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February 19, 2005: Transformed

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We fully intended to get our taxes done this weekend but I never got around to sorting through the pile of forms to make sure we have everything (to avoid those mad dashes back home to find some crucial bit of paperwork which we've done before, mid return preparation session). So that will have to wait until next weekend. I also fully intended to take all the piles of paper and empty bags and bottles and cat food cans to the recycling center, since the piles have long since outgrown their containers and the looming mountain of squashed cardboard boxes has been eying the cars threateningly for the last few weeks every time we pull into the garage. Guess what else is also waiting for next weekend?

So instead of doing important adult things this morning, we went out for breakfast and had highly adult food (like chocolate chip pancakes) and then we got our hair cut. I have been looking forward to that for quite some time because my hair was getting long and awkward and despite my best efforts I shall never be able to trim my own bangs as well as a professional. We left lots of our hair behind but it felt wonderful to do so, and then we went back home because I had a headache and I took a nap while Richard (who is the coolest husband ever) drove off to the store and bought a birthday present for my older sister. I had already figured out what to get her and had found some likely candidates online, so I could show him pictures, and I have to admit that I was sort of tempted to keep it for myself when he brought it home instead of wrapping it up to give to my sister because her new electric skillet is prettier and shinier than mine. But one must not covet one’s sibling’s birthday presents, so I wrapped it up and scrounged up a birthday card (note to self – buy more birthday cards) and we packed her present and my youngest nephew’s birthday present (now two weeks overdue) into the car and headed up to Napa for the birthday celebration.

On the way my mom called to ask us to pick up candles, so we swung by this tiny little market that’s just around the corner from where my older sister lives, and picked up the coolest birthday candles ever. I wouldn’t have even given them a second glance except that they were out of the normal birthday candles, and then I saw these and thought they would probably work better than loading up an ice cream cake with 37 candles anyway. The candles were individual letters of wax, and they all spelled out Happy Birthday! (with the exclamation point) and they were colorful and sparkly and fun. The only downside was, as it turned out later when we stabbed them into the aforementioned ice cream cake and lit them, they tended to melt a *lot* faster than normal candles and so by the time she blew them out they did not resemble letters so much as strange hieroglyphics, but in a warped way that made them that much cooler.

We gave my nephew his present – a set that included a hat shaped liked a dinosaur head and two squishy slipper feet shaped like dinosaur feet. The best part about it was that when you moved the head around it roared, and when you stomped the feet they made crashing, stomping sounds. And the best part about *that* was even though the electronic roaring and crashing noises weren’t too loud, my nephews more than made up for it by stomping around the house (do I even need to mention that their downstairs is hardwood flooring?) as loud as they possibly could to go while pretending to be big scary green dinosaurs. Thank you,, for suggesting it. And I am not the slightest bit grumpy about the fact that it does not come in adult sizes. Really I am not.

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