Today's Image

Okay, so I didn't get done all I wanted to do today; Eric overslept, so he had to take the car to work instead of walking or catching the bus. It's all right; I had things I could accomplish right here at home. Finished Dad's Christmas present, worked some on Mom's. I rearranged the living room a bit, since as it stood, with the couch pulled to the middle of the room to make room for the tree along the wall, there was precious little floor space for the boys to play. Now the couch is along the wall, making it difficult to watch TV, but the kids have much more room to romp, which is a bigger priority, anyway.

NestledNow Sam and Gabe are in pajamas and sleeping bags, sprawled on the living room floor to watch "The Polar Express" on television. Sam caught a commercial for it a bit ago and flipped out, begging to be allowed to watch it, so I bargained for it in order to make bedtime go more smoothly tonight. This was the first night in a long while that he hasn't had to be asked more than once to go get ready for bed; he positively leapt up the stairs in order to comply.

I remember how when I was a kid, Mom would go through the TV Guide, making a list of when all the holiday specials were to be shown; it seems like there were a lot more, and on a lot more channels, back then than there are now. Cory and I weren't allowed to watch all of them, of course; I recall having to pick and choose which ones we really wanted to see, since Mom really tried to limit us to no more than an hour of TV per day. I wonder now just how tempted she was to haul out the list whenever we got truly insane and say, "Look, 'Frosty' is on! Sit down and watch!" I don't remember her ever using the TV like that, but if she wasn't at least tempted once or twice, then she's a stronger woman than me.

Gabe is still uncertain about where he stands with regards to all this. Christmas trees are nice, he feels; Santa is okay, so long as he's far away. Snowmen and reindeer don't interest him at all. Anything featuring presents is great, and he's sort of fond of the Star of Bethlehem ("Twinkle 'tar! Twinkle 'tar!") None of it keeps his attention for more than a few minutes, of course. I don't know how he'll handle the big day itself; when Sam was this age, he opened one present happily, and then he spent the rest of the morning growing increasingly grumpier as we tried to get him to move on to a different box.

Then again, Sam didn't have a big brother who'll no doubt be clamoring for gift after gift. Gabe is Sam's little shadow, echoing and aping him all the live-long day; if Sam is reaching for more wrapped boxes, Gabe might be inclined to do likewise. I guess we'll just have to see. He does enjoy unwrapping presents; he's been trying to abscond with the presents I wrapped for Hailey this afternoon, but he keep betraying himself with his soft squeals of "Present!" as he runs.

GabeTomorrow I'm supposed to be going to a "play salon"-type place with a group from the family club. They have a supervised area, I'm told, for young kids to play, while the grownups can be pampered with various salon services. I didn't bother signing up for any manicures or massages; I'll be happy just to sit, drink a coffee, break out some knitting, and talk to adults while Gabe is off running about. Manicures are temporary, but sanity is a thing of beauty that lasts forever (or at least, hopefully, until I get the chance to refresh myself again).

I don't get the whole paying somebody else to do your nails thing, anyway. Maybe if I wore acrylics or something, it would be different. The one time I had somebody else do my nails, I couldn't figure out just what the fuss was all about; it's not difficult to paint my own nails, and she didn't do anything hugely special that I couldn't have done. And the polish chipped just as fast as it does after a home-job, too, which means I got about two hours of good nails out of the deal. Not worth the effort, in my opinion. The pedicure wasn't much more special, although the bubbling foot soak wasn't bad.

No, if I'm doing the salon/spa thing, I prefer massages or facials, but considering that I've never been to this place and that it's possible that it's a Baby Gulag that Gabe won't tolerate for more than five minutes without my being glued to his side, I wasn't going to take the chance of reserving, paying for, and losing a slot for one of those services. Maybe next time, if all goes well.

So, tomorrow, if all goes well, will see the completion of the following:

  • Pick up and wrap Hailey's final present
  • Exchange the board game Sam got from Santa at the family club's party (Chutes and Ladders, which he already has)
  • Address at least another third of the cards
  • Mail off the cards and Hailey's package
  • Get at least mostly done Mom's present

I think that's a reasonable amount of tasks, even allowing for a derailment or two.

Poll for December 14th!

What was your favorite holiday special as a kid?

Frosty the Snowman
Rudolph's Shiny New Year
Charlie Brown Christmas
Santa Claus is Comin' To Town
A Christmas Story
Miracle on 34th Street
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Something else (mention in the comments)
  Current Results

previous one year ago:
It will be good to get out, though; sitting around the house in the evening can be wearing, especially when I still can't get past the fact that Rita's chair doesn't have her in it anymore.
two years ago:
I patted, stamped, danced, and directed Sam; I felt like a strange sort of one-man band in the middle of the post office lobby.
three years ago:
I feel like the stupidest, most short-sighted person on the planet.
four years ago:
With so much trouble, sadness, and angst throughout this year, being Sam's mother has been both heaven on earth and the flames of hell, all at once.
five years ago:
As long as he's still healing, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I owe him that, don't I?
six years ago:
Okay, before I get into anything else, I just have to say that I don't like Dream Snow, the book I'm holding in the picture.
seven years ago:
His mom hates the ponytail. I told him we should put the thing in an envelope, with no letter or explanation, and mail it to her.
In the ears:
"The Polar Express"

On the Bookshelf:

Photos, old and new,
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