Sunday, December 27, 2009

Post Christmas Story

First off, I'm suffering from Post-Christmas Stress Disorder.  This is probably not the official name for this condition, but it should be.  Come on, American Medical Association or whatever organization that make up names for ailments, traumas and conditions.  Let's get on the ball.  I'll tell you my symptoms a little later. I think it's more important to tell you that the kids had an awesome Christmas.  Awesome means that they received all they've ever wanted from "Santa" and so much more.

We flew down to celebrate Christmas with M's father this year and I think the boys really enjoyed it.  It was the first time they got to celebrate with Grandpa, and they made out like a bandit (like always). Too many presents to list, but let's say they have enough cars and action figures to last them through a toy factory worker strike.  And we needed to borrow a suitcase to fly the booty back home.

On Christmas Eve, we had a huge meal.  M's friend Chris and his wife came over for dinner to liven things up. I was glad that they were able to make it because we hadn't expect them to. Their little doggie was just released from the animal hospital and they weren't sure if they were able to come. The more the merrier!  The kids got to open 1 present each that night.

Michael was so excited for Santa Claus to come visit.  We told him he had to be asleep for Santa to come.  If he didn't go to bed when he was suppose to and didn't fall asleep, Santa would skip the house and move on to the next.  That caused a little incident between the 2 Fisher brothers. When Matthew refused to be quiet and go to bed that night, Michael punched him in the face.  I asked him why he did it, and he tearfully explained that he was scared Santa would skip the house if Matty didn't stop talking and go to sleep. So he thought the solution was to punch his brother in the face. I guess I didn't do such a good job of explaining to him that violence is not the answer.

Christmas morning came early.  I think they were up at 6 in the morning.  Good thing they went to Grandpa's room first.  I got to sleep for an extra 2 minutes.  They ran downstairs and ran back up to inform me that Santa did pay them a visit and ate ALL the cookies they left out for him.  Matthew then realized that we forgot to leave out the milk and was upset about it for a second, but the presents demanded his attention.

We flew home the morning after Christmas to another round of presents at my mom's house.  "Santa" brought them more toys.  This time, more of the hi-tech variety.  They got remote controlled toys, video games for their Wii, and a little game called Rock Hero. However, Michael got most excited about this thing call "Big Top Cupcake." He screamed like  a girl and held it up in the air like he had won the lotto.  Big thanks to Yee-Yee for that gift.  Matthew was very excited about the remote controlled car carrier.  When he saw it, he exclaimed, "Oh, this is what I always wanted!  How did you know that this was what I wanted!" It was so, so, so cute. I wish I could capture his expression in a little bottle.

If you've read this far, you're either really bored with nothing else to do or this post is really riveting.  I don't care either way.  I'm just glad you're still here so I can explain to you what Post-Christmas Stress Disorder is.  It's when all the presents are open and the room looks like a hurricane came through.  Then you realize that you have to clean it all up.  On top of that, you realized that Christmas is over and there will be no more Christmas music until next November.  Then you think back to all the sugary goodness that you've consumed and notice that your jeans are not fitting quite the way they use to.  And to top it all off, you realized you missed the whole "A Christmas Story" marathon on Christmas Day. Then you don't feel quite so cheery.  That, my friend, is Post-Christmas Stress Disorder and I am taking credit for identifying it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Break

This is the last day of school for both boys until the new year.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  On the one hand, I don't have to wake them up at the crack of dawn and rush them to get ready to be out of the house by 7:25 am. No homework right after school for Michael (a break for me really). No having to pack lunch and setting out the clothes the night before. 

On the other hand, I have them ALL DAY LONG for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. Enough said. "Yeah" for Christmas break.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Cookies

I think I just volunteered to bake 4 dozen cookies for the teachers at Michael's school.  I'm not sure how it all happened.  It happened so quickly.  I had planned on baking the requested 2 dozens and helping the Home and School Club assemble the cookies into packages for the staff.  The only problem was no one told me when I was suppose to drop them off at the school.

So this morning, I asked one of the moms who is pretty active with the H&SC if she know when and where the cookies were needed.  She told me when and where and then said that she was very appreciative of my volunteering to bake because not a lot of parents participate.  That last year they did not get enough cookies. That this year, there is double the number of teachers and staff and that the HS&C will probably not get enough cookies again.

I felt so bad that I told her I'd bake extra cookies.  Extra cookies turned out to be another couple of dozens. By Wednesday morning.  Me and my big mouth.

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Sympathy

This weekend brought some sad news to us.  My father's aunt passed away Saturday afternoon from a car accident.  I was not particular close to her.  In fact, most of what I know about her life, I heard from my parents.  She was a widow out of the barbaric Khmer Rouge rule.  She is survived by 6 children and numerous grandchildren, the youngest being under 1 year old.  She's also survived by 1 great-grandson who is less than 1 year old as well.  

Although I saw her maybe once a year, I know that she is almost always present at special family occasions.  She was there for the occasions were very important to me - both of my weddings, and the 1-month celebration for Michael.

I know that we were able to come to the United States because she was our sponsor.  I know that we lived with her for a short period of time in Washington until my parents were able to get on their feet in a new country. For this, I am very thankful for.

I know that every year, her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews gather to celebrate her birthday in August.  I don't remember when this tradition started, but it must have been at least 7 years ago.  This has grown to become our version of a family reunion.   Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the last 3 years when we were living in Texas, but I was honestly looking forward to finally able to go to this year's celebration.

I know that she is loved by many and will be missed by many.  To them, I send me deepest sympathy for their loss.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Santa Knows...

Today, I discovered PNP or Portable North Pole.  This is a website that you can go in and customize a video from Santa to someone special. I can't begin to tell you how awesome this is.  A big "thank you" to my friend Jen for sharing this.  I made a video for both Michael and Matthew.  When you create one, it asks you specific questions.  You answer the questions based on your child and you can even download a picture of your child so that it shows up in Santa's book of children. So easy!

Like I said, Michael and Matthew were so excited to see the video.  Michael got a kick out of Santa knowing what he looks like.  Matthew liked Santa's answer on whether or not he ate all the cookies the kids left out for him. I got a kick out of their reaction when Santa asked if they have been good boys.  They both looked very nervous and shook their heads. They were very surprised that Santa put them on the good boys list.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Santa Claus

Michael and Matthew got to make their gift requests to Santa last Saturday. I don't think Michael cared all that much about Santa Claus.  Matthew was excited, but I just didn't see any excitement from Michael.  I think that Michael is more mild mannered and more reserved around others.  I don't see a lot of passion from him.  Matthew, on the other hand is Mr. Drama Queen.  Everything is either a tragedy or the greatest thing ever.  When he's hungry, he's "so, so hungry.  I'm going to die.  You're making me dead." When he loves you it's "I love you infinity!" He's got a lot of fire in him to say the least.

I was underwhelmed by this year's visit to Santa.  The event was touted as "Brunch with Santa," but really it was more like "store-bought boxed pastries and some grapes with Santa." Sure there were some neat crafts there, but my expectations were a  little higher since I paid $20 bucks for each kid. Anyway, I think the best part of the whole visit for the kids was when they each received a candy cane from Mrs. Claus.  Matthew discovered his was broken and ran back to Santa to exchange it for a new one.
At least we didn't have to wait in a long line at the mall for a picture with Santa.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's an ice day in CA! This morning we woke up to 28 degree weather with everything covered in a layer of ice.  So pretty. It reminds me so much of North Texas weather.  Except in N. TX, the schools would be closed, the news would comstantly warn us to stay off the roads if possible, and most businesses would be closed.  Oh, how I miss TX ice days!

The ice will be gone in an hour or so.  I wish I had taken some pictures because it's such a rare thing in CA. We even had snow on the mountains not far from us.  It's almost completely melted down, but it was so beautiful while it lasted.  We will have to take a trip to Lake Tahoe.  This is one of the reasons I'm happy to back in CA.  The snow is only a few hours away.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday Funnies

Last night, Michael wanted to test some new jokes he had learned from his schoolmates on me.  I love it when he does this.  It gives me a glimpse into his school world and he is geniunely excited to deliver the punchline. So, it's only natural that I share this with you. Because I'm generous that way.

Joke #1
Michael - Knock, Knock.
Me - Who's there?
Michael - You
Me - You who?
Michael - Are you calling me?

Joke #2
Michael - Knock, knock
Me - Who's there?
Michael - Cows go
Me - Cows go who?
Michael - Cows don't go who, they go moo

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

I love Christmas and the Holidays! I love the decorations. I love the smell of Christmas trees. I love the Christmas drinks (hello, gingerbread latte). And the music! Nothing better than a round of Jingle Bells to get me in the Holiday spirit. I love the lights and all the fun activities that come with the Holidays - visits with Santa, Christmas in the Park, and yes, the SHOPPING. Love it all. 

We still have to make a visit to Santa for the obligatory picture, but we are planning it for this weekend.  This year, we will be avoiding the mall Santa in favor of having brunch with Santa. Not that I'm a snob or anything.  I find it more festive taking pictures with Santa while we're stuffing our faces, not standing in a long line. In any case, our tree has been decorated and out cards have been sent. OK, the cards have not been sent out, but the tree has been decorated.  Here are some pictures to prove it.  Complete with the smiling family.

Matthew trimming the tree

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Does This Make Me Cheap?

So last Sunday we went to the Christmas tree farm to get a tree.  Buying a tree from the tree farm was my true intention. I figured since it's a farm and that's the source of the tree, it would be less expensive. Right? That would be a big fat WRONG. Can you imagine my surprise (shock) when I saw that a 6-foot tree was $70? Needless the say I decided right there that we were going to Home Depot to pick out a tree. But not not without taking some pictures.  By the way, the tree at Home Depot was almost half the price.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Turkey Day

This is the 1st year in a very long time that I've spent Thanksgiving with my side of the family. For the past 8 years (at least) we spent Thanksgiving with M's family.  This year, we decided to mix things up and spend Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with M's dad in So-Cal. 

We had the obligatory turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce. All delicious. But with this being a Yam Thanksgiving, we must also have the obligatory egg rolls, chow mein, rice, and a mish mash of other goodness. And like all Yam gatherings, it was nice and loud with entirely too much food.