Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Last night was my chorus's holiday party. It was all kinds of awesome, as it is every year: just a nice night, good food, good companionship, some singing, and people saying nice things about each other, to each other. The highlight of the night was the first annual ugly sweater contest. We had three categories: ugliest; most creative; and YIKES! The winner of the YIKES! category:

I'm overwhelmed by the gifts that my chorus gives us every year. Living in a 1-income home, it helps more than I have words to express. We have been so blessed, through the course of our journey, to find people who have helped us in great and small ways. Finding this group of ladies was an incredibly fortunate event, for sure.

Last night was the official (and temporary) breaking of my gluten-free fast, as I had the cajun chicken pasta and a cupcake for dessert. I've been gluten-free since a bit before Halloween, and it's made quite a big difference in my life - digestively, breathing-wise (delayed my normal October attack into December), energy-wise. I could tell a large difference in my energy and feeling last night after eating, and this morning kind of knocked me for a loop with some stomach issues. The food was great - absolutely loved it - but there is a price to be paid afterwards. Oh, well. Back to gluten-free.

I'm kind of lucky in the food regard, as my gluten-free makes things easier but isn't strictly necessary. I don't have an allergy, just a sensitivity. So, if I do choose to break from it - a dinner like last night, the occasional cookie, bread at a religious ceremony - it is something that will bother me for a day or two but not past then. Kind of like if a mildly lactose intolerant person has some ice cream - not fatal, just uncomfortable for a bit. Sometimes it's worth it. Last night definitely was.

The kids have been getting into the gluten free thing, as well. Grandma has been stepping up the plate big time - providing g-f options at meals and trying to find a great cookie recipe. The boys help her make the g-f cookies, which is a treat for all. This morning, The Boy wanted to share frozen waffles for breakfast. We had the gluten-free ones from Trader Joes and the regular ones. He specifically asked for the gluten-free ones.

The Boy, himself, has been on a reasonable health kick lately in terms of his eating. He's been talking about the "My Plate" that they use instead of the food pyramid nowadays. He's trying to figure out the connections between the food he eats and how healthy his "My Plate" is. He's making the connections between calcium (dairy) and bones, protein and muscles, that sort of thing. That's not to say that he doesn't eat his fair, normal share of sweets and things; he is a child, after all. He just is starting to develop a nice understanding between the relationship of food and health.

He's still in line to be tested for the gifted program at school. There's no reason why he hasn't been, other than where his name falls on the list. The interesting thing? The social worker / school psychologist who does the testing is pretty sure that The Boy is the smartest kid in the school. That's nice to hear. I'm not surprised by it - I always was, in my situations, and The Wife has days where she might actually be ahead of me. (Her father and brother are, likely by a half-mile or so.) Genetics, occasionally, is not a harsh mistress.

He and I have a nice time in the mornings together. He wakes up early - not quite as early as me, but not too far off the mark - and we spend the mornings together before I leave for work. It does tend to put a crimp in my normal workout television watching - usually, I watch my shows like "Arrow" and "Revolution" and such, and that's not exactly the best stuff to have a 6-year old watch. However, I can use the morning opportunity to steer the television towards something that he might not otherwise watch. "Okay, we'll watch a little of your program if you'll watch a little of mine." It's just nice to have some pressure-free time together - not rushing to do homework, clean up after dinner, get to bed, going here, going there. Just hang out - talk a bit, or not, eat a bit, or not. Easy intimacy, which is the relationship that I'd like to have with my sons.

When I got home from the party last night (a bit earlier than I usually do from Tuesday rehearsals), The Baby was still awake. He was watching Phineas and Ferb on the iPad, on Grandma's lap. Grandma: "So, The Baby, Daddy's home! Are you going to go say hi to him?" Him: "No, I too busy." Sigh.

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