December 2007

Pre-holiday fun

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In honor of the fact that there are maybe a half dozen of us at work today, my coworker Colin and I decided to represent our love of Doug's Fish Fry by wearing our (nearly) matching Doug's Fish Fry T-shirts. Represent!



My T-shirt is making me hungry.

The first time Colin wore his DFF shirt to work my head almost exploded with amazement and joy. Contrary to my strict rules against matching outfits, I said he should let me know next time he was going to wear it (because of course I have one too). I got the good word this past Friday that it was matchy T-shirt day on Monday. Because today is practically a holiday and there is barely anyone here and I could probably have worn a bathrobe to work without anyone noticing, I thought that sounded like a great idea.

Happy New Year's Eve, all (and happy New Year's Day to my ambitious friend in Australia)!


As promised

File under: christmas

Today we went to Skaneateles for a family gathering in honor of my cousin Ryan. He is home for a brief respite from his Peace Corps work in Benin, Africa. I was more than thrilled to see him and hug him and get all Barbara Walters on him. (Once I started asking questions they just kept coming and coming. I was still thinking of questions on the drive home - he was not with us then - but those will have to wait until next time.) It was really a wonderful day.

Here is a picture of (most of) the motley crew. Because there were two cameras going no one knew where to look. Classic family reunion portrait style.

Since we got home from our Christmas travels Greta has been on her best behavior. To put it politely, I'll just say that we had been having some rather painful behavioral issues during Christmas. Pat and I have been a little more strict with her the last few days, which has really helped and she actually seems much happier. And Greta was super good today, even in the big group of people. Pat took this picture of her that I just love.

And she took this one of me. It seems notable to me because it really shows her improving photography skills.

As I mentioned in the previous post, my parents gave Greta a very special Christmas present. They took a wooden chest that my Grandpa Whitacre made while in the service and turned it into a beautiful toy box. They put a hinge in it so it won't smash Greta's delicate little fingers, and they decorated it like a ladybug - well two ladybugs - using her favorite ladybug boots as inspiration. If that weren't enough they filled it with toys! She thought the toy box was great but the look on her face when she saw that it will filled with presents was priceless. Greta absolutely loves the box (and its contents), and Pat and I are thrilled that we can travel lighter now that G has her own set of exciting toys at grandma and grandpa's! That's great news all around.

Here's the little personalized bug.

And yes, Greta is completely spoiled; I've come to terms with it. She's the only niece, grandchild, and even great-grandchild on BOTH sides of our family. What are ya gonna do?

Well, I'm trying to be concise here, people, because even though I am in denial about it I have to work tomorrow. That's right. Somebody (me) used up all of her vacation days so she'll be clocking in tomorrow. Why am I speaking in the third person? That's so unlike me. I mean, that's so unlike Fran. Er, goodnight!


Christmas was so four days ago

File under: Binghamton | christmas

I know, I know, this update is super late. What can I say?

Monday afternoon we headed to Binghamton for the Reed Family Christmas festivities. We had the best pizza in the world (Nirchi's) for dinner and had some QT with the Reeds. "The kids" got goofy glasses for an early Christmas present.

Greta, of course, wanted to join in on the fun.

Monday night we headed to the Scott's house to see some old friends and we laughed a lot. There are quite a few grandkids in the Scott family, and I'm always amazed to see their progress each year. One of the grandkids, a three year old, really struck my fancy. He hugged me immediately when I walked in the door and was pretty much glued to me until it was time for him to go home. He announced that he was "The Love Doctor," and after hugging me about 20 times and sitting on my lap for a good 10 minutes, he turned around, pulled my shirt down (exposing my bra) and asked me what my name was. I found this hilarious, and we are now friends for life.

Let's see, so Tuesday morning we slept in a little (thanks to co-sleeping, not our typical habit but one we admittedly enjoy) and then started opening presents. Greta got some fantastic gifts from Ma and Pa Reed (aka Patty and Franny), her Grandma and Grandpa Reed, and Uncle Eric. Pat and I got her this tunnel/tent thingy, which I figured could go either way. She actually loved it, as you can see.

She got a Greta-size digger truck from her Uncle Eric, complete with a hard hat, ignition, noises, and even some brand recognition. Let's just say she loves it so much we already need to replace the batteries.

Wednesday morning we headed out to Skaneateles for Christmas Part II with the McCarthy family. I was downright giddy to see my family. Although this picture makes me look like a doof, Greta looks super cute so I wanted to post it.

At my parent's house we had a very-bacon Christmas. There was pork everywhere: in the appetizers, in the side dishes, in the main dish, and my mom even made something we called bacon gravy. We even each got a pound of bacon as a gift. Hey, it's the holidays and McCarthys love pork, and there are medications to lower our cholesterol and blood pressure. Anyway, enough about delicious cured meats.

More on this to come, but my parents gave Greta an amazing gift. Here is Greta's expression when she opened it. I feel like she's looking at me like, "Is this for reals?" Like I said, more on that later.

Another big hit of the day was a farm toy that Phil and Becky got for Greta. She is enthralled with all of the little noises.

Not pictured is a gift that Phil and Becky got for Greta that I love: they're LL Bean pants with crabs embroidered on them. I often ask Greta if she's wearing her "crabby pants" when she's being difficult, so now when she wears them my question will have more meaning...or maybe it will cause confusion. Oh well, either way, they're very cute.

Tomorrow we're taking ANOTHER trip to Skaneateles (3rd time there in 8 days) and I am VERY excited about it. Too tired to discuss now, update to follow.


2007-12-27 20:48:53

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Did anyone else get to sit in a sweet fire truck on Christmas?

Because Greta did, thanks to her firefighter uncle, Eric.

Did anyone else get watched over by a totally creepy looking elf on Christmas Eve?

Because I did, thanks to someone's questionable taste in Christmas decorations. : )


2007-12-26 21:50:42

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Here are just a few pictures that I appropriated from my sister-in-law from the McCarthy portion of the whirlwind tour of Christmas.

Greta sez, "The anticipation is killing me."

When you're a cute toddler, you can get away with standing on the back of the couch....

...and wearing a goofy hat.

It was a good day indeed.

Thanks for the pictures, Beck! More pictures and a proper update to come.


Happy happy

File under: christmas

Top 10

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I'm currently waiting for our horrible stove to finish baking my pumpkin bread so I can go to bed. Our stove is about as useful as an Easy-Bake Oven. It is dying but not quickly enough for us to get a new one. Anyhoo, I thought I would use this time to get to know our new camera a little better and post something completely useless.

Pat and I love our Christmas tree very much and while it has no theme whatsoever and some of the ornaments may be downright ugly to the untrained eye, we love the hodge-podge look of it and what all of the ornaments represent individually and as a group. I thought I would document 10 of my most favorite ornaments.

This is a glass ducky ornament that my mom got for Greta last year. Pat and I both attempted to get Greta very meaningful ornaments and both felt like we fell short. This one just hit the nail on the head with Greta's love of duckies.

This ceramic snowman was painted by Pat when he was 4. It doesn't get much better than this.

This is a glass fish that is part of a set my Aunt Janice gave us the year we were married. I didn't know this before receiving the set, but there is a tradition for a bride's tree to wish the new couple good wishes to begin their lives together. Although I love the entire set, this fish is my favorite.

I made this rainbow ornament in the 2nd grade. Pat and I affectionately call it our "gay pride ornament." I was way ahead of my time.

My Grandma Whitacre makes us ornaments each year and while I truly do appreciate the gesture, they are ugly as sin. This one takes the cake. This was the one ornament on the tree that Greta shunned. She grabbed it, exclaimed, "NO!" and tossed it. Ouch!

This is a makeshift moose that was a gift from Greta (thanks to her day care teachers) last year. Its face is her foot print and its antlers are her hand prints (in case you couldn't tell). I love it for obvious reasons.

This is the one ornament that I have from my Great-Grandma Frances (who I was named after). It has a little bell, and I like to give it a little jingle and think about an angel getting its wings.

Here is another sentimental-value ornament. This one is from my Grandma Ruth. I love that it's not at all cutesy and, obviously, that it was from my grandma who is no longer with us.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with the red bird in the middle of this image. I don't know why I loved it so much, but I still have a special place in my heart for it. I have a little cluster of birds here that I love.

This ornament, which wouldn't photograph well for me, was from my friends Chris and Amy, and I think it's just so very pretty and reminds me of a very happy time in my life.

Oooh, and I just checked my bread and it's done. Yay for distractions!


I'm starting to get a little nervous...

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That the stuffed animals are plotting a takeover. Just look at their beady little eyes and the sheer number of them.

Yes, this is what I do on Saturday nights now.


At least someone here is observant

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Greta walked up to Pat's laptop, pointed at it, and proclaimed, "Dada!" I thought it was a fluke until she then walked over to mine, pointed at that one, and proclaimed, "Mama!" Our computers are slightly different but basically look the same. The only difference is that mine is slightly larger (and a little less scratched up). They're so similar I have picked up Pat's on multiple occasions, thinking it's mine.

Looks like we've got a smart one on our hands. Well, either that or Pat and I are on our computers way too much. Probably a little from column A, a little from column B. Heh.



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I'm feeling kind of overwhelmed and busy, yet I just want to wrap myself in a blanket and sip hot cocoa. I keep thinking of what all needs to be done before Christmas, and I'm realizing that I've procrastinated even more this year than usual. Things are actually simple this year: we're not really exchanging gifts with family; Greta is a toddler with no real expectations for Christmas (I could gift wrap her previously enjoyed Elmo books and sparkly shoes, and she would still be excited); and, what seems like the first time during my professional career, work is generally pleasant and not the usual sh1t storm (excuse my language) that I'm used to this time of year. So why am I feeling so behind? I think maybe I let my guard down; things got too simple. Now I'm scrambling. It's a happy scramble at least.

The point of this post was to just say that I wanted to say something but just don't really have the time. I hope you're all happy and healthy, and I hope you're enjoying the little things in life and keeping things as stress-free and happy as it gets.

Peace out and peace on earth.