Wow. I do love Christmas. I just wish it could last a few more days or something. All that preparation for one frenzied day. People are expecting Mr. Ashley to work (Mr. Ashley is ALWAYS working) and I want him to just be able to chill with us. There are probably also a few people who are thinking they'll be getting their photos any day now, but they are wrong. I don't think anything should be expected of anyone until after New Year's.
Anyways, Christmas here was awesome, as usual. It was the over the top insanity and all day playing that I love. Santa was really good to us this year. I'm not really that surprised since I've been extra good and all, but Mr. Ashley was a little surprised and will probably continue to be surprised in the coming months as the statements roll in. Oh well, what's done is done. Luckily, he's got a short memory. He'll be over it by February.
Big Kid was quite concerned that it wasn't snowing by the time we got home on Christmas Eve. We had already been over the fact that it absolutely, positively, in no way, shape or form was going to snow where we live this winter, or any winter. I thought the matter was taken care of one day weeks ago when we had the following conversation:
Big Kid: In Deecember you catch snowfwakes and have snowball fights and go ice skatin'
Ashley: Oh, not here you don’t. Sorry, but we live in Florida. It doesn’t snow here. It snows most other places, but not here. Mommy is a grown up and I have never played in snow or ice skated on a lake.
Big Kid: Weally? Why?
Ashley: Because we live so close to the equator. It doesn't snow in the South.
Big Kid: But it snows in winter time and now it is winter time.
Ashley: No, not in Florida.
Big Kid: Den maybe it's not winter yet. Maybe it is still Fall.
Ashley: No, it's winter. Remember how there was really no difference between summer and fall? Like, we didn't have changing leaves or acorns or any of that? One day it was just fall? Same thing with winter. One day it's just winter.
Big Kid: Oh (sadly)
Ashley: Yeah, it’s kind of a bummer but at least it is always warm here so we can go to the beach or out on the boat or in the pool and we can wear bathing suits whenever we want. Sometimes it's so cold up North that they can't even go outside!
Big Kid: Hmmm. Then maybe we will just go out to Ice Cream Island and catch sand flakes and throw sand balls and build sand men and ski on the water!
Ashley: YES! I LOVE that idea. Except for the part about throwing sand. See? It's fun to live in Florida.
So I thought that was a done deal. Then Christmas Eve, as we're sitting under the palm trees listening to Jimmy Buffet inspired Christmas carols, he announces that Santa can't come until it snows and how he can't wait to wake up in the morning and see snow everywhere. Ugh. I forget that it's not normal to have no snow experience and I realize that of course The Jews are really talking up winter, since they're trying to avoid the whole Christmas thing.
He must have forgotten that last year we took him to the annual event where they truck in a few tons of snow and let children push and shove each other to have 2 timed minutes on the slippery, slushy, muddy mound of chipped ice. Or that time we took him downtown and stood under the streetlights as soap flakes blew out and floated down around us, very much like real snow, just don't stick your tongue out or get it in your eyes.
I remember "glice" skating as a child. Someone would set up a huge sheet of waxy white stuff and charge kids money to put on ice skates and "glice" skate on it. Catfish will know what I'm talking about. I haven't seen that stuff in ages, either it was a ginormous liability or the ice skating rink put them out of business. One year my dad's buddies brought us cooler fulls of snow from Indiana and we had snowball fights in our bathing suits on our screen lanai. That's about the extent of my childhood memories regarding snow.
I thought I was pretty much over the whole snow thing without ever even having been there. I saw 2 inches of muddy slush once and caught bronchitis and was terrified to ride in a car on icy roads and pretty much swore off any interest in anything cold from that point on. But the other day my friend Amy sent all the Chaws a photo of her neighborhood, all covered in soft white stuff and all the trees bare and dripping with ice and snow and her darling red headed boys frolicking in it...and it totally took my breath away.
I really, really, really want a white Christmas and am begging Mr. Ashley to commit to a fabulous Christmas 2009 vacation at a wonderful lodge somewhere (so I could hide inside and have just as much fun if I do hate it). I completely see why Big Kid is so convinced there should be snow and so disappointed to realize that it wasn't going to happen. So we're definitely going to do the whole snow thing at least once and I'm also really pushing hard for a Tennessee Autumn 2008, because begging my Northern friends to mail us pressed leaves every year just isn't going to cut it for Big Kid.
I've gotten kind of off topic from Christmas, but oh well, you're stuck with me and I'm in a chatty kind of mood.
So our pre-Christmas activities included:
Chocolate coated candy canes (nice alliteration)
Snowman Soup (The bag included a packet of hot chocolate, some mini marshmallows and some Hershey's kisses and then I attached the candy cane aka stirring stick to the ribbon.
M&M Teacher gift (M&Ms in a glass jar with this poem):
Cute stuff, huh?
We spent Christmas Eve here:
The boys woke up to this Christmas morn:
They totally freaked. They both ran around and shrieked and clapped and went in the little house and hopped on the motorcycle and pedal car and laughed and squealed. little kid reached into his stocking, pulled out a chocolate Santa wrapped in tin foil and bit it's head off before anyone could stop him. Big Kid chattered happily about Santa and searched the pile of gifts for tags with his name on them. They opened the gifts and ooohed and aaaahed about their treasures and eyed each other's stuff jealously/hopefully until we were sitting in a mountain of wrinkled gift wrap and boxes of toys.
little kid did get put in time out right in the middle of present opening and I'm pretty sure it was all caught on video for posterity. You really have to be a total punk to get me to put you in time out on Christmas morning during gift opening. He was really sassy all morning, for instance, I told him he couldn't open prezzies if he was going to have his paci in his mouth so he marched to his room and came out with a paci in each hand and got right up in my face and switched pacis out, tilting his head and grinning each time he'd pop one out to put another one in. I ignored that but when he started running around hitting people, pulling hair and screaming in our faces, I was done.
That's his new charming trick by the way, if you tell him no or express any displeasure in what he is doing, he will purposefully scream as loud as he possibly can while staring at you angrily. We're ready to kill him over that shit. He got his chair turned around during Christmas Dinner for screaming at us all for not showing enough enthusiasm when he decided to stack up some of the fine china within reach. That kid.
So after breakfast we went to my mom's house for even more presents. Christmas with my mom is like Oprah's Favorite Things if Oprah watched a lot of QVC. My mom LOVES QVC. And QVC loves her, I'm sure.
My mom goes totally overboard though, and gets us awesome stuff. I got an amazing lens for my camera, a gorgeous Juicy Couture sweater, a bunch of Philosophy bath stuff, a waffle iron, a stack of books I've been wanting to read and all kinds of other stuff. The only total flops were some old lady pajamas (QVC) and a black shirt with a buckle on it. I start to open it and she says:
Mom: Now don't be offended by the size.
Mom: I just held it up and they must run small, it looks like it would fit you.
So I unfold it...and unfold it...and unfold it again. It's fucking huge. It could provide shelter for children in Darfur. So, it's going back.
Every year Mr. Ashley hits the Christmas lottery with my mom. Mr. Ashley mostly had super sucky childhood Christmases and my mom feels the need to make up for all of those sad Christmases with an obscene amount of gifts. He got a GPS, a nice digital camera, a Wii, a digital picture frame, clothes and a bunch of other stuff. It was insane. I was, and am, a little jealous.
The kids were overwhelmed with presents and Big Kid was pining for some time with little kid's Vtech laptop. When I told him no, it was little kid's time to play with it, he angrily opened a pair of rollerskates from my mom and declared that they were yucky. I snatched them away from him and put them up, telling him they would go to poor children who hadn't even gotten one present this Christmas and that he could sit in time out for the next 2 present rotations (see a pattern here? heathens).
Later that day he got a chair and got the roller skates down and came in to the room I was in to tell me that he was just smelling them and they weren't stinky, so maybe he'd just keep them. When I pointed out that the issue was never that the skates smelled bad and that he was just being a bad boy and acting ungrateful, he apologized but maintained that they had been a little stinky at first but they were fine now. Whatever.
So now my house is destroyed and there's all this new stuff that needs a home and I'm going to have to take down all of the Christmas decorations and nag Mr. Ashley to put it in the garage and then it will sit in the middle of the garage until March or so when I start yelling at him to put the boxes and the tree bag in a proper location and then we will debate about what location would be the most suitable and why. Fun, fun, fun.
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! God bless you if you read this whole thing ;-)