Our Personal Holiday Best

Warning: strpos(): Offset not contained in string in /home/tedfoo/www/www/wp-content/plugins/hungred-image-fit/hungred-image-fit.php on line 273

Hey hey! The Christmas juggernaught is almost, almost over. We celebrated the end of the insanity Monday afternoon by leaving my Aunt’s Christmas party early, but then suddenly realized that we still have C.’s extended family Christmas event on New Year’s Eve. So that’s four, and that is a new record for us. At least I think it is, and plus it feels more like twenty-two with child in tow. A child is nice to duck behind during awkward conversations. Yep, a child makes the perfect accessory for any family function. Get yours today.

Teddy and Rhen in the Xmas spirit.
Rhen and I getting in the spirit of things. My mom, drunk again.

Over the holidays, we enjoyed the company of my brother Patrick, and his wife, Alisa who came far from Seattle. We also were fortunate to have my sister and her husband join us. Paula and Terry, who just came down HWY 61 from the Twin Cities, not as far as Seattle, but an equally grueling journey.

Long lost brother and sister-in-law, found in the basement!

Lots of family. Nice to see. I think next year I would seriously consider stepping off the Christmas train. It’s almost too insane and I think Rhen amplified that feeling with his needs. It’s enough to keep it together when it’s just you, but add a child, and you add a whole new pepper to the salsa. Ha. I just made that up and I’m not deleting it. Maybe it’s time to start our Christmas tradition. Well, definitely when Rhen is older.

Teddy and Rhen flopping on floor
Dad and Rhen, fighting off “The Silent Cone of Holiday Madness” by rolling on floor and ignoring people

The entire holiday event weekend (I haven’t fogotten the Murray party) ended with a drive in the country. Rhen fell asleep coming back from my aunt and uncle’s Xmas bash so we decided to extend it by driving around the county. It was nice to chat about the weekend and unwind. We drove by Blackberry road. It’s a long low maintenance road near my parents house that winds up to the ridge. Last week a meth lab burned towards the top of Blackberry Road. A young man was arrested. Winona County has many of these township roads that I’d imagine make ideal locations for cooking crystal meth. It’s a complete bummer to think about because Winona County is a beautiful area.

Melanie and CPR mask
Melanie helps her mother with a CPR mask. No need to panic, it was a gift. Melanie is a registered nurse.

Well, that’s about it. Looking forward to the new year, like OMG, the past year was a total blockbuster for C. and I! I’m sure it will only get better from here out. So, from our family to yours, we wish you the best of luck in the new year and your continued happiness and success.

Growly Morning Rhen

Boy, does time sure does fly when you’re having fun. The big Christmas holiday shopping spree is gearing up at Target so, less opportunities to write. Too busy running down gifts for Joe Public at Winona’s finest discount store. And that is exactly what it is, don’t let the Choxie adverts tell you anything different. You can still buy Boudreaux’s Butt Pasteâ„¢ at Target. Ooh, this is starting to look like a big covert guerilla markerting strategy. Better knock it off.

Play Rhen, play!
Make a love bug connection

So, everything is good over here. Rhen’s favorite new thing to do is talk. Now, I use that term loosely. This is what he likes to say, “Maaamaaamaaamaaamaaamamamamamamaaamaaaaaaah!”

AM boys
Morning People

Yes, it appears that he is now heading for “Mom” first. Of course this all happens at different volumes. The other night C. went out to get Culver’s for dinner so I set him in his Exersaucer. He’s such a little worker when he plays. Anyway, when C. got home Rhen looked up and growled/yelled when Christi walked into the room. His whole face lit up. Recognition warms the heart.

The Trials and Tribulations of Drain Boy

Rhen is backed up, but let me tell you, our plumbing is flowing free again. Rhen will work it out. One way or another that kid is going to poop. I’m not worried. Yeah, so back to our drains. Super clogged yesterday. I used hoses, snakes and was about to take apart the drain traps when I slowed down and thought. Let’s try Drano one more time and some of this bacterial stuff my dad suggested for prevention. I buy a huge jub jug of the Drano Gel and a big old bottle of this bacterial crap. I did this over C ‘s lunch hour so I had to hurry and went to ACE down the street. Joe Fixit dude cashiers me out. You know the kind of guy that knows everything. He unconvinced that my plan of Drano and bacterial crap is going to fix my clogged lines. He keeps telling me its the main sewer line that goes out to the street. I keep telling him it isn’t. He keeps telling me how much it costs to replace a main sewer line. I keep saying I’m sorry he had to pay that much, but that isn’t our problem. He mentions branches. I mention that this is going to work and almost invite him over so he can watch my success unfold before him. I am 33 years old. I’ve worked out a clogged drain or two before in my short life.

Get home. Start dumping Drano. I give most of it to the clogged shower drain, because I hate super hate standing in shower water. 45 minutes later, success. Unparalleled.

Later in the evening I did have a rude bout with the shower head. I guess I didn’t attach it right during my experiments to clear the drains with a hose and I had water flying all over the bathroom. It doesn’t seem like much of a big deal but you know, I’m tired, cold and naked trying to fix this thing with a wrench. It’s not a very comfortable feeling. Once again, unparalleled success. Shower. Sleep.

The Monolith and Rhen

It’s really sweet. Yesterday we went to IKEA and purchased an entertainment center. It’s called the LACK (ha ha). I like to call it THE MONOLITH. We had to tie it to the top of the roof. Assembly was quite easy even though they did short me a couple of screws.


Anyway getting to the sweet part. I must have hooked up the DVD wrong last night so this morning when we put on Rhen’s Baby Einstein vid we weren’t getting a picture. No problem. THE MONOLITH has wheels so I moved it out and started switching the AV cables to input one in the back. I hooked up the video cable and naturally the screen came on. Cutest thing ever. C. said Rhen was trying to look around me because I was blocking the screen. Awwwwwwww. It warms my heart. I think he even voiced some sort of disastisfaction with me. A grunt tellling me to MOVE. We have a little tv watcher.

The Don Henley Approach to Drinking Responsibly

Did I tell you I’m drinking a beer? Yeah, I better post this quickly or this could turn into sloppy mush. That would be bad, because I’m one sappy emotional bitch when I get drunk. Thank God, I don’t drink often. Why you ask am I drinking tonight? I’m having a few because I’ve canceled so many things (which included going out and drinking) to spend time at home. Better make it worthwhile. What else is there to do when you spend the night at home? You watch Lost. That is what you do. So, I’m taking the Don Henley approach to drinking tonight. Two fast. You know knock ’em back quickly, and then sip the rest of the night, just to keep the buzz going. Everyone saves face and goes home walking in the end. Take it easy. Just like the Eagles.

Family Cement

I feel like I’ve been hit by a cement truck. Ha ha, actually one drove up my parents’ driveway and delivered cement for the sidewalk we put in. I helped out. I used a wheelbarrow and chatted up the driver while he poured. I said stupid things like, “Have you ever seen a heart attack in your line of work?” or “this line of work requires one of two things. Good friends or a lot of money. Probably both.”

The driver was a super nice guy. He ACTUALLY got out of his truck to help us out. To help us “rank amateurs” as my dad so nicely put it. The cement guy also said I was doing a great job, which totally made my day because cement workers are the ultimate hardasses. He told me he did 22 cubic yards in two hours. I could be cynical and say something lousy about his hard work, but we did 6 today in about 4 hours and I feel like an old man right now.

My dad was super great too. He was johnny-on-the-spot with the float and 2×4. I feel like it was the best we ever worked together as team. Sniff. If I were at work, I would write my dad a Great Team Member card. It would read, “Dude, you ROCKED today on the cement job.”

Ghost Club

Big night for the Ghost Club. We explored our house and found that we are infested with the supernatural! The tally so far:

-Six vampires in the attic
-Five vampires in the basement
-One ghost (tall bald guy wearing a brown suit with pinstripes faces corner) in backroom
-One Boogeyman in the basement
-Undetermined number of wolves in backyard
-Undetermined number of gangster ghosts (killed in big shoot out) on second floor

Before I get ahead of myself let me introduce the Ghost Club:

Vice President Counselor Hannah
Vice President Counselor Hannah

Sergeant at Arms Drew
Sergeant at Arms Drew

President Teddy
President Teddy (VP Counselor Hannah showing approval of my appointment)

As I was saying the house was vigorously explored. A variety of equipment was used for our most dangerous exploration into the basement. Sergeant at Arms Drew manned a broom, helmet and a gallon of Holy Water. VP Counselor Hannah operated the flash light. President Teddy lead the expedition and used a secret knock to enter the basement. During the midpoint of the exploration there was a critical organizational structure failure and the mission was abandoned. After we rallied in the kitchen, President Teddy called for a debriefing in the Ghost Club conference room.

President opened the debriefing with some thoughts on why the mission failed and asked for suggestions to improve the next mission. VP Counselor Hannah lead the discussion with a call for more holy water. Sergeant at Arms Drew recommended we poke the eye out of the boogeyman with his toy sword. The rest is as follows from the debriefing notes:

VPC- bring garlic
SaA- had an idea then forgot it
VPC- rope
VPC- cell phone
Pres.- more tattoos (for protection from boogeyman)
Pres.- bring bible
SaA- bring Christi
VPC- bring blanket to hide under
VPC- whip (open discussion ensued)
SaA- bring blankey to whip monsters

Meeting was adjourned and the Ghost Club went downstairs for a photo session. Later we we’re entertained by Bob the Wooden Drawing Model Statue who told us the story of the gangster shoot out upstairs. The meeting closed shortly after Bob’s story. All members toasted each other’s good health and were sent home.