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!
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.
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)
"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.
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.