So! So so so! This weekend I went on a mini-vacation without Paul or the kids. I went to see my brother (Erik), sister-in-law (Anna), sister-in-law's sister (Lottie), and niece (Niestle). First there was the mini-roadtrip to get there. I brought with me CDs, a large coffee, and a 9x13 pan full of mini-cupcakes I made with the leftover cake batter from the bake sale cake plus the second bake sale cake I had to make when the first one was uncooked in the middle. (I got cocky and thought I didn't need the toothpick test. OH HUBRIS.)
(For those of you who have the Blink-182 album and are wondering why the, er, "nurse" is on the inside of the case instead of on the outside: I turned the cover around because I prefer to look at young men in boxer shorts.)
I arrived mid-afternoon, and Erik stayed home with Niestle while Anna, Lottie, and I went to a big musical Christmas variety show, in the kind of theater with enormous high ceilings with, like, nymphs painted on them, with gilt and velvet EVERYWHERE, and a wreath the size of a minivan. We had a wonderful time. One highlight: at one point there was a sober recitation of The Life of Jesus: he was born, he was a carpenter (wait, we seem to be veering away from the Christmas part of this story), and when he was 30 years old the tide of popular opinion turned against him and he was killed but rose again (Easter, this is the EASTER story now). Out of the darkness, the incredulous voice of a little girl in our row: "He DIED??" Another highlight: ACTUAL LIVE CAMELS. Another highlight: muscular young men wearing snug bright pink. Another highlight: The Twelve Days of Christmas with chicken-dancing for the "three French hens" part.
Then we went home, and Niestle was already asleep, and so the four of us grown-ups had tacos and wine and mini-cupcakes. The plan was to play Pictionary, but after my brother found out he'd have to be partners with me again, we somehow never got around to it, and instead stayed up until midnight talking about all the ways our respective parents neglected and mistreated us (KIDDING, kidding, parents who read this blog!). Erik and I totally trumped Anna and Lottie with our Childhood Illness stories: we both got croup a lot; Erik has a systemic poison ivy story and a near-fatal asthma attack story; I have a nowhere-near-as-good-but-still-pretty-good pneumonia story and a tonsillectomy story, plus I can add the Big Sister Cam to his stories. Anna and Lottie were like, "Let's see...I think we must have had some colds." WE WIN. (So it's good we did this instead of Pictionary, because um.)
Then I slept until ten in the morning. TEN.
We discussed brunch. Erik and Anna said we could do a Mexican scramble, or we could do French toast, or we could have Belgian waffles. We weighed the options indecisively, and then Lottie said, "I'm in the mood for sweet AND savory---so why don't we have the Mexican scramble and then finish off the cupcakes?" SOLD.
I left reluctantly, but it was a very pretty day for a drive home. I listened to the radio and felt a leeeeetle silly being a mid/late-thirties mother-of-five singing vigorously "We will never be! never be! anything but loud and nitty-gritty, dirty little freaks!," but not as silly as you might expect (slash-hope).
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...