Jolly Old St. Nicholas

family, Parenting

So “Santa” came to visit the little ones at our family Christmas party Saturday night. He had a sack full of gifts for every kid under 18. (When you turn 18, you start playing Dirty Santa.)

Last year my dad was Santa, and we talked him into doing it again this year. Last year, none of the kids had a clue. This year not so much. After Santa left and Daddy came back, Riley looked down at his shoes and said, “You the Santa!” And she just laughed and laughed.

On the way home, I said, “Wow, Riley. Santa brought you a dog, like you asked for.”
Riley: “Pawpaw is Santa.”
Me: “What makes you think that?”
Riley: “I saw his shoes, Pawpaw’s brown shoes.” Laughing… “Santa has black boots.”

So cute, and it did nothing to alter her love for the real Santa. 🙂

Here we are gettin’ our groove on to a little Elvis, probably “All Shook Up.” We also did the Pepsi-Cola dance to “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate. And we all got down to a little “Baby Got Back.” Good times, good times.

My uncle is taking Riley and her cousin for a spin around the dance floor.

Here’s Riley and Granma. She’s 85 and the source of our love for Elvis. She gets everyone something for Christmas every year. This year the grandkids and great-grandkids each got a presidential gold dollar. If you don’t think that’s a lot, consider that she has 8 kids, plus all but one of them have at least two kids, then the grandkids now have kids. That’s a lot of money for an 85-year-old on a fixed income. And we all get birthday money, too. 🙂

End-of-the-night family portrait. We had a ball!

I hope you all feel the love of family and friends this season. Merry Christmas! Here’s my crazy, beautiful family singing “Silent Night” at the end of the party to remind us why we celebrate. Love to all!

http://i36.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid36.photobucket.com/albums/e2/thp1723/SilentNight07.flv

Superwoman

family, Pop Culture

From Miss Zoot’s NaBloPoMo site: When you were little, did you wake up early to watch cartoons or did you sleep until noon? At what point in time did you stop waking up before your parents? What about now? Do you sleep in on Saturdays? How much later do you sleep on Saturdays than you do on other days of the week? How different are your Saturdays now from when you were little?

I don’t recall my little brother and me ever being early risers, except maybe on Christmas. I do know that when we were 12+ we started sleeping later and later. Michael played football and he’d be so wiped out after games that sometimes he’d sleep until noon or 1 p.m. I never slept that long unless I was sick or something.

We didn’t get up for specific cartoons; we just watched whatever was on. We had three channels to choose from, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. I remember Bugs Bunny, Roadrunner, Superfriends, Wonder Twins, Laff Olympics. I still love cartoons, and today’s Justice League is way better than the old Superfriends.

I generally get up about 5:45 on weekday mornings to get Riley on the bus by 6:40. Sometimes I go back to bed for an hour or so; most times I have to get ready for other things. Saturdays I get to sleep about an hour later … Riley gets up around 7 on weekends. Today since she’s at my folks’ house, I slept till 8:45. Nice!

I still watch cartoons; now, they’re just educational and on Noggin or Boomerang.

Later …

Daddy’s Hands

deafness/hearing loss, family, hearing, sports

I watched a slideshow of my 4-week-old nephew today (he’s gorgeous and sweet and beautiful) and after seeing a photo of my bro and his wife holding the baby in their hands, I noticed something: We have our dad’s hands, wrinkly knuckles and all. Thankfully my fingers are a bit slimmer, so they don’t look like man hands. 😉

We may never be hand models (well, we could be the “before” pictures), but our hands have been there to hold on to through some tough times. Like my dad’s prostate cancer, my mom’s recent heart scare, finding out Riley was deaf and her cochlear implant surgery, my brother’s hospitalization for dehydration when he was playing college football. They’ve also been great at high-fiving one another: after my brother’s many touchdown runs and 3-pointers, or my triples and strikeouts (I was a pitcher). After my dad’s retirement. After my mom finally became a grandmother…and for the second time. After our kids were born.

It’s funny how you can know a person forever and still discover new things. I’ve never noticed that our hands are the same until tonight. My brother and I are very different in a lot of ways: he’s way cooler than I am. 🙂 But we’re both great parents, good athletes, smart, and we love our family. We may disagree on politics (actually we’ve never discussed it in depth, so maybe we do agree!), we may not like the same kind of music, we may disagree about money and schools and cars, but there’s one thing we will always agree on:

WE ARE FAMILY, and we’ll always be there for each other, wrinkly hands and all.

Later,
Tiff