Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rainbow Toes

This morning (after the whole "All I Want for Christmas is Booze" thing), Linden was acting odd.  Listless.  Grumpy.  Resistant to being cheered up.  I took her temperature, and it was normal.  I brought her over to the couch to snuggle with me, and that seemed to help.  She asked me to read her a book, and we giggled our way through "Frog and Toad All Year," but then she slumped back down and didn't want to do anything else.  I said, "Are you just feeling blue today?"

"Yes."  You can always spot the relief in someone's eyes when you've spoken the truth they were masking.  "Holidays are  hard."

She didn't really want to talk about it, but it helped that we acknowledged it, and then she was able to ask me if I could just stick close to her for awhile.  We went up to her room and played with her stuffed animals.  I fed them all goldfish crackers.  She was a puppy, and did tricks for hers.  Then I remembered a stash of nail polish my sister dropped off after her grown daughter moved out.  I said, "Do you want to paint our nails?"

This is the result:
(Sorry; I have no idea why I have a weird scab on my foot right now.  Also, my feet are kind of deformed.   Ignore.)  I painted her toenails; she painted mine.  I did her fingernails next, then read to her while they dried. 

In the meantime, our "stuff it; don't talk about it" son was playing Legos with the Winemaker.  Thanksgiving, after all, isn't celebrated in either of the countries where he had other families, so it is easier for him than Christmas and Mother's Day.  He was attracted by the sound of story reading and came in to see what we were up to.

This is the result:
Aaaaaand that's really out of focus.  Again, my apologies.  Please note the orange splash on my finger.  (In all fairness, my right hand looks a lot like this when I apply nail polish myself.) 

He wouldn't let me put any on him, but he wanted to put some on me.  I am not a manicured girl by any means, but how could I say no?

I've only had a few pedicures in my day.  I really enjoyed them, but I'm too much of a cheapskate to indulge often.  This mani-pedi involved no warm foot baths, hot oil massages, or trim.  I didn't get to choose my own colors, and the execution is...enthusiastic.  Not only that, but here I am, reinforcing gender roles to my kids, not to mention introducing them to some truly nasty chemicals.  (Linden took a gigantic whiff of the nail polish remover--oops!) 

It was lovely.  The concentration on their sweet faces.  Their hands in mine.  The mutual caring.  The bright (BRIGHT--did you see that orange?!?) reminders Linden and I carry with us of the loving care we lavished on each other.  The elaborately casual way Oak checks to see if his work has chipped throughout the day. 

From there we rolled into an outing to the skate park, where instead of working on my laptop, as I intended, I spent the whole time watching, cheering, and photographing my kids.  By the time we got home to prep the potatoes for dinner, they were ready to dash out back to climb trees with the neighbor kids.  Half an hour later, when Linden came in to change, she announced, "Having all that Mommy time today really helped.  I feel  good now." 

Me too, sweet pea.  Me too.

Dear Santa

In the time-honored tradition of many greedy children in this wondrous land, I started today not by taking stock of my blessings, but by working on my Christmas wish list. 

(Full disclaimer, I actually started today by letting the kids pop in a movie and then cuddling back up to my husband, who is only off today before working the rest of this long weekend.  So that was more in the thankful mode.)

I've said for several years now, I don't really need more STUFF, and most of the stuff I do need is too expensive to ask others to buy for me, like a new roof, or a 4-door car for our family of four.  So this is what I came up with:
  • kahlua
  • vodka
This, combined with the garage full of wine, makes me sound like an alcoholic.  But I suspect true alcoholics just buy the alcohol themselves.  I splurge on all sorts of silly things, but it always makes me cringe to think of shelling out twenty bucks or more for liquor.  Still, I like to drink things besides wine sometimes.  For instance, as you might have guessed, White Russians.   The last time I bought these two items was three years ago, when my mom died.  You don't worry too much about expenses, or even alcoholism, when that happens.  Then just when that supply ran out, I went to last year's White Elephant party and scored a new bottle of vodka.  It's running low, and besides, it's citrus vodka, which is useless in the White Russian department.  Hence my list.

After much thought, I added a few more items to the list.
  • suet (I love watching the bird feeder outside our kitchen window)
  • a date night
  • a family trip to the mountain this winter
This is why Christmas gifts for adults is silly.  I could pick up suet next time I'm at the grocery store, and really, it's up to the Winemaker and I to arrange (and pay for) the two outings.

My sisters will find something sweet and personal and possibly useless but nevertheless appreciated.  It's the in-laws who literally ask for a list.

I don't think I can give this list to them.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hiding out in my room. Only coming out if someone is bleeding or on fire.

It's 5:00 and four children are racing around my tiny house playing "Escape from the Pirate."  It involves a lot of shrieking.  

I can't believe it's only 5:00.  So far today we've hosted our social worker for our 18 month check-in, made mini catapults out of popsicle sticks and rubber bands, "experimented" with Halloween candy (mostly a matter of pouring different types of candy and sprinkles into water and seeing what color it changes into), finished two pages of math homework each, played soccer with dad, made those melty bead things with mom, used the rare appearance of the iron to have a short lesson in ironing napkins, played "tickle monster," invited the two neighbor kids over to see if we could learn how to finger knit,

and I'm done. 

But it's only 5:00. 

Send help.