Are you ready for Santa? Really? How'd you do that? Every year I swear I'll do better and yet, every year at 4am on Christmas Eve I'm sitting in the middle of the living room floor wrapping gifts. Forget ribbon. It never happens. Ever.
Remember I wanted to do something different this year with my cards? Well I've done something different. They're all stacked in a pile with mail. Think junk mail and medical statements and Harbor Freight sale papers. Not exactly what I had in mind.
I've been a busy bee in the kitchen for over a week now. Yes, you heard me right...I did say kitchen. I've now baked 32 loaves of pumpkin bread, half with pecans & half without. And I've made 12 batches of Chex Party Mix. Wish I could tell you I was done now, but alas, I'm only halfway done.
Every year I prepare gift baskets for the neighbors filled with miniature candy bars, pumpkin bread, party mix, a small potted plant, a pretty dish towel, and toys for the kids. We were in Rocky Mount last Friday night and dined at Cracker Barrel where I found these tiny wind up toys that are retro chic. There's a clown with a ball on his feet that jumps and spins around, flipping from his butt to his back, and my favorite, a tiny monkey clapping symbols together as he walks around. Honestly, I'd like to keep them for myself instead of giving them away, but I won't.
There are also gift baskets to be prepared for my co-workers and hubby's co-workers and of course family & friends. The list is never-ending.
My son and his family will come over on Christmas Eve and of course I don't want anything to keep me from squeezing tiny tot the entire time. My new favorite thing: put him down on the floor on his back and watch him immediately roll over and start belly crawling away from me. He's just like David at that age: refuses to get up on his hands & knees. What's up with that? David would belly crawl using his elbows to drag himself across the room. From there he progressed to crawling on hands and toes, butt high in the air, never putting his knees down on the floor. And then it was walking, moving from one piece of furniture to another.
Little Jackson will belly crawl away from me and at the last minute I grab his feet, drag him back, and flip him over on his back. He laughs. I laugh and squeeze him til I'm sure he's bruised, and he's flipped back over and begun the great escape again. I could do it for the rest of my life, assuming I could keep him frozen in time at this age, which of course won't happen.
Shopping for a 9 month old at Christmas is no fun at all. Sleepers, yawn. Nerf balls in every shape and color, ...slightly less boring. But I'll be honest with you...remember that photo of David sitting in my big yellow dump truck? I found a truck by the same manufacturer, almost identical except that this one has oodles of buttons for different sounds. Yes, I read the box and yes, I see it's for ages 3 and up. I'm going to take out the batteries and squirrel it away til he's old enough to play with it. Just like that rocking cow that's also stored away.
Can you hear that hollering coming from Apex? Yep. Hubby says enough already; quit buying toys for the kid he's gonna be one day, and enjoy the kid he is today. Gotcha. Did you guys see that new toy...
For the first time in the 8 years we've owned this house our tree is (a) artificial and (b) in the first floor living room rather than the second floor family room. I didn't put it there, trust me. Nor did I wire on the extra strings of lights (they are fabulous), nor did I hang a single ornament. (Well, to be honest I have gone back over it and moved one or two or twelve). But other than that, and my armchair critique from the loveseat or the stove, I didn't do a thing.
Since we now have a TV the size of Baltimore permanently hung above the fireplace I had to tweak my mantle display. Those 18" reindeer that are made of heavy steel coils that bounce and sway and bob and weave are now displayed on the new foyer table amidst ornaments, berries & elves. My snowman collection isn't displayed, though there are about a dozen in the kitchen, hidden behind canisters of party mix and stacks of pumpkin bread loaves.
There are Barbie doll mermaids & twinkling fairies, bags of candy & wrapping paper, rolls of curling ribbon and boxes of Christmas cards, rolls of tape and at least 3 pair of scissors all over the table (and the chair seats & backs), but the decorative red tablecloth has been located and lost. If it turns up I'll eventually clear off the table and put it on there, with a fabulous centerpiece right in the middle.
Surely before the baby arrives on Friday. That's the goal. Well, the goal is sooner, but I'm clever enough to know it won't happen until Friday. A realist to the end.
Yesterday I had an email reminding me gently but firmly that my Stampaway submissions haven't been received. Tick tock, there's a deadline you know. So next week I'll be up in the studio, nose to the grindstone, creating fabulous art projects to dazzle everyone. But first there are about 100 gifts scattered on the living room floor that have to be boxed and wrapped.
Merry Christmas to me, and to you of course. Wishing you joy & laughter this holiday season, and hoping you'll come back to visit after the madness calms down a notch or two.
And before I forget, Santa came early this week in the form of new Droid phones. I've finally figured out how to answer my phone which is more than I can say for someone who shall remain nameless. Unfortunately I keep tapping the wrong contact name and once the phone dials and I hear it ringing I don't know how to make it stop short of powering off my phone. Less than desirable results don't you know. Gotta figure that out! Sooner rather than later! So if I've inadvertently dialed you, I apologize.
If you call and I don't answer, not to worry. I can't say I've figured out voicemail completely but I got in there once already and would bet I can do it again. Don't have a clue about texting or checking (much less sending) email, so fuhgedaboudit!!
Listen for jingle bells and the laughter of children and enjoy the upcoming week. The New Year will be here before you know it.