Somewhere along the way we lost the 2003 letter. (So go read 2002, 2001, etc., etc.) It’s a pity because that letter would have won the Pulitzer for worst punctuation, ever, which is saying something about that letter versus others we have tossed in the mail.
It was about this time that the mailing list started to grow, just like the kids. We started dropping people from the 100+ distribution just to keep the checkbook balanced. Mind you, we don’t have 100+ friends. We don’t have any friends, come to think of it. We have jobs, kids and poop…
…and another letter for 2004:
HO HO HO!
It’s been another Kraatztastic year here in San Diego and we know you have been dying to read all about it. Just like an indigestible fruitcake and hygiene-challenged mall Santas, the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without our yearly round-up.
Our Christmas card picture this year is pretty much the same as last year. Maddy loves Santa and Ben is convinced he is Satan. We have visited Santa about 6 times since Thanksgiving, mainly because Maddy keeps changing her list and wants to make absolutely sure that Santa knows what she wants. Her final revised list includes bubble gum, a TV that never turns off and a brand new Porsche for Mommy. Ben asked for the torture of visiting Santa to end but we are pretty sure he also wants the Porsche for Mommy as well.
This year we turned into the parents we promised we would never be when Pete got up in the middle of the night to stand in line to secure Maddy a spot at a local preschool. So far, we are pleased with our decision since Maddy has shown tremendous progress. Since starting school, she has learned all of the words to the Christmas classic “Jingle Bells Batman Smells…” and she has also learned to make the ever-popular farting noise with her hands. Since it is a religious preschool, she gets some religious instruction, which is great. Unfortunately, she is insistent that Jesus is a girl since he has long hair and wears sandals. On a positive note, she FINALLY decided that getting potty trained was a better option than diapers. We think it was the promises of endless trips to Disneyland and all-you-can-eat candy and McDonald’s that convinced her potty training was the way to go. We realize now that keeping her in diapers would have been a cheaper option.
Ben survived 2 whole years with Maddy gunning for him. This beat the over/under by a few months, costing Jill about $100 with her bookie. Before we know it he will be big enough to take on Maddy and the story will change. He has started to become more strong-willed already. For some reason he has a huge freak out when we try to get his hair cut and has reduced some 12 hairdressers to tears. All Ben needs is a pair of sandals and Maddy will start calling him “sister Jesus.” Ben is all about trucks, monsters and dirt these days, mainly dirt. Dirt and snack. Of course, we can’t forget the time last spring when he found a dead baby possum in the back yard and proceeded to try to eat it. Jill’s piercing screams finally forced him to drop it (after a final lick for flavor). Maddy told him it wasn’t nice to try to eat a sleeping kitty and Pete yard-a-pulted it into the pool of our neighbors who haven’t yet figured out that no one wants to listen to loud Country music at midnight. The possum won’t mind.
Jill decided last spring to get into an exercise regimen. She did it because she needs an hour break each day from the kids and the gym has free child care. It was a slow start at first. Those health clubs really frown on people bringing in fast food and sitting down to watch Oprah on the TVs, so Jill was forced to finally exercise. It’s great for everyone; Jill loses weight while the kids get to play in an environment with more germs than a free clinic on needle-exchange day.
Peter now spends enough time on the road that the hotel managers call the house when he doesn’t show up for a few days. Not that we’re complaining – we’re just happy that he has held the same job for 2 years. His company has him working at the Disney Movie Studios which is perfect since we have completely sold out to Disney. Just about everything we own, eat or labor at has a pair of mouse ears and comes covered in Pixie Dust (no, not the California medical pixie dust). We even took the kids on a vacation to Disney World in Orlando this past November. Living 45 minutes from Disneyland wasn’t enough for us. We felt it was necessary to haul two toddlers and 12 pieces of luggage across country so we could experience Disney in 90% humidity. We have decided that our next vacation will be overseas because we really want to immerse the kids into different cultures so they can see how others live. Now we just have to decide if we want to accomplish this at Euro Disney or Disneyland Tokyo.
Our Kraatztacular White Trash lighting festival is on again. We finally got smart and bought stock in the electric company. This year we made 43 cents – just 6 cents shy of the cost of the stamp to send them the check.
Have a safe Holiday, blah blah blah and all of that good stuff. If you’re not around then we really miss you. If you live close to us, we probably see you way more than we want to. Enjoy 2005!
Pete, Jill, Maddy & Ben