Sunday, December 28, 2008

Recovering from Christmas

Christmas Day
Christmas was fun this year! Dave was feeling a lot better on Christmas day. After a fantastic dinner at my mom’s of various forms of dough and cabbage (the leftover pierogies, haluski, halupki, and bobotka), we all lingered over a marathon game of Apples to Apples and sampled from the various bottles going around of champagne, wine, sour apple pucker liquor, crown royal, and a partially evaporated bottle of vodka from Russia that looked like it must have been 50 years old.

Dave got me stuff from Modcloth (thanks Dave!), which he found out is based in Pittsburgh! I got him stuff from LLBean. The most amusing gift was the one Dave got from his stepmom: this CD. (If you know Dave, you know why it’s amusing.) My mom got us a beautiful and much-needed new set of stainless steel pots and pans! My sister Kathy got me some sewing patterns and sewing project books. Pretty much all of the projects seem very daunting, but I’m excited to try them nonetheless. The cats liked all the toys they got, but of course they may have enjoyed the boxes and wrapping paper best.

I spent the day after Christmas with my sister Chris who was home from South Bend. She took the train here, and since I live five minutes from the train station, I took her to the train station Friday night, along with my niece Katharine and nephew Harrison who stayed the night. We got back early enough to have dinner and then play Uno and darts before having to take Chris to the station near midnight.

Katharine (who will be 12 next week) and Harrison (10) are polite, well-behaved, and a delight. Katharine is very much like me: she makes lists for everything. Before coming to my house, she made five different lists: 1.) food to take; 2.) games to take; 3.) movies to take; 4.) her own stuff to take; 5.) Harrison’s stuff to take. Harrison is so innocent and good-hearted. He believes fiercely in Santa Claus; when I told him we didn’t have cable, he suggested asking Santa for it. I enjoyed having philosophical discussions with them about why some of the clementines, but not all of them, have seeds and how much a train weighs. I was particularly amused when listening to Harrison imagine several different scenarios in which my sister and brother-in-law died and he’d come to live at my house on the third floor and go to school at the school at the end of my street (as long as schools in Pittsburgh didn’t make them learn the recorder; he plans to snap his recorder in half as soon as he’s not required to play it anymore.) Harrison thinks that I have “a cool house with cool stuff and cool cats.” Both of them were fascinated by all the cats and didn’t leave them alone for a minute. Orla hid the entire time (she only likes me in general, but absolutely hates kids), but Grubble was a champ and valiantly let them manhandle him all night, and Elsie hardly stopped playing with the laser pointers both of them had.

After they finally went to bed, Dave, me, and the cats were exhausted. I’m sure it’s because none of us are used to having kids around, but their frenetic energy just wore us out. I like my house clean and quiet; the house with kids in it is completely opposite that. My sister (their mom) Kathy insists that they are not normally so active, that they’re just excited to be at my house. She’s been saying that for the past 12 years…I keep waiting for them to calm down, but that hasn’t happened yet. So when they went to sleep, Grubble jumped up to lay on me before I even laid down in bed and Orla curled up beside me, which she rarely does. I enjoyed having Katharine and Harrison here and I love them dearly, but when I try to imagine what it would be like to have kids full-time—kids running around the house, being loud, chasing the cats, leaving crumbs and dirty glasses everywhere they go, needing their meals prepared for them—I just can’t do it.

What a beautiful day! Dave and I took full advantage of living where we do by first walking into the Strip to get some stuff for a party that evening. When we got back, it was so nice we decided to take another walk on the river trail to Downtown. Dave showed me his new office, which is so clean, tidy, and designy—I loved it! I especially loved seeing Dave’s desk—with all of his drawings neatly rolled up, his little calendar with appointments jotted on it, and everything so neat and tidy. So cute! We spent Saturday night with Dave’s family, which was fun.

My body is recovering from the dough, cabbage, and chocolate I’ve been eating for the past few days. I don’t want to see chocolate again for a while! I made it through December with buying only a few things for myself, nothing major. Today I’m headed to the mall to take advantage of all the sales—a perfect ending to the weekend! I hope everyone else had a good weekend!