January 4, 2005
A - B - C - D... Yellow
A New Year's Haiku
I'd rather be a failure
without telling you.
This is odd, getting back into the groove of writing. I haven't been in that headspace for quite some time, but I find myself with hours of taskless time available to me, here on the traditionally useless first day back to work. So, an entry.
Recapping the visit with the kids is going to be hard. It wasn't filled so much with events, as it was filled with feelings and emotions and warmth. Literally, the only time I left the house from Dec. 17th through Jan. 3rd was to go to the grocery store, go to the Grandparents for the Christmas get-together, go to the movies with Lilly (we saw "Darkness"), and to take Lilly and Marie to Kona Grill for sushi.
As a slight aside, has anyone out there tried Kinsen Plum Wine? I had it at Kona, and it was simply the best wine I've ever tasted.
All of our time was spent hanging out on the patio and talking, watching TV and talking, playing with Anthony and talking, caring for Devlin (poor colicky baby) and talking, watching rented movies and talking, watching Michael play video games and talking, surfing the net on the couch and talking, cooking and talking, eating and talking, DRINKING and talking, playing Monopoly and talking, hot tubbing and talking, cleaning and talking, and talking and talking.
Non-stop conversation, all day, every day. What else would you expect in our household? We all got up with the babies - usually around 8:30 or 9:00 - and never went to bed any earlier than 1:00 a.m., every single day. Who knew that just staying at home could be so tiring? There was a lot of laughter, and taking pictures and video. We all slid into life with one another, living under the same roof, as if it had been this way all along. Somewhat cramped, definitely loud, but surrounded by helping hands and good company. The babies, with so many people to pay attention to them, were spoiled and pampered and cuddled and spoiled some more. Some baby-related items:
(As another aside, I've switched my mouse from my right hand to my left hand. I suspect the mousing is at least partly to blame for my neck and shoulder pain. As a result of this change, my fine motor skills are shot to hell. I had to slow the mouse waaaay down. This is so not easy to get used to.)
Christmas was as wonderful as I hoped it would be. Lilly, Marie and I picked out a tree together, and Lilly helped me decorate. Lilly helped me wrap the last bunch of presents I still had to do, and though I was intending on putting the gifts under the tree on Christmas Eve after everyone had gone to bed, we couldn't resist and put them under the tree right away. I had to make THREE BATCHES of Magic Cookie Bars, they were getting inhaled so fast. And I think we listened to "O Holy Night" about a hundred times.
Our Christmas Eve lobster dinner was thwarted by bad weather on the East Coast that had a lot of planes grounded. So, Calvin made Chicken Marsala instead, which was almost better than if we'd had the lobster. Almost. The lobsters did eventually arrive, five days late and deader than dead. Poor crustaceans, they gave their life for their country. Maine Lobster Direct was very nice about everything. They actually called me to tell me the package wouldn't arrive. They were hugely apologetic, and refunded my money right away. So I'll give them a go again next year. The weather wasn't their fault, after all.
Lilly cannot drink. Can. Not. Drink. A half a bottle of Downhome Punch and she's lit. Add a shot of tequila to that, and forget about it. She's passed out on the couch. Or behaving hysterically, evidence of which we caught on video and will reserve for future blackmail opportunities ("I can too say my ABC's... A... B... wait." "I'll just sit or else I might drown." "I'M NOT DRUNK! I'M FINE!") Between me, Calvin, and Michael (and Lilly a little bit), we killed a lot of alcohol over the holidays. Malibu, Parrot Bay, Bud Lite, Tequila, Vodka, Jack Daniels drinks, Hypnotiq, wine... hell, we weren't going anywhere at all, so let's get drunk and watch "Shawn of the Dead!" Which, I suspect, was a lot funnier for the buzz.
We took a good long time lingering over the gift-giving on Christmas morning. We got the traditional box-o-goodies from my sister in Maine and added to our growing stock of Christmas decorations. Marie gave me DVD's of "Love, Actually" and "While You Were Sleeping". I did not suppress my squee. Calvin spoiled me and bought a new digital camera (GOOD GOD does that thing have features that I will never in my lifetime figure out) and a photo printer (one model up from the one I mentioned in this entry). The pictures from that printer turn out beautifully. I was quite geeked. I was mentioning to Calvin that we needed to get a memory card with larger capacity (the camera came with a 16mb), when out of my stocking I withdrew a 250mb memory stick, on which I can store 126 pictures. Happiness, and I'm so glad Calvin can anticipate my inner geek's needs.
Anthony, as can be expected, was more interested in playing with the boxes and wrapping paper than his new toys, at least until we got everything cleaned up. Lilly tried to show him how to open the presents, but he's still a bit too young and didn't get why she was holding his hands and making him rip the paper. Oh, and the "Christmas Video" that we took is not fit for a family environment. Good heavens above, I didn't realize how much we swear in our household!
Drinking and swearing and teaching babies to flip the bird. Yeah, we're classy.
Let's see, what else? Oh, we somewhat obsessed over playing Monopoly for some reason. There were many hysterical (and slightly drunken) games played around the dining room table. I think we bent quite a few rules, and made up others out of thin air ("You owe the bank $600. Don't have the money? Okay, the next three times you pass Go the bank will keep your $200 and we'll be even.")
We finally met Lilly's family on the 27th. They drove from Texas, and were intending on following Lilly and Michael back to San Diego and visiting them there. But when they arrived, they found it an appealing thought to just stay in Arizona instead of trekking even further West, so we got to have the kids with us for over a week more than we expected! Lilly's father is still active in the Air Force, so they stayed on Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix. Lilly's brother and sister spent the night the first night - so quiet and polite that I couldn't figure out how they were related to Lilly (kidding! I'm kidding). Then the next day Lilly's mom and dad came back over, and Lilly's mom had made an enormous amount of Pansit and Lumpia, her native Filipino dishes that we've heard so much about. She gave me the recipe, but there is absolutely no way that I'll be able to do these dishes justice. They were so good that we made absolute pigs of ourselves.
Lilly's family took Devlin with them back to the base to spend the night, and then the next night they took Anthony to spend the night. On the day that they were leaving, they treated all of us to a buffet lunch. They're such nice folks! It was good to finally meet them - it was odd to have our son be a part of a family that we've never met before, and I'm sure Lilly's family felt the same way.
New Year's Eve was quiet, just hanging out on the couch and watching movies until five minutes of twelve, then flipping over to the TV to watch the ball drop. Calvin had gone to bed earlier, so I got to kiss Devlin at midnight.
Other than that, there's not much more to tell. The kids and the babies left on Jan. 2nd, and suddenly the house seems too quiet. The silence is absolutely ringing in my ears. We all had so much fun together, and not knowing when the next time will be that we'll get to see each other is hard. We see the babies in leaps of time that bring them back to us in a completely different stage than when we saw them last. Anthony will certainly be talking by the time we see him again. Devlin will be sitting up, maybe even crawling or cruising. We miss so much, and we miss THEM so much.
It was a happy, happy holiday.
I'll leave you with a handful of pictures to tide you over until I get the film from the 35mm developed. Which will be sometime in 2006, I'm sure.
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