Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Borings

We had a lovely Christmas Eve, with our children and their guests. We had dinner, exchanged gifts, went to church for the candlelight service, went to Atlantic Station to enjoy the big Christmas tree.

Oldest made a big hit with Small, particularly, by presenting her with this Eeyore:

Eeyore looms large right now, with Small One reenacting the loss of his tail over and over, enlisting whomever is willing in her dramatic retelling, so the addition of a giant Eeyore to her cast is, as they say, epic. She also opened some new red shoes from her grandmother, and they apparently cause her to dance, rapidly and without warning, through parking garages. Exactly what she wanted!

So, yeah, that was a fun night. My grandmother's casserole is safely in the fridge, ready to be popped into the oven in the morning, there are freshly baked scones, all the gifts are wrapped, all is prepared. We accomplished everything we set out to do today, except for the part where we were going to be in bed by midnight. {{sigh}}

Earlier this evening, I was in the bedroom working on gift wrapping, and The Man came into the room with a beautifully wrapped gift. "Do you want to open one from me tonight? I have a feeling this might be a good night for you to use this particular gift."

He gave me a meaningful look. I wondered if he was giving me lingerie, and a hint. I opened the package and squealed with glee. I'm almost embarrassed to admit what was in there...

It was this:
Oh, yes, we're that boring. As I squealed, I looked up at him, and his face was absolutely lit up. "Tomorrow," he said, "I will go through the cabinet and throw out everything without a lid!"

Well, maybe we're just good at finding joy in the simple things. Yeah, I'll go with that one.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Me and my Meth Lab

Yeah, so I'm not even sure what meth is, really, nor how one might use it, nor what it looks like. Drug addicted, I am not.

Congested, though, I certainly am. This week has been a huge struggle for me to stay afloat, with Christmas coming, because I've had the worst cold I can remember having. First it was just a bunch of congestion, and I tried my usual home remedies of Indian food and sleeping whenever possible, and right about the time I said "Man, I'd almost rather have a runny nose than all this pressure", the floodgates burst. Be careful what you wish for, is all I'm saying, because the past three nights have been a sleepless hell of pouring sinuses. My eyes are runny, for crying out loud! I've blown my nose so many times my face is chapped. Seriously, I'm now regularly applying Carmex to my nostrils.

I've been taking over the counter cold meds, with dubious results, and I've noticed that the decongestant in the medicine is Phenylephrine. Now, I'm not acquainted with this Phenylephrine, but I'm a big fan of his rival Pseudoephedrine, once found in Sudafed. (Hence the name, "Sudafed".) I finally found some meds last night that contained pseudoephedrine, and voila! A dry face! Blessed, blessed rest.

Off I went to the local pharmacy, where I encountered something I had not previously realized, as I rarely catch cold. Everything that used to contain pseudoephedrine is gone. Gone! Phenylephrine has usurped its place on every shelf. This is, apparently, because pseudoephedrine can be used to make meth. I'm typing those words, but seriously, I'm not even sure what that means. Like, are there meth recipes somewhere? I wouldn't know where to begin. I turned to the pharmacist. "Is sudafed just GONE," I asked, "or is it behind the counter with you?"

She deadpanned. "Gone. Nah, just kidding, it's back here, what do you want?"

I said I wanted some sort of cold remedy that contained pseudoephedrine. Sirens went off, and buzzers sounded. No, I'm exaggerating, but she did have to pull her boss, who is apparently a real truly live pharmacist, over to give me the stinkeye. "What are your symptoms?" the boss asked, skeptically.

I told her I had a runny nose, cough, and sore throat. She told me I didn't need pseudoephedrine. I begged to differ. She told me it'd make me worse. I told her I'd found some this morning, and it had made me better. She asked me which brand, and when I told her, told me that it didn't contain that particular drug. Since the label stated otherwise, I disagreed.

After about 10 minutes of this back and forth, she looked at me with dread and said "You know, if I sell you this you're going to have to..." (here, she paused dramatically, as if she were about to inform me I'd have to sell one of my children into slavery or something, which I'd gladly have done at that moment, if it would've but guaranteed me some pseudoephedrine) "...sign the book!"

I'm going to have to sign the book? Ooh, scary! Yeah, I'll sign the book. Heck, lady, I'll sign whatever you want me to sign. Your boobs, perhaps? Hand me a sharpie! Just give me the cold medicine!

I left the store, I'm happy to report, with the desired drugs in my hand. I am fully prepared for my visit from the meth police... I plan to offer them cookies and maybe some tea. I'll just be delighted to do that without having to blow my nose throughout their visit.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Christ?

In case you don't know, my title quotes "Love Actually"... it's a character's reaction to being told that her daughter earned the role of "first lobster" in the Nativity play. It all makes perfect sense to me, but that may be because I'm being newly introduced this year to a child's view of Christmas.

The Man and I are on the rotation to teach 3 year old Sunday school. This is a fun job, not much of a chore, because while they are not particularly focused, they are extremely imaginative. A couple of weeks ago we set up the big cloth nativity scene in the Sunday school class, and then let the children play with it while we pulled them aside, one at a time, to work on an art project. This happened:

Now, I don't remember the part of the Christmas story that involves a giant fish, but maybe it's just me.

At home, we have a small nativity scene, that is very old. I'm not quite sure how old it is, but it's been around as long as I can remember, and it used to have more parts. I think it had a donkey and a bunch of shepherds... now it has Mary, a manger, baby Jesus (and in my head it's the actual baby Jesus, because it's in all my childhood memories), two male figures, of which one must be a shepherd and one must be Joseph, but no one is ever in agreement as to which is which, a cow, 2 sheep, and 3 wise men, one of whom apparently has that skin condition where you lose pigment in patches. It may be the most beloved nativity scene in the history of the world, and Small One is continuing the tradition of lovingly playing with it all Christmas season. A few days ago I called Small to dinner only to be shushed... the male she deems "Joseph" was singing a lullaby and rocking baby Jesus to sleep.

Today, I came in to the living room to find that Middle Child's Madame Alexander angel ornament had joined the adoring throng around the manger. Small One looked at me with her hands on her hips, and something akin to outrage on her little face. "Baby Jesus's angel," she explained indignantly, "does NOT needa be up in a tree!"

Fair enough. But later, when I discovered that the Big Bird ornament had lost his hook, she informed me that he, too needed to be near baby Jesus. I don't think that's scriptural, actually, but then again, Jesus was nothing if not inclusive, right? And who am I to decide who needa be near the baby Jesus. I'll leave that to the experts.

(Luke 18:17: Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Difference Between Me and the Man

My husband is a bit of a snob. This is not his fault, he comes from a long line of snobs, so I really don't hold it against him. His snobbery, though, is all about music and movies and literature, and grammar. He's an intellect snob. He makes fun of my tv shows, he loathes most pop music... he's a snob.

So now, the new Sherlock Holmes movie is coming out. I am itching to see it, not because I'm a Sherlock Holmes buff but because, (this is key), it stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. Hey, I think every red-blooded American female over 25 is probably with me on this one! Did you see Alfie? Ironman? ME-OW.

So, we had the following conversation:

The Man: "That movie looks terrible!"

Me: "I'm seeing it. If you don't want to go, one of my girlfriends will go with me. I'm seeing it, for sure."

The Man: "Why on earth would you want to see that? It doesn't look anything LIKE Sherlock Holmes! It looks like Rush Hour 2!"

Me: (looking at him incredulously, because to me, this is so painfully obvious!) "It has Robert Downey Jr. AND Jude Law."

The Man: "Yeah, but it looks like a dumb action flick!"

Me: (again, incredulously, because I've got two younger brothers and a 19 year old son... I've SEEN my fair share of action flicks, and for much worse reasons than this!) "Robert. Downey. Jr... AND!!! Jude. Law. Duh!"

The Man: (patiently, as though explaining something to an imbecile) "Amy, if they made a remake of Rush Hour 2, but they called it 'Hamlet', would you go to see THAT?!?"

Me: (considering this) "Who is in it? Because if it's Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, I'm in."

He threw up his hands and gave up. Smart move, because he can't possibly win that argument, being neither Robert Downey Jr. NOR Jude Law.

Monday, December 14, 2009

101 Ways to Fail and Derail Your Own Blog

A few people have asked me how I'm doing with my 101 list, so I thought I'd address that.

Um...yeah, the 101 list... what was that again? Why did I think it was a good idea to give myself MORE to do? Oh yeah, it's because, despite my clear lack of skills, I am strangely ambitious and confident in my own ability. Why is that again?

Here's my new plan: I get a 101 list do-over. I'm not re-starting my 1001 days, I'm not detailing my failures, I'm just cutting myself some slack, acknowledging that I've been less than successful up to THIS point, and starting from now. Ta-dah! Hey, it's my blog, it's my list, and I make the rules.

I will say, I have done some things well. I've tried new recipes and new wines, I've baked bread and planned weekly menus, I've said prayers with Small One and done more family devotions. I've spent special one on one time with my Middle Child, sent more correspondence in the mail, taken more walks, donated to the food bank, and gone to the playground more often.

And isn't that the point? I started the list to push myself towards self-improvement, and I'm improving, despite my failure to stick to the list in any kind of strict way. This is why I'm giving myself a re-do- it's my early Christmas gift to myself, a little slack being cut just when I need a pick-me-up. And really, isn't that what everyone secretly wants for Christmas?