NJ's mom made us waffles and then it was time for xmas. again. but this time, it was really, really over. dear god. i received the gift i already knew was coming along with a couple more and a full stocking. i gave them a card. a small one. that had come in a pack of 16. yep. but i survived.
once we were showered and dressed, NJ took me on a walk through "the country". we met two happy dogs and a cat and listened to the sound of nothing while looking at a completely clear blue sky. he made sure to have me hold his hand that was free of dog slobber.
after that, i accidentally whipped his ass at scrabble, watched him eat endless mugs of pickles, and possibly kicked his ass at junior edition trivial pursuit (but i could be wrong). i'm starting to think he let me win. Mom & Ken fired up the grill again and served us portabella mushrooms and asparagus. i longed to live a life in constant clean with good food.
i awoke for the second time and breathed a sigh of relief that i had, in fact, outlived the curse of the dolls, the Screaming Phantoms, and the family meeting. we were joined for more waffles by ken's theoretically gay brother so that we formed a team of vegetarian solidarity on one side of the dining room table.
it wasn't too much longer that we were back on the road and experiencing periodic outbursts of toddler angst. turns out the stomach pains he had been complaining about were not hunger pangs after all. he projectile vomited his modest breakfast all over the backseat less than an hour after NJ and i had evacuated it. safe.