Thursday, December 15, 2005

Pancho Clos

Meet Pancho Clos. He is Santa Claus' cousin who lives in the South Pole. Although he normally does not bear gifts or toys, he does carry tons candies and spreads the message of goodwill. Instead of a sleigh or reindeers, Pancho Clos rides a cart pulled by burros (donkies).

Both Santa Claus and Pancho Clos work very close together on Christmas Eve. Those places Santa Claus is unable to take his sleigh, Pancho Clos is able to reach easily. And those places that don’t permit livestock on the road, Santa Claus is able to sneak bye overhead.

Pancho Clos originated through a song by Cuco Sanchez. The original story was written in Spanish by Jesse Reyes from Lubbock, Texas.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Christmas Lights

Every year fathers around the country have the daunting task of climbing onto the roof and hang Christmas lights. I was no exception. Not that my wife told me to get on the roof, but because it is something expected from every man to do. Machismo? Probably. But for me it goes back to family tradition.

My dad use to go up on our one-story house roof every Christmas to string lights. My mom would stand outside with me and instruct my dad on how to properly position the lights—the bulbs had to be pointed outwards. And while my dad was putting the lights up, my mom would prepare us a delicious dessert—sometimes a German chocolate cake or pineapple upside-down cake.

There was one year when my dad decided to staple the lights. One thing he learned from that experience was that it was not such a good idea. A few years later he decided to get me involved. I was a young teen who didn’t mind climbing onto the roof. Fear was not even a thought. Nana, my grandmother, however, saw things differently. I remember hearing her cursing my dad for making me get on the roof, but, at the end, she would congratulate only me for the beautiful accomplishments.

While I was up on the second story roof of the house I saw my wife and son in the front yard.  My wife was horrified. My little boy was all smiles as he yelled and pointed at me, “dad”. Little did he know that I was a bit shaky up on the roof carefully putting weight on the roof to avoid a slide off the roof.

Although I probably won’t make him get onto the second story roof, I hope to enjoy stringing the Christmas lights outside with him and make it our family tradition.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

WARNING: Graphic Poop Story Ahead

Today was spent preventing our son from eating and drinking some of his favorite pleasures—milk and cheerios. He has a stomach virus.

Thursday night I noticed that his poop was looser than usual and lighter than normal. Probably it was the many cheerios and animal crackers I fed him during our day stuck at home (see yesterday’s blog). However, Friday’s poop seemed to be back to normal.

Last night I prepared us spaghetti. I found what looked to be a good sauce by Classico called “Classico Four Cheese”. I added some oregano and basil to the meal for flavor. Although the meal turned out delicious, my wife and son broke out in what resembled hives.

This morning the stomach virus finally attacked him. At first I thought maybe he was having a very bad allergic reaction to the Classico dinner, but after three other episodes I knew it was a virus.

So, all day we’ve had him on the B-R-A-T diet. The sad thing is that he wants to eat what we eat. He doesn’t want the rice mixed with banana and apple juice. He wants the H-E-B honey mesquite roasted rotisserie chicken.

Hopefully, he’ll be back to his normal eating habits tomorrow.

Friday, December 9, 2005

How Many Days Until Christmas

It hit me on Wednesday, while I was driving home with my little boy and the precipitation on my windshield was turning to ice, that Christmas is just a few days away. What makes this revelation worse is that I still have not done my Christmas shopping. Although the Christmas list is relatively short, I am still without ideas of what do get.

Austin had a major ice storm on Wednesday night that prevented many from going to work or school the following day. So, my son and I were one of the many who couldn’t leave home because everything was iced.

After about two o’clock, we finally made it outdoors. Since we couldn’t do much of anything, and since Christmas is just a few days away, this became a perfect opportunity for Christmas shopping. We dressed in our heaviest jackets, got in the car, and proceeded to escape the ever-building cabin fever.

Few motorists were on the road, which is always pleasant. But my curiosity of the close-to-empty roads came to an end when we got to the Wal-Mart down the road. Everyone—and I mean everyone—was at Wal-Mart. The aisle in the electronics department was impassable. The baby department was packed too. And forget going through the toys department; there were kids running around and parents chasing after them.

The checkout lines seemed endless. Although the Christmas music from the store’s intercom plays to entertain the customers while they shop or wait in extensively long lines, the tunes were often interrupted with “price check needed,” or “customer assistant needed,” or “cleanup needed,” or kids crying and screaming because they didn’t get the toy the wanted. And while we wait, I was debating whether or not my son needed another toy car.

By the time we reached the cashier, my son had thrown the toy car he was happily playing with overboard. At that point, I realized he indeed did not need another toy car.