Monday, December 31

They drop a pinecone in Flagstaff

Well, I'm quite tired, and all of Christmas has been put away. Brian promised that we'd stay up to at least watch the ball drop tonight. Update on that status: at 11:20 p.m., I'm blogging, and he's sleeping on the sofa. Don't worry though, I'll go in and wake him up in time.
Wow. Tomorrow's January. I can't really wrap my head around it. Last year, Mom, Howie and Auntie Donna were here, and we had Chinese food and watched Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. This year is certainly different, though some things are still the same. 1.) Hoping that Sydney sleeps through the apartment complex's celebrations. 2.) Striving to keep Oliver from barking at everyone outside. 3.) Wanting so badly to stay awake because, well, sleep sounds so much better right now. 4.) Dismissing thoughts of resolutions because they're too disappointing. 5.) Drinking water, not alcohol. Some may call this a boring New Year, but I prefer to think of it as "low key."
Catch you next year, my dearest friends!!

Sunday, December 30

Yep, I'm done for the night

I always feel like my house is a little bit cleaner when the dead Christmas tree has been removed. Defrocking a tree is a thankless task. I hate taking the lights off it because all I can smell is the dust that has settled on the tree's needles for the last three or four weeks, all I can see are the dead needles flying this way and that, and all I can do is keep my mouth shut to prevent wayward needles from landing in my mouth. I'm so glad that it's done now. Who knows what Sydney will think tomorrow morning when she arrives in the living room and the big tree that she had to "be gentle" with over the last weeks is suddenly missing.
I've started somewhat on the rest of the Christmas decorations as well, but really, my energy level has fallen sharply since I sat down to check my e-mail, so I think that the rest of the house will wait until tomorrow.

One of the best things about movies nowadays is that regardless the story, the dog never dies. How many movies have you seen that, no matter what the odds, the dog always survives? Independence Day comes to mind, as does that ridiculous Sylvester Stallone movie about the subway tunnels. ... I like this about movies. It makes me happy to know that the dog is alive to continue playing, eating, and sleeping as dogs do. SPOILER ALERT: Not so in I Am Legend. I've no shame in telling you that, even though the title character's wife and child have perished, as has a significant portion of the human race, it is the death of this dog that still haunts me tonight. Yes, actor. Yes, dog is really alive and happy. But you all know how affected I am by movies, and I'm just continuing to be bugged by this sad turn of events. Grr. Oliver, though, always benefits from these issues of mine because he gets so much more love, hugs and treats just for being him than normal.

Saturday, December 29

Yeah, that's me looking enthusiastic

And so, with today's return home from Tucson, Christmas is officially over for the year. I think I did pretty well with what I got for everyone. As much as I stress about getting the right gift, and bemoan the fact that I do stress about it so much, it means a lot when all the people in my little circle are happy with what they received. I have noted where I need to make improvements next year though, and will strive for perfection in 2008. It's all good though, my peeps.
As for 2007, it's drawing to a close with every nightfall, and I agree with Jeff when I say good riddance to it. Seriously, if not for the absolute joy of watching Sydney grow from a blob of skin into an actual little person, I would call this one of the worst years ever. But simply because of her, I must also say that 2007 was one of the most magical ever as well. I guess that amazing contradiction is exactly what makes every year worth getting through and struggling for. At it's most basic level, that's what life is about, isn't it? Having someone you love ripped out of your life leaving a hole that only someone new can come close to filling.

Friday, December 28

I dig football on Saturday night

Damned if we don't just care a little bit about the New England Patriots and their run for a perfect season. All those years of, "whatever," have turned us into the ultimate resistant fans of this team, and I even hesitate to use the word "fan" when referring to us. Chock it up to the infamous tuck rule of that one year awhile ago, but we've never been able to become real fans of the Patriots franchise.
But of course, four years in Boston have made somewhat of an impression on us. We care about the teams there, and even more so about the emotional well being of the town. The Red Sox win, everyone's happy. The Patriots win, everyone's happy. Either of those teams lose, and heads will roll, or at least everyone will talk about heads rolling.
And even though we get the NFL Network through our cable company, I was glad to hear that the game against the New York Giants will be televised nationally on NBC and CBS tomorrow night. So now the whole country can see history being made (potentially, of course, let's not count our wins before they're realized).
And though I will never be one of those girls wearing a "Mrs. Brady" t-shirt, I will admit to being a closet fan of the team ... well, admit it here on my blog ... not necessarily in person ... or if anyone would ever ask me.

Thursday, December 27

Days-after Christmas items on sale!

ITEM!: So the waterfall of Christmas cards that I expected to get finally arrived while Brian, Sydney, Oliver and I were out in California. I've got to say, I was starting to get really pissy about my lack of cards. Still, I don't have close to the reciprocating number of 53 that I sent out to everyone. Those of you who reply in kind with nice cards, I thank you. To the rest of you, I'll still send you cards because I like to do it, but be aware that I do remember who does and does not respond.
ITEM!: I'm making a good contest out of my battle of wills with the container of fudge in my refrigerator. The contest, of course, is over how many pieces to eat in one sitting rather than whether or not the fudge will be eaten. I'm not a complete idiot, you know. I love the fudge from this recipe, and am not shy about about feeding on it regularly when it's available. In fact, I'll tell you that I've had no less than seven (or 10) pieces today (including breakfast, lunch and dinner).
ITEM!: Christmas itself was a positive event this year, considering the circumstances. Auntie Donna was an active participant in everything, which was absolutely awesome, and we all did what we could to make the holiday as normal, but as different, as we could. I suppose it worked, though getting through the thing without Howie just sucked right out loud. My brothers gave some lovely toasts at the Owens Family Christmas, as did Lisa's Brian, so while the night was fun, there was still a good amount of tears involved. By the way, I got cheese tray plates in the Yankee Swap. Ugh. And no one would take them from me. Damn it. I think next year we should put a higher dollar limit on the gifts, rule that they can not be alcohol-related, and insist that they be cool. As a Swap, I'll say that this one was pretty disappointing. No one had anything worth taking.
ITEM!: I'll be anxious to take down all my Christmas decorations and put them away this weekend. I do believe that Sunday will be the day that happens. I already know that I'll be increasing my Christmas stuff storage pile by at least one box. That box, specifically, will house Sydney's holiday-related toys. I'm so glad that next year I won't be buying too much of that (I hope). Beyond that, well, we'll have to see what Pottery Barn Kids puts on sale this week.

Tuesday, December 18

Meanwhile, back at the cave

Ugh. Tired, tired, busy, busy. Where the hell have the last 10 days gone? I know, I know. Every night, I say to myself, "Kimberly, you haven't blogged in a while." Then I think, "I'm so tired, damn it. Besides, there's nothing really going on anyway."
So, here it is, a week before Christmas, and I've got most of my list taken care of, but still plenty to do today, tomorrow, and Thursday before we leave for California. As well as finish fighting off this awful cold that Brian brought home. My single-most important goal was to ensure that Sydney didn't catch it, and so far, so good.

Saturday, December 8

Ugh, I hate boxing

Because he was on Dancing with the Stars, Floyd Mayweather is on my radar. Because of that, Brian and I are currently watching Mayweather fight Ricky Hatton on HBO. The undercard leading up to the title fight sucked big time, but the main fight seems to be able to accomplish the impossible: keep Brian awake past 10 p.m. I don't like boxing. Yet inexplicably, I'm still watching this fight instead of doing other, more productive, things.
In looking at my day, I am ridiculously pleased to have had a nice, long conversation with Julia. I miss her so. She moved back to Boston shortly after I moved back west. I swear, we are destined to forever live on opposite sides of the country.
And the Franck family has won my unofficial race to get out Christmas cards. Theirs arrived on Wednesday. We haven't received any others since, so I can only imagine that everyone else in my circle is running as far behind as I. I don't even know what kind of picture I'll use this year. I do not think that I'll be able to get Sydney and Oliver together, as he still tends to avoid her like the plague, so that little fancy will go by the wayside. I foresee another "double" picture card in my Christmasy future.

Friday, December 7

The tots kick butt

Clearly, I've been hanging out in some of the same places too long. I drove into my friendly neighborhood Sonic Drive-In today for my lunch. I'm all over the hamburgers there, and decided that I'd have a medium iced tea with it instead of the usual large because I wanted to drink more water this afternoon than tea. Following, the exchange:

"Welcome to Sonic, how can I help you?"
"I'd like a number one with a plain burger, tater tots and a medium iced tea with no lemon."
Beat of about five seconds.
"Are you sure you don't want a large?"
Moment for me to blush and stammer a bit.
"Um, sure. I'll have a large. I guess you guys know me in there?"
"That'll be $5.39! Thanks for choosing Sonic!"

Then, when the guy comes out to deliver my lunch, he's smiling and chuckling! They do know me at the local Sonic! They know my order! I'm a regular! Argh!!!

Thursday, December 6

Who doesn't love the Shortcake?

I think I may finally have a decent handle on the Christmas shopping. I spent about an hour going through all my catalogs last night and have a healthy pile of orders to place over the weekend. I still have a couple things I'd like to troll the mall to obtain, but all in all, I feel like I'm in pretty good shape, though I'm far from comfortable. Turning the countdown-to-Christmas calendar to 19 days kinda freaked me out this morning.
Speaking of calendars, last night I took part in one of my perverse joys of the upcoming new year ... filling in my new calendars with birthdays. I keep three calendars in my home: one in the office, one in my closet, and a final one hanging in the kitchen. Sydney's calendar isn't one that I prepare ahead of time, we fill that in as she progresses through the months. I'm quite proud of this year's calendar selections. I bought another Winnie the Pooh calendar for Sydney; a "Wonders of the World" calendar for the office; a photos of Boston one for the kitchen; and, this year's personal favorite, a Strawberry Shortcake masterpiece for my closet.

Saturday, December 1

Bike-alists are cool

It's been raining cats and dogs here for the last couple days, and it's been lovely. Except today, when we had intended on walking through the Mill Ave. Arts Festival. But really, do you think a couple clouds and raindrops would have stopped us? Nope. We walked almost the entire street scene, seeing some old favorites and meeting some new among the vendors. I got a couple absolutely awesome pieces of art for Sydney's room. I love them. The rain was a bit dampening, of both our spirits and our jackets, but on the whole it was a great day. (This little bell was on a bike parked in the lot we left the car.)
So Mom was out this weekend for the festival, we hired a nanny for Sydney so we could get some unencumbered shopping done Friday, and we collaborated on the Christmas lists. I dig productivity.
Oh yeah, and I joined the local gym! I'm so excited! I've got my complimentary introductory session with a trainer on Monday morning. The best part of this gym is that it provides a childcare facility so I've got somewhere to leave the little girl while I'm on the elliptical. Yay me!