Hammers And Letters And Twenty-Two Months And MAN, IT’S STINKING COLD OUTSIDE!

So tomorrow we’re going to reemerge into the real world.

That would be the world where 7th grade boys don’t get to stay up until midnight every night and sleep in until 10:00 each morning.  It would also be the world where people need real clothes, and not bright-red pajama bottoms covered in a print of white sheep, paired with a T-shirt from College Town, which was actually purchased when the grownups were living in College Town.

And that was nearly fourscore and nine years ago, because ELDERLY.

I’d also like to state that our Christmas tree is STILL UP.  And now I’m sitting here, in a fit of giggles, because remember?  Our tree was (and still is) eighteen inches high, and it’s a living, breathe-the-oxygen-in and make-sugar-in-your-trunk sort of tree.  Normally, I adhere to a very strict policy of ALL CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS MUST BE DOWN BY NOON ON DECEMBER 26th, and Hubs was quite surprised that I haven’t given our Italian Stone Pine the boot directly out our front door yet.

That little darling, with her dangerously sharp pine needles, will be staying in her tin bucket on my kitchen counter, looking adorable until the spring thaw, when I can get her roots fluffed out into some nice, terribly-rocky, clay-infested soil that will probably choke her dead, because we do not have the rich, black soil that our forefathers sailed over here from England and fell in love with.

Anyway.

I think that we’re actually ready to embark on reality once more, after two entire weeks of Christmas Vacation, because there comes a time when you just say, “You know what?  I’m bored with these pajama bottoms, and I just want lip gloss and a sassy scarf, and I might even use the flat iron on my hair today.”

I timidly tested the waters of reality last night by cooking a roast, complete with carrots and onion and potatoes, in my oven yesterday.

It was like I didn’t even know myself, because I’ve kind of encouraged my people here to embrace Christmas Vacation in all its fullness and just eat sugar cookies and scrambled eggs for their dinners.

In other news, guess who is officially twenty-two months old today?

IMG_1392 IMG_1393 IMG_1397 IMG_1410 IMG_1414I had hopes of getting Thing 2 to… you know… sit quietly and smile charmingly for the camera.  I wanted a totes adorbs snapshot to celebrate twenty-two months with, but sometimes a mama simply has to let go of her expectations and embrace reality.

The reality is that getting Thing 2 to sit still and grin for the Canon is very similar to catching a squirrel with your bare hands and teaching him to spread peanut butter onto white Wonder Bread with a knife.

It is what it is.

But yes.  Twenty-two months today.  Basically this means that in exactly two months, we’re going to be planning out a birthday party, while Mama has some EMOTIONS about her baby growing up.

Because?  Do you see what they do?  Our firstborn was twenty-two months old once, too, and now he’s STINKING THIRTEEN!

IMG_1405Anyway.

And so on and so forth.

It has been bitter cold again here in Small Town, USA, because we like to be right in the pathway of frigid air moving down from the polar ice caps.  I think our windchills were at MINUS DOUBLE DIGITS all day yesterday and today.

If that doesn’t put a damper on your plans to take your boys sledding, I don’t know what does.

We stayed indoors to avoid frostbite and Mama being in a horrible mood, because FRIGID TEMPERATURES MAKE ME VERY CRANKY.  It’s why I don’t embrace the skiing or the snowmachining or the snowshoeing, or anything else that involves the word SNOW.  I can do the sledding for short bursts of time, and then I need to come inside for hot buttered rum.

Sister called us yesterday morning and said, “We’re getting out of the house and going to Home Depot.  It’s the day that the kids can build something.”

And that was really all the motivation we needed, because when Sister called us at 8:30 yesterday morning, Thing 2 was terribly busy climbing the refrigerator.  Hubs and I decided that getting out of the house was an answer to our unspoken prayers.

We left a note for the boy, who was still sleeping.  He’s thirteen, and he burrows into his bed now like a hamster who has ingested a Benadryl tablet.

IMG_1291And then off we went to meet Sister and her family for some building fun.

(Because nothing says FUN like having a twenty-two month old boy hold a hammer.)

(And?  Well, the boy said he almost keeled over with ALL THE UPSET when he finally got out of bed and read the first part of that  note, because Airsoft guns and escalators are his love languages.)

(Plus food.  Food is another one of his love languages.)

(Also?  My pictures are yellow, because Home Depot does not use soft lighting that is good for amateur photographers.  I know that my friend Alyssa would say, “How many times do I have to tell you?  Crank the ISO this way and the aperture that way, and kind of wrinkle your nose a touch, when you’re under the fluorescent lighting!”  My camera is more machine than I can handle, because all of those directions are about as easy to understand as insurance and tax deductions.)

IMG_1292 IMG_1295 IMG_1296 IMG_1299 IMG_1300 IMG_1303 IMG_1304 IMG_1305 IMG_1306 IMG_1307 IMG_1309 IMG_1314 IMG_1317 IMG_1321 IMG_1324 IMG_1325 IMG_1329 IMG_1335 IMG_1346The kids built little calendar boxes, where you have changeable cubes for the date and little, wooden rectangles announcing the months.

The overseer and Build Boss at Home Depot encouraged the kids to PAINT!  JUST ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES AND PAINT YOUR CALENDAR WHEN IT’S FINISHED!

Sister and Sister’s Husband embraced this idea and let Cousin H, age two, have at it.

IMG_1340 IMG_1344 IMG_1347Hubs and I decided that allowing Thing 2 to have a paintbrush in a public place, surrounded by human beings he is not related to, could be grounds for numerous law suits and court appearances.

Thing 2’s calendar is the “raw-wood” version, which is fine, because we didn’t have to call our attorney on Saturday for legal advice on WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR TODDLER PAINTS THE HOME DEPOT MERCHANDISE PURPLE, AND IT COSTS $500, AND YOU DON’T WANT TO PAY FOR IT WITH YOUR VERY OWN DEBIT CARD, BECAUSE YOU ALREADY HAVE A TABLE SAW IN YOUR GARAGE AND HAVE NO NEED FOR ANOTHER, SLIGHTLY-PURPLE, ONE.

IMG_1354Later on Saturday, our boys watched some educational videos together on the boy’s phone, because Thing 2 is OBSESSED with learning his letters right now.  He has mastered all of his colors (including gray and white!), and now he’s fascinated with pointing to letters all around him and exclaiming, “E!  C!”

IMG_1375 IMG_1374 IMG_1376Today we dressed ourselves in our fur-lined, fur-trimmed, down-to-the-ankles-and-clear-up-to-the-neck parkas, and we ventured out into the MINUS TWENTY-THREE DEGREES WITH THAT DADGUM WINDCHILL weather, so that we could go to church.

And then we came home and decided that it might have been warmer to sit buck naked in an igloo, because THAT WIND WAS COLD.

Which is why our fireplace has run all day today, and why I also consumed three (Count ’em!  One, two, THREE!) homemade chai teas.

I think heading out into the real world of school and MAN, WE COULD USE A FEW GROCERIES AROUND HERE is going to be painfully difficult tomorrow after all.

Y’all have a fantastic Sunday evening.  Plug in your electric blankets and stay warm!  Frostbite kills more people than badger bites every single year.

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