Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farewell, 2008

Two-thousand-and-eight was a wonderful and strange year. We welcomed the arrival of Child Three (wonderful!). Something that I'd thought would happen in 2009 happened right at the end of the year. It is what it is and we're moving on. I'm looking forward to 2009 and excited about the possibilities. Mainly, I'm eagerly anticipating watching my children grow and change and helping them as they do. My family is what gives me the greatest joy in this world and if I make any resolutions this year (which I usually don't) it's to be a good husband and a good father and always work to get better at both.

Happy new year to all.

Ever onward.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Death With Your Cornflakes

My little ones saw this morning's Globe front page and asked why the girl was wrapped up. I said that she was dead. "How did she die?" "From a bomb." "What's a bomb?" "A thing that explodes." "What comes from the bomb?" "Metal." I've got to be more careful with the paper. This is the second time in the past 4 months or so that there have been dead children on the front page of the Globe. I support the right of papers to print what they want, but it's tricky when you have to explain to children about dead children -- particularly when they die in a conflict the roots of which confuse most adults.

On a political note, why do the American papers never publish pictures of dead Israeli children above the fold?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Tradition Continues

The decorated version of this year's gingerbread house. Mainly decorated by the kids with minimal parental oversight. Last year's, pre-decoration.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

First Haircut

I took Child 2 for his first haircut, ever, today. I have to admit that I was a bit sad to do it, but he needed it cut. He looked like a kid who'd been raised by wolves and been living in the wilderness for his first three years. It was fun, but it was time. He cleans up very well. He endured with minimal fussing and zero tears. It really feels as if he's moved into the realm of big boys now.

I don't like to put pics of my kids on the web, you'll just to trust me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Too Spicy

I made dinner the other night and forgot my audience. I grilled some salt and pepper crusted chicken that was a bit too peppery for Child 1 & 2. Child 2 frequently says that things are "too spicy." This can be anything from salt-and-pepper-crusted-grilled chicken, to certain NECCO wafers. He stated, as I peeled the nicely cooked crusty outer layer of the chicken off of the pieces on his plate, that "we're kids. We don't like pepper."

Point taken.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Disaster Redux

In 2006 our tree fell within hours of being decorated. This year, the tree fell two days later. It happened just before heading off to school with the kids. I was upstairs helping C2 get dressed when he heard a whoosh and a smash. We lost a bunch of our nicest and prettiest ornaments -- the danger of hanging near the top -- as well as the tree topper that Mrs. Agricola and I bought just after we got married. It's such a drag when this happens because then you need to un-decorate and un-light the tree and start all over. I also invested $50 (that I really didn't want to do this year) in a tree stand that will hopefully keep our tree upright for the remainder of the season.

If a crashing tree and shattering ornament aren't bad enough, poor C1 thought that the tree had fallen as the result of a little, but heavy ornament that she had just gotten. She was weeping and saying "it was the ornament's fault . . . it was too heavy . . . " "No, the tree fell because it's a bit heavy to one side," we told her. She's so sweet and tenderhearted.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tree Trimming

We decorated the family tree this weekend and it was quite fun. Typically we light the thing in the evening and Mrs. Agricola and I end up trimming it after the kids go to bed. This year we switched things around and decorated it in the morning. The kids had a blast taking ornaments out of the box (that might have been more fun than actually hanging them) and hanging them on the tree. Child One looked and thought about each ornament, and considered to whom it belonged, and "Could this reindeer be me and this one be Child Two and this one be Child Three . . . " Child Two hung ornaments in clusters and Child Three just looked -- it's what you do when you're 10 weeks old. Pater & Mater Agricolae joined in the festivities and it was an excellent couple of hours.

After the fun ornaments were on I spent some time filling in holes with small shiny balls. These are the workhorses of tree decorating in my book. I hang them in the gaps, and try and set them back from the outside of the tree so that they sit inside of the branches and shine out. Their reflective surfaces lend brilliance to the tree and help to intensify the lights. In a post-tinsel and post-garland age the small, cheap, shiny ball is what makes the tree. While sitting in front of the tree this evening Mrs. A commented that the tree is really shining and shimmering this year -- and it is.