Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chapter Four: Everything Else or The Day My Bowels Tried to Kill Me

Chapter Four

Overall the holidays were pretty darn good.  We took family pictures the day after Christmas and I realized that was literally the one time during the break where we were all in attendance together. (Hopefully those pictures will be appearing on a blog near you very soon.) Other highlights included...

Games.  This picture represents all of the games we played.  Which I think was like 227. Telestrations was a great one.

Dave finally played the claw game for all the kids see!!  He did not win the one-eyed polka dot starfish. Darnit, I really wanted that guy.

Once again Aunt Kelly came to town and set incredibly high standards for hair styling that I will never measure up to.

Even JennyEllen put me to shame with her zig zag french braid! 

Cousin Time: It's In-tents!  (Get it? Intense?) No seriously, it was pretty intense.  Luke and Wyatt are also inside that tent, you just can't see them.  Maybe it was really a TARDIS...

My niece Olivia stole the show while she was here.  Cindy and Luke were in love with her and I know that Cindy wanted to smuggle her into our house and never let her escape.  

And now,

Appendix A: The Olivia Totem Pole of Important People

Most Important: Hummus

 Second most important:  Grandpa Bingham

Third most important:  Uncle Jacob
(Seriously, they had a magic moment that night we had the fire in our backyard.  BFFs)

Least important:  Grandma Bingham

Olivia will soon learn the hideous error of her ways and put Grandma at the top where she deserves to be.

The mystery death disease that Brian had on Christmas Day soon passed to Luke on the Saturday after Christmas. So while this glorious beach day was happening...

I was at home keeping Luke company while he vomited every four hours :(  By Sunday he was feeling much better, which was just in time for Kelly to start feeling iffy for the night.  Then both of my parents soon got the funk and they each missed work that Monday.

I was determined to not get sick.  In fact, I was incredibly confident I was going to be the ONE person that was going to run the gauntlet and survive.  And I almost made it.  Tuesday night I was playing a game at Chris and Molly's house, having a great time, but noticing I was getting a headache.  I decided things were going to be fine.  Meanwhile, in my lower intestines...


And then it just got worse and worse and worse.  My back began to hurt so bad I thought I was about to bring a child into the world.  I tried a hot shower, some sort of prescription drug Chris gave me, Ibuprofen- finally I limped to their the playroom to suffer in silence all night long.  I managed to wake up and feel 50% alive, but by noon I was driving home with only the thought of dying in my own bed keeping me going.  So New Year's Eve of 2014 was just about as EPIC of a year as I have ever spent!  In the bathroom every three hours and then in bed by 7:30.  Par-tay! Thankfully, Jacob took off to DJ a dance that night and the kids stayed behind at my brother's house, so I slept quite well once my bowels stopped trying to kill me. Never. Again.


Each of the following ten phrases are actual medical conditions found in the American Medical Association's Journal of Hideous Afflictions.  And each one is quite possible the exact scourge we passed around during the holidays.

10.  "The Itis"
9.  Intestinal plague
8.  Cramptastic Flux
7.  Flaming bowel disorder
6.  Montezuma's avenging assassin
5.  Caca Vesuvius
4.  Acute entrail failure
3.  Grade IV abdominal combustion
2.  Gee, I Wish I Just Had Dysentery
1.  Napalm Guts

P.S.  I neglected to mention officially that on Christmas night, Dave asked JennyEllen to marry him :)

Chapter 3

Chapter Three: The Big Day


After spending Christmas Eve at my parent's house acting out the Nativity and playing a few games, we headed home to open pajamas. This year's choices turned out to be spot on.  The kids love high-waisted clothing, did I ever mention that?

The kids then stayed up to watch a movie.  Until I realized that unless they went to to their rooms to go to sleep, Christmas was never going to come and I would be getting less than 2 hours of sleep.  So I finally kicked them out of the playroom and I thank my lucky stars that they did not remember that leaving a plate of cookies for Santa had been completely overlooked.  Christmas morning was great once again.  Everyone got what they wanted.  Santa even brought Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare for Luke and a new pink guitar for Cindy.

 Luke got dad a coupon book full of chores he could do.  Fortunately for Luke, it did NOT include the promise of giving any sort of foot rub, the thought of which literally makes Luke's stomach turn.

 Soccer stars need the right tools.

Books, Legos, crafts- the kids have a lot of work ahead of them.

After a lazy morning at our house, we meandered over to my parents house to view the aftermath there. It was brutal.  We then finally all headed over to Chris and Molly's house for the rest of the evening.

There was Karaoke in the playroom, and Cindy and Ana dominated everyone at Wits and Wagers. Which makes NO SENSE!

And I got a sweet new profile picture for Facebook with this handsome joker in the U of U outfit. 


Our kids have never been ones to wake us up early on Christmas morning.  I credit this mostly to their intense fear of being killed by their father if they did.  Most years we have started presents around 8am and this year was no different.  Cindy did confess that she woke Luke up at 3:30am just so he could see what they got, to which Luke seemed horrified and slightly annoyed because he would never do something that reckless.  We did have a very good Christmas this year.  Having all of my family in town made it wonderful.  I need to mention here that right after the presents were opened at my parents' house on Christmas morning, Brian suddenly became ill and didn't leave the house for two days.  Well, sucks to be him, because he missed everything! Too bad he was born with pantywaste antibodies, while I on the other hand, was born with antibodies that have individual goatees and eat nails for breakfast.  Or do I?.....


trickeration- What Brian and Kelly have been mastering for years on account of the fact that they have hidden their singing/songwriting talents from everyone!!  I should have known something was up when they moved to Nashville for "school"....

Here is a poorly lit video of Brian and Kelly singing an original tune together.  Is there anything they don't do?

Times Out (Again)

Don't be jealous but I recently did a big makeover in part of my kitchen.  
Just wanted to show everyone the before and after pictures.  
Humblebrag? Nope, just straight up bragging.

It's everything I ever wanted in a kitchen.  I absolutely love it!!  Why did I wait so long??

Chapter Two

Chapter Two: The JennyEllen Has Landed


The now-fiance of Dave, a Ms. JennyEllen Reynolds of Virginia, arrived on Christmas Eve morning, immediately wooing us all with one dozen cupcakes from the world-famous Georgetown Cupcake in Washington DC. Over the next 4 days she would demonstrate to everyone her beauty, great sense of humor, warmth and talent for choosing the perfect gifts (she got me Grumpy Cat stuffs!) Which lead us to have her DNA tested to prove that she was not already, in fact, a Bingham. Happily, she was not, so now she can be.

Cindy has seen every episode available on Netflix of "DC Cupcake", which is the reality show chronicling the day to day adventures of Georgetown Cupcake, so when JennyEllen brought her some of the famous treats, well, she immediately sealed her fate as one of Cindy's favorite people of all time.  All of us had talked to JennyEllen over Facebook, texts or Skype, but this was the first time to meet her in person.  She is a catch.  Marry her, Dave. Marry her now!

Oh, Jacob. Sigh.


'Roger that'- phrase used by cool people and also a totally hip shirt worn by even cooler people (given to them by the coolest of people)

Times Out

Before I go on with Chapter Two, I need to pause to acknowledge the fact that I did make my goal of running/biking/blading 500 miles in 2014.  I officially ended with about 515 miles total, most of which were simply running.  And look who is here to congratulate me, why, it is Grumpy Cat herself!

Thanks, Grumpster :)  I started running at least twice a week at 6am back in June and I am proud to say that I did not miss one time on account of weather, sickness or just plain laziness.  In fact, the only time in six months I just flat out could not run was this past week when, sadly, I was struck down with Intestinal Plague. So young! So much life ahead of me! Fitness goals for 2015 you may ask?  Yet to be determined, but I'm pretty sure it's going to have to something to do with finally switching from ice cream to gelato when topping my waffles every Friday morning.  #tinywins

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014: Chapter One

Remember in high school buying Cliffs Notes so you could completely skip having to read long, boring novels that didn't interest you? Actually, probably not since you continue to read this blog, which is full of long, boring posts that don't interest you. Anywho...

In order to speed things along in my attempt to backblog the last two weeks around here, I proudly present:

Thank you, Sean

(Reasons why I have not blogged in over a week will be explained in Chapters 4 and 5.  
Do not let the fact that there are a Chapter 4 and 5 disappoint/scare/vex and or dishearten you. )  

Chapter One


Two days before Christmas, Luke and Cindy had their very first piano recital. As Cindy had not really been fond of her piano lessons, I was hoping that she would find the spotlight exhilarating and inspiring.  That dream seemed unfulfilled. Luke on the other hand, had to play three piano pieces instead of just two like each of the other 9 children, on account of his giant, heart-melting eyeballs. Each child played magnificently and had obviously learned their pieces well.  Finally, by a great stroke of luck, all of Cindy and Luke's Bingham-side family were in attendance, AND their Grandma Sweeney even watched live via Face Time from the mission home in Scottsdale.   


Cindy seemed nervous, Luke was excited.  I was just happy that each of them had learned enough to play a song with two hands, but continue to feel excruciatingly guilty for only video recording Luke and taking no other pictures because I was trying to live in the moment.  What kind of life advice is that anyway?  Having DeAnne there to watch was an extra treat that made the distance between us all seem non-existant.  Chris' family drove all the way from Riverview just to watch the recital, which helped Cindy feel more pride in her talent, as she does like to impress and get the approval of her cousins Sadie and Ana. The post-recital treats were delicious and were the official start of a glorious, uninterrupted, two week caloric disaster.  Dave's beard was also in attendance.

Exhibit A

"waiting for the flood"- apparently what Luke is doing every time he wears those church pants

chicken wing- placing your hand on your hip when taking photos, something I know nothing about

photobomb of the Divine- see exhibit A

Dang, we look great

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Around the World in 11 and 1/2 Hours

Blogging for a second time this week already? What??  Since I publish my blog books by the year, I am hustling to get some of this stuff in before the end of 2014.  So guess who is about to tell you all about going to Epcot with Luke?  Frank Gifford. I know, totally weird, right?  Okay, not Frank Gifford, it's me.  I will tell you about it.  I went as a chaperon for Luke's 2nd grade field trip to Epcot, which was technically supposed to be a tie-in to their "Christmas Around the World" unit that they do in school.  However, after going around all the countries at Epcot twice and seeing a total of 3 other McKeel Academy students from a total of 12 second grade classes, I am pretty sure we were some of the only people actually attempting to make this day educational.

I have taken the following sub-optimal pictures that I think really convey all we saw and did:

Let's see, we had a brilliant time in England.  We even found the shop that sells every Premier League jersey imaginable. Oh, except ones for Liverpool.  The cheeky shopkeeper told us that because of licensing agreements Disney cannot sell that one.  Rubbish, I tell you!  This Manchester United jersey is for you, Reza!

A lion danced in China...

And Luke discovered that he is the Dragon Warrior.

Luke was obsessed with the model trains that were outside of Germany.  Or was it Norway.  Italy?

There was one drummer drumming at the African outpost...

We ate school bread in Norway...

And Luke got to hit the pinata in Mexico.  Ole!

I did manage to find a person to take a picture of me and the Lukester together.  She took a while to take the picture and never gave me a countdown, so my face was getting tired.  Luke, buddy, you nailed it.

There are only about four actual rides at Epcot, and at the end of the day Luke declared his favorite to be Spaceship Earth (the ride in the giant ball).  Seriously?

A slow moving ride that tells us all about the history of communication?
Gimme, gimme, I need, I NEED!

All I can think of when I ride this ride is the Simpsons episode where they go to Epcot and Lisa describes the "World of Tomorrow" ride (i.e. Spaceship Earth) as "what the people in 1965 thought the world would be like in 1987." Pretty much.  

At the beginning of the ride they take your picture and then at the end of the ride they put it into a little movie about your future.  The first time Luke was so excited he couldn't stand himself.

The second time he did WAY better.

The best part of Spaceship Earth (wait, did I just say there is a "best" part to that ride? And it wasn't getting off at the end?)  was when the car moves past the scene depicting the burning embers of Rome. It even has its own burning scent for the full effect.  The first time we went by that part, Luke furrowed his brow and said, "Something smells like steak sauce." Rome was very saucy, apparently.  

We did manage to get FastPasses to Test Track at the end of the day, which allowed us to ride this two times in a row because of a short wait time anyway.  The last time I rode this I remember it being completely lame. However, major upgrades have been made and I can now give it my full recommendation.  Luke loved designing his car, but apparently going 65mph outside on a brisk night was not as enjoyable to him as it was to me.  

The Finding Nemo ride was very average, but Luke is the most happy go lucky kid ever, so he thought it was just fine.

Other highlights of the day included walking through an almost entirely empty Morocco, drinking honeydew-flavored Coke, hearing the Voices of Liberty a capella group (AMAZING), going in only one gift shop, very incredible fireworks with a truly awe-inspiring grand finale and also enduring only a 45 minute wait to ride on Soarin'.  Luke really loved it and since I only get a little motion sick on that ride, I had fun too.

And, finally, I also ate this Cronut :)