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Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Prep

As you can see, I'm not a daily blogger. When I get a few minutes I'll blog. So here is a few minutes.

It was my weekend with the boys, but due to circumstances beyond my control and thanks to a special someone, I didn't get much time with them. I only had them yesterday (Sunday). This was the day that I had set aside to spend at my Grandma's and get some pointers on how to prep for my upcoming Thanksgiving Day Spectacular. OK, spectacular is a bit much. I am hosting dinner this years for some friends and others who care to join. I have always wanted to. I love cooking, especially for others. Here is my chance. It is the off year for my family so it leaves the door open without ill regard for not attending a family function.

After loading up all the bags of ingredients and picking up the boys, I headed over.

Now Grandma's is as exciting as all get out for any 1 and 3 year old so I came prepared: DVD player, toys, Kung Fu Panda, etc. Luckily she has a Nintendo 64 that Ben likes to play as well. Not wanting to have the TV babysit, I try to entertain and prolong the need for electronics as much as possible. Ben was tired so after refusing Jello-O and the homemade potatoes and gravy that Grandma made (this is how I know he doesn't have all my genes), he requestes pancakes. Pancakes are a ritualistic practice that I have with Ben on my weekends. Especially colored pancakes. Since I did not have them in the morning this time, we didn't make them. I declined the request since I knew hw was just tired, begger him to eat what was around and then just layed him down. He was out by time I left the room. So Ben took his long nap that lasted several hours. My personal bias, but the boys seem to sleep so soundly when they are with me.

Tucker is another story. He did go down for a nap, but only for about an hour. When he does wake up, its over. He never goes back to sleep, even if it is a 5 minute nap. After him waking up about 45 mins later, the fun began.

Grandma's oven was going out and not cooking right, so that put a little damper on things, but not much of one. Grandma was talking about needing to go out this week and shop around for one. I had brought my laptop since it had the menu and recipes saved on it. I sat down with her and did some online shopping. She was amazed and almost couldn't belive that it would be more accurate than her print ad. We shopped all the stores and she was really happy that we could narrow it down to just a couple ranges she wanted to look at. That was interesting and fun.

Tucker loves to be in the same room that I am, he is rarely content to play in another room, even if it is where the toys are. I love that, but does present challenges some times. Wouldn't trade it for the world though. He wandered over to Grandma's fruitbowl. He usually plays with the onions. I looked over and there was something in his mouth. Luckily it was just an apple, but it was soft. Gave him a fresher one and he was as content as could be. I brought my special cooking knives over. I don't get to cook often, when I do I love using them. I sat at the table to cut different things up. Didn't take long and Tucker wanted to up where dad was to see what he was doing. I set him up on the chair next to me, apple in hand. He just wanted to be around me. Words can't descibe that feeling you get when they look at you and smile just because you are you. No politics, no red tape, no boundaries. Just love. It was an awesome experience. I love to cook and he loved to be there right with me. He loves food, so he will probably be my cooking partner. Ben will master pancakes, but I think Tucker will take on the rest. Ben is in a transition phase moving out of being a toddler and into a boy. HE loves me holding him and snuggling with dad, but is kind of independant in his play.

After keeping Tucker occupied with the apple and crackers, he wanted more. I was dicing summer sausages up so he stood up and decided to help himself to some. The cooking continued and he continued to make sure I was in his range. He just seemed to love being with me, it was one of those Hallmark moments. I loved avery minute. Eventually he wanted me to hold him always and wouln't get down. I couldn't refuse. Needless to say it was a good workout and I can feel it today.

After sweating like a whore in church with all the cooking, I had done what I could do and had a chance to play Mario Kart64 with Ben. He's not one to finish a game, but loved me being there so we played the courses 30 seconds at a time (thats about how long til he would start over).

Overall, it was a great weekend. Too short, but we tried to fit in all the hugs, kisses, snuggling and being together as a family as possible.

Gotta run for now. If I am not on before, I hope your Thanksgiving is Great!

My favorite holiday.

-Ben

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