Sunday, December 25, 2011

happy holidays

I hope that everyone is having a good holiday season. Our family is having a nice, low key holiday. We had my mother in law and father in law over for lunch today. Not a huge meal but nice.

Leo has been great today. Quite calm for an 8 year old with ADHD on Christmas day. He liked the gifts that he received and thanked us several times throughout the day. He seems to enjoy his new, warmer hoodie, his nerf disc-shooting gun, and his solar powered robot the most. I said before he was born that I would not buy him a gun, but he was using a stick and pretending it was a gun, plus the two brothers down the street that he plays the most with had guns and were shooting him, so we got him a gun to keep up.

Christopher saved the day with the nerf gun. We didn't realize that it required batteries when we bought it, only to realize today that it required six large batteries. He looked around and found two in the cabinet. Later he came downstairs with four more and put all six in the nerf gun. He remembered that we have a ... I'll call it an adult sex toy that uses four batteries. As he said to me "We just won't tell him where we got them." So the sex toy rescued Christmas.

You might wonder why I celebrate Christmas, not being Christian (and not having much good to say about the church that I was raised in.) But to me Christmas was always about getting together with the family (OK, and the presents when I was younger.) My grandmother routinely fed 20+ people at the holidays. Our family gatherings are much smaller now but still special to me.

Leo has been especially affectionate lately. He spontaneously hugs me and Christopher, and he joins us when I hug Christopher in the mornings as I leave for work and turns it into a family hug. He has also been telling us that we're good parents and that he is glad that we are his parents. I wonder if part of that is that he realizes that since he is adopted that he might not have ended up with us as parents. He gave us interesting gifts - a homemade coupon book with things that he will do for us. Mine includes "dish cleaning", a cup of homemade tea, and a car wash. He's a sweet kid that I love very much.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


So last night at about 9:30 PM Pacific time was the winter solstice. Although that is the official start of winter, to me winter started in early December and ends about February 1st when I see the first blooms on fruit trees around here. But we are supposed to have a hard freeze tonight, which may damage my orange trees. That was one thing that I insisted on when we put in our backyard, that we have some orange trees. I had never lived anywhere that citrus would grow until I moved to California.

Leo decided that he wanted to change his hairstyle with his last haircut, and he got it "buzzed" or cut very short as one of his friends has. It took a day or two to get used to. He liked to run his fingers through it and wants me to do the same. I'm glad to see him expressing his own opinions about his hair. Before he was born I told myself that hair isn't important and I would always let a child choose his or her own hairstyle. I guess my years of Catholic schools with mandatory short hair helped me realize that hair doesn't really matter.

We're having a low key Christmas. Just the three of us and Christopher's parents over for dinner. The "extended" family, which just adds Christopher's aunt and stepgrandmother got together last weekend. I miss my grandmother's large family get togethers when I was a kid - easily 20 people or more. Five just isn't the same.

My 92 year old great aunt died last weekend. No one was surprised. But of course, family drama had to occur. My great aunt left everything to Heather, a great niece who had lived with her and helped care for her the last several years. One of Heather's aunts accused Heather of "brainwashing" my great aunt to get her house and estate. No, she was there providing help, where were you? There is only one surviving sibling of any of my grandparents, and she is 90.

Friday, December 16, 2011

unusual things in our home

If you were to visit our home you might see some unusual things. Here are a few that I noticed in the last few days. First are the handcuffs on the handle of the door of the oven. No, we're not into BDSM (and even if we were, not in the kitchen), they belong to my son Leo. I have no idea why he put them on the oven, but I often don't understand why he does what he does. Next you might notice the tooth sitting on a paper towel on my dresser. Leo pulled out another tooth last night, his seventh he thinks. We now owe him $5 he reminded me today. We never did the tooth fairy fantasy, so we just give him $5 per tooth. The next unusual thing would be the house key that was found in a container of leftover cake. It is my son's house key, which he couldn't find for a while. I asked why it was with the cake and he responded "I don't know, I lost it." OK, but why put it with the cake in the first place? No answer to that.

Next you might notice the vomit on the Christmas tree skirt. This can't be blamed on Leo but on our cat Miss Otis (named after the Cole Porter song). Christopher noticed it first and commented on it, so I decided if he saw it first he should clean it up. Petty, I know, but why talk about it if you don't take care of it?

The last somewhat bizarre thing you might see is a grape on our bedroom floor. Leo apparently had grapes at school and put a few in his pants pocket to eat later. Of course then forgot about them and didn't eat them or take them out of his pocket. Somehow one grape made it through the washer and dryer, and when he picked the pants up and put them on his shoulder before putting them on the grape fell out. Well, he must inherit that from Christopher, who regularly leaves his Chapstick in his pants pockets. They melt in the dryer but thankfully don't make a mess.