Thursday, December 31, 2009

Break out the bubbly

Christmas day is normally when kids get to break all of their new toys. I guess Barbara the bubble hog decided that it was her turn to play with David's new gun all morning. Destructo Dave is not one to be easily thwarted and eventually resorted to using his bare hands to destroy the evil bubbles.

After hours of listening to David scream 'pleeeeeaaaase, Barbara' and 'give it back, it's mine', I stopped laughing and went inside. The boys finally came in, too, and Grams put them straight to work.

Thanks to Barbubble, David was still bawling his eyes out when he helped Grams, in case anyone wants to know why the stuffing was so moist this year. Mmmm, nothing beats the taste of tear-soaked bread cubes baked in the cavity of a dead animal.

Tom is still at that age where he learns a new trick almost every day. Today, he amazed us with how he could walk through glass doors.

You would think that after two or ten times of smashing his head on glass, he would eventually realize that there was a reason his forehead was hurting and maybe, I don't know, stop. Not Tom, though - that boy has got determination. Kinda like Mama, only I use a different word.

After an hour of head banging, even Ozzy Osbourne needs to sit down for a while and either giggle or eat a bat.

Tommy didn't chow down on a flying rodent, but he did find Opa and Barb's 'Thirsty & Hungry' show to be quite amusing. Can you guess which one is thirsty?

That's right, it's Bubbalina! I guess this morning's traumatic bubble hoarding wasn't enough to tickle her nose. I'm sorry, but that's where I draw the line. Making the kids cry - fine. Funny, even, if Angie's not around, but bogarting the Cristal? Come on.

Dinner was excellent, especially the stuffing. Thanks, David. Thanks, Barb.

Between Christmas and New Year's, we stayed with the theme of stuffing our faces and invited Sami and Kika over to make us Raclette.

Angie had threatened death warrants if they didn't bring enough food, so we ended up with enough cheese to choke Wisconsin. My bowels hate you.

After dinner, drinks were to be had by all, even little kids with big mouths.

I was a little worried about Lauri's obvious drinking problem, but when he got behind the wheel of the bucket, I really got concerned. I even sent Tom in to talk some nonsense into him.

After drunken baby demolition derby, we exchanged Christmas gifts. David loves puzzles and got a really cool one from Kika. It was a kick-ass 3-D globe, but unfortunately, Mama took it away from David mere seconds after he opened it.

In David's defense, he did try several times to rationalize with Mama.

'Mama, I are a big boy - I make this puzzle, now - okay?'
'Honey, don't touch. You'll break what we have so far.'

'Mama - I do it now, okay?'
'Stop grabbing, okay - it's almost done!'

'But dat is mine, Mama. Kika gave me it. Not you.'

'Listen! It's not that easy! Anyway, the box says 6+, so just go play in your room while I build this.'

I guess the whole 'stealing toys from children' runs in the family. At least nobody tried getting in the way of Tommy's 'Battle Horse Royale'.

After taming the Horse Screamer, Sebastian stopped by for a round of Birthday Poker.

I'm just glad he did not break out his birthday suit. Happy Birthday, buddy!

During the winter break, our TV broke. It's okay - I can talk about it now. At least it was good timing. What, with the kids being home all day with nothing to do - who needs the TV? Let me answer that quite clearly. Me.

Luckily, Opa is like that guy in prison who can get you anything. He knew a guy who knew a guy who likes watching TV - the next thing we knew, our TV was ready to be picked up.

I broke the law and let Peter ride shotgun. That's nothing, though. If you look across the street, you'll see Destructo Dave in the driver seat of Opa's not-so-Smart. He's not even wearing a seat belt, but my precious was bubble-wrapped and safe in the back seat, so all was well in my car.

When we got back to the house, Brian and Dalia had showed up to pick up their Christmas gifts. Whatever, Brian - outta the way, man, you're blocking the TV. Mama Meanie intervened and turned off my precious, mumbling something about being social. Whatever, Ms. Manners, shouldn't your Face be in a Book somewhere being all 'social' and stuff?

In the end, giving Brian their gifts turned out to be rather entertaining.

See, Brian and Clarice are obviously trying to catch up with us and gave Dalia a shiny new sister for Christmas - Elina. Angie thought that it would be cool to give Elina a 'hand print kit'. We had gotten one when Peter was just a little critter and thought it was cute. So cute, in fact, that Angie had immediately stuffed it back in the box after taking Peter's handprint and carving his name in it.

This box has been sitting on the shelf collecting dust for the past five years. At some point, Angie had gotten another one, almost exactly the same, which she put on the shelf as well. Not being one to think, Angie forgot to check the contents before wrapping, which resulted in Brian's puzzled look as he opened the used clay hand print with 'Peter' sketched into it. Um, thanks - I'm sure that, uh...Elina will, you it.

On that note, I had to leave the house. I went shopping, which is kinda like another manly task that I routinely volunteer for - cooking. Before you label me, consider these two facts - I go shopping alone and as the cook, I am the only human allowed in the kitchen.

While I was out enjoying the sweet solitude of groceries, Angie was obviously not paying attention to our children at all. I have to say - I'm not surprised. At some point, Angie ran a bath. I can only assume that she was busy CrackBooking when Tommy made his move.

Either my boots stink or Tommy wanted to do his own sink or drown experiment. Probably both, but in addition to limes, potatoes, and raisins - Dr. Martens do not float. I was quick to point out that little babies don't float, either, but Mama jumped in with comments like 'not funny' and 'you're so hot'.

Speaking of not-so-funny-looking hotties, check out the Principessa. Nice tongue.

In addition to wit, temper, and homemade Limoncello, Sarah brought a lentil soup to kick off our New Year's eve bash. It was delish, but our boys are already fully capable of producing smells, thank you very much. I really don't think they need any encouraging bean products, even if they are good for the heart.

After dinner, the kids decided to make bursting noises of a different smell.

These indoor poppers are harmless, unless you ask poor little petrified Chiara. Man, check out that scream!

To calm things down a bit, Angie showed the kids how to use a crack spoon.

Somehow, my jokes about CrackBook aren't so funny now. She tried defending herself with some bullshit story about the tradition of melting metal figures and dumping them in water to predict fortunes in your future. Whatever, Marion Barry. Denial is always the first stage, and she was probably too high on liquid smack to realize that the kids had already moved on to setting things on fire.

Angie is a pro when it comes to burning shit, so she was completely in her element. Tom has been breaking a lot of things lately and his fascination with fire only further signalled that he will probably follow in David's muddy, disgusting, stinky footprints, rather than Peter's, who was busy comforting our cat.

Gizma is 17 years old and has not been doing so well, lately. She very recently lost her sight and only eats if we hand feed her shaved turkey. We do, by the way, so don't freak out and call PETA on us.

All in all, she is dealing with blindness rather well. She has the layout of the zoo in her memory and can still make her way about. Her excellent sense of smell and David and Tom's funkiness alert her of potential threats and so far, she still manages to escape. When the fireworks started, though, she completely lost it.

Gizma's favorite hiding spot is under our stove. When the firecrackers started popping shortly before midnight, she was on the sofa in the living room. In a blind panic, she jumped down and tried headbutting her way through our living room door. David has tried this, too, but for completely different reasons. At least Peter was there to pet her and lead her to the kitchen.

At midnight, we dragged the other animals to the streets to witness and enjoy the New Year's display.

Tom was being a baby and just fell asleep. Peter had seen fireworks before and was impressed, but not awed. For David, though, it was a whole new experience. I looked down and actually recognized a look that very rarely falls across his face: fear.

'Davey, come here. Are you scared?'

Without hesitation, David climbed up into my arms and whispered in my ear.

'I'm scared. But I like it.'

Without realizing it, he accurately described how I feel about my little babies growing up so damn fast.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I saw the fireworks.
David: When the explode spook everywhere and from there up in the sky phfkew, pang, boom!
2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: That it was too loud.
David: When I can't not there down forever play with the fire crackers.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To give you tomorrow a gift.
David: To play with Peter animals and then I make pang, boom and fire on them in the sky!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Homemade fire salad

I love Angie for many reasons, but knowing her way around the kitchen is not one of them. See, she tends to set things on fire, and this just frightens our cat and angers my wallet. Knowing this, you would think that a salad would be a relatively safe thing to leave within Angie's reach. So did I.

At some point during the course of the dinner that she was not allowed to cook, Angie started craving greens. I passed her the salad bowl and returned to watching David eat. It's fascinating, really. He can make an entire bowl of food disappear without getting a single morsel into his mouth. Move over, Copperfield - there's a new David on the scene.

Anyway, as I was admiring David's meatball hairdo, I smelled fire. Unfortunately, I know this odor all too well and whipped around not really that shocked to see the salad bowl going up in flames. Shit!

After years with Angie, my reflexes have been honed to smother first, ask questions later. I snatched David's glass of apple juice and doused the blazing inferno. I did have a beer in my hand, but come on - get real! Through the smoke, I saw Angie's red cheeks and heard her muttering something over and over again. I ignored this for the moment and put on my Fire Chief hat to investigate.

Hmmm. Very interesting. One smoking salad bowl, with two plastic spoons hanging over the edge. Four burning candles on the table next to the salad bowl. Judging by the angle of the melted spoon, someone really stupid must have placed the salad bowl right next to the flammable centerpiece. The cute blonde dame over there with the red face is the only one with green crap on her plate.

Before I could crack the case, Angie's muffled chanting got louder and louder. Eventually, I could make out what she was repeatedly repeating:

'Please don't blog this, please don't blog this, please don't...'

Friday, December 25, 2009

Klepto Grams

Christmas day started with a frantic search to find my camera. We were at Grams and Opa's and their freaky house has a way of making things 'disappear'. Opa had spent most of last night searching the house for Grams' camera, so it was clearly my turn to go hunting.

I almost gave up, but for some reason, I ventured into Grams' bedroom and discovered the biggest stash of stolen cameras I have ever seen.

Okay, it was actually just one. Mine. It was on her desk. But that's not the point. She's got sticky fingers and I am quite certain that somewhere in that possessed house of theirs is a secret closet packed with 'lost' cameras. Nice try, shifty - we're on to you.

If you ever visit their house, leave your camera behind or bring a disposable. It might not be a bad idea to slap a GPS tracking chip in it, but I would still keep my eyes on Grams.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Temper Tom

Santa was a real dumbass this year. If he had paid attention at all, he would have known that a HAMMER is the last freakin' thing this kid needs. The other day, Tom wanted to stick a fork in our kitty. I said no and I shit you not - he picked up a serving tray and threw it at me. A SERVING TRAY! What the hell do you think he's going to with a hammer? Someone get me out here.

And so this is Christmas...

Twas the night before Christmas, but these creatures were anything but silent. More on the escaped lab rats later.

As you know, the Zoo Crew is late with everything and Christmas was no different. The morning started out with Constructo Mom helping the boys build a wooden labyrinth for Opa.

In the middle of Angie's wood shop project, Santa Clause stopped by for coffee.

Note to all: never, ever ask Eisi to play Santa for your children. He sucks.

Eisi is an actor who loves to improvise. When he showed up at our house, he did not even have this creative yet somehow unbrilliant costume. To improvise, he had his killer dog Clooney tear apart Tom's Nerf soccer ball, much to Tom's rather loud disappointment. Thanks again, Cujo!

What Eisi lacked in role playing, he made up for with his keen ability to keep yappity kids quiet for ten minutes. Please stay.

After Santa and Cujo left, we hit the road to Grams and Opa's. We left the house an hour after we were supposed to be there, so Grams and Opa had already started fighting with the tangled Christmas lights.

'No, take your side under and....'

'Wrong! It's your side that's crossed. You need to...'

'Not over - under!'

'Quit pulling!'

The Grams and Opa show continued on for fifteen minutes until they finally untangled the big ball of knots. In the end, we did not even need the third string of lights. The first two (untangled to begin with, I might add) were enough to do the trick. At least the show was entertaining, but act II was awesome! These three goofy-looking kids got on stage and amazed the crowd by dropping round, painted glass thingies on the floor without breaking them.

After the animals finished, we stood back to admire the tree. Somehow, the density of ornaments was slightly higher towards the bottom half of the tree. Tall Mama stood in to undisproportionate things. What - that's a word, isn't it?

After Big Bird saved the day, Grams taught the boys how to play Dominoes.

At the mention of Dominoes, I thought the boys would start salivating for pizza. They knew that Mama wasn't cooking, though, so Pavlov had no chance.

Act III was a poem recital from Peter.

Despite what it looks like, Peter can not read. I'm not worried now, but if this is still the case in ten years, I can only hope that Hooked on Phonics is still around. Peter sounded like the Scatman as he speed-read the memorized story. In the middle, Tom started crying and David decided it was the right time to bust out his Michael Jackson moves in front of the main speaker. Somehow, the presenter lost focus and forgot the last couple verses. Luckily, Peter didn't mind - he was still grinning like the village idiot, only smarter.

After the bedtime story, we brought the boys upstairs to get ready for bed. This is always an hour-long task, which gave Santa plenty of time to dump his load under the tree. Just before pajama time, a booming and rather sexy voice rang out.


I, along with the entire neighborhood, could hear Peter screaming that he had seen Santa flying away as they both tore down the steps.

When he saw the BIG LOOT, Peter decided it was time for the White Boy Dance. Unfortunately, he is not as coordinated as White Boy and wound up whacking David in the forehead with one of his flailing limbs. David managed to suck it up, though. Maybe the mountain of gifts eased the pain a bit.

Tom was mighty nervous about his first present and rightfully so. Peter and David have both given him 'gifts' that have resulted in bruises, swelling and/or nose bleeds. This time, Santa decided to give the little guy something he could retaliate with.

That's right - a hammer! Tom snatched the hammer and began beating the ever-loving shit out of the plastic balls without us even explaining the game to him. Barb walked in on Tom in the middle of his furious frenzy and summed it up with a name - Temper Tom. It's kinda like Destructo Dave, only David always laughs when he breaks shit. Tom was scowling as he went to work on his new toy.

To pry the hammer from Temper Tom's clenched fists, we gave him another one of his eight million gifts.

It's not loud, it does not have a zillion pieces that 'someone' has to build, Tom cannot bludgeon guilty siblings with it, and best of all - it forces him to burn energy as he races up and down the hallway with it. Right on, right on, Santa!

Now, Santa - when you're good, you're good. Quiet, easy to build, not dangerous - all good. But, come on - what the hell were you thinking with this one?

What Angie is looking at is page 26 of the 500 page manual to put this freakin' castle together. It certainly wasn't quiet, since the boys started killing each other to play with it before it was even built. I think the last statement already addresses the danger aspect. Bad Santa! When it comes to building colossal pieces of castle, alcohol helps.

I don't know if the castle was really sober upon completion, but Maiden Mama didn't care. Luckily, the boys didn't either.

All good things must come to an end so that the adults can play games and drink heavily. At least Christmas had a happy ending.

Despite the boys' failed attempt to choke Opa, they seemed genuinely happy. Until David asked for a glass of water.

'Sure - with bubbles or without?'


'Ok, we have that upstairs. Let's go.'

We said goodnight to everyone and headed up to bed. I gave David his water without bubbles and the meltdown began.

'Water with bubbles.' (crying)

'Yeah, but you said downstairs you wanted without.'
(malicious giggling)

'Water with bubbles.' (screaming)

'Yeah, but you said downstairs you wanted without.' (evil snickering)

'Water with bubbles.'
(snot-bubbling, full-on freak-out)

'Yeah, but you said downstairs you wanted without.' (hysterical cackling)

Eventually, we got David two waters, one without bubbles and one that was freakin' hilarious. It at least neutralized his argument, which seemed to baffle him. He seriously looked like he was searching for a reason to continue freaking out but since we had the all fronts of the whole 'water battle' covered, he reluctantly went to sleep.

After drinking wine all night, I thought it would be wiser than three men to switch to whiskey when we started playing poker.

Let me just state quite clearly: wine and whiskey for Christmas - not smart. Stupid, if it weren't me. Moronic if it had been Angie. If you're Tommy, I would simply ask you to whack me in the head a few times with a hammer so I know what tomorrow morning will feel like. Bad Santa!

Ladder Talk: [Bubbly water, wine and whiskey competed with Ladder Talk today; turns out, ladders are not really that competitive]

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nice horn!

It's never funny when you bash your head into the sharp pointy corner of a shelf while bending over to throw a snotty tissue into the waste basket. It is, however, freakin' hilarious when your lovely wife does it. Isn't it?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Get a job, Hippychick!

Lately, I've been a little worried that Tom might change his name to Moonbeam and run away to some grassy commune for what would surely be a mind-altering upbringing.

With his long hair and lack of a job, I'm sure he would fit in just fine in Hippie-ville. What worried me even more, though, is how the boy's mother could completely ignore the fact the he was looking more and more like a little girl each day. It was almost as if she wanted this. The other day, I caught her braiding his hair into pony tails. Bring me the scissors and get me the classified section!