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I have just plain old gotten out of the habit of posting. Am think of making a New Year's Resolution about it. Or rather, a resolution. For some reason, ti seems like the ones that are made in January have less of a hope of sticking.

Christmas was so fantastic. Really, really great. My parents came down to pick me up on Tuesday, and we did a little shopping in the city nearby with my niece. None of us really had that much actual Christmas shopping to do. We were just out having a good time. At the end of the day, we met up with M, who works between our town and the city we were in, and we went to see the Christmas lights at the horse park. It was so much fun. The lights were neat and all, but the real winner was the free petting zoo and stuff going on at the end. It was all largely outdoors, so we were all bundled up against the cold--don't know if I've ever spent so much time outdoors after dark in December--but it was still great. Evelyn loved the petting zoo part SO MUCH. She was feeding them carrot sticks and petting everything. There were goats and antelopes and ostriches and buffalo and even a kangaroo. (Evie liked the goats the best.) It was all magical and stuff.

While all the shopping was going on, I was also talking to M on the phone occasionally, as we are wont to do, and I suggested to him that he take Wednesday off work instead of the following Monday. He had one more day of vacation left to use, and originally, Wednesday was out because someone else was taking it off. But, her plans changed so... anyway, M decided not to work Wednesday, and so we called Santa up and asked him to come to our house early so we could leave town on Wednesday evening without missing him. Santa is so considerate that he immediately agreed. ;) I don't know if we'll be able to do that kind of rearranging much longer, since Evelyn may begin to question it after a while, but it's so inconvenient to be out of town over Christmas. We do the family gift thing on Christmas Eve in my family, but we do a holiday dinner on Christmas Day, so it doesn't make sense to drive home at midnight on Christmas Eve (hour and a half from my parents, or two if we left from my grandfather's house.) But... we also don't want to drag all of the presents we have for each other to my parents house, since we want to have a little bit of family time to ourselves, too. Anyway, it worked out fine this year. Evelyn was thrilled when Santa came and I was thrilled to watch her, and M and I got great gifts for each other. Then we went to do the family thing and there was nothing terribly dramatic going on, so all in all--great Christmas.

From M, I got a pair of pearl earrings, a book, a game and a new old cell phone. ;) Last year, I accidentally put my phone in the washer, where it died a painful death. It wasn't a fancy phone, and the replacement phone that I've been using off and on since then was actually a slightly newer, but similar, phone. However, I liked it because the sound quality was very good and I use my cell phone as my primary house phone, and I don't text and I refuse to pay for internet service when I am at home most of the time anyway, so it makes a lot more sense for me to focus on sound quality than all those fancy things that I would dearly love to play with but don't need. So... he bought me a replacement phone like the one I used to have.:) I thought that was very thoughtful of him. :) AND, the best part was that he made me a set of three wooden candleholders. He does a lot of woodworking/instrument building, but he has never really made anything for me so it was a lovely present. :) I mainly got him a bunch of Xbox stuff, and a shirt that says "Shop smart, shop S-Mart" with accompanying illustrations. (Anyone know? hehe.) From the parents, I got a bunch of shirts and a new printer and hair straightener and a cooking pot, and a bunch of other things that I can't remember. Makeup.

I told Evie recently that after Christmas, she was going to have to learn to use the potty every time. I didn't actually intend to start with this project until after New Years, but somehow we ended up going for it today. I put her in panties all day and nagged her relentlessly about using the potty. On the bright side, she got ten stickers on her potty chart--definitely a record. On the down side, she also peed all over the damned place. I don't know what her deal is because I wouldn't have thought she peed ten times in one day normally, much less all the other random peeing. I know that I am probably making it harder by putting panties on her instead of leaving her bottom bare, but it has never really worked out well for her when we've tried it in the past. She usually ends up crying and begging for her diaper. I think it feels strange to her, extended nakedness. Besides, I don't want to have trouble when we go from bare bottom to wearing panties.. I'd rather get it all over with at once, if I can. Soo... yeah, it was kind of a rough day, especially since we also took the Christmas tree down and have been trying desperately to pick up all the chaos and gifts left over from Christmas. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

And on that note, I have to go do more laundry before we end up with a panty shortage. :) Also, I think that a snack would be appropriate..
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I'm going to try something new and actually follow through with a picture of a finished project! We bought a new flat-screen TV to hang over the fireplace and we have had a LOT of setbacks in getting it put up, but it's finished now!

M thought this picture needed annotation but I'm too lazy to write captions directly on the photo like he envisioned. I shall just direct your attention to the highlights. First, we were not actually watching South Park, just flipping through channels with the mute on (as we were listening to Nat King Cole singing about Christmas.) Just getting the important stuff out of the way. ;) The TV looks smaller than it actually is. The big electronic things in the right bookcases are the receiver, dvd player, xbox and wii, and the important thing here is that... note that you don't see any cables from those items. We're going to do a little more prettification of that area but for now--not seeing cables running in front of the bookcase is enough. :) Also, those big black things on either side are speakers. Amazingly enough, those speakers were dragged all the way from Sweden with M--so purchased long before we moved in here--and they just happened to fit the spaces in the bookcase like that. Absolutely incredible...though they've been there so long now that I barely see them anymore.

And.. just a quick note on the presents on top of the bookcase. We put presents up there last year to keep them away from prying toddler fingers and then realized that it was really, really cute that way. So, there's my home decorating tip of the day--when possibly, use your wrapped presents as decoration, as it looks festive and happy and Christmasy, and it also keeps people from looking too closely at the interesting things under the tree. I do have some presents under both of the trees as well, just to keep it pretty. So far, Evelyn's been pretty good about not bothering them.. hope she keeps to that.

Now, the second thing I wanted to write about is Christmas cards. If I don't have your address and you think I should, send me an email at kisha at mosaicminds dot net. If you want to know my address, I have a contact info post here (friends only).
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What happened to this week? I blinked, and Christmas was over. Now we are home, fat and happy and completely exhausted, with piles and piles of loot. My parents are way too generous but it makes for a great Christmas. :) They bought me, among other things, a microwave that goes over the stove. Yay for more counter space and hopefully a microwave that doesn't randomly shoot sparks! M got a drill press, a fancy huge dealio. He was super excited. I was excited, too, cause I kind of broke his current drill press, and I sort of promised to replace it if I broke it. I have been using it as a snap press for putting snaps on Evie's diapers, and as it turns out... that much pressure is kind of hard on the cheaper drill presses, and part of it warped. Oops! The old one was also too small for his needs so I sort of flippantly reassured him that oh, if snaps messed it up, I would totally buy him a good one, but I really didn't expect that I would actually need to do it. And now I don't! Yay. :)

Santa came on Tuesday morning and left Evelyn a little house of her very own. She loves it. It's so cute. We opened all of our family presents and then I headed off with the baby to have lunch with my ex-coworkers (great fun!) while M had some quality time with his bandsaw and a package of sausage. Not at the same time. E took a nap when we got home, and we got ready to leave for my parents house. Oh, if only we had gotten ready first and then let her sleep (late) in the car! It ended up taking us at least three hours to drive what should have been an hour and a half, because of freezing rain and icy road conditions, plus accident-related traffic jams. It was completely miserable, and yet... we saw a new wreck every two or three miles so it was hard to whine too strenuously because it could have been so much worse, you know? I actually got out of the car on the interstate to get in the back seat with a cranky Evelyn at one point while we were stuck in traffic. After we got through the big traffic jam, we contemplated stopping to let her out of the car seat for a few minutes, but the roads were getting so much worse that we really didn't feel like we had much of a choice but to keep going. We were SO glad to get to my parents at long last!

Anyway. Then there was the Christmas thing, and that was great fun. Evelyn had way more fun than she was really able to handle, because she's still exhausted. Unfortunately, she also seems to be coming down with something this evening. :( There was a stomach bug present at the Christmas Eve festivities so I am hoping that's not what she has.

I did something that I think turned out really well for Christmas Eve. I wrapped up a bunch (forty? fifty? I didn't count) of random toiletries and other free items that I've been picking up for the last few months and put them all in a large bag. Then I went around the room about three times, letting everyone pick out a random present to unwrap. It was lots of fun. There were some useful items (toothpaste!) and a few duds (poor 11-year-old cousin unwrapped the bad breath kit first thing!) and of course, the boxes of Preparation H and Just for Men hair dye, and some other general items--lip gloss, makeup, shampoo, razors, toothbrushes, candy, mouthwash, vitamins, batteries, Excedrin, etc. I would have put more stuff in but I finally ran out of time to wrap stuff. Everyone was giggling and laughing and it seemed to go over really well, which made me happy. I was second-guessing the whole plan the night before we left, afraid it would just end up being lame and weird and then everyone would make fun of me. Everyone really seemed to enjoy it, though. Being able to give stuff away is one of my favorite parts of couponing.

Anyway. My parents came down tonight in time for dinner and brought the rest of our Christmas loot, and they're spending the night to help us get the microwave installed and such tomorrow. (Carrie, I made your jalapeno chicken thing for them. They liked it too.) We went to bed early because we are all still pretty tired, but then somehow I haven't made it there yet. I'd better hit the hay because it seems pretty likely that I'll be up in the middle of the night with the baby... and if not, she'll wake us up early enough in the morning anyway. I so miss being able to stay up late and sleep in on the weekends.
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I read somewhere that the average dryer cycle costs about fifty cents in electricity. Using that figure (and not even calculating the potential increase caused by the extra-long, higher cycle that I dry diapers on) and then adding in a little extra for the two washer cycles they go through, plus the laundry detergent used.... it is actually cheaper for me to use disposable diapers. Today, I bought two packs for what amounts to $1.75 each, after rebates and bonuses.


Having said that, I'm still not giving it up, because there are other reasons for using cloth. It's nicer and it's cuter and it's softer and it's better for the environment and it's better for her health and all those things. Etc. But it's pretty cool to not have the financial consideration when throwing the trashies away now. Oh, I really like the diapers from Walgreens. They're similar to Pampers, better than Huggies. I kinda wish they had Elmo on them.

In other news, yesterday was my annual Christmas shopping trip with my parents. Every year, we go and have a great time doing the bonding thing. The shopping is really secondary. We just have fun. Yesterday was also fun except Miss Dorko fell apart in the afternoon from the lack of nap (she woke up at 6:30, for some reason, which didn't help.) She took a little rest on Granny and then she ate and then perked up again for a ride through Target. I had to leave in order to pick up M at work at 6:15, and I am sorry to say that when he called at 6:15, I was still in Lexington. It was 6:40 before I picked him up. :( I felt really really bad, but a string of bad choices and unfortunate circumstances intervened. Of course it was mostly my fault for losing track of time, but then E refused to get into her car seat without nummy nummy and then I was stuck in traffic and then I got distracted by M being ticked off at me and I took the wrong exit. Well, right exit, but the wrong direction. Evelyn fell asleep in the car and we had some concerns about what would happen with that, but she woke up and cried through me changing her clothes and diaper as speedily as humanly possible and then we settled down on the couch for the normal bedtime routine, and she slept all through the night. She woke up at 5:30 this morning in a terrific mood. I actually did not mind in the least because (knowing that there was bound to be trouble) I was in bed by 9:45, so I actually got more sleep last night than usual. Woohoo! The day has felt long, though, I must say.

How's your Christmas shopping going? Are you done? Everything wrapped? I'm almost completely done, liking only one $15 gift for a male person (unspecified person, for a Yankee swap deal) and maybe a little something something for M. I have a bunch of wrapping left to do, but mainly because I am doing a little fun thing with my free junk. Anyone buy someone something really really good?


Dec. 25th, 2007 11:25 pm
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It is so good to be home! We had a great time this Christmas but no place is like home. Evelyn is still too small to understand what's going on, of course, but she was able to unwrap a few gifts with assistance and she was very excited by all the cheery happy presents.

She was so excited, as a matter of fact, that she grew a tooth and said "Mama". !!! All in one day!

It's her bottom left tooth. M found it yesterday afternoon while holding her on the couch. Her daddy spoils her and lets her chew wildly on his (clean) hands if she wants, even though she quite enjoys bearing down on his knuckle, causing great pain. This was suddenly less fun with the addition of a jaggedy sharp toofer! Fun fun! I was glad that he found it because I get most of her firsts already. She celebrated by biting me while eating dinner last night, but not hard enough to hurt. I was on heavy alert for the biting to commence. I am terrified of her now but she did go through a biting spell a couple of weeks ago, pre-teeth, and that has mostly passed, so maybe she won't be too bad.

When we arrived at my grandfather's house yesterday, she was beyond sleepy from missing out on most of her naptime during the day, and there was all these loud people and she was completely overwhelmed. She started crying and looking for me in a panic. Even my mom wasn't good enough, and she was making "muh-muh-muh" sounds while reaching for me. We discussed whether or not she meant to say "mama" or not but came to no real conclusions.. until later in the evening when I walked out of the room and she started crying and saying "mamama!!" Then I would reappear and she would stop crying. Aww! I made her cry, how sweet! ;)

(For the sake of completeness, I should say that M and I have been trying to figure out if she's been saying Dada for the last week or two. Sometimes she really seems to mean M when she says it but then again, it is just a random sound and sometimes she just says it, so we're not sure. I think she's brilliant and all, but I think that there has to be INTENT on these first milestones, otherwise, her first words were "a wing". She said it, after all! Certain unnamed persons of my acquaintance--none of you--claim a serious maturity on the parts of their young charges that I just do not believe is warranted, and I really don't want to be one of those people. Anyway, we're not sure about Dada but we're positive about Mama. We've also been questioning "hi" lately, and we're pretty sure she did mean to say that tonight too.)

It amuses us that she had two such big moments on Christmas. Nice present for Mama and Dada..

The loot was good this year, too. M and I were somewhat restrained because of the Wii, but he bought me snap dies for his drill press (and snaps) so that I can use polyacetal resin snaps (the plasticy ones) on diapers and so much more! I am absurdly excited about that. My parents bought us (among other things) a digital photo frame... which was particularly funny since that's what we bought them. ;) The one we gave them was a little larger and had a card full of photos to go along with it. Evelyn got piles of stuff, including two stuffed items that are bigger than she is. She also got clothes and more toys than one child needs. I guess it's a good thing that we didn't buy her that much ourselves, even if it was nearly impossible to keep myself from going wild with it. She also got a Cabbage Patch baby, which has made her ooh and ahh. As a Christmas gift to my baby, I.... (can you believe it??) actually let her touch stuff without freaking out too much! They all make fun of me because I don't let her chew on random items that have never seen soap before, like water bottles or brand new toys. On one hand, I do believe that it's not good for her immune system to have no exposure to germs. On the other hand, it makes my extremely uneasy to see her handle thongs that I know are dirty. I can't help it.

For the last few years, we've put together a game or special thing for my niece to get a money gift--she's hard to buy for. Last year it was an elaborate Deal or No Deal gameshow, once it was fifty dollar bills taped end-to-end and pulled through a slot in a box, one year it was a little contest where she "picked" the right envelope off the tree (it was rigged, but she was so excited about it that my mom didn't want to tell her the truth so we're still not sure if she knows.) Anyway, I orchestrated the game this year, which was a scavenger hunt. I wrote a dozen little rhymes that sent her all over the house to find the next clue until she arrived back at the tree to find an envelope hidden in the back with the cash. I really like that we do this because she loves it and I think it means a lot to her that we put such energy into it. We have fun planning it, too. I'm not sure what we'll do next year, though--I've had this planned for two years.

I am beginning to type really badly so it's time to go pass out in bed for as long as my talking, tooth-having baby will let me. I hope you all had an excellent Christmas!
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Yesterday morning, I wrote myself an explicit list for the week. It's the kind of list that breaks things down into small chunks so that there is instant gratification of marking things out. For example, on my normal list, I would write "wrap presents". But that would be so unsatisfying because all of the presents have not arrived yet, so I would be wrapping all week with no smaller goals, so I broke them into groups for location, and so a variation of "wrap" appears on this list seven times. Yes, I know, I need to cut it out with the lists* because this is clearly the work of someone who is insane. Anyway, I have been working my butt off these past two days, and I have somehow only managed to cross off five items. How is this possible? I am worn out. I specifically made this list so that I could cross things out often! My morale-improving to-do list is depressing me.

*I read once that list-makers have an increased risk of developing Alzheimers. As if a family history isn't enough! I'm so happy (sarcasm intended) that I read that because I just do not spend enough time worrying!

I baked cookies tonight for M's holiday lunch tomorrow. Do you even know how good real, homemade snickerdoodles are? They're so delicious! I sent them in with M at some point and they were devoured in no time, so I promised I'd send more eventually. Christmas makes me bakey anyway, so it was a good time for it.

It's really sad, but I have gotten a lot of joy out of taunting M today, telling him I know what he's getting for Christmas. I am really just 12 years old at heart.

p.s. This year, things have slipped up on me and I have not yet done any sort of holiday card preparations. If I normally send you a card, I didn't remove you from my list or anything, I just kinda suck.
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How big are popcorn ball supposed to be? My dad always talks about this one lady who gave out popcorn balls at Halloween, and how they looked forward to getting them every year because they were so good. I want to make him some popcorn balls for Christmas this year--along with his gift, I'm not just being stingy--but I have never had them and the recipes that I've read so far don't say. My plan is to make them from this recipe but if anyone has a better one, I'm all ears.

This weekend was full--partially nice, partially too busy. Saturday, we had to go to the Lucia event put on by our Scandinavian Heritage group. M was the narrator again, and he did a very fine job again. My parents and my niece came, too. I'm not sure they were terribly impressed but we are always going to these events, so I wanted to invite them to one. We also threw in some shopping, some holiday photos (although you can see how those turned out!) and some hair cutting. Yesterday was brilliant. We slept in! And got some stuff done, but relaxed! I have determined that Christmas will be Saturday at the Yayer residence, and I want to have the house clean and everything done before then. Because really, why NOT add more pressure to my week? On Saturday, we are going to play with our toys (should they arrive on time) and we are going to putter in the kitchen and we are going to tickle our baby and we will listen to Nat King Cole and we just might dance. (Anyone watch Ellen? Wasn't that a just like a conclusion to one of her monologues? It wasn't even on purpose!)

In other news, NewEgg charged me $10 for shipping on an order recently. I paid it because they have good prices so it still worked out in our favor, but I was pissy about it. I generally don't even shop at online stores that charge shipping if I can help it AT ALL. Even at Amazon, I won't buy things that I can't get free shipping on. Yes, I know that it costs them money to ship items to me, but shipping something to a brick and mortar store ALSO has costs associated with it, and I am, after all, buying their products, so stop gouging me with shipping, online businesses! Buying from individuals online is different, but I still calculate shipping as part of the price and therefore I don't buy much from individuals, either. I can't believe how many people just ignore the cost of shipping when they figure out how much stuff costs online... but that was a completely random rant.

Anyway, I heard a thump outside this morning and I ran to the door to see UPS sitting outside and three packages stacked thigh-high on my doorstep, all coming from the same place. What could it be?! Now, granted, I am short, but what the heck? Each item arrived in its own box! Two of those items which each required these giant boxes were about as big as my palm and more or less flat--they could have arrived in a padded envelope with room to spare. One of them weighed an ounce, the other an ounce and a half. They were shipped from the same warehouse and would have fit nicely into the box that the larger item came in. (I won't say what it is because there is a minuscule chance that the gift-receiver could read this, but it was one item plus two accessories for that item.) Maybe I shouldn't care, but that is exactly the sort of crap that caused them to charge me ten dollars. I am thinking of emailing them to complain. And beyond the fact that it's stupid and wasteful and expensive... my UPS driver has enough to do right now without carting around two extra packages for no particular reason. THINK OF THE UPS GUY, NEWEGG.

And yes. I just told a very long story about receiving three boxes, and I didn't even tell you what was in them. Me = bad blogger. I will write about something more interesting. Eventually. But not right now, because right now I am going to talk about toilet paper and how my husband is very very silly. Last week, he stopped to pick some up on his way home, and for some reason or another, he bought the cheap stuff. A few days later, I remarked that the cheap toilet paper seemed to be lasting a lot longer than the expensive stuff does. "Yes," he says seriously, "because it's not as much fun to use." That really tickled me, and it keeps running through my head. Not as much fun to use! Ha! Although I guess maybe you'd have had to have been there.

On that note, I will take myself off to recline on the couch and complain about there being nothing on television. Fun times!
same_sky: (evelyn playing with blanket)
Lessons learned this weekend include the fact that seven-month-olds are not as easy to keep still while doing timed family portraits as two-month-olds.

Merry Christmas anyway.

Merry Christmas
same_sky: (stop and smell the flowers)
I made a leap of faith today, when I did a bit of after-Christmas sale shopping. There are certain things that I buy on sale after Christmas, and wrapping paper is one of them, because I love it and yet I think it costs too much. I tend to have pretty packages under the tree, and they are typically very grown-up looking--lacking in cartoon reindeer and elves. This year, I didn't have a single roll of kid paper, having run out of my Spongebob Squarepants paper last year. (Yes, that would be paper I bought for M's presents, since he is really just a big kid.) Anyway, I was at K-Mart today, sorting through the lovely tubes of papery goodness, and I automatically discarded a three-pack with cute Santas and gaily wrapped presents... but then I stopped. Next year, there is a very good chance that I will be wrapping up more presents for small children than usual. Next year, I may have a need to have Santa-exclusive wrapping paper. (Okay, so a six-month old baby will not connect the dots and find out the 'truth' about Santa because I wrapped a present in the same paper that Santa used, but if you knew me at all you would know that this is NOT something that I would be able to bring myself to do.) So, I bought Santa paper. For Ducky. It sounds dumb, but it was kind of a big step. That's a very long range plan for me, right now. Since we're planning on beginning to buy other stuff next month, though, I figured that some generic wrapping paper was a pretty small thing in the relative scheme of things.

Speaking of things that I buy on sale after Christmas, I sent out a few cool Christmas cards this year. (I had a few different choices, so some people got normal cards, at least.) I actually paid more for these cards last year than any other cards, ever, because I thought they were so clever. They had a scratch-and-play game on the front, and it made a reference to Santa knowing if you've been bad or good. There are four silver circles, so you scratch off one and see if you've been Naughty or Nice or whatever. When I got them out this year and started working on them, M looked at one and said, "I don't get it. What are you supposed to do?" So there was clue number one. Obviously, I didn't do any scratching because that would just ruin a card. On Christmas Eve, my cousin Rae called to talk to everyone, since she couldn't be there. And, guess what! Her card wouldn't scratch! So apparently, I sent out a batch of nonsense Christmas cards with a game that cannot be understood and a broken scratch-off game. Woot. I am really rocking with the holiday spirit this year. I feel like such a dweeb.

I bought next year's cards today, and you'll be glad to know that there was nothing clever about them. I am going to have to accept that I am not cool enough for the clever. At least none of my international cards have come back to me for not putting a country on them again... yet.
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Home! I am so glad to be home! Little Miss Antisocial Raging Hormones wore herself out with three days of fun family togetherness, and then had to come home and weep piteously at nothing in particular. I seem to have entered the Moody segment of pregnancy--poor M! And, due to me not hearing him comfort me correctly, I came away from this with the understanding that occasionally crying is necessary so that porn is okay again. It was an odd conversation, I can tell you that much, and I said some completely ridiculous things because when one is crying at nothing in particular, one must make up reasons for being upset and they tend to be weird. But, you will be glad to know that the tears have been dried and porn is good once more. Theoretically. I must say that I am not really that much of a porn fan, but if I had been. I am actually happier with life than I've been in a long while, so it feels very strange to cry at the drop of a hat over nothing.

So, Christmas! It was nice! My niece is now in a stage where she's hard to buy for, so for the last three Christmases, my parents have given her $50 to round out the dollar amounts with what they give M and me. My parents are very, very good at spending the same on all three of us. In 2004, we planned a little game where she chose an envelope from the tree that contained the money, and M and I just picked dummy envelopes with $1. (That one went over so well that we still have not told her that it was rigged.) Last year, they taped fifty one dollar bills together, end to end, and put them all in a regular box with a slot cut in the top, the edge of the first dollar taped on the top to get it started. So, she pulled it out, and kept pulling and pulling and pulling because it actually takes quite a while to pull fifty bills out of a box like that! We were all giggling like mad by the time she got it done.

This year, they orchestrated a Deal or No Deal game to give her the money. Deal or No Deal is a game show. There were fourteen "cases", aka envelopes, placed on the tree with numbers on them. There was a board with dollar amounts listed, and the envelopes all contained notes with corresponding dollar amounts. She chose her case to start out--she picked 11, which is her age--and then began choosing envelopes. M handled all photography, and Mom and I were the lady lovelies who opened the case. (I did not object to the stereotypical idea here, but M knew I was thinking it even though I said nothing, and that was enough.) Dad did all the commentating, which he was perfect for.The gist here is that what appears on the tree is NOT in her case, so she is eliminating the possibilities to find out how much she has. Periodically, the banker would call and "talk" to my dad, who has a long history of talking to Mr. Nobody on the phone. The banker would give her an offer to buy her case and end the game--she'd get the amount that the banker offered. We even had a small chest with NO DEAL written on the top, and DEAL written inside, so that she could slam the lid on the case in response to the banker. This was dreadfully confusing until you actually saw it in action, so I hope this makes sense. Anyway, it was really funny, and it turned out much, much better than M or I had anticipated. She immediately chose the cases with the highest amounts of money, though, which wasn't so great. At the end of the game, she was going to open a $20 case, but the banker called back with a last-minute offer to either take the $20 or open the mystery envelope, which had cash money inside--maybe one dollar, maybe a million. (She was skeptical of this last claim.) She wavered between the two, but in the end chose the mystery envelope and ended up with the correct prize. It was completely unrigged, except for the final offer to trade for the mystery envelope--none of us had any idea what dollar amounts were in what envelope. That made it a lot more fun for us to watch and participate in. It was a lot of fun. I wanted to do a scavenger hunt, with clues and small wrapped packages. Maybe next year!

We came home tonight and started putting stuff away before we took the obligatory pictures of our loot, which is disappointing. Highlights for me include an mp3 player, a pearl pendant (from M), a flash drive, seasons three and four of Friends and a little massaging gadget. Highlights for M include an mp3 player (which was a surprise for him), some CDs and a DVD, some tool-related items, and an oil pan. We do fun stockings full of small little gifts, and the oil pan was part of that one. We bought Whitley an mp3 player, too, which I think she really liked. I helped her put a few songs on it before she had to go home, but we don't have much time on Christmas Eve for playing with her, so hopefully we'll be able to work on that a little more later. My grandfather seemed to really, really like his bread machine.. he had the box opened and was peering inside for a long while before someone finally pointed out that perhaps he should work on the stack of presents growing at his feet instead of playing with the first one he opened. I got a second-hand lecture (from my cousin, who he had been talking to before we arrived today) about how we shouldn't be spending money on him like that when we have other expenses, but I must say that we both really, really enjoyed it. It feels nice to give people stuff that they like.

And then there is Ducky, who also received presents this year. :) Almost everyone bought Ducky a little bitty something, so we now have our very first baby-related items in the house. Strangely, most of these items had DUCKS on them. I can't imagine why. It was very touching, and more so because it didn't wig me out. There has been a serious anti-jinx ban on baby stuff until now. My parents even put together a few things in a stocking for the duckling. Ducky celebrated by dancing around all weekend long, and occasionally accommodating me by curling up in a ball so that s/he could be felt from the outside.

We did the Christmas dinner today, and it was delicious, as usual. I wanted to eat twice as much as I could hold. I admit to a bit of pre-meal sulking, when I realized that there was a shortage of frozen lemonade, and therefore, the cousin who was planning on making the punch was planning on just skipping it instead. "Christmas is RUINED," I whined melodramatically to M, who--oddly--laughed at me. How rude! But, we finally prevailed, and fetched the ingredients and I stirred it up after the blessing had been said, making me the last one to get a plate of food. It was still good (with a package of lemonade kool-aid substituted) so I was happy. I love punch. Christmas would just be wrong without it! I did feel the urge to reassure Cousin that I was just teasing her about ruining Christmas, as earlier, I might have called her a crack whore as well, and I decided that she might think I was being kind of a little bit bitchy, maybe. (In my defense--the crack whore comment was made totally out of LOVE, okay? But I was serious about the punch.)

Anyway, nice holiday. I'm glad to be home, though, because it is nice and quiet here and I don't have to wear clothes if I don't want to. That's pretty much my criteria for a good time--not so much the party animal, am I?
same_sky: (Default)
I was on the phone with my mom tonight, and (as is my habit now) rubbing at my belly*, and I felt a large, hard lump sticking up where there wasn't a large, hard lump before. I could feel a baby duck! I tapped M until he turned around, and moved his hand to my belly and smoothed it over the lump. I was afraid he wouldn't know what I was after, since Mom was still talking and I didn't want to interrupt her to explain... but then his eyes got big and he said, "ooooh!! NEAT!" After all that poking--I should really stop pestering my child--Ducky finally shifted away, but it was really cool. Also, M thinks he felt her moving last night, but it's so hard to be sure, since, as I've said, it's still pretty faint.

Eighteen weeks tomorrow. That's a pretty fantastic Christmas present right there.

M and I are planning on celebrating our Christmas tomorrow, because we won't be home until evening on Christmas Day. We didn't go too wild and crazy with the presents this year, since we already bought ourselves a digital video camera, and because honestly, I was impossible to shop for because I couldn't think of anything I really wanted. M, I could shop for all day long, or rather, I could spend three thousand dollars on him before I even got out of the tool section at Sears. But, I'm not going to because, well. That would be insane, and I am not. He is much easier to buy for than I am, I'm afraid. Anyway, in the evening, we may or may not be going to my parents house. On the plus side, I could have a stromboli, which I have been craving for my entire pregnancy (I did have one a few weeks ago, which helped) but on the down side, it would require us to spend two nights away from home. It's up in the air, probably a little more likely that we will than we won't.

I just began looking at cribs and nurseries online tonight. I have learned one thing: I have really expensive taste. M feels that we should not try to get cutesy. I feel that he will do as I say and stop having opinions about nurseries. I JEST. If I wanted a husband who would do as I say without giving me any attitude, I sure wouldn't have married M. He is many things, but unopinionated is not one of them.

The sheets are finally out of the dryer and it is time to turn my weary bones bedward. I am going to enjoy this.

Happy Friday!

*To My People, the Infertiles: I am so, so sorry. I cannot stop. I don't do it in public. Much. Yet. I'm trying.
same_sky: (Default)
I am relieved to announce that I have completed my Christmas shopping with one semi-exception (picking up a gift card, which hardly counts, since the decision has been made.) I have to start again with the wrapping now, but that's a manageable task now that I know what I have left to wrap. I've even done my master Christmas list with amounts and totals of what I've spent. Last year, I never got around to finishing up the last bits of it, and it stayed on my to-do list until late summer, when I realized that I was never going to finish it and let's move on already. We were home before lunch, even! I was afraid we would end up driving aimlessly around Lexington all day, trying to figure out what to buy. I am not so pleased to announce that we totally went over budget.. in one notable case, we spent more than double what we should have when we bought a bread machine for my grandfather. It was sweet, though, because it was M who insisted that we buy it. It's easier for him to have the final say on doubling the budget for someone in my family, and I think it's sweet that he likes my grandfather enough to want to do special stuff for him. My grandfather, by the way, is becoming more and more anti-preservatives healthy living (with a bit of semi-quackery thrown in for good measure) in the last few years, so he's expressed interest several times in our bread machine And really, the budget is less important than picking out the Right Gift, as opposed to finding the first crappy thing that comes along at the right price. So I guess what I am saying is that ironically, I believe that spending more on one present is less about the commercialization of the holidays than spending less. That makes absolutely no sense.

We had friends over last night and had a very nice time. We ate a Mexican restaraunt with a waiter that defies description, but he and I apparently had a serious language barrier because I made a total dork of myself by not understanding a single word he said. The evening's highlight was a little boy, perhaps five, who stopped at our table, did a little dance and then topped it off by singing, "I like to move it, move it!" I think maybe you would have had to be there but it was really funny. Also funny was the following exchange, just as they walked in the front door. (Please note that while we haven't seen them since their wedding in May, the two men, J and M, have exchanged several emails in that time.)

L enters the house, with a significant but unexpected pregnant belly.

J: Oh, I guess I didn't tell you. She's pregnant!

M: Yeah. I didn't mention it either, but so is she!


Speaking of the whole pregnancy deal.. I'm now officially seventeen weeks along. That sounds like a lot! He's had a pretty active week. I have a tendency to sit so that my keyboard tray is pressed against my belly.. not hard, just a bit of pressure. Ducky apparently does not care for this. I also have lovely stretch marks popping out. My mom asked me if I had been putting anything on them to keep them from showing. Is it that horrible that I can't really work up the energy to care about stretch marks? I might even like the things. As it turns out, my body can do cool stuff! I guess maybe I will regret this attitude later on, but I've always been pretty skeptical that you really have any control over this anyway. My next appointment is Tuesday, and I think that the one after that is the one with the big ultrasound. My mom keeps asking me when it'll be. I think she's afraid that I won't tell her about it. I don't know why because I did tell her that she could come to that one. I wasn't too keen on having an audience with the first one we had, but this one should be okay. Hopefully. I'm pretty excited to find out if it's a he or a she because this alternating days is getting very hard to keep straight. Also, I'd like to buy things. AND MAKE LISTS. I don't really need to know if it's a boy or a girl to make lists, but I scheduled "thinking about things to do and things to buy" for after Christmas. I guess maybe scheduling things to think about is kind of weird but that's how I am.

Anyway, I guess it's time to go find something productive to do. We ran around cleaning all day yesterday (the house looks fantastic) and then we were up early this morning to go shopping. Now it feels hard to settle into doing nothing, which is why I started writing this in the first place. I might as well take advantage of that while it lasts, though, and go wrap something.

some stuff

Dec. 14th, 2006 08:58 pm
same_sky: (Default)
I have now wrapped almost all of the presents that I have purchased. I love seeing the tree with presents underneath, so I hate it when I procrastinate with the wrapping because it only hurts me in the end. I used to enjoy wrapping, but it's become a chore in the last couple of years. I'm tired of doing the fancy bows and ribbons, and I feel a lot of guilt for just sticking a pre-made bow on top (although I have been doing it for most packages.) I've always said that if you care enough to give someone a gift, then it's a nice touch to make the package as pretty as you can. I still believe it, but at Christmas, there are just TOO MANY to enjoy fiddling with. Also, something that has decreased my enjoyment as much as anything else is that the paraphernalia required to wrap pretty presents has expanded until it's just a hassle to get everything out and organized. I suffer for my art.. or, more recently, I don't suffer at all.

I bought stuff to make a miniature wreath to take to work to adorn my bland walls. Here's what I was not considering: it actually requires time and energy and dragging out the hot glue gun to do projects like this! Who would have guessed? By the time I've gotten around to it, it will probably be time to retire, and I won't need wall adornment. Even if I put it together soonish, I certainly won't feel like taking it to work for a week's worth of pretty. I just get lazier and lazier. Sad, really. And no, I still haven't written in my Christmas cards. I've resigned myself to the notion that at least two of them won't be received until after the jet-setters get back from their international travels, after the holidays. I'm such a slacker.

We have friends coming over on Saturday, and I am really dreading the house cleaning thing. I like the company just fine, but they've never been here so that means that I'm going to have to actually make things clean and pretty. Their house is really nice, and we have not done nearly as much stuff as we wanted to because we have been funneling money elsewhere (but have I told you what a beautiful uterus I have? because really, it's lovely.) instead of say, buying bedroom furniture that matches. We don't even have sensible furniture in the sunroom anymore.. just a neglected entertainment center, a neglected exercise bike, and three pieces of neglected storage pieces we bought for the townhouse but have nowhere to put here. Of course, right now, M is in the kitchen blending up an outrageously disgusting concoction to ward off sickness because he is pretty sure he's coming down with something, so I guess there is the possibility that we'll have to cancel. (Definition of outrageously disgusting? Raw garlic and ginger, pureed with apple cider vinegar, all three of which are known for health benefits. When he thinks he's getting sick, he'll mix up a batch at eat it on toast. Actually, tonight he apparently didn't have the energy for the full treatment, and he ate a clove of garlic all on its own instead. Raw. YUCK.) Anyway, if he ends up sick, then I guess we may have to cancel and therefore we won't have to clean, but I would much rather clean and then have a fun evening than M be sick. He is gross but I like him.
same_sky: (Default)
I am really disappointed because I am home from my super-serious Christmas shopping trip, and I accomplished almost nothing. I bought my mom something that she picked out, so I am done with her now. That's worth a lot--I can get everyone else taken care of at WalMart if absolutely necessary, but I wanted to make big progress. We got started a little late, we went to some stores that we probably should have skipped for today, and Macy's did not have a real sale going on.. but for some reason we got stuck in there anyway, buying almost nothing (relatively speaking.) By the time M got there to pick me up after he got off work, I was worn out exhausted tired beyond description. So, I was a little upset about that.. but at least I got something important done. Spent more than I meant to, but my immediate family is taken care of.

That's pretty much all I have for today. It was all about the shopping. We did have a nice time, at least, if not a productive one. My husband is making a ferocious amount of violent noise behind me, which is distubing because he is taking apart his computer. I always tease him that he breaks stuff so I will have to buy him a replacement part (and naturally, a BETTER one) so maybe that's his plan.. angling for a new graphics card for Christmas or something.

Really, I got nothing, except perhaps the urge for a snickerdoodle. Better go take care of that. For Ducky, of course.
same_sky: (sweden: a house)
I must must must get some serious shopping done tomorrow. Christmas falls awkwardly this year, so that there aren't enough weekends beforehand in which to shop. Yes, yes, there is an entire year of weekends, same as always, but.. that's not the point. I had to recreate my master Christmas list today, and I was disturbed to find that I still have most everyone left to buy for. That is not good. I did decide to trim four people off my list tonight because I have been buying gifts for them for years and I always felt very resentful about it for reasons dealing with the family history. That's progress of the best sort! And I get to feel like a Grinch all at the same time!

I am having trouble getting motivated about Christmas cards this year. I can't believe it's already the 10th. I really need to get at least one of them in the mail as soon as I can because it needs to arrive internationally before the 22nd or so, but it is to a person who writes the most lovely things on the inside of her cards, and I tend to write things like "Merry Christmas" and call it done. I think she made me cry last year. THE PRESSURE IS KILLING ME. The reason I don't write meaningful things on the inside of holiday cards is because I am horrible at it, and also a wee bit lazy. Mainly just bad at it, though.

I made fun of M recently for saying that he was going downstairs to "clean" and then disappearing into the basement, but no cleaning ever actually got done. He spent the entire day today down there, exclusively cleaning and organizing, and it looks so nice! Still a bit dusty, but nice! Well. As nice as a woodshop is going to look, anyway. Of course, I marked off several things from MY to-do list in the time he was working on one. Ahem. Just because mine were things like "make list" and "clean out purse" and "pay bills" doesn't mean anything. I did fill out an insurance prescription claim form, though. I've been working on the silly thing for weeks. It looks like the potential for getting back over a hundred bucks would have motivated me, but no, apparently not. The form required a physician DEA number, with no input about what that was or where to find it. Google said that it was a required number on the prescription, but it sure wasn't located on any of the bottles, or in any of my paperwork from the doctor's office, or in the history of prescriptions from my pharmacy. The thing is that when you get a prescription and need to fill out a claim form because the insurance wouldn't pay for it? That means you have already paid for it, which means that you have given them the prescription slip already. I didn't even have one for this because they called it in directly. Paperwork. I think they make things like that up just so people will give up and stop asking about it. I called the WalMart pharmacy and asked them if they could find it for me. I hate using the phone, so it was a bold move. I must say that they are extremely helpful. Last time I had to call them, they gave me the name and number of another pharmacy in town that would be able to fill my prescription since they couldn't. That's pretty hot customer service right there. (The other pharmacy, btw, is one of those locally owned places that the anti-Walmart crowds want me to go to, and that I would personally love to frequent, if not for the fact that they sucked balls, which is why I'm filling out this claim form in the first place.)

Oh! Then M's dad called this afternoon, very excited. They had been out for a walk today in the approximate neighborhood that M used to live in, and saw that his house was not only for sale, but there was an open house going on, so they got to go in and look at it! Pretty coincidental, especially considering that they don't live that close to where he lived. Here's the listing. Wow. It's about four hundred square feet. When M lived there, it had one bedroom, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. Now it has two bedrooms (one the size of a closet) and they had.. well, interesting design ideas. See pictures. I lived there for three months and I wouldn't have recognized a single picture from the inside. I wish you could see the pictures from before. I'm not sure where they are or I would show you. Literally, the only thing that's the same is the floor, which M and his dad put in, the outside walls and the location of the bathroom and kitchen (though they made it smaller.) It was so much fun to see the pictures. Also, a little sad. That's MY house, darnit! It never actually was, so that's a ridiculous thing to say, but it was sort of the first place that the two of us lived.. even if we weren't really living together so much as I was staying the summer with him. Sometimes I really do wish that we had moved there for a while. The problem is just that I would not have wanted to stay long-term, I don't think. I'm a spoiled brat who would miss my mommy and daddy too much. Anyway, the guy who bought it from M had said that he was going to change a lot of stuff, so we have often wondered how it turned out. I'm glad that we got to find out.

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