Christmas 2005

My scream had a lot of explicative phrases not appropriate for a Christmas Letter.

So on or about April 28th, I was sharing with a friend on the telephone that I had this parenting thing under control (not really, but I was trying to sound convincing even with Jack home sick from school that day). Then, I heard the sound of rushing water. It was loud, and I’m partially deaf. I was sitting outside on the back porch.

Long story short, Jack was re-enacting the scene from Home Alone where the “water bandits” flood people’s homes by leaving the water running. He did this in my bathroom sink. Water pooled into my cabinets, then rushed all over the hardwood floors upstairs, and then found its way into the pocket doors and then came with all of the fury of a fire hose downstairs through all of my recessed lights in the ceiling. The sound I heard was 300 gallons of water plummeting onto my downstairs floors where it continued to reap havoc and destruction like only we know how to endure.

My scream had a lot of explicatives not appropriate for Christmas, but also left me speechless and numb. Jack knew he was in big trouble. Home Alone’s DVD went immediately in the trash and Jack hid under his covers. After the dry out, we spent the summer at the beach while the repairs were completed. We are not favorites of insurance companies.

This story still isn’t over though, seems there was still moisture in the walls when they replaced the floors, so warping continues, the movers will arrive mid-January, empty the house again, and we’ll be relocated for a week to Disney while floor repair continues….What doesn’t kill us makes for one hell of a hangover.….

Mignonne is 19 months old and is doing her best to keep up with Jack and Ashton. I have a feeling that she’s not going to be a ballerina, but that’s okay, neither was I. I happily encourage her becoming a track star, as John has dreams of her being a beach volleyball player. Currently, she’s no swimsuit model, but what do you expect when her father is 6’7” tall. Mignonne is becoming more beautiful every day and has a lot to say, even if I have no clue what it is. She likes eating markers, crayons, sand and dog food, which I am certain are all high in carbohydrate.

Ashton and Baby Dog enrolled at St. Paul’s pre-school (for 3 year olds). I personally think they would both prefer to be enrolled in Dog Obedience school, but that is only because Baby Dog remains his best friend and is now our fourth child and is right there with the American Express Card and Diapers on the not leaving home without it list. Ashton continues to bark when he gets in trouble. He’s my mischievous child. It’s hard not to laugh, and he knows it, so then he adds a growl for good measure. Diet wise, he’s existing on gushers, raisins, and Cheetoes. Our Doctor ensures me that he won’t die if he goes to bed hungry from not eating his dinner that I’ve cooked, but the guilt that I feel when Ashton does the “bad mommy”, oh, that heads me right for the wine, which I’ve developed quite a taste for the good stuff though my motherhood experience.

Jack graduated from the beige diet this summer and started Independent Day School’s Kindergarten Class in the fall and is in love with school and claims Emma Bernstein is his sweet baboo and blushes at the mere thought of her. He quizzes me daily for a quick response to math problems, and believes that I am the smartest person in the world because I can add, subtract, and count by any multiple requested. Jack has picked up reading, and coloring within the lines, although his report card stated that he was lacking in scissor usage. Oh, the deficiencies of a 5 year old with siblings that use school supplies as food or weapons. I hope one day Jack will forgive me if this is the cause for him not getting the full ride at Harvard, but with three little one’s five and under, it’s a major accomplishment to get them dressed and fed in the morning along with a coat, if needed.

Let’s be honest, my scissor skills are lacking too, but that’s because my own parents refused to let me near sharp objects.

Lille the dog continues to enjoy the benefits of scrap foods, and swiped peanut butter sandwiches, but her personal favorite continues to be Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Her hobbies include a daily “run off” only to be returned by a neighbor. She doesn’t come when I call her, so I’ve stopped, and graciously thank my neighbors for her return and God that we had her spayed. She’s the teenager of the family. We’ve tried the electric fence method, but after a short gone wrong in her collar, Lille was getting shocked in her cage while in the house (locked up with nowhere to run might I add) and ended of peeing all over the house from the mere stress of it all as my punishment for cruelty. Run Lille Run!

Every year I say, “John is still at The Firm”, and this year is no exception. He loves what he does, and it’s his home. His year has been very busy. We went to New York, Las Vegas, and North Carolina, all which were work-related much needed breaks from our brood. John has also had two hernia surgeries as well this year, probably from picking up our three kids at the same time. In between work and his endless list of honey-dos, he’s gotten time to play golf regularly.

As for me, I’ve gotten back into playing tennis after a 12 year hiatus and have a secret game of racing neighbors on the school drop off route. It’s a great way to spend the 5 minute drive, and the boys really cheer me on.

Mini-van vs. the Rolls-Royce is the favorite! My house arrest continues for the fifth year (Martha had it easy!), but hopefully by next Christmas, my freedom will have begun. The light at the end of the dark tunnel is getting brighter; Mignonne hopefully will enroll in pre-school for the fall for a few mornings a week…

The Hurricane Season spared Tampa this year, and we were fortunate enough to be able to help our family and friends affected by the storm from New Orleans. John’s sister, Nicole, remains living with us, and our best friends, The H’s and The C’s relocated to Florida so the unfortunate brought the fortune of good friends and family to us that we left in New Orleans.