Monday, January 31, 2011

Air Hockey Madness

Not long ago, our-across-the-street neighbor came knocking on our door.  Now this was one of those lazy, nobody got dressed days.  A knock on the door sends everyone scrambling for cover so they are not spotted in their jammies at five in the afternoon on days like that.  But when I saw who it was, I didn't mind.  She's caught me in jammies taking out the trash before.

She's all smiles as I open the door, fighting Marco the whole time not to topple her over. 

"Would you like an air hockey table?"

The across-the-street neighbor's boys are all grown up now.  A few years back, their youngest son built a small bike ramp in the driveway and then he was out there all day, everyday, all summer going over it and over it and over it.  The thump thump of the ramp was the soundtrack of that summer.

One Christmas, long ago, Santa brought those neighbor boys an air hockey table.  Santa did good that year.  It was a big hit and saw many, many years of fierce play.  But since the boys have moved out, its just become a storage table.

"We were trying to think about who we could give it to and then we remembered you.  You always have a house full of kids over here."


"It's still works great.  It's a full sized table.  It's really heavy though."

Full sized?

"You could put it right there!"

Right there was the big open spot in my living room.  When the Christmas tree comes home, the Playstation situation goes to The Boy's room.  When the tree left, the Playstation didn't come back down this year.  Thus, we have a great big open space in the living room.  Strangely enough, air hockey table sized.

"So what do you think?"

There was a tiny cough behind me.  The door to the steps opened a crack.  "Say yesssss!", a voice hissed.

So I said yes.

It was pretty grimy, but Magic Eraser got it looking bright and shiny again.

And it's been non-stop air hockey ever since. 

My elbow hurts.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dawn Breaks

The best way I've found to get my sleepy girl out of bed in the morning is to get in bed with her.  I wiggle around, steal the blankets and talk to her until she finally gets moving.  After she heads off to the bathroom, I usually steal a few extra minutes of sleep in her bed until she comes back.

This morning she trudged down the hall, flipped on the light and screamed.  I shot straight up.  She was already in the door.

"Something happened with the lights in the bathroom!" She was wide awake now.  I peeked around her and could see the glow from the lights spilling into the hall.

"What happened?  They're on, right?"

"The middle light bulb just EXPLODED!"

"So there's glass everywhere in there?"

I was asking too many questions obviously.  She was getting disgusted.  "Of course not!  It just got super bright and then went out."

I already knew what happened.  When I was cleaning out the towel cupboard a while back, I found a package of old incandescent light bulbs.  The middle socket had been empty for some time so I just threw one of those in there.

It hasn't been that long since we switched over all the light bulbs from incandescent to high efficiency CFLs.  But I guess it's been long enough the she's forgotten what it looks like when a light bulb burns out.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Christmas Leaves Slowly

I cannot stand to see Christmas trees laying empty and dead on the curb.  It bums me out.  Lots of people put out their trees right after the big day or right after New Year.  How can they just put it out there like that?  It was covered in lights and sparkly things for a month and now it's just a fire hazard in the snow and mud.  That's why we hang on to ours until the night before the garbage day that first week of January.  That was last night.

The kiddos came home with big plans for playing Xbox yesterday afternoon.  But our window of time with everybody home, was slim so they had to put that off while we took the tree down.

I'll confess that none of our Christmas traditions are a piece of cake.  We have devised all kinds of ways over the years to complicate the entire process.  For example, we don't just take the ornaments down.  No sir.  After the hooks are removed they all get individually wrapped in paper and then placed in a storage can.  If they are considered extra special, then they go in the can marked "First".  The super duper extra special ones go right on top of the "First" can so they go on tree first.  All of this has been refined over the years so we don't even think about how ridiculous it probably all is.

When we took down my mom's tree on New Year's Day, we got the whole thing done in five commercial breaks during The Twilight Zone marathon.  That included bringing down the boxes from the attic, filling them with everything (including the tree) and returning the boxes.  The sixth break had us rearranging the furniture back.  Then it was time for dessert.

Only the tree is down at this point.  Everything else is tucked hither and tither about the house.  It's going to take a week to herd it all in.  Then the boxes will sit in the upstairs hallway for an overly long period before they finally get hauled up to the attic.

Then it will be time for Easter.