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December 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: When You Give an 8 Year Old a Camera

Neener, neener, neener!

No, Santa didn't bring her a camera (sheesh, I'm still waiting for mine!) however, this IS what happens, when your kids are home for the holidays and you, however...you know...are NOT (stupid work!) and one of them just happens to find the one and only camera in the house and, you know, it was just sitting there...on your desk.

It's soup, I think.

It's some sort of soup, I think.

GAH! 

GAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

My eyes!

Let there be peace...a lot!

Mom's gonna kill you for using her camera!

You know, mom's gonna kill you for using her camera, without asking, right?

No she isn't, 'cawse she thinks I'm cute! 

No, she isn't, 'cawse she thinks I'm cute [insert 1st picture, here]

John Cena, I think.

John Cena, I think!

You're not made, right Momma

You're not mad, I mean, you like John Cena, right momma?

Morale of the Story:  No, I'm not mad...yes, I like John Cena (RAWR!) but, I really wish Santa would just bring us another camera (or, Ashton Kutcher, RAWR!) because, the kid put the other one down and now I can't find it, DAMMIT!

Stupid work!

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© 2009 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Four to the Teen, Baby!

Heather Winter 2009

Happy Fourteenth Birthday, Heather!

Today, you are fourteen and, well, like I told your sister Holly (in her birthday letter, last month) Holy Hannah Montana, the years are just flying by.  No matter how hard I try to deny the fact that my two oldest girls are getting older (me too, DAMMIT!) time insists on slipping through my fingers, burrowing deeper into my chest and squeezing away a little piece of my heart, each year.

Remember yesterday, when everyone left us alone at the breakfast table and you and I talked about when you were little.  How you cried a lot and never slept.

Me, too. 

Except, you DID sleep in your car seat (a little) in our first minivan, you know, Daddy's Windstar (may it rest in peace) while I drove around town, in the middle of the night, through tears of frustration...both yours and mine.

I know now that, right from the beginning, you were developing a keen sense of empathy and was just hypersensitive to the world around you.

"I'm sorry, Momma!"

Still are.

"For what?"

It's like you know exactly how I'm feeling, or when to make daddy smile.  

"Thinking about that makes me wanna cry."

[blank stare]

See what I mean?

"Soooo, you wanna go for a drive?"

Although, most folks would probably consider outwitting your parents at the dinner table, on a daily basis, as borderline brilliant -- especially, to your siblings -- I really do miss your knock-knock jokes.

"Just you and me, okay?"

I know how hard it is to be the middle child...sort of...literally, wedged between two sisters, having to share one bedroom, which you end up cleaning, by yourself, mostly and giving up the corner of the couch, so your baby brother could better reach his sippy cup.

"So what, mom STILL makes me use one, when I'm sick, too."

You were my little keeper of the peace; still are.

Then, all h-e-double-hockey-sticks broke loose and, by Thanksgiving, last year, we were all trying, real hard, to make YOU feel better, while you celebrated your 13th birthday, flat on your belly. 

Nothing, could have prepared us for the long road ahead, right?

Then, it was mommy's turn and, well, making butt jokes during yet ANOTHER emergency surgery is more than appropriate, right?

Riiiiight.

It DID get better.  You made the field hockey team.  I survived your first game.  Then, worse.  You had one more emergency room visit

"They really asked me some STUPID questions."

Oh yeah. I forgot about that.

"Like what?"

But, since SHE was the one to bring it up.

"Like, if I'm sexually active or not."

[grabs time by the cajones and squeezes, HARD!]

Aaaaand now, well, you ARE fourteen, one year post surgery and looking forward to joining your sis in high school, next year (DAMMIT!) not to mention, proving yourself to be the bravest and strongest kid I know, over and over again.

Frosted Heather

So, there's nothing much more I can say (without crying, again) besides, what I used to say, you know, when you were little:

"I love you more than the moon and the stars!"

Aaaaand, Momma's gonna sing (yeah, AGAIN!) ready?

[clears throat]

Happy Birthday, my Christmas Baby
You're fourteen, I can't believe it's true
But, I've just one wish on this special day...

I wish I were more like you!

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© 2009 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Writing Challenge #3: The Gift - Angels Bearing Lopsided Christmas Trees

Write of passage

This is part of a writing challenge at {W}rite-Of-Passage, a community of bloggers who are looking to get back to the writing part of blogging and brainchild of my friend, Mrs. Flinger.  Today’s challenge was Write about the Christmas Gift you remember the most.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Like most of the kids in our neighborhood, my twin brother and I eagerly counted down the days until Christmas, by doing our homework, eating our all of our vegetables and cleaning our rooms, without being asked, in a desperate attempt to earn extra points with Santa Claus. 

However, we were perhaps the only family in town without a tree. 

"Not until Christmas Eve."

We would sit and sulk in the back of our station wagon, on the way to the laundromat, or coming back home from food shopping, as our folks marveled at other people's houses, every weekend.  Still.  No tree.

"In Hungary, kids had to wait until after midnight for the Christmas Angel."

Oh, there were plenty of stories.  About trees and drunken angels.  Like, the year my grandfather decided to celebrate Christmas on the way home from work, tripped on the entrance of their small apartment and dropped their tree...decorations and all.

"It was the Angel, I tell you, I saw it drinking on the trolley!"

I'm sure my grandmother didn't appreciate my grandfather's dry sense of humor, just as much as my brother and I couldn't understand my father's excitement at finding a pair of socks, or a foil wrapped orange under their Christmas tree.

Still.  We listened and it made my father miss them both, all the more.

"Daddy's home and he's got our tree!"

My father worked for a landscaper and for years sold Christmas trees, in the parking lot of a garden center, before being laid-off for the winter.

"It's beautiful, Daddy!"

If you were to ask me what Christmas gift I remember the most, thirty-something years ago, I would have answered the Barbie Country Camper.

"Your grandmother would have loved such a tree."

Today, it's stories of drunken Christmas Angels and lopsided tabletop trees that help make Christmastime special for me...and my family.

Just like Dad.

Other folks participating, today:

Write on!

[Click here to view past Writing Challenges]

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© 2009 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

The Babies Are Coming, The Babies Are Coming...

No, I'm not pregnant [knocking on wood until knuckles bleed] but, I have to admit, now that my kids are getting older, this trailer makes me wish a few of their baby years, back (sort of) without ALL the farm animals, I mean.

I just think the visuals are stunning and very happy to see that the language of babies is STILL, you know, universal...not to mention, that this post has absolutely NOTHING to do about Christmas.

You're welcome!!!

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© 2009 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

I Saw Mommy Shake Down Santa Claus

Liz & Garth [not his real name] Christmas '09

My husband, Garth [not his real name] and I attended his company's holiday party, last weekend and -- although, this is our 21st Christmas -- it's been a long time since we've attended a company party, together.

"Should we valet-it, tonight?"

We had no choice (no self-parking allowed) seriously, the banquet center is in a real swanky part of the county (I could very nearly spit to Bon Jovi's and Springsteen's house) but, everyone was allowed to bring a guest.

"I don't believe you've met my wife..."

Actually, we both knew only a handful of folks and there were, like, over 200 people there (no biggie, after BlogHer, I know) but, the atmosphere was that of 1 big happy family (mostly) and we ALL toasted my husband's upcoming 1st anniversary with The Kinder and Gentler Bank.

"Would you like another glass of Pinot Grigio?"

Did I mention, there was an open bar?

"I'll have the Chateau Briand, thank you!"

Needless to say, Garth [not his real name] and I were dressed to impress and enjoy ourselves (i.e. no sweatshirts, or hoodies allowed) as it was the 1st time that we've been out, together (sans children) in, like, weeks, months, um...what year is it, again?

"BUUUUUUT, YOU PROMISED TO TAKE ME TO THE MALL!"

Seriously, on a Saturday, at Christmas?

"Yes, you did."

I must have been high on Lysol, or something, but my husband also reminded me that, since our oldest was sleeping over someone else's house (about danged time, too) Heather kindly offered to sit the rest of our kids, for us.

"You take her and I'll take the rest to Five Below, or something."

Besides, it was Heather's turn for some private mommy time and, at 13, I'm just happy that she still, you know, admits that I am her mother, let alone agrees to be seen with me, in public.

"You can take my car!"

WHOOT!...[cue new car smell]...so, I kissed my husband (whispering, in his ear, something about looking forward to, well, you know, later) and we went our separate ways.

"No...toll...paid...what does that mean, Mom?"

[eyes go wide]

"I dunno, I thought the E-ZPass Lane was open and...OH, FRIG!"

Then, I remembered that I had my husband's car.

"Daddy doesn't have E-ZPass?"

Nope.  Aaaaand, I'd blown through 2 tolls, already, which cost my husband (does the math) $50.00 in tickets.

"Aaaand, we haven't even gotten to the mall, yet!"

So, I asked Heather to text her father what happened, hoping that it would give him enough time to, you know, get over it.

Then, he texted back.

"Well, at least, something's getting blown around here."

No he didn't.  But, if you have kids, then you KNOW he was thinking it, right? 

"I'll make it up to you."

Did I mention that there was going to be an open bar?

"It's not like I haven't heard that one, before."

We really did have a wonderful time at the Christmas party and, as we helped our youngest children find their beds (or, which ever one happened to be the closest) Garth [not his real name] and I were still feeling, you know, toasty.

"I can't sleep; can I go upstairs to Glen's bed?"

[eyes go wide]

"Orrrrrrr, did you guys wanna be alone?"

[the sound of a romantic mood, exploding]

This Christmas, I'm giving Garth [not his real name] the gift of hope.

"Maybe we should just install an E-ZPass in OUR bed."

Or, which ever one happens to be the closest, right?

Liz@thisfullhouse signature

© 2009 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Writing Challenge #2: The Lunch Box - Hungary for Peanut Butter

Write of passage

This is part of a writing challenge at {W}rite-Of-Passage, a community of bloggers who are looking to get back to the writing part of blogging and brainchild of my friend, Mrs. Flinger.  Today’s challenge was to take 15 minutes and write about your elementary school lunch.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

It was 1946 and Hungary, as nearly all of Europe, was devastated by World War II, including the small hamlet where my mother attended kindergarten.   My mother's earliest childhood memory, one of a very few that she will even speak of, is the day the Americans shipped a case of peanut butter to her school.

Each child was asked to line up and receive his, or her ration of peanut butter and then it was my mother's turn.

"Eva, where is your bread?"

My mother shyly whispered into her teacher's ear that she didn't have any; the local bakers ran out of their allotment of bread, earlier that morning.

"Well, what am I supposed to spread the peanut butter on, the palm of your hand?"

Growing up, we were used to hearing such stories at the dinner table -- how, even in a big city like Budapest, my father was forced to steal to feed his younger siblings -- still, I don't think that my twin brother and I ever really understood how difficult it was for my parents.

Thinking back on it now, I seemed to have developed a sort of school daze and I can't seem to remember where, or even what we ate for lunch. 

However, I can tell you this:  there was always plenty of peanut butter AND bread in our house.

Mine, too.

[Note:  A portion of this piece was originally written in 2008 for my Blogging Out Hunger post as a part of the We Can't Let This Bank Fail Campaign]

Other participants writing, today:

Write on!

[Click here to view past Writing Challenges]

Liz@thisfullhouse signature

© 2009 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.