Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve and all is....well?

The snow is falling thick outside and the house is filled with the delicious smells coming from the kitchen. (except for the burned cookie smell that sort of set off the smoke alarm awhile ago.) We are almost ready for dinner and I suddenly find myself with a few minutes of downtime while I wait on the last few dishes to cook.

My mood has improved drastically since yesterday. Well, "drastically" might be a little extreme. I am no longer hiding under the covers and crying. I managed to get up this morning, take a shower, get dressed to the shoes, and even ran a few errands. The housework is, for the most part, done. We are at least 15 minutes away from company ready, which is an incredible improvement since yesterday.

After I wrote yesterday's post I admit I had a bit of a breakdown. The stress of everything  left to do and everything I am not able to do just got to me. (I'm actually surprised that I held out as long as I did.) Sobbed and cried and probably made a pretty good spectacle of myself. Thankfully, it was after the kids were in bed and it was only DH there, staring at me as if I was a two headed PMS monster or something. Really I can't blame him. I wouldn't know what to do with me either. 

In any case, I woke up in a much better mood. It was really  hard not to. The joy and laughter of the girls is just contagious. They were up early and bouncing off the walls singing Christmas carols off key, at the top of their lungs, with half of the wrong words. LH even made three different kinds of cookies before lunch. It still amazed me that she is able to do so well in the kitchen by herself with only a recipe to go by. One of the kinds of cookies didn't really come out right and we had to pitch the dough before we even cooked it, but she still did really good. In the last few days, she has successfully made 3 out of 4 batches and that's a pretty good run for any budding chef.

My dad has been a big help, too. He took me out of the house for a few minutes to take care of some last minute errands. I apparently needed a break because I felt much better by the time I got back. He has also been cooking for me today, and helping reign in the girls every now and then. He feels the stress a lot this time of year, I can tell. He keeps it together very well, though. This week,  have no idea what I would have done without him.

In spite of my best intentions, I haven't finished quite enough of what I wanted to do today. I was planning on making pies but by 3:15, it was clear that it just wasn't going to happen.( The FM is acting up today again, and the fatigue is worse than the pain.) I feel most guilty because I promised DH a pecan and a pumpkin pie and I didn't deliver either. I managed to get almost everything else made that I wanted, but the pies didn't make it. I still have what I need and I will probably get the baking bug tomorrow, so we will most likely have a nice Christmas dinner with more than enough pie to go around.

DH really saved me today, as well. Christmas is one of his favorite times of the year (next to Thanksgiving.) He is such a kid about it (in a good way) that it makes everything seem almost as exciting as it used to be for me. He loves giving and getting presents and unwrapping things and playing with new toys and having the time and the excuse to snuggle our girls. Of course, he doesn't really need an excuse, but he will take them when he can.

He has been able to work from his "home office" all week (the computer desk in our bedroom) which has been really great. I love being able to sneak in and see him all day. It makes my day. He came out of the room on his lunch break and wrestled with the girls and chased them all over the house to help them get out their wiggles. Since the snow and weather is not all the great  to be out in, they have a case of cabin fever.

All our guests had to cancel this evening. We were planning on having 10 or more people over, so now I have a lot of extra food. There could be much worse situations to be in. Suddenly, a lot of stress just disappeared that I didn't know was there. I can leave off the last of the deep cleaning for another day. I know we will have more than enough leftovers to get us through tomorrow so I won't have to cook from scratch again. Also, I just got a glimpse of the pile of things that still need to be wrapped and now I can start on them before 1:00 am.

I am really disappointed that our friends and family weren't able to make it over tonight. I was looking forward to a little bit of fun and some grown-up conversation. My girls are even more upset than I am. EG is crushed that her favorite Evil Friend couldn't make it tonight. LH and TD wanted to see their cousins, as well. The weather is just getting too bad and the roads are awful. the driveway is already iced over so I would not want to even see what the overpasses look like. Most of out friends will be coming from just north of here and getting home after dark would be downright scary. So, as sad as I am to have them all cancel, I am even more glad that they are all safe and sound in their homes and not driving all over the place tonight.

Now I am, off to eat dinner and then snuggle the girls before bed time. We might brave the roads to take them on the annual Christmas Light drive around the neighborhood for a few blocks. This usually has the double effect of giving them a break from the house to ease cabin fever and giving them a few minutes to relax and get sleepy before bed.

I will stay behind and wrap some more presents and drink hot cider. I am looking forward to a few minutes of peace and quiet to myself. Maybe I will feel a little better after feeling as if i have accomplished something valuable on my own.

What do you like to do on Christmas Eve?

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