Saturday, December 25, 2010

Silent Night

Wonderful Christmas.

For our book group this month we read Skipping Christmas by John Grisham, and it put me in a completely foul unChristmaslike mood which lasted until about 7:30 this morning.
We went to some dear friends house last night for Christmas Eve, and they were lovely, she looked like June Cleaver in her cute dress and pumps, he was warm and entertaining, their kids are sweet and fun, the food was marvelous, and I was complaining and tired and whining and watching myself be complaining and whining and hating it... we got back late and with all the final preparations for today didn't get to bed until 3:00 am.

But the kids let us sleep until 7:30 (bless their hearts!) and we had a lovely wonderful magical Christmas.  Once the gifts were open and things were settling down the girls helped clean up the living room and we got everything set up for our dinner guests at 6:00 pm, and Hubby's roast was exquisite and the potatoes which he suffered over were divine, everything was just lovely.  As we were trying to shove the wrapping paper and boxes out of the way, I was rather stunned by how lucky we are, what exceptional kids I have, what an over-the-top amazing guy I married...

Tomorrow I have a church obligation, otherwise we'd just hop in the car and head to my folk's house right after breakfast.  But we're going to bug out of the church block early, as soon as primary sharing time is over, and head up for Christmas part deux at Grandma's.  Two years ago there was a mix-up with one of Thing 2's gifts, and she was shorted.  I have an image burned into my memory of her bright excited 5 year old self perched at the edge of the couch with her too short legs sticking straight out, her face beaming, her brand new doll on her lap, raising her hand when I asked who was ready for a present.  She was absolutely crushed when I told her as gently as I could that her presents had all been unwrapped.  It's a long story...  but in an effort to bring some sanity to the whole affair and to even things out my mother assures me she's cut way back this year... I think the truth is she's just got bigger boxes and is putting more than one thing in them.

Either way it's shaping up to be a lovely holiday.

If I can just get some sleep it will be perfect.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Me Being Crafty

I am not accomplishing nearly what I had hoped in this little ramp-up to Christmas.  So, to offset that, I am taking a little of my precious double-and-triple booked time to post some past accomplishments.

I finally finished a couple of quilting projects for Christmas.
This one I started over two years ago:

Go ahead!  Click on it and zoom in!  It shows up much better.  I need to work on my photography skills.
I did these in a church quilting group with a half a dozen or so other women. Some of the fabrics we swapped, and some we didn't. On mine, I swapped some of the creams to get more variety, but I didn't swap many of the greens. The other women had a lot more going on in their greens, they were pretty busy, and I didn't like some of those busy fabrics. The problem was when the others were done and mine was next to them, theirs looked like decorated busy Christmas trees, and mine looked kind of plain. So, in a brilliant plan to make my life much more difficult, I decided I'd attach little magnets on mine, on the wrong side of the fabric, so we could use little metal things to decorate the tree. This slowed me down considerably, but I finally found something that would work, and found some sparkly things to use as decorations.  I just finished it up a couple months ago, that's the kind of schedule I'm running on. I'm pretty pleased with the result, though every now and again someone walks by and brushes it and all the little metal decorations skitter across the floor.
Here's some detail:

The next one was the project from a year ago. I noticed that it is the same size as the opening on my front door, so I hung mine there. Normally it is hung the other way, facing out and the sun isn't shining through it.  I should have taken the picture from the other side, but it's could out there!!!  I have some buttons to sew down his front, but that's farther down my to do list.

Okay.  Now I should get back to work.

I got my Christmas cards off, finally, but there is so much other stuff to do.  And I haven't even figured out what to do for the neighbor gifts!  I'm doomed to be up until 2:00 am every night between now and Christmas!!!  And we were going to cut back this year!  Ha ha ha!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cough, Sniff, Cough

I hate it when people send their sick kids to school, so when I reread my previous post I thought I better clarify about my brag of sending a coughing germ-infested Thing 1 to school.  She did feel a little better on Wednesday but claimed to be coughing more.  By Thursday she had rallied and was doing much better, and by Friday just had a mild cough.  By Saturday she was pretty much done, but Thing 2 threw up.  If it's not one thing, it's another.  I think Thing 2 had a 24 hour flu thing, she was pretty much recovered with that on Sunday, but then her throat started to hurt, so now we've got to get her (and me) over our head colds by Christmas.  wah!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Putting one over on the guy in the red suit

Santa is a sap.  He will have those elves of his make ANYTHING.

Not me.  I will NOT buy those horrible battery operated talking robot pet toys, but Santa, he is a complete push-over.  My girls know that anything you REALLY want, you ask Santa for, and that chubby old partially deaf guy with the thick white beard and REALLY DEEP POCKETS will find it for you.  The old guy hasn't let them down yet.

Yesterday Thing 1 asked me how many times we'll be seeing Santa this year.  Well, there's one this weekend at the church party, and we might see another one at the mall, why do you ask?

Because the tradition seems to be you can only ask Santa for one thing, and she has two items at the top of her list = two Santas.
Oh, clever girl!

Thing 1's cough has gotten worse but I've been sending her to school to cough and spread germs to all her class mates.  Because they only have two more days of school before the break, even if they're both half days, (?!? Why is the Thursday before Christmas break a half day?!?) and then after that I've got to ditch the kids to accomplish anything.

As I tucked Thing 2 in last night she decided she can't sleep with the vaporizer running in their room.  She decided that she needed something, preferably earmuffs, to muffle the sound.  I didn't find any earmuffs in my quick search of the available winter clothing but I did find a fleece scarf, which she agreed to let me tie around her head.  I forgot to mention that a month or two ago Thing 2 took to wearing sleeping masks.  She saw one at Old Navy and fell in love. I thought sleeping masks were something women only wore in movies and sitcoms, never in real life.  It seems kind of dramatic to me, but whatever.  It seems to work, she no longer calls me in the middle of the night complaining about nightmares, now she just calls me complaining she can't find her sleeping mask.  It's usually around her neck or forehead, but still it's less frequent or alarmed as the nightmare calls, so I'm cool with it.  She now has three, in case one gets lost.  Her favorite has huge exaggerated eyelashes painted on it.   So back to the scarf.  Last night she just had me tie the scarf around her eyes and ears and left off the sleeping mask.  I tied it in back so the knot would be out of the way because she sleeps on her side, and she looked like the sleeping bandit or someone who got just got really tired of swinging at the pinata.  Tonight she wanted the knot in front, and when I tied it over her eyes she pushed the knot up on her forehead so she could still wear the sleeping mask.  So she is wearing the fleece scarf tied in front on her forehead, and the sleeping mask underneath.  Rather than embarrass her by taking a picture of how she looked, I have taken it upon myself to make a digital recreation.
Except Thing 2 doesn't have the exceptionally pleased smile, of course.  She is quite serious.  But I couldn't find any towel wrap pictures looking serious, probably because no one can hold a straight face if someone points a camera at them when they're wearing one.
In any event, she looked awfully darn cute.  And almost regal.  Like she was wearing a towel crown.  It was sweet.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

There are no merry gentlemen or women RESTING around my house

I have a new addendum to Murphy's law.

For all effort exerted to achieve a particular objective, an equal or greater negative force will arise to thwart that objective.

In my case the objective is getting to bed on time.  I stopped doing several things I wanted to do last night, pushed my Christmas list back on the burner, and got to bed close to midnight - earlier than usual for me.
Then the negative force arose at 1:30 a.m. in the form of Thing 1's cold escalating suddenly into an inability to easily breathe.

I find breathing rather necessary, and require it unequivocally from my children.  It's hard to argue with the "I can't breathe" problem, even at 1:30 in the morning when I had tried so hard to get to bed.

So I let Thing 1 stay home from school today.  I didn't get some of my errands run because I hate to leave her home alone any longer than absolutely necessary.  Unfortunately all my nagging didn't produce one nap from her, and left me even more exhausted than before.  Why is that?  Unless she can spontaneously eject a lung or a limb, she's going to school tomorrow.

I have sent out most of Hubby's corporate Christmas gifts today.  He wanted to send something cheesy (in a good way, as in dairy cheese) and summer sausagey this year.  I voted for the chocolate, like usual.  Sausage and cheese requires more planning and organization, and possibly even refrigeration.  The candy is an easy phone call away.  Already boxed and packed for shipment.  We went with the candy same as the past two years. We ordered 20 boxes.  I penned the hand written sentiment from Hubby (in my weird girlish scrawl, but that will have to do since he won't be back in the country until Saturday which is well past the required shipping date), then inserted the cards, addressed, sealed, and sent 15 boxes today and am waiting for addresses for 2 more.  I think 2 others have local destinations not requiring a trip to the post office.  That leaves one for me, as his secretary/bookkeeper/personal assistant I believe I deserve one.  I'll even write my own Christmas card.   
Sincere thanks for a job well done.  You're irreplaceable, you truly are.  And in lieu of a huge raise, WHAT?  You're not getting paid?  Hmmm... well then in addition to a 100%... no, a 400% raise, I'm giving you this lovely box of caramels, English toffee, fudge, and mint cookie malt balls.  Enjoy!!!

Guess who chose all their favorite things from the candy store to go into the boxes?!  That's right!  Which is why it is taking a profound act of will to keep me from running in and raiding what I have already determined to be my box.  But there is Hawaii, and swimsuits on the beach to think about, grumble grumble grumble.

There is so much left to be done before December 25th, and a little more than a week left to do it. The race to the Christmas finish line continues.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Let the Holidays Begin!

I haven't written anything for a month!
Actually I've written several but they all end up whiney and then the whiney mood passes.

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  Ours is a multi day event, starting with dinner on Wednesday night and continuing until Saturday evening with a glorious revolving extravaganza of yummy food and playing games and a little shopping thrown in.  The only dark spot was a dominance problem with the dogs, who usually all stay with my sister, since dogs are persona non grata at my folks.  Her stepson's puppy was annoying all the other dogs so much her older, dominant dog seemed to feel the need to lash out at something, and it was Kelso, since he's the biggest of the little dog pack.  So we had to bring him over to my parents, where out of necessity he was tolerated.  Of course he did just fine, aside from a little shedding which my father politely didn't mention until asked later.  The shedding is not too surprising.
Oh, I took another one that shows even MORE hair.

I just HAVE to mention that when I took him for his Rabies booster shot he had hit a whopping 83 pounds.  He's 16 months old now and so has probably stopped growing.  Finally.

Since then it's been life back to normal.

Thing 2 has been having some friend issues.  Just when I think she's found a new one and we can relax about the whole thing, they have a falling out and she's unhappy again.  This time she tells me she asked the little girl what the problem was and was told, "you have too many other friends and I'm jealous."  We have tried to teach her to play with everyone, and apparently she's learned her lesson well enough to annoy other the other kids.

The countdown to Christmas has the girls very excited.  Thing 1 made a list which started out as a single page but then later gained a 2nd page and eventually a fully illustrated cover.

I didn't get out all the Christmas decorations this year, it just seemed like so much work.  The tree has quite a bit less of the usual flotsam and jetsam, I didn't set out any of the many nativities.  When I went to put up the outside lights, I found many of them had burned fuses and bulbs.  I put up what lights I could get to work, didn't want to deal with anything more than replacing a few bulbs, and called it good.  So far no one has complained about the relative decrease in festive clutter.  I think I'm the only one who noticed.

Hubby leaves tomorrow for a week in Paris, same as last year about this time.  He'll be back next Saturday and will be home for three weeks after, during the end of which is our week in Hawaii.

That's all, nothing big or exciting.