Monday, December 27, 2004

Zoe's First Christmas

We did it a little different this year, choosing to go down to Puyallup and Seattle instead to celebrate Christmas. We usually do it in Bellingham, and then head down to my Mom's on Christmas Day, but this year we went to my In Law because... I don't really know why, actually. Because we wanted to test our reserves with two babies in the back seat?

The drive down wasn't particular hideous, but it did take about an hour longer than planned. We thought we'd be all smart by staying awake, drinking coffee to perk us up. But all that did was make us take a bathroom stop in Marysville, whereby we pretended not to have breakfast at a McDonalds. We got to my mother-in-laws place, or SurrealLand as I sometimes like to call it, and everyone was already there. Alex didn't take long to be comfortable running around, and I exercised my bastardness by turning off two radios in the house because I was just going nuts. There were at least three radios running Christmas music, but the TV had cartoons on at the same time. And people were talking about all of it. So I just killed the radio in two of the rooms, acting like I owned the place or something.

The visit was pretty good, with the exception of the Bird from Hell, cleverly disguised as a Cockateel or Cocka-whatever named Clancy. Clancy is a smart bird who is able to mimic a lot of phrases and words. However, all the linguistic skills could not redeem the bird from being the World's Most Annoying Ass Bird. Yes, it does mimic a phone ringing, but it does so at a ear-shattering decible that could turn a man impotent. I think everyone just despises that winged ass-rat, but I think that I probably take it the furthest. I told my wife and my sister-in-law that the bird could never mimic the sound of a gunshot because it'd be the last thing it hears. I actually really loathe that bird in the most unreasonable way.

And with good reason too. He's drawn blood on a few people, including my other sister-in-law's husband, who got an involuntary ear-piercing when the bird damned near Mike-Tysoned his ear off. It's also gripped my wife's arm with its claws until it drew blood. So, my feelings about the bird are mostly rooted in seething hatred.

Anyway, the bird ranting leads up to this. My wife was picking up a present when the bird suddenly leapt from it's perch and tried to mount the back of my wife's head, or whatever it was trying to do. My wife freaked, and ran into the next room. Later, while I was passing by, the bird lunged for me as well, but since I was already on Flying Bastard alert, I managed to run away while the bird got tangled up in the Christmas tree. And believe me, both incidents were as funny as they sound because we laughed both times.

But anyway, the kids got some toys, we got some stuff (I got a maglite from my mother in law, so that's cool), and everyone seemed at the top of their spirits. We left at around 8 and headed to my mom's.

Then it went downhill.

The downside to our strict routines is that the kids can't handle any change to their schedule. So whenever we go anywhere and spend the night, it becomes this huge, tramatic thing for Alex. We tried to put him to sleep and he sobbed and wept. It took about 5 tries before my wife took him to bed with her, while I was downstairs trying to get Zoe to sleep. The little girl seriously did not go to sleep until almost 2 in the morning. She was just unhappy and unwilling to chill out. That was such a tough night that we swore off spending the night anywhere until they're 10. or 9 and a half.

Christmas Day at my Mom's was quiet, Alex had fun running around the house and being a crazy little boy. He smiled and charmed Grandma, and Zoe even had some great little grins too. There wasn't as many gifts this year, which is probably a good thing since we're rapidly running out of room. I actually like to bring my kids to see my mom, because I can just tell that it makes her so happy. It just means so much to her that I only wish we could see her more often. She really enjoys being a grandma. Yes, more than all the other grandmas in the world, I bet.

Today, and probably for a few weeks here, we'll settle back into some kind of normal routine. Too much going on, glad that Christmas is over and done with.

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