the kids are leaving tomorrow. i want to keep them. they want to stay, even though a second christmas is waiting at home. i think that says a lot.

we sat on the sofa bed and watched willow (again) last night. before the youngest fell asleep he put his arm around me. i can't even tell you how that feels. these kids don't have to like me. from what they hear at home, i don't see how they can. so when they do things, little things, like that it really touches me. this morning i was sitting on the sofa next to their dad and the oldest asked me to come play legos with him. me! this house will be different when they leave.

we went to the beach the other day and rock climbed. we went candlepin bowling. we've baked cookies and cupcakes and muffins. we played in the snow (snow!) (even though it was 33F outside so it was more like rain). we made paintings for their dad for christmas (above, i was impressed!), that was fun. we watched a lot of kid movies. we spent a whole day (8 hours) at the mall and shopped for toys and clothes.

the youngest loved shopping, but the oldest hated it. we bought a lot of new clothes for them. their clothes are always stained or torn or falling off. it's strange how nothing fits -- even the shoes they wear everyday are two sizes big and falling apart. we buy new shoes, but next time they're still wearing the old ones. the oldest doesn't really care, but the youngest loves his new pants and belts and shoes and sponge bob underwear. the oldest said all my clothes are too big, i don't think me mom knows what size i wear. his dad says she likes to buy things big so they last longer. i understand this in theory, but when you're buying a pair of shoes for a five year old from walmart, the shoes will be worn out before the child's feet grow two sizes. i keep swapping out the old clothes for new ones and now it's paying off because this trip some of the new clothes came back in the suitcase. i let them pick everything out, and they are so cute with their different styles.

yesterday, their grandparents came over and everybody helped me clean up before they came. it didn't take long and the apartment looked so nice (even though its trashed again already). i really am lucky. i love this place, i love this city, i love these kids, and i love their father so much. but i miss my family so much i could cry at any second. and i have been. starting on christmas day and ending yesterday morning. i think it was pms, or ms, combined with christmas disappointment, plus not seeing my family for months, plus money trouble (doesn't it always come at the holiday?), plus exhaustion. i'm glad its gone. i woke up this morning to a good dream and little voices and a perfect cup of coffee, and even with all the things to still worry about, i guess that's not a bad way to start a new year.

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