last week.

last week was

a quiet one.

with a busy

week behind us and

two very busy weeks

to come, it was necessary.

plus it rained in

the la for much

of the week so

it was no fun

to be out on

the town.

maddy was less

than thrilled.

it's raining in los angeles.

mornings were spent

modeling some new outfits.

before daycare.

about to pounce on the camera.

before heading to daycare.

outfits that

finally fit her.

(holy shit…she’s getting so big).

she also worked

on perfecting her

sitting and reaching technique

everything she ever wanted.k

reaching...

(she doesn’t even tip over when i try to get her to do so! i guess she has discovered her balance).

we spent most of

the days wrapping

things up at work

this just got delivered to my desk at work.

and daycare.

and maddy spent a

night playing

with some of

my records

playing with daddy's records.

playing with daddy's records.

and talking away

part of the

week was devoted

to both of

us getting over our

latest round of colds.

(i’ve never been as sick as i have been over the past few months thanks to my little germ spreader bringing all sorts of nasty daycare colds home to me).

there was an

evening of dinner

with laura at that

restaurant on 3rd st. that

liz

loved.

and an evening

spent with k8 and

some of her creepy

friends at the polish

restaurant in my neighborhood.

dinner at polka.

the ladies molested

my robot.

k8's friend donna + robot.

k8's friend diane + robot.

while maddy slept in

her car seat.

as if one night

of pierogies wasn’t

enough, we ended

up back at

the polish restaurant

later in the week

with bob, anna

and auntie anya.

after dinner that night

maddy, with

a little help

from auntie anya,

opened up

the gift that bob

and anna brought over,

her first of

the holiday season.

practice.

bow in mouth.

"it's stuck to my hand!"

practice.

christmas outfit from bob and anna.

consider it practice

for the dec. 24th & 25th.

maddy spent an

evening going absolutely

nuts in her bouncer

which made me

smile like

liz

used to,

which was great

’cause the early

part of that day

was really

fucking hard.

i took maddy to

the same christmas

tree lot we went

to last year.

done.

she helped me

pick out a tree,

shopping for our christmas tree.

one of those is ours.

something i always

hated doing when

liz

was here.

but i had

to do it.

i know this would

have been a really

exciting time

for us, maddy’s first

christmas, but it

just doesn’t seem

real, doesn’t seem

right without

her.

this year we

did’t buy the biggest

tree on the lot,

but i know that

liz

would have been proud

that i actually went

out during one of

the busiest shopping

days to buy one,

without her pushing me

to do so.

decorating the damn

thing was a whole

different story.

i went to a few places

and picked up

some ornaments.

and over the past few

weeks i’ve been

buying ornaments

at random places i’ve

visited with madeline,

so we can

continue the tradition

that we had.

there was no

way in hell i

was going to dig out

all the ornaments we

collected over 12

years of christmas.

i just couldn’t do it.

someday.

they’ll be there in

the garage, waiting

for madeline.

so one night,

after a holiday

party at the home

of auntie angels fan,

and after the tree sat on

the porch for a few,

i finally found

the will to

put the fucker up.

maddy watched as i

put the tree into

the stand and

covered the tree in lights.

i learned that

waiting until the

last minute to buy

tree-decorating items

is not a good idea.

we visited 5 different

stores and came away

with the last box

of lights in the la,

the lights that look like a

small net, normally used

to cover a small bush.

(thankfully i bought that tiny tree).

i also was unable to

find the little ornament hooks,

so i had to buy

some wire and make

my own.

madeline stared

at me as i cut

the wire and hung

the ornaments on the tree.

for someone who

hates christmas, i am

certainly doing a

lot of work.

and i actually

loved doing it,

’cause i know

that this is what

liz

would have wanted.

so this is how

things ended up:

so happy...

maddy was thrilled

with the lights

checking out the gifts.

and pretty damn excited

to start tearing

into another gift.

eating the paper.

there were no

christmas carols playing in

the house.

instead we listened

to that arthur russell

album that has

been stuck in

my head for weeks.

as it turns out,

maddy loves christmas.

so excited.

madeline ??? christmas.

and i suppose

things are not so bad.

there was this:

madeline + robot + christmas.

then a few

attempts at a

family photo

trying to get her to look at the camera.

family photo.

monday we went

to work/daycare

and got home early,

leaving us plenty of time

to pack for our

trip to the mn.

of course, we

didn’t do it.

maddy decided she wanted

to stay up that

night, preventing me

from getting

anything done.

i gave up,

and we both

went to sleep around 11:00.

woke up early on tuesday

and maddy slept until

8:00, giving me time

to pack up

both of our suitcases.

our ride arrived at

8:30 and we

were off to the airport.

she had a bottle

lunch at lax.

and promptly passed out.

passed out.

the flight was great…

madeline was happy as

hell and slept for part

of trip.

she woke up

just before we landed.

after landing we

sat on the tarmac

for 45 mins.

it was okay though, ’cause

i was able

to keep her happy

by simulating her bouncer.

(my arms are a little tired now).

we got off the

plane and found

the g. grandparents and

awesome auntie deb

waiting for us.

we got our

luggage and headed

to their house.

lindsay stopped by

and we hung out for awhile

shaking.

until aj, sonja

and baby emilia arrived.

maddy finally met

her bff

maddy meets emilia!

maddy meets emilia!

i said to sonja,

“i don’t remember my child ever being that small!”

and she reminded me

that maddy was half

that size.

she was right

and i shook

my head in disbelief.

later, madeline demonstrated some

genuine empathy when

her best bud started crying.

maddy shows some empathy for her crying bff.

(deb said, “congratulations…your daughter is not a sociopath.”).

later we played

some rock band.

rock band.

the colianni family left

and we spent sometime

staring at my baby.

eventually it was time

for bed.

i had a hard time

finally falling asleep.

this week is gonna be

a real bitch.

we’ve got some

9 month anniversaries

coming up here on

the 24th

and 25th,

one great,

one more awful than

anyone can possibly imagine.

but i’ll focus

on the positive

and do what we

would have done if

liz

were standing here with us…

make this the best

fucking holiday possible.

for madeline.

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