I have some of my Christmas shopping done. I feel better now than I did earlier in the week! We actually went out into the blizzard (taking it slow, never getting over 30 mph) to simply get out of the house and we ended up making our way out to the shopping area. I had a $10 off card for both Old Navy and Shopko so I used those up, oh yeah, and a $10 gift card I won at work for Walmart (I got 3 of my photos in the annual calendar we make to give to residents for Christmas) so I did save some money. I really, really enjoy buying gifts for people. My favorite part is when I am all done shopping so that all I have to do is wrap them. I don't mind wrapping -- I take my time and do a little bit each night after the kids are asleep (not simply because some of the gifts are theirs, but because BOTH of them would be all over the paper and it would just be a mess.
I really, really am in need of a massage. It's been 4.5 years -- I remember getting one not too long before my wedding and that was in July of 2006. My back has hurt but it's not a back strain kind-of pain, more of muscle/tension pain. I have this big knot on the edge of my right shoulder blade and it's been there since college (and that was a long time ago, as I am eight years post-grad now). It used to bother me a lot more because I would walk/bike to campus and carry around a heavy backpack all day. It's not as bad now, but it's there.
I love this time of year. I love all the snow. I have fond memories of my childhood when we would play in the snow at night and look at the pretty lights around the neighborhood. I remember lying in the snow with my sister and it was so calm and quiet -- I love that insulating effect snow has. We'd hear the scrape of the shovel as my mom cleared the insanely long driveway (my dad made her do it -- it took her several hours each time). I could never live anywhere warm during the holidays, or if I did, I'd have to come back here by about December 20th because I just need the snow for the whole experience. It's the same thing with Christmas lights: they have to be colored. White lights are so boring.
My kids are doing amazing! Today I was watching them play together. Elise was acting "hyper" and crawling after Andrew and then she'd stop and sit and wait for him to crawl by her and then she'd squeal and crawl towards him, thumping her hands on the floor. She's 9.5 months now and experimenting with food a little more. She really loves oranges and we give her little pieces. If we don't a) peel the orange fast enough or b) the orange is gone too quickly, she cries or screams for more. She has a little baby radar that picks up on any food being eaten anywhere in the house. We pretty much let her sample what we're having, assuming she can have it, but she isn't taking in a lot of foods. When she isn't eating what we're eating, she has organic baby purees and only about 2 tablespoons at a time. She is nursing 8-9 times a day (a day = 24 hours) so she's still getting a lot of the good stuff. And loving it. Andrew is still as funny as ever -- he makes us laugh on a daily basis. He no longer uses the potty seat (the kind that sits under the toilet seat) -- he simply climbs up there, places both feet on the seat, and lowers himself down, supporting his weight with his hands. He can do this now for both #1 and #2, but is still not wanting to stand up to do #1. To each his own, right? He has a very extensive vocabulary and picks up on random stuff. There's this dorky show on PBS called "Rick Steves" (it's a guy who travels Europe and talks about it, tour-guide style) and Andrew happened to recognize him one day when it was on, and called out, "Rick Steves!" Yep.
I'm still loving my job, and they are handing over more responsibilities -- it's just additional FMLA paperwork and I'll be doing more tracking, but it's okay with me. I have the system in place all set up and ready to go in Excel. I love organizing things, both at home and at work.
Last snowfall total for this storm was 11.1", and it's still coming down! This is classified as a blizzard because of the blowing snow/wind speeds. It guarantees a white Christmas, so for that I am thankful. It can all go away on December 26th, and then begins the countdown to spring (fat chance, since here, it's never "here" until April).
Do any of you do this thing where you are always looking forward to something? There's little events that I look forward to (stupid stuff like my kids' doctor appointments, heck even my own appointments if I should be so lucky to have them), Fridays/weekends, there's a work gathering next Tuesday night, there's holidays, birthdays, etc. -- I live my life in these moments as I always have my whole life, and I can't remember a time where I wasn't always looking forward to something. I wonder if this is why I never get depressed, even when there are times I have probably had valid reasons to be so.
Anyway, gotta dash. I am going to try and start getting to bed by 11:00, and we are already over that by seven minutes. Goodnight!