Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Another Christmas ended

So the family and I had a fine day. We opened all the presents in the morning, including from Julia's gifts that arrived TODAY, and enjoyed playing and cleaning. Then we went to Chinese buffet for lunch, where I ate my weight in sushi and Steve ate an octopus. We tried to get Penny to eat a crawfish, but she kept moving it off the plate saying, "bug."
Later, we went for a walk and enjoyed some whiskey one of Steve's workers got for him. The we watched "Looney Tunes," a gift from Aunt Sandy to the girls, but really, a gift for me.
Here are some pics from today.
This is a totally cool "My Mom's Tote" bag. Steve said it's his favorite because he could see Carolyn playing with it quietly, for like an hour. Babysitting capacity — The true mark of a great toy.

This letter train spells "Gardner." Isn't that cool...

My Christmas girls

Bunny love.

Mmmmm. Bug.

Steve bought me a whole case of Estee Lauder makeup, so I made myself up to look like a French whore to go to the Chinese buffet. See how pretty.

Two more Christmas videos

Santa's cookies

And yes... I see what she did with her hands. I think that's what it means when people say, "It was cooked with love."

Christmas wishes

Monday, December 24, 2007

And on Earth, Peace. Good Will Toward Men

We're here. Finally. Christmas Eve.
I've been a real scrooge this year, even comically so as the family and I hosted our own Christmas party at an empty pizza parlor with pinball, a juke box and beer by the pitcher. Oh, and the festive bus ride, of course.
But I wanted to wish the folks I know a very Merry Christmas and lots of happiness in the New Year. Yes, even scrooges have a heart. Tiny shriveled hearts, like old raisins, but just enough.
Now, almost time to take down this crooked tree... Finally.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A story... in photos

Carolyn and I went to visit my mom in Michigan for her birthday. Here's what happened...

I took Carolyn out to eat on the drive there. I took her picture.

Then she took mine.

We got to Michigan. We played. We ate. We had cake.

Then this happened.
It snowed and snowed and snowed some more. But we decided to give going home a try.
And we made it.

And a few days later, we made a snowwoman. Isn't she pretty.

It's good to be home.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Just a few updates from Team Gardner headquarters.

Penelope had her annual exam. She's great, still huge (almost 100 percent on height and head circumference) and not a big fan of Dr. Tillman. You should have seen the icy stare Penny gave. Also, the nurse asked me if I had her hair highlighted : )

School ended for me with an A. I didn't even have to take the final because I did so well on the five regular exams. This comes after taking Anatomy and Physiology TWICE in college, performing poorly (D and C-) both times. Steve said it's amazing considering I'm much busier now. I pointed out that I was actually busier back then, just not busy with anything all that important. Heroin addicts, after all, are busy... But anyway, I'm super excited about the A.

And finally, Steve read this article in the Washington Post that pretty much summed up why I hate Christmas. It says people with low self-esteem do not like being praised for the sake of praising, a holiday attitude that can cause much stress for this type of person. Instead, they prefer accurate and deserved praise.

Managers who offer inaccurately glowing reports in the hope of encouraging employee loyalty may discover that employees with low self-esteem feel less loyal afterward, And high expectations of goodwill, charity and bonhomie at Christmastime can cause these types of people not to feel better about themselves, but worse.

I do take offense at the phrase "low self-esteem," which I believe to have a negative connotation. I believe seeing oneself accurately, flaws and all, is a good personality trait and shouldn't be labeled as negative, just as so-called "high self-esteem" shouldn't be the gold standard. Why can't both be seen as acceptable views of the world and of self? Why should society deem one better than the other?

Actually, the article sort of addresses this. I'm off to sit on the couch and think about all the tasks I won't accomplish today. Busy, busy...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Here come Santa Claus. Bah...

The family and I braved the cold and icy weather this weekend to go to the community Christmas event. I was reminded, once again, of all the reasons I hate this holiday so much.

Every event. Every cookie. Every trip to Target. It's always a huge letdown. Except for it's a "Charlie Brown Christmas," which remains the best cartoon ever made.

Anyhow, the girls liked it OK. Carolyn asked Santa, rather shyly, for a clock. That's right. Girlie's got her heart set on a clock for her room. So hard to please. (FYI.. Do NOT buy a clock for Carolyn. That's Santa's job.)

Penelope seemed excited, only to realize Santa is actually pretty scary (big hairy guy in a bright red suit....Um, yeah...) so no lap time this year. We also waited in seriously cold and windy conditions to ride the horse carriage (about eight people at a time can ride), only to realize the guy ahead of us was holding the place in line for about 30 kids.

That's what I love most about the holidays — the jerkiness.

Yet again, disappointed. And this time, really, really cold. Here are the pics.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snow, snow, snow

We had our first dusting of snow last night, so we just had to get the girls all dressed up to go outside. Then we got them undressed to come inside. Then we got them redressed to go to swimming practice. Then we got them undressed at the pool, redressed at the pool and, finally, undressed just in time for lunch.

Later, we hit the stores for boots and mittens. What excitement our lives have.

On a more annoying note, Penelope refuses to sleep in her bed. After I decided to let her do whatever the hell she wanted this afternoon, this (see below) resulted. Give me strength. Scratch that.

Give me alcohol!!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Busy, busy, busy

I'm much too busy to bore everybody (yes, even you mom) with the mundane details of my life, and trust me, they are mundane, but I had to take a minute to share some exciting news.

Penelope pooped in the potty.

Say that five times fast. Unless you're at a restaurant or some kind of food court where people might not appreciate it.

After nap today, she locked herself in Carolyn's room for her 3 p.m. poop behind closed doors. I caught her and was like, "No you don't," took off her diaper and showed her the seat. Then she was like, "You don't own me, mother. Take this," as she hurled said potty chair over her head.

After a few distractions and just leaving her alone, she sat on the chair — on her own — and used it for the very first time. She had never so much as tinkled in the thing before today. It was pretty awesome. Here's a picture...

Kidding. Not even I am that much a stickler for posterity. But please let this be the road to a diaper-free household.