liking it.

Mr F, meanwhile, spent a good twenty minutes
on this Bob The Builder ride, which gently rocked
him into a state of near-sleep, until he noticed (shown here)
the animatronic band at the back of the restaurant.

Not pictured: Mr F running up to the motionless animatronic
band, then seeing it start up playing and running away in fear.

Middle tried again, showing Mr F how to play a
fishing game.

Middle is boring.

We left Chuck E. Cheese's just as a blizzard was starting up, a blizzard that would serve as our cover to not go visit my family the next day on Christmas Eve. That holiday was celebrated in the time-honored way we almost always spend it: lounging around all day, mostly in pajamas, playing with the Babies!, discussing hot celebrity gossip, and closing with the Traditional Family Movie.

Past Traditional Family Movies have included Godzilla, Halloween, and Friday The 13th. This year's Traditional Family Movie broke new ground by introducing sci-fi as we watched, in loving family togetherness, District 9.

Christmas Day was presents from Santa (in keeping with the True Meaning Of Christmas) -- Hot Wheel tracks and motorized dump trucks, plus buckets of dinosaurs and farm animals for the Babies!, jewelry and t-shirts for Sweetie, clothes and movies for the kids, and a Kindle for me. A day of leftover egg nog, pizza (there's always pizza involved), showing Mr Bunches how to play Hot Wheels and helping Mr F read his new book (I Love You, Stinky Face), and general lazing about, as well as a day of potentially bankrupting myself when I am momentarily tempted to purchase every book, ever, for my Kindle.

I was held back from that major purchase by the realization that due to errors in my bookkeeping system, I was probably overdrawn in my bank account. (My bookkeeping system is best summarized by the phrase "Try to keep track of how much I've spent, sort of.")

Saturday, I took the Babies! on their first-ever sledding trip. The hill we chose was dictated by Sweetie, who wouldn't let us go any place fun, on account of, in Sweetie's world, fun = "horribly dangerous and probably also you'll lose one or both of the Babies!"

I'll tell you: mention just once how Mr F escaped at the grocery store while you were selecting a cake and was gone for 10 minutes, and some parents never let you forget it. And it was her birthday cake we were there to get... so in a way, it was very much her fault.

In the end, we chose a nearby park with a sledding hill that went down about 10 feet. It was much of a hill, but then, the Babies! weren't much interested in sledding.

Mr Bunches and Mr F both refused to
wear their own mittens, so they
ended up having my gloves lashed to them:

After a few runs down the hill, during which they mostly
sat bored on my lap, the Babies! set off on an expedition around the
baseball diamond at the end of the park. They were like little
Admiral Pearys, if Admiral Peary had explored a park in Middleton
instead of discovering the Straits of Magellan, or whatever
it was Admiral Peary did. (I'm pretty sure Peary did something involving cold.)

Mr F was not a fan of wind chill:

The park we chose is also the park where I take the Babies!
to play in the summer, and Mr Bunches saw the swings he
loves, at which point he insisted on doing some swinging:

Saturday, the 26th is also, of course, the day that everyone
goes to the Mall to get the stuff they wish they'd been given
for Christmas. Sweetie needed a new coat, so we went to the
store with her. The highlight of the trip for me:
The Gingerbread House Display that was still up, including
the house from Up:

Not pictured: Mr F escaping from me in the Mall and running almost the entire length of it as I chased after him carrying Mr Bunches, finally corraling him at the pharmacy he ducked into in a clever evasive maneuver.

The week between Christmas and New Year's was marked by a Series of Unfortunate Events that I may elaborate on in the future but won't yet.

When the dust settled, the week finished up with a New Year's Eve that saw me and the Babies! partying by staying up until 9 p.m. watching a movie. That doesn't seem late, but it outlasted Sweetie, who fell asleep about 8:45 p.m. I then spent the remainder of the New Year's Eve... don't get too excited by by near-rock-star-ness... reading Juliet, Naked on my Kindle until 11:45 when I fell asleep.

New Year's Day was spent much the same way Christmas Day was: pizza and pajamas, but no presents. The next day, the Babies! and I tried another sledding trip, one that was made even more difficult by the fact that in my haste to load the car, I forgot the sleds.

So we walked around the park, exploring again, and
came to the Splash Park where the Babies! like to play in the summer:

As the temperature dropped to six degrees, we called it a day and went back home. The remainder of the weekend was spent quietly, until we finished up with a dinner of burritos last night. The highlight: Mr Bunches playing with the baby carrots:

Not pictured: Mr Bunches making me eat four baby carrots at once.
Some with lint on them.


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