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December 25, 2001
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two years ago
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Christmas Day

10:12 pm: Christmas Day has been really good.

Jet started it off by being up at 7 in the morning. I fed him while John showered, but I realized that I was awake. It was Christmas Morning. John preheated the oven while I nursed Jet, and then the sticky pecan rolls went into the oven while Jet tackled the stocking that Aunt Kathy got him. It's a big, fussy stocking with JET in black and white letters on the outside and a very neat foam jet glued to it. Nicely decorated, not too crowded or ostentatious.

Since I'd made my niece Emili's and nephew Yuri's stockings, it seemed appropriate that Kathy made Jet's stocking for him. It was also stuffed full of pink tentacles. Given how much Jet had liked his squid, Kathy went to the Wild Animal Park in San Diego and bought Jet an octopus. A pink octopus. With curly, pink tentacles. A few of which were poking out of the stocking. Jet grasped them uncertainly, even with both hands, he wasn't pulling that hard. He'd been warned off from all the gifts and things for the last month, and he was really uncertain, now, when faced with all the things he'd been not allowed to play with or touch for so long.

Finally I had to help him pull it out part of the way and when he saw all the legs, he grasped two of them firmly and when the body of the octopus came out he tackled it. It was hugs and bulbous and cuddly, he hugged it thoroughly, upside-down.

We had breakfast while Jet explored his new friend thoroughly, and he had a bit of breakfast as well, from his jarred food. The pecan rolls fascinated him, and he cheerfully ate grapefruit sections and then bits of roll as allowed. Then we got into the wrapped presents.

Jet was very uncertain about this unwrapping business, but he was fascinated by each new toy. Jet basically wanted to just play with his newfound discovery instead of moving on to anything new. He had plenty of new stuff to play with, too. He had a LeapFrog learning drum, a pirate boat for the bath tub, a cookie jar with cutouts for the 'cookies', a ball of beads on wires, a book, a box of Cheerios (the universal kid fodder), two mechanical puppies on leads, a great book about Sheep In A Jeep, a magnetic fishing puzzle, a band of sleigh bells, a couple new outfits, a Bob the Builder Lego set, and a Radio Flyer red wagon to put everything in and push it all around. He liked them all.

So much for liking the wrapping and boxes more than the toys. He really loved his toys.

He was also exhausted when he was done, and when he nursed off me, he fell fast asleep. The problem was he only slept for an hour. Enough time for us to clean things up, enjoy a few of our gifts, and that was about that.

Kathy did an amazing job of getting John and I a number of presents, I think some of it was to make up for the lack of numbers from Mom and Dad. She did a great job, including a copy of The Little Endless Story Book, which is just really cool and clearly for kids but it's in comicbook style and with comicbook printing. It's also got some tremendous samples of watercolor that I am just drooling to try and emulate. It's some really gorgeous artwork.

Another thing she got me was a tap of the Last Angel Tour that Gaiman had done. I'd completely given up hearing or seeing anything from that tour when I'd heard it was the last. There was no way on earth or off it that I was going to be able to make it to one of those while last months pregnant and/or with a brand new baby. So I'd completely given up even thinking about it, but here was a tape. Wow.

Various people gave me great things. Cera got me "Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog", which I loved from reading Kathy's copy and in conjunction with the Connie Willis book. I was very glad of that as the whimsical lyricism of it is very much inline with how I see some aspect of Cera. Rebecca sent me a copy of The Land of the Lost, for which she gets to be very smug because I'd made a comment on her journal about it. That was a very cool surprise.

We skipped lunch, which turned out to be a very wise decision. We made pumpkin pie to go with the chocolate cake I'd made Sunday. The chocolate cake was from Cocolat, one of the bittersweet tortes. It was very rich, and turned out really nicely. The Queen of Sheba, I think it is called.

Jet rambled about and played with his new toys while I made pie crust and John made the filling. Once it was in the oven, we started calling family. We started with my parents and found out that Kathy wasn't there, yet. They said they'd call back when they'd done Christmas presents. So we called the Rostyki all over the country.

Kathryn's scarf was very, very well received by Mary. Mary loved it and was very happy to have it. So I was glad that that gift idea turned out so well. Dave's kids were also really happy with the gifts we sent them. I was very glad of that, glad of the appreciation as well as of the simple fact that we'd gotten them things they liked.

Walt and Cathie were doing well and have a possible plan to come up here around New Years. I'm glad that we might actually get to see them, sometime this week. Walt gave me a beautiful ceramic casserole that was heavy duty and not too big for the three of us. Most casseroles are just huge, but this one was about the right size for two or three appetites. They also sent a small share for the picture printer I wanted for Christmas, that was most welcome.

My Mom and Dad got me half the video camera and they also got me a garlic holder for storing garlic. It's pretty and heavy duty ceramic. It's so dry here I don't know if the bulbs won't just dry out, but I'll have to try it. John got half a pound of coffee. The Panasonic video camera that John bought was their big gift to us this year, and we used it to make sure that his grandparents would be able to see some of Jet's first Christmas.

John was very keen and got me a fleece warmer, it's basically a big bag of fleece with just cuffs for my ankles and actual arms for my arms. It's ultra warm and snug. No drafts! He also bought me two one pound boxes of Enstrom's toffee, which I love, and it's so much better in two smaller packages that can be enjoyed without too much guilt. I can always freeze the other one for later, whenever I'm feeling really down. I was glad of them.

Jet and I bought John a burp gun that shoots ping pong balls and extra balls for the gun, so that if John loses any, they'll be good replacements. Jet was utterly fascinated when he saw John fire it and he turned the gun around and around and around in his hands to see how it worked.

When everything was done we went over to the Goodell's. Jet had a blast playing with Alex and Haley, and we had a great time talking with Joan and Ray and Ray's mom about everything and anything. It was a great afternoon and evening. We had the whole turkey feast that Ray's mom made for us, and added our red cabbage salad (which I'd also made Sunday) and the desserts. She'd actually made fruit salad and a coconut cream pie as well. So we had more than enough food, with turkey, dressing, potatoes, candied yams, rolls, two salads, and vegetables besides.

Dinner was early because Jeremy was working, and had to to be back to work by 4:30. It took a little while for everything to get done. We all stuffed ourselves around their table. Jet got to sit in Haley's old high chair while Alex and Haley fought over which booster seat they got to sit in. They each found their own place, and it worked out really well. Everyone fit, everyone wandered about the table getting what food they wanted, and it was noisy, happy, and quite fun.

It was a good gathering. It was comfortable and fun. Jet had a great time playing with everything and everyone. He seems as comfortable with Joan and Ray as he is with us. It was really fun watching him giggle and play with Ray and Joan and have a really good time. I enjoyed just being a quiet part of all this and it was just fun to be there and watch and listen and not be expected to be anyone or anything other than myself.

I liked that.

We just played and talked and those of us that wanted to have dessert did when the various pies and the chocolate cake came out. Some of us stuffed ourselves a bit more than others, so we waited on dessert until we had the time. Other friends of Joan's showed up with three girls after dinner, and they gave Alex and Haley some presents and then ate some dessert as well and sat down to talk with us.

Jet was pretty astonishing. When we were all sure he was going to crash, after nursing off me, after running a good six hours at full blast, he heard Alex's voice and roused himself from being completely limp in my arms and woke himself up thoroughly and went and played some more. We didn't leave until nine, and in that whole time he didn't sleep a wink. So he was up from noon until nine and played hard for the whole period.

So he's likely to either be up all night, though it seems inconceivable with how tired he has to be, or he'll sleep solid until late... but Jet's had quite a first Christmas.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.