Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

“And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight…

‘Tis the season to get flooded with Christmas letters — often a collage of ridiculous bragging about trips, careers, and stories about how their kids are better than everyone else’s.  Well, let’s just get this out of the way upfront, my kid is smarter, more well behaved, and has done more impressive things over the last year than anyone else’s.  As has become tradition now that my last year’s letter was such a success, if I do say so myself, I will be handling the Christmas letter writing duties for the foreseeable future.  I do not expect to match the perfect combination of humor and storytelling mixed in with just the right amount of smart-ass from last year, but I will give it a good ‘ol college try.

I have decided that I would follow with a similar format this year, but using Christmas songs instead of TV shows to describe a few of the things happening in our lives over the past year.

  •  That Spirit of Christmas…Delaney is so excited for the holidays this year.  This is going to be such a fun Christmas!
  •  Away in a Manger...No crib for a bed.  We have upgraded D to “big girl bed”.  Luckily, she thinks practical gifts are cool.
  •  O Christmas Tree…We put up the tree and therefore most of the ornaments are within 3.5’ of the floor.
  •  Silver Bells…I hate this song and that’s the only reason I put it on here.
  • Gee Whiz, It's Christmas…Crystal taught D how to ‘whiz’ on a curb on 4th of July.  I am a proud Father…and husband?
  • Let's Hear It for Mrs. Claus!...Crystal still works for her uncle, and 10 years later I still have no idea what she does!
  • Silent Night…Until Delaney has to potty, has a hangnail, or needs a drink.    Bedtime remains a struggle.
  • Christmas Canon…It looks like a ‘cannon’ shot toys all over our living room every night.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer…Izzy (the dog) isn’t a reindeer, doesn’t have a red nose, and can’t fly, but she’s ours.
  •  I Saw Three Ships…We took a “business” trip to Vancouver B.C. The harbor and scenery were breathtaking.
  •  Sleigh Ride…I’ve continued my daily commute to Omaha this year.  It might be time for a new sleigh. 
  •  A Christmas Long Ago…We celebrated my parents 40th and my grandparents 65th anniversaries.  Pretty Impressive!
  • What Child is This…Crystal is constantly trying to find a piece of herself in Delaney, but the force is strong with this one.
  • I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus…Odd there is no mistletoe at home, but we do have a copy of 50 Shades of Grey.
  • You’re Mean One, Mr. Grinch…Crystal says I am not in the “spirit”, yet here I am writing this letter.  Oh wait…
  • Frosty the Snowman…The “terrible 2’s” have been rough.  I needed a few extra “frostys” to get through this year!
  • Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow… Precipitation? What’s that?  We are hoping the yard survived the drought.
  •  The Little Drummer Boy…If anyone gets Delaney another toy that makes noise, they will have to answer to me.
  •  The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...Not this football season, have you seen my Chiefs?!?
  • White Christmas…Not for the Republicans!

 How could I write this letter without including some ‘Delaney-isms” that make us laugh…

  •  In her version of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”… it goes, “Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life goes down the drain”.
  • She will demand help with everyday tasks, and when we offer help…she yells, “Don’t touch DD!”
  • You ask her if she’s Daddy’s girl…she smiles and replies, “No, Daddy’s a boy!”
  • She poops ‘snakes’ of various sizes.  The funny thing is that “mommy” sized snakes are bigger than “daddy” size.

T      When asking if she has been a good girl this year she answers “no”.  Well, at least she is honest!

Obviously, I had a little too much fun with this letter, but I hope you found it at least slightly entertaining.  Overall, we had a pretty uneventful year here at the Mencke house, but sometimes uneventful isn’t all that bad.  It been the “Year of the Two-Year-Old”, and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.   In all seriousness, we want to wish you a wonderful Christmas and an amazing 2013! 

Love, Craig, Crystal, Delaney, & Izzy Mencke

gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!”—Clark W. Griswold

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Heavy Hearts

As most Americans and parents, our hearts have been heavy for the last week since first hearing of the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I have had a pit in my stomach for a week, and I can't keep my thoughts from wandering back to those families as they have to face the happiest time of year with a huge hole in their hearts!  I cannot begin to imagine the pain they are feeling.  No parent should ever have to endure that loss.  I pray for comfort and peace for all of them right now! 

We have been preparing for the Christmas season, and we have a little girl that is getting very excited!  She still has no idea what's going on, but she knows just enough to know it's going to be awesome!  We can't tell her specifics of our travel plans or visitors until it's the day before or so, or she can't handle the wait!  We have been reading "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" every night this week, and they have been talking about the meaning of Christmas at Holly's.  I'm trying to savor the little moments and conversations.  I'm so excited to see how it all unfolds for's going to be wonderful! 
We were at the mall shopping for my birthday gift a couple weeks ago, when Delaney spotted Santa Claus.  Last year's visit didn't go well at all, so I wasn't pushing her.  She said she wanted to go see him, and there was only one person in line!  We went for it, and she did a great job!  She hopped right up on his lap and listened intently.  He told her she needed to listen to her Mommy & Daddy, pick up her toys, and go to sleep at night when we say it's time!  He knows her sooo well, he had me believing!  What a great Santa!?!
We busted out the new Christmas PJs one night, and Delaney got SOOOO excited!  I told her to smile, and this is what I got!  Some of her family members have mentioned a resemblance of the Grinch with that grin! 
Delaney loves candy canes, so she got a special treat after lunch one Saturday a couple weeks ago!  Girlfriend was in heaven!
Don't let this angelic picture fool you, this little one is still walking a fine line between naughty & nice.  December has brought the terrible twos back out in full force! 
We did a family bake day last Sunday, so we could take some treats to our neighbors!  Delaney was a great assistant with the sprinkles! 
Much to our surprise, we got a treat on our doorstep shortly after delivering some treats of our own! 
Last night, we got our first snowfall of the season.  We have been in blizzard warnings for the past 18 hours.  We were lucky compared to some, we didn't lose power and we all made it home safe last night.   Delaney can't wait to go play in the snow tonight!  We are going to get that White Christmas after all!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Catch up & Eddie

Wow, I've really gotten behind.  We last checked in before Thanksgiving.  We had a glorious long weekend full of family, food, football, shopping, and laughs.  I didn't take many pictures this year (Mom fail).  We spent time with all of Delaney's grandparents and great grandparents!  She loved all the spoiling!
We were all pretty exhausted by the time we came home.  Delaney slept the whole way!  I just wish she was a better sleeper when we traveled.  Actually, I just wish she was a better sleeper in general.

We came home and started getting ready for Christmas!  We set up Delaney's little tree first.  She is so excited by everything "Christmas" this's already so much fun!
Craig channeled his inner Clark Griswold last Saturday and took care of the outside decorations! We've had a few messages from the does look a little a runway up our driveway! 
Then, Santa came a little early and brought Delaney her new big girl bed.  She has been rapidly outgrowing her toddler bed, so we took advantage of a Cyber Monday deal.  She loves her new bed, maybe a little too much!  She's been partying into the wee hours...
Her new big girl quilt came just a couple days ago, and it was as if she won the lottery! I think you could give this girl a box of rocks, and she'd be ecstatic!
We debated for a long time whether or not to start the Elf on the Shelf tradition this year, or wait another year.  At the last minute, we decided to give it a shot and Eddie the Elf showed up on our doorstep.  The first night, Eddie found a perch on the living room curtain rod, so he had a bird's eye view of all the happenings.  Delaney doesn't quite understand the "No Touching of the Elf" rule, so I think Eddie is going to have to stick with "higher" viewpoints!
Last night, the second night Eddie became "Super Eddie" and decided to "fly" from the living room ceiling fan with a little cape!  Delaney thought he was pretty silly when she found him this morning!
 Photo: Eddie the nice elf...Night 2
Craig also having a little "fun" with Eddie.  For more X-Rated Eddie the Elf shenanigans find Craig on Facebook!  You can also find Eddie--the nice version--on Instagram, you can follow me at cmencke4.  Until the next time...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Catch up via Pictures

Delaney was all smiles this night at dinner time.  We've been enjoying a little down time here lately before the hustle and bustle of the holidays kick in!
Delaney and Daddy snuggling up on a lazy Sunday.  You can't see it all that well, but she picked her own ensemble this day.  It was pretty "creative"! 
Then, we came down with a tummy bug.  She fought it off and on for about a week, but the worst was about 10 days ago!  Poor peanut wasn't herself at all!
We all did a lot of napping while Delaney was sick.  Izzy of course naps all day every day, so she was grateful to have company!
Luckily, she snapped out of it and was back to her crazy self before too long!
Which was perfect timing because cousin Chase was coming for a visit!  We only have a short time for it to be "OK" for them to bath together, so we try to take advantage of it while we can!
Jess & Nick went to the Husker game, so we got some quality Chase time in while they were gone!  I love that little munchkin!
Delaney's newest trick is trying to dress herself, and she usually asks me to take her picture after she gets the shirt over her head.  Here's last night's edition!
We will be heading north for the Thanksgiving Holiday/Weekend for some much needed family time!  We have so many amazing blessings to be thankful this year!  We wish all of our a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 5, 2012

HaLlOwEeN 2012

This year we had a little M-I-N-N-I-E M-O-U-S-E at our house!  After much deliberation and debating between Minnie and Spiderman, Minnie won out and Grandma Bryant went to work with her sewing machine!  Yes, Grammy B. made Delaney's little red dress!  Isn't it adorable!?!  We also had a little help with a donation of some mouse ears from one of Auntie Jess's old dance costumes!  I think it all came together perfectly!
 She LOVED her costume!  I expect she will continue to love her costume for quite some time!  She was so excited to wear it all day at Holly's, and then come home and put it on again after dinner for trick or treating!  She got a taste of it from Boo at the Zoo, but I don't think she had ANY idea what we were in for! 
 We started off tagging along with our neighbor friend Greyson.  She did pretty good keeping up, but Greyson was anxious to catch up with his buddies!  He lasted for quite a few houses before he took off, and left us to our own devices!  We managed just fine on our own.
Aren't they cute waiting so patiently for their treats!  Delaney managed to say "Trick or Treat" and "Thank You" at about  80% of the houses.  After every stop she would turn around and say, "We have to fill it up, Mommy."  Meaning, we have to keep going until her little pumpkin bag was full of treats!  Eventually, she started to tire out, and we made the "U-turn" for home.  We hit the last few houses on the way!
We did our best, and Delaney got a sample a few of her prizes after we got home!  She was one happy girl!  I lost count of how many she had that night, but we've been trying to limit it since thing to two pieces per day (since she's two)!  We'll need a more sophisticated system in a couple years!
Neither Delaney or Daddy were too photogenic by this time of the night, but I wanted a picture of them anyway!  As you can probably guess, both of them have their mouths full of candy!  We took advantage of the beautiful weather and started a new tradition this year.  Craig set up the fire pit in the driveway, and some of our neighbors came over with their bowls of candy to hang out.  The Trick or Treaters hit the jackpot when they stopped at our pad.  They had four bowls of candy to pick from for most of the night!
Since I'm usually the photographer, here's proof that I was there too!  In fact, while Craig was handing the candy at home, I was Delaney's co-pilot for trick or treating!  We were both exhausted by the time we made it home!  We had a lot of fun this year!  These holidays seem to keep getting better and better as we start more traditions and she understands more!  It makes me look forward to the upcoming holiday season!  Hope you all had as much fun last week as we did! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Fun Weekend

We had a great weekend full of family, football, food, and fun!  My parents, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew came to town for the Nebraska game!  Hotel d' Mencke was open for business!  It's harder for all of us to be together these days, so it was so nice to have a whole weekend with everyone!  Chip and Lauren came over to hang out too both Friday & Saturday night, so the whole damn fam was there!  We even managed to sneak away for a little adult time tailgating Saturday afternoon before the big Husker win!  Delaney and Chase had a great time playing together!  It's so fun watching these too grow up together!  Of course, we had a few battles over certain toys, but all and all they got along great!  Chase is at the stage where you can just watch him learn.  Every day he learns new words and figures things out!  I even think he called me "Auntie" a few times Saturday night!   It was sad to see everyone leave yesterday, but I was so thankful for some quality time with everyone after a rough week!  Can't wait to do it again!

A family of fans!
Check out these Husker cuties!

After everyone left yesterday, we took a little downtime for naps and the Chiefs game!  After supper, we decided to let Delaney get a little creative with her pumpkin!  We will post another picture in her costume with her masterpiece, but she had a lot of fun with it!  I think it turned out pretty cute too!
She started out cautiously with her little paint brushes!

Then, she figured out her hands were much more effective!
This was a little payback to our favorite neighbors (on the East Side of the street), who stole and painted two of our pumpkins last week!  We returned the favor last night!  I think that's Delaney's sneaky face!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bedtime Battles

As I'm sure I've mentioned a time or two recently, bedtime is no fun at our house these days and hasn't been for months.  However, we have had a fairly good week.  She fell asleep Tuesday night within 30 minutes of going to bed (this is a record, as she hasn't fallen asleep that fast in months!).  Wednesday night was about an hour, but that is still better than her usual 2 hours plus of shenanigans.  The best part is she has sleep all through the night, and even slept in a little bit in the mornings (meaning past 7 a.m.).  I was beginning to think we had maybe turned a corner back to a normal sleep pattern...WRONG!

Last night, we put her to bed about 8:30 (on the later side of normal).  We have had a few neighbors over the past few Thursdays to enjoy Thursday Night Football as we are the only ones with the NFL network.  We all provide something to eat, and it's a good time.  Every other week, we have put Delaney to bed when it's time, and she's fallen asleep within a reasonable amount of time without much intervention.  Last night, I did the whole routine, put her to bed, put up the gate in her door, and went back downstairs.  A few minutes later, I hear a thumb, and go up to investigate.  She had kicked the gate down, and was standing on it with one leg in a ninja like pose.  I put up the gate, made a few threats of taking toys and blankies out, and went back downstairs.  It was quiet for a while...

Craig checked on her, and she was awake, but in bed.  Still quiet.  I went upstairs a few minutes later to put the dessert back in the fridge, and I discover my naughty little girl...bedroom light on, sitting in her rocking chair reading "Click, Clack, Moo", all of her stuffed animals out of their tub strewn about the floor, happy as a lark.  I asked her what she was doing, and she just looked at me all innocently without a word.  I went downstairs to summon her father to handle this, as I was about to lose my cool.  We return upstairs to see her still reading her book like it was no big deal!  It was one of those times, when I really wish I would have snapped a picture before the moment had passed, and it was adorable.  It will be one of those stories I look back on and laugh, even though I was less than pleased at the time.  

After we made her pick up her toys and put away her books, she went back to her bed and fell asleep shortly thereafter.  She even slept in until 8:15 this morning, so that late night reading must have really worn her out!  Here's hoping it's a more restful weekend at our house!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

PuMpKiN pAtCh 2012

 Last Saturday we continued the tradition we started with Delaney was just 6 months old.  We made our annual trip out to the Roca Berry Farm Pumpkin Patch.  As always, a great time was had by all!
 Delaney school Craig on some proper goat etiquette and chicken speak!  She was timid with the animals for all of 10 seconds, and then she had a ball! 
 She had fun exploring all buildings and displays!  I think Daddy may have to build this little girl a playhouse for her backyard!?!
The bounce pillows provided a lot of entertainment for the whole family!  Delaney was hesitant at first, but as soon as Daddy slipped off his shoes, GAME ON!
 They bounced and laughed, I watched and worried.  They had a great time!
 Oh, how I wish Delaney's eyes would have been opened for this picture. 
 After the bounce pillows, Delaney & Daddy took a trip around the dirt track!
 Did I mention Grandma & Papa Farm came down to enjoy the festivities with us?  Delaney encouraged Papa to take a trip on the track with Daddy!  Only Delaney could have gotten Papa on that contraption...
 Honestly, those boys had even more fun and us girls laughing at them!
 The hunt for the perfect pumpkin commenced.  Delaney wanted a really, big one...and a little one.
I'm definitely out of my league in a pumpkin patch...these are hard-core experts here, and it took them a little time to find the "perfect pumpkin", but they did and it IS perfect!
See, I was there, just behind the camera all day!  We all had a great time and came home with quite a few pumpkins!  I'm hoping some pumpkin painting and carving will be next on the Fall Fun Agenda!  Happy Fall Y'all!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Delaney Jo-2.5

Our little peanut is now 2.5, and boy has she changed over the last 6 months:
  • Height:  38.5" (off the charts), Weight:  36lbs (off the charts), BMI:  17 (perfect) expected, she's still a big girl that's bigger than most all kids her age.  The doctors say that she's perfect, and it's nothing to worry about...especially, since Daddy is 6'5" and both her Papas are over 6'0".  She's going to be tall.
  • As the season changes we are transitioning into new clothes, size 4T, and new shoes, size 8.  We actually need it to start being cooler as her warm-weather clothes are almost embarrassingly small!  She has started having an opinion on what she's wearing.  This is a fun addition to our morning routine!  I try to be as flexible as I can and let her creativity shine through when practical.    I'm sure this will be a battle that will last years...
  • We are fully potty trained, with a few accidents few and far between!  We're still working on the night time dryness...maybe by the time she's 3!  We also need to transition out of the rewards for successful #2 trips!
  • We have transitioned to her big girl bed, and we are still working out the kinks.  Her stubbornness really shines at bedtime.  She takes on average an hour to fall asleep at night, wakes up in the middle of the night, and is up for the day as soon as our alarms go off!  It's wearing on all of us to say the least!  
  • Her favorite foods are goldfish crackers, pasta, chicken nuggets, blueberries, grapes, kiwi, cheese, rice, and milk!  Meats (specifically beef & pork) are a battle, but usually with some bribery or ketchup we can get her to eat a few bites!  (Obviously, she's not hurting for food, so this really shouldn't be such a struggle!)
  • She loves to read and sing songs.  She has picked up the words of most of our lullabies, and has started singing along! It's quite entertaining, but she won't perform for others yet. She is getting better at quietly reading books on her own, which is a nice addition to playtime! 
  • She doesn't watch a lot of TV, but her current favorites are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Curious George, ELMO, and football!  The girl loves her some football!  She gets a little confused on what team we're cheering for when, but she does like to watch!
  • Delaney prefers Spiderman over Princesses, and it was up for serious discussion for this year's Halloween costume.  In the end, Minnie Mouse has won out, but for a few weeks I thought we'd have a little Spiderman with a tutu running up and down the street! 
  • She has started really enjoying coloring with both crayons and markers!  She is very proud of her artwork she brings home from Holly's, and runs into show Daddy every time!
  • She has started "imaginative play" with herself.  She talks to her toys, tells stories, and sings.  It's so fun to be a fly on the wall when she doesn't know it and listen to her!   One of these days I'll bust out the video camera and records this!
  •  She is still a challenge in all aspects!  She is incredibly stubborn, sassy, strong, and opinionated!  She definitely has "only-child" syndrome, and needs to work on quite a few things before our family grows!  She does turn into a little shy thing in new places with lots of people, which is good & bad! 
  • Discipline is still a constant struggle at our house!  She doesn't like not getting her way (who does?) and makes it quite difficult to accomplish certain things!  Time outs are rarely effective, but once in a while we have a breakthrough!  
  • She loves to be outside.  She is really getting the hang of her tricycle, and can actually make it go most of the time!  She has even tolerated the helmet we got for her for such activities!  She also really enjoys sidewalk chalk art, especially when she can tell her Daddy what to draw!  She really is quite bossy!
So, there you have it...Delaney Jo at 2.5!  While she does frustrate and challenge us every day, we still love her to pieces and wouldn't trade a minute of this for the world!  No matter how big she gets, she's always our tiny, little peanut that showed up to this party called life a month too early!  She smart, funny, gorgeous, and stubborn, and we wouldn't have it any other way!  We love you D!  

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