Monday, December 19, 2011

I wonder as I wander (from room to room around the house)

Christmas is less than a week away - in case you needed to be reminded. The little darlings are finished with school and will be home at 1pm on Wednesday. You'd think I'd have things more together than I do & would take advantage of every free moment that I have child-free each day, but that's just not the case. I'm sort of flying by the seat of my pants, taking it one thing/day at a time. Maybe it's because the list is long & never-ending, or maybe I'm a little over the hamster wheel that is life with school-aged kids - I don't know - all I do know is that instead of putting a final coat of paint on William's bedroom door so Matt can put the knob back on, I find myself reading books or - heaven forbid! - napping :) I love me a good nap.
Which isn't to say we haven't done anything this month - it's been filled with activities from the Advent garland I made - self-inflicted pressure, that - and last week we had 3 late nights of Christmas programs right in a row. Sarah and Jason were not their most cheerful selves by Friday, needless to say. We've done candle-lit bubble baths, made glitter ornaments for the tree, dressed up fancy for dinner one night, danced to Christmas music (which really ended up in the four of them running around in circles to TSO's Wizards of Winter - oy) - and I'm sure many other things I've forgotten. On Sunday we went ice skating!
It's been two years since we last attempted this. That time, Sarah was 3 and Jason was 2. Neither of them wanted to skate - Jason had jelly-legs & refused to even attempt to stand on the ice - and William ended up wiping out and tripping someone, bleeding all over the ice from a head wound. That was fun! This time, Sarah seemed to enjoy going around with Matt, and William didn't have any major wipeouts. Evie thought everyone at the rink was in a conspiracy against her, either bumping into her, showing off, or deliberately getting in her way. Evie gets crabby when she's tired :)

Jason? Fared a little better this time - he kept his legs mostly straight, and I think I went around the ice with him a total of two times during the hour+ we were there; he told me he never ever ever ever wants to go again :)
My children are all hoping for a kitten for Christmas. I told Evie we'd talk about getting one in January, and what does she do? Puts it at the top of her list. And then she gets all snarky, saying she probably won't get one. Um, nope! We're traveling for New Year's, and I'm not leaving a new kitten at home all alone! The subject came up at dinner Wednesday night - Matt was saying how cats just shed, scratch your furniture and poop in a box & track litter all over, and it was so cute - Jason got down from his chair, walked over to Matt & told him he was WRONG - kittens are cute, they meow and purr on you, and are just so cute! He was so earnest when he said it - even if I hadn't already been planning on it, that would have changed my mind right there.

This was a whole lot of rambling to say a whole lot of nothing - suffice it to say, the days are slipping by and before I know it we'll be at church Saturday night & I'll be desperately making sure my kids don't burn the place down or set my hair on fire while we're singing Silent Night at the end of the service, before racing home to set out water and carrots & cookies & milk for Santa and his gang; then I'll blink and it will all be over....
Matt and I both dream of having a pool in our backyard, something that's just not in the cards right now - or maybe ever - but this week he forwarded me a link that REALLY has me lusting over a pool! One main reason I'd hesitate to put in a pool - aside from the cost - is the amount of yard it would permanently eat up year round, for the small amount of time you'd get to enjoy it - and then I saw this video - coolest thing ever, and now I REALLY want a pool! At least dreams are free....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Inferno. Ok maybe that's an exaggeration.

My husband is traveling this week. (We have lots of guns, don't get any ideas.) I'm flying by the seat of my pants trying to manage the kids, the house, and all that nonsense all without my Super Cape. Of course - this is the week William's teacher decides to shake things up and assign 5 chapters of Charlotte's Web each day followed by 10 questions about said book to be answered each night. Which William is trying to do in cursive writing - which he hasn't been taught yet, but is trying to do on his own, by copying the letters out of his daily planner that the school is attempting to get the kids to use - even though he's forgotten to bring his math homework home two days in a row & I had to go get yesterday so he could do his math...... deep sigh.

So I'm drowning here. And yes - I'm fully aware - mostly - that my life doesn't really suck, we're all healthy and have food on the table and a roof over our head - but still, I'm overwhelmed by the things that overwhelm moms at Christmas when they have four young kids and nothing else to be REALLY overwhelmed about. I thought things would get easier as the kids got older, but I keep waiting for it to happen. What HAS happened is that I still have  two at home most of the time, and between the four of them. someone is always talking/fighting/arguing, or needing something from me right now. And WHY AM I NOT LISTENING???? At this very moment I'm choosing to ignore all the things not in my immediate field of view that need my attention, and am focusing instead on my glass of wine (ok, it was really half a bottle when I poured it, but who was I kidding, I was going to drink the whole thing and why get up to refill when it would all fit in the glass??)

Highlights of my week:

- William replaced the batteries in his 'Moon in my Room'. Which is great. Except that when he hung it back up, the nail had slipped into the wall a bit & it later fell off - knocking down the thing that was hanging below it, and also bending THAT nail and making a hole in the drywall that now needs to be filled/sanded/painted.

- Evie and I hauled all the deck cushions & rug into the shed on Monday before it started raining yesterday. After figuring out how to open the double door & hauling all the stuff it, I slammed the non-hinged door that was sticking and knocked a 2x2x36" piece of oak on my head. Which I didn't know was up there in the first place, because I don't go in the shed unless I have to. It still hurts.

- Evie thinks December - when she has window candles in her room - is the time of year to tear her room apart and clean it by candlelight. Not that it looks any neater in the morning, and there's always a pile of crap in the hallway for me to deal with later, she's just miserable the next day to get up for school....

- Spent the better part of an hour helping William with his homework.

- I don't even know at this point what I did on Tuesday, other than give the kids candlelit bubble baths, because that's what the Advent calendar said was on tap for Tuesday. Why I gave myself this added pressure, I don't know. William didn't get his bath because he didn't finish his homework - and "I don't know" is not an appropriate reading comprehension answer.

- Today I dragged the tree in the house - because the stand Matt ordered over a week ago finally arrived - and got it standing and decorated - not without marking up the ceiling because 1) oops! the tree is too tall! and 2) I didn't realize this because I'm here by myself.

I can't/don't even want to go on and complain anymore because it's nearly midnight already. Let's just say - I need a few hours here at the house ALL BY MYSELF to get caught up on things, and at this point that just seems like a pipe dream. I don't know how people who work manage to get everything done and still sleep/eat/be merry on top of it all.

I'm not even going to try to proof-read, this, it is what it is after half a bottle of wine - but allow me to leave you with some pics of my newly recovered chair. This was my great-grandmother's chair, that I inherited last year from my mother. Under the floral slipcover my mom had made was the original pink upholstery I remember from holidays past at MeMe's house. I took some steel wool & smoothed all the wood, stained & waxed it, and had it reupholstered in a chocolate velveteen. I'm really loving my new chair, and I think even Matt is surprised at how nice it turned out :) Of course it's a favorite of the little kids, Sarah in particular, but I'm hoping to keep it in decent shape for at least a few years - I love how it turned out :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Countdown - let the craziness begin.

December is here. Wait - what? Where did November go? I think I blinked and missed it. Time to get my act together and get in the Christmas spirit! Actually I love Christmas. I just feel overwhelmed by all there is to do - but then, that's nothing out of the ordinary, there's always too much to do and not enough time. I need to have a kid-free house for at least two days to get caught up, but that's never going to happen - time to buck up, chug some coffee, and get a move on! And I'm not sure why I'm always surprised to see more than half the bottle of wine empty the next morning, but there you have it - and I always am. Anywho! Yesterday I took all four of my precious little darlings to the mall for haircuts! I bribed them for good behavior by promising them a ride on the Christmas train behind Santa's court at the mall. They had it all to themselves and all four piled into the engine car, because that's the one with the bell.

Well. All was well and good until about the 4th loop around (the gentleman running the train was on the phone and let them go a good long time) when William started YANKING on the bell pull as hard as he possibly could. I snarled at him to cut it out when they rolled past, and as soon as he thought he was out of sight of me he started it again. Next year William either 1) doesn't get to ride the train or 2) is not allowed in the front car with the bell.

 Other happenings? Evie is already pestering me about who is going to put out the carrots and water for the reindeer. You know, on Christmas Eve. I'm trying to be patient - I know they are all giddy with excitement (William didn't pass out until about 10:30 last night, couldn't sleep) but stuff like this gets on my nerves - can we PLEASE get the house decorated first & take this one day at a time??

So a few years ago, in order to get free shipping from Hearthsong, I ordered a kit to make an Advent calendar. This year I finally got around to making it! Although I was cutting it close - I still had 7 pockets to make before it was finished, and William was kind enough to figure out a way I could get it all done in time - I could make 3 on Tuesday and 4 on Wednesday, and then I'd be finished! He even wrote it down for me :)
 Last night I finished stitching the pockets together while drinking wine and harassing Matt into helping figure out what we were going to put in them - nothing like waiting until the last minute :)

But it all got done, and the kids were really excited this morning to see what the first day would bring :) Since Evie always gets stuck waiting for the little kids to go first, I thought we'd go oldest to youngest with this, so she opened up number 1 - today we're going to deck the halls for Christmas :) Yay!
I'm really happy with how it turned out :) Happy December!

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