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Weekend + HYC Update: Beginning of Winter Break

Posted Dec 21 2010 12:00am

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Can you believe that Christmas is in 4 days and that we only have a week and a half left of 2010?! This year really has flown by, especially the second half.

Originally this post was going to be my weekend update (I started writing it on Monday morning), but the day got away from me yesterday and I wasn’t able to finish it. So I’m going to multitask and have it serve as a combo update post – my weekend update and a HYC update. (I’m behind in my Reverb 10 posts, and I’ll write those as I have time, but I wanted to do a quick update about what’s been going on lately).

I’m officially on Winter Break (off of work until Jan. 3) and it feels great! I don’t have a ton of things planned each day, and that’s exactly the way I like it. It leaves me open to do whatever comes up, and it’s fun not having to stick to such a regimented schedule. You guys know what a planner I am, but every now and then it’s nice to be able to just see where the day takes you, rather than planning it all out.

Ok, so as far as a weekend update, I didn’t do a ton on Friday – I had a hair appointment, which was the ideal way to begin my vacation.  I always feel so pampered and pretty when I leave the salon, even if I don’t have anywhere to go but home.  Saturday I started tackling my 2nd bedroom.  The poor thing has been neglected all these months, and I still had all my boxes of books just waiting to be put up on the bookshelf.  The task is more daunting that it sounds, though, because I’m so anal about my books.  They’re like my little treasures, my personal collections, and I like to display them just so on the shelves.  And even though I packed them in roughly the same order that I stored them on the shelves, I’ve decided to go through the books one by one and decide which ones I’m keeping and which I’m donating.  Because some of these books, while meaningful to me when I bought them, no longer have the same appeal to me, and I’d rather donate them so that someone else can appreciate them.  My main impetus for getting the books on the shelves (besides the fact that I moved in September and it’s been 3 months) is that my sister needed the boxes that they were stored in.  I always do better when I have a goal to meet, so I was progressing well with the task at hand, until my nieces arrived and we spent the rest of the afternoon (while my sister went on the walk-through at her place with our landlord) playing, watching iCarly, etc.

T (my 8-year-old niece) is so excited about moving and seems like she wants to skip over everything, including Christmas, and just get to the moving day.  She really doesn’t seem to want to be at home (at the old house), and I really can’t blame her – it has to be filled with tension since my sister’s soon-to-be-ex husband refuses to leave.  She’s stuck there trying to pack up the house, with him watching over her, “making sure she doesn’t take anything that he wants.”  The guy is such a louse, but I digress.  I’m sure it’s less than comfortable at home despite my sister’s efforts, and since he’s never been especially patient or nice to her, T would rather not spend much time with her dad.  I’m sure she’ll miss him at  first, because he is her father, but I think after a few months in the new house, she’ll really flourish since she won’t have to seek attention or approval from someone who isn’t capable of giving it to her.

Anyway, before I knew it, T was asking, “Zia, can I stay with you tonight?” and my sister had this look on her face like it would be so much easier if she only had one child to deal with while trying to pack and avoid her ex, so of course I said yes.

So unplanned and unexpectedly, my 8-year-old niece and I had a pajama party, and we had the best time ever. We got Chinese food, watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Alakazam (T’s reading all of the Harry Potter books, and she just finished that one).  At bedtime, even though I made up the bed in the second room and T was excited to sleep in a big bed to herself, she soon said, “Zia, I’m lonely over here,” and we all ended up sleeping in my bed together.  Who knew a little girl and a puppy could  take up 3/4 of a queen sized bed!  The next morning we  finished watch the movie and had breakfast before we headed back up to the old house for one of the (thankfully) last times.  I had a good time with T, who is growing into such a fun little girl.  Although I have to admit, I was TIRED on Sunday.  Good thing I have two weeks off!!

Most of Sunday was spent driving T back to her house and then returning and doing the rest of the last-minute shopping.  I’d purchased all the presents, but I had to head to Target to get the rest of the wrapping paper I needed, and man oh man was that place a zoo.

Yesterday the day just got away from me, but in a great way.  I woke up fairly early (6:3o) and read the paper with coffee – my usual morning routine.  Lulu had been wheezing/having trouble breathing quite a bit in the morning, and I made a quick call to the vet to check on it.  I knew that small breed dogs tend to have breathing problems, but the vet tech explained that because they take in so much dust and dirt into their nasal passages, they sometimes have to do a “reverse sneeze” where they’re trying to blow the dirt out of the nose.  It ends up sounding like they’re gasping for breath or having an asthma attack, but they’re just trying to clear their nasal passages.  It’s fascinating what I’m learning about puppies!  Anyway, she recommended some Benedryl to help with the inflammation of the nasal passage, and Lulu was good to go.

We’ve had a ton of rain lately, and while Lulu and I took a really long walk on Saturday and braved the rainstorm we got caught in, Sunday it was ridiculously windy and the rain was torrential, so we stayed in all day. Other than a few games of catch, she didn’t get much exercise, so I knew that Monday I had to take advantage of the break in the rain.  We headed to the dog park, and Lulu had one of the best times ever.  She palled around with this hilarious cocker spaniel mix who just so happened to love lying in the muddy puddles around the dog park.  Luckily for me Lulu had a bit more sense then to join in the mud baths, but she ended up a muddy mess nonetheless.  Good thing she was due for a bath anyway!  We headed over to Pet Food Express to give her a bath (I love this service they provide), and she came out looking like herself again.

The rest of the day yesterday was spent catching up on the phone with a few people, and just lounging around reading and watching t.v..

So far, I’ve had a very relaxing and fairly restful break.  I’m planning on continuing this pattern, although some days will have more on the agenda than others.  Here’s a quick breakdown of the events, in roughly the order in which they’ll occur:

  • making a dreaded trip to Costco with my dad, stocking up on some “supplies” (today)
  • spending time with a friend going to see Black Swan and out to dinner (today)
  • catching up on my #reverb 10 posts, which I’m dreadfully behind on (today)
  • wrapping Christmas gifts
  • finishing the bookcase
  • helping my sister pack
  • grading 44 essays (I’m planning on doing this a bit at a time so that it’s less painful)
  • preparing the appetizers for Christmas Eve ( pea pesto crositini ) and Christmas Day ( WW cheese balls ).  This also involves the obvious shopping, prepping, cooking, plating, etc.
  • spending time with family and relishing all of our blessings this holiday season
  • helping my sister move into the new house!
  • spending time with my nieces: maybe taking them down to Christmas in the Park , or just around our neighborhood, where the homeowners really make their homes glitter at this time of year.
  • taking a few new exercise classes at the gym
  • the annual after-Christmas-clean-out-the-closets fun where I donate anything I haven’t worn lately and neatly organize the rest
  • spend intermittent down time writing blog posts, reading, and just relaxing
  • enjoying New Year’s Eve looking forward to all the positive changes that 2011 has in store

What are your plans this week (or two)?

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