1. I took the whole week after Christmas off work to hang out with the kids (well, the two work days I would've had after being off Monday and having the holidays Thursday and Friday). Even though it was a lot of not getting paid, I'm very glad I did it. We had our annual Thanksmas party with our closest friends, always one of my favorite nights of the year. I took the kids to the children's museum and to Elliott's first official swim lesson (with the most patient teenage swim instructor of all time, bless her heart). We went to Pump it Up and to the history museum to see a real train. MB's brother and his fiancee came to spend an evening visiting. One of our playdate friends invited us over for a Noon Year's Eve party, with a balloon drop and everything. The kids and I went on a First Day hike on New Year's Day, and then my parents took the boys so MB and I could see Star Wars. We had an epic pancake dinner and game night with friends. It was really, really wonderful and I can't think of a better way to say goodbye to a great year and usher in a new one.
2. Elliott and I were out most of last Monday on errands, at various places including Target, the bank, and the grocery. At all these places he behaved like...well, like a very (very) busy little child. He moved, he sometimes yelled, he walked circles around and around the bank and its long line for ten minutes, he drove his toy airplane and train car on things, he pushed a little cart. And everywhere we went, people were SO NICE to and about him. Someone even thanked me for telling him, "Don't walk under that again. I'm watching you," at the bank, where he discovered last week that his head is at exactly the right height to graze the Tensabarrier thing and make it do a satisfying twang as he walks under it. Some days I feel like civilizing these children is the hardest job I will ever have and I am probably annoying the entire world in the process. Other days I feel like civilizing these children is the hardest job I will ever have and maybe I'm doing okay. Here's my general shout-out of thank you to anyone who is nice to parents who are trying their best, even when their kids aren't perfect.
3. I'm very glad we took a chance on All the Train Stuff for Christmas, because the boys have played with their new huge setup for accumulated hours, sometimes without even fighting over who gets to use which passenger car.
4. Much to Nico's delight, it snowed on Saturday night. Both boys went out to play for about 45 minutes on Sunday, then Nico went back out for another hour and a half while Elliott napped hardcore after lunch. He didn't get his white Christmas, but at least he finally got some snow.
5. I got a pass on playing in the snow, because I was up for three hours in the middle of the night Saturday / Sunday with pretty horrible chest pain that migrated into my neck. If it had been on the left side instead of the right, I probably would've gone to the hospital. Google told me it probably wasn't a blood clot, a heart attack, or pneumonia. It was mostly gone by the end of the day Sunday but then back this morning (though not as bad as initially), so I went to the clinic just in case. Probably just a viral inflammation of my chest wall or lung tissue, which they can't really do anything about, but at least it wasn't a heart attack.
Reading (audiobook): Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Playing: Led Zeppelin III