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{Saturday, December 14, 2002}

Well, I just spent two hours cleaning. And not really cleaning, just clearing the way *to* clean. ohmygawd. I must have put over a thousand items in their respective spots (or in the trash or recycling, more often than not). The house looks great though (even though I'm absolutely rabid to vacuum) and it's inspired me to do other things that I've been putting off. It's as though my brain has cleared, along with my surroundings, allowing me to do more. Of course, that's all fine and good, but keeping it this way - or even close will be unlikely. I know me and there's no reason to kid myself.

My poor bird is about to fall of of his perch with fatigue and Harley gave up hours ago (after an hour of galavanting out front, culminating in the second paw bath of the day). As I was spraying the base of Coco's play perch (which he still does not willingly play on, but apparently has no qualms about shitting on), with every spray, he would ruffle and shake his feathers as though I was spraying him. Darned funny. He did it even time and I oversprayed to check. Feathery little character.

Tomorrow is the Christmas tree day. The girls are very exciting, mostly Emma. She almost skipped school today, but then we remembered that her class was going on a field trip to the high school to see a Christmas performance there. She went (though stressed and crying about what everyone would think about her coming in an hour late) and was glad that she did. The social aspects of school are getting more pronounced every day. I'm planning to go to lunch soon, likely next week. On the way home from Pasta House (moo) she mentioned that one of the high school kids who did an *activity with them before the performance* was 'that funny checker from Target....remember him?'. Indeed I do. He's a major drag queen and I had no idea he was still in high school. I'm sure he IS in the drama club. Bless his heart for being out so soon and having a place to fit in. Of course, I'm romanticizing. He could get beat to a pulp every day after rehearsal.

Playgroup was long today. And good. I returned home just 15 minutes before the bus arrived. Morgan feel asleep immediatly and slept all the way home, on the couch for an hour, then *more* in the van on the way to dinner. And she woke up *not* crying, probably a first for her lifetime. A very welcome first, I might add. She played with Maggie today at playgroup, "Magpie" she was calling her. She got to feed River a bottle (she was swooning and he was wonderfully compliant) and she held Aidan for a bit. Bria was having contractions and was hoping to have another playgroup member for next week, our last p.g. before Christmas. She's likely not ready to have a baby, but she's not willing to be pregnant much longer either. I don't blame her, boy, those last weeks are a killer. They leave you in NO SHAPE to deal with a newborn. I always thought there should be like a week's vacation built-in there somehow. Between the birth and the actual caretaking.
posted by Lisa 12:47 AM

{Monday, December 09, 2002}

There is a bullentin board leaning against the wall behind the dog's food and water bowls. It's as though we're going to leave important notes there for him to 'not miss'. Just struck me as odd.

I'd been doing great gorge-wise today until just now. Drat the Nilla Wafer anyway! Even the dog is looking at me more wistfully than normally and the bird is ringing his bell like a madman. What *do* they put in those?

I bought a fan-freaking-tastic painting at Goodwill tonight while Emma was at dance class. I'd been not allowing much thrifting as I'm mainly done selling for the holiday season. However, time to kill and all. I passed on many 'okay' things and laughed aloud at the ridiculous pricing they have going. The kids' racks are so bursting full you can't look at anything. It's completely insane. Anyway, in the 'take it to the floor bin' was this great painting. It's a girl looking out a window, chin in hand. I really adore it. I stood there in shock, normally I don't like anything. And I liked this. I took me a full minute or so to acknowledge that. I checked the price, $16, and it was right! Rock on and home we go.

Now I want this room to have orange accents. Goodbye painting it crimson or cranberry (maybe the new man room?), this sage is great with the orange in the painting. In fact, an orange rug would be lovely too. This one does have some taupe/tan that is seriously brought out because the painting is sitting on the floor right next to it now.

I almost finished shopping for the girls. Sunday I went out in the a.m. to avoid the hellish crowds at the discount stores. I achieved that, mostly. I did find out that it is *much* more enjoyable to scan the catalogs and even the web pages for toys rather than IRL. IRL sucks. Bigtime. Walmart had about 4 dolls. Yeah, right.

Target was better, as always, and had the right doll. I popped the extra $4 out for the baby with the added belching feature. No really. I need to get Emma one more *neato* thing and I'm considering a robotic dog. Morgan's exciting thing is going to be her crying, belching doll and I don't think a lite-brite cube is going to be able to shine quite as brightly. Although Emma will enjoy the busywork things more, the Pixter software and the lite-brite, the art set -- she will want someTHING that is exciting. However, I'm not all that willing to spend $60 for her to perceive neatness. I'll have to find something gee-wiz-ish that isn't too much $.

People on eBay are spending $60 - $100 on Fur Real Cat Friends. I'd briefly considered this for M. before they went wild. Probably excellent for the birthday list. They retail for $40 and I may be able to get one from eBay *below* that after Christmas. People will have to unload them and get some of their money back. I searched last night and there were 816 listed at that moment. Man, look out Goodwill in about 18 months, you will be deluged with mangy cats that hiss full-time because their electronics got friend when the kids stuffed them in toilets to bathe them.
posted by Lisa 10:57 PM

{Sunday, December 08, 2002}

So, a couple of night ago, I get the Big Cries from the girls. "I think there really *is* a monster in the closet Mommy." So I agreed to stay with them for a while. Emma typically gets uncomfortable and annoyed if I get in bed with her and Morgan was more upset, so I got in bed with her. She snuggled up, threw her arm across my neck and whispered in my ear, "Your breath isn't even so bad". Ah, the words of a loved one.

Just a couple of weeks until Christmas and I went to a mall both (a) yesterday and (b) today. (Why yes, that *must* have been crack in my pipe, why do you ask?) Yesterday we went an HOUR to a mall to be tortured. Morgan's legs 'were tired' upon arrival and she was unable to even walk from the parking garage to the mall. It was a complete downhill trip from there. Constant complaints. We did have a bit of a lovely stop in Nordstroms (first-timer) with all of their Cool Shit. They have a teen makeup area that the girls went wild with the samples. Everyone was (as rumored) extremely nice. And we didn't buy a thing. We did see all of the things we had wanted all of our lives and didn't know they existed however. Mom found The Coat for a mere $425.

Today Emma and I went to the Nutcracker at the Art Museum. She liked it, but really insists that next year she wants to "be in it". She's certain that would be much more fun. I'm sure she's right. Upon exiting, Clara was there in the doorway, in the flesh, and Emma almost fainted. Very cute. Upon leaving there, we drove to the Galleria (repeat complaining, but on smaller scale) and bought a gift. Also made a short stroll through Gymboree and found a few cheap goodies. I kept Emma going with the promise of organic strawberry milk from Whole Foods. She sampled her way through the entire place (trying things she wouldn't come *near* at home) and washed it all down with promised milk. It was lovely to be alone with her, without Morgan provoking her or needing 99% of my attention. We also had a good talk about school during dinner. I like to pump her for information when she's in a talkative mood.

posted by Lisa 10:25 PM