November 25, 2011: Celebrating Liesl’s Birthday

Medifast Status: Day 207, Down ~70lbs

I do not have today off from work but I am working from home and am expecting it to be a very slow day.  I got up around nine and logged in from my office.  My morning, while slow, had just enough working coming in, spaced out just enough, to keep me busy until well into lunch time.  It was nearly one in the afternoon before I was even able to leave my desk for a while.

Bennie joined the party at the house today.  He had been staying with his family in the DFW area most of the week.

This afternoon Dominica and Francesca ran out to Kohl’s and Walmart to do some shopping.  They were only supposed to be making a quick run to Kohl’s because I was home watching the kids with Bennie but, as often happens, once they were out the door and tasted freedom they were off to do other shopping as well.  So instead of being gone for half and hour it was more like two hours.

For the first time in many, many years Dominica got to put up her Christmas tree today.  She was very excited.  We got this pre-lit Christmas tree back when we were first married and living at the house in Geneseo.  When we sold that house the tree went into storage in dad’s barn and it has been there ever since.  We didn’t have it in Newark and we didn’t have it in Peekskill and we didn’t manage to get it to this house until just several weeks ago.  Dominica has been pining for it (pun intended) all this time and every winter whines that she can’t have a Christmas tree.  It is possible that it has been five years or more.

Liesl has never had a Christmas tree at home.  This is Luciana’s first Christmas, of course.  Liesl’s first Christmas she was too young to appreciate the tree and it didn’t matter.  When she was one we had Christmas down in Houston (the Christmas when they got the big plastic ride on truck that went up and down the hills and she and Garrett liked so much) and again, she was too young to really care.  Then last year, when she was two, we were in New York at her grandparents’ house where there is always a huge tree and decorations and having the tree at home isn’t that big of a deal.  But this year it is Christmas in Houston again so having the tree at home is nice for her because she will remember this Christmas, most likely, even when she is old and remembering the house decorated and with a tree will be nice.

Liesl helped to decorate the tree too, as did Garrett and Clara.  Liesl loves to organize all of the ornaments into neat, orderly clumps of similar types.  She has not quite grasped the Christmas tree aesthetic yet but we will give her some slack as this is her first time decorating one.

This afternoon Francesca and I ran out to Kroger to grab a birthday cake for Liesl so that we would be ready in case we wanted to do cake for her tonight instead of tomorrow.

I had deployments today too, but not a whole lot of them.  It was not that bad.

Madeline started playing Epic Mickey today.  After being here all week and not trying any of the video games that we have, other than she and Emily playing Mario Kart which they have at home, she finally, at the last minute, gave something different a try and really liked it.  She made it several hours into the game today.

For dinner tonight we decided to return to Brookhaven.  It is just way too cost effective and close by not to do so.  Way better than using La Cima with all of the kids.  The Grille at Brookhaven was completely empty tonight as there was a magic chow and dinner going on in the main clubhouse that we did not feel that we were going to be able to make tonight so had not booked ahead for.  It worked out, though, because Madeline and Emily are too old for a magic show and Liesl and Garrett are too young.  I don’t think that anyone would have really enjoyed it and it would have cost more and with all of the kids it would have just been way too much of a hassle.

After dinner we all went to Chuck E. Cheese’s in Lewisville.  This is my first time going to Chuck E. Cheese’s since I was a very little kid and I convinced my parents to take me there.  We went once when I was little and it was not the best experience so we never returned.  Liesl had a great time riding on the little ride on cars and things and she rode the video ride where the seat shakes and you look at a video of people flying seven times.  She also really liked being able to climb through the big playground equipment but she was too short to be able to do it on her own so always needed either Madeline or Emily to help her climb into it.  She loves playground equipment and big slides.  She had a good time.

We got back to the house pretty late but Liesl had not fallen asleep quite when we got there so we decided that we would have the cake now rather than tomorrow.  Liesl was very excited.  She got three star candles on her pink and white cake.  She really liked her chocolate cake with the pink frosting.  She is like her daddy and really likes frosting.

After the kids went to bed everyone watched the first twenty minutes of the video that we have on northern Italy so that they Grices could see some of the areas where we are planning on visiting when we are over there in May.  Hard to believe that we are only six months away from heading over there at this point.  It is coming up quicker than we would have guessed.

We were all pretty tired when we turned in tonight.

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