Traffic for 2009 December

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ecocomics: I just watched the latest episode of "The Office" entitled "Shareholder Meeting." I think they finally hit spot on what is wrong with the world in 2009. I couldn't help but clap when Michael ran out to take the limo home after all that had happened. Maggie now thinks I'm wierd (she was watching Dumbo on the telly while I watched my show on my laptop next to her).

I highly recommend this episode. Maybe it's not so wierd after all that my eight year-old niece says this is her fav show. No. It's still wierd.

[Comments] (1) 7 days: I have 7 vacation days I must use or lose between now and 2010. I plan to take one tomorrow to Christmas shop, including our yearly sub-for-santa run.

Sub for Santa gets more depressing every year. More and more the items on the wishlist are listed as cash or gift cards. If I'm going to donate items for others, at least give me the pleasure of shopping for you! I promise to include a gift receipt so you can return it all and I can pretend that you kept it!

That's why this year I'm creating a gift basket full of baby stuff to go to a family with a newborn in our ward (of which there are plenty to choose from). Then I get to buy and decorate. Susie refuses to try this new experiment with me this year and insists on doing Sub-for-Santa. Well, she can get stuck buying gift cards then.

Christmas weekend: As previously mentioned, Susie & I spent Friday shopping for a one year-old boy through the Salvation Army Angel Tree. We were able to get everything on his list, except for shoes. We accomplished this by going over budget. Charitable budgets are mere estimates anyway, as it's way too easy to overspend. After seeing "The Blind Side," I felt it was the least I could do anyway. It was fun shopping for a one year-old because: a) he didn't want gift cards; and b) it was like shopping for Dalton. He's getting a coat, shirt and pants, pajamas, diapers and wipes, socks, a Winnie-the-Pooh doll that Maggie wanted, and a Winnie-the-Pooh book that Maggie and Dalton have and adore.

We also went way overboard on our neighbor basket. We went generic so it can be given to a boy or a girl, and went with a light green jungle theme, including jungle pajamas, a jungle board book, a jungle blanket, a toy giraffe that is unfortunately rather loud, and then soap, wipes, and diapers. We didn't actually put it in a basket, but put it in a storage container that is hopefully more useful.

Yesterday Maggie had breakfast with Santa, wherein she actually sat on his lap and told him she wants a yellow present with a horse in it. Santa also held Dalton and it was quite the photo op. I realized this year that Santa's helper is the neighbor at the bottom of our street.

After Santa we went to an elderly breakfast at my sister's ward. Susie, Jodi, Ember, and I played and sang Christmas songs to them. They ate lunch at 10 am, which I found odd, but it was perfect timing for us, as we ate lunch around 11:30 after we performed.

Then we visited Grandma & Grandpa and walked around IKEA to get some exercise. We didn't buy anything, except for hot dogs for dinner. But Maggie had a blast. She loves that store. Incidentally, they have lockers where you can put your coats while you exercise, i mean shop, which was really nice.

It must have been an exhausting weekend, as everyone is still asleep at 9 am. Normally Maggie is up before the sun.

So for anyone wanting to give charitably in lieu of presents, you can always send us cash and we can go shop for another angel! It's supposed to snow today. I can't believe 2010 is upon us.

[Comments] (3) no place like home: Lately Maggie has been saying "No go home" anytime we are out and about the town. She apparently finds home boring and would rather be in Nursery, shopping, at grandma's et al. Maybe we should get one of those bumper stickers that says "I'd rather be in ___" for her.

I delivered Christmas cookies to friends and neighbors all weekend. Yesterday, someone at church told me my cookies were deceiving. Now, my cookies have been called a lot of things, but deceiving? I think it was a compliment, but you never can tell, really. Deceiving? Did I purport they are non-fat or something? Deceiving. Apparently I am quite the cunning cook.

sleeping in: Normally I do not look forward to the late church schedule. However, having the last block, I've decided, does have some perks to it. For starters, we can have Sunday School in the chapel, relieving me of having to climb over people during the prayer because Dalton's diaper leaked. Secondly, Dalton tends to sleep in the afternoon and not in the morning, so hopefully he will sleep through it all. With Susie back in primary, I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever get to sit through a meeting peacefully ever again.

I'm grateful for the holidays and the time to spend with my family. Dalton has been a great conversationalist of late, often cooing and smiling at me in the evenings. And, as Maggie's Nursery teacher put it, she is a "tiny girl packed with lots of personality" and has also been fun to be with lately. She's been very endearing to me and we've been having fun. She loves our Chuck E Cheese outings, visits to see papa, going shopping at IKEA, watching new Disney shows in anticipation of our trip there in January, and turning on the Christmas lights. She's asking Santa for a yellow present with a horsie in it, and I can't help but think she will get just that.

For Christmas this year, I would just enjoy some peace of mind. So if anyone knows where to get some, I'm all ears.

there's no business like snowbusiness: Snowed all day. I was made aware of said snow ahead of time, and worked from home. It's been great to watch it fall all day, knowing I had absolutely nowhere else to be. I guess it's just like in the song.

The snow is expected through tomorrow night. I just love a good white Christmas!

the day after: Still reeling from the aftershock of a whole lot of Christmas. Some of the highlights:

Steve, my cousin Sharon's husband: "Baby boys are never cute. Only baby girls are cute. But your baby is cute."

Maggie, after Christmas carloing: "Let's sing Daddy home now" (a primary song, not a Christmas song).

I'm not sure how old a kid has to be before you can simply explain to them that life just isn't fair, but I take every opportunity I get to tell kids that. Life isn't fair. Never has been; never will be. So why pretend? Incidentally, as much fun as Christmas was, I've decided that it was way more fun buying gifts for strangers than for family, especially since I am under the impression that the strangers are in need, whereas family not so much.

Maggie was fun, though. She got a $8 end table from IKEA, a $10 stuffed horse that apparently is web-compatible, a $15 easel that has been a lot of fun, and junk from the dollar store that she seems to love most of all. Dalton got a stuffed elephant, also web-compatible, because these were buy one get one free. His life does not appear to have substantially changed. So the real question is this: how do I get her to always view Christmas as icing on the cake and not as a list of demands, regardless of her age?

I look forward to 2010, and hope that recent legislation concerning the medical field and the curbing of immoral business practices will make life overall better for all. But as I said before, life inherently just isn't fair.

[Comments] (2) one day at a time: Since Christmas, I've tried to have an activity each day to keep our family active and happy.

Saturday the 26th: Susie & I left the chillens with Grandma and went to the Harvest restaraunt at Thanksgiving Pointe. We eat way too much junk and I start a more intense exercise routine.

Monday the 28th: We went bowling with Tyler, Chad, Brook, Ember, and Logan. Maggie actually beat Ember and Tyler. We sat on the floor and rolled the ball down the alley, and finished with an 84, only one point behind Logan. We even managed a spare and a strike, which is not easy to do when you roll the ball so slowly.

Tuesday the 29th: We bought a new high-end blender to replace our cheap $30 wedding blender, which died Christmas Eve. We haven't used it yet, but it's pretty and has the angled blades that are supposed to be an improvement over the blenders of yesteryear. We also visited Grandma & Grandpa. I also finished reading some EB White stories. Stuart Little was horrid (you call that an ending?) but Charlotte's web was a fun read. I showed Maggie the movie after and she likes it, but has no clue what's going on. I however had to fight back tears. Lastly, I got up at 6 am to make the first temple session, which is what I normally do, to be home just as everyone is waking up. It was actually full! I did washings and annointings instead. Though I was bummed, it's nice to know it was full that early. Usually there are only about 10 of us there that early.

Wednesday the 30th: We originally planned to take Tyler and Ember to the aquarium, but the other members of our party flaked and it was snowing, so we drove the 1/2 mile to Boondocks instead. They were offering a buy $20 worth of tokens get $20 free, so we did that. It kept us entertained for two hours, with both Susie and Ember winning "Deal or No Deal" and Tyler also showing a strong finish on the game. Maggie had enough tokens for a bowling set, a yellow die as big as my fist, and a Tootsie Roll bank (all junk, but oh well). We also shoveled a lot today, and got frozen yogurt with the kids. Tyler will be up half the night, thanks to his grande cup filled with skittles, swedish fish, sour patch kids, brownie bites, and sprinkles. I always just get the blueberry with fruit mixed in, but also noticed the pistachio today, which turned out to be quite tasty. In other news, Maggie learns to say "Oh my gosh!" today.

Tomorrow, Thursday the 31st: we plan to see the Princess and the Frog and go to bed early. We wanted to go see this with Brook's family, but the theater by his house charges for kids of all ages and the theater by our house lets Maggie in for free as long as she sits on our lap. What's up with that?

We're spending more $$ than planned, but I figure it's still cheaper than last year's vacation to Primary Children's medical center. The food's better too.


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