And we’re back! We’ve been having some challenges lately, as I’m sure you’ve all imagined. Luca has been teething, which has been a nightmare. Beekee and Sander both got horribly sick (darn stomach bugs!) Oz got sick too. I’ve been busy with writing and have completely forgotten about blogging (sorry…my bad…)
On top of that, I should probably let you know for the future longevity of this blog, the holidays are horribly busy for us. Either we’re busy going out and doing things, or we’re cleaning the house to get ready for the holidays. Today we’re stuck at home waiting on the police department. Yes, they’re finally coming to haul me off to the funny farm for choosing to unschool four kids with a teething baby in the house. Okay, so to be more accurate, they’re bringing Christmas presents for the kids. Someone put our names into the school for assistance with the holidays. I’m betting it’s someone from the church. The school contacted the police department. The police department called Oz. Now we’ve got toys coming for the kids for Christmas. This means I’ve got some time (while Luca is sleeping on my lap) to sit down, write, and take a breather.
Clearly whoever has been trying to help us out for Christmas has no idea that we really don’t need the help. My family may not be local, but the family still sends gifts from back home. We’ve got presents from my mom, my aunt, and my ex’s parents. The oldest two aren’t getting gifts from their dad this year, but their dad is going to have to be the one to deal with that. I’m not taking the blame for that. Our little tree is going to be positively overflowing with presents. We don’t have as many as we did last year, and the number seems to be cutting down each year, understandably as another child just got added to the mix and the economy is bad. Besides, I’m sure the older two are becoming more and more expensive to shop for. I’m sure that doesn’t help either. Of course, we’re not complaining! Actually, I’m kind of glad. We’re trying to minimize the stuff we’ve got around here. We’ve got a trailer with no storage space. That means we’ve got limited space to put new toys coming in the house. Already I’m kind of hating the idea of Christmas because we’ve got a whole bunch of new toys to add to the list, but I know we’ll be alright.
Honestly, I can’t wait to see what the kids think of their presents. I have no idea what my aunt sent, but I’ve already seen what my mom sent. She asked me what I thought she should get for Corde, and while I won’t share with any of you (because I want you all to be just as surprised when I post the Christmas pictures!) I will tell you that the package came from the American Girl company. It came along with a new dress for Corde’s current American Girl Doll that she got last year, Marie-Grace. My mom promised the dress for Corde’s birthday, but then she got sick and couldn’t send it. Corde’s very understanding of this. She didn’t care that the present was life. She loved the dress she got.
Then there’s the boys. Sander’s getting more to fill out a collection of toys he’s already got a bunch of. He’ll have so much more to expand on his play, which is fantastic. Beekee is getting another set to go with some other toys he’s got in a totally different collection, even more expanding on the ways he can play. Luca is getting a couple of baby toys that are honestly things I hate, but I’m not going to complain. I never got those kinds of toys with my kids when they were young, so it’s not going to kill us to have them for one kid. Thankfully, he’s probably the last in line for these kinds of toys, so I don’t have a problem with him being a little spoiled. Besides, I have to secretly admit that the toys in question are two toys I’d thought he would find really fun, but couldn’t justify spending the money on. Both are mostly quiet toys that do cool things, or at least things I think Luca would find cool.
Last Sunday the kids also got spoiled. A family at the church got us presents for the “Chinese Gift Exchange”. I had no idea what that was, so I did a search. It turns out I know it as a Yankee Swap, but I guess Texas still has a thing against “Yankees”, so I guess an alternate name is required. I have to admit that I hate the term “Yankee” too, but that’s because of the baseball team. With the number of little kids that attend the church I had expected more kids Luca and Sander’s age, but there surprisingly weren’t. As a result, I think Luca and Sander got the contributions to the swap that were brought as their gifts. I’m okay with that as they ended up with age appropriate toys. I think Sander’s was luck and Luca traded with another kid because he got a “baby toy”. Luca didn’t mind trading, of course. He didn’t seem terribly involved in the process and probably wouldn’t have cared if he didn’t get a present at all. He was more interested in being carried around by Daddy and watching all the other kids go crazy.
The kids had a blast, and they all feel like they got great gifts. Corde got Simon Flash which she has since played to death. There’s a lot of memory skills involved, something Corde desperately needs to work on as she generally has the memory of a goldfish, even with things she wants to do. This has already been helping with her memory skills. Beekee got a bunch of coloring books, crayons, and flashlights that he shared with Corde and Sander. That was perfect because he’s been asking for coloring books. Sander and Luca switched presents when they got home and opened everything up, which is probably for the best. They share them both anyway, so it doesn’t matter much. Sander came home with the VTech Preschool Learning Alphabet Apple. That’s perfect because it’s recommended age is 3-6 years. Well, Sander’s birthday just passed and he’s now officially three! It’s also got a lot of learning skills for his age. Luca just mashes the buttons when he gets his hands on it anyway. Luca ended up with Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Puppy’s Piano, which he mostly loves. He finds it really amusing, but he’s not sure what to do with it. It’s been wonderful to watch him.
So, what have we been doing while waiting for the end of the world (that isn’t going to come, aside from perhaps in a spiritual awakening kind of way)? We’ve been watching documentaries. We’ve seen some pretty good ones. We watched Foodmatters. That was a pretty good documentary about the food industry. Corde particularly loved it. We saw Hungry for Change, which was also great. Corde thought the story from it was a little weird, but she liked it. We’ve noticed some familiar faces showing up in these documentaries. There are some really interesting people in these food documentaries. Then for a change of pace we picked out something completely different. Corde picked out Craigslist Joe, which was absolutely amazing. It’s aboaut a man trying to live for 31 days, in December, no less, on nothing but connections he makes from Craigslist. That’s how he would get everything he needs. He even got to meet up with the creator of Craigslist, which was interesting. Some of the stories were absolutely inspiring.
We’ve had a lot of good going on for us. The church has been wonderful to us. They were even very understanding when we said we didn’t want to go on Wednesday because our former neighbors went back (undoubtedly to try and get something else out of the church). We’ve gotten the house clean. Oz doesn’t help, but he’s spent a lot of time working. Luca learned to crawl like a normal baby and now pulls up to standing on everything. He’s being tortured by teething too, which seems bad, but it’s good because it means he’ll have teeth soon (big boy!) It’s been exhausting. Hopefully we’ll be back on track after the holidays.
In the meantime, happy Yule/Solstice everyone! Enjoy the fact that the world hasn’t ended yet, not that I ever really anticipated it would. I wouldn’t have let Oz go to work today if we thought the world was going to end, after all, the end of the world should be spent together as a family, right? Still, it’s fun to imagine that we’ve somehow been saved from the end of times. I’m sure some new “end of the world” prophesy will be discovered for an end long beyond our lifetimes. Until then the only sign of any “end of the world” was my net going down for two hours. How’s that for a dramatic story to tell the grandkids? Well, looks like tomorrow we’re going to start watching the 2012 documentaries (we’d thought about it today, but more interesting stuff was on) then talking about how foolish it was. I have a feeling it’ll be a great conversation starter for the kids.