Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stressful is as stressful does...

Well, my iMac is now up and running, after a complete hard drive replacement. *sigh* And for Christmas, the Husbandly One and I decided to forgo gifts for each other, and bought an external hard drive instead.

Not that we didn't get each other gifts, anyway. I filled a basket with little flavored coffee samples, and a cool Christmas mug, as well as his favorite treat, a Terry's Chocolate Orange, and he got me Spirit Tracks for my DS. Heh. I'm currently in the top of the Snow Temple, battling Boss Fraaz, and it's got me... Fraazled. *snort of laughter* After he destroys the ice and flame torches, it becomes considerable harder to kill him, and it also doesn't help to have a nearly nine year old critic at my elbow. "Freeze him, Mom! Use your boomerang to collect ice from that spot he spit the ice at and hit him with it, so his flames go out! MOOOOM!! You MISSED it!!! No, no, now you have to collect the FLAMES!! The FLAMES, Mom!!! MOOOOOOOM!!!! YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!!"

Is it any surprise that I sometimes play my video games while hiding in the closet?

And hey, I won Zelda Phantom Hourglass FIVE TIMES!! Doesn't that give me any video game cred??

Anyhow, the iMac is running again, though the fan is now giving us fits. It speeds up, and then slows down, then speeds up, and slows down. I'm putting in a call to tech support to see if we need to bring it in again, or is this something we can deal with ourselves. *sigh*

This has been a strangely stressful Christmas, with only a few stress-free moments. Christmas Eve at my best friend's for dinner, Christmas day with the kids, in which we watched them tear into their gifts with big grins and didn't worry about hurrying them up and getting them fed, cleaned up, and dressed for the drive into Houston and Christmas at my sister's. Instead, we relaxed, took our time, enjoyed watching them discover the Nerf dart guns, the Nerf swords, the books, the video games, and their Asian snacks. Yes, you read that right. They love Ramune and Pocky, and whatever else THO finds at the little Asian market by where he works, and so we buy them every Christmas, and sometimes at Easter, too! I think this year, there were some little chocolate filled pretzels called "Pucca." The jury's still out on that one. Some sort of milk-flavored candy with a lemony back-taste that I'm still making up my mind about, and a cherry flavored gum that I want more of, and even now, I'm resisting rummaging in the kids' rooms to find. Miss Priss got some manga, and I found Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Demigod Files when I went shopping with the Tall Blonde, so that was in there, too. Mr. Impossible got a new DS Lite to replace the one that died last August, due to much abuse. It took the old one dying for him to understand why THO and I kept insisting that he put the thing down when he got frustrated. I will make a recommendation to any parents on my list who have purchased a DS system for their little ones, or who have kids who are a bit on the accident prone side; Nerf Armor. Nerf makes "armor" for the DS systems. It's soft, cushy, and more importantly, shock-absorbing. Buy this. Seriously. Your wallet (and sanity) will love you for it!

And the Husbandly One bought a PS2 system as a family gift, as well as a few games, most notably Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which the kids (especially Little Man) sorely missed after we replaced our PC with a Mac. As you can imagine, Harry Potter got played. A LOT.

After breakfast, and a morning of playing games, and just hanging out, we went to go see "Avatar" and were completely blown away. Went home, and all was well.

Saturday, however. *palm-forehead* Jays, I was so stressed out, because we were supposed to drive into Houston to the Blonde Sister's, and my asthma started acting up just to make things MORE fun, and the kids were squabbling, and oh, I just didn't want to go, but I sucked it up and got in the car, and we left. And yes, I know that sentence is all rambly, but you know, I think it describes the mood and feel perfectly!

However, we'd barely gotten 30 miles into the trip when the Impertinent Daughter piped up from the back seat with, "Um... I'm not sure if I unplugged the hot glue gun before we left. It's sitting on my clock radio, and I don't remember if I unplugged it."

I thought the Husbandly One was going to swallow his tongue. HE was stressed out, because yours truly was stressed out, and that was just... the icing on the cake. Because... we had to turn around and go back. Even after she frantically remembered that yes, she had unplugged the hot glue gun, the Husbandly One and I looked at each other grimly, each of us picturing the same thing: returning home Saturday night to a pile of ashes. Not. An. Option.

So, I dug out my phone to tell the Blonde Sister we weren't coming, knowing it would sound like the Lamest Excuse Ever, but... *shrugs* And why was this a problem? Well... it takes about 3 hours for us to get to Houston. We had left the house just after 11, and we wanted to be at the Blonde Sister's around 2:30 or so, and we were not planning on staying overnight. Returning home to check things out, and then getting back on the road would mean us getting to Houston sometime around 5, and then having to drive home that night. Driving home at night after such a stressful day is... exhausting. We've done that too many times as it is. So... once we were home, we were home. End of story.

And the damn glue gun was... unplugged. Naturally.

So... we went shopping instead, and picked up a few things, let the kids spend their Christmas money, that sort of thing. Got the Impossible Son some new sneakers, and got our usual shock of, "What, his shoes have been too small???" and stared at the new shoes on his feet, thinking they were just too damn big, until he took them off and we realized his feet were just too damn big, too, so, you know he's going to have a growth spurt soon... AAAAUUUUGGHHH!!!! WHERE DID MY BABY GO???

Obviously, the same place my wild fairy child went. *sigh*

Well, we'll probably go to Houston on New Year's Day and leave the presents for my great niece and great nephew there (yes, Auntie is old enough to be a great aunt, now), as well as my mom. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy the rest of winter vacation with the Husbandly One and my kids. Maybe we'll go see "Sherlock Holmes," today. That would be awesome!

I hope everyone's holidays are going well, and that you all got everything you wanted, and maybe even something you didn't know you wanted, but were delighted to get anyway!