Saturday, December 26, 2009

A quiet Christmas

We had a good day today. We were up at 7:30, ate cinnamon rolls (which came out darn well if I do say so myself) and helped the children open presents. After that, K was happily busy the rest of the day playing with her loot and we made phone calls to family and did exciting things like nap. We ended the day with cheese fondue for dinner, bathtime and an easy bedtime.

I guess this is a sign that I'm really a grownup, because since we're seeing most of our family next week, and B and I are planning to get a new tv as a gift to each other, there were very few presents for the adults. And yet I'm okay with that. Getting stuff is nice, but there's nothing I want so badly that I mind not having it. I was just happy that everything I got K was a huge hit.

Now last night, mind you, was one of those nights where you wish your children would grow up faster. We went to the Christmas Eve service at church, and wound up walking with Alec at the back of the sanctuary for most of the service, added to the dubious milestone of the first time I ever had to march K out of the room to give her a stern lecture on proper behavior (she wanted to run between where I was sitting in the pews to where B was with Alec, you see. I was helpfully told later by someone that this church is very child-friendly and people don't mind children running around, but it's going to take major tranquilizers before I'm okay with my child running up and down the center aisle during a service). I remember hearing a sermon on Christmas once where the minister talked about "feeling Christmas," and that's what I kept thinking about when I looked at K last night: she was feeling Christmas, in a big way. Honestly, given that's she four and it was Christmas Eve, she wasn't bad at all. But while little kids make Christmas morning really fun, I was missing the quiet Christmas Eves we had pre-children where we went to the late service and then left to go into a cold, quiet starry night and go home and drink mulled cider.

It was worth it, though, when during the children's message the minister was asking the children what animals live in a stable and K piped up "Unicorns!" I had given her a stuffed unicorn the day before as a way of smoothing out a bad day by giving her a present early. It was a huge hit, and she sang in the children's choir last night with her unicorn clutched in her arms.

That's children in a nutshell, isn't it? Transcendently wonderful and hair-pullingly awful, often with the same five minutes. But they're by far the best present I could get:


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow day

We woke up to the phone ringing this morning, telling that the city libraries would be closed today due to snow. Normally, the way the city shuts down for a tiny amount of snow has us sneering about southern pansies who can't seem to figure out that if you get multiple significant snowfalls every year, you might want to budget some money for plowing. But today, we've had a snowstorm that is worthy of the name even by Michigan standards, with 16 inches falling at Philadelphia International Airport. I'm glad I made the effort to get bread last night - the grocery store shelves looked like they had been attacked by locusts as people stocked up for the coming snowcopalypse.

We've spent the day cozily inside, enjoying the relaxation and gift of an unexpected vacation. K and I finished the Christmas presents we've been making and I suspect tomorrow will be devoted to Christmas cookies, and hopefully Christmas cards. Since another five inches is expected to fall tonight, I would be surprised if church happens tomorrow. Instead, we'll stay inside another day and be glad that we have shelter and food, and don't have anywhere we need to be. I had a number of plans for this weekend, but I'm finding I'm really enjoying the enforced inactivity. It's been several months since we had a two-day weekend, and the break that comes from having two parents home at once is welcome indeed.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holidays which it is starting to look a lot like

We put our Christmas tree up Saturday night. Up to now, it hasn't really been penetrating that it's less than two weeks until Christmas, probably because we're not doing the family celebration until New Year's, which means I'm not feeling any pressure to finish my shopping. K, however, isn't suffering from that problem at all, and it became clear she was going to explode from pent-up holiday excitement if we didn't get the tree up.

After the tree was up, we HAD to wrap presents. Only the only presents were for K and I clearly wasn't going to let her wrap them herself, so she brought me some of her books to wrap instead. So I did, and I admit they looked nice under the tree. And the next day, when K simply HAD to open them, it wasn't a problem.

As for her actual presents, I think I'm pretty much done shopping, except for a trip to the bookstore to get a few books. K has been asking for a castle for the past two months, so that's what she's getting. The alert might remember that she got a large castle last year, but she wants a castle for her appalling little Disney princess dolls that have removable rubber clothes and teeny tiny shoes that come with their own mini black hole so they can get lost that much more quickly. She wants it badly enough to have kicked all of the dolls out of her dollhouse to install her princesses in instead. And while my first instinct was that she doesn't need another castle, my second was that there's no rule that she can't have her own little empire if she wants, and why should I waste my money on things I think she should have instead of buying her what she really wants? However, I wasn't about to get the crappy $50 plastic castle that got universally bad reviews on the web for falling apart almost instantly, which was the one she kept saying she wanted. But I lucked onto a great sale and managed to get a cute little Melissa and Doug princess castle for $25, and when it was hinted to K that she might get a pink castle for Christmas, she pretty much instantly forgot about the crappy plastic one. She had also asked for some horses to go with her castle, and I found a cute little wooden horse and carriage that I think will fit the bill. In addition, because I feel a bit guilty about not getting her the crappy plastic castle she actually asked for, she's getting another horrible little Disney princess doll set.

On the non-castle side, I found a cute little school playset on extreme clearance this fall, and some puzzles and a make-your-own princess doll. We'll get her a couple books, and I think I might get her the stuffed unicorn that she plays with every single time we go to the bookstore. That should be plenty for her princess-obsessed holiday.

As for Alec, he's not getting much, but he's getting more than his sister did for her first Christmas, which is to say that he's getting something from us. With K, I didn't see the point of buying her things and wrapping them when it would mean absolutely nothing to her and we already got her things all the time. With Alec, I'm getting him a few things mostly because I think his sister will expect it. So I got him one of those classic baby toys with the little animals that pop up when you press their buttons, and will probably get him a carseat toy. When I bought him a jumperoo for him earlier this fall, I justified the on-sale but still not cheap expense to myself by saying it would be most of his Christmas present. And goodness knows we've gotten our money out of it, so Merry Christmas, Son. I hope you appreciate getting your present way early.

It's definitely feeling more like Christmas around here. I've spent the past couple days acquiring all of the Muppet Christmas specials so we can have a big Muppet Christmas marathon starting with John Denver and working our way through to the latest not-great-but-considerably-less-mediocre-than-most-recent-Muppet-offerings special.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So it turns out I have a very limited amount of time every evening where I have the use of both hands. When I commit to typing, I can usually pound something out on a semi-regular basis. But apparently when I commit to a large act of sewing, like a winter coat for an overexcited four-year-old, that eats up all of my bimanual time and typing goes straight out the winter. Alas. But I think we have a good chance of the coat being done before spring (did I mention it's a very small amount of time?).


It's amazing how quickly "Huh, the baby's nose is running but doesn't have any other cold symptoms. I wonder if he has some upper teeth coming in causing irritation?" can turn into "Here's the nebulizer for the bronchiolitis and I prescribed a larger dose of amoxicillin than usual because that ear is so severely infected." I swear, the only symptom he had yesterday was a runny nose (which, in conjunction with the drool made the entire area between his nose and chin shiny wet most of yesterday) and a very occasional cough. However, when he woke up shrieking this morning after a restless night, that clued us in that maybe he wasn't feeling well. We are brilliantly observant sometimes. Even so, while he definitely hasn't been himself today, even the pediatrician remarked that he was incredibly cheerful for a baby that sick.

Poor little bunny. He's now medicated to the gills, and I devoutly hope he will sleep better tonight than he did last night.