24 December 2007

HO HO HO! Merry Christmas!

Santa (and elves...) have been to our house - hope they find you, too!

23 December 2007

All I Want For Christmas Is A Raincoat For My House

The kids played their last hockey game of 2007 this morning, at the relatively civilized hour of 8:50am. After, we divided. Chris took Lars for a last shopping run while Ross and I gave the downstairs a quick once-over and then started making blue cheese bacon puffs to eat with our friend Rob, who came over to watch the Bills vs. Giants game. We were planning to do wings and fries but we couldn't get any wings, so it ended up being pizza. The Bills dominated the first quarter and put up a good effort but the Giants earned a decisive win in the end with some great plays (88yd turnover TD, anyone?). Rob brought the kids little RC tanks with instructions in Engrish that took a while to figure out but once we got them set up, the kids busied themselves building The Biggest Barricade Ever! out of their sneakers and the fort walls that came with the toys. The tanks are parked in the plaid chair, for easy access in the morning since there's no school.

It was raining a bit when Rob headed home, so Chris checked the basement. We still like to do a happy dance when it's dry - or at least I do, since 1/3 of my kitchen remodel fund is down there - but, alas, no dancing today. The rain driving in from the south pounded the large windows in the kitchen and dining room on that side of our house harshly enough to make pools in the windowsills. This, and the dirt clogging the sill drains combined to cause the water to leak through the window frames, onto the floors and then to drip down through the floorboards into the basement. (What is it about holidays that causes rain in the basements of Blackman homes? At least ours wasn't sewage, for which I am VERY thankful!) We pressed all our scrap towels into service soaking up the puddles and Chris did his best to clear the sill drains - not an easy task in the driving rain or in the dark. As long as we were wet and busy with the windows on a dark December night, I got out ammonia and a scrubby and took the fall grime off. This had the unplanned yet delightful side effect of cleaning my rings, so they are sparkling brightly now and, with another glass of rum (thanks, Rob!), I might just be able to be distracted from the monsoon coming into our house from the south.

22 December 2007

The First Year, We Were Scared

We'd been in our new house for three weeks before we were startled one afternoon by blaring sirens and the loud, blatting honks of the Fire Chief's jeep. Worried because they sounded so close, we looked out the windows and saw the trucks coming to a slow stop IN FRONT OF OUR HOUSE. Hearts pounding, we sniffed the air and looked for the children. Then we noticed the neighbors' kids running toward Santa, perched atop the Ladder Truck!

Four years later, our kids' inner clocks are now set to listen for the sirens on the Saturday before Christmas. They keep shoes by the door, ready to spring out whenever Santa might drive by. Lars heard his the sirens first this year and everyone jumped into shoes while I grabbed the camera. It's fun to see all our neighbors at once! We got to meet Minnie, the new puppy across the street and catch up with everyone's holiday plans. We'd been standing outside long enough to be officially chilly and were starting to wonder if Santa and his chauffeurs had been called to duty when we saw them coming! Having Santa come by our house is SO much better than suffering the mall! We might not get tree ornament style pictures out of it, but the home-based memories of seeing Santa with all the kids' friends on the block will survive, good photos or no.

20 December 2007

Tooth #7

9:09pm, feet on the stairs. A serious voice, "Mama, I need to tell you something."

"Ok," I call and with my verbal permission, Ross appears fully downstairs.

"I was in my bed and I heard something 'pop'. I went to the bathroom and, apparently, my tooth came out." He extends a palm showing the apparent tooth and gives a not-so-toothy grin. This is the fourth tooth he's yanked out in the hour or two after bedtime.

"What made it apparent that your tooth came out?"

"Mama," he giggles, "It's here in my hand!"
How will he stave off bedtime when he runs out of baby teeth?

07 December 2007

The Force Has Been Used

Confronted by this grisly scene on your desk, would you take it as some sort of warning?

06 December 2007

The Next Train's Not Until When?

I am stuck in Syosset. By the trains, I am now nearly four hours from home. I missed the two-and-a-half hours from home train by three minutes. I am having murderous thoughts about that guy who just HAD to extend the meeting by ten minutes to discuss a personal agenda. The worst? I have to be out here again, tomorrow morning at 10:00. Here's hoping I get home in time to get the train back!

With nods to SpiceGirl & Joy's month of being thankful, I am incredibly thankful right now for the Dunkin' in the train station parking lot, where I've got food, an outlet to save my battery, and a weak but useful wireless connection. Thank you, open router person...thank you.

04 December 2007

Tuesday Is My Day to Take the Blame

...but not for this. This is entirely the fault of our dentist. She has known Ross a long time - more than his whole life, in fact - and she enjoys facilitating. We love her!

03 December 2007

Nobody Heralds the Holidays like Rick Jeanneret

Actually, nobody heralds anything like Rick Jeanneret, but I think he does especially well with the holiday cheer!

In other news, I'm getting my USA Hockey Ice Coaching certification. I took the Level 1 course last weekend and hope to have completed Level 4 by the end of 2008.

02 December 2007

First NHL Bruise

The kids got to watch the NHL players skate warm-up before the game Friday night. Lars, enthralled, had his forehead pressed against the glass. During the butterfly drill, one of the players winged a one-timer from the point that hit the glass where Lars had his head and gave Lars his very first NHL bruise! See that purple lump with the red middle, just above his radiator scar? That's from getting hit by an NHL puck! As Lars said, hopefully it will be the first of many - he couldn't be more proud.

The Bears skated well as the Mites-on-Ice that night. You can see the video here, if you'd like. After they skated, they got chocolate ice cream (see Lars' chin...) and cotton candy which probably isn't good for my reputation.


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