Thank you,Thank You, Thank You!

As I mentioned the other day I went over to visit Pink, Green and Southern and she was passing out awards for all those who stopped by. And while I was uncomfortable grabbing one for myself I was more than happy to pass them onto my blogging girls whom, in my opinion, really deserve them. Well, two of those girls have passed them back to me, and for this I am honored. I am flattered that you think I am a good story teller… that you enjoy reading about my very ordinary life and that you think I can make lemonade from lemons. Thank you.

This afternoon I was checking out life over at my friend Liz’s blog and saw that she had received an award. A friends award. I couldn’t think of a more perfect recipient. I was just about to post a congratulatory note when I saw that she had in turn given me the award. WOW! Two awards in one week! Thanks girls!

 

This award is the Friendship Award.

The award states: “These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

Oh my gosh… I could name all my blogging friends. They all deserve this one. But I have to choose 8, and so I have chosen:

Andrea, over at I Learn Something Every Day, Annie at Life is Short, Partake in Happy Hour (but her blog is open to invited readers only), my good friend Jenn at Crossing The Prairie, and I am going to have to pass these on to Kim and Marie (both recipients of the Lemonade Award), and Katherine over at Pink, Green and Southern.

I am proud to add this to this award that Mandy bestowed upon me several months back.

Thank you!

 

Thank you all for reading and putting up with me!

Internetiquette?

When Rebecca was born, nearly 10 years ago, none of my local friends had children so I joined a Mommy’s group through the hospital. After the sessions had come to an end a few of us kept in touch. We  together on a regular basis as we found that in addition to our squirmy, fussy newborns we had many things in common. We were in our late 20s and early 30s. Slowly friends dropped out of our little group of friends due to growing family commitments and, as the years passed, fuller and more demanding schedules. We still talk about Madison and Lindsey from time to time though Rebecca, at this point has no idea who they really are. They live in Greenwich and we live about 20 minutes east. While 20 minutes is not a long drive, when you factor in school and after school activities finding the time for these visits is not so easy. And harder yet when you factor in siblings and their schedules. Sadly our means of communications have pretty much dwindled down to Christmas Cards and the odd promise of getting together. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get back in touch with my friends from the past. (The other is to take care of myself and scheduled those dentist and doctors appointments I have neglected for too long.) I am, admittedly, terrible at keeping in touch with my good and now long lost friends.

When Alexander came along Rebecca and Christopher were 6 and 4 years old. Once again I found myself needing to find people who could relate to my new-again situation. This time I did not join a parenting group in Greenwich even though Alexander, too, was born there. I needed to find some more local interests that I would be able to fit in between preschool and school schedules. I also needed to get out of the house with Alexander and let him do something with children his age (as opposed to being dragged around to his siblings activities.)

I joined a babygym group when Alexander was but a wee few months old. There I became friendly with a couple of the mothers. Eventually our friendships also expanded and we and got together sometimes with babies and sometimes without. I learned not too long ago that my friend Liz befriended me because I looked “older” as opposed to the barely Twenty-Somethings. I supposed this was meant to be a compliment and to this day I am still not 100 percent certain! A few of us joined other toddler programs and met other toddler moms and our group grew a little bit larger. I got along fabulously with some mothers and others were merely acquaintances.

Alexander and I were invited to try out other activities and join in on group play dates. We did so and had fun. But as a mother of three I have to prioritize activities and play dates among my three and so, eventually, as all my children grew, my involvement in the group became less and less frequent.

One day I was able to make it to a playgroup and bunch of started talking about Facebook. I had been asked numerous times by many friends to join. It took me about a year to do so, but eventually I did. What a trip! Almost as soon as I joined friends from years gone by found me. I had reconnected with long lost friends from high school and college room mates and dorm mates, even  our former Dean of Students. And, on a really happy note, a long lost cousin on my mother’s side. It’s such a great feeling to get back in touch with so many people who had meant so much to me and played such integral roles in my life. I use Facebook as a means of keeping in touch with current friends too. Some are local, but most live across the country and abroad. This Facebook discussion that day at playgroup led me to “befriend” a couple of the mothers. That was the extent of it. I never really used Facebook to connect with those playgroup moms. Really, not even sure why I befriended a couple in the first place. Perhaps it was the newness of it all.

I do not need to have 500 friends to feel good. In fact I would rather have a manageable number of people so I can keep tabs on them all. I mean I was terrible at keeping in touch in the first place, and Facebook has given me a second chance. I am sure there are a few people on there I could remove from my list but why bother. I would hate to hurt or insult someone who had befriended me in the first place. But breaking up internet style is a hot topic these days it seems. I learned this when I came across this Wall Street Journal article a couple of weeks ago.  De-friending people is as tacky as breaking up via post-it note or voice mail. I have done the latter in my youth, but I was young and immature and dumb. And as you know I am no longer young… and not so dumb! Our world is small and getting smaller minute by minute thanks to the internet. After I read the article I saw that I too had been de-friended!

It was playgroup mom had de-friended me. I thought it was amusing, actually. Until I learned that it was a deliberate means of retaliation… an immature act of jealousy, I suppose.  There is a little story behind it. Here goes…

As many of you know we hosted a New Year’s Day party for our friends and their children. Most of the people invited have been near and dear to us since we were in our 20s, single and without children. I also invited three of the playgroup families because we thought their personalities would mix well with our other friends. I intentionally did not invite one of the mothers. I was not trying to be mean or rude, but rather  trying to prevent a potentially awkward situation. I will call this mom Alexa. I was friendly toward Alexa but we never socialized together outside the group of friends. A week or two prior to our party Alexa had had it out with my good friend Liz. It was a Major pow-wow. Alexa was nasty. She had berated Liz for calling her (Alexa’s) babysitter without permission. And while Alexa had every right to be upset about that, she had no right to go off on my friend’s integrity, character and upbringing. Seriously, Alexa was brutal. I gasped at what I my friend Liz told me on the telephone. I have seen Alexa go off the deep end like this before. And because Alexa and I were not friends I really didn’t even consider inviting her on New Year’s Day. I did not want my friend Liz to be uncomfortable by her former friend’s attendance. (Are you following any of this?!) If I host a party I want to be sure that everyone is having a nice time. I did fill the other two mothers in. No explanation was needed. Nothing else was said. And everyone had a really lovely time.

Well, apparently word got out that I had had party and this person was upset not so much that she was not invited, but that her friends were coming without her! I mean how Junior High is this Forty-Something woman?!

To tell you the truth I didn’t even realize that I had been de-friended until I went to leave a private message on a mutual friend’s Facebook page. I almost did not realize that I was one mutual friend less.

Truth be told, what really saddens me is the loss of all the beautiful little girl clothes I had lent this mother’s child. Thousands of dollars of clothes — Gap, Lily, Hannah Anderson, and Talbots Kids among many, many others. All gorgeous items that remind me so much of Rebecca’s youth that I will never see again. Had I known I would have kept these items for myself or passed them along to someone else. I suppose I could send an email asking for clothes back. But wouldn’t that be tacky and wouldn’t that be equally as rude? And is there such a thing as Internetiquette at all?

(Yes, names have been changed to protect individuals!)

The Lemonade Award

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KK over at Pink & Green and Southern was given the Lemonade Award. In turn she was to pass it out to 10 of her favorite blogs. Due to lack of time or sheer laziness 😉 she, instead, told her readers to grab the award. Now, thanks, but I am not giving myself an award. However, I am happy to take it and pass it along to those blogs that I enjoy — those blogs of personal friends, and blogoshephere friends. The following blogs I have chosen are ones that make me laugh and smile. The following blogs are great at turning lemons into lemonade. I applaud you all and thanks for putting a smile on my face!

The recipients of the Lemonade Award are:

Chelsea from over at the Mama Bird Diaries.  I happened upon this blog one night while Don was out of town and the kids were asleep. Well, I am not sure whether they were asleep or not, but they were in bed! I love reading this blog. Chelsea grew up in the town over from where I am currently residing with my family and she currently lives and writes about family life in Manhattan (where I grew up.) Now, you do not have to be a New Yorker to appreciate this blog. You should go check it out!

Mandy, from Life’s About a Dream really cracks me up. She is hilarious and I love her little quips about her kids Frick and Frack. She also has a special spot in my heart as we both love bad 80s music. We have disagreed in our polititcal posts and yet there we have so many similarities. I have never met Mandy but think we would get along FABULOUSLY!

My dear friend Marie over at Everyday Matters has, I am not kidding, like the world’s best behaved kids… at least in public… at least when I have met them. I LOVE her stories.

I met JoAnna over 4 years ago on a parent’s messaging board. She is an army wife with more gumption than I could ever have and a fierce sense of humor. Her blog No Expectations usually has me howling. I am pretty sure (though not 100% certain) that it was her blog that got me hooked and inspired me to write my own.)

I recently discovered Beth over at It’s a Mom’s Life.I like her stories and her Miracle Monday segments — talk about making lemonade out of lemons. So Beth’s getting this along with a bottle of Purell for her husband 😉 !

My friend Kim is a Canadian ex-pat temporarily living in Turkey with her English Professor husband. Her blog is funny and creative and eco-minded. And I truly enjoy reading about her life abroad in You Can’t Diaper their Faces .

My final award goes to Allie at No Time for Flashcards. For the toddler and preschool set. I love her crafty ideas!

In turn, please pass this award out to 10 of your favorites Blogging Gals! (And if you can not come up with 10, that is quite all right!)

Thanks and Congratulations!

a selfish shallow ass

Don wasn’t even trying to be quiet when he came storming in, with his coffee cup in hand, through the bedroom on the way to the bathroom this morning at 6:00. Somehow the little blond boy who crawled in next to me in the middle of the night was still asleep. Don wasn’t even trying to be quiet as he opened and slammed the shower door and all the drawers in the bathroom. Nor was he even attempting a whisper when he spoke. Ok, so the little blond boy shouldn’t be sneaking into bed with me in the middle of the night, and yes I should put a stop to it but I can’t because putting a stop to it means getting up out of bed and dragging myself and little blond sleepyhead back into his bed and most likely singing him a song or two before trudging back into my room and repeating steps 1 through 3 several more times. And, I kind of like it when the littlest one comes in and burrows his cold body into mine for warmth. And I like his quiet little snores and his sweet baby breath on my back. And even if Alexander was to spend an entire night in his room, in his bed, it’s not like he would actually be able to sleep through the Six O’Clock Racket for crying out loud. And so Alexander woke up all tired and groggy and not really ready to be awake. He wanted milk and Blue’s Clues. He started to cry because I told him no. I had the news on, I explained, and in 15 minutes I would let him watch. Poor tired baby cried some more. I tried to be sympathetic to him without giving in. It’s tough sometimes. Anyhow I knew at that point the day hadn’t gotten off to such a glorious start. Alexander would go to school in the morning and then, somehow, I would deal with a very cranky little boy in the afternoon. The phone rang then. It was the school, again. And again, we were going to have a delayed start. I had wanted the delayed start the day before, but not today. Today I wanted them all out. Well, all but the one who would be stuck at home with me. The cleaning lady would be arriving in a couple of hours to clean and disinfect the house. What a long morning it was too. Those two extra hours felt like an eternity. By 10:00 I was rushing the boys out the door. Rebecca stayed home. We were not going to be a second late for school. Alexander would have a whole hour of school. Yep, you read that right! Honestly, had I not so terribly desperately needed to get to the grocery store I would have kept Alexander home too. But I had to go anyway to get Christopher there. On the upside I could at least go to the grocery store without children. I did my shopping in record time and went back to collect Alexander before going home to Rebecca. 

I was sitting upstairs on my bed on this laptop and the kids were in Rebecca’s room. We were waiting for the housekeeper to finish her stuff so we could all go back downstairs. And then the unthinkable happened. Don came home. Sick. Fuck, I thought. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I didn’t worry about his wellbeing and wish him well. I am a selfish and shallow ass. Instead I swore up and down. I grabbed a duvet cover (we have two) and a pillow and went downstairs. I should have been more sympathetic but in all honesty I just couldn’t. I couldn’t. Because I am exhausted. Because I am drained. Because I know. I know that after practically no breaks in 3 weeks I am not going to come up for air again any time soon. I know that despite my aches and pains the morning after I was at Death’s door I still had to get the kids ready for school, make them breakfast and actually physically get them there. And while my body ached from head to toe I still had to entertain a 3 year old, and then go back to school at the end of the day to get the other two. And make dinner, and do laundry and tuck them into bed… And then the following day operating at 50% capacity I would have to take care of three children, one with the stomach flu, all stuck inside as a result of an ice storm.

It’s 10:00 pm and the children are now asleep. But bedtime was not easy. Never is. And I am downstairs on the couch with my pillow and duvet. I’ve been munching on leftover Christmas sugar cookies, not really even tasting them and sipping a Diet Coke. If I smoked I would have smoked a pack by now, surely. Easily. I won’t sleep (again) tonight. The alarm is on and the doors are all locked and bolted. I have checked. Over and over again. But we never found drapes for this room and there are two very large windows and the sliders that look out over the back yard. The very dark back yard. The very dark and vast back yard. We have a very large house but we have no guest room. We had a guest room at the small house. So I will sleep down here tonight. With my eyes wide open. Positive that I have seen something out there. A bump in the night. I could sleep in Rebecca’s room. She has a great big bed. But she kicks and like her brothers she sleeps like a human pinwheel. So I will stay down here and feel sorry for myself. And maybe I’ll swear a little bit more. Because in a few hours it’ll all be over and another day will be upon us and I’ll go through the motions and do what I can to keep my head above water.

for a fleeting moment

there was quiet and calm. All three kids were back in school yesterday. I was back home by 9:00 and the house was still. Dirty but still. The hustle and bustle and chaos from the holidays was behind us but the remnants left in the wake were still there. I vowed to get the house all tidied before Alexander got home from school. In a madwoman pace I cleaned all the downstairs floors, vacuumed and Swiffered (I’d leave the real mopping for the housekeeper to do on Thursday.) I put away all the bottles of wine and champagne and sodas and seltzers and mixers. I brought all the bowls and platters back down to the basement. I emptied the dishwasher. I loaded the dishwasher. I did many, many, many loads of laundry throughout the day. By 10:15 the house looked halfway decent and I decided that with an hour of freedom left I would stop everything and enjoy it. I made myself an English muffin and a fresh pot of coffee so that I could indulge in a cappuccino. Martha Stewart was on television. I half paid attention to her as I scanned my emails and read my friends blogs. When the coffee maker let me know she was all done percolating I made my beverage and brought my warm mug and hot buttered English muffin into the family room and settled in to the couch. The English muffin was divine. The hot melted butter seeped deep into the crannies and was the perfect salty flavor. Each bite a perfect amount of crunchy and soft. My coffee was super hot. I like it that way. I like it almost too hot to drink. I sip it and linger over it and really enjoy it. I like my coffee sweet in contrast to the salty muffin. I was sad when my breakfast was over. There was one English muffin left and I knew exactly what I was going to have for breakfast the following day. Eventually my hour ran out. And while Alexander and I had a perfectly enjoyable afternoon my hour had run out. My first hour of freedom in over two weeks. Gone like that. In a blink of an eye. And spending the day on Sunday in bed sick unable to move doesn’t count. Well it does in that it could have been a workday and I would have had to have looked after the kids (one at least) while at death’s door. So it counts. But it doesn’t really.

 

My kids went to bed with their pajamas on backwards and inside-out. They flushed ice cubes down the toilet and slept with spoons under their beds. Yes they are strange children. But apparently this is the universal code for creating a snow day. It is? It is! Where have you been? I assured them there would be no snow day and they were just being silly. The ice cubes had been flushed. I let them sleep in what looked to me to be very uncomfortable bed ensembles. But I took the spoons. I did not want my good spoons missing. I kissed them all good night and headed downstairs. As much as my kids wanted a snow day I, admittedly, wanted a delayed start. I wanted my kids, all three of them, out of the house, but I wanted to get them ready at a more leisurely pace. And I too went upstairs with some ice cubes… Well, not really!

 

I was up into the wee hours of the morning composing emails to important people and chatting via email with my friends — mostly those on the West Coast who were still awake. Eventually I crawled under the covers only to be awakened a few hours later by the high pitched shrill of the phone. It was a message generated from the Head of the children’s school telling me there would be no school today. Ah good. Back to bed. What? No school? As in none at all? Surely this was some mistake. I turned the TV on to our local Channel 12. Alas, it was no mistake. It seemed that the towns directly on the coast all had delayed openings and those towns further inland did not. Children come from a great many towns to attend this school. I am grateful for my Head’s caution and care of the safety and wellbeing of her students, but… but… but what if I pretended I didn’t know school was closed and just, well, drove there and left them?

 

Oy vey.

 

And isn’t it funny that on those days when there is no school that everyone is up before the roosters? Amusing, I know. Alexander was begging to watch children’s television. So there I was snuggled up in my bed with my warm coffee and I was stuck watching not Joe as I would have loved, but Blue! I had the feeling that this was going to be the start of a very, very long day. By 10:00 Rebecca was telling me that her stomach hurt. I told her to go to sleep. An hour later I was in her room on my hands and knees cleaning up after what would be many messes today. Outside everything was coated in ice. It was spectacular, each small branch, each blade of glass seemed to be enclosed in its own special Waterford case. I could have stared at the magnificent beauty outside my window all day long. But I couldn’t. I had to keep Alexander away from Rebecca. And I had to keep Christopher away from the TV. And I had to get him to finish his book report and math homework and spelling homework.And I never did get my English Muffin. Christopher had it with Nutella slathered, warm and gooey, all over it.  And I had to change sheets and do yet more laundry. And I had to make lunches for those who were eating. Tonight those who are eating can have leftovers. And now that Christopher is downstairs with his father working on his many thousand piece Lego project and Rebecca seems to be a little better I can sit and relax. I am so proud of Christopher for doing all that work, a good bit for just being in second grade. I know he must have been bored today. Good, he’ll be excited to go back tomorrow! I have been sharing some apple slices with Alexander and once again Blue’s Clue’s rules the roost. But it’s okay because the day is almost over. Rebecca will have to stay home again tomorrow but the boys will be back in school. It’ll be just Rebecca and me in the morning before Alexander comes home. That’ll be nice. We’ll enjoy our time together. And then maybe, maybe on Friday there will be some peace and quiet around here again, if just for a little while! Friday’s not so far away. And a glass of red wine is a lot less far than that!

a big ‘ol truck ran her over

Vacations are tough. Holidays are tough. Especially when they immediately follow insanely crazy school schedules and snow days. What you want most is some time to rest and recuperate but there is so much to be done still. All the Christmas preparations and plans for family and friends and parties. Hardly a dull moment around here. And, as should be expected this time of year, colds run rampant and children do not cover their mouths and noses and spray germs all over the place. Don’t worry, my children are equally as irresponsible as yours are.  So, I knew to expect everyone to get sick the minute Christopher started hacking away. Families are like petrie dishes, no matter how much Purell you swim in. Alexander’s cold was worse. His cough would wake him at night and reduce him to tears. Not much sleep for mother and son. After a few days we went to the pediatrician to rule out asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis. It was just a virus, he told me and he would not see me back in a week. I was given permission to give him purple (as opposed to the other colors) Triaminic to ease the coughing and congestion. We gave it to him at night time and he slept marvellously. (As did I!) Perhaps we were moving past the colds and sleepless nights. We were already a week into vacation and we were all getting more and more exhausted by the second! But when one can sleep the world looks rosy again. The only thing starting to concern me was that Alexander was still extremely congested. I worried about what this could possibly result in. But he was feeling and acting fine so that when we got another snow storm on New Year’s Eve we didn’t think twice about sending the kids out with their sleds. They all came in red cheeked and drippy nosed. They came in smelling like outdoors in wintertime. On Friday evening I saw Alexander holding his ear in that way that instantly sends chills down your spine and sets off the ear infection alarms. This was what I worried about. His congestion had no place to drain. Another ear infection was the only possible outcome. I immediately gave him some Motrin and we had another terrible, very restless sleep that night. Even though he was chipper and in great spirits the following morning I made an appointment to see our pediatrician. We got a 9:30 appointment which still meant that we could head out to Massachusetts for Christmas number 3, if Alexander was up to it. A prescription was called in for his double ear infection and we went home, changed and headed out the door.

I settled in to bed at around 10:30 that night and didn’t feel so well.  I didn’t get that much sleep that night either. And Alexander was in bed with me. I don’t know when he joined me but he was in bed with me. I wondered if his cold has manifested itself differently in me, or if this was something else I would have to look forward to him getting. By early afternoon my stomach seemed better but every bone from my head to my toes throbbed. Luckily I slept the day away and was awakened only by the need to sip gingerale every now an then or a small child sneaking in to steal a kiss!  I was so glad that yesterday was Sunday and there was someone to look after the children. I was also grateful that today was Monday so that I would not have to look after all three kids. Though, shhh, don’t let them hear me say so, I miss them like crazy! Alexander is content to play with his Dad’s tools and watch Noggin on television. As for me I’m a bit sore and totally exhausted but I know I will be OK. I may have needed a nap after the arduous task of stripping my bed, but I know I will be OK. I’m lucky and grateful to have such an easy going kid to keep me company. I am grateful for Noggin on TV and Disney on Demand as I too have become a huge fan of Handy Manny!

I would rather be cleaning or putting away decorations or even putting laundry away, but I can’t and snuggling up next to a rather cute 3 year old is nothing to complain about!

Addendum: Within a couple of hours of writing this Alexander too succumbed to the terrible stomach bug. Poor kid just can’t get a break.

the party’s over…

and it was tremendous. and i will post more about our new year’s get together in a couple more days (and will start posting with more regularity again) but for now iwould like to share the first major lesson I have learned this year. do not. ever. leave bowls of Peppridge Goldfish in a playroom filled with preschoolers, not all of whom are constantly monitored by their parents. Goldfish belong in ponds. not smashed in rugs, under toys, under boxes, under tables, or in playhouses!

All fun and games (until someone wakes up!)

Alexander went to bed early the other night. He has a terrible cold and hasn’t been feeling well. I gave him some Benadryl to help with his congestion. It also made him a bit sleepy so I put him in his bed, tucked him in and kissed him goodnight. Don had gone off to Home Depot for what must have been the thirteenth time that day. Downstairs it was just Rebecca, Christopher and myself. While I would have been happy to have vegged out to some mindless television, the older two suggested we play some of the new games they got for Christmas. We had loads of fun and it was nice to reconnect with them. It was nice to have time with them without their little brother interrupting things. They get less Mommy time than Alexander does and with all the craziness of  Christmas, the days immediately before as well as those that followed, it was nice to have this time together, laughing and having fun and making a little too much noise as we accidentally got a little too carried away and woke  Alexander up at 8:00pm! It was all fun and games until then. He did not fall back to sleep until 11:30!

Anyhow, these were the games we were having fun playing:

Warm Hearts, Warm Home!

Last Saturday I woke up to a cold house. As I trudged across the kitchen floor to make my coffee before the sun was up I thought the house felt cooler than usual. Not cool, but downright cold. The icy cold ceramic tiles pierced through my feet. As soon as I scooped out the right amount (Christmas Blend, of course!) I cranked the thermostat. A short while later we learned that the furnace was not working. Again. I feared we would be required to replace Furnace Number 2, the downstairs furnace, just after furnace Number 1 was replaced. “Here we go again,” I thought to myself. Later that afternoon we learned that the furnace would not need to be replaced, (Thank God!) but an integral part did. The part had to be ordered. And seeing it that it was early evening on a Saturday this was not going to happen until the following Monday. At the earliest, we would get our heat back on Tuesday. As the house entered the refrigeration zone the temperatures outside plummeted. The thermometer outside our window read 9 degrees, but the angry, howling winds told me that it was much colder. The downstairs soon turned from unpleasant to unbearable. We began to make our meals (sandwiches) downstairs and brought them upstairs. While I was eternally grateful to have a working furnace and a warm upstairs (where the bedrooms and playrooms are) I was getting tired of living in my bedroon. It was just too cold to do anything downstairs. It was even too cold to cook or bake. We did some. We had to. I had promised to make Santa’s cookies and since there wasn’t a minute to spare we did bake for him. We baked chocolate m&m cookies. It’s one of Martha’s recipes. Not the m&m part. The chocolate part. (We added the red and green m&ms ourselves.) Even with the oven on we couldn’t shake the cold. (The warm cookies sure felt and tasted good though!)

Throughout our four cold days I kept reminding myself how fortunate we were to have a half-heated house. While it was a nuisance and uncomfortable we had a house and we had some heat. The frigid first floor was sobering in the sense of reminding us of what we had as opposed to what we didn’t have. The kids were fine actually, happy to run around a 40 degree house in nothing but shorts and a Tshirt!

On Tuesday, the day before Christmas Eve, Don came home early and sent me out to finish my Christmas shopping. I had fallen behind due to a couple of snowstorms. I had started out well ahead of the game and had fallen seriously behind. I was eager to get out and finish up. I was eager to get out to a warm mall! I called the house periodically to check in on the kids, check on whether the groceries had been delivered and the status of the furnace. The heat company was due to come that day with our part, and barring any problems, we would have heat at some point that night.

By the time I arrived home, 5:30 pm, the furnace had been fixed and was working hard. The house was cold still and would take many hours to warm up but knowing that it would again be warm I was thrilled. Christmas Eve was the following day and we would have a warm home! Now really, I couldn’t have asked for anything more!

With our heat restored I began to work frantically to get everything done to get everything ready for Christmas. I wrapped and cooked and cleaned. I was busy all morning making up for lost time. I was so productive that by early afternoon I was all done. Don went out to finish up a few things and I had nothing to do but relax and enjoy the day! I had a long relaxing soak and a long mid afternoon nap. When I awoke it was already dark out. It was Christmas Eve. It was Christmas Eve and we had heat and food and presents that were all wrapped. We all snuggled together in the family room in front of the fire and watched The Santa Clause 2, the kids favorite movie of the week. We took breaks for dinner and dessert. It was a perfect Christmas Eve night.

We said goodnight and tucked the kids in at 9:30. We knew Christopher would be up for hours. We expected the others to as well, but Rebecca and Alexander could barely keep their eyes open. I went to work in the basement digging up all the wrapped gifts that I had tucked away here and there. Don was upstairs assembling the Polar Express Train we had gotten for under the train. As I was making piles for the children and checking the boxes off against my list I saw that Alexander’s pile was a great deal smaller than the other two. I began to panic. What would I do? How could my numbers be so far off? I had calculated the items. I reached for my list and it dawned on me that a bunch of toys were missing. Toys that I had wrapped. How could my youngest get less, and a good deal less, than his brother and sister? How could I let that happen? I couldn’t! Eventually a box was found with several large wrapped packages inside. One was for Rebecca and the rest were ALexander’s missing toys. Christmas could go on once more! Meanwhile I heard footsteps above. Little footsteps. Christopher was roaming the house. He could not sleep. It was 10:30. This meant we would have to wait further before putting all the items under the tree. Eventually he settled down and at 11:30 we began our treks up and downthe basement stairs. By midnight we were all done. And pooped. And 6 hours later 3 eager children could not contain their excitement!

 

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