Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 Christmas Letter

Dear friends and family,

We apologize for sending a Christmas email instead of mailing cards. Our maid usually hand-addresses our envelopes (and writes our letters), but she has fallen ill with the bird flu. So we’ll do our best to fill you in on our own.

It’s been a busy year for everyone in the family. Toby has been working as a consultant for the CERN laboratory, helping redesign bits of the powerful particle accelerator that smashes subatomic particles together. He is not at liberty to discuss the details. Molly has been flying to and from California quite often since the Kardashians signed her on as the booty model for their clothing line. In the process, the girls have taught Molly to apply false eyelashes and smoky eye makeup like a pro.

Not to be left out, Roper has just been signed on as the Gerber yet-to-be-named-awkward-stage-between-toddler-and-pre-teen. The company had been hounding us ever since we refused to sign Roper on as the Gerber Baby – we wanted him to enjoy his infancy, for crying out loud! Since they went to great effort to create an entire new product line around him, we signed a ten-year contract on Roper’s behalf.

Ollie (our turtle) finally put his spare time to good use and taught himself to ride a bike. He was the first turtle to ever complete the Seattle to Portland in one day. And, in a delightful turn of events, Architectural Digest featured our apartment in their biggest spread of the year (Toby does all the decorating and deserves full credit for that). All of that means nothing compared to the pride we feel to have the Unicycle Injury Ward named after us at the newly remodeled Central Washington Hospital. It feels good to give back.

We hope that you all enjoy a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. We will, of course, be sharing a cozy Christmas dinner with the Obamas again. The girls just love our magic tricks!


Toby, Molly and Roper

P.S. If you want to know what we’ve REALLY been up to you can check out our annual “2011 Year in Pictures”

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Well, that went to hell at an alarming rate. Remember that post about NaNoWriMo? Yeah, me too. Despite my best efforts to forget it.

The 50,000 words in a month didn’t happen. I wrote 25,000 words in half a month and then my brain exploded. It took the next two weeks to clean it up. The stains in the carpet were terrible.

Seriously, who chooses NOVEMBER for this kind of torture? Aren’t the holidays stressful enough?

I started November on a new drug for Fibromyalgia. In higher doses it’s used for heroin addiction. BONUS! I can take care of that problem, too. Two birds with one stone! I’m KIDDING…but not too much because I know heroin is a very serious problem. Please do not send hate mail about me being insensitive.

One side effect of the new drug is insomnia. Which goes along nicely with my already well-established insomnia. As it turns out, a double-dose of insomnia contributes largely to 2am panic attacks. PARTY AT THE STEERES! But, it reduces my pain dramatically, so I will continue playing Bejeweled in the middle of the night, while my heart beats out of my chest. But I won’t be in as much pain.

So, no sleep. Then the Little Man gets terribly ill and has to be rushed to the ER. And then I get sick. Nobody is happy, but there’s still a whole wall of words that need to be written. Who could I turn to?

As a stay-at-home working mom, I feel a little isolated. The working moms shun me because I’m sitting at home eating bonbons, and the stay-at-home moms shun me because I’m working and therefore can’t make the 7.34 playdates per week, and I’m obviously neglecting my child.

Little do they know, I’m doing both – eating bonbons AND neglecting my child. Mwahahahaaa!

Did I mention that all of my Christmas shopping and prep work in November because I work at my parents’ Christmas Tree Farm on the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas? It’s great fun (seriously, check it out), but cuts into my typical weekend activities like showering, laundry and actually speaking to my spouse in person.

Oh, and in an effort to alleviate my Fibromyalgia symptoms, I had the most ridiculous dietary restriction ever. FINE, take away my dairy, wheat, rye, barley, legumes, corn, and some other stuff I can’t even remember. But NO ALCOHOL?  On top of NO HEROIN? Have you met my son?


I coped by taking on more work. I like working. I like feeling productive. It’s my therapy…and the reason I need therapy. So I’m also on the board of a non-profit. And in a writing group.  And an artist’s group. I’m not sure how I expected this to end in any way other than a massive brain explosion.

But, wait, there’s more! On top of all of that we’re STILL BUILDING A HOUSE. Yep, the same house we’ve been working towards for seven years. It’s going to be amazing when it’s done, but right now I can’t bring myself to type about it.

So, my brain exploded.

I’m waiting for it to grow back. They’re like lizards that can regrow appendages, right? Once it does grow back, I will resume the NaNoWriMo challenge.

To all of my supporters and to those who have talked me off the ledge a time or two, I thank you. And I lift a glass of alcohol in your honor. What? December is a new month, and the theme is “whatever it takes.” Cheers!


Filed under Fibromyalgia, Health, Wenatchee, Writing

Steroids, Trees and Garbage Trucks

Little Bear,

You are now twenty-seven months and by far our favorite son. You’re also our only son, so that makes things a little less awkward. Yay!

You started out the month with a mixture of croup and the flu. Honestly , that mixture isn’t nearly as fun as a gin and tonic, or a stinger, but it was more exciting. We knew you were sick, but you play and act normal until you crash. And boy did you crash.

I called your doctor’s office and they said “Knowing your son, you should go straight to the walk in.” So, we got to visit the walk-in clinic and they promptly rushed you to the ER with a 105 degree temperature and trouble breathing.

They gave you tylenol, motrin, epinephrine and steroids. During your breathing treatment, I cradled you in my arms and we played the “what sounds does a cow (horse, pig, etc.) make?” And even in your half delirious state, you made each animal sound and even smiled at my terrible version of an elephant trumpet.

Ok. So epinephrine is ADRENALINE. And did I mention the STEROIDS? Within half an hour you were terrorizing the whole hospital. Running laps, knocking things over, probably stealing drugs. I’m not aware of all the damage you dispensed because you were just a blur in barf-covered footie pajamas.

Trying to get you to take the steroids each morning was worse than trying to get medicine down a cat’s throat. We’re talking upturned chairs and bruises. Eventually I learned to pretend to feed your stuffed animals the drugs first.  You’re a victim of peer pressure, you will do anything your stuffed animals do. I am not above putting them on the potty and pretending they peed.

The other big event of the month was your Very First Haircut. You were starting to look like a long-haired hippy so we cut off your curls. It was a bit heartbreaking, but so fun to see you change from toddler to little boy with a few snips of the scissors. I saved a couple of your little curls and they look fake, like doll hair because they’re so white and fine.

You love singing. In fact, you debuted your version of the drinking song “Red Solo Cup” at church and you sing Jingle Bells in your sleep. You biked all the way to Target and back IN THE SNOW. You love snow and everything to do with it. Snow boots, snow hat, snow coat. It all makes your very happy.

You’ve learned to climb up on everything and shout “Watch this!” as you fly through the air – thirty-two pounds of elbows and heels hurling at the back of our heads. You love playing “pig pile” and wrestling with your giant gorilla. Your new favorite phrases are “Oh my cow!” “POW!” and “Amazing!”

You peed in the potty. Once. With no intention of ever doing it again.

We’re lucky to be friends with Justin, who works for Waste Management. You have become obsessed with garbage trucks so we meet Justin on his route on Thursdays. You talk nonstop about the garbage truck all week and then, when we see the garbage truck, you act all cool like garbage trucks are as common as dirty diapers at our house.

We did the Turkey on the Run 5k together again on Thanksgiving morning. You had a blast painting christmas ornaments for presents (and painting your belly, too).

Nanny and Papa Bear opened the Christmas Tree farm the weekend after Thanksgiving and you are the official mascot. You spend the morning riding up and down the driveway on the trailer with perfect strangers. You climb up onto the trailer as if you own the joint and then hand-pick someone to be your guardian for the trip. When you’re not on the trailer you hang out by the fire pit giving orders or in the gift shop destroying things and demanding coffee.

Little Bear, I think personality weighs a lot because you feel like you like you’re made of lead and you’re chock full of personality. We’re so excited to share the Christmas experience with you – your enthusiasm is going to light up the holidays like a wildfire.

I love you Roper Jackson. To the moon and back!


Your Mama


Filed under Letters to Roper