If you’re new to this, I’m posting old Christmas letters to catch up our friends and family who only just learned to read or callously tossed our screeds aside in prior years. 1999 and 2000 are behind the links. By now it should be clear our philosophy is simple: report the one thing anyone cares about in not too serious terms and squeeze in a holiday greeting somewhere on the page. We fail pretty regularly at the task but we have fun doing it.
2001 was no space odyssey for us but we did have some family changes to report. Onward!
Another year has quickly gone by! We have had an exciting year at the Kraatz house. In case you have been living under a rock or in a cave, we have a new addition to our family this year. That’s right – we got satellite TV! After all, how can Jill be expected to be a stay-at-home mom with the paltry 85 channels cable offers? Now she has almost 200 channels. Granted, most of them are religious shows but we did get the coveted Game Show Network. Hallelujah!
Our darling daughter, Madeline Ann, burst into the world on January 16th. It is amazing to think that she is almost one year old. We have watched her crawl, walk, recite poetry and pass her medical boards. We are convinced she is smarter than she lets on. When visiting, you must leave all objects under 200 pounds suspended at least 4 feet off the floor at all times. Maddy thinks it is hilarious to pick up the remote and even small pieces of furniture, only to deposit them in some black hole known only to the “other” socks. If someone tells you they have “baby proofed” their house they are mistaken; this is an IMPOSSIBLE task. On the flip side, we are grateful to have a healthy, laughing, babbling, walking and pooping little girl. In fact, we have contacted the U.S. Marine Corps and have almost convinced them if they air drop Maddy’s dirty diapers on the Taliban they can expect an immediate surrender. We’re happy to be doing our part.
Pete, amazingly, has stayed at the same job for two Christmases in a row! He loves his job and at the end of the year will begin working from home. Unfortunately, Jill is still kicking him out of the house at 8:00 am; he will be forced to work out of the garage. Peter will be given 5 tokens per week to use the bathroom in the house during working hours and meals are extra. We want to keep things running as “normal” as possible. Most shocking of all, Pete has begun golfing. It’s no secret that he stinks; we have had to cash in some of Maddy’s savings bonds to pay for all of the golf balls. Pete is hoping his friends don’t remember he told them 10 years ago to shoot him on sight if he ever took up golf. When he isn’t golfing, he is starting on projects that never seem to get finished.
Jill loves motherhood but being a Domestic Goddess does have its drawbacks. She is now fully responsible for actually having food around the house when Maddy wishes to eat. She has also taken on the important task of running any random errands that need to be done. She has not let anyone down yet, though. Last week, she had to go to Wal-Mart to buy more plastic light-up Christmas yard art. She got the last 10-foot Jesus-in-the-Manger. Granted, she had to wrestle it away from some trailer trash, but our Jilly won the battle with only some minor bite marks to the cheek. Motherhood is suiting her just fine.
The lights are back on this Christmas at our house. We had to go “dark” last year due to the energy crisis. We realized that with Maddy here, it is important that Santa see the flashing-landing pad on the roof. We would feel awful if Santa skipped our house on Maddy’s first Christmas. So even though we may cause a devastating blackout we are comforted by the fact that we will wake up to lots of yummy presents.
That’s all the news from here. Our next big bash will be Maddy’s first birthday. We wanted to take her to Vega$ to celebrate but the casinos are really uptight when it comes to that “no one under 21 “ rule. We thought she would enjoy watching Mommy put shiny coins in the slots and seeing all the flashing lights but we’ll just have to wait until we can pass her off as a midget. We wish everyone a safe, happy, healthy, and eventful 2002.
Don’t be stranger to our house, unless you’re trying to sell something.