Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What's more fun than Christmas with kids?

It was a wonderful Christmas at our house! The boy woke up at 6:00 ready to wake up his baby sister and see what Santa had left them.....not to mention the numerous presents from moms. The excitement as they saw their unwrapped Santa presents was priceless. Baby girl grabbed a baby from her swing/cradle/feeding station set up and kept saying "mine, mine." We assured her that Santa had left the babies and the entire center for her. The morning, really, most of the day, was a balance between unwrapping presents fast enough for the boy while going slow enough not to overwhelm the baby. We said the presents would last longer if we went slowly and played with each one a bit before moving on to the next. Grandma, grandpa, plus an aunt and uncle joined us for breakfast and more unwrapping, which took place a couple hours after the initial excitement of Santa having left presents and filling stockings. That was very nice and not the crazy frenzy of the larger family gatherings we usually have.

I must have been quite good this year, as Santa filled my stocking with lots of fun goodies, including 800 THREAD COUNT pillow cases (I am sort of fanatical about soft pillow cases), The Secret and High School Musical DVDs and lots of chocolate! My kids got me a beautiful necklace with picture of them engraved on it, and my wife treated me to Season 3 of The L Word, Season 5 of The Gilmore Girls and a Wacom tablet for doing graphic illustrations on the computer (or digital scrapbook pages reminds Wife, who plans on sharing this gift with me), plus other fun stuff. Not that Christmas is all about the presents, but we do have fun shopping for each other and finding something that is going to bring a special smile each other's face.

The day was filled with playing, visiting and eating lots of homemade treats. We rushed to open the last few presents before going to my sister's house for a big family dinner. Let me say that again - WE RUSHED - and really scrambled to be there on time. My nephew and his family did not rush and were over an hour late - because they were napping - because he'd stayed up drinking all night long. For some reason we waited for him. Ten adults, 3 teen or almost teens, and 4 small children waited for the same person that had delayed their morning celebration. We don't all have a formal sit-down and eat together Christmas dinner, so there was really no need to wait. Well, not my house, not my call. Still, we know our son is not at his best by late afternoon/evening, and especially on such an adrenaline-filled exciting day when he's been up for hours and hours. Delaying dinner and extending our time spent with a large crowd of people only sets him up to fail. So, although he did OK, he and his cousin managed to get reprimanded by various adults several times. The rules at this house are somewhat different than ours, and are different for big kids than little kids, so it is confusing and difficult for him, and therefore, for us, too. It's too bad that Tired Boy is the version of him much of my family sees....silly, almost out-of-control, too exhausted to listen, who comes off as spoiled. He can be so polite and interesting and most people think he is older than he really is. A new study just came out indicating that his lack of focus is a sign of happiness and creativity. (Something like that. I was busy playing with the new castle with the kids when Wife was reading me the story from the newspaper.) OK, we'll take a happy child over a troubled one with more focus any day. The day ended peacefuly back at home with the kids playing with us and their new toys, and drifting off to sleep much more quickly than normal.

For our last minute Christmas-miracle (related to gift-giving), that made our son's day, read my partner's blog here.

I just got done talking to a friend whose Christmas was filled with horrible child-custody battle issues. Though all is relatively OK now, and they are looking forward to a good week together, I thank God our family is not plagued by such self-centered drama. Our miscommunications and occassional hassles are so minor in comparison with a drug-addicted mother keeping her 7-year old daugher away from her father (who has full custody) over Christmas. Come on people, when are we going to get this child thing right? It is not about the adults and getting even with each other, it is about the children.

Well, hope you are all having a wonderful Holiday! In just a couple hours I am off work and will be back playing with TinkerToys and Weebles!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Are you Doing Any Work-Work?

A good friend made the following query...."Where did term work-work originate?" (As in "I'm at work, but since it's almost Christmas, not much work-work is getting done.") I don't really expect an answer....but if anyone has one, go for it!

Today, I am not doing much work-work. Instead, you will find that I have updated my sadly outdated link list on this blog. Yes, very important work, indeed (as opposed to today's work-work, which really can wait since no one is around to process what I'm processing).

I thought about changing my template, but then was afraid I'd loose my assorted links, and my new "blogarithm" feature (sign up so you can see when I update....I know, it's not as frequent as it should be!). Hopefully I would not, but there is a little warning that you will loose customizations, so, no point in taking such chances. So, we will all live with this format.

Our kids are adorable and all geared up for Christmas. Baby Girl is chattering a mile a minute and has so many words now that I can't keep up. New words every day, and as of yesterday, she could tell you that Santa is going to bring her "candy cane" and "present." Too cute! My son is nearly beside himself that I am going to be home for 4 1/2 days in a row. I reminded him this morning at about 5:45 (he's been waking up to be with me/watch tv before I leave for work at 6:00 - can't convince him it is too early for him to be up), and he giggled with joy. Very sweet. Good family times ahead!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Finals are Done!!!

What a huge relief! Although I would say that I was not particularly stressed out about finals now that I am a big, bad 2L (humor, folks), I have to say I was incredibly happy last night when I turned in my last final. *Whew* It is nice to be able to have the free brain space to think about other things and now, focus on Christmas. I realized today that I have not even considered shopping for Christmas brunch or my part of Christmas dinner. What did I ask my mom to bring for breakfast? Muffins? Guess that means I'm doing the Swiss Egg Scramble! I wonder if scrambled eggs freeze well? Could I cook a double batch and freeze it?

So....shop for Christmas food, including eggnog, pick up an ultrasonic mouse deterence gadget (half the world seems to say they work and the other half says no), wrap presents, buy last few remaining gifts (nothing for Dad, yet) and look for movies to record so we can watch at night after kids go to bed.

Speaking of watch movies.....which is much like watching TV.....The L Word, Season 4 starts on January 7th. Guess who will be ordering Showtime very soon? Maybe I should see if there is anything worth ordering it by this weekend for......Nope, nothing that looks particularly intriguing. Anyway, yes, a whole new season of The L Word, coming right up! Doesn't 12 episodes seem embarassinginly skimpy? Just 12 short weeks of TV that is meaningful and speaks to my life....we need MORE! That's what I should be doing with my life, creating "mainstream" entertainment for lesbians. The world has more than enough lawyers. What we need is more lesbian TV. Well, maybe I'll do both......

Random jump back to finals.......I have discoverd that I actually kind of like doing essay finals. Is that weird, or what? My Civ Pro professor was right last year. It is kind of fun to have the opportunity to show what I know. It makes me realize that I learned a lot. Enough to continuously write for almost 3 1/2 hours on Intellectual Property topics and still not feel like I said everything I could have. I don't know what I left out, but if I'd had more time, I might have found more possible claims, defenses, whatever. That's OK, though. I feel good about all my finals and just hope I did at least as good as average, and hopefully even a little better. It's a tough curve in law school. We all probably walk out of finals feeling preety good about how we did. We all probably did do quite well....but if everyone does a good job, it makes it really hard to stand out and to do exceptionally well. That's OK, in the end, as long as we pass, we'll still get to be called "doctor." Oh, wait.....that's med school.....Damn.

Happy Holidays everyone!

To keep up on our family happenings, be sure to check out my partner's blog (link to the right). She's much better at updating than I.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

One final down, two to go!

I realized this morning that by not regularly posting during this crucial time of year I am letting down my loyal readers that may be trying to distract themselves from studying. It is no coincidence that my site hits increase around finals :) I increase my own personal surfing rate significantly just prior to finals. Law students are champion procrastinators!

Odd bits of trivia from the past week or so:

- Multiple choice tests suck. Remember when those used to be the easiest tests to take?

- Cats enjoy artificial trees almost as much as real trees.

- You can still scratch the heck out of your arms putting up an artificial tree. (Yes, we went artificial a couple years ago when the prices of the trees we like went up to about $50-60, and we live in the Pacific Northwest. That kind of money buys nice Christmas presents, and the fake tree we got is beautiful. Hard to tell it is not real. Of course, now we have to use it long enough to make it a wise investment. Another bonus - we can put it up any time we like and don't have to worry about it getting too dry by Christmas.)

- Pine essential oil makes me smile.

- A person can get a cold, followed by stomach flu, and then a cold again. Damn. Worse for Wife than me since her flu was horrible and mine was very mild. All the hand-washing and antibacterial liquid does not keep the germs at bay.....could be because small children will cough and sneeze directly into your face.

- Friday is Wife's Birthday. No studying, day off, presents, Grandma watching kids, us going out to a movie, dinner, cake = FUN! Happy pre-Birthday, Wife!

- To any first-years reading this, congrats on making it through your first final(s). Some of you are completely done for the semester! (You go, Mieke!) Second year is much better, really. It all starts coming together, and the pressure is much less. (Sure, your grade still rests on the one 3-hour final, but that fact is not as intimidating once you make it past your first year. Really.) Enjoy the next few weeks off! It can be difficult to get back into the swing of things during Spring semester, so you really need this break for some R&R!

Whatever holidays and traditions you celebrate this season, I hope you take the time to really enjoy the moments - big and small - that make up LIFE!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Be Healthy. Be Healthy. Be Healthy.

That is my mantra for the week. Baby Girl got throwing-up/diahhrea sick for about 4-5 days last week. She was mostly better by Sunday. Wife came down with it on Saturday night. Yes, Saturday, approximately one-week prior to my first final. Imagine the fear I was struck with in the middle of the night, imagining how Wife might be sick 4-5 days, I'd have to miss work to take care of the kids, then I'd get sick and Boy would get sick and I don't have enough sick time to take off of work and I am not even almost ready for finals. I am counting on the last few days before finals to totally study/absorb/cram. I HAVE to be on top of my game. No time for sickness.

Wife was better yesterday. Bad again today. Ugh.

I am feeling good. So is Boy. It MUST stay that way.

Happy Finals, Fellow Law Students!
Be Healthy!