Mega Photo post

Morella in her pink snow suit outside in the first big snow. She’ll stay out there until she freezes. We have to do mandatory warm ups now.

My Dad’s nickname for me when I was a kid was Big Shoe. I think that maybe I could pass this onto Athena if she didn’t already have the awesome Neeners nickname.

Morella – age 3

Morella – one very sick little mess

Santa Claus – our special guest at the Eastside Playgroup holiday party.

Santa and Neeners … a great companion to this gem from last year….

Christmas Neeners

Gnome Neeners

Little House on the Neeners

Me and Neeners (and food on her face)

Falkor

Morella about 60% of the time

Christmas Eve dinner (we had honey glazed ham, christmas mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, scalloped corn, salad, bread, gravy, and meatballs) Appetizers included: ants on a log, crudites with dip, cherry cordials, christmas cookies, summer sausage, cheese and crackers, and pickles. Dessert was homemade apple crisp and cherry pie, and pumpkin pie from Perkins

Gaga Lori and Ginger

Neeners and the gift from Gaga Lori on Christmas Eve

Neeners standing on the gift. She likes to stand on everything — and her latest is to say “Ta da!” when she does it.

Christmas morning

Neeners in her new slippers on Christmas morning.

Tim playing with the girls at my Mom’s later on Christmas.

Mom holding Neeners the only time she’ll let anyone let her (aka when she is asleep) Here is the photo from last year in October…

Mom and Neeners in October 2009

Morella and Neeners fighting over who gets to hold the kitten.

Morella became an old pro at holding a kitten — clearly it was the highlight of the trip.

Ginger and Piper holding their Build a Bears (Gingers was still a work in progress).

My dress up girls last night.

Whew! How was that for a mega photo update? Sometimes posting photos seems to be best way to break a nonposting rut. I am relieved that Christmas Eve dinner, and Christmas Day went well. It was a very different experience being at Dad’s without Dad for Christmas. We have gotten into the habit of calling it Dega’s, but you know the first instinct is to think of it as Dad’s. I used to think of it as Gaga’s for years….and eventually that changed to just Dad. I wonder how long it will be before I just think of it at Dega Shane’s. It was … nice. In fact, Morella didn’t want to leave on Sunday and we stayed late. I didn’t want to leave. Though it was stressful and it manifested itself into a big headace on Saturday and a backache on Sunday, I didn’t think of Madison or my life back here at all. It was like a mind vacation. I can’t wait to go back and spend more time there with the girls, work on the house, explore outside and hang out with my brother.

BUT — I did it. Dinner was a success. Everyone got their wrapped presents. We got our holiday photo take and cards sent out to everyone. I made a crapload of cookies and gave them to friends and neighbors. We got our house decorated. Attended a couple holiday parties (a first in … well ever, where I get to say a “couple”). I visited Mom and had a good visit (though it could have been a little better had she not been exhausted cleaning the trailer and worrying and staying up for three days prior to the visit). I managed to uncover the living room, kitchen and Morella’s room in the past two days despite being extremely exhausted.

Last night I went to bed at 8:00 when Neeners when down. Today I had enormous amounts of coffee and STILL felt extremely tired and out of it. Ugh, I want it to go away so I can enjoy the rest of the holidays and tie up loose ends (like mail that package out to my friend Sarah). I wonder if I am low on iron again — I think I’ll take some extra iron supplements for the next couple of days and see if that doesn’t help matters. Or maybe it was just recovering from a massively busy, stress laden December. I can now see that there are days ahead of me, whereas last week I was convinced that the world ended on Saturday. I just couldn’t see beyond that…everything had to happen right then and perfectly. I guess I fell into the holiday trap. Next year will be better. I’ll be better prepared…and you know Christmas will be at the in-laws, which is a totally different feel than going to my family where I feel it’s a big responsibility of mine to make everything magic.

Friday we are going to Milwaukee to spend the day with cousins and in laws at a hotel to celebrate New Year’s. I am excited about this, though maybe not thrilled about digging up an old swimsuit. You know my swimsuit is 15 years old? Yeah. It’s that old. But the kids will love it because they will be with their cousins, we’ll play games, eat and hang out. It will be nice and relaxed and totally different from any other New Year’s. It’s good because New Year’s is my favorite holiday. The world is ready for a new beginning, a clean slate and everyone seems just a teeny bit optimistic.

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