Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Cuz it's 1, 2, 3 strikes you're out at the ol' ball game!"

So this Christmas found me as antsy as a four-year old...

I had been planning (and saving!) for Brett's Christmas present for nearly a year. Since February to be exact. His gift was presented grandly in a baseball hatbox. The hatbox contained a letter (see the text below), all the money I've saved for the trip--a fine chunk of change that I am so happy to be able to set aside for this, a simulated airline ticket (I did it on the computer and if I do say so myself, it looks pretty darn close to a real paper airline ticket), an airhorn, face paint (we prefer to call it body paint, since Brett plans to go shirtless and paint his chest! just kidding. um, i think.), an giant inflatable "#1" finger, and a super-cool Yankees ballcap.

Below, you can read the letter I put inside the box to explain things better. After that, I'll just let the pictures do the talking.


I wasn’t sure how to wrap this, because I didn’t really have anything to “wrap”. All I know is that ever since I first heard you voice your desire to see the Yankees play in Yankee Stadium during their last season, it became my mission to make at least one little dream in your life come true. However, I didn’t dare purchase game tickets until I knew for sure when you wanted to go (right now they are only available in packages, anyway).

I want us to keep this money (and an airline ticket) set aside until the 2008 season begins. And when it does, I want you and one of your friends to take off for New York for a GUYS Weekend Get-Away! Go with someone who will appreciate the game as much as you will. I want you to go enjoy a Yankees game in all its glory—wear the baseball cap, wave the inflatable blue finger, and eat a hot dog. (Just forgo on the three mugs of beer, please!) Yell at the umpire and cheer for Jeter & Giambi. Go crazy during your stint as a loyal Yankees fan! While you’re in New York, tour the Statue of Liberty or rent a car, driving to Cooperstown to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum. My one request is that whatever you do, you’ll promise to take lots of pictures! I want to put together a rockin’ scrapbook page when you return and I’ll need pictures, ticket stubs, and more to do that!

I’m so excited for you to go. It has been a blast planning this and waiting for this moment to give it to you. I hope I haven’t built it up too much and that it will be something you’ll look forward to as much as I have! You are my best friend, the best dad, and the world’s greatest husband. You deserve this, and so much more!

Merry Christmas with lots of love,

It was such a great moment! I was worried I had made too big of a deal of it--that he would be expecting something bigger or better. Brett knew he was getting a trip for Christmas, but didn't know where or when. I think he is as excited about it as I am!

(I love his eyes in the "money" picture--it was just a matter of the camera snapping at the wrong second, but I think it's hilarious. It's like he's saying "Where have you been hoarding all this money???")

Anyway, he keeps insisting he wants to take me, which is so sweet and of course I would love to do NYC with him sometime(maybe for our tenth anniversary), but I feel like the entire point of this trip is the baseball game. I want him to go with someone that knows as much about sports as he does. I love the atmosphere of live sporting events, but I'm the first admit that I would be cheering for the single reason that everyone else is, too, so why not join in? I wouldn't understand what wonderful play had occurred to inspire such a reaction from the crowd.
I'm so pleased Brett will be able to do this. Hopefully seeing the Yankees play in Yankee Stadium during their final year there will be a joyful, memorable experience--something he'll remember the rest of his life!

It was a Merry Christmas to all & to all a GREAT night!

Here are some pictures from our Christmas celebrations.

We had a scrumptious Christmas Eve brunch with the Tafts--orange juice, fresh pineapple, breakfast casserole, and homemade danish. I'm gaining weight just talking about it!

Since the family was all going to be together, we waited to celebrate Carson's birthday until the 24th (he turned one on the 22nd). He was a little leary of the sticky chocolate frosting, but it didn't take him long to figure out that good stuff awaited him!
He made a gooey mess of himself (and the counter, and the floor, and the highchair!) He loved it when we sang "Happy Birthday"--our singing must have been a big joke, because he sure was laughing! Poor Carson! My sympathy to anyone that has a "holiday birthday". After exploring all our options, I think we've agreed that next year we will celebrate it early, as in the 1st week of December. It's just too hard to squeeze one more "party" that close to Christmas.

Then we went home and had our own little Christmas Eve together as a family. We feasted on ham, rainbow jello, funeral potatoes, and lots of hors d'eouvres & sweets. We opened up new pajamas and scriptures (with names on them and marking crayons! That was a big hit!).

We read a story about what it was like for the Nephites at the time of Christ's birth.
Then we read about it in the Book of Mormon. We opened up our newest nativity piece, the Angel, with another outstanding letter from Grandma Dixie.

Finally, we decorated some gingerbread cookies (thanks, Grandma) for Santa and sang some Christmas carols as we sat around the staircase.
(Carson's favorite was when we sang "Jingle Bells" with a giant raspberry sound at the end--you know...where you stick your tongue on and make an obnoxious noise!).

Then we did our best to fall asleep because we knew Santa wouldn't come until then!

In the morning, we found he'd left us with some fabulous surprises! Halle got that Princess Cash register she'd be talking about for weeks
and Wyatt got his very own Thomas the Train "tontuter" (computer).
Carson was excited about his musical table. It's fun to stand up to and has lots of noisy buttons to push! Hope's stocking took an unusual form this year, as Santa left her a beautiful new trash can! She'd been complaining about the old one for a while now (see the dramatic "before & after" pix)--there's not enough room underneath the kitchen sink and storing it in the pantry was too far away too be convenient when cooking. Besides, who wants to stink up their pantry!

So Santa surprised her with a tall white wooden one. It looks so classy and clean! Thanks, "Santa"!

Brett got some fun stuff in his stocking, but his big gift this year came from Hope (I'll be posting about that soon).

Hope was super excited about her gifts from her parents--a table to scrapbook on and a CANsolidator! She's wanted one for a while and thank heavens Mom is observant and remembered Hope expressing her wishes one time at Wal-Mart. 'Can't wait to organize that pantry!
On both sides of our family we do a sibling gift-exchange. Ashlee & Bret and Bill & Laurie had our name this year. Their gifts were both so wonderful! Ashlee & Bret gave us a neat bowl with vinyl lettering that said "The Taft Family Bowl of Fun" (cute, or what?) filled with ingredients to Brett's favorite snack: Mom's Caramel Popcorn. We also got an air popper and three new games to play. Coincidentally, Ash's gift went hand-in-hand with Bill & Laurie's! They gave us some fun items for Family Home Evening (a cute treat plate, a book of an entire year's worth of FHE ideas, & computer software with FHE helps) and a gift certificate to our favorite breakfast place: Cracker Barrel!

All in all, Santa and our friends & family were very good to us this year. Too generous and we are grateful for the wonderful, thoughtful things given to us. Thank you!
Brett and Halle and Wyatt spent the morning assembling a 100-piece princess puzzle. The kids had never done one with that many pieces before, plus it was heart-shaped, so it was a fun challenge for them. Brett's great at doing things like that with the kids. As a dad, he is very hands-on and proactive. I'm grateful for that!

That afternoon, Grandpa John & Grandma Dixie, Uncle Tanner, and Aunt Heidi came over so we could exchange gifts with each other. Here are some highlights from that visit:

Dixie gave Hope a wonderful compilation of Dixie's favorite recipes.
It was a huge binder, organized and color-coded.
All pages in protective sheets.

It must have taken hours and hours to print it & assemble. Thanks, Mom!

We went in with Grandma and Grandpa to buy Wyatt his first set of Golf Clubs (I don't know who was more excited...Grandpa John, Brett, or Wyatt!). Wyatt looked so cute swinging the club. We found out they are a little big, so we'll exchange them for a better size. Wyatt can't wait to go out on the greens with the big boys!
Later that night, we went over to their house for yummy treats & 7-layer dip, with a competitive round of Phase 10. (Brett was the lucky winner of the evening and will never let us live it down!)

We feel blessed to have created more wonderful memories together as a family. We missed having Grandma & Grandpa K. with us this year. In 2006, we were extra-lucky enough to have them visit during most of the month of December. Having them with us Christmas Eve & Morning just added one more special element to the holiday. Maybe they'll consider coming again to our house next year?

Now, we are really looking forward to spending the upcoming weekend in Vernal with Grandpa & Grandma K. We're taking our snowsuits, because they have even more snow than we do! New Years will be unique for us: we've rented a Red Canyon Lodge cabin with Hope's sister, Fawn & her family. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we won't have any trouble driving up the mountain! We'd love to hear about your Christmas! Post a comment or send us an email!

P.S. One MISHAP worth noting: I bought Wyatt a puzzle (he's a puzzle maniac) and never noticed until Christmas morning that the center piece was MISSING! Can you believe that? Which is worst: that the piece is missing in the first place, or that I was dense enough to buy it anyway???

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited their doctor's office more than my own doctor's, and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground.

I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmas', since had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt, in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year, I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother", because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely.

It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back.

Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in to dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,


P.S. One more thing can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa!

(I thought this letter to Santa really hit the nail on the head. I wish I'd have written it but I must give credit to where credit is due:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Here's a montage of photos I just put together. We've loved being back on the Wasatch Front...and we're so excited that our first year back will be a WHITE Christmas! Here we are: playing in the snow, enjoying our ward party, and loving Temple Square with Brett's family (we went last night to hear his younger sister, Heidi, the way, it was beautiful, "S'Mish"!).

2007: Thanksgiving @ Grandma K.'s

Let's take a step back in time...I'm finally getting around to posting pictures from our Turkey-Terrific time with my Mom and Dad in Vernal. We mostly hung out with my parents, my brother Eric & his kids, and my sister Fawn, her husband Mike, and their girls. Thanks for a great holiday, everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Ghosts of Christmases Past

I got this idea from my friend's blog (thanks, Misti!)--here's a collection of photographs from the past 6 Christmas seasons. Enjoy! (Maybe you'll be in one of them!)

Monday, December 10, 2007

23 Holiday Hope-Facts

My sweet friend, Mandy, emailed me the latest "get-to-know-your-friends" survey and she had the cutest answers. I figured rather than emailing my own answers out to everyone--since I know some SCROOGES out there hate reading that kind of stuff--I figured I'd post mine on my blog.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I like the convenience of gift bags, but they can be expensive. The majority of our presents are wrapped--besides, they're more fun to open...more mess, more noise!

2. Real tree or artificial?
I always swore I'd never have a fake tree. I loved the smell of a real one too much! But that was before I grew up and it was MY home and the problems that came with a tree became MY problems. We had a real tree for a couple years, but if the tree wasn't dying early, it was tipping over in the stand or leaking water on the carpet. In 2003 we switched to a fake tree accompanied by a pine-smelling candle and never looked back.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Christmas decorations are beautiful, but a lot of work. I put them up as early after Thanksgiving as possible so I can enjoy them for a long time.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Some time around New Years, although a couple years ago I had a lot going on emotionally and just wasn't "up" to all the work of taking down the Christmas decor and it was up an embarrassingly lengthy amount of time "post-holidays"

5. Do you like eggnog?
Yes! But we had some last night and it didn't sit well with me. How sad.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Hm...this is a tough one. I don't remember my gifts as much as all the wonderful traditions and feelings my parents created in my home. The gifts that stand out are my black-haired "My Child" doll, my party kitchen, my Barbie tent, and Phantom of the Opera tickets. These are all from different years, of course.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, two. My mom gave us a perfect plastic AVON one that the kids play with every single day and my generous in-laws have been giving us the gorgeous Fontanini set piece by piece. It's become a tradition we truly look forward to each year. My mother-in-law writes a letter explaining why she picked that piece that year and it has become a treasured part of our Christmas Eve.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
Our fathers.

9. Easiest person to buy for?

This year Brett was the easiest because I've been planning his gift for almost a year now. I can't wait---super excited for this one to be opened!!!

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
An ex-boyfriend stopped by my apartment (obviously in the single days) one night unexpectedly to give me a bar of soap that had a plastic duck inside of it (my bathroom was yellow rubber duckies at the time). Anyway, he said "I saw this and thought of you". It was really awkward because we hadn't been together for months and hadn't really even spoken and yet here he was on my doorstep. Wasn't quite sure what he wanted me to say...Thanks for the soap?

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail--but for some reason I'm having a hard time finding the time to do them this year! I may end up sending out Happy New Year cards! What a loser...

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Watching The Polar Express with the kids
Watching Christmas Vacation with Brett
Watching The Christmas Movie with my parents

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I start looking for ideas and deals in October, but usually don't start buying until November. By the way, I'm a huge Black Friday fan!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Yes! But the best was my sister-in-law who accidentally gave the plate of cookies she'd just received BACK to the giver--it had a new tag and bow on it. She just forgot to tell my brother those people had given it to them, so when she sent him out to take treats to the neighbors, he unwittingly gave those neighbors their same plate to them. Funny!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
(OK...I had to edit this. The first time I answered it I misread it and thought it said "Favorite thing to SEE at Christmas" and I wrote "My kids". Ha ha!) Alrighty, back to business...My favorite thing to eat at Christmas? I'm a sucker for appetizers and on Christmas Eve I put a bunch know, shrimp and cocktail sauce, crackers and dip, that kind of stuff.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
I'm a clear fan, although my friend Marlo got these adorable vintage-looking colored lights that were HUGE bulbs. It looked liked something from fifty years ago and I thought it was really neat.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
"Still, Still, Still" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
But I also love "Mary, Did You Know?" and "Breath of Heaven"
Being pregnant at Christmastime last year gave me the opportunity to really ponder the feelings Mary and Joseph must have felt about giving birth to the Savior of the world under those circumstances.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
I'm a major home-body at Christmas. I want to be able to do my own traditions.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?
Sure: Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Doc, Bashful, & my personal favorite, Dopey!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
I have a big red bow with tails that cascade down the tree.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
One is opened on Christmas Eve (new PJ's) and the rest Christmas morning, usually early because I am too excited to sleep in!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
That Paul McCartney "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" song--I *HATE* that!

23. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme?
About 6 years ago I decided I wanted my tree to look very old-fashioned--something the pioneers would have done. So I bought unfinished wooden ornaments at Arn's in Vernal (I so wish we had something like that out here) and painted them all. They looked very folk-art. There were stars, hearts, snowflakes, and snowmen. I also made ribbons out of torn fabric pieces and bought red wooden bead garland. We also did popcorn garland, but just that one year because man, that is WORK! I had this cute rusty tin star I put on top that broke a year later. Anyway, I still have those ornaments, but now I also have a bunch my mom gave me from my childhood as well as ones the kids have made and my favorites are the ones we've collected from our travelling (some people collect spoons or thimbles...we collect ornaments. It makes it fun to hang them on our tree and recall the memories we've made on our vacations.)

This is such a great time of year! I hope everyone is enjoying the feelings of brotherhood and magic that the season brings!

P.S. I still want to learn how to make my blog cutesy! Please help anyone! (In English, please!)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Tires & Taxis & Mattresses, Oh My!

So tonight was probably the most "treacherous" night of driving in my life. You'd think it was because of the SEVEN inches of snow we received over the course of the day.


By the time I was on the roads, they were pretty much clear and dry. My troubles began when I started to lose air. But let's backtrack a few hours before that...

It started out just fine. At 3:00 I took Halle and her sweet little friend Lauren up to Layton to see the movie Enchanted , which I'd highly recommend for 5+. (That includes adults.)

It was a delightful movie and so fun to see with two six-year old girls! Afterwards, we hit Layton Hills Mall so I could pick up Christmas sweaters for the boys, then Toys 'R Us for no particular reason other than I'd promised my two young companions we'd go.

Hopping into my trusty Mom-Mobile, our Toyota Sienna--which I l-o-v-e--it was now 6:15 and we were heading South on I-15. I still don't know what I ran over. I never felt any sort of "bump". What I did notice was the sound of something hitting the windshield. I didn't see it, but I heard it. I thought to myself "Man, that had to have left a big chip in the windshield!". About a minute later the car felt different and I could hear a noise I've unfortunately heard before. Kind of a grinding sound. I knew then that I had a flat tire. I saw a sign indicating the next exit was Kaysville and it was one mile away. Knowing I couldn't make it that far, I pulled off the freeway as far as I could. I know I was pulled far enough to the right to be safe, but it was incredibly unnerving feeling traffic whiz by me at 70+ MPH, especially the big rigs. We have Toyota Roadside service, but I've used them in the past and they took an hour and half to get to me before. I wasn't willing to wait that long. So I called 9-1-1 and requested the assistance of Highway Patrol.

Fifteen minutes after I'd spoken to the emergency operator, I saw in my rearview mirror the godsent red and blue lights of a patrol car parking behind the van. I watched the young man in the neatly done necktie and brown polyester pants approach. From the get-go he was respectful, cheerful and reassuring. He had some trouble because of the angle on which the car was parked, so it took him a good half hour of kneeling in the snow loosening lug nuts and jacking up the van.

Before he sent me on my way, I asked him what his name was. It's pathetic because it was only three hours ago, but I'm already unsure if I've remembered his last name correctly. I believe it was McWilliams. Officer Sean McWilliams.

I wanted to blog about this because there has been so much speculation lately about a certain incident involving a UHP officer. I thought the services Officer McWilliams offered me and the girls tonight were nearly lifesaving. I don't know what I'd have done without his help. Waited anxiously next to freeway traffic, in the cold, for probably two hours for the Toyota Service, I guess. I know that the local newscasts have talked about how busy UHP was today with weather-related incidents. I'm grateful they made time for a young mother with a flat tire nervously parked on the side of the road! So a big shout out of Thanks to Officer McWilliams!

Now I'm happily heading down the road as slow as I feel I can safely go with traffic urging me onward. Before our tire "let us down" I was supposed to pick up pizza for dinner. Since that changed the plan somewhat, I decided I would go through a drive-through as close to the freeway as possible to eliminate any unnecessary driving on the spare. As I exited I-15 at 2600 South, a taxi cab turned, trying to ENTER the freeway on an OFF-ramp!

I blasted my horn at the yellow car, which slammed on its breaks and did what seemed a twenty-point turn around after realizing its mistake. I have to admit that after the whole tire-incident, it felt good to have an excuse to take out my aggression by making a little noise with the horn!

"Geez," I start to think. "What next???"

I visit Wendy's, collecting $7 worth of a nutritious dinner for the fam, and begin to head home.

As I pass through an intersection, a car too small for the mattress strapped onto its top decides it does not want to turn left after all, but instead go straight. What does he do? Speed up and cut me off by irresponsibly merging into my lane just before the upcoming median cuts him off! JERK! Again, thank you, Mr. Courteous, for another opportunity to "toot my own horn"!

Needless to say, I drove the rest of the way home highly on-guard, keeping a close eye out for any other road hazards sent my way. I was beginning to feel like I was in some sort of video game, required to dodge obstacles with lightning reflexes.

The girls, of course, were not disturbed by any of this. By the time we got home, all they could talk about was Giselle (the princess from the movie) and how bored they were waiting for the tire to be changed.

Be careful when you're on the road--it's a crazy world out there!

(My parents will hate reading this as they already despise the freeway!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I saw this on Kristen's & had to have it for my own blog...

Not sure I agree completely with the website's results, but it was fun to do! Let me know whether or not you concur!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"You've got mail???" I *NEED* mail!! Send me an email!

Our computer had a little melt-down this week and I lost all my email addresses and contacts. (Yeah, I know I should have printed out a & learn...)
Anyway, I need all my friends and family to please shoot me a quick li'l email so that I can save your address in my email contacts list.
Our email address is:
Thanks so much! Happy emailing!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hold up, Mister! I want to take a picture of your truck!

I had just dropped Halle off at school when this truck whizzes past me. Don't ask me why, but at first I thought the orange thing in the truckbed was large rolled up piece of orange foam--like the kind of foam you'd sleep on camping. But as I got closer I realized, "What in the world?! It's the Great Pumpkin!" Seriously, this thing was H-U-G-E! Or as some people ( clears throat and raises eyebrow, directed at certain know who you are) would say: "GINORMOUS!"

I maneuver myself behind the oversized plant and whip out my camera at the redlight so I can take a picture. Then I look to my right to see the driver next to me giving me weird "What are you doing?" looks. So I point to the pumpkin and gesture with my hands, "Look at's a pumpkin. The size of a truckbed! Wouldn't you take a picture, too?"

You only WISH you had your camera, lady.

Please pass the milk?

As promised, here are the pictures taken of the "Corn Flakes Incident" (see the post "If You Can Laugh About It Now..."). Look at Wyatt's face in the one on the left. It was totally, "Uh-Oh...Mom's gonna kill me!" And then he just stood there, as if "Maybe if I don't move, she won't know that I'm here". What am I, a T-Rex? (Jurassic Park reference. I'm a dork.)

Florence Nightingale, I ain't.

So this is device that attacked my sweet baby's hand. Sure, it appears to be all innocent, sitting there unplugged and cool as a cucumber. But insert those metal prongs into the outlet and...LOOOOOOK OUT! It springs to life radiating dangerous and vengeful heat...

Actually, I feel totally guilty because I plugged it in & left it on the counter with the cord hanging below. Naturally, when Carson came into my bathroom, the first thing to catch his eye was the dangling black temptation--babies are much like kittens in this way. He grabbed it, pulled it onto the floor by him, and then managed to make contact between the flat iron's scorching hot ceramic plates and the back of his hand.

We've been lucky that it seems to not have bothered him beyond the first five minutes of the accident, but he simply would not leave the bandaging alone. Desperate times called for desperate measures, so on went the sock. I covered his hand with one of his socks, taped it onto his arm, and then cut out a hole for his thumb. (Yes, he is a thumbsucker.) It was a hit at the grocery store!

Here are some pictures of his makeshift medical treatment.

I want to eat, eat, eat, apples & bananas...

"Welcome to Cafe Madre. Would you like to hear about today's specials? It is perfectly ripened banana--not too green, not too brown. Peeled by hand and then diced into safe, bite-size pieces. Perfect for little hands that are learning to grab and self-feed. And if the gentleman grows weary of eating the delicacy, it is also ideal for throwing onto the floor or wearing on the face."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Two syllables people: "T. - V." (Warning--this post is lengthy & pretty much pointless. Mostly just killin' time until I have a husband again.)

OK...this blog entry is dedicated to all those late-night comedy reruns that we all neglect to appreciate for their true value and contribution to our lives.

Sure, we live our everyday lives without giving them a second thought...UNTIL we find ourselves awake at midnight (or later). Why? Well, our insomnia could be brought on my many reasons: stress, food cravings, nightmares from a child, sickness of a child, sickness of yourself, or in my case--spousal absenteeism. (Is that even a word or did I just make that up?) Brett has been out of town on business for 3 days now and not likely to return for another 2. He will find this blog ironic because normally, I am wiped out and ready for bed by 10:00, if not earlier. I am a major party-pooper. HOWEVER, when he is not around, I find that although I am physically ready to sleep, emotionally I dread going to bed without him, so I postpone it by watching 2-3 hours of TV Land or Nick-At-Nite (don't judge've all had your fair share of marathons in front of the boob tube--by the way, I googled "boob tube" to make sure I was spelling it correctly and using it in the right context (apparently for Americans and Canadians, I am). I wouldn't recommend entering that into a search engine again. YIKES.)

Anyway, I decided to turn the TV off tonight and instead do something productive. Write a blog about it! At least about my favorite late-night shows. Paying homage to them, in a way, you could say. And I know most of you won't want to read this post, so no offense taken. At least participate in the poll at the top right!

So if I haven't lost you by now, enjoy the following excerpts from my favorite episodes. These are the ones that made me actually laugh out loud. The only thing better would be to re-watch them in person with my best friend. He is the ultimate sitcom-watching partner. ("Miss ya, Babe. Hurry home soon!") Maybe you have seen them yourself and they will bring a smile to your face as you remember your own moment of private laughter.

Cosby Show--Let's face it. You can't go wrong with the Huxtables. But the best episodes were from the early years. My (and Brett's) favorite episode is actually the pilot episode (the first ever). It's called "Theo's Economic Lesson". Theo brings home a poor report card and is trying to explain to his parents why he should not be punished. Cliff goes to Theo's room to discuss the matter.

Clair: "Cliff, why do we have five children?"

Cliff: "Because we did not want six."

Cliff: "Theo, your mother asked me to come up here and kill you."

Theo: "You're a doctor and Mom's a lawyer, and you're both successful in everything and that's great! But maybe I was born to be a regular person and have a regular life. If you weren't a doctor, I wouldn't love you less, because you're my dad. So rather than feeling disappointed because I'm not like you, maybe you should accept who I am and love me anyway, because I'm your son."

(At this point, violins are playing and as a viewer you are expecting this great Father-Son bonding moment.)

Cliff: "Theo... that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life! No wonder you get D's in everything! You're afraid to try because you're afraid your brain is going to explode and it's going to ooze out of your ears. Now I'm telling you, you are going to try as hard as you can. And you're going to do it because I said so. I am your father. I brought you into this world, and I'll take you out!"

(Life according to Monopoly Money)

Cliff: "So how much does you expect to make a week for 'regular people'?"

Theo: "$250"

Cliff (pointing to the bed): "Sit down. I will give you $300 a week. $1200 a month." (Cliff hands the money to Theo)

Theo: "I'll take it!"

Cliff: "And I will take $350 for taxes."

Theo: "Whoa!"

Cliff: "Oh, yeah. See, the government goes for the regular people first. So, how much does that leave you with?"

Theo: "$850."

Cliff: "Okay, now you'll need an apartment because you are NOT living here. Now an apartment in Manhattan will run you at least $400 a month."

Theo: "I'll live in New Jersey." (Theo takes back $200)

Cliff: "Now you'll need a car." (Cliff takes $300)

Theo: "I'll drive a motorbike." (Theo takes back $100)

Cliff: "You're gonna need a helmet." (Cliff takes $50) "Now figure $100 a month for clothes and shoes."

Theo: "Figure $200. I wanna look GOOD."

Cliff: "So, how much does that leave you with?"

Theo: "$200. So, no problem."

Cliff: "There IS a problem! You haven't EATEN yet!" (Cliff takes $100)

Theo: "I can get by on bologna and cereal." (Theo takes back his $100) "So I've got everything under control PLUS $200 left for the month."

Cliff: "You plan to have a girlfriend?"

Theo: "For sure." (Cliff takes the remaining $200) Cliff (pointing at Theo's empty hand): "Regular people."

I know I've written a lot about The Coz, but one more episode is noteworthy. It's the one where Cliff and Clair want to give Cliff's parents a cruise for their anniversary. Anyway, I don't recall all that happens but at the end, the entire family--Cliff, Claire, and their 5 children, including irrepressible 5-year old Rudy (who adorably is missing teeth) perform an impromptu lip synch on the staircase to Ray Charles' "Night Time is the Right Time"--who can forget Rudy's "Baaaaaabay" with her mouth opened as wide as it can get and those teethless gaps staring at you. So cute!

Wings--Wings had so many great characters. Who didn't love Antonio, the unlucky-in-love cab driver from Italy? And what about Faye, who married three husbands, all with first name George--and all who DIED. But my all-time favorite was...(drumroll, please)...Lowell. Lowell Mathers won me over with his eccentricities (is there spell-check on blogspot, because I think I just spelled that wrong) and dim-witted antics. Here are a couple great quotes from our favorite airline mechanic--some of the best ones are between Lowell and Roy Biggins:

Lowell: "I give blood all the time. Just between you and me, Roy, I'll do anything for a sugar cookie."

Joe Hackett: Lowell, where you going?

Lowell Mather: Oh, to clear my mind.

Roy Biggins: Shouldn't take long. One good sneeze ought to do it.

I Love Lucy--Lucille Ball paved the way for nearly sixty years of television sitcoms when it premiered in October of 1951 (coincidentally the same year my parents were married!). In some ways I don't think the classic humor is appreciated now as it once was, which is a shame because it was the original, genuine stuff. Very talented and ahead of their time, the writers of this show were able to entertain the American public with situation comedy in a very non-offensive, clean way.

My favorite episode is from the second season and is called Lucy Wants New Furniture. Here's how one website describes it: "A frantic economy wave engulfs the Ricardo household. Lucy buys some furniture against Ricky's orders and is forced to pay for it out of her own allowance. Ricky confiscates the furniture and takes it to the club until it's paid off. Lucy also needs a new dress and a new hairstyle for the Carrolls' party at the Tropicana on Saturday night. She tries to make her own dress and then does some "permanent damage" in this episode." The permanent damage they speak of is with her hair, as well as their carpet. She tries to give herself a perm, but forgets to set the timer, so you can imagine the "hair-raising" result when it finally dawns on her to remove the curlers and rinse out the chemicals. As for the carpet, she tries to cut out a pattern for making herself a dress, but does not have scissors (except for her fingernail scissors, which do not work, to her dismay). Instead, she tries a razor blade on the pattern which she has laid out on her living room floor. She is so focused on her new task as seamstress, she does not realize she is not only cutting the fabric, but also the carpet!

Frasier--And finally, my favorite. (Check out the music I've got on the bottom right of my blog. Somewhere in there is the theme song.) Brett and I love the early years of Frasier so much we both bought the DVDs for each others' Christmas presents last year! This show had the best writing. Probably my favorite exchanges come between Frasier and his brother Niles.

Niles: And I stormed out and slammed the door! Of course, it was that fourteenth century Bavarian cathedral door, so I had to get two of the servants to help me, but what it lacked in spontanaity it made up for in resonance.

Niles: "At the Shangri-La [the name of Niles' dumpy apartment complex], the highlight of my day is getting out of bed, so I can slam it back into the wall!"


Niles: That was the same period where you insisted on wearing the wax earplugs and the slumbermask.
Frasier: Well I had to, what with you underneath the covers with a flashlight looking at the National Geographic.
Niles: I was looking at the maps.
Frasier: That's what makes it so scary.

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson