Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mulch Man

Knowing that Andrew would be off work the week following Christmas, I had grand ideas of how our time together would be spent. However, due to over crowding at a bounce house, ridiculous wait times at a restaurant, the disappointing absence of snow, my first ever migraine and other unplanned inconveniences, the majority of said plans were spoiled.

Luckily, Andrew had his own list of to-do's that proved to occupy our time well. First up, he introduced us to MULCH MOUNTAIN!
 The fierce wind storm that pummeled its way through our area a few weeks ago uprooted hundreds of trees. As a result, an announcement was made on the evening news that piles of free mulch were available to anybody willing to come and get it.

They had Andrew at the word, "free."

But first, he had to construct (temporary) wood siding on his trailer. And while he will label all of these projects as being, "hard work"... I'm pretty sure he enjoyed just about every minute of it. 
Time spent in his garage is always a good thing. 

 A few trips to the hardware store later, he was in business. And yes, "I think his tractor's sexy." Something about that man in red flannel, engaging in outdoor labor that involves a shovel and steering a riding lawn mower makes my heart race. 

I'm sure he feels the same way when he watches me sort and mate the socks. Or the dishes. I'm pretty sure that's when I look the best... scrubbing nasty food residue from pots and pans in my sweats accompanied by a disheveled pony tail. Oh man. He's one lucky dude.

And then there's the whole "I'm a cute Dad that includes my kids in all that I do" component...

Coming home from, ahem... a shopping trip to Tai Pan with my Mom and sister Ami, I was delighted to see Lottie tagging along in her stroller. She spent her fair share of time bonding with Dad in the garage this past week. He was pleased that the weather accommodated his at home work effort , but if it had been cold, he would have implemented 'Plan B.'
 That right there is a gas patio heater. Are you impressed or what? That bad boy is Andrew's Christmas bonus. Early in December, we attended a fancy schmancy work party. We were told of the amazing prices that would be up for grabs and of the lottery system that would assign random employees to various items. There were golf clubs, several big screen t.v's, HD video cameras, vacations, Wii sets, etc (you get the idea.) Winning wasn't a certainty, so when his name appeared on screen, we were excited. 

I don't need to ask you to guess what he won. Our reaction was mixed, but has since evolved into a gratitude born of acceptance. Because really, we don't need a cruise to the Bahamas. Flat screen televisions are likewise overrated. Ha ha ha. 

The gas patio heater has since provided more than a laugh. New Year's Eve, as we piled outside for our neighbors GRAND firework show (not an exaggeration, it was amazing), Andrew brought it outside. Just about everyone expressed their admiration and appreciation for the fabulous heater.


It is quality. For anyone in the market, I'd be happy to give you a recommendation. After all, debating brands can be tricky business and we all know how IN DEMAND gas patio heaters are. ;)

 On a more "traditional" note, the kids did enjoy seeing the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie with Nanna Teresa, spending New Years Day eating Hoppin John with extended family,

(Eliza having fun with 2nd cousin Sophie.
These cute girls are a week or so apart)
playing with their new toys and enjoying the neighborhood kids at a most memorable New Year's Eve party hosted by our next door neighbors. Eliza was desperate to stay awake until midnight. She wanted to see the firework show. At 10:00 p.m. she approached me at the game table. Normally in bed by seven, her misery born of exhaustion was etched across her face.

 "My throat is starting to hurt" And with that statement, I crushed her dreams as I escorted her straight to bed. However, I did make good on my promise to wake her up at midnight for fireworks. The fireworks were enormous. They were loud and big enough to intimidate her to stay inside to watch. However, rather than watch through the window, she hid underneath a big blanket on the living room floor. When I walked her back to bed, she said she enjoyed them and asked me to "please wake me up at midnight."

"Eliza, it's past midnight! That's why I woke you up for fireworks." She gasped.

"You mean it's now January!?" Pure amazement. Happy New year big girl. 

 As for my Christmas break, I remembered what it felt like to be in college.

Except for the conversations we had about fighting our kids on trying new foods, potty training and the joys of breastfeeding... besides that, it felt like we were right back in apartment # 311. 

I also indulged in a shopping outing and lunch date with two of my favorite people. 

We did enough on our "stay-cation" to wear us all out. 

Three days in, I can say that the year is off to a great start. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around all that changed for our family in 2011. And perhaps, I ought to dedicate all that reflection for another post. After all, Eliza's "break from homework" is now over which means that mine is too.


CarrieAnne said...

That is awesome that you got to see Melissa and Karina! I miss all of you girls!

Melissa and Allen said...

It is always so good to see you two and catch up. I wish we could do it more!