Dear Family and Friends,
When we moved to Eugene in 2007, I told Plantboy the one thing I wanted was an entire calendar year without any major life changes--no new jobs, moves or babies. So, for Christmas, I got exactly what I wanted. 2008 was free from any huge decisions or disruptions. Plantboy, however, probably did NOT get what he wanted for Christmas. I'm sure his dream gift would involve some sort of unlimited shopping spree at REI. But if you think that 2008 was also a quiet year, then you have never lived in a house with three little boys.
Some years back, a good friend of mine started sending out her family's top ten funny moments each Christmas. I love this hilarious substitution to a "traditional" newsletter. I feel like I really know her family through their foibles and moments. It is also a great way to keep track of all those funny things your kids do and say while they are young. So here are our top ten moments of 2008.
1. In early January, STM learned that a skiff of snow or even the rumor of a freeze would cause school to be cancelled. This knowledge was painfully remembered again last week when a tiny (by Utah standards) snowstorm rocked our part of the Pacific Northwest and closed school for a good chunk of the week. Instead of a two week Christmas Break, it is now more like three weeks. Already Jedi Master looks at me with glazed over eyes when I mention the word "homework." January 6th is going to be like starting from scratch.
2. When the baby started getting mobile, STM realized that he was spending a lot of time in a certain corner of the house. She also realized that several small items had gone missing. In that particular corner, there is a small hole left over from a cable hookup we are not using. The Youngling was using the hole to hide any treasures he happened to find. This pack-rat-like behavior somehow earned him the name "snickerdoodle."
3. In March Jedi Master said, "I'm so glad for the spring break. I've been working so hard this year; I just really need a break, Mommy." He should do very well in college.
4. In July we traveled to Utah for the biannual family reunion. We stayed with STM's parents for a few days before meeting Plantboy's family in Bear Lake. The first morning, Padawan jumped on Grandpa Gus's bed to wake him up. Grandpa sat up and gave him a kiss. Padawan made a terrible face, wiped the kiss off and said, "Grandpa! That was a HORRRRRIBLE kiss!" Grandma Joanie laughed so hard I thought she'd fall off the bed. I guess she knows about Grandpa's morning kisses.
5. While in Bear Lake, we decided to go to Minnetonka cave. The pamphlet said it was something like 300 stairs. No problem. After about 8 slippery stairs, Padawan stopped and said "Mommy, it is too scary." So STM scooped him up and carried him the remaining 298. That was just going down. Grandpa and STM tag-teamed him coming back up, emerging into the bright sunlight completely out of breath. Padawan got to his feet, pretending to breathe heavy and said, "Boy mommy, I need a drink! That was sure hard work!"
6. October was the year's most eventful month. Early in the month, Jedi Master and his mom sat down to plan his birthday party. It was, of course, to be a Star Wars themed event. Jedi Master said, "We could have everyone dress up like their favorite character and bring their light sabers. Then we could have a huge light saber fight." I'm not sure which is funnier--that he honestly believes that each of his friends has a Star Wars costume AND light saber, or that a brawl was a good party activity.
7. For Halloween, we got "booed." This is when a neighbor secretly brings a goodie to eat and ghost poster to hang up in your window. You are then to "boo" two or three others in the neighborhood to keep it moving. Excitedly, we made our treats and took a walk around the block after dark. It was fun to be so sneaky. Just as we left our last drop, Jedi Master said, "This is a really fun prank. But instead of a leaving a goodie next year . . . " he trailed off and nodded, "I think we should throw bricks."
8. The parents came home in November from a date to find the babysitter literally surrounded by kids wielding Nerf guns and light sabers. She looked at them, raised her eyebrows and said drily, "Apparently I'm beginning my Jedi Training next week."
9. The Youngling doesn't talk. At least not English, anyway. But any time he picks up a light saber or a stick or a untensil, he swings it around making light saber noises. He also holds his hand like a gun and makes shooting noises while laughing. How he can be the sweetest and the meanest at the same time is a mystery.
10. Instead of "cut it out!" when someone is bothering him, Padawan says, "Cut if off!" Hm . . . . even with correction he hasn't really changed his phrase. So what, exactly, does he want the offending party to "cut off?" The world may never know.