leujin: (Dr. Girlfriend (wtf?))
[personal profile] leujin
Typical fashion for me these days is to just give short bursts of information on facebook or twitter, but I felt the need to put all this up here on LJ since... well, there's kind of a lot to cover, and I just felt like updating.

So. Christmas. It was, as usual, super complicated and stresful, but this year it was even moreso because it was Alyson's first Christmas. That being the case, it was pretty much all about her. We were basically thrown gifts from all directions and all parts of the country for this kiddo, so this Christmas was pretty epic by anybody's standards. I won't bore you with details, suffice it to say she got a LOT of toys. One in particular was kind of amusing, though.

First, a little back story: Alyson will play with pretty much any toy. We give it to her, and she puts it in her mouth (as babies are wont to do). About three months ago, when Alyson was first starting to figure out crawling, Liz bought her a toy that was supposed to help. Basically it's a big inflatable cylinder with a friendly looking cow and a farm scene printed on it. Liz put in front of the baby, and she was TERRIFIED. No other time has she cried out from fear, but something about this toy just freaked her out. So, we got a package from Liz's dad. Lo and behold, one of the gifts for Alyson was this very same toy. We laughed and laughed and laughed some more.

This year we had three Christmases: first with Liz's mom and sister, second with her grandparents, and finally with my mom and sister. Christmas with Liz's family was all pretty low-key (except for the drama instigated by Liz's mom being unneccessarily nosy and paraniod) and gifts for Liz and I were typical fare (clothes, snacks, and toys and clothes for Alyson [probably because none of them really knows us that well and doesn't know what else to get us]).

Driving to Los Alamos wasn't unusual. Alyson was very quiet and well-behaved, the scenery was boring, etc. etc. We arrived in Los Alamos on the 26th and did Christmas with my mom the following day. Typical fashion for her is to go way overboard with toys and games and movies (things we want rather than things we need), which was nice. I FINALLY own Advent Children and Okami thanks to Mom, as well as some other rather nifty doodads. What was fun for me was buying stocking stuff for Liz, because I basically got everything from ThinkGeek. My favorites were a Dalek keychain and a decal for our car that reads "engineered by Firefly."

We saw Tron: Legacy while we were out there. It was in 3D not by choice but by virtue of the fact that the LA theatre decided they needed to show it in 3D. It was shiny, but wholely unneccessary (like the trend of 3D itself). We left Alyson with my aunt for this adventure, and she seemed like she was going to be okay when we left, but unfortunately she was sad the whole time. She didn't bawl uncontrollably, but pretty much just whined and was generally incosollable. We felt bad about it for both my aunt and Alyson. We also got to see Amy, Meg, and Milly and introduce them to Alyson. Amy first since she was leaving that evening. Amy was pretty gaga over the baby, and everybody exchanged a lot of "holy shit, I can't believe you guys are actually parents," which is still something I say of myself pretty regularly.

We made our way back home starting yesterday, and that's where things got pretty hairy. It had started snowing in Los Alamos the day before, and by the time we went to bed there was already at least 4 inches of snow. When we woke up yesterday morning and got on the road it was slow going because the roads were absolute rubbish and apparently didn't get plowed at all. Getting off the hill was a pain, but it seemed pretty clear by Santa Fe, so we weren't too worried.

Oh, what fools we were.

We stopped in Santa Fe briefly to have Liz buy some beading supplies, and unfortunately we stopped for just long enough for the storm to catch up with us. Driving to Clines Corners sucked because it was basically white wash and we were going an average of about 30 mph until we got to just outside of Santa Rosa. We thought we were finally in the clear because the snow stopped and it was just raining, and then our car decided to crap out. I had cruise control on and was going 75 (posted speed limit in NM. Which I love) when suddenly the car slowed WAY down. I turned of cruise and pushed the gas, and it got up to about 65 before the car started shaking violently. We freaked, pulled over, and found a mechanic. Mechanic basically said "oh, your gas is probably frozen," and pretty well shrugged us off (I get the feeling it was a lot of "stupid gringos, why are you wasting my time" going on, but maybe it's just me).

We got back on the road and things seemed to be going fine until we were right outside of Amarillo when the same thing happened, this time Liz was driving. She noticed the RPM seemed to rev way up and it apparently was happening as the car was attempting to shift. We still don't know what's going on, but are both highly skeptical that it's just frozen gas, because that probably would've gone away by Amarillo. Suffice it to say, we're going to get the car checked out.

So, by this time, we had been on the road for almost 9 hours with all the snow and car shenanigans, and typically Amarillo is 5 to 6 hours from Los Alamos, depending on traffic and how fast we drive. We made the decission to stay with Liz's grandparents which is about halfway between Amarillo and OKC, because we really didn't want to end up being on the road for 12 hours. So that happened, we're tired, and we came back home this morning. I'm pretty sure Liz's mom never fed the cats like we asked her to, so we're both pissed about that.

tl;dr - Christmas was rad with lots of rad gifts and awesome people, our car is borked, we're happy to be home.

July 2011

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