Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ring out the Old...

Over the past week, I have felt about as informative and entertaining as an old stick, hence the non-blogging. I think the pre-trip stress has smothered my creativity/xmas cheer/good will toward men, but I can tell I’m back on the upswing, because 1.) my eye-tic has disappeared (knock on wood), and 2.) we’re getting on a plane Thursday morning and I haven’t freaked out (much) yet. (Ok, maybe a little, but it was all John’s fault.)

I noticed that the loss of my tic coincided with surviving the Lucia-fest we attended over the weekend. I got us thoroughly lost on the way, and Hannah had a bit of a meltdown after she took part in the Lucia procession, and our friend saved us seats that she unwittingly stole from another family, but otherwise it was a fairly innocuous event. There was a drawing for door prizes, so we bought 7 tickets, 2 of which Hannah promptly lost. She did win one item—a tube of caviar. “Oh, well--at least Dad can eat it,” she thought, but alas, there was a small hole of unknown duration in the metal tube. Rather than risk salmonella, which John would have gladly done if we weren’t traveling the same week, we threw it away and washed the stink off our hands. We also found a cat-sitter that night (finally!), so maybe that also helped reduce the pre-trip stress.

Winter has finally decided to grace Germany with its presence. We had our first frost last week, and the temps have been hovering around 5C (41F). Hannah won’t always wear her hat, and on those days, she says her ears feel like popsicles that ice bears (=polar bears) are munching on. Another sign of winter: I can’t touch anything in our home without shocking myself. The VCR is the worst.

We made it to the Xmas Market this week but didn’t buy anything but food. I swear, John and Hannah are constitutionally incapable of walking down the main street without needing to graze along the way. *She* wants sweets—it was 5C out, and she spent the whole time pleading, “Ice creeeeeam!”—and *he* wants to try every kind of roasted nut offered (if I were Mimi Smartypants, I would write an essay about my husband’s love of hot nuts, but instead I will just amuse myself in my head), so almonds and chestnuts this time. And it’s not like I didn’t feed them first.

Our suitcase o’ presents is basically packed, so there shouldn’t be too much to remember when it comes time to pack except clothes and personal stuff. That doesn’t mean I’m not making a list, but I’m only including the most important things. I can buy a new toothbrush if I leave mine behind, but we can’t get on the plane without our passports, so the passports are on the list and the toothbrushes are not.

Hannah’s school offered photos this year for the first time, and they came in yesterday, so we will be spreading the joy as much as possible while we are in Texas. When John saw them, he wondered why we ever let her out of the house looking so mussed. I reminded him that Hannah had gotten herself ready and didn’t want our help and thought she looked *very chic*, so grin and bear it, baby.

I wanted to make an elf of myself, but I think I am out of time, so here are some other fun xmas games and stuff (check out You Got Elfed) from Office Max (who would have thought!).

And with that I will sign off for the rest of 2006 and the first week of 2007. Happy Holidays!

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