The pause…

Our presents are opened and mostly put away. The wrapping’s been pitched and the gift bags carefully saved for another day. And we have just under a week until New Year’s Eve. But this week is empty. No school, no groups, and, depending on where you work, no shifts.

I like this week, it’s a pause between two major holidays, a time to reflect on the previous year and prepare for the new one, if only by thought instead of deed.

This year I’m going to serve healthy meals that I enjoy. Colin has a very limited palate and dislikes most vegetables and all legumes (other than baked beans). I’m tired of making bland dishes for him to enjoy. He’s old enough to cook and, while he’s ignored my multiple offers to teach him some basic cooking skills, he’s more than capable of trying to prepare a meal and asking for help if needed.

I’m going to keep up with my walking. I’m aiming for seven days a week but am happy with five. I’ve got my Fitbit to track my 10,000 and it’s making a difference. I want to encourage Colin to walk with me more. He’s gained so much weight in the past couple of months. I handed him a sweater of his to wear to his grandparents’ house on Christmas Eve, a lovely black sweater with tiny sequins on it, only to find out he’s outgrown it. Luckily I had a tank top which fit. One of my favourites with red sequins across the top. It looked festive so that part’s good. And he liked it which was better. Hopefully he’ll forget that by summer because I’m not sharing it.

I’m going to spend more time with friends. Which is easier said than done because most of them have social anxiety, but I’m at least going to try. I have one friend who’s an extrovert *waves at Allison* and I plan on spending more time with her. Woo hoo… karaoke in a week.

I’m going to push Colin into bringing his dishes into the kitchen when he’s done eating, not when he gets a whim to carry in an armload or two. That’s way too overwhelming for both of us and gross besides.

I’m going to get back to writing, which is also easier said than done. I’m going to get back into reading too. I’ve got a $50 Indigo card from my parents and I’m going to buy ebooks for my phone.

I call Colin, Emma at home because she enjoys hearing it, just not in public where her masculine looking features contrast with her name. With family I tend to flip between the two names, depending on who we’re with. I use Colin and he/him on the blog so I don’t confuse everyone here by using two names. But I need to remember, despite my own confusion, to continue doing so. I’ve called her Emma on the blog five times so far and have to keep backspacing and writing Colin. Using one name would be so much easier but it’s his path and not mine.

And I need to be more gentle with myself. I look around at other people and think *I should be doing that* but I’m not them and I need to make sure I don’t overdo things. Otherwise I end up overwhelmed and the next day’s ruined too with high anxiety. I need to do the best I can, not the best someone else can.

Well my hot chocolate (in my new handmade mug from my parents) is done and it’s time to get Colin up to buy kitty litter and cat food (I’m telling you, my life is a font of excitement). I hope those who celebrate had a wonderful Christmas! And enjoy the pictures 🙂

Kait, Kathleen, and Emma

Kait, Kathleen, and Colin. Colin’s wearing the emergency top and you can barely tell he’s wearing it with his track pants LOL

Emma's new kitty ear headphones

This is one of my favourite pictures of Colin because you can actually see him smile instead of the usual half grimace he claims is a smile. And he’s wearing the kitty cat headphones I bought him. He’d asked for them but it’s nice to get verification that a gift’s enjoyed anyway.

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Happy birthday to me!!!

birthday Doctor Who 10th

Since the 10th Doctor never actually showed up, I’m taking Jeremy camping instead. Plus I made myself chocolate peanut butter cupcakes 🙂 The first year I became vegan, my Mom made a bowl of fresh fruit because she doesn’t know how to make a cake without milk and eggs. I’ve made my own cake ever since. This year’s will be the best so far.

Jeremy tried to convince me that today’s opposite day, which means I’m supposed to give zir a present instead of vice versa. I’d say it was a nice try on zir part but zie woke me an hour early then started begging for video games so zie’d have something to do in the car. In essence, since my Mom bought the present and I bought zir three (four?) games, I did buy zir a present. The kidlet’s about as subtle as a sledgehammer but just as effective.

And we’re heading off for five days of swimming, hiking, and exploring. All I know is there’s a large pond (which Jeremy says is at least as big as a football field… or three even), two beaches, caves, hiking trails, and trees. Jeremy assures me there’s lots of trees. I’ve never been there and can’t find any pictures so all my mind is picturing is lots of ????? and a gravely, muddy beach with lots of weeds. Jeremy didn’t mention either so my mental image is probably (hopefully) off.

See you in August!!!!!

p.s. Depending on cellphone service, I might stick a picture or two up on Instagram 🙂

Valentine’s Day…

presents

I woke on Valentine’s Day to a wrapped present from Emma, neatly tied with my favourite colour ribbon (iridescent) and taped with Emma’s favourite tape (skulls). She gave me a new journal to write in and a gift card for Chapters-Indigo (Canada’s biggest bookstore… damn, I can’t write that without thinking of the World’s Biggest Bookstore, which no longer exists). She also baked cupcakes, including a bright purple one for Jeremy. As you can tell by zir face, zie found it to be delicious.

I baked cupcakes too and found the world’s easiest vegan cake recipe ever. Seriously, it’s one box of white cake mix (check the ingredients for milk) and 12oz of 7-Up. Combine those two ingredients and whisk them together. That’s it. It was seriously yummy, tasting a lot like angel food cake. I might or might not have eaten most of the cupcakes on my own plus licked out the bowl.

There is absolutely no news about my Dad. He got discharged last night because he was doing so much better then went back to the hospital this morning via ambulance. Beyond that we have no idea. He’s suffering from fever, dehydration, low blood pressure, exhaustion, and confusion – obviously something’s going on. Meanwhile his blood and urine cultures are clear and nothing showed up on his CT scan. His heart test (EKG maybe?) was clear as well. He’s doing just good enough to stay out of the ICU so they’re keeping him in the emergency room, which provides more attention. I’m supposed to be singing with my UU choir right now but my heart is just not in a singing mood right now so I’m going to watch Doctor Who with Jeremy instead.

I had enough batter left over to make a single layer heart shaped cake. I figure the two of us are going to decimate it tonight.

And my heart melted…

“Mom! You have to look at our tree!”

Jeremy announced this as soon as I walked in the door from work. I headed into the living room and eyed the tree nervously. The was no smoke or frayed wires. Nothing other than the TARDIS was spinning. Actually I couldn’t see any difference.

Jeremy sighed. “Look down at the presents.”

Oh. There was a new one there with Jeremy’s name clearly printed across the front. My Mom had volunteered to drive twenty minutes each way to pick Jeremy up and take zir to counselling then suggested taking Jeremy out for lunch. Apparently a shopping trip had followed their meal.

“I bought you a present,” zie added. “Well, Nana bought it but I picked it out and I know you’ll really like it. I can’t wait until Christmas when you open it.”

I gave the present a curious look. It’s small and skinny… too small to be a book. Maybe a candle? Goodness knows I’ve got enough to light our entire apartment in a power failure but one more wouldn’t hurt.

“Mom, when I get my inheritance money from Grandpa, I’m going to give Nana and Grandad a hundred dollars. They’ve done so much for me over the years. Taking me places… buying me things… every single present I’ve ever given you was paid for by Nana. They deserve to have something given to them for a change.”

And, with that my heart melted.

Gearing up for Christmas…

Right now I should be baking a batch of cookies, making caramel corn, and filling chocolates. Instead I’m sipping a mug of hot chocolate and writing here.

Today is our family Christmas dinner, held early because my parents are heading out to BC to visit Amy and her family over the holidays. It was also my youngest nephew’s birthday last week so we’ve got a birthday present to deliver as well and Jeremy promised, as the big cousin, to go over and play Minecraft with him. Speaking of which I better wake Jeremy up and remind zir of that promise.

I am looking so forward to Christmas, it’s my absolute favourite holiday. This year is going to be a lot more quiet than usual and I’m looking forward to that too. I love our big family gatherings but find them a bit overwhelming. Having just Emma and Mark over will be nice.

And this year will be a different Christmas for Jeremy too. Lots of purple… lots of glitter. I even found a purple, remote control car. There’s a sonic screwdriver in that purple sequined bag under the tree and gummy bear earrings in zir stocking. I bought things I’m sure Emma will like as well but won’t mention them here. *waves at Emma*

I got you an invisible, inflatable purple elephant hon… just like last year 🙂

I told Jeremy I’d wake zir up in a half hour and I’ve hit that mark now. Plus I really need to get started on the Christmas baking so I can get it cooled and wrapped in time for this afternoon. I’m going to leave you with a video I took a few days ago of a house just down the street from us. Not just any house though… the Merry Christmas house. They really decorate so enjoy 🙂