Friday, January 21, 2011

Expensive Santa

One of the things our Village does is bring Santa around on the fire truck (here the small suburb cities are called Villages, even though they look nothing like the village in Beauty & the Beast or M. Night Shyamalan's movie). One of Santa's stops is our street corner, so we planned our Saturday morning so we could go outside right before Santa's scheduled arrival. Santa passed out a bag of treats to each of the kids, which included the driest orange ever, a PEZ dispenser, and some other candy. Henry loves PEZ, but not dry oranges.

So, while this was fun and cute (even if Henry remains unimpressed), the Grinch in me is going "How much does this cost??!? Is this one of the reasons our property and sales taxes are so ridiculously high?" Santa was on a fire engine, with a few other firemen, plus there were at least two support vehicles (with multiple people in each vehicle) that shut down the road for Santa's stop. Is the village paying all these people overtime? What happens if there's a fire right now? You can't have a 10% sales tax with a scheduled increase next quarter, and then waste money on a traveling fireman Santa AND a village party, where Santa also appeared. I'd rather have a rebate on my taxes than Santa come to see me.

This is also the Saturday we experienced our first Christmas miracle. I took a couple to the O'Hare airport so they could travel to Utah for Christmas and see the MoTab Christmas spectacular. After I dropped them off, the wife of the couple called and said her ID was at home. I looped back to the airport, picked her up and headed home to pick up her wallet. We had just about an hour until her flight time, and it's taken me more than one hour to go one-way to O'Hare before. We made good time, but it was still too slow to make it. The plan was she would keep trying until she knew there was absolutely no way she could get on the plane. We returned to the airport with about 5 or so minutes until her scheduled flight, but her plane was delayed 15 minutes, so they hadn't even boarded yet. It was a Christmas miracle! Except it was Delta, so you kind of expect them to be late anyway. And Delta had given a total of three couples tickets for the same two seats, so maybe the real Christmas miracle was that my friend and her husband didn't get bumped off the plane.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

For Jo Ellen

Posted by Picasa

Henry's New Role

At the beginning of December, Henry made a big announcement to our extended family: He's going to be a big brother in 2011. As you can tell from his hair, he had just been asleep in his car seat prior to sharing the news. We know he doesn't "get it." After spending time trying to explain to him what's going on and what's to come, he now points at his belly button and says, "Baby." He does know what babies are- he points to them and calls them "baby" at church. He has no clue that he's going to have to share everything with one in the near future.

It was fun to announce the news in person. I was able to gather my mom, Toots (Jo Ellen), Katie, Shannon, my Dad and Nick's mom Debbie in one room at one time to share the news. The next day I visited the Johnson family and told them in person too. In-person important conversations are one of the things you cut down on when you live 1600 miles away, so it was nice to have this one face-to-face.

The details: My due date is at the end of May. If this baby is anything like Henry, we may be looking at a June baby. We have already had our screening ultrasound, and on purpose, did not find out the gender. I thought it was a lot of fun to have Nick announce, "It's a boy!" in the delivery room last time, and I saved a ton of money by not buying stuff because I didn't know the gender beforehand. It was a win-win. I've been having a very normal, healthy pregnancy, but I felt terrible for the first 16 weeks. Now I feel really good. We're very excited to become the parents of children (moving into the plural noun is a big step!)
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Holiday Cheer

We spent Thanksgiving dinner with new church friends, who turns out, are totally awesome. They're quickly becoming some of my favorite people anywhere. Not only was dinner delicious, but it turns out they're hysterical. Both Nick and the man of the house are residents who worked Thanksgiving, so dinner was late enough in the afternoon that we could be pretty sure they could attend. After dinner, their two adorable girls kept Henry entertained. I think Henry now wants an iMac.
I find it odd that at a church party, Santa Claus makes an appearance. But he was there, so we sat Henry on his lap. Henry wasn't thrilled, but it went way better than the visit with the Easter Bunny.
Guess who else was at the ward party? Dallas and my Mom! They flew in for less than 48 hours but we packed in a lot of fun. Dallas is shown here with the Tate family. Shawn is Dallas's cousin-in-law (Shannon's first cousin.) We went from the airport, to the ward party, to Portillo's to eat, then dropped Nick and Henry off at the house, then headed to hear "Maggie Speaks" at the casino in Joliet. The next day, Dallas went to the Bears game, which was crazy because it was snowing and windy (and really cold). He described the experience as being inside of a snow globe as the wind just kept blowing the snow in swirls inside Soldier Field. While he did that, my mom and I decorated the Christmas tree she brought me.
H and I went to our village (aka city) party. It makes more sense to me that Santa was here. Once again, Henry was not impressed.
Posted by Picasa