Monday, December 22, 2008

Can't Wait for Christmas

I know I've been lame (okay, lame-er) on the blogging lately. My apologies. Christmas is a busy time. Normally during December I have an off month but this year I am making a genuine effort to be ready for a marathon in mid January.

Last week I got my mileage back up to over 50 mpw and I got in a 21 miler for the long run. Everything felt good (it has been 3 weeks since my marathon) but by the end of the week my legs were dead. I took yesterday off and cleaned out my house. My plan was to do my long run today (either 21 miles again or 23.5 miles) but the high today is barely in the 30's and currently it isn't even 19 degrees. Seeing how my lungs react to the sub freezing temps-- and I'd like to not be sick this Christmas (was last year)-- I think I will do my long run tomorrow when the low/high is 45/57.

Call me whatever you want but I don't see the point in torturing myself if I don't have to.
Right, right, right.
It could be really cold race day. . .

The way I see it is that it won't make a difference if I get sick and can't train and run on race day. Better to get to the start line healthy. I'll worry about how cold it is when I absolutely have to.

So, like I said. I've been busy; shopping, wrapping up gifts, decorating, cleaning etc. As the kids get older Christmas is becoming more and more fun and we've been busy with family activities, shenanigans and parties. This year we had some visitors from the North Pole: Walt and Rosie.

These are two very mischievous elves that Santa sent to the kids. Oh boy have these two made quite a ruckus at our house: tp'ing, leaving gifts and little notes, rearranging the furniture, making forts with all the cushions, un-decorating the Christmas tree and just this morning I woke up to q-tips and cotton balls over the house. Walt and Rosie had even gotten into those furry red handcuffs that Pop gave me and Ryan. I KNOW!!!! Don't you just want to know why my Dad gave me such a thing? Yeah, I'll get to that. . .

So, yes, I have been greatly entertained by the kids this year. Particularly Beau and his inability to wait for Christmas. Apparently he either doesn't like surprises or doesn't understand at all what is meant by "surprise."

It is funny but my sister Pookie is the exact same way. When we were little she use to not only unwrap all her presents under the tree (and then wrap them back up) she would also unwrap everyone else's. It killed her to not only NOT know what she was getting for Christmas but to also NOT know what everyone else was getting.


I'm okay with surprises. I even like them. In fact, I've been DYING for about all my life for someone to throw me a surprise party already.

Okay, in case they are reading, I did have some friends in high school who threw me a surprise party once but they ended up telling me about it beforehand because-- as they said-- they were worried I would "make other plans and not come to the party." But these days my social calendar is a lot emptier so feel free to throw me a party and rest assured I will be there because I will have nothing else to do.

But my sister? She must hate surprises. She would say stuff like "Do you want to know what Aunt Harriet got you?"

And I would say, "No. I can wait until Christmas."

And she would say,"It is perfume. And Mom got you a leather skirt--a black one, and Kathy got you a gift medallion from Turtles-- 10 dollars worth. What tape are you going to buy with it?"

It got so bad that Lala just let Pookie help pick out all the gifts she bought and then paid her fifty cents a gift to wrap and I guess, bribe her to keep the gifts a secret. And it wasn't just Christmas--birthdays too-- and she was this way ever since she could talk. We couldn't tell her any secrets. She can't keep them. And for that matter, Lala, can't keep a secret either.

Oops, starting to digress. Let's bring this back around.

So I have discovered that Beau is like Pookie. I can't help but wonder if is genetic or just a youngest child thing. Can anyone else weigh in? Youngest child versus not being able to wait for Christmas without peeking. . .

My first indication of Beau's inability to contain a surprise was about a week and a half ago. He told me that he had made me a present at school and couldn't tell me what it was and I would have to wait until Christmas. And in the same breath he said: "It is an ornament. For the Christmas tree."

And I said: "Beau, you aren't suppose to tell me what it is. You are suppose to keep it a secret so it will be a surprise Christmas morning."

And Beau rolled his eyes at me and said: "I didn't tell you what kind of ornament it is." And with that off to school he went.

Fast forward to that afternoon when he comes home with said present:

"Open it," he demanded, thrusting the present in my hand.

I start to protest, saying I should wait until Christmas morning. . .

"It is an ornament, " he tells me yet again as he helps me pull paper off and before the unwrapping is done he says excitedly, "It is a snow man!!! With a sled!!!!"

The next day Beau comes home with another gift. This one he gives to Carmella and thrusts it in her hand and says "Open it now. It is a star. I sewed it."

Carmella was quite gracious and complimented him and told him she made the same star when she was in kindergarten too but that his is much nicer.

Another day goes by and the kids decide they need to buy some gifts. They clean out their piggy banks for what little is left. I think I have mentioned this before but if not, you should know my kids keep the school store in business.

The school, in addition to the school store, puts on a "Holiday Store" so the kids can go and buy little gifts for friends and family. Total racket, but a trip to the school store motivates the heck out of my kids and gets them ready for school way ahead of schedule.

When I picked the kids up from school that day they are waiting in the carpool line with their arms laden with gifts. We drive home and their excited chatter was indecipherable. We arrive home and I help them pile out of the car. Carmella tells me she has gifts for me, Daddy, Lola, Beau and her friend Ashton. Beau tells me he has gifts for Daddy and for himself.

I instruct them to go put their gifts under the tree. Carmella complies and goes off to do her homework. Beau puts his gifts under the tree too. But then, after a moment, he comes back and gets the one he bought for himself. I feel compelled to add that my sister also shops for herself at the holiday. In fact I think she spends more on herself than she spends total on everyone else. Seriously, is this a "baby of the family" trait or what?

"I'm just going to open this one right now," Beau tells me. "I already know what it is," he further explains.

I try to dissuade him but he already has it opened. Then he abandons "the gift"--a pad of paper and fancy pencil--on the couch and goes outside to play. He returns a few minutes later and asks if he can open the present Carmella got him.

"No," I tell him.

What about the one he got for Daddy, he wants to know.

Confused I ask, "but don't you already know what you got him?"

"Yes," he says, but he wants to open it anyway. Then he starts asking me where the gifts are that I got for him.

I tell him, "I'm not putting them under the tree until Christmas Eve."

"Why," he wants to know.

"Because you will unwrap them," I tell him.

"No . . . " he says smiling, knowing that I know he is lying.

He even tried to unwrap a gift for him at Lala's. She caught him and he told her that he was "just removing the bow" so he could "get it open faster on Christmas."

Yeah, right.

So everyday Beau asks me where his gifts are, what they are and can he have it right now? The suspense of Christmas is killing him slowly from the inside out. He can't stand it. He even told Ryan what I got for him--as if that would give him some sort of fix. And he only knows what I got Ryan because the UPS man gave Beau the package when he playing outside the other day and he opened it before I could get it away from him.

And Ryan upon learning of said gift-- I guess because he is the baby of his family-- asked if he could have his boots before Christmas too.

I tried to play dumb: "What boots?"

"Beau," he said, "told me you bought me boots. Let me have them for my hunting trip with Dusty."
Sigh. Darn UPS man for giving Beau the package. Note to UPS: Do not let children accept packages!

"There are no boots," I tell him. "They were the wrong kind. I returned them. You, like Beau, are getting potatoes and switches and coal for Christmas. Maybe Dusty will keep your feet warm on y'all's broke back rendezvous."

So Saturday, Ryan and I dropped the kids at Pop and Lala's to attend the annual Loser Christmas Party. My Dad, barely able to look me in the eye and at the time I think it is because I am wearing my Vixen costume, thrusts a gift in my hand.

He tells me that it is for me and Ryan and to not open it until I get to Dee Dee's. He says, "If you don't like it give it to Pookie."

Ryan is in disbelief that I ride in the car, not tearing into the gift, not even peeking. I repeat to him that Pop said not to open it until I get to Dee Dee's.

See, it is a youngest in the family thing and while we are in the midst of discussing my theory my sister happens to call. Of course I can't resist telling her that Dad got me a present but that I am to give it to her if I don't want it. And of course she is pissed that I got a present and she didn't.

"What is it?" She wants to know.

And I tell her she'll just have to wait until she gets to Dee Dee's.

Changing the subject I ask her if she is wearing a costume. She says she is but that I'll just have to wait until I get to Dee Dee's to find out what it is.

Whatever I can wait.

So we get Dee Dee's and finally my sister gets there and we open it.

That's right. My Dad got me The Naughty, Naughty Christmas Kit.

I know! I'm a little scared of my red lipstick too. Scary clown face! I never wear red lipstick. Clearly with good reason but I did giggle at myself everytime I looked in the mirror.

So then we called my Dad for an explanation about the gift.

He said he figured anyone who wore such naughty costumes for Christmas must need a naughty present. And he added that it was the only present I was getting since certainly I was on Santa's naughty list.

What!? You mean I'm not getting a frying pan or ham? Darn!

Hey Pop! Beau would like you to know that he loves ham. In fact, he hugged a ham today at Trader's Joes and begged me to buy it for him. You should give him a ham. He'll appreciate it. Really. He nearly a 1/2 lb of ham today by himself.

Okay. Just to summarize:

Beau? Doesn't understand surprises.
Ryan? Loves me so much he'll wear a goofy ass costume.
My dad? He gives the gift of ham. It is his thing.
Me? I wear costumes and am clearly my parent's favorite.
My sister? She unwraps her presents before Christmas.

And yes, of course. Like any good big sister would do I took those red fuzzy hand cuffs and hand cuffed myself to Pookie.

I hope everyone has a fun and happy holiday this year and doesn't take themselves too seriously.

I know, I know Jesus is the reason for the season. . .

But I know that if it was my birthday that I would hope everyone would celebrate by having some fun and enjoying themselves.


  1. Ah, the Turtles Gift Coin. I remember it well... And, why us there money in your stocking? What goes on at the loser party???

  2. Nat, I think the red lipstick is you. Keep it. Are those my old Frye Boots on Pookie? Do you have my dark brown low heeled boots? Come on folks. I need my stuff! Lala

  3. All I can say is: WOW! You have a terrific family and sure know how to have fun. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


  4. It must be a youngest child thing because my brother used to do the same thing. He would unwrap all of our presents and then do a (crappy) job of rewrapping. He even tried to blame it on the cat one year!

    Merry Christmas, I would say that I hope you have a good one, but somehow I don't think there is much to worry about on that front!

  5. OMG, this is too funny! Turtles? Bringing it back old school! I remember when I was 6-7 years old we got our first CD player, we went to Turtles every weekend to collect the frequent buyers stamps. Have a Merry Christmas!

  6. Funny Post! I'm the youngest in my family and the only thing I can't wait for is giving my presents. Seriously, I've already given my husband two presents and I'd give him more if only he would ask! But he refuses. *SIGH*

  7. I guess it's too late to make a Christmas card from the first picture of Carmella and Beau in their elf costumes. A lot of those would make cute Christmas Cards.

  8. That Beau is such a character. Merry Christmas and congrats on the AG Award at the Jingle Jog

  9. Christmas is over. New post please! And make it good cause I need some distraction!

  10. okay enough about Christmas. New stuff please. lala