We had a very nice holiday at home. Presents were exchanged, only a few tears were shed, and the house is starting to return to its normal decibel level--somwhere approach 5 or 6 on the volume knob of a high end Yamaha amplifier.
The girls are enjoying their "American Girl" dolls. (For those of you who don't know, American Girl dolls are part of the military-children industrial complex. Somehow, this company finds out who has daughters age six to ten and then starts mailing a never-ending flurry of catalogs to your home addressed to your kids. Somehow, they are able to tap into the zeitgeist of this age group, making it the must-have doll). My girls must change their Samantha dolls at least 4 times a day. Their dolls have a larger wardrobe than I do. (I have tried to avoid buying new clothes until I lose the extra 10 pounds I put on 8 years ago when my wife was pregnant with our first child. In part this is also rooted in the fact that I've shied away from buying anything too nice until my son gets past the projectile vomiting stage. He is a better shot than an Army sharp-shooter, always managing to find the one half inch opening of my shirt not covered by a towel or washcloth.
Its also been great having my little guy around to buy toys with. I can now indulge in my passion for remote control cars and electric trains, all the while passing it off as choices my son is making. As much as I've tried, my daughters while interested in such vehicles, often preferred craft kits and board games. I think next year my son may need an X-box.