Saturday, December 12, 2009

Season's Greetings from the Gross Family!

I'm sure everyone has a friend or relative (or two) that sends the infamous Christmas letter every year. You know the one that highlights every great thing that has happened for their family in the past year? I would just love to receive one that included the messy, even mundane, but usually funny, details of life, too. And since I have procrastinated ordering Christmas cards for so long that I will never get them out in time, I am going to write my version of the Christmas Letter.

Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings from the Gross Family in 2009! We hope your year has been filled with 365 days, 52 weeks, and 12 months, like ours has been. Let us fill you in on all that has happened for us in the last 365/52/12....

We made it through the holidays unscathed. Our tree was dead by the time we put it out to the trash and putting away the Christmas decorations for another year was daunting and a little depressing. However, we trudged on for the year ahead of us.

February came and went without much fanfare. I can't even remember Valentine's Day.

Early in '09 David began being bitten by other kids at school. I think he had seven bites in just one month. Nice.

March brought Andrew's 33rd birthday and a house guest, my friend Adam. We ate too much, drank some beers, and someone even shot a bird off the telephone wire behind our house with a pellet gun. Good times!

Spring also marked David turning 18 months old. It was quite a milestone since we discovered that David is advanced for his age. Yes, he started the terrible two's more than 6 months early! We are so excited that we have already started looking at colleges. We figure at this rate, he'll graduate by 16 years old, that is if he makes it to 3 years.

Summer came and school was out so I got to stay home with David. But, since, like I mentioned earlier, he had started the terrible two's early, this wasn't such a treat. I started sending him to daycare a couple days of week just to give myself a break. We also took some trips this summer. Andrew, David, and I went to the Grand Canyon in June. I took David to the San Diego Zoo in July with a friend and her children. And, the family went back to Northern Arizona in August.

Andrew also brought home a Chug puppy this summer. A Chug is Chihuahua and Pug mix. Her name is Sammy and she was tiny and adorable. I fell in love with her at first. It was when she began to poo and pee on the carpet, chew everything in sight, antagonize our other dog, Sarah, and wake me up VERY early in the morning with her whining that I began to despise her. I also hated it when David found one of her "treasures" on the floor and put his hand in it.

Shortly after the arrival of the new dog and David began spilling drinks and snacks with a vengeance we had tile floors put in our family room. It was the best decision we made in 2009.

In September David turned 2. His 2nd birthday was also the day we adopted him! It was the most wonderful day. Certainly the best day of our lives as a family. We were very happy and friends and family came far and wide to witness the adoption ceremony and later celebrate at a party we held that evening.

After David turned 2, we put him into Cornerstone Preschool. We wanted him to have more structure and academics. We also wanted to send him someplace where the teachers spoke English. Since David wasn't talking very much, we thought it would help. We were right. Go figure. David seemed to adjust to his new school. And, I suppose, to make himself feel more at home, he began to bite. Since he was so used to it from daycare, he must have figured it was what all the cool kids were doing. Andrew and I were called in for a conference about 1 month after he was enrolled. Great.

For Thanksgiving this year we decided to do something different and take a family trip to Disneyland. It was a great opportunity since I received 2 free admission tickets from my 2nd graders at the end of the year. I was very excited to go! We even recruited my mom to join us. It was a great trip except for the endless bumper to bumper traffic from Del Mar to Anaheim, David getting carsick all over himslef around Carlsbad, me forgetting the Disneyland tickets at the hotel, Andrew not allowing me to make the 45 minute round trip to get them, and having to pay about $150 to get in. After the stress induced nausea subsided from forgetting the tickets, I enjoyed the day. My mom even took David back to the hotel in the afternoon so Andy and I could spend some time alone at the park. That was awesome! We made a stop at the San Diego Zoo the next day before heading back to Yuma. A super trip all in all!

Being away for Thanksgiving really threw me off and seemed to put me behind on preparing for Christmas. We only just recently got a tree. It's still outside. I don't have one decoration up aside from the wreath on the door. All the other decorations are in boxes sitting in our carport. I have too few gifts purchased and I have not started on the homemade gifts I plan to give to some.

Good news, though, my dad paid us a visit this month and we got to celebrate his 71st birthday with him. It was a wonderful visit and David just loves him!

Well, that was 2009 for us, folks. I hope you enjoyed this update on our family. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Much love,

Andrew, Lauren, & David

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