No hustle and bustle

The forecast called for 1 to 3 inches. I think we got 5 or 6. It’s very pretty.

The temperatures are expected to get a bit above freezing in the afternoons the next two days. I think we’ll still manage to have a white Christmas, but I don’t know how pretty it will be.

Our neighborhood is quiet. Probably half of our neighbors have “gone home” for Christmas.

The shopping is done. The baking is done. The Christmas postcards are in the mail, as are all the gift boxes. The lights are on the tree, and we’ll put the ornaments on tomorrow. We have a good supply of wood for the fireplace. We’ve got all the ingredients for several more batches of eggnog.

We have no plans to travel, and no expected visitors. Although we miss our relatives, we aren’t missing the stress of packing, the nightmare of driving several hours with little children, or the futile attempt to clean the house before guests come.

This is perhaps the quietest, calmest Christmas I’ve ever had.

The Other Woman’s Gift

Service in the military has been compared to loving a mistress. Few soldiers are in it for the money, the benefits, the travel opportunities, or the hours. As a military wife, I often feel I have to fight for family unity and preeminence in my soldier’s life. But no matter how much my husband may love his country and his career, I know, deep down, that he loves me better.

Sure, Mistress Military, you might get to take my husband to Scotland, but he pines for me while he’s gone. Ha!

I know I need not compete with her for my husband’s affection, but it certainly makes my life harder when she keeps trying to impress him with her gifts. And now, just days before Christmas, she gives him a present that I can’t top: she went and put him on the promotion list. Do you think he’ll like that Chia Pet now? Sure, he may like his new socks and underwear, but they won’t put the same smile on his face as a higher rank.

Oh, but wait, it kinda makes me smile too…

Congratulations, sweetheart. I’m glad she recognizes your worth.

And now, the big question is: will I get to see the rank pinned on this summer? I’ve not seen a single promotion yet. And you made the mistake of promising I’d see this next one…

Last minute mailings

Back in November, an email went around suggesting that everyone send a card to Walter Reed Army Medical Center addressed to “Any Wounded Soldier.” Then, we all found out that WRAMC would not deliver those cards for security reasons.

I just found out that Red Cross volunteers will accept, screen and deliver cards (only) to wounded soldiers. Cards must be received by December 27th. If you have leftover cards that you don’t want to save for next year, considering sending them to these troops. You can get the address and guidelines for the program here. If you can’t get it in the mail by today, it’s probably too late.

If you want to do more for wounded troops, considering supporting Operation Undergarment. No deadline.

I’ve been blog-blessed

Barb blessed me, and now I’m passing on the blessing.

The idea… it’s a game of tag with a difference, rather than looking inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for three blog friends. By participating in this endeavour we not only make the recipients of the blessing feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the bloggin’ blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a bloggin’ blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to. If you receive a bloggin’ blessin’ please leave a comment on this thread here so that we can rejoice in just how many blessings have been sent around the world!
I bless….Jennie, Angoraknitter, and Cris.

I bless Jennie, Angoraknitter, and Cris because.… they are married to men in the military which affords unique and difficult challenges to living a faith-filled life, raising children, and acheiving domestic peace.

A Prayer for Jennie, Angoraknitter, and Cris…may the blessing of almighty God, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, come down upon you and remain with you forever. Amen.
+++
and that’s it, nearly…
So, all Jennie, Angoraknitter, and Cris now have to do is to:
a) bless 3 blog buddies each.
b) Include the ‘God Bless you’ image in their post.
c) Explain briefly why they are blessing the people they are blessing.
d) pray/include in the post the prayer for the recipients of the blessing.
e)The recipient/sender of a blessing should type in the com box of this very post that a blessing has been sent to them so we can keep track of how many blessings are being given.

You can put a child in bed, but you can’t make him sleep.

And a thirsty horse has more sense than an exhausted toddler.

My kids are spooled up. Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, packages seem to arrive every day by post (or by Brown), and then said packages disappear, cookies are baking, decorations are going up, we’re going to parties, the kids are drinking soda and staying up late. My older ones know that the real fun hasn’t even begun yet, and are getting antsier by the minute.

Within the hour, my boys will wake up and Billy will say, “It’s three more days until Christmas!” And Fritz will respond, “Three days and a wake up!” That’s what they do, every morning.

All of my kids seem to be having a bit of difficulty getting to sleep, some are even getting up earlier than normal, and everybody’s moods are a bit more…delicate. The worst one, though, is Peter. He fights his naps, despite demonstrating all morning long that he is in desperate need of one. If he manages to fall asleep, a big IF, he might sleep for an hour instead of his usual 2 or 3. Then he’s miserable all afternoon long, but when bedtime comes, he fights that too. Instead of compensating by sleeping late the following morning, he may wake one or more times at night and get up earlier than normal in the morning.

And then it begins again. Each day has been just a bit worse than the day before.

This morning I felt so bad for the kid. He climbed into my bed at some early hour. But from 4 am until after 5, he tossed and turned like a true insomniac. I finally offered to rock him in the chair in his room. First he tried his own bed and rolled around there. Then he let me rock him as I silently prayed a rosary with the intention of this poor child to get some rest. He seemed to be asleep, and three decades later I tried to put him in bed. He woke up. I brought him downstairs and put on Noggin, hoping he would zone out in front of the TV. He rolled around on the couch and then the floor, trying to get comfortable, trying to go back to sleep. Finally I had him snuggle on my lap until he was snoring soundly. He’s there now, but I doubt he’ll get more than an hour of rest before the din of the day wakes him.

I’ve never given my kids Benedryl, but I think this kid needs some help.

I think this mom needs some help.

Adventures in Sledding

After Mass last Sunday, a parishioner asked my kids if they had been sledding. They assured him they had. Had they been on Suicide Hill? he asked. No, just the hills in our neighborhood.

My kids wanted to know where Suicide Hill was. It’s near The Prison, but there is more than one around here, and we passed The Other One on Tuesday morning. They wanted to know if the hills over there were Suicide Hill. I explained it was the wrong prison and then asked if they knew what suicide meant. Really fast? guessed Fritz. I defined suicide and explained how that applied to a sledding hill. I then got to hear the boys evaluate every hill we passed for its suicide factor.

Katie didn’t quite get the vocabulary lesson, and later was talking about sledding on Shoe Size Hill. Is that narrow or medium width?

The last few days have brought warmer temps. The kids asked to go sledding yesterday, and I warned them they might not be able to do so. They persisted and were off. Jenny was the first to return, crying, covered from head to toe in mud. I got a towel on the floor before she came in, but then, like a wet dog, she shook her hands and wet mud splattered all over the walls and floor. No photos, just damage control.
Katie came home next, but Bill was ready for her.
And the boys, being boys, had to be ordered home.

Progress

The baby sleeps in our room – mostly in our bed, but, more and more often, she will take a good nap in her bassinet and often she’ll begin the night with four or five hours there.

That’s great.

Except all the Christmas presents are in my room, and they need to be wrapped. I’ve tried, several times, and failed, every time, to wrap while she sleeps. No dice.

Thankfully, last night, I was able to put her down on the couch. After I cleaned the kitchen, finished baking a batch of cookies, and even tidied my desk, I really wanted to go to bed. But still, she slept. I decided that it would be foolish of me to not take advantage of this, and so, I wrapped.

With the exception of one present for Bill, one present that has not arrived yet, and a balance bike we intend to assemble on Christmas Eve, all of the Christmas presents are wrapped.

Ahem.

Rather, all of the Christmas Day presents are wrapped. We only give some presents on the 25th. We give some on the Feast of the Epiphany, and scatter a few others in between (really, is there a better way to begin the new year than with a new book?). Nevertheless, I am pleased with this accomplishment and know that Christmas Eve will not likely be a 2 AM ordeal, as has often been the case.

Now, off to bake.