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Archive for December, 2009

Reading everyone’s pop culture top ten lists of the year has led to my reflection of the highlights of my own year so here I have gone ahead and longwindedly listed them in absolutely no logical (or readable!) order.

1. Keaton stopped sucking: This one was huge as the previous year was dominated by soul-sucking screams and the resulting PTSD. 2009 was the year where we got to get to know and love this awesome little guy and were able to be so much more mobile due to his improved demeanor. Based on 2008 we were honestly afraid this would never happen but lo and behold Keaton shed his crappy cocoon and grew into a less screamy butterfly or if you prefer the frog metaphor; he went from a thrashing little poliwog and grew some damn legs that allowed us to get out of the house and out into the living breathing world.

2. I started this blog: This has been such a great outlet for me to help make sense of life. And by Make Sense, I mostly mean it has helped me learn to laugh at all the shit that typically makes a person want to cry or hole themselves up with a box of cookies and a bottle of whisky. Like wash cloths in the toilet, poop tracked all over the carpet and long blond hair hidden under the couch. Oh fine I still cried at that last one but still, making fun of the great hair debacle of Aught Nine helped me cope.

3. My sister Emily got married and Snoreface caught the bouquet: This picture is why I love my family so much. Only WE could make a spectacle of a quick, simple courthouse ceremony.

4. The DCFI: Poor Deps has been a good sport this year over all the ribbing he’s taken. The world needs more people who can laugh at themselves and who can deal with really crappy sister-in-laws.

5. Hernando & my DSLR camera: The addition of these two things which are practically members of the family now, have made all the difference in documenting all our hijinks.

6. TV shows: Bill and I spend more time than probably is recommended by the FDA sitting in front of the TV or computer catching up on all the TV shows we’ve missed out on in the last few years. It started after season 5 of Lost wrapped up and we were jonesing for something to fill the void so we used Netflix, Hulu and our local library to watch Battlestar Galactica, Freaks and Geeks, The Wire, The Office, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, True Blood, Dexter, and now we’re currently watching season one of Mad Men. We also got hooked on Glee in real live TV time. It’s been fun to catch up on what’s what in TV-land, since besides Lost, we haven’t gotten engrossed in a show since Friends and ER‘s heyday.

7. CV 09: Cold and rainy? Yes. But so much fun. Bill and I are in charge of making the memories and traditions for our kids and these trips are so integral to that. I really feel like we are giving them an experience that, if not included in their long-term memory, will create a relationship and a solid framework of love for their extended family. Plus we get to drink a lot.

8. Moments with Rowan: It’s hard to get one on one time with Rowan now that she’s in preschool and so many activities but we stole some special moments this past year that will always be highlights including the 4th of July, taking her to her first play- Cinderella at the Children’s Theatre, reading her the Little House books, her first movie in a theater: Up and her first dance recital.

9. The Children’s Museum: This membership has saved us this year. I mean, what’s not to love about a place your kids get to go nuts just exploring and being themselves? It’s not in a super convenient location for us and you have to make sure to wash hands or use sanitizer otherwise you’re almost guaranteed to pick up a cold virus but totally worth it for us.

10. Bed and Breakfasts: I hate hotels. HATE. I can NOT sleep in them and I never feel comfortable or safe. Bed and breakfasts on the other hand, are so calming and, I don’t know… fancy? Or something? I feel like a real live grown up when we go. We had a phenomenal time at both we stayed at this year; they do wonders for a marriage that needs a little TLC.

11. Dr. Horrible. I’m so late to the party on this one but never-the-less it’s still one of the highlights of my year. (The hammer…is my penis. What’s not to love, I ask you?)

12. Rockband Parties: Jen and the DCFI struck gold this year if Gold means buying a gaming system and games that attract your rowdy family in droves and pretty much guarantees you will be volunteered to host every get together from now until the end of time. Yes. Then they are super, super rich.

13. Getting rid of the DAMNED TEA POT.

This horrible teapot was given to my brother at his 1996 wedding and it was so god awful that it has been bequeathed to the next poor soul to get married as a “HAHA SUCKER!” gift. He had it for less than two months as Jen married the DCFI in September of that same year and they housed the atrocity until Emily married in August of 2002. In 2004 it was “gifted” to Bill and I and we waited patiently for Snoreface and her boyfriend Vince to get engaged so we could hold out hope of freeing up some cupboard space. Life and the teapot had different plans however, which ended in Emily’s first marriage and began in her second, so at Keaton’s birthday party I got to give it back to her and I gotta tell you, it felt so good to give it back to the ass sister that gave it to me. Emily immediately threatened to hog-tie Vince and drag him at knife point to the jewelry store to force the purchase of a diamond ring for Snoreface. Vince went ahead and took a picture of the teapot to keep on his phone as a reminder of juuuust what he would be getting into if he officially joined this family. I’m thinking Emily and Giacomo will have the teapot for a while longer now.

And a shortlist of the things that were not so Awesomesauce? Of course I have that! What kind of pessimistic asshole do you take me for?

1. All the dead celebrities. I mean, better them than me but there were a few weeks there when I was scared to check my yahoo headlines because they just kept dropping like flies. Let’s stay away from the prescription drugs this year, Hollywood.

2.Purple. Sand.: I think I’ve said enough.

3. The year of the Puking: The Stomach flu has graced us three times this year and in my memory that has NEVER happened so that better mean it takes a nice, loooooong break from our household in 2010. DO YOU HEAR THAT, STOMACH FLU? Don’t make me glove slap you.

4. Keeping up with exercise: I did great in the summer when I could get outside but when the weather didn’t cooperate and once the temp dropped so did my desire to work out. I tried to do the 30 Day Shred twice this year, the first time I think I gave up after 6 days and the second I made it to 17 before I swore off that Michaels bitch. If I don’t start exercising I may have to curb my olive and fancy cheese habit and NOBODY WANTS THAT.

5. Ripping my toenail off: That really fucking hurt.

5. Training Luna: Poor, poor Luna. Next year is your year, dog. Maybe. I mean, yes! It will be! Probably. Aw, crap at the very least I’ll vow to buy you more treats… deal?

6. Swine Flu: This wreaked so much havoc in my household from mid-September until mid-November. No, we never got it- that’s not the point! The point is all of us were sick no less than 48 times during those two months and every time we fell ill we lived in a state of germ-filled panic that it was the fricken swine flu. Which it never was.

I think that’s it. 2009 was not so terrible to us, and we’d like to keep that lack of terribleness going strong through 2010. And so from all of us here at casa de Gunterhausen we wish you and your family a very safe and very happy new year filled with fluttering daisy petals and unicorn butts. And some strong liquor.

And I just updated the numbering. 7 does not come after 5. Clearly 2009 continued to be a bad year for Christy and numbers like the preivous 28 before it. Good luck, 2010!

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On Monday Night I took a break from wallowing in sick and self-pity to get out and meet my cousin Erica who was in town for the holidays and she came bearing gifts. And not just ANY gifts. Only the best gifts EVER.

When we were little we would share magazine spread pictures of Brandon, Dylan and David from 90210, probably a little Jonathan Taylor Thomas (JTT!) and definitely New Kids on The Block (I was all about Jordan, I’m pretty sure she liked Donny and I was all EWWWW (and I still stand by that EW)). In the spirit of that, she cut out and laminated (Yes. LAMINATED. For she is that good) this picture for me:

NPH! NPH! NPH! NPH! NPH!

Oh NPH, our adult gay boyfriend. Now where do I display it? In my locker? In the back of my closet so my mom won’t make me take it down? Taped on my nightstand so I can kiss it every night? Frame it and put it on the mantle next to my kids’ school photos? Yep. That last one.

I don’t even know how to introduce her second awesome gift so I’ll just let the picture do the talking:

Spotted Dick: It's English! And Microwaveable!

This has led my 14-year-old self to set this can various places just so I can ask Bill to “Please hand me my Spotted Dick.” or “Can you pick up my Spotted Dick?” or “Quit touching my Spotted Dick!”. Bill says if I don’t shut up then he’s going to throw out my Spotted Dick and that would make me very sad.

Thank you for bringing a little laughter into our sick house, Ms. Peterson, and have a very safe flight back to that place that you live (but is NOT your home because your home is here, dammit).

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Well, our Christmas celebrations came and went in a blur of wrapping paper, food, family and piles of boxes. There was truly never a dull moment starting at 8am on Christmas Eve right on through to 10pm on Christmas night. Unfortunately the day after Christmas started off with Keaton throwing up and ended in a puke-fest of epic proportions for first me, then Rowan. I was unaware it was possible to catch the stomach flu over the internet but I’m fairly certain we caught it from these guys. Bill remained unscathed by whatever it was we had. I suspect some sort of conspiracy or probable deal with the devil, but am grateful he was there to take care of all of us.

Because The Sick hindered my intentions of a few prompt posts recapping our festivities I am giving you one giant picture fest and calling it Done so I can douse my house in an assortment of lemon scented disinfectants.

Christmas Eve morning, pictures by the tree before we went over to Bill's parents for our first Christmas party.

And to document to the masses that I actually did do her hair, which has a tendancy to go from pristine to tangled mess in 10 mintues or less.

The main purpose of these photos is to document to the masses that I actually did do Rowan's hair, which has a tendency to go from pristine to tangled mess in 10 minutes or less.

Here is Rowan and The Sheep Dog. I think we've denied Keaton's need for a haircut a little too long.

Bill's parents had breakfast quiches, bloody mary's and desert wine. Oh and presents!

Uncle Brian's present was a huge hit, but for the most part Keaton was more interested in opening the packages than looking at what was inside. When we woke him up from his nap later that day he greeted me with a big smile and a "MOOOOOOOAAAAARRRR PRESENTS! I OPEN DEM!!!!!!"

Here Keaton is demonstrating The Weyandt Flap. It is an inescapable dominant genetic mannerism passed down through my mom's side of the family. ALL of us are afflicted with it to some degree. It takes over our bodies in moments of excitement and takes the form of flapping arms or hands, or rubbing our hands or fingers together as if we are trying to start a friction fire. Here Keaton's Weyandt flap is saying, "OMFG! MORE CARS!"

From Bill’s parents we went to mass, which with the pageant beforehand lasted about two hours. Two hours is NOT an acceptable length of time for you to expect a two and four year old to sit quietly and politely. Rowan did OK but about a third of the way through Keaton was antsy and preformed “Apple Cheeks” on my mom numerous times and hollered out “Here comes the alligator CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP” at a very unchurchly volume. Christmas wouldn’t feel the same if we skipped going to church but I gotta tell you that we just really don’t get anything much out of it when we’re busy trying to juggle young kids. From there we headed to Bill’s aunts for an extended family get together where I could slam a beer and forget church ever happened.

By the time we made it home to open our family gifts it was after 8pm and Keaton was spent but soldiered though on account of MORE PRESENTS and Rowan was delighted with her fancy high-heeled princess slippers.

That night Santa brought a butt-load of presents to the little mites who made sure to sprinkle reindeer feed out into the snow and put milk and cookies and carrots out for the big guy and Rudolph.

Our Christmas morning tradition of taking a picture at the top of the stairs in anticipation of what Santa brought. Earlier that morning we were gifted with a crib full of throw-up, thanks to Keaton's Christmas Eve diet that consisted of 467 olives. And nothing else. This was our harbinger of the puking to come but we were blissfully unaware of that at this point.

Keaton loved his train table, especially the whistle and Rowan screeched, jumped up and down and did her own version of the Weyandt Flap when she saw the dollhouse.

Here is the grandkid gang at my mom's before the giant pile of presents was consumed. It was an incredibly impressive amount of gifts.

Sheep Dog and Bill, marooned to the rocking chair, surrounded by a sea of boxes and wrappings.

We ended the celebration with music and dancing. My mom on the piano, and my nieces accompanying: Maddy on the flute and Jorie on the clarinet. Rowan and Keaton attempted a slow dance to Silent Night.

Here we are. Totally unsuspecting of the horror that would come within the next 24 hours. Poor suckers.

Overall it was busy but so much fun and both kids really enjoyed being surrounded by all of their family over the course of two days. Hopefully next year we can steer clear of the stomach flu (or possibly that pizza we ordered which we suspect was the culprit) and stay healthy through the new year. For now we’re recuperating and enjoying all the thoughtful gifts we received. (Well, except for those trucks with the VERY LOUD SIRENS. Only one of us is enjoying those. Repeatedly. Thanks for that.)

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Well, our Christmas celebrations came and went in a blur of wrapping paper, food, family and piles of boxes. There was truly never a dull moment starting at 8am on Christmas Eve right on through to 10pm on Christmas night. Unfortunately the day after Christmas started off with Keaton throwing up and ended in a puke-fest of epic proportions for first me, then Rowan. I was unaware it was possible to catch the stomach flu over the internet but I’m fairly certain we caught it from these guys. Bill remained unscathed by whatever it was we had. I suspect some sort of conspiracy or probable deal with the devil, but am grateful he was there to take care of all of us.

Because The Sick hindered my intentions of a few prompt posts recapping our festivities I am giving you one giant picture fest and calling it Done so I can douse my house in an assortment of lemon scented disinfectants.

Christmas Eve morning, pictures by the tree before we went over to Bill's parents for our first Christmas party.

And to document to the masses that I actually did do her hair, which has a tendancy to go from pristine to tangled mess in 10 mintues or less.

The main purpose of these photos is to document to the masses that I actually did do Rowan's hair, which has a tendency to go from pristine to tangled mess in 10 minutes or less.

Here is Rowan and The Sheep Dog. I think we've denied Keaton's need for a haircut a little too long.

Bill's parents had breakfast quiches, bloody mary's and desert wine. Oh and presents!

Uncle Brian's present was a huge hit, but for the most part Keaton was more interested in opening the packages than looking at what was inside. When we woke him up from his nap later that day he greeted me with a big smile and a "MOOOOOOOAAAAARRRR PRESENTS! I OPEN DEM!!!!!!"

Here Keaton is demonstrating The Weyandt Flap. It is an inescapable dominant genetic mannerism passed down through my mom's side of the family. ALL of us are afflicted with it to some degree. It takes over our bodies in moments of excitement and takes the form of flapping arms or hands, or rubbing our hands or fingers together as if we are trying to start a friction fire. Here Keaton's Weyandt flap is saying, "OMFG! MORE CARS!"

From Bill’s parents we went to mass, which with the pageant beforehand lasted about two hours. Two hours is NOT an acceptable length of time for you to expect a two and four year old to sit quietly and politely. Rowan did OK but about a third of the way through Keaton was antsy and preformed “Apple Cheeks” on my mom numerous times and hollered out “Here comes the alligator CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP” at a very unchurchly volume. Christmas wouldn’t feel the same if we skipped going to church but I gotta tell you that we just really don’t get anything much out of it when we’re busy trying to juggle young kids. From there we headed to Bill’s aunts for an extended family get together where I could slam a beer and forget church ever happened.

By the time we made it home to open our family gifts it was after 8pm and Keaton was spent but soldiered though on account of MORE PRESENTS and Rowan was delighted with her fancy high-heeled princess slippers.

That night Santa brought a butt-load of presents to the little mites who made sure to sprinkle reindeer feed out into the snow and put milk and cookies and carrots out for the big guy and Rudolph.

Our Christmas morning tradition of taking a picture at the top of the stairs in anticipation of what Santa brought. Earlier that morning we were gifted with a crib full of throw-up, thanks to Keaton's Christmas Eve diet that consisted of 467 olives. And nothing else. This was our harbinger of the puking to come but we were blissfully unaware of that at this point.

Keaton loved his train table, especially the whistle and Rowan screeched, jumped up and down and did her own version of the Weyandt Flap when she saw the dollhouse.

Here is the grandkid gang at my mom's before the giant pile of presents was consumed. It was an incredibly impressive amount of gifts.

Sheep Dog and Bill, marooned to the rocking chair, surrounded by a sea of boxes and wrappings.

We ended the celebration with music and dancing. My mom on the piano, and my nieces accompanying: Maddy on the flute and Jorie on the clarinet. Rowan and Keaton attempted a slow dance to Silent Night.

Here we are. Totally unsuspecting of the horror that would come within the next 24 hours. Poor suckers.

Overall it was busy but so much fun and both kids really enjoyed being surrounded by all of their family over the course of two days. Hopefully next year we can steer clear of the stomach flu (or possibly that pizza we ordered which we suspect was the culprit) and stay healthy through the new year. For now we’re recuperating and enjoying all the thoughtful gifts we received. (Well, except for those trucks with the VERY LOUD SIRENS. Only one of us is enjoying those. Repeatedly. Thanks for that.)

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Here in Minnesota we are hunkering down for a Christmas blizzard that is supposed to start now-ish and go through Saturday. Lucky for us this isn’t a big hairy deal because we have finished all our running around and our family is close which leaves car travel to a minimum. It does truly suck for all those who have (or had) travel plans, though. I can’t imagine being away from my family on Christmas. Who would drive me to drink Bulldogs and replace the regular ‘ol boring lyrics in Christmas carols to funny ones? My family is as big a pain in the ass as the next and that is why I love them so very much. The way I see it is, I’ll have peaceful Christmases when I’m dead. We’re all about the boisterous teasing and kids running around like crazy people and did I mention the Bulldogs? (HEY DEPS? DON’T FORGET THE BULLDOGS!)

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and so begins our 2 day fest of family and presents and here is where I say Merry Christmas, Internet! and fade off into the sunset of more pictures of my kids making more cookies. (I swear we did other christmasy things this year! I think. Photographic evidence seemingly suggests otherwise.)

At 4, Rowan is an old pro when it comes to decorating cookies.

She knows JUST when to sneak a red hot..

Or a lick of almond icing.

This was Keaton's first year and he was a little cautious at first.

Until he realized the sprinkles were edible (unlike crayons, glue sticks, paint and the countless other things he gets yelled at for trying to eat). Then he was more than happy and willing participate.

Pretty, huh?

These were my two favorite creations. Rowan decorated the stocking and Keaton "Red Hot" Gunter did the candy cane.

And now that we’re done with the cookie marathon of Aught Nine?

SEE YOU NEXT CHRISTMAS OVEN!

I promise Bill will take good care of you til we meet again.

Kind Regards etc. etc.,

Christy

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Have your kids gone batshit crazy now that Christmas is only a few days away? Mine have been beyond womped up which may have something to do with the 784 batches of cookies we’ve made. In hindsight, letting them peel the wrappers off of the Hershey’s Kisses was probably not my brightest move. (One for the bowl, one for Keaton’s mouth, one for the bowl, three for Keaton’s mouth…)

As a parent, one of the most valuable lessons you will learn is when and how to pick your battles. Let me share with you my husband and I’s ichat from earlier today.See? We are experts. Seriously. Please contact us with any of your parenting queries.

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