Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas to you!

Merry Christmas family and friends!

We’ve cut down the tree, the lights on the house are up (all but one 5 foot section of lights that Scott can’t get to stay lit), and we’ve had a dusting of snow. It’s almost Christmas! This means that it’s time for the Seitz Christmas letter and I’ve been racking my brain to think of the best kind of letter to write this year. Our dog Harper has joined the family and I considered letting her write it as the cats did a few years ago, but as sweet as she is she’s a little spastic and it probably wouldn’t get done. I thought about writing another sappy Christmas letter like last year, (which was a personal favorite of mine) but I thought maybe you might miss my sarcastic edge if I tried that two years in a row. So, without further ado…

The Top 10 Seitz Family Adventures in Preparing for Christmas 2011:

10. The Grinch. Perhaps it’s because The Grinch that Stole Christmas has been a favorite story of Cameron’s for the last few years and that we’ve read it about a million times in the year 2011 alone, sadly no one wants to read it now that it’s finally the season for it. They do however laugh hysterically when the song comes on the radio and they can sing out “Mr. Gri-INCH!”

9. The Movies. We love that our kids love to laugh and nothing makes us all laugh harder than watching Elf at Christmastime (and who am I kidding, we watch that guy all year round). We also feel quite proud that our kids like to quote Elf on a regular basis. Why just the other day Cameron told Maggie that she smelled like beef and cheese and sat on a throne of lies. Ahh….that’s our boy:)

8. The Christmas Letter. Who knew writing about what we’ve been doing all year could be so stressful? Do we do a Seitz Family Quiz? A letter from the pets? Funny? Serious? So many choices, so little room on the paper…

7. The Picture for the Christmas Card. Do you know how hard it is to get 4 kids, ages 9,7, 4 and 2 to smile a normal smile (not a constipated smile or a crazy-time I’m doing this just to appease you but I really look like a psycho in my eyes smile) at the same time. It’s almost impossible and so we’ve taken to snapping or having the poor soul that we’ve snagged from nearby snap about 50 pictures in desperate hope at least one of them turn out nicely. (And to be honest, more importantly than the 4 kids smiling is whether the picture of the mom is decent because there’s no way a photo will be sent to you, our friends and family, that isn’t. Scott could have his eyes shut in the photo and we could be missing a kid, but if the mom looks good, it might end up being the one that we use that year.)

6. The Christmas Lights. We planned to put the Christmas lights up over Thanksgiving weekend, but because of our busy travel schedule and a 4 year old with strep throat, it didn’t happen. Then the weather got cold and snowy and Scott insisted that we wait and let the snow melt off our roof so he would be safer. We were a little disappointed that he didn’t man up a bit and try to climb up there anyway, but eventually he untangled the lights and began the quest to find the broken bulb that made all the others stop working too. We tried to talk him into investing in some new Christmas lights to no avail, but armed with a volt meter and a pocket full of fuses, by golly, he got most of them lit.

5. The Christmas Program. Jolie (age 9) made her stage debut this year as a Dancing Elvis in the Christmas program at church. It was an Elvis-themed production called Bethlehem Rock and she was a ROCKSTAR in it swinging her hips and shaking it up! Cameron (age 4) and Ella (age 7) also made cameo appearances in the show in the choir and they sang and danced beautifully too. Plus it was a Christmas miracle that all three kids ended up on the same side of the stage so we didn’t have to be the crazy parents climbing over other parishners to get a good video.

4. The Baking. Although by the time you have received this letter we won’t have done any of the holiday baking yet, know that it has been planned for weeks. We’ve carefully decided on the kinds of candy we’re making (peanut butter buckeyes and pistachio cranberry bark for sureJ), the cookies we’re baking , we’ve already picked up the cute boxes and plates that we’ll use to deliver it to the neighbors and made the long list of ingredients that we need (basically a million bags of chocolate chips). In another week or so our kitchen will be a sticky mess of melted chocolate chips, toasted coconut and more bags of confectioners’ sugar than anyone should ever buy at one time.

3. The selection of the Christmas Tree. We drove out to our favorite Tree Farm and there was no snow on the ground, which I’m sure lots of people prefer but for us it felt a little strange to be heading out as we always do the first weekend in December to choose our fantastic tree with absolutely no real snow on the ground. Although we don’t actually trek out into the wilderness like Clark W. Griswold and his family through waist high snow to chop down a huge tree with our bare hands that will barely fit into our living room, we still prefer a little snow while we wander around. But we did find our perfect tree and it’s the tallest one we’ve ever had. It’s a beaut Clark, a real beaut!

2. The Family. There is something about the anticipation of the holidays and the excitement of our kids that makes us look forward to December. We count down each day until Christmas and we try to celebrate all month long in big ways and small ways. We talk about Santa and the kids circle toys (and electronics now that Jolie is 9!) in the Toys R Us ads and leave them in convenient places for us to see. It is a joy for us to see our kids so excited about Christmas and to see their faces when they open their stockings. We are so blessed to have these four amazingly smart and funny and healthy children who really do enjoy each other most days. We are warm and we are provided for and we are together and still smiling most days. What better Christmas present could we ask for?

1. The Baby Jesus. It’s the reason we celebrate this season. We’re doing our best to teach our kids the true meaning of Christmas. The presents are great, the tree is beautiful, the movies are funny and the traditions are special, but we do all of this to celebrate the Baby Jesus. Without it, Christmas just wouldn’t mean as much and our hearts wouldn’t feel so joyful. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Merry Christmas and much love for the New Year!

Scott, Jamie, Jolie, Ella, Cameron and Maggie Seitz (plus Elvis, Sam and Harper too)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Love Affair with Glee

I watched Glee a couple of times last year and loved it but I could never seem to remember what night it was on and I was always catching the last 20 minutes of the show. Plus, I have Criminal Minds and Parenthood that I love to watch and I just can't have that many tv shows that I would die to miss because I'm not just sitting around here eating bon bons, right?!

For Christmas this year I got Glee Season 1 on dvd and now I am hooked. I am a full fledged Mr. Shuster loving, Don't Stop Believing singing, crazy Finn and Puck and Rachel fanatic. I don't know if it takes me back to the good ole highschool days (even though I wasn't in show choir and didn't sing about my problems) or if I just love these songs so much and it's fun to sing along while I watch. Perhaps I just love Sue Sylvester, the super sarcastic Cheerios coach and the sayer of so many ridiculously hilarious lines that I can't wait to add to my personal conversations.

Then I discovered Glee on Pandora. Hallelujah! Now I can make dinner, unload the dishwasher and put away groceries all while rocking it out to Jessie's Girl or Tell Me Something Good. Sometimes Pandora gets left on while we're eating dinner and my kids and I jump from the table and perform a Glee inspired dance number of our own when a particularly fantastic song comes on, like last night when the Gleed up version of Like a Prayer came on.

I knew my Glee obsession was getting dangerous when I just wanted to watch the Season 2 Premier and tried to find somewhere online to watch it for free. Sadly, I believe I may have downloaded the virus that knocked out our computer for most of last week and made many late nights for Scotty having to rebuild and kept me from keeping up on this blog. So, for now I'm waiting for reruns and thinking of more fun things to chat about.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bathtime or bamboo shoots?

I have decided that I officially dislike the time of the day between dinnertime and bedtime. It may be because I'm home all day long with these crazy lovely children of mine or maybe because I'm dying too pee uninterrupted with door closed, but most nights 8p.m. (aka bedtime) can't come soon enough.

But before bedtime must come bathtime and that is a horrible time at our house. I will say that there was a time that I rather enjoyed bathtime, because it didn't used to be my primary task. Back in the day when there was just Jolie and Ella and the idea of having more was a panic attack waiting to happen for Scott, bathtime was done primarily by the Daddy at our house because I thought it was important for our kids to know that Daddy could take care of them too. Plus, Daddy's bathtime was WAY more fun filled with bubbles and overflowing bathwater and lots of splashing and usually went on until the bathwater was freezing the kids' tiny butts off. My bathtime usually had some singing of some sort and there were toys present, but I was much more about getting them in and clean, out and lotioned up in a timely fashion because frankly I was done playing after I'd played all day.

So, for those few lovely years we'd worked out a system where Daddy gave most of the baths and I cleaned up dinner and the house and this worked peachy. But then Cam and Maggie came along and our tub couldn't possibly hold all four messy Seitz's, and it was time to let Jolie and then Ella grow up and take showers in one bathroom while the little ones took baths in the tub because we started to get lots of fun questions about differing body parts and lots of screaming about who got to sit closest to faucet. (Who knew that would be so important?!)

At first taking a shower was fun and exciting for the big girls, once we got past the lessons on "how to officially tell if the conditioner has been rinsed out of the hair so you don't have to get back in when mom comes to check" and that "a wet body doesn't mean it's clean" and my personal favorite "mom's shaving gel is not meant for washing your body or for making the floor super slippery". (duh!) But now the shower has become the small confined space where we're quite certain will host a cage match fight between the girls most nights. Also, I think my girls may have set several records for the amount of time it takes two girls to wash their hair and get ready for bed as well as working on the record for the highest water bill ever to be paid in history of Iowa.

Basically, bathtime is the loudest, messiest, wettest time of the day with much fighting and screeching and usually some crying thrown in. Most nights it is not peaceful and calm and fun anymore like the good old days. I think that getting four children bathed, in their pj's, with teeth and hair brushed could be one of the most exhausting parts of our day, and sometimes think I would rather someone stuff bamboo shoots under my fingernails than do it all over again the next night. But I have to admit, they are pretty darn cute when they're clean and smell like baby lotion...and asleep.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's the New Year!

With the new year and all I decided that starting Monday, January 3, I am going to wake up bright and early every day before the rest of the house is up and sit at the computer with my cup of coffee and spend a few minutes writing, on this blog and in my journal and perhaps even begin my masterpiece that I want to publish soon. I've been in bed by 10:30pm at night and thankfully Maggie is finally sleeping all night long every night so I should be completely rested and not miserable getting up at 6am to start this "me time" that I want to carve out. I've filled my coffee pot with water and set it to brew before I even wake up so that I might have a Folgers moment and spring from my bed even though it's dark and cold.

But as you can see, it's Tuesday afternoon now and I'm just starting to write on this blog and my journal and my masterpiece are also void of any writing, because I would really rather stay in bed until 7am. Ugh...

So please, if you don't see updates to this blog on occasion or if you're in the neighborhood and don't see a light on downstairs, feel free to nudge me along.

And now I'll end with a Cam funny today:

Cameron, my spirited, ultra-intelligent, and Scott's mini-me in more ways that I can appreciate most days child, loves to remove the batteries from any toy or electronic device and make sure they're fully charged with his Daddy's battery tester. Over the Christmas holiday he has also learned how to plug in the reusable battery charger and charge up his batteries.

This morning he had 3 screwdrivers lined up neatly on the coffee table that he'd found from who-knows-where because I can never seem to find one on the rare occasion that I need one. He also had about 15 batteries that we'd just gotten from Christmas for new toys and he was trying to get them into a toy for Maggie, so he says. Really, I actually think he has just figured out that having all these tools out where his tiny 1 year old sister can reach them and eat them and stab herself in the eyeball with gives me a small heart attack and he enjoys watching me squirm. So anyhow, he was trying to get the AAA batteries into a toy with AA batteries and it wasn't working and he was very annoyed with me because he couldn't make them fit. So I asked him where he found the little batteries and he said to me like I was an idiot, "From the glob, mom."

I looked around and had no clue what he was talking about. So I asked again, "Where did you get these tiny batteries, oh lovely child of mine?"

At this point he stops working and puts the screwdriver down, sighing more than a 3 year old should have any right to sigh, and points a electronic globe on the floor, "the glob".

The globe. Funny.