When we were kids my brother and sister and I would call this Christmas Eve Eve.

Another award winning photo taken by Karin and sent by email to cheer me up at work. The Boy takes a nap on the couch just like his daddy.

I’ve been late to my blogging duties but the good news is that thanks to a whole new strategy my scores in Tower Defense have climbed considerably. (I have a problem with these addicting little flash games and this one has taken over the past few nights.)

Karin has a phobia of people dressed up in those big head costumes and holiday characters. She already has anxiety about the prospect of a future trip to Disneyland. Its the way you can’t see who people really are that bothers her. The Easter Bunny came to visit us all in the NICU on Easter and Karin’s expression is priceless in all of the photos. So it comes as no surprise that all responsibility of bringing Liam to sit on Santa’s Lap will fall on me. Still too susceptible to all the germs out there it isn’t possible this year but in the future you can bet that Karin will be on the other side of the mall when Liam screams about the scary man in red shouting “Ho, Ho, Ho.” in his face. Some of these Santas make me start rethinking whether or not I want to subject him to that either.

Liam and I are still plugging along with Bilbo, Gandalf and the Dwarves of Middle Earth. I’m excited because Liam is about to meet Gollum. And The Ring. I on the other hand have taken a very short break from fiction to read Barry Moser’s In the Face of Presumptions. A gift from Mom for Christmas a few years ago I have read it a few times already but the essays lend themselves to re-reads. Born in the deep south and spending a few years as a Pentecostal preacher, Moser would later pick up and move to Massachusetts to become a master Print and Bookmaker as well as teaching at colleges all over the Northeast. My dad met him by taking his class at RISD. They would later become colleagues and friends. His pieces inspire art. His attitude that talent is far more common than the determination, and hard work needed to produce “good” art reminds me that anyone can do what they want as long as they are willing to do the work. A good read and helping me to tap back into my more creative side.

We are a bustle of energy here at the Olson house as we prepare for Liam’s 1st birthday with a frenzied sense of anticipation. A major milestone for sure. Christmas morning with my family will also happen here and so we are eagerly awaiting a fun weekend of holiday cheer.

It occurs to me that I have never introduced the cats. The Boys. Or at least that’s what we used to call them before The Boy came around. Linus and Calvin. They are incredibly good with the baby. Linus (the mostly black cat in the back of the photo) has been a part of the family since Karin and I first moved in together in Vermont. October 1998. Linus’ mother was a mostly feral Vermont barn cat. He was only 4 weeks old when we got him. Smart, fast, and strong he changed the way I always thought about cats, as I am partial to dogs. He has always ruled the house and now that he realizes he still comes before me in the pecking order is ok with handing over control to Liam. He is usually not far from Liam although he has only rarely gotten close enough for Liam to touch him. Protective and observant, the nurses have taken to calling him Nurse Linus as he is always there watching them. He’s my eyes on the boy when we aren’t around. Calvin is the mostly white cat front and center. Rescued from a New Jersey shelter at 9 months he is much less intelligent than Linus. Kind of fat, a bit lazy and always begging to be fed he would never survive outside but he is the affectionate one and loves to be around Karin. He is fine with Liam being around but shows little to no interest. He is much more interested in the stuffed animals in his crib than he is in the baby. There you have it, Mom and Dad, Liam and two cats, now you know the whole clan.

I hope Christmas treats you all well. I hope you all get to spend time with the ones you love because it really is all that is truly important. Night all.

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