Today's Image

I rearranged my dining room today. No real reason; I just got to wondering whether the table might look better by the window instead of against the wall, so I moved it...and then the china hutch made more sense in the corner closer to the kitchen to make putting dishes away easier...and maybe the easel would be more out of the way beside my desk...

It doesn't look bad now, and the table does feel nice by the window so I can see outside while I eat, but now the wall feels a bit bare. It won't be bare for long if I put the Christmas tree against it, but I just hope it fits there. I got a new tree in the post-Christmas sales last year, so I'm not exactly sure how much room it will need. (Yes, I did check its dimensions when I bought it, and I liked it then, but a whole year has passed, so I don't really remember.)

I just feel all edgy right now, all full of nervous energy, yet at the same time cranky that I can't just sit down and vegetate. In part, it's that Gabe is teething again, so neither of us is getting enough sleep (and I've had to add caffeine on top of that, compounding the jitteriness). The other part is that I'm almost stereotypically premenstrual at the moment; last night I found myself dipping Ritz crackers into a bowl of melted chocolate chips mixed with eggnog, just because we didn't have anything suitably salty-sweet in the house.

So I reorganize, and then I sit around and feel grouchy about the things that feel out of place now, and I whine that the basement is still in a state of disrepair that doesn't even approach being the playroom I'd like it to be. Eric spent a good chunk of the weekend trying to get the other side of the basement's floor to the point where we can paint it with Drylok and reinstall the shower, and for this I am forever grateful (I can't so much do it myself during the week without Sam hanging over my shoulder begging to help), but instead of the words of thanks I intend to come out of my mouth, I open my jaw and hear nothing but complaints issuing forth, much to my chagrin. It's enough to make me want to hide from the world until I'm safe to be around humans again.

I need another coffee.

Seriously, this is really good coffee of which I'm drinking way too much. It's pumpkin pie flavored, and I'm using eggnog as creamer (and I seriously don't think I'll ever buy another brand of nog again; this is the creamiest, thickest, sweetest stuff I've ever had in my life), and it's just perfect. I can't stop drinking it, and my hands are visibly shaking as a result, but it's just so darn wonderful. Help?

What else did I mean to update about? Well, I finally got the digital camera I wanted. I wound up purchasing the Olympus I mentioned back here, only to find that it didn't record sound with its movies. (Naturally, I discovered that after falling in love with it.) Back it had to go, and after some more research and opinion-gathering, I finally got the Canon PowerShot A610. It's great, and I'm thoroughly satisfied. About darn time, too!

Rita is still doing okay, for the most part, but she just came down with bronchitis this week, so they'll be keeping close tabs on that. I swear, though, she has got to be the toughest woman on the face of the planet. It's been over three months since she stopped chemotherapy, and they had given her perhaps two months to live at that point. She's stronger now than she was then, as chemo was taking quite a bit of her strength away.

(Sam is having difficulty understanding what's going on with it all, though. In the middle of a busy store, he asked me, "Is Grandma dead yet?" When I said no, he sighed dramatically and said, "She's taking forever!" He seemed nonplussed when I hastened to assure him that this was a good thing.)

Thanksgiving will just be the four of us this year again. I really miss going to the big family shindig at my grandmother's house in West Virginia, but it's just not feasible, as I don't want to do the holiday apart from Eric, leaving him here by himself, and he has to work Wednesday. It's just too far to travel. Eric will cook for us, instead, and we'll have a great meal here at home. Since it seems to be the way things will be from now on, I'd like to start some of our own traditions, but I'm at a loss for what exactly to do. Growing up, our "tradition" was to meet in Washington, D.C. at one of the Smithsonian museums (they were central to people who were travelling), and then go to a smorgasbord restaurant together. In other words, I am well and truly starting from scratch, here.

Mom and Dad are hopefully coming to visit, then, in early December, so that's something to which we can look forward. For Christmas, we'll be flying to Eric's family, so I guess that means we'll be "observing" our own Christmas early, like last year. I'm not sure I like the idea of that becoming a tradition, but I can't think of a better way to do it (we can't take all the boys' gifts with us on the airplane!).

Sam has this week off from school, so we're doing projects and activities to keep the "I'm bored" blues away. We cut out snowflakes and decorated them with glitter, and I have a couple of Thanksgiving-themed ideas for the week. It's hard, though, to keep things balanced and not all "Ah, the Indians and pilgrims, skipping hand in hand," but yet not thoroughly depressing and way too deep for a preschooler, either. We've talked about racism, as his newfound obsession with "Little House on the Prairie" has already introduced the concept to him, and Sam is very bothered that anybody would judge other people based on their appearance. "I think that everybody's skin is the best skin!" he insists, "I like everybody just the same...except the people who don't like other people's skins."

I love my kid. But that goes without saying, most of the time.

The boys are up from their naps now (I love it when I can get them down at the same time!), so I should sign off. Eric will be home in about an hour and a half, but lately things have been kind of strange with our evening routines. Gabe, at least before the teething started getting really bad the past couple of days, has been insisting on being put to bed around seven instead of eight o'clock, and it works well to have Sam "wind down" then, too, in his PJs and snuggling together to watch "Little House." That means they really need to eat dinner around six, but with Eric as the primary cook (for very, very good reason), dinner doesn't get plated until at least six-thirty.

The easy answer is that I should be cooking dinner. What happens more often is that I fix the kids' meal earlier, and Eric makes a more elaborate meal for us that we get to eat after they do. Gabe snacks from my plate, Sam refuses to even smell it (admittedly, Eric's meals are a bit on the "adult" side), and everybody's mostly happy, I guess. I'd be more happy if we could all eat at the same time. Maybe as time goes on, sleep schedules will shift again and we'll have more time in the evening to spend as a family.

previous one year ago:
It's sort of like Cookie Monster watching a plate of snickerdoodles, true, but there's affection there.
two years ago:
Warning: if you have a dental phobia and are feeling particularly sensitive today, you may not want to read this.
three years ago:
It's becoming very apparent that Cressida, the guinea pig, will be leaving us in the imminent future.
four years ago:
We encountered a new problem with this trip: the guinea pigs no longer fit into the car with us now that Sam's in the backseat.
five years ago:
Eric tells me that the next time she says it, I should respond by panting, barking, and letting my tongue fall out of my mouth in feigned bliss.
six years ago:
When I was a kid, I developed an enlarged thyroid that went away on its own before they could run any tests.
In the ears:
"Sleigh Ride," Leroy Anderson

On the Bookshelf:

Gratuitous Sam




Extra Gabe

With Daddy




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