Friday, December 31, 2010

It's the most un-wonderful time of the year


The dreaded time finally came. Actually, it came about a month ago, but I just kept avoiding it.

It was time to CHANGE THE CLOTHING. Time to switch the 18 month clothes for the 2Ts for Betty, the 2Ts for the 3s for Dex, the 4s for the 5s for Betty and the 5s for the 6s for Kathryn.

Oh blech. It took me two days - I had a babysitter for several hours yesterday and Curtis took care of the kids for most of the day today. There were several baskets of random assorted clothes to sort through, too. A few pairs of six-month-old pjs here, a couple of 12 month shirts there, size 3 dresses in the closet that haven't been worn in a year.

Thank heaven I'm done with that. Now I need to organize my craft room...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Unclear on the concept

Getting Dex ready for bed last night, I was trying to distract him as I wrestled him into his dinosaur pajamas. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hold still! Kid...I'm warning you...Hey! If you could be any kind of dinosaur in the world, what would you be? A stegosaurus? Pterodactyl? Tyrannosaurus Rex? Anklosaurus? Brachiosaurus? Pteranodon? Giganotosaurus? (Running out of dinosaurs I've learned about by watching Dinosaur Train...)

Dexter: (with not one second's hesitation) A ROBOT!

Alrighty then.

Monday, December 27, 2010


So, my last post was a week ago, but at least it wasn't a month ago!

We had a lovely Christmas this year. We went to my mom and dad's house a few days before Christmas to spend time with the family and left the day after. Since Curtis and I had gotten each other presents that were too big to easily be taken there and put under the tree, we exchanged gifts here at home. He got me this cool thing:

It's super interesting! He happened to be in an antique shop when someone brought this in - their grandmother had just died and they were cleaning out her house. We don't know anything more about it than that, but it was clearly handmade by someone for someone they loved.

The handles are carved to look like spools of thread. Awesome.

It had all those spools of thread and notions in it, too. It's a super cool thing.

Aaaand, I got Curtis a deer head for his office. He'd been wanting one for a few years now and I finally obtained one rather serendipitously. He loves it. In fact, he might just love it more than he loves me. Just a little bit.

(Another post with more pictures of Curtis's new office is forthcoming...this is just a little teaser...)

We made gingerbread houses twice this year. The first, below, was from a kit a neighbor dropped by. It was, in Vivian's words, "a big hit!"

Then, of course, we made houses with homemade gingerbread with some friends. The kids had tons of fun. Kathryn gave her house to our sweet neighbor, an elderly woman named Mrs. Sassi. The kids just love her. Dex ate a lot of his, so it finally found its way to the trash, but I finally got it together enough to remember to take a photo of Vivian's.
So, now photos of Christmas Eve/Christmas Day at mom and dad's.
Betty playing with one of the nativity scenes.

Hanging out with Taid.
Kathryn hanging her stocking. We had already spent part of the evening at Jesse, Sherry, Iris and Isaac's reading Christmas stories, singing carols and eating cookies. It was lovely. Of course I forgot the camera. (Duh.)
Dex and Katie hanging his stocking.

Mom's beloved village scene, hand painted by her and I years ago. Maybe twenty years ago?

Nain and Dex with the plate of cookies/carrots for Santa and the reindeer.

Christmas morning!

If Dex was excited about one thing this Christmas, it was "a candy cane with red stripes!" that Santa was going to bring him. I have never seen him anticipate something so intensely in his short life.

Curtis cleaning up the aftermath of the candy cane.

Viv with her chocolate marshmallow Santa. She ate it all, proclaimed herself sick, but then added "but it sure tasted delicious!"

Christmas morning candy. I made them eat toast after this, before we opened the presents. I really didn't want any bellyaches.

Katie in her Christmas "tights" that she has worn every Christmas since she was about nine, I am completely serious. They used to have red tights attached, but she had to cut the red part off years ago as she got bigger but still wanted to wear them. Now she just wears them as shorts over other tights. I can't believe she can still wear them!!

Assad with his stocking loot. (Assad, who is from Afghanistan, was an exchange student who lived with my parents two years ago for a year. He goes to school at the Putney School in Vermont now but comes home for holidays and special occassions. He's just like another Casas now.)

Mom in the morning.

My gorgeous sisters. I did NOT look this good that morning.

Betty with a beloved lollipop. Oh yes. I know she's cute.

Lollipop in front of tree. I made this little nightgown a few years ago for Vivian. So happy it fit Betty this year! (Once again, Lorna and Jim, that sewing machine was one of the best gifts you ever got me!!)

Dex and Betty sort of ignored the whole tree and presents thing for a bit in favor of playing in the toy room.

Assad opening his gift from mom - a handmade quilt/pillow in the colors of the Afghan flag.

Mom opening Assad's gift to the family - a plate he made at Putney with the words "Families are Forever" on the top and "asalaam alaikum" (peace be unto you) in Arabic on the bottom. Well, let me tell you. Mom sure got more than a little misty-eyed when she opened that gift!

Betty with her new doll from Grandma and Grandpa Rice. She loooooves that doll! She fed it, diapered it, hugged it, and laughed and called it "funny baby!" when it laughed. (It's cute, but thank heaven it has an "off" switch!)
Taid, Dex and Assad with Dex's new space shuttle from Grandpa and Grandma Rice, which ALL of the kids think is a great toy! Good job on that one, Grandma!

Opening presents. Not a stellar picture of me, but I thought I'd better document that I was present.

Trying to detach yet another toy that was unreasonably secured to its packaging.

Viv opening presents.

There was a lot more to this Christmas than Christmas Eve and Christmas morning (a lot of family time, playing Speed Scrabble, eating waaaay too much delicious food, running around with the cousins, playing in the snow, etc.) but I always seemed to be too much in the moment to remember to actually get out the camera and take photos. Wish I had, but still, we had a lovely time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm back, and this time it's for real

Vivian: Every eye is a good one, except for if it's blind.
Me: Uh, right. That would be a challenge, to live without eyes that worked, huh?
(Discussion follows about being grateful for what we have.)
Me: Even people who are blind have lots of things to be grateful for.
Vivian: Like a loving family.
Me: Yep. I'd choose a loving family over eyes that worked for sure.
Vivian: But you'd choose a loving family AND eyes that worked, right?
Me: Well, yes, if I could.
(Viv thinks for a moment.)
Vivian: Mom, I have to poop.

Aaaand, scene.

I'm inching my way back to blog activity. I feel as though I've been treading water with my nose barely poking up for air for a while. We've been sick forrrrrreeeeeeeverrrrrrrrr (stomach bug horribleness for 12 days, cold after cold after cold - we missed Thanksgiving ENTIRELY this year) and I'm trying to get Christmas all wrapped up in the next day before we head to Mom and Dad's for the holiday. But I do believe I will make it.

And, oh yeah, I'm pregnant for those who missed the news. The accompanying exhaustion and sickness has really slowed me down in the last two months-ish, so add that to the mix of complaints... The last little Rice will arrive sometime in July. The due date is July 19 but with this being the fifth c-section and all, it will probably be scheduled for a week or two before that.

So that's that. I'm back!