Stressing Out Over The Cat

I got a call from my husband Aaron yesterday on my work phone. Calling on my work phone is generally reserved for things that would take too long to text, or things that are urgent, surprisingly time-sensitive, or otherwise important. I’m instantly in a tense, reactive mode.

“Do you know if Mei has a new hiding spot?” he asks, after we exchange the usual telephone pleasantries.


Christmas Is Coming

Today was “Polar Express Day” at Connor’s school (jammies FTW!), after which he gifted a box full of homemade cookies to the ladies at the after school program.

Tomorrow is his class’s Winter Party (not the “Christmas Party,” partially because they have children from Jewish and Muslim families in their class), where he’ll be gifting cookies and a gift card to his teacher. (I’ll be there along with some other parents, helping with the festivities.) Come evening, I’ll probably assemble all the recipes for the weekend’s cooking exploits to make sure all the necessary ingredients get on the shopping list.

Saturday, we’ll be doing laundry and grocery shopping (which are normally Sunday tasks), and I’ll be making an old family recipe for Christmas pudding that involves cracker crumbs and takes some four hours in the oven. (I’ve never made it before, so this should be interesting.) I’ll probably also make the cranberry sauce come evening, and we need to take some books back to the library.

Sunday — Christmas Eve — is our family gathering. Before the cooking starts in earnest, though, Connor and I will be going to let a friend’s dog out while they’re out of town for the holiday. Then I’ll be cooking the ham (from frozen, since we don’t have room to thaw it in the fridge, so it’ll take a while longer than usual), and making the side dishes I’ve planned. We’ll be hosting seven adults and two children total, which is the biggest Christmas we’ve had at our house yet. We’ll be opening some gifts, but saving the big ones for Christmas Day.

Monday is Christmas Day, where we open our gifts from Santa and from each other. Connor and I will check the stockings first thing, and our breakfast will likely be the candy Santa has left us (unless I decide to prep some sort of make-ahead bake-in-the-morning breakfast after everyone leaves the night before). Dad will get up around noonish, and maybe we’ll open presents before lunch, but probably after. Lunch will probably be Chinese, because that’s how we roll. It’s kind of a tradition.

I still don’t have the whole Christmas Spirit thing going on yet, though. I’ve felt glimmers of it, like when Connor and I were making cookies this week, or while I was packaging them up for the ladies at Extended Time last night, but… I mean, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, and this is going to be the last Christmas I’ll get to spend with my Mom for who knows how long, since she and her new husband are moving to Florida come spring.

I’ve felt like this before: last year, for one, and many other years where I haven’t documented the occasion because LA LA LA NOPE I’M JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Honestly, I’m really just looking forward to a joyous Christmas Eve with my family and, later, a chill Christmas Day full of presents and Chinese food and leftover ham.

Our Trip to Dayton, August 2017 (Part One)

We weren’t sure how exactly our Dayton trip was going to pan out, since Grandma was recovering from open-heart surgery and Grandpa had a minor procedure scheduled at the beginning of August, but it finally came together. We’d all meet for lunch on Friday — me and Connor, my Mom and her fiancé Jim, and Grandpa and Grandma — visit in the afternoon, check into the hotel and have some swim time, then go out to dinner. We’d reconvene the next morning to visit some more, then Mom and Jim would head back and Connor and I would head up to see our friend Amy.

Even when I got a last-minute call from Mom the morning of the trip, letting me know that Grandpa and Grandma had already paid for a luncheon for that day, so we’d all be doing lunch separately and meeting at Grandpa and Grandma’s house at 1pm, Connor and I rolled with it. I hit up Yelp to see what restaurants were in Grandpa’s neck of the woods, and I found a Bolivian joint. Score!

When we left our house, I asked Yelp for directions to Nelly’s, and off we went.

The drive itself was uneventful — only one potty stop along the way, and typical summer construction here and there. We arrived at Nelly’s ready to try some new cuisine.

Sitting at Nelly's