Saturday, December 17, 2005

Open the floodgates 

It's Christmas time which was one of my dad's favorite times of the year. I miss the things we used to do together like watching Holiday Inn on Christmas Eve, decorating the tree, or putting out the lemon oreos. What, you don't know what lemon oreos are? That's what you get when you say luminarias and your aunt thinks you're saying lemon oreos. She wanted to know why we were putting them in the yard. Yeah, my dad gave his little sis grief about that for years.

So where am I going with this anyway? Well, I was working around the house and listening to the 24/7 Christmas station when that damn Christmas Shoes song came on. Yes, it's a sweet song but it is damn depressing! I burst into tears while putting clean sheets on the bed. I finally stopped crying, dried my tears, then walked outside where the Aggie and the Girl are putting lights on our second tree. I started telling him about the song and burst into tears again. This is my 11th Christmas without my dad and normally I'm fine but then something out of the blue will just hit me.

I think I'll be switching the station quickly from now on when that song comes on. Or maybe I'll just stick to cds.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Toys for Tots 

Every Christmas the Marines collect toys and money to buy toys for children who would otherwise have a very bleak Christmas. My father-in-law is a retired Marine and he spends a weekend standing on a street corner collecting. He is joined by Marine Reserves, Marine ROTCs and Marine Junior ROTCs.

This last Friday I took the Girl over to see her Papa at the toy drive. She helped pick out a toy at the store to donate. After we dropped it in the box, Papa took her on a tour of their set-up. They had warming tents to get out of the cold wind, a humvee, and a giant, inflatable Marine.

The Girl then asked to help collect money. Papa gave her a bucket and they went to the corner. She waved at all the cars, smiled, and held out her bucket for money. She was a big hit. There were people stopping while the light was green to give her money. In about 15 minutes she had collected over $20.

We went back Saturday too with another toy and she just had to collect money again. My mother-in-law went along so she could get pictures of the Girl and Papa working together. You can see them here. Oh, and if you're wondering why Papa is in a red jacket, that's what the Marine Corps League (the retired guys) wears.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Adventures in eating 

As with most five year olds, the Girl can tend to be a little picky when it comes to eating. However, her pickiness can be a little, shall we say, peculiar. For instance, she doesn't like pizza. She used to, all her friends do, but no, she won't eat it anymore. She won't eat hamburgers, but will eat chicken, pork, steak, fish. She loves many fresh vegetables but doesn't like them cooked.

Sometimes the Girl doesn't tend to be a risk taker when she's eating. She doesn't want to try new things. The Aggie and I use the standard, you must take X bites before you can say you don't like it. So, imagine my surprise when we went out to our favorite little Italian restaurant the other night and the Girl devoured two strips of calamari. I'm not sure she would have tried it if it had been the calamari you see at most restaurants. But Carlos, the owner, fixes the calamari in about finger sized strips and they're delicious. I'm sure the Girl thought it was going to be chicken. But she continued eating even after discovering it wasn't chicken.

Maybe there's hope for pizza yet.

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