Forget diamonds, it's all about ear plugs

Indeed, ear plugs are a girl's best friend. On Sunday evening, tired as get-out from having driven in the day before and then staying up till midnight to pick my aunt up from the airport, I asked Tom if he happened to have any ear plugs in his dop kit. As he has two towers-of-power full of enough medicines to render him a traveling pharmacy, I thought he might be able to help me escape the myriad sounds of a busy house, including his unceasing snoring. He had one pair, and I have slept in blissful quiet ever since. I have no idea what's taken me so long to employ this most basic of noise-blocker, but I'm happy to have done so now. My brother-in-law had orange juice pulp hanging from his nose this morning and looked slightly peaked, so maybe I'll get him a pair too. My sister, Elia, and her husband, Michele, arrived in from Italy late Sunday night, and their presence has made everything even more fun. Last night we played a few hysterical rounds of a new game I brought home: you have to fill in the blanks, sing the next line, provide the name, etc of popular Christmas carols and holiday songs. As I love Christmas carols, I was a formidable opponent, but my aunt Renee was also excellent, and Jack rushed in as the sleeper expert no doubt because of four years of bi-weekly music classes and annual holiday concerts at school.

We've been eating well, the archers are improving at a fast clip, Tom has joined their ranks after my parents found him a fabulous bow/quiver/arrow set yesterday, and today we're going to visit Nanny's house for the last time (it's empty and will feel so very odd) and then bring flowers to her grave as Oliver and Elia weren't here for her funeral, and Oliver keeps insisting we have a "second funeral."