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Monday, January 26, 2004

Teddy's Birthday!

Teddy: Two days ago, was the anniversary of THE most important date in all of history... Spaulding: ...if you happen to be a fan of Teddy or Daddy! Teddy: Two days ago, Daddy and I became a whoooooooole year older! Spaulding: January 24th is Teddy and Daddy's birthdays! Teddy: Mommy remembers why she bought me, but not exactly when, other then just a little while after Daddy's birthday, so we have chosen to celebrate my birthday on the same day as Daddy's! I'm almost as old as Daddy! Spaulding: Wellllllllllll, Daddy turned 57 and Teddy turned 2, so they're almost the same age! Teddy (looking at his big brother with pure joy in his eyes): AND, I'm catching up to being your age too! Spaulding: That's true! Three days ago, I was three times as old as you and now I'm only two times as old as you! Eventually, we'll be the same age! ::::::::::::Both nod their heads in agreement, marveling at this scientific fact.:::::::::::::: Teddy: With so much going on around here all the time, sometimes we can make a great deal out of celebrating birthdays, and sometimes they are just quiet little celebrations! Spaulding: Now that the holidays have been over for a while... Teddy: ...and, although it's snowed occasionally, it's not always good snow.... Spaulding: ...and, with Daddy being so sick so often, we need good excuses to have some fun... Teddy: ...and because my big brother is the bestest brother in the whoooooooooole world... Spaulding (taking the time needed for the blush to run its course): ...and because I came up with the great idea--we decided to celebrate Daddy and Teddy's birthday by renting Dunkin Donuts for four hours in the middle of the night on January 24th/25th from midnight to 4 a.m.! Teddy: Because we drink so much Dunkin Donut coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee... Spaulding: "We" meaning Daddy, Teddy, me, Lady, Valentine, and Axlerod... Teddy: ...the kids are too young to drink coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee, so they drink NiHi... Spaulding: ...we used to drink mainly Starbuck's Sumatra, but, for some reason, Daddy's treatment is making his tummy beary sensative, so now we drink the milder Dunkin Donuts for the first part of the week and have one mug of Sumatra at the end of the week... Teddy: Anyway, because we drink so much Dunkin Donut coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee... Spaulding: ...just for us, and just for this one time, Dunkin Donut broke their rule of not ever renting out the place for parties and special occasions, to let us have our party there in the middle of the night! Teddy: They're usually open 24 hours a day, so to close up for that brief time was beary special! Spaulding: They also gave us free reign of the place, since they do their daily clean up at 4 a.m., and that means they cover up the donuts, dough and extra stuff... Teddy: ...like frosting, fillings and jimmies... Spaulding: ...and then they just hose the whole place down, watching all the dirt, grease and spilled jam swirl down the big drain in the middle of the floor! Teddy: They were even nice enough to let me do the squirting, since it was my birthday! Spaulding: Now I didn't get this BRILLIANT idea until two days before his birthday, so, although we invited all of our Beary Buddies online to come... Teddy: ...as well as Petey, the pigeon, Sammy, the squirrel, all of their families, our neighbors downstairs and the Need-to-Be-Adopted Bears in the basement... Spaulding: ...the only ones who saw the post were Babybear and his big family and Mawson and his big family! Teddy: ONLY! That makes for a beary big group! Spaulding: For a change though, because it was his birthday too, we also invited Daddy... Teddy: ...and Mommy! Spaulding: ...but he didn't feel up to it, so we've promised something special when he feels better! Teddy: We're hoping for a vacation, but it depends on what's happening then! Spaulding: BUT, we did have a beary good time! Teddy: Spaulding forgot that The Royal Rumble was in Philly, and the announcers on Smackdown! said it was supposed to be on Saturday night, Januray 24th, which was the same day as my birthday party! Spaulding: I thought it was supposed to be on January 25th, but since we promised to take the kids, I couldn't break my promise, so we went before Teddy's party, planning to have Axlerod stop time, in between, so we could nap and enjoy some time with Mommy and Daddy! Teddy: We did go the whole mile to the Wachovia Center, but no one was there for The Royal Rumble! Spaulding: It WAS on Sunday, January 25th, so we went back last night, but still had time to enjoy Teddy's party, nap and visit with Mommy and Daddy! Teddy: Because Daddy feels better towards the end of the week, Spaulding, Mommy and Daddy decided to celebrate our birthdays on Sunday, in hopes that Daddy could truly enjoy it and think of something he'd like to have for dinner! I didn't find out until Sunday morning, when everyone, except Daddy, showed me the card we would give him and what we made for him! I just thought the party was my birthday present! Spaulding (in his usual loud whisper): MOMMY HELPED ME MAKE TEDDY'S PRESENT THE NIGHT BEFORE HIS BRITHDAY, AND THEN HELPED ME MAKE DADDY'S PRESENT! DADDY AND TEDDY WERE RIGHT NEXT TO US, BUT THEY THOUGHT WE WERE MAKING A PRESENT FOR THE OTHER ONE! ::::::::Teddy is startled by this secret, but grins with delight when he realizes how nicely he was fooled.:::::::::::: Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: They MADE me a beary handsome bracelet that says "TEDDY" on it, and my birthday card had The Rock on it! How cool is that?! Spaulding: And we gave Daddy a special magical key chain that we made and it had "Daddy" on it! Teddy: It's special because Spaulding made it all by himself! Spaulding: It's magical, because it unlocks napergy even if we aren't right next to Daddy AND it gives out our love every time he looks at it! Teddy: Mommy's presents weren't as magical, but still, Daddy liked them! Spaulding: And she's STILL waiting for the gift certificate to come, that took her 16 months of reading advertisements online to get enough points to get! Teddy: But Daddy knows it's coming, and, he might even feel better by the time it gets her, so he can enjoy spending it! Spaulding: But, back to the birthday party! Teddy: Snoopy brought the lampshade, but we all took turns wearing it to play Marco Polo! Spaulding: Axlerod, Proffessor Sigmund Furred, and Rocky tried to s'plain how Teddy and I aren't really catching up in age, but their lecture was spoiled when Scotland, the Brave, flicked a jimmy at Jingles, but it landed on Rocky's horn, making everyone, including Rocky (whew!) laugh! Teddy: I'm glad he laughed, cuz you don't wanna make a rhino angry! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: There was a HUGE vat of grape jam that the beary little stuffies... Teddy: ...like Dee, Ding, Krismis, Kwalla and Koowla, Tiny Red, Scotland the brave, and Amy were skating on, just using their soft paws and feet for skates... Spaulding: ...but Rumples wanted to join in too... Teddy: ...and most of us didn't know what would happen next, or we would have stopped him... Spaulding (with a gleam of mischief in his eyes): ...maybe... Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: ...but when Rumple climbed onto the skating rink, it became a swimming pool of grape jam! Spaulding: Everyone fell in!!! Teddy: I thought it would take all the stuffed doggies weeks to clean up all those who fell in! Spaulding: I thought Rumples was going to eat his way out of that vat! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: Again, Axlerod, Proffessor Furred and Rocky tried to s'plain about water mall-lick-cools, hyper, hyper, hyper...something in other, that stops small stuff from falling in, but not big stuff!!! Spaulding: I thought I understood for a moment, until I remembered it was grape jam, not water!!!! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: Jingles was there, and so beary pretty too, but she showed us how nice she was too! Spaulding: After getting permission from all of the Mommies... Teddy: ...and all the Mommies joined in the fun too... Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: She started a make-over party in the kitchen! Teddy: She brought the powdered sugar, strawberry jam, blueberry and grape dough, and green frosting together, to show all the gals how to use them as make-up! Spaulding: I didn't think Lady could look any better then she always is! Teddy: And Valentine was so, so, so BEARY Beautiful! Spaulding: BUT, the kids ended up putting too much on and looked like clowns! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: Boy, it's good to be able to laugh out loud now! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: We didn't want to hurt their feelings or embarass them, so we smiled with the only smile a loving parent can give, then showed them how the stainless steel cabinet doors can be used like mirrors! Teddy: Thankfully, they took it well, immediately coming up with skits in their new clown faces, like how many clowns fit onto a donut! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: They were beary good clowns too! Teddy: Ever notice how quickly time flies when you're having fun?! Spaulding (nodding in solemn agreement): You'd think it would be even more time, since Axlerod, Rumples and the older stuffies can stop or slow down time too! Teddy: Maybe, we just all became keenly aware of the need for a nap that ended the party! Spaulding: Between falling into the vat of grape jam and finger...ummmm, PAW painting with different color frosting on the walls, you'd think you would have had a bigger challenge in cleaning up! Teddy (with a sheepish grin): Stuffed doggies aren't the only ones who like to lick up sweet things! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: Beary Buddies had to wait for you to clean up, but I'm glad we invited them over for a nap before heading home! Teddy: After the problems we had from celebrating the New Year all around the world, we discovered that it's beary important to be well rested before flying home after a big night out! Spaulding: I'm glad Mom put all her sewing material down in the basement! It made great beds for Beary Buddies! Teddy: I can't believe we all fit in the basement! Spaulding: It was so crowded that Dusty, Frosty, and Pinky ended up having one of the bestest places to nap... Teddy: ...on top of the clothes in the dryer right after the dryer finished drying them! Spaulding: So nice and beary warm! We should try that after going out and playing in the snow! Teddy: But the clothes Mommy made us, and the magical clothes Valentine and Lady made us, are so beary warm, I'm never cold after coming in out of the snow! Spaulding: True, but it's still a great place to nap! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: Anyway, we did get to go see The Royal Rumble last night, and we'll have to tell about that in our next journal entry! Spaulding: Some of it was good, and some was beary bad! Teddy: Yeah, but...(he puts his paw to his mouth and blushes) Whoops! Almost told what happened already! Guess it's nap time! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: Soooooooo, until next time...

Monday, January 19, 2004

It's JUST a GAME!

Spaulding: Well, they did it AGAIN! Teddy: It's so beary hard to be a Philadelphia Eagle fan! Spaulding: Harder still to be an Eagle PLAYER! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: We could have won, if we knew how much to pay the referees! Spaulding: We counted three times that the refs simply didn't see penalties! Teddy: OR, intentionally didn't see Panther's breaking the rules! Spaulding: The time that hurt us the most was the three-seconds-after-the-whistle-blew hit on Donavan McNabb, our quarterback, that hurt his ribs enough to eventually knock him out of the game! Teddy: The most obvious one was the time our player got called for Face Mask, but the ref didn't see that BOTH players were face masking each other at the same time! Spaulding: AND THEN, some of our players simply forgot how to do their jobs! Teddy: Duece Staley! Duece Staley, of all people, MISSED a pass. He just simply didn't catch it for no particular reason! Amazing!!! Spaulding: He's now officially a free agent. He thinks management already has him on the auctioning block. I wonder if that had anything to do with how he played?! Teddy: Duece Staley MISSED a pass! Unbelievable! Spaulding: Daddy wants Coach Reid to fire the whole team and start from scratch! Teddy: Mommy doesn't want to care even if they make it to the playoffs again next year! Spaulding: That one silly fan screamed at the TV camera that "The Eagles ruined my WHOLE LIFE!" Teddy: Some guy was crying! Spaulding: Do you think that was to get on TV?! Teddy: I sure hope so! It seems silly to get THAT upset over a simple ball game! It's JUST a GAME, Philadelphians! Get a grip! Spaulding: The players accepted it quickly. Teddy: I don't know who those guys were out of their football uniforms, but they seemed to have the right idea-- Spaulding: They were going home to spend some time with their wives and children! Teddy: I bet they needed their Teddy Bears too! So many upset people over a GAME!!!! Spaulding: Yeah, if they have Teddy Bears, the Teddy Bears will hug them and remind them that they still have one of the funniest jobs in the whooole world-- Teddy: ..to PLAY a GAME and make lots and lots of money doing it! Spaulding: It's just like us playing Jeopardy! Teddy (with wholehearted agreement): Yeah! The same thing! It's just a GAME! Yeesh! Spaulding: It did prove something that Mommy said when that guy died last week! Teddy: Tugger? Spaulding: Yeah! (Mommy Note: 1980-1981 was a special time for Mommy and Daddy. They got married the same day the Phillies clenched the eastern division pennant, and were home from their honeymoon in time to watch the Phillies go on to win the World Series. The scene etched on anyone in the Delaware Valley area--the area in and around Philadelphia, PA--was the last pitch of the last game of that series. People around here still remember that the batter was Willie Wilson from the Kansas City Royals. Mommy remembers him, because she kept his stats when he played baseball for the Summit HillToppers at Summit H.S. in Summit, NJ in 1974, right before he was signed for $50,000 a year to play in the farm team for the Royals. Anyway, the pitcher became one of Philadelphia's most loved celebrities, Tug-Tugger to his fans--McGraw, who struke Willie Wilson out, jumped up and down with his arms straight up in the air, was jumping to homeplate after the strike out, when he suddenly jumped facing third base! On third base was one of the best third basemen of all times, Michael Jack (Mike) Schmidt, who promised Tugger that he would run to pitcher's mound the second Tugger won the game for the Phillies and jump on top of him! Tugger faced third base in preparation for that jump, and sure enough, the photo in the local paper the next day showed Mike flying in the air onto a group of Phillies, as if he were joining a mosh pit, and the only sign that Tugger was there was Tuggers arm next to Mike Schmidt! Oh, the very next season for football--1980 -1982-- the Eagles actually made it all the way to the SuperBowl--the first time ever--and last time! Of course, we could tell by the stunned awe on their faces as they came out onto the field that The Raiders would win, and they did, but the Eagles at least made it to the SuperBowl that one time. Anyway, back to Tugger. If the name Tug McGraw sounds familar, but not as the name of a baseball pitcher, he also happens to be Tim McGraw, the country singer's father, and, of course, therefore being Faith Hill's father-in-law. Unfortunately, last Spring season, as Tugger was down in Florida with our Phillies, he suddenly got sick, was rushed to the hospital and found out that he had a brain tumor. Despite having John's Mom and brother die from brain tumors, being blindly optimistic most of the time, I assumed, as did the whole city, that when he got out of the hospital minus one tumor that he would be fine. He was for half a year, but died last weekend at his son's house in TN. The newscasters all reminde us of his favorite saying that seemed to be the mantra for that glorious season in 1980--"You Gotta Believe"--and seemed to suggest if we all live by that it will be a prophecy. Tugger died at the young age of 56! If anyone could conquer cancer by beliving in "You Gotta Believe" it would have been him. Fortunately, even though sometimes it doesn't seem "fortunately," God is in control of the universe and, no matter what we think that is considered positive or negative thinking, he works all things out his way, not Man's way. OK, back to Teddy and Spaulding, who are giving me that "are you done YET?" look! LOL) Teddy and Spaulding: Done, Mommy? ::::::::::Mommy sheepishly smiles and nods her head.:::::::::::::::: Teddy: The Phillies winning the World Series happened RIGHT before we were born! Spaulding (nodding in agreement): Obviously a whole area of the country "You Gotta Believe"ing didn't make the Eagles win on Sunday! Teddy: Even though we weren't born yet in 1980, we liked Tugger too! We're praying for his family, cuz we know how horrible it must be to lose your Daddy! Spaulding (nodding in agreement again): Then again, this IS Philadelphia! It seems this area has two mindsets! We always think our teams are going to win the championship game every year AND... Teddy: ...we always KNOW, every year, that they will choke or just plain be lousy and disappoint us again! Spaulding: You know what's weird? Teddy: What? Spaulding: The rest of the world isn't like that! Teddy: Hmmmmmmm, who's right and who's wrong?! Spaulding: We're right! We're right when we say... Both: It's JUST a ball GAME, Yeeeeeeeeeeesh! Kehehehehehehe Teddy: Soooooooo, until next time...

Sunday, January 18, 2004

A Bad Snow Day!

Teddy: We now get beary excited when we hear "SNOW!" Spaulding: The word makes Mommy and Daddy groan, but we like it! Teddy: Which reminds me of something Daddy said that I don't understand yet! Spaulding: Which? He says so many things we don't understand. Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: He said that once peoples, who have always hated snow as adults, turn 50 years old... Spaulding: Can you imagine being 50?! Teddy (shaking his head in awe also): ...that you can't even see snow as pretty on the gorund! Spaulding: Wow! I guess that shows how old 50 is! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: Mommy still thinks snow is pretty when it first falls, and she doesn't like snow?! Spaulding: We'll have to see if she hates it even falling in two years! :::::::::::::::::Both nod their heads like researchers investigating a theory:::::::::::::::: Teddy: BUT... Spaulding: ...especially, after having sooooooo much fun with our Beary Buddies at BabyBear's house... Teddy: We LOVE snow! Spaulding: And a couple of nights ago, we got so beary excited to find out that we would get a "small q-mow-lay-shun" over night! Teddy: Mommy told us that because it was so beary cold out that the snow might not be any good?! Spaulding: Yeah, we were corn-fused too! How can snow not be GOOD?! Teddy: We also thought we knew what "cold" was before we went out to play in the snow! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: At least Mommy got my sweater almost done, but done enough to tuck in that piece of yarn and wear it! Teddy: I thought it was beary handsome on you and couldn't figure out what else she would do with it. Spaulding: Now that I have my two color border around my V-neck and my border around my sleeves, I can't wait to show Petey, the Pigeon, and Sammy, the Squirrel how well it looks now! Teddy: We have to get back to our story to s'plain why you want to do that! Spaulding: Oh, yeah! Well, since it did snow, even though it was less then two inches deep... Teddy: ...after all, two inches is beary deep if you are less then two feet tall! ::::::::::::::::::Both nod their heads in agreement::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: ...we got our whole stuffed animal family dressed up in our magical snow suits... Teddy: Can't get our beans wet! And, even for those in our family without beans, well, it's just beary hard for stuffies to get dry once they are wet! Spaulding: Lady and Valentine have become quite good at making magical stuffy clothes, haven't they?! Teddy (fearing that Mommy might get upset if he didn't add this): Yes, beary good, BUT we are still lucky to have a Mommy who keeps us dressed well in peoples clothes too! ::::::::Both timidly look up at Mommy, who quietly "s'plains" that she does understand the limitations of being a "peoples" and is happy to provide Valentine and Lady all the sewing notions they need to make their own magical stuffies clothes. The two smile contently and continue:::::::::: Spaulding: It takes quite a while to get ready to go out when it's snowy! Teddy: I like Mommy's rule--"You must stay outside, at least, as long as it took to get ready to go outside!" Spaulding: She says that was her Mommy's rule too! Teddy: And now it's Lady's and your rule for your kids! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: And the rest of us too! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: It was still snowing when we first went out! Spaulding: We could still catch the flakes on our noses but they were much smaller then other snows we have enjoyed! Teddy: And COLD! It was soooooooooooooo cold... Spaulding: How Cold Was IT? Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: It was sooooooooooo cold, that our fur froze together wherever our body bends all the time! Both: Kehehehe...Wait! It wasn't funny! ::::::::::::::Realizing they both said it at the exact same time...:::::::::::::::::::::::: Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: We could make angels and butterflies in the snow, but we couldn't make snowballs!!! Teddy: When we finally came home, Mommy did s'plain that was what she meant about it not being good snow! She says the colder it gets, the finer the snowflakes and the drier the snowflakes. Spaulding: Even snow needs wet to be good to use! Teddy: I was feeling a bit corn-fused! Spaulding (with a little shyness): By any chance, did you run out of stuff to do with the snow before the time was up on how long we had to be outside?! Teddy (shocked and pleased that his brother had asked): Yes! You too?! Spaulding: There wasn't enough snow for peoples to make big piles of it for us to use as sledding mountains, so I really didn't know what else to do after we filled our backyard with snow angels and snow butterflies! I was 'bout to ask you for ideas, before I saw Sammy, the Squirrel hopping along our fence! Teddy: I was so surprised to see him. I thought he hibernated for the winter! Spaulding: He does hibernate for the winter, but not like grizzly or brown bears do! Teddy: Shouldn't we hibernate for the winter too, since we ARE bears?! Spaulding: Mommy says we DO hibernate for the winter, but, since we have a nice warm home and always have enough to eat, we don't have to do it as much as the huuuuuuuuuge growling bears do! Teddy: Ohhhhhhhh, so we kinda hibernate like Sammy. If it's really yucky outside, we sleep all day and all night, but, if there is a nice enough day out, we can go out and play too! Spaulding: Well, usually Sammy comes out to hunt for nuts that he buried, but since he got help from all of us, he has more then enough nuts for the winter, so he CAN play occasionally! Teddy: I asked him what brought him over to our place. He said that he comes over occasionally to see if we're out playing. Spaulding: He also knows we like snow, so comes over more often if it snows out! Teddy: He now wants to know if we can stop off and get him on our way over to Beary Buddies' houses to play in the snow! Spaulding: Did you know that he was a'scared to ask, thinking he wasn't wanted because he's not a stuffy? Teddy: I wonder how many of our Beary Buddies have squirrels and pigeons friends also! Spaulding: We should ask some time! Since many of our Beary Buddies live in the suburbs,... Teddy: ...and others live down and under... Spaulding: ...I bet they have different kind of animal friends then we have! Teddy: Do you think any of them have skunks for friends?! Spaulding: Now THAT's a friend you don't want to ever upset! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: I can't wait for our Beary Buddies to meet Sammy and Petey and their families! Spaulding: Petey came by just in time! Can you imagine his whole family fitting into our helioplaneship boxcar?! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: I'm glad they can fly, because they couldn't all fit...even magically! Spaulding: BUT, I'm also glad they figured out how to invite us all over to their houses! Teddy: We all couldn't fit in any singular home they have, so I'm glad it was all right with Lady too that the kids could go over to Sammy's house, the gal's all had a sewing...uh, hmmmmmm, a "crocheting bee?!" :::::::::::::::Both look at Mommy to see if they used the right word. Since there was no particular "right" word, it was fine that they invent a new phrase that fit. They were now please to have invented a new phrase!:::::::::::: Spaulding: We should s'plain better! Teddy: You're right! When Petey, the Pigeon flew overhead and saw us out talking with Sammy, he flew down and invited us over for a game of poker! Spaulding: We're good at playing poker, but this would be the first time we played anywhere but Atlantic City, where we always win! Teddy: But, we both think Ding and Dee are too young to play poker, and Valentine and Lady don't like playing poker at all! Spaulding: Axlerod likes to play occasionally, but wasn't really in the mood that day! Teddy: We can't all fit into one pigeon nest, or even into Sammy's bigger nest! Spaulding: Petey already knew this before inviting us though and asked if the kids might prefer to go over to Sammy's nest, where all the kids of the pigeons and squirrels were having a Need-to-Be-Kids-and Get-Rowdy Party. Teddy: Not only did the kids want to go, I did too...until I remembered POKER! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: AND, Petey's wife, Petra, is having her hatchlings this Spring, so they needed to make their own nest before the eggs come. Teddy: They already have their own nest, but since it's winter and they have no babies yet, they live in his big brother's nest to keep warm and to share in food gathering duties. Spaulding: Lady and Valentine wanted to do something nice for Petey and Petra. Teddy: Many of the female squirrels and pigeons wanted to also, since the couple is always doing nice things for everyone! Spaulding: The gals all got together in Sammy's younger brother's nest, where Samantha, Sammy's wife, hosted a crochet bee to help make Petey and Petra's nest nice and warm and big enough for a couple of squab to hang out with their parents. Teddy: I didn't know, until we got home, that Valentine and Lady got a flight home from Paula and Mary to ask Mommy for some supplies to help out! Mommy let them raid her leftover yarn supply and borrow all of her hooks! Spaulding: Did you see that nest when it was done?! Teddy: We spent the day in Paulie's and Paula's nest,... Spaulding: ...Petey's big brother and sister-in-law's nest... Teddy: ...so we know how nice their twig nests can be, even if it was a bit noisy from the cars and trucks driving over that higway bridge, but Petey and Petra's nest--holy schmoley!!!! Spaulding: Of course, it was our first time to see a crocheted pigeon's nest, but I was beary surprised to find out that it was the first one any of the pigeons ever saw! Teddy: I didn't know the gals had watch Mommy crocheting so closely! Spaulding: They didn't--too much! They just borrowed her books on how to crochet and imp-pro-vised! Teddy: Beary good imp-pro-vis-ors! :::::::::::::::::::Both nod solemnly in agreement:::::::::::::::::::: Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: Playing poker with a few squirrels and pigeons was beary interesting too! Teddy: There were so many different rules to remember! Spaulding: When we told Mommy about the different rules, she told us that most homes have different rules and once you get into different species, it was bound to make it difficult to remember all the different rules. Teddy: With squirrels, an ace is only a low card. With pigeons it's a wild card! Spaulding: And then squirrels add Old Maid cards as wild cards, and pigeons use Old Maid cards as their main cards to play poker, but add those aces! Teddy: I could never remember if the deer cards or the racoon cards were kings! Spaulding: I'm still not sure if we won or lost! Teddy: Well, was your pile of sunflower seeds bigger or smaller then when we started? Spaulding: Smaller, but my pile of peanuts was bigger! Teddy: Oh, no, I forgot about the peanuts! I ate mine! Were they chips?! Spaulding: NO!!!! Potato chips were chips, but chips were snacks, not money! ::::::::::::::::::::Both heads swirl with overload of too much stuff they needed to remember, and they swoon, as if about to faint. Mommy centers them a little, by quietly asking if they had fun.::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy (with a big smile): Boy, oh, boy, did we have fun! It's been so long since we sat down and had fun. All summer and autumn and then all winter so far, we've been driving here and there, doing stuff! Spaulding: To sit and play with friends was sooooooooo much fun! Like the olden days, when Mommy kept giving us gambling money before she went to bed!!! Teddy: Still--we so love having fun with our Beary Buddies too! I'd hate to have to give that up! ::::::::::::Mommy quietly reminds them that they can do both. Axlerod has great magical time thingy powers, so, no matter what they choose to do, they can always catch up on sleep afterwards. They smile contently.:::::::::: Spaulding: AXLEROD! We forgot to tell what Axlerod did yesterday! Teddy (hitting his head lightly): Ohhhhhhhhh, I forgot! Petey's family is big... Spaulding: ...as is Sammy's family.... Teddy: Although they have tough lives, sometimes pigeons and squirrels live to be old and gray... Spaulding (with a sly grin): most pigeons around here are always gray! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: Anyway--Axlerod hung out in Sammy's big brother's nest... Spaulding: ...squirrels have bigger nests then pigeon's nests... Teddy: ... with the older pigeons and squirrels and made plans on how to make our neighborhood better for stuffies and live animals of all kinds! Spaulding: They had some beary good ideas, but, since none of us have the vote, we can't make them legal by peoples' standards! Teddy: Still, traveling in twos, at the least, is a good idea. That way, if one is eating pizza crust in the street, the other can watch out for cars! Spaulding: That's true! I just hope they remember and actually share the pizza crust! Teddy: Mommy said she'll let us know if she notices any differences. Spaulding: Hmmmmmmmm, hope that works out. Mommy spends so much time in her own little world, she might not notice! Both: Keheh--ut-oh! :::::::::::::::::::::::::They suddenly remember who is typing for them and fear that they might have accidentally hurt her feelings. Slowly and bravely, they turn around to check out Mommy's face, only to see her cracking up laughing:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Mommy (still laughing): You two are so funny! And observant too! Both: Keheheheheheh-ut! Ummmmmmm! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Again they look up at Mommy.:::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: Ummmmmmmmm, what's ob-serve-vent?! :::::::::::::::::::::Mommy s'plains.:::::::::::::::::::: Both: Kehehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: Well, although it was fairly warm in our friend's homes, they still weren't heated. Teddy: They're all used to living in the cold, but we aren't! Spaulding: No bears are or our relatives wouldn't hibernate in the winter! Teddy: Finally it was time to come home. Spaulding: There was so little snow, that it's gone already... Teddy: ...but it wasn't a good snow, so it was all right that it only lasted a day! Spaulding: We still had a fun snow day, even if we didn't play in the snow for long! ::::::::::::::::Both nod in happy agreement::::::::::::::::: Teddy: But, we needed to catch up on our sleep, and now it's dinner time on the next day! Spaulding: Teddy is helping Daddy cook dinner tonight! Teddy: No, Daddy is helping me cook, but we have to go finish up! Spaulding: Soooooooo, until next time...

Monday, January 12, 2004

Go, Eagles, Go!

Spaulding: We're beary, beary big Philly Eagle fans, so we've been biting our claws off to the quick.... Teddy ...whatever a quick is?! :::::::::::::::::::::Both shrug their shoulders:::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: ...during the playoffs this year! Teddy: We got all excited last year when OUR Eagles got into the playoffs, but they lost the last possible game they could without making it to the Superbowl... Spaulding: ...but they lost to the team--Tampa Bay, who didn't make the playoffs this year, thank God--who ultimately won the Superbowl... Teddy: So we KNOW OUR Eagles came in second last year, even if they didn't make it to the Superbowl! Spaulding: AND the year before that, they ALSO made it to the playoffs, only to lose before the Superbowl! Teddy: So, THIS Year... Spaulding: ...despite how the announcers on TV kept saying that The Packers were "destined" to win, because poor Brett Favre, lost his Daddy the day before the last... Teddy: ...and THEIR last... Spaulding: ...Monday Night Football of the year... Teddy: WE'RE "destined"... Spaulding (whispering in his bestest loud whisper): ...EVEN THOUGH WE DON'T REALLY BELIEVE IN DESTINY, BECAUSE THERE IS NO DIVINE BEING OUT THERE THAT CARES SO LITTLE FOR HIS/HER/ITS CREATION TO DECIDE, WITH NO EMOTIONS BEHIND IT, TO PLAY THEM LIKE PAWNS IN A POINTLESS CHESS GAME, BUT, INSTEAD IS THE LOVING GOD, WHO HAS SET INTO MOTION ALL THINGS FOR HIS GLORY AND THE GOOD OF ALL THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND FOR THE BAD OF ALL OTHERS... ::::::::::::::::::Teddy has been impatiently listening to his brother during this monologue, while tapping his paw::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: Are you done yet?! Spaulding (pretty proud of himself): Yeah! Teddy (with a quiet smile, of understanding): You're right, of course, but we were talking football, not theology! Spaulding (with a bigger grin of understanding): Continue. ::::::::::::::Teddy pauses to try to remember where he was, but fails:::::::::::::::::: Both: Kehehehehehehehe Spaulding (to remind his brother where he was): We've been in the playoffs the last couple of years, but this year dot dot dot... Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Teddy: ...THIS year, we WILL win the Super Bowl!!! Spaulding: Our first hurdle was just crossed! Teddy: What's a hurdle?! Spaulding: The tall work horses track and field runners jump over while they run. Teddy: Oh, yeah! Now I remember! Spaulding: We just finished watching OUR Eagles... Teddy: Ever notice that they become OUR Eagles and OUR win, even when we aren't players ourselves?! Spaulding: We didn't play, but they couldn't have won without our help! Teddy: Yeah, they were 14 to 7, until we put on our good-luck-always-makes-us-win-Jeopardy! caps on! Spaulding: Right after that, the game was tied! Teddy: Then Green Bay was mean enough to score another field goal! Spaulding: Wellll, Mommy keeps saying that she wants us to play against the beary bestest to beat them so we prove we ARE the beary, beary bestest! The Packers are some of the best, so not mean. They just wanted to win as much as we do! Teddy: True, and they sure tried beary, beary hard to sack McNabb! Spaulding: During that one play, they grabbed him THREE times and he STILL threw it for a touchdown! Teddy: If I had a heart, it woulda failed! Spaulding (nodding in agreement): Me Too! Teddy: And then, as if we weren't holding our breathes long enough, they caught up at the last half minute and it went into Overtime! Both: Arrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Spaulding: If we had hearts, we would have needed several to get through that game! Teddy: We would have had to have been kitty cats with nine lives! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: During the first four plays of Overtime, McNabb was knocked down twice... Teddy: The first was a sack and the second time he gained a single yard before being hit... Spaulding: ...so we had to give Green Bay the ball! Teddy: But, two plays later, Brett Favre was kind enough to give us back the ball with an interception! Spaulding: It took another eight agonizing plays before... Both: WE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Teddy: The game was a home game, so we could hear it from here! Spaulding: We're a mile away from the stadium. Teddy: We thought of going, but it's cold out and we could watch it in our nice warm house with Mommy and Daddy and listen to announcers... Spaulding: ...even if Chris Collingsworth doesn't like Philadelphia or the Eagles.... Teddy: ...s'plaining about stuff we don't understand! Spaulding: BUT, when the celebration started... Teddy: ....at first, we heard the neighbors coming out to celebrate... Spaulding: ...we don't know why. It's only one of three games they have to win to win it all... Teddy: ...then we KNEW! Spaulding: Of course there would be fireworks! Teddy: We have some warm clothes--sweaters, and slippers and long pants--but Axlerod brought his blankie! Spaulding: The first thing Mommy ever crocheted--a baby blanket--huge for Axlerod! Teddy: For all of us! Spaulding: So the entire Teddy Bear family went to OUR park--Marconi Park--a block away to watch the fireworks over the stadium... Teddy: ...without Mommy or Daddy! They don't like the cold! Spaulding: It was fun watching the fireworks and all the happy people walking by as we cuddled up in Ax's blankie drinking coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee... Teddy: ...except for the kids, who drank hot chocolate! Spaulding: So, OUR Eagles have made it as far as last year! Teddy: One more win to get to the Superbowl! Spaulding: But, they HAVE to win the Superbowl to go farther then they ever have before! Teddy: They got into the Superbowl right after Mommy and Daddy got married, but froze and lost! Spaulding: The whole Delaware Valley Area NEEEEEEEEEEEEEDS them to win! Teddy: We NEEEEEEEEED them to win! Spaulding: E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles! Eagles! Go, Eagles! Teddy: I-G-G-E-L-E-S, Iggles! Iggles! Go, Iggles! Spaulding: Teddy likes to spell it the way it's pronounced around here! Both: Kehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: Sooooooooo, until next time... Both: Go, Eagles!!!!!!! Woooooooooo Hooooooooooooo!

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Resolutions and Bath Day!

Spaulding: There is this strange tradition peoples have when a new year starts called "making rez-o-lotions." Teddy: We knew nothing about it, until our Beary Buddies online asked what ours were. Spaulding: We consulted with Mommy. Teddy: "Consulted!" Good word! ::::::::::::::Both nod their heads in agreement. Spaulding: Mommy says it's like making a wish list, but only of things that we are able to do, should do, and think we really, really want to do at that moment anyway. Teddy: The idea is always to keep up the wish and the work throughout the year, in hopes that it becomes routine enough to not have to be something we forget all the time or hate doing. Spaulding: Now that sounded easy enough, until she added that is usually something we hate to do, but is good for us! Teddy: Yeah, we didn't understand either, until she gave examples. Spaulding: She said most peoples rez-sall to exercise or lose weight or to be nice to every body! Teddy: I think I know why we have such troubles figuring out people! They HAVE to rez-sall to be nice to peoples? Why isn't that something that they just do always anyway?! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Both shrug their shoulders:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: We're just nice, so didn't have to even think about that one, so we're thinking about dieting and exercise. Teddy (after they wake up from their nap): To always be ready to take care of Mommy and Daddy, we always exercise all the time! Spaulding (with a sly little grin): Teddy loves to do his one arm push ups in front of Valentine. She thinks he is "soooooo strong--and good looking too" when he does that and, although he gets embarrased, he still likes her to notice. Teddy (blushing while studying his feet): I've seen Lady enjoying your performance as you dance to beary fast songs too! :::::::::::Both blush, and then laugh, knowing they like the gal's reaction.:::::::::::::::: Spaulding: As for dieting, we always worry about our weight, but even after eating two dozen hotdogs with all the works on them, when we get on the scale, we still weigh zero pounds! Teddy: So, we were back to being confused about rez-o-lotions and asked Mommy what ones she made. Spaulding: She said that in all the new years that she has had... Teddy: ...and she has had many, many, many.... Spaulding: ...she has only kept one! Teddy: She rez-salled to never, ever make another rez-o-lotion! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: Since we couldn't think of anything better, we rez-salled... Teddy: ...and Mommy says we have to rez-salled in a beary serious, somber way... Spaulding: ...so we took a nap first, thinking "somber" was the same thing as "slumber"... Teddy: ...but afterwards, after several failed tries... Spaulding: ...we tend to start giggling when we have to be serious... :::::::::::::Both get a bad case of the giggles, so run off to dance to their Teddy Bear anthem, "Bears Just Want to Have Fun!" before coming back to finish their journal entry.::::::::::::: Teddy: ...but FINALLY, we vowed... :::::::::::::::::::::Both suppress more giggles:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: "We shall never, ever, make anymore rez-o-lotions!" :::::::::::Both fall on the floor, kicking up their paws in the air while holding onto their tummies as they have their required 15 minutes of hysterical laughter. After calming down, they climb back up to Mommy's lap to continue:::::::::::::::::: Teddy: Now the problem with Mommy is that just because she doesn't do year long rez-o-lotions that doesn't mean she doesn't rez-sall some things! Spaulding: She's been rez-salling one thing for a few months now that affects us! Teddy (with a shiver as he remembers his fear): Mommy rez-salled to make us clean! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Both shiver a little.::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: Two days after our beary special Christmas, Mommy announced that it was Bath Day for us! Teddy: She already grabbed us in her arms before telling us, so we couldn't hide! Spaulding: She also grabbed one of our brand new, given-at-Christmas books--The Pop-Up Peter Rabbit book! Teddy: I thought she meant to wash that too! Spaulding: Yeah, when Mommy gets to washing, you have to look out! Daddy has lost partial cups fo coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee and partial glasses of soda when Mommy decides to clean, because she thinks they are "old." ::::::::::::Both shug their shoulders, aware that they can never fully understand peoples, even if Mommy is one of them.::::::::::::::: Teddy: She took us into the bedroom... Spaulding: ...where she already had our Teddy Bear Cleaner, a bucket of hot water, many face clothes and a few towels... Teddy: ...took off our clothes and threw them in the dirty laundry basket... Spaulding: ...which made us so scared we started shivering.... Teddy: ...and then she did something weird!!! Spaulding: While all the cleaning stuff was right there in front of us... Teddy: ...so we couldn't forget what she would do to us.... Spaulding: ...she put us under the sheets and comforter... Teddy: ...covering us up to our necks... Spaulding: ...she started reading the book! Teddy: It had pop-up pages in it, so she would point out the different things as she read. Spaulding: She showed us Peter's sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail and showed us Mr. MacGregor! Teddy: She even showed us a mistake that the book people made! They said that Peter ate three kinds of vegetables... Spaulding: ...none of them was carrots... Teddy: ...but the picture showed Peter eating a carrot!!! Spaulding: We got so interested in the book that the cleaning stuff didn't scare us anymore! Teddy: Well, unrtil the end of the book anyway! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: She asked me to go first, to show Teddy what a brave big brother I am! Teddy: I was impressed how brave he was! Spaulding: I didn't feel brave, but smiled a little so you wouldn't be so a'scared! Teddy: Each time she rubbed you with the wet cloth, I got less and less a'scared! Spaulding: We have dried beans in parts of our bodies. I have them in my paws! Teddy: I have a few in my tush! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: We get really a'scared that water will make them wet and make them get bigger! Teddy: Before Spaulding was born out of that box, somehow he did get some water on his leg paw and his one foot is swollen for the rest of his life! Spaulding: Since it happened before I was born, I don't remember it, but Mommy often massages that foot to try to make the beans smaller. I limp on that foot a little, but it doesn't hurt! Teddy: So, not only are we like all boys, and don't like baths, we are also a'scared for a reason! Spaulding: Mommy started at my legs too, but wrapped my beans up, so she couldn't even accidentally make them wet! Teddy: She did the same thing for his arm paws too! Spaulding: But, by the time she got to my arm paws, I noticed something strange! Teddy: What?! Spaulding: I LIKED it--except that the water made me cold! It felt like a full body massage, and Mommy's good at giving massages! It felt like she was loving me on every inch of my body! It felt great--except the cold part! Teddy: After she was done, and she rubbed you down with that towel and then left you in it to keep warm, were you cold? Spaulding: No! And, because she wrapped the towel all around me while she rubbed me down, it felt even better!!! Teddy: Well, now that you are admitting that, I have to agree! Once she got past my bum, and I was sure she wasn't going to get my beans wet, I liked it too! Spaulding: Weren't you cold? Teddy: Yeah, I didn't like being cold either, but there is less of me then you, so I wasn't as cold as long as you! Spaulding: How about the rubbed down afterwards? Teddy: Even better, since it warmed me up and I like Mommy mussing my fur! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: I was worried about getting cold while we had to wait for our clothes to be done! Teddy: I didn't know, until then, that Mommy never puts our clothes in the dryer! Spaulding: She's afraid that they will shrink and not fit. She does that for all of their shirts and pants too! Teddy: The dryer was great fun! Spaulding: I'm glad Mommy let us lie on it while she or-gan-eyezed the laundry! Teddy: I'm glad she told us before we went down what she was doing and that the Need-To-Be-Adopted Bears wouldn't laugh at us, because we were bare! Spaulding: Sometimes it's hard to remember bears are supposed to be bare! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Teddy: I never noticed how many Need-To-Be-Adopted Bears are bare! Spaulding: Many of our Internet Bear Buddies are bare too! Teddy: Oh, yeah! But, that's not why I liked the dryer ride! Spaulding: Our Bear Buddies go IN the dryer for their dryer ride! Teddy: NO?! Spaulding: Yes! Teddy: I just liked the way it made us move all around it, but in very tiny jiggles! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: Mommy calls that "VI-braid-ing!" I liked how warm it was! Teddy: And the smell of the warm clothes as Mommy opened it up! Spaulding: That was funny! Teddy: All 100 of us bears inhaling the smell at the same time?! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: But the warmest I liked it was when Mommy put us under the fur dryer! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::Mommy quietly "s'plains" something to them:::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy (utterly shocked): NO?! :::::::::::::::::::::::::Mommy smiles and nods for emphasis:::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding (also shocked): Mommy says it's a HAIR dryer! Did you know that, Teddy?! Teddy: No! Why do we even have one?) :::::::::::::Mommy quietly reminds them how she and Daddy used to shower and dry their hair before going to work, but now, not in any rush anymore, they let nature dry their hair.::::::::::::::: Spaulding: That was JUST before we were born. :::::::::::::::::::::Both nod their heads in agreement.::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy (looking at Mommy): Can we call it our "fur dryer" now? ::::::::::::::::::Mommy nods in agreement.::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: Our "fur dryer" felt like getting another massage by someone with beary warm fingers! Teddy: It stopped the last lingering chill on our bodies! Spaulding: And you brushed my fur so beary well--as if you knew exactly how fur needed to be brushed! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Teddy (pretending to be Bette Davis): You brush divinely too, my dear! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: You got to wear your sweater that Mommy made you, along with summer clothes until our clothes were dry! Teddy: Mommy is still making your sweater, but you got a great deal being held close to Mommy, underneath her blanky in your summer clothes too! Spaulding: And, since I sleep with Mommy, I stayed warm all night too! Teddy: Valentine kept me warm all night too! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: We never smelled, but, once dressed in our clean clothes and having had our bath yesterday, we smell so Spring Fresh! Both: Kehehehehehehehehe Teddy: We're never going to LIKE Bath Day, but, at least now, it doesn't a'scare us as much as it used to do. Spaulding: Do you think Mommy will ever read us a story and it NOT being Bath Day? ::::::::::::::::::::Both look at Mommy with their beary bestest sad eyes, with just the tiniest twinkle in their eyes. Mommy quietly tells them that she's up to a story time now, if they are done thier journal.:::::::::::::: Teddy: Soooooooo, until next time... Both: Kehehehehehehehehe

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Merry Christmas!

Teddy: It was WONDERFUL, just, just soooooooo WONDERFUL! Much better than last year even, and last year was great! Spaulding: You didn't have Valentine last year! Christmas gets sooooo much better when you're married! Wait until you have kids! Teddy (utterly shocked): Kids?! Why do we have wait to have kids, we already have Dee and Ding?! Spaulding: Dee and Ding are Lady's and MY kids, not yours, although you are their uncle and Valentine is their aunt! Teddy: We all live together, so, even though they aren't our kids, they ARE our kids! Spaulding (thinking that over, and after being awaken up by his brother): Yeah, I guess that's true too! Teddy: Anyway, Christmas was absolutely WONDERFUL!!!! Spaulding: And, I'm so glad it finally got here and so sorry it's all over!!! Teddy: I thought it would never, ever, EVER get here!!!! Dee and Ding: YOU thought it would never get here! How 'bout US?! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Lady: You should have seen how wired the kids were on Christmas Eve! I thought they'd never get to sleep! Spaulding: I DID see how wired the kids were. I was right here when Mommy had to start giving us all re-lacks-say-shun teck-knees! We had to re-lackes every muscle in our body THREE times, because some of us (looking at Dee, Ding and Teddy) would start giggling, and then we all got rammy again! ::::::::::::::::Dee, Ding and Teddy look at each other and start giggling::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: Who ever made that rule that says we HAVE to be sleeping or Santa can't come? I'm sure Santa doesn't mind seeing us! When I bmailed him to tell him about our changed Christmas Day, he was quite nice! Axlerod: A long time ago, Mommy said that she heard that way, way back, before there were cars, all the parents in the world sent Santa a petition to insist children do that, so parents could go to bed earlier, because they have to get up so early to let the children open up presents! Valentine (remembering how much she enjoys cuddling with Teddy as they sleep through the night): Oh! That might be a good idea! :::::::::::::Teddy and Valentine lock eyes and smile, then blush.::::::::::::::::::::::: All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: Well, we've spent so long keeping Christmas secrets and NOW we can FINALLY tell ALL!!!! :::::::::::::::Everyone sighs with relief and start jumping up and down bursting with secrets:::::::::::::: Teddy: The BIG one was the one Mommy made for Daddy and WE helped her a whooooooooole lot! Axlerod: We should start from the beginning though, because there were a whoooooooooooooooole bunch of surprises. Lady: Spauld, it would probably be good if you started us out, since Mommy tells you her secrets that she keeps from Daddy. Axlerod: There was much more to Christmas then secrets, ya know. Spaulding: Yes, many traditions, although even the traditions change often. Dee: We like the tradition that started with Daddy's family on Christmas Eve. Ding: We like it a whooooooooole bunch since we got to do it for our beary own family! Spaulding: The story? Dee and Ding (jumping up and down with delight): YES!!! The story! Lady: Since you did it, why don't you tell?! Dee: Well, your Mommy and Daddy, who are our Grandpa and Grandma, got this idea when they saw their niece and nephews do it at their home! Ding: The kids in the family all sneak away into the other room and decide which version to tell and who does which part. Dee: BUT, once it is all decided... Lady: ...which was easy to decide with just the two of you... Ding: The two of us got in front of our family... Dee: ...with our beary big family Bible... Ding: ...and read the story of the first Christmas... Dee: ...starting at Luke two because the first chapter was about Mary's cousin, Elizabeth having her baby boy, John... Ding: ...who ended up being the one calling out in the wilderness that the time was NOW for God's promise, Jesus, to come. Dee: We both wanted to do the talking parts, so we decided to do the nair-nations back and forth and then both of us do the talking parts! Dee and Ding (remembering a line they liked):"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'" Ding: That musta been so cool, seeing a huge crowd flying around and singing beary, beary prettily and happily!" :::::::::::Everyone, including Mommy, nods their heads in agreement.::::::::::::::: Spaulding: Another tradition we used to have, but couldn't do this year.... Teddy: ...because everyone else's Christmas season was over and we couldn't spend as much as we used to on Christmas.... Valentine: ...I'm glad we saved all our money, or it would have been a beary little gift giving Christmas this year! Teddy (with his paw up to his mouth): Shhhhhhhhhh, we haven't gotten that far yet! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: ...was to open Christmas stockings on Christmas Eve, watch Christmas movies and, if we hadn't seen it on TV that year, read T'was the Night Before Christmas. Teddy: Since we had Christmas so late, TV had no Christmas movies that night. Beary strange feeling. Valentine: We did see T'was the Night Before Christmas on TV earlier this year...or last year really! Lady: Oh, thinking of "not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse," our new housemates have gone! We used to hear them so well, it sounded like they were building a whole city in the walls, but they never trusted even us, so we didn't see them too often. It wasn't until Christmas Eve, when we thought about that book, when we realized we heard no noises for a while! Spaulding: Mommy and Daddy were too nice to poison them and they never got new traps! I think that was because they were too nice to hurt them. (Mommy quietly types all that is being said, as she remembers that they didn't poison the mice for fear they would die in the walls and then stink, but the only reason they never got traps was because Daddy was too sick, and by the time he was well enough, the sitings and noises had been gone for weeks and no food had been eaten by unwanted guest. Still, she didn't want to have to kill them, so is quite happy that she, purely by accident, scared them out of the house.) Valentine: Now can we tell what gifts we gave Mommy and Daddy?! Everyone else: yes!!! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Valentine: Mommy and Daddy let us keep leftover money from when they break twenties when they order dinner in. Teddy: They used to order in once or twice a week too! Lady: They also gave us money when they would empty out their pockets upstairs and not feel like going downstairs to put the money away. Spaulding: They'd also give us money when we went on vacation so we could buy soveneirs for our family, since only Teddy and I go on vacations with Mommy and Daddy. Teddy: And we used the money they gave us for poker night and casino night, where we always won! Valentine: Mommy always told us that the money was ours, BUT, if they needed it, they would have to take it back! Axlerod: With Mommy and Daddy both disabled now, they don't go to work and only get a little money from the government for Mommy's disability. Spaulding: Mommy forgot about our money and thought the only Christmas presents would be homemade ones this year... Dee: I thought we made a GREAT homemade present! Ding: It was great, and Grandma loves it! ::::::::::::::::::::::Everyone nods in agreement:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: ...BUT, we surprised them early this year! Valentine: First, we had to whisper our plan to Mommy, because we needed her help. Spaulding: Daddy has to drink lots of water and has a few special water holders that he can drink out of, because it makes drinking water fun, and he rather drink diet decaf cola or coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee! Teddy: One of his containers has a straw all the way down to the bottom and the others just have little openings! Dee and Ding: Straws are always more fun to drink using! Valentine: So, we told Mommy our plan because we needed her to buy another bottle with a straw down to the bottom for us! Spaulding: ALSO, Daddy needs lots and lots of candy because he NEEDS something that taste good in his mouth with the medications he takes tasting so badly! So, Mommy was buying him a little extra sugar-free candy each week to slip into his stocking! Dee and Ding: ...as IF Santa woudln't do that for them! Lady: Oh, Mommy knew Santa would leave some too, but Daddy needed some extra for the days between normal Christmas and our Christmas! Valentine: So, after Mommy got to the store for us, she helped us put Daddy's new bottle with MONEY in it.... ALL: Our extra present this year was to give each of them some money so they could buy each other Christmas presents!!!!! Dee and Ding: Aren't we all beary smart to think of such a grand idea?! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Valentine: And, in the bag with the bottle of money, we had Mommy include some of that candy! Daddy was so beary happy! He refused to use the bottle for water until he spent the money!!! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: And, when we gave Daddy his present, we told Mommy what her extra present was! Spaulding: We gave Daddy some extra money so he could buy a nightgown from us for Mommy, like she asked for! Valentine: And we gave Mommy some extra money to buy Daddy a fleece shirt to keep him warm during the winter! Axlerod: BUT, with Daddy and Mommy being so smart to go Christmas shopping after Christmas, they hit a beary good sale and, for the price of one fleece shirt, Mommy got Daddy FOUR from us, and for the price of one nightgown, Daddy bought the nightgown AND two pairs of big comfy, guaranteed-to-keep-your-feet-warm-when-it's-so-beary-cold socks!!!! They did so well with our money! Lady: Did we just start telling about Christmas Day?! Axlerod (after pondering for a moment): Yes, I think we did! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: Wait, wait! Before we tell, we have to tell the story behind Mommy's present to Daddy! All: YEAH!!!! TELL IT, SPAULDING, TELL IT!!!!! Spaulding: Not this Christmas, but last Christmas, Daddy bought Mommy a book to teach her how to crochet and it came with crochet hooks and stuff. Teddy: Mommy likes to learn new hobbies now that she is disabled. She says that despite all the bad things with being disabled that she has a lot more of something then she used to---TIME! Spaulding: I don't understand that, because I'm pretty sure everyone gets 24 hours each day, no matter who they are?! Axlerod: You're right, of course, but you weren't around before Mommy became disabled. When peoples work, they have to use up their spare time doing chores and shopping and stuff, so, although they have the same amount of time, it never seems enough time to enjoy! Teddy and Spaulding: Wow! I understand that! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: BUT, we were in on Daddy's present--helping Mommy lie to him! Axlerod: Generally, stuffed animals can't lie or do anything mean, however there are two exceptions to that rule. We can lie while telling a joke, since jokes are just pretend stories anyway. Valentine: Like when we start a joke with, "I was in the checkout line the other day, when...." :::::::::::::::::::::::::::Everyone looks ar her, expectantly.:::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: Well? Valentine: I dunno! I was just showing an example! Everyone else (as they turn back to look at Axlerod): Ooooooooooooohhhhhhhh!!! Axlerod: And the other exception is that we can lie if it is for keeping good secrets, like at Christmas time! Spaulding: Mommy didn't make us lie, actually, we just had to keep quiet as she lied! Lady: But, she was lying to keep Daddy's present a secret! Spaulding: Mommy was making Daddy an Aft-gang with lots of squares on it, and she made the squares right in front of him!!! Teddy: The squares were pretty big too! Spaulding: Big enough that any of us... Axlerod: ...except for me, but I'm the biggest stuffed animal and Mommy already made a blanket for me... Spaulding: ...to use as our beary own blankets! Ding: BUT, Grandma was smart! Spaulding: Since all the squares were put together in columns, and then rows, she would put two at a time together, still right in front of Daddy!. Teddy: You would think he would notice eventually! Spaulding: He did! When he asked her what she was doing, we were all in the room with them, and she answered in a whisper, "Making blankets for the kids for Christmas." Valentine: Mommy and Daddy don't usually tell lies to each other. Teddy: That's part of the reason why we're pretty sure they are, at least, partly Teddy Bears... Axlerod: ...the only two kinds of lies they tell each other are the only two kinds of lies that we can tell! Spaulding: We weren't surprised by what Mommy said, because she s'plained to me that she was making it for Daddy, and just play along with it! Lady: Had he asked us, if this was true, we would have told him the truth, but he never asked us! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: By the time she got to the part where she had to put all the pieces together, she would do it while Daddy was sleeping, since Daddy was having trouble sleeping in normal peoples sleeping hours! She hid it under her lap blanket, so when Daddy surprised her, she could cover it up beary quickly, and then put it no the floor next to her! Axlerod: She had three weeks to put it all together, since our Christmas was ten days later then everybody else's! Spaulding: We were all shocked when we found out how well we did in hiding this from Daddy. :::::::::::::::::::::::Mommy quietly tells something to Lady:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Lady: Oh, I didn't know that was part of the secret!!! Mommy did something else to hide her secret, that we didn't even know! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Everyone looks at her in surprise.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Lady: What's beary cool is that it included our surprise! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::Smoke rises from everyone's ears as they think hard to figure out the surprise she is referring to and then, as if the light bulb flashed above their heads, they say together...... All: Ooooooooooooooooooooooohhh!!! Teddy: Our Christmas surprises were related to Daddy's surprise?! Lady: Yes, and secretly, that's why Mommy didn't suggest that we open our stockings up on Christmas Eve AND that's why we did the opposite of what we usually do--we looked in our stockings last! All: Ooooooooooooooohhh!!!! Axlerod: We were genuinely surprised by the amount of surprises we had, because we can read Mommy and Daddy's minds most of the time, so knew a couple of things we received, but not most! Lady (sheepishly looking at Mommy): Sorry, we have to tell the truth, but we kinda knew about the coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee set! Spaulding: It says it's a child's tea set on the box, but we drink coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee... Dee and Ding: ...except for us, because we're too young, but we can drink hot chocolate with it!.... Spaulding: ...so we call it our coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee set! Lady (still looking at Mommy): We could read your mind, BUT.... :::::::::::::::::::::::Lady now perks up with a big grin:::::::::::::::::::::::: Lady: ...we didn't know how beautiful it was! It's really two little sets--one has Teddy Bears having a picnic on it and the other has, oh so beautful for girls, flowers! Dee: Each set has a coffee pitcher, a sugar bowl, a little milk pitcher, and four cups and saucers! Ding: They are nice and big for Dee and me!!! Axlerod: A little too small for me, but I can always get refills! Teddy: They're like little coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee cups for us, instead of coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee mugs, but we worked a little Teddy Bear magic on them and made them bottomless cups and pots! Spaulding: All stuffed animals can make pretend food and drinks, so it's not a special ability, like th magical time thingy! Dee: Actually, peoples little boys and girls can do it too, so it's only magic to those who forget what being a child is like! ::::::::::Everyone briefly thinks over what Dee says, and then have a shiver down their backs as they think of some who can't even imagine being a kid anymore.:::::::::::: Lady: It's a beautiful coffecoffeecoffeecoffee set! Thank you, Mommy! The rest of our presents were total surprises to us! Ding (looking at his Daddy, Spaulding): To all of us too! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Lady: But Mommy just s'plained that to me too! When she first decided to make outfits for Teddy Bears and then sell some of the Teddy Bear that she dressed up, she got all these things she called "props" for the dressed Need-to-be-Adopted bears. Teddy: Last summer, she found a home for Army Bear, and, because he was being adopted, he didn't need his props, so Mommy gave us Army Bear's jeep that you rev up by pushing it along the floor a few times, before letting it go and then it zoooooooooooooms across the floor! ::::::::::::::Teddy shows how to do it by pushing his paw a few times next to his lap, and then let's go pushing his arm way in the air.::::::::::::::: Lady: Mommy has had to move the Need-to-be-Adopted Bears a few times in the last couple of years, and in that moving, she lost their props! Spaulding: We helped her bring up the Christmas decorations this year, which were right behind those bears and I remember her pulling up a bag, looking in it, and saying, "Oh, yeeeeeeah," like she had just found something she lost long ago. She wouldn't tell us what it was and those bears didn't know. :::::::::::Everyone looks at Mommy, who looks up at the ceiling and whistles nothing in particular.:::::::::::::::: All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Lady: Yup! That's what she found! Now that we got them, we could read her mind better. She simply didn't think about them that long, so we didn't have time to truly read her mind. ::::::::::::::::::Mommy continues to look at the ceiling and whistle.:::::::::::::::::::::: Dee: We got two books--one from Santa, Bedtime Bible Stories for Children, and one from Daddy, The Peter Rabbit Pop-Up Book! Ding: We got a writing pad, just our size and a blackboard and chalk! Teddy: We also got a plush Teddy Bear Pez dispenser, so, when Mommy and Daddy leave us to go do some chore, we won't be all alone ever again! Spaulding: They used to leave us the TV remote, but, although it made us feel better that we could watch anyhing we wanted, we still were left all alone!!! Dee and Ding: BUT, the bear has candy in him too, that he gives away, just by tilting his head up! Way cool...and yummy!!! Lady: Along with giving us a beary merry Christmas with plenty of new toys, Mommy put all these presents in different bags so Daddy would just assume they were our blankets! Teddy: But the funny thing was, since Daddy hadn't seen Mommy working on the atf-gang for a while, he forgot all about them AND was totally surprised when he got it! Spaulding: He didn't even recognize it was the same thing she was working on, until she told him all of her sneaky stuff! Lady (who also likes to sew and crochet): Yeah, but there were many new rows she had to add between each square, so it was hard to see the original squares, unless you were looking for them! :::::::::::::::::::::::Everyone nods in understanding::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Axlerod: Mommy also made Daddy a couple of bookmarks, an eyeglass case and a computer bug by crocheting too! Spaulding: The computer bug is strange..... ::::::::::::Spaulding quietly sneaks a peak over to Daddy's computer and sees the bug still staring back at him::::::::::::::: Spaulding (while keeping his gaze on the bug): I helped Mommy make the bug, downstairs at the dining room table, using her glue gun to put the pieces together. While she put the stuff away and the glue was hardening, she said, "Watch him for me, will you?" Assuming she was talking to me, I did, BUT he watched me too! :::::::::::::He slowly looked away from the bug and then jerked his head back to look at the bug. The bug never gave up his stare towards Spaulding.:::::::::::::::: Spaulding: I think the computer bug thought Mommy was talking to him, because he has never stopped looking at me, whenever we're in the same room! Everyone elses: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho ::::::::::::Spaulding smiles a little, but feels uncomfortable. When Mommy looks at the computer bug, it winks at her and smiles. Spaulding catches that and starts laughing, realizing the little toy has been teasing him from the moment he was made.::::::::::::: All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: Santa gave Daddy even more candy, because the candy Mommy bought him had all been eaten. Mommy also gave Daddy, his favorite kind of work shirt, rhe kind that he wanted me to be dressed in when Mommy first brought me home for Daddy--a sham-bray shirt! Valentine: Santa also brought Mommy some chocolate, and Daddy bought her the grocery cart she has been wanting! Teddy: Instead of driving to the grocery store.... Valentine: ...which is only four blocks away.... Teddy: She can now take this elongated rectangular cart that has four wheels and load all the groceries that used to fit into the trunk and walk home! Valentine: BUT, more importantly, at night when Mommy and Daddy are asleep, we have a new toy to be pushed in! :::::::::::::::::::::Everyone nods their heads in agreement:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: There still was one secret we had for Mommy and we kept it beary, beary well! Lady: We never had to lie to her, but we just didn't tell what we were doing! Ding: Our job... Dee: ...Ding and me... Ding: ...was the beary hardest job! Dee: On Christmas Eve, after Grandpa and Grandma went to bed, taking our Daddy, Spaulding, with them... Ding: ...but using Axlerod's magical time thingy to stop time, so we wouldn't stop Santa from coming to visit us.... Dee: ...we had to sneak into Grandma's room and wake up Daddy... Ding: ...AND had to pull him out from Grandma's arms... Dee: ...so he could come in and help make our bestest gift! Lady: Valentine and I were in charge of choosing which pictures to use. Valentine: Mommy has taken so many photos of us and of the Need-to-Be-Adopted Bears over the years, and since she uses a digital camera, they all sit waiting on the hard drive to be used! Teddy: Since Spaulding and I are the computer savvy bears, we were in charge of making the pages for the calendar! Spaulding: We were making it beary special for Mommy... Teddy: ...and Daddy can use it too, since they put it right on the bulletin board in our living room! Spaulding: The gals chose photos of us and some of the Need-To-Be-Adopted Bears and we made it all into beary cool pictures for our calendars... Teddy: On one side of the page was the photos and on the other side was the calendar month! Spaulding: It had to be done pre-site-ly, or wouldn't work! Axlerod helped us with that part, telling us which to face the paper in the printer! Axlerod: And, because I'm the biggest, they also needed me to punch the holes in the paper and facilitate the yarn tying of the whole calendar! Teddy: Yeah! Yeah, he was our face-sill-it...it. it..er kinda guy! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Axlerod: But, Christmas isn't just about presents! Along with remembering that we're really celebrating the Redeemer's birth, we also celebrate by having a beary special meal! All: HOTDOGS!!!!! Axlerod: True! Hotdogs for us, but Mommy and Daddy used to always celebrate by going to Chinatown, because the Orientals don't celebrate Christmas, so they don't disturb other's celebrating, but they also don't have to cook! Spaulding: We knew about this tradition for Mommy and Daddy, so we gave Daddy money to buy something special for dinner! They stopped off to get some jumbo shrimp for our Christmas! Lady: Shrimp cost A LOT, so they quit eating it for a while, but Christmas is the mostest specialist holiday of the year and it's still cheaper then eating out! Ding: Daddy made us some too... Dee: ...and we decided it is as good as hotdogs!!! Valentine: ...but much more expensive!!!! Teddy: It was the bestest dinner we've ever, ever, EVER eatened! ::::::::::::::::::::All nod their heads vigorously in agreement::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: Good surprises! Lady: Good gifts! Axlerod: We surprised Mommy and Daddy with our gifts too! Teddy: Good dinner! Valentine: Good coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee party! Dee: Good hot chocolate! Ding: Good candy! All: Yup! The bestest, bestest, BESTEST Christmas ever!!!! Mommy: ...because we are all so "beary" blessed to have each other and to enjoy so much being together!!! ::::::::::::::::::All nod their head in agreement.::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: So, we say for the last time this holiday season dot dot dot All: Merry Christmas to all and God bless us, everyone! Teddy: Soooooooo, until next time...

Friday, January 02, 2004

Holiday Parties!

Spaulding: Now that we've met all our Bear friends from Joy of Teddy Bears message board, we really understand what people do at Christmas better! Teddy: Before Daddy got sick, Mommy and Daddy would leave a few times during the Christmas season to go visiting their families and friends! Spaulding: First they would spend months buying stuff for beary buddies... Teddy: Welllll, we're "Beary Buddies," but they would also go buy stuff for "everybody" too! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: And then they would wrap them all up in beary pretty paper... Teddy: ...until Mommy couldn't anymore and they put everything in beary pretty bags... Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: Some of this happened JUST before we were born... Teddy: ...AND, when they went out they would take many trips to the car to put the presents in it! Spaulding: And then they would be gone for the longest time! Teddy: We could watch two whole football games while they were gone! :::::::::::::::::Both nod their heads remembering::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: ...and then they would come back with lots and lots of unwrapped presents! Teddy: We particularly liked it when they got cookies and candy!!!! Spaulding: So, now that this was our first Christmas knowing all of our Beary Buddies, we decided not to watch football when Mommy and Daddy went out! Teddy: This year they went out differently! They let Daddy skip his medication once, so he might go. Spaulding: And it worked because they did go! Teddy: ...and they didn't take any presents! Spaulding: All of Daddy's family knew why and they were just so happy to see him, no one noticed! Teddy: And they came home with just one present! Spaulding: ...which really surprised them since they didn't tell anyone that they were going until an hour before they left! Teddy: They didn't stay long, but they were so happy to see Daddy's family again! Spaulding: Daddy said that you can't appreciate family quite as much as when you are beary sick and they still love and want you! We're so beary happy they could go! Teddy: BUT... Spaulding: We weren't invited to go! Teddy: Welllllllll, maybe we might have been, if we didn't announce the party at our house to our beary buddies when Mommy and Daddy left! ::::::::::::::::::::::Both look up at Mommy to see if she would have let them go, but she quietly reminds them of the problem of people, even Daddy's family, finding out how real they are. She doesn't think they would be mean to them, but it would be hard to keep the secret that they met two live Teddy Bears and then there could be problems. They nod their heads in quiet, acceptingly understanding, and then, the mischievous twinkle returns to their eyes::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: BUT, what a party we had! Ding: I'll say! Little Amy came in her chair! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho (Side note from Mommy: Since Christmas Eve, when the Christmas tree was lit, all the Teddy Bears/Stuffed Doggies/Bunny Rabbit family has been out here, enjoying the decorations and the company of family, so they would miss nothing of the Christmas season. We've watched two versions of A Christmas Carol, the entire Nutcracker (first time Mommy's seen it all the way through), and several other minor Christmas specials, as well as enjoying Smackdown! going to Iraq on Christmas Day and all the other Rasslin' shows, since most regular TV was in rerun mode. It's just not Christmas without kids around, and since we have none in the traditional way, we've been enjoying it with our stuffed kids. Ho Ho Ho! ;) ) Dee: We've been quiet until now, waiting for Daddy and Uncle Teddy to get to the part about our parties this season! Lady: Quite frankly, I'm surprised the kids could stay quiet so long! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Valentine: It was a great party though! Axlerod: And, we met some new additions to our group--Rocky, a beary tough acting, but sweet rhinosaurus. He fit in well with Sigmund and myself! Teddy: Who'd ever think of a deep thinking rhino?! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ding: And Amy introduced me to her new family members, Kris and Nicholas! Spaulding: Radar's family also grew. Lady: It was hard to keep up with all the stuffies in the house, including our beary own Need-to-Be-Adopted Teddies! Dee: I hadn't realized how active those angelic angels on our bookcases could get too! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: Yeah, let's keep the one on the corner away from the NiHi from now on! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Valentine: We got to get to know our beary own stuffed Christmas decorations during the party... Lady: ...but we lost track of what became of the corner angel, until Mommy and Daddy discovered her sleeping on the fan when they got home!!! Valentine: ...she drank waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much orange and cream NiHi!!!! Spaulding: I didn't even know there was such a thing as "too much NiHi." All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Axlerod: It was beary hard to keep up with all the activity at our party! Dee: Some of our beary buddies were having a reenactment of our flying race from Mawson's house! Ding: Some of us were just talking in the corner! Teddy: Yeah, but every single corner in the house was taken! Spaulding (with a "That's my boy!" smile only a father can get): Gee, I wonder who Ding was talking to in his corner! :::::::::::::::::::::Ding blushes, and then beams::::::::::::::::::::::: All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Lady: We got a quilting bee going with some of the ladies! Valentine: Do you think Ceite liked his new quilt?! Teddy (with a twinkle in his eye): Do you think he might think it was a bribe to get better grades in our class?! Valentine (very seriously): Do you?! Teddy (sweetly smiling back at his wife): Nooooooooooo! I'm just kidding! It's just a Teddy Bear World quilt anyway, so only we can see it! Axlerod: Krismis had an accident in the kitchen with some chocolate! Dee: Was that an accident? I thought we were supposed to slide through it and then have all the stuffed doggies lick it up?! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: I didn't even know about it until Babybear told me on the message board! That happened at the end, when I was busy sneaking stuffed animals out the back window with their chairs, cushions and blankets to fly home, while Mommy and Daddy came in the front door! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Axlerod (speaking to Spaulding): I noticed you didn't miss the game of Marco Polo that Snoopy started! Spaulding (looking up at Mommy with a sheepish grin): That was Mommy's fault. Before they left, she told me to watch out for anyone wearing a lampshade at our party. When I told Snoopy what she said, he put the lampshade on his head. We couldn't figure out what to do next, so someone suggested playing Marco Polo. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::Ding and Dee jump off the sofa. Dee closes her eyes and starts feeling her way around as she stumbles around the floor. Ding quickly runs away from her.:::::::::::::::: Dee: Marco! Ding: Polo! ::::::::::::::::::::::Dee adjust her direction to Ding's voice as she continues to keep her eyes close and searches for him:::::::::::::: Dee: Marco! Ding: Polo! Axlerod: I hate to break up your game, but aren't we telling what happened instead of reenacting it?! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho ::::::::::::::Dee and Ding stop their game and climb back onto the sofa::::::::::::::::::::: Ding (smiling knowingly at his Dad): It's more fun with a lampshade on your head anyway! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: That party was so beary great, but it wasn't our only party for the holidays! Spaulding: Early on New Year's Eve, we found out that Sydney, Australia was celebrating the new year already and it was only 8 a.m.!!! Teddy: We knew that Mawson's family lived in Perth, which is the other side of Australia, so we asked Axlerod when they would celebrate the new year! Spaulding (opening his paw to Axlerod): And Axlerod told us... Axlerod: Welllll, the new year starts at midnight for everybody in the world, but midnight is determined by the juxtaposition of the sun and how it aligns with the earth at any given season, but that since the season is different compared to where you are on the earth -- summer in Australia is winter in The United States.... Teddy: Yeah, we didn't get it either, so we asked Mawson, and it ended up that we were all invited to his place to celebrate New Years with him and then we would all travel, time zone by time zone to keep celebrating throughout the whole world! Spaulding: Brilliant idea! Axlerod: Actually, it was Sigmund's idea, and he suggested that because the sun lights up each part of the earth at different times but uniformly within any given 24 hour period, that we should, instead, keep track of the New Year celebration, not by the traditional waiting of the clock striking 12, but by traveling, through the use of our magical time thingy--and Rumples is now beginning to be able to relax his ears occasionally while using it--... Teddy: Yeah, he talks like that most of the time! Spaulding: No, we usually don't understand either, but that's why it's soooo great that he has met Sigmund and Radar, so he can talk with others who, not only understand him, but can add to what he says! Axlerod: And now, Rocky, the rhino, has joined us. Such a wise old soul for such a young fellow! Teddy: So, off we went, after gathering all we needed in our helioplaneship boxcar! Lady: I got to wear my faux fur coat that Santa gave me last Christmas, but had to take it off before we got near Australia! Valentine: It's so weird how cold it is here at home and how hot in Perth! Spaulding: I think we went through every type of weather... Teddy: ...no hurricanes...ho ho ho! Spaulding: ...EXCEPT for hurricanes that the world has to offer on our Around the World in 22 hours trip! Dee: All of our Beary Buddies, new and old, met us at Mawson's house! Ding: Amy and Jingles were there! Spaulding: Jingles is a new member of BabyBear's house that has all the guys going gahgah! Lady (raising one eyebrow): All? Spaulding (blushing): Wellll, she is a looker and jingles so beary well, but of course, not as perfect as you, my dear! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Valentine: We didn't stay too long at Mawson's, just enough time to watch the sun come up on the first day in his new year, even though it was still our last day! However tha works out?! Axlerod: Well, once again.... Everyone else: NO! It was a rhetorical comment! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: Mawson wanted us to end our trek at his Daddy's birthplace, New Zealand, which we found out was on the other side, and below Australia! Spaulding: You would think the souther you go the hotter it gets, but Mawson said that New Zealand could get much colder then Perth! Axlerod: That's because..... Everyone else: NO! You've tried s'plaining all this to us and we just don't understand! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: Since we were already confused with winter is summer and morning is night stuff, we decided to visit places all over the earth to see how different groups celebrate differently. Axlerod: Our next stop was a place that I didn't even realize was so close to Australia. It's a place Mommy and I grew up hearing about every night on the news, because American soldeirs were fighting over there and Americans at home didn't want them fighting there! :::::::::::::All the other stuffed animals, and even Mommy stare shocked by Axlerod's words:::::::::::::: Axlerod: Yes, Viet Nam was a place of much fighting by Americans when Mommy and I were young! It's beay hot there AND since we Americans lost the war, those people are still stuck with communism. It's not so war damaged anymore, but it is still scarred! Teddy: Ohhhhhhhhhhh, that's why the peoples acted so funny! I bet that's why we didn't see many Teddy Bears either! Lady: Burma was hot too, but I kept picturing the pretty gowns and sharp outfits of the men in the King and I and couldn't help but be enchanted with the place! Dee: I liked the pretty birdies! They looked like someone got fancy with the crayons to make them that pretty! Ding: India was a huge mixture of types of people and how poor some could be and how rich others were. It was beary weird seeing cows walking around, but not in pastures! Spaulding: The __astan places creeped me out! I thought it was beary much like where Jesus lived, until we visited Isreal. Something about the people though, kinda felt funny! Axlerod: Most of the countries in that area are new, having been part of the Soviet Union, or Czechoslavia, and so, are just starting to figure out how to live on their own. Many of them aren't doing so well, having been instantly taken over by dictators and nasty men the likes of Osama Bin Laden, so they are beary oppressed with women getting it the worse and not being considered even as fully people! There is a reason that terrorist come from that part of the world! Teddy: Yeah, that's why we kinda were torn between going north to Russia, or remain on our course to visit the troops in Iraq! Beary yucky feeling over there. Not a fun place for Americans or Abearicans! Valentine: BUT, did you see the faces of the soldiers in Iraq when they met all of us stuffed animals on New Year's Day...which s also still part of our last day of the old year..... ::::::::::::::::::::::::Valentine, as well as some of the other stuffies, loose their train of thought trying, once again, to try to figure out how it can be one year in one side of the earth and another year on the other side. Eventually, they do what they always do when they think these thoughts, so Mommy must, once again nudge them awake to continue on with their journal entry.::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Dee (whose sheepish grin at being caught napping again turns into a broad smile when she remembers the soldiers reaction): They seem so happy to see other English speaking creatures, it never dawned on them that they were talking to live stuffed animals!!!! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ding (lifting his arms and making sounds as if he were shooting a machine gun): And I was so happy to see all their gear and guns and toys that aren't toys! Spaulding (for the first time in Ding's life, his Daddy's face is stern as he looks at him): That's not our way, Son. Teddy Bears, no matter what, are only for hugs and love, not for guns and shooting. We're so beary glad that the soldiers are willing to use their guns to help those people, but it is not our way. ::::::::::::::::::::Ding looks down embarassed, as he nods his head in true agreement with his Daddy. Both look at each other and quietly smile, knowing that, although it was a tough thing to say, it was the right thing to say for them.:::::::::::::::: Axlerod: After all those countries and places we visited on New Year's Day, it gives us such peace to be living in a country where even peoples understand the price of freedom, and it's also good to have visted so many other countries where freedom lives too! :::::::::::::::::::::::All nod their heads in agreement.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Lady: We did fly over Ethiopia, which made me admire that Ethiopian in the Bible even more! Pretty places, but the people don't make enough money in a whole week to buy just one little Teddy Bear! Spaulding: I think one of my favorite places we visited was Israel, although I knew, in Jesus' day, they never celebrated the new year the same day we do! Axlerod: They also didn't celebrate Jesus' birthday on the day we do either! Teddy (openly shocked): How's that work out?! Axlerod: The star that the magi saw was probably a comet or a star going nova. It didn't last long enough for us to see it today. According to all the time referenences in the gospels, Jesus was probably born somewhere between 7 b.c. and 4 b.c., but might have been born as late as 6 a.d. No one knows for sure! As for exactly when, the shepherds had their sheep nearby, which tells scholars what time of year it probably was, but still, it's a debate between the whether it was Spring or Fall. Spaulding: Is winter summer and summer winter, like how it is between Mawson and us?! Axlerod: Actually, Israel is just above the 30th parrallel, so about where Florida is, so their winters and summers are like ours, but only like ours IF we were in Florida! :::::::::::::::::::::::::Once again, everyone starts thinking over Axlerod's words and Mommy must wake them all up again!:::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Dee: Since we were watching the first day of the new year break in Israel, we then had to decide if we would go south to Africa, or north to Europe! Ding: Honestly, having spent those few hours in the gloomy part of the world, we decided to head north! Teddy: Yeah, maybe it would have been a deeper experience for us, had we gone south, but remember, we ARE Teddy Bears, and .... :::::::::::::::::::::::::All get up off the sofa and start wiggling their bums to the music in their heads as they all sing their Teddy Bear anthem, set to Cyndi Lauper's song, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun!":::::::::::::::::::::::: ~~~~Teddies just want to have fun-un, Teddies just want to have fun!~~~~ ::::::::::::::::::::::::::After they get that out of their system, which took a while considering their experience on that first day of the year so far, took quite some time, but eventually, first Axlerod, then gradually everyone else, finally sit back down to continue their description of the trip.::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: And, boy, oh, boy, did we go NORTH! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: Our next stop was Finland! Valentine: Which really took on some special Axlerod magical time thingy powers, since it's winter there so beary, beary long nights and the sun rose beary late..... Lady: ...but we got to wear our winter clothes again, so I got to show off my faux fur coat from Santa last year!!!! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: And, comparatively, the Fins are NOT o-pressed, nor gloomy, nor sad! Teddy: It was cool... Axlerod: ...literally... All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: ...to watch the sun come over the glacier! Valentine: ...and then on to England for our next sunrise! Spaulding: Yeah, we could have picked so many European places since most of Europe is only in three time zones... Axlerod: Unless, since part of Russia is in Europe and most of it is Asia, you don't want to consider it part of Europe at all.... Spaulding: But, after visiting the troops in Iraq.... Ding: Americans, British and a few other countries... Spaulding: ...we wanted to go visit their homes to bring personal messages back to their families! Axlerod: And again, I think because of the beary magic of the day, no one seemed to notice talking stuffed animals! Valentine: Rocky stopped off at the toy factory that made him, to let the other, not-yet-ready-to-be-adopted stuffed animals know how his life turned out and the joys of being adopted... Dee: ...particularly on Christmas like Ding and me and Rocky and Babybear! Teddy: We did make a quick visit to Germany too, simply because it is where some of the beary original Teddy Bears came from... Lady: ...sorta like a visit to our ancestrial home... Ding: We started heading to Iceland, but got so cold that we decided to go down to Brazil for our next stop! Valentine: Beautiful country, even away from the rain forest! Spaulding: Since many of our Beary Buddies live on the east coast of North Aberica, we decided to visit where we haven't been as often... Teddy: The Carribeans! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Teddy starts beating on Mommy's glass of soda with a pen, as if it were a steel drum. Ding joins in with a pencil banging against any different surface he could find until some sounds could have come from a xylophone, while Dee pulls Mommys kazoo from out of the desk and joins in. It's not long before they are doing a Teddy Bear rendition of "I Shot The Sheriff." Gradually, even before Mommy decides to step in, they realize what they left doing and put their instruments down to finish their tale. Still, they are mighty pleased with themselves for the BEAUTIFUL music they made.::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding (in his usual loud whisper, that's often louder then his usual voice): WE DID SNEAK HOME FOR A MOMENT TO SEE MOMMY AND DADDY IN THE NEW YEAR, BUT THEY WERE TOO BUSY ENJOYING THEIR ALONE TIME TO SEE US. Teddy (following his brother's lead): MOMMY DID WISH US A HAPPY NEW YEAR WHEN WE GOT HOME HALF AN HOUR LATER, BUT DADDY HAD ALREADY GONE TO SLEEP FOR THE NIGHT...EH, MORNING! Dee: One of the most enjoyable sunrises we had was in the Galapagos Islands, just west of Equador! Ding: I'm glad we decided to celebrate with turtles and lizards instead of even Teddy Bears in St. Louis! Axlerod (surprising everyone with his exclamation): Yes, you've never seen a sunrise celebrated until you see a 150 year old, big-enough-to-carry-us-all-at-once tortoise with his 2004 sunglasses and New Year's cap blowing on his noise maker and doing the bunny hop with all the other tortoises and us! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Lady: I think that was the party that really took its toll on our kids! Spaulding: From then on, we had to nudge them awake every new sunrise! Ding (feeling a little defensive): I was awake for the sunrise in Malibu! Dee (trying to be as big as her twin brother): And I saw the sunrise over the Kodiak Islands in Alaska! Valentine (with a big grin): Do you remember the Teddy Bear beach party in Hawaii? ::::::::::::::::::::::Both kids look down sheepishly and shake their heads "no." Adults smile with understanding.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: I bearly remember the beach party in Maui! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Axlerod: We did make a mistake in deciding to visit Mawson's Daddy's old home in New Zealand though! Spaulding: Even Axlerod got mixed up on the whole one year in Australia and a different one in Abearica thingy! Axlerod (smiling sheepishly): Not enough naps in between I fear! Lady (defending her father): Hey, Proffessor Furred and Rumples got it confused too! Axlerod: The earth is split into 24 time zones corresponding to .... Teddy: Wait a minute! You know we'll never understand. How about just telling what happened?! Axlerod: I was?! Spaulding (pleading graciously): In a shorter way? Axlerod: OH! OK! The line that tells where day starts--The International Date Line-- got past between Maui and New Zealand, so we ended up visiting New Zealand on the second sunrise of its year! Short enough? ::::::::::::::::::::::::::All nod their heads in agreement.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: By then it really didn't matter though. Spaulding: I vaguely remember seeing Mawson's Daddy's old home before falling asleep! Axlerod: I'm glad the helioplaneship boxcar knows how to get home automatically, or we would have had problems! Valentine: We're glad you can do the magical time thingy in your sleep! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: Our helioplaneship boxcar went on automatic pilot with all the other cushions and rugs and boxes of our friends and dropped off Mawson's family first, being only a few time zones away, then headed home dropping off Brownie and Holly, then all the bears back to their own homes before taking us safely back home and tucking us into our different beds! Teddy: After that trip, it was good that all the holiday parties were over. We had to nap for days, both in stopped time and real time after that! Spaulding: We still had one party to go--our own Christmas party! Teddy: Mommy and Daddy finally found out when our Christmas would be! Dee and Ding: Tomorrow!!!! January 3rd!!!!!! Spaulding: This journal entry is long enough to be its beary own journal, and now Mommy needs me to help "wrap".... Teddy: She still puts all the presents into beary pretty bags, so wrapping is easy! Spaulding: So, after all this, we have more to do and more to tell about, but will tell the rest after our Christmas. Teddy: Soooooooo, until next time... Axlerod: And, for those who also are having late Christmas, once again we say.... All: Merry Christmas to all and God bless us, everyone!