After a weekend of Christmas Partying and catching up on my “real” blogging obligations, I’m back. If you’re following along at home, 2006 was probably the dullest year of the last decade. Somehow, we still managed a potty joke in the mix. That said, we did get a half dozen concerned phone calls about Pete’s (my) health from dictionary-challenged folks. We also came to the realization that postage was costing us so much we had to limit distribution of “The Letter”. For a boring retelling of the year’s travails, we sure spent a lot of money getting it out the door.
Before we update you on the past year we would like to give a “shout out” to those that are receiving our Christmas card and letter for the first time. We’re happy to have you on our Christmas card list and we know that you all feel honored just to be chosen. As for the rest of you, stamps and paper don’t pay for themselves so if you don’t regularly send us a Christmas card or correspond with us throughout the year consider this your last letter. Go ahead and tell people you don’t care. You know you would be lying and how distraught you would feel next year when you are not part of the chosen few. Remember, Judas betrayed Jesus. Jesus forgave Judas but that’s because he’s JESUS! When people write an entire testament about us, we’ll consider being more benevolent.
It was another Kraatztastic year in Oceanside, CA. We are in awe at how fast the kids are growing up. People are always telling us it goes by too quickly. While prefer to ignore these obvious messages from others, we do agree they grow up fast! (Except for the diapers; they don’t grow out of those fast enough).
It is hard to believe Ben turned 4 in October. That means it was almost 5 years ago that Jill forgot to use her birth control. He recently had his 4-year check-up where his pediatrician told us he is “off the charts”, which we assume to be the politically correct way of telling us our kid is getting fat. We’ve decided to blame genetics because that’s the kind of Zero Accountability parents we are. We installed a human-size hamster wheel in his room in the hopes of him getting more exercise. He only really uses it to spin his action heroes around like balls in a bingo cage but he has taken nicely to the squirt bottle full of Mountain Dew we have helpfully attached to his bedpost.
Ben seems to be enjoying preschool. We decided to put him in an all-day program twice a week. It was time for the Little Momma’s Boy to take direction from other adults for an entire day. He considers the other children his friends as long as they do whatever he tells them to do. Some might call him “bossy” but we see it as “outgoing”. While it is a problem at times, we can’t blame him for that behavior and we certainly don’t blame ourselves (remember our “Zero Accountability” rule) so we have decided to blame Bush.
Maddy loves Kindergarten! Some people give the California public schools a bad rap but we have been pleased so far. They are starting to teach her to read by having her memorize certain key words such as: the, it, too and Schwarzenegger. Her reading homework includes “The Cat in The Hat” and “The Terminator”. She did have some nightmares about futuristic robotic cat from the future who wears a striped hat and dark glasses but once we took away the Halloween candy the nightmares seemed to go away.
Maddy has also been keeping the Tooth Fairy busy. She is losing teeth faster than a meth addict. The Tooth Fairy has recycled the same gold coin 3 times. The teeth fall out so quickly, Jill doesn’t have a chance to get to the bank to get more coins. When Maddy asks Pete and Jill where her other gold coins are, they just lecture her on being more responsible with her things and then tell her to clean her room. Poor kid – lets hope she never gets a hold of this letter – your help there is greatly appreciated.
On a serious note, Pete has been diagnosed with alopecia. We were saddened by this news but we are taking it in stride. Pete’s bravery with this terminal condition has made us all proud. It’s unusual for someone so young to be struck with this condition but we can only look towards the future. When the time comes, Jill will make sure she and her next husband have genetic counseling.
Pete is still on the road a few days a week. The drawbacks of a hectic travel schedule are balanced out by the fact that he gets to travel to glamorous cities such as Sacramento and Oakland. He is eagerly saving his frequent flier miles in hopes that one day he can take the entire family on one of his trips. Jill is crossing her fingers for Fresno.
With Pete out of town so often, Jill is working twice as hard to take care of the kids. Just kidding! Jill taught Maddy how to use the remote control, pour a bowl of cereal, give Ben a bath and load the laundry. Maddy is one tough negotiator and got Jill to pay her 5 pennies each day for her hard work.
When not engaging in play time with the kids, Jill spends a lot of time trying to figure out what is causing the ever-present rotting smell in her car. In the meantime, she is leaving a couple of dead fish on the dashboard to improve the mystery odor. We’ve tried everything to get rid of the smell, so feel free to spare us the Heloise hints. We’ve offered to donate it to the military as a torture device for insurgents but they claim to have no knowledge of any torturing.
When not investigating mystery smells or hanging Christmas lights, we have been trying to spend a good part of December at beach. Don’t be too envious, it does get pretty chilly there. Yesterday the temperature dropped to 78 degrees – 77 with the wind chill.
That about sums up our captivating year of lounging and diaper management. Whether you are a major part of our lives or someone we merely tolerate, thanks for being a part of our 2006. We hope 2007 brings you a lot of happiness, fun and another Kraatztastic Christmas letter!