Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, January 6, 2003 4:49 pm

More on Christmas

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends — Lex @ 4:49 pm

By popular demand — well, OK, by the demand of one person, Janet, with whom I, or at least my blog, am/is (?) popular — I’m revisiting the subject of Christmas as it relates to the kids. This isn’t as untimely as it might seem, given that we didn’t actually finish our Christmas family gift exchanging until this past weekend, which we spent in Roanoke “doing Christmas” with Ann’s side of the family.

We spent the weekend before Christmas down in Davidson/Charlotte with my mom, stepdad, dad, stepmom, sibs and stepsibs. And you know what? We all had a great time, and none of the kids got sick, which is pretty much a first for Christmases during my parenting career. Hooper was walking around my dad’s house calling Dad “Bop!”, which charmed Dad no end.

We came home in time to have the actual Christmas right here in our own house. Although the kids didn’t get to sleep until 10:35 p.m. and Santa had to assemble a fully functional kids’ treadmill, Santa was through with his labors by 11:45 p.m. and the kids actually slept ’til around 7:30. When Hooper walked into the living room he looked a little trepidatious … until he saw four, count ’em, four trucks under the tree. “TRUCKS!” he shouted and bolted toward the tree at a dead run. I caught him on film in mid-stride. (Contrary to my expectations, he slowed down in plenty of time to avoid knocking the tree over.) Victoria was blown away by the treadmill, which was for both of them because they’ve both tried to get on Mommy and Daddy’s treadmill while we’re working out. She also was delighted to get a new baby doll that cries when you take the pacifier out of its mouth — she’d wanted to ask Santa for this but had forgotten, and she’d been fretting about that ever since.

Later in the day, we enjoyed a delightful standing rib roast, Ann’s first and an unqualified success.

We had planned to visit Ann’s mom the weekend after Christmas, but illness of other family members led us to postpone that for one weekend. We arrived Friday evening, and Hooper practically leaped into Granny’s arms — whether because he was genuinely glad to see her or simply because he was happy to be out of that ^%$@&# car seat, I cannot say. Naturally, we had a ton of food while at Granny’s, most of it homemade, including but not limited to: green beans, fried apples, mac ‘n’ cheese, pork loin, coconut cake and I forget whatall else. Hooper and Victoria also were delighted to see their cousins, although V. confided to me that one cousin (who has autism and Down’s) scared her a little. I explained to her that he has problems talking because of a brain problem he was born with, and she seemed more relaxed around him afterward.

We exchanged gifts after lunch on Saturday, after which most of the household went shopping, leaving me home with Hooper. I got to watch some football and basically do nothing, which I don’t get to do nearly enough of anymore, so I was happy. And of course we had Saturday dinner at the New Yorker Delicatessen, a Roanoke institution, where nine of us were able to get dinner for $50 … which Granny paid after arranging with the waitress to have the check brought to her. Granny, my brother-in-law Ronnie and I often get into fierce battles over dinner checks; it’s not unusual to hear one of us tell Granny something like, “You’re going to look awfully silly trying to pick up that check with no arms!” But I come by it honestly; my mother says her dad and his brothers used to beat hell out of each other to grab the check.

We got up early Sunday morning (well, relatively) and were Greensboro-bound again by 10:40. It snowed off and on almost the whole way back, which was kind of cool and very pretty, especially while we were still up in Virginia and thus in the mountains. (An aside: Dangerous though it is, U.S. 220 between Martinsville and Roanoke is some of the prettiest highway anywhere, and a good chunk of that beauty will be irretrievably lost when the road is upgraded to become Interstate 73 because interstate highways have to have smoother grades, wider lanes and longer sight lines than often are found on 220. Whether the higher speed limit will be worth the cost, I cannot say.)

Finally, yesterday was my 43rd birthday, and I celebrated by buying groceries for the week so that Ann could have some down time and start packing for Europe. Well, that and having dinner with two other couples (and their toddlers) at Outback. In addition to the printer and “Shipping News” DVD Ann and the kids gave me earlier, I got a Borders gift certificate and the DVD of “Blazing Saddles,” a must for any movie library. Woo-hoo!

No, this is not an implicit beg for additional gifts. If you look over this site, you’ll notice no Paypal logo, no “Amazon wish list” or anything like that. If you really want to do something nice for me, watch the kids for a while. Barring that, you might consider charitable contributions here, here or here.

Happy New Year!

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