With all the stuff going on in our lives right now, plus the general blahs/blues I'm seeing in nearly everyone I know, I've been looking forward to Festivus tomorrow. A is particularly excited for "The Airing of Grievances." ;-)
Seriously, I can't think of anyone amongst our friends and family who is excited for Christmas. Even my best friend, who usually decorates every inch of her house with Christmas decorations and has an annual tree-trimming bash, didn't even buy a tree this year. When I emailed my friend today to tell her that A was at that moment on our roof in sub-freezing temperatures chipping away at the ice dams to stop the stream of water that was making its way down the inside of our kitchen, she replied that "2008 just keeps getting suckier and suckier." Between the deaths and layoffs and sickness that are plaguing our circle of friends and family, that makes sense. But it's funny - until recently, I didn't think of 2008 as being so bad. After all, it was the year of my friend's babies being born, of my big family vacation in St. Augustine, of our new bathroom, of electing Barack Obama, and of R being even more fun and sweet and silly. I have so much to be thankful for and happy about!
So I'm desperately trying to stay excited about Christmas for R. Last week when we had an unusually warm day (in the 60s!), we took R to the lights display at the Stone Zoo, which is just a few towns over from us. We've been taking him every year, but usually we end up going on the coldest night in December and freezing our buns off. This year, we took advantage of the balmy weather - and so did nearly every other family in the Boston area. But it was really fun and the lights were beautiful, and R had a blast going on the rides with A. Plus, we actually got to see some of the animals! Usually, it's so cold, they're hiding or sleeping or hibernating. (I had no idea that porcupines could climb!)
This past weekend, it snowed and snowed and snowed. For three days. Day 1 was fun. R got out of school early - a couple of hours before the storm started - and my office was closed, so A and I worked from home. R and I went out to shovel and throw snow at each other and to jump into snowbanks face first (guess who did that!). And, R discovered that sliding down a snow-covered slide makes you go twice as fast as normal. When we were soaked through, we came inside for hot cocoa. Then we made our own pizzas and watched a Christmas video. It was wonderful! Day 2 was okay. We had lots of errands to run, but the roads weren't too bad yet, and we had fun Christmas shopping together. A and I shoveled and shoveled and shoveled, and I hurt my back. On Day 3, we started getting stir crazy. The snow and wind picked up, and it seemed too messy to go outside. We hemmed and hawed for hours about whether we should venture out to our friends' house for dinner so we could see them before Christmas. All their other guests bailed, but I think we really needed to get out of the house, so A shoveled out the car, I packed it full of emergency-in-case-we-get-stuck supplies, and we headed out. It was pretty treacherous and we almost didn't make it up one key hill, but it was worth the trip. We had a great dinner with our friends and we had fun playing with the babies.
The snow finally stopped last night and the temps dropped, and our house is now encased in ice. A had to knock off the giant icicles (we call them "deathsicles") from the front of the house to keep our mailman from being impaled. We braved the messy, icy roads to go to the post office and mail our family's packages. Note to family: They're going to be late. I'm sorry! :-( Then, the water started coming down the kitchen walls. A was not happy about getting up on a ladder today, especially when he needed to be working. And, then he came down with a fever. Sigh. (Please keep A in your prayers. He's having a hard time staying positive and today was no help with that.)
I have just one more full day of work (unless A needs me to stay home tomorrow and be with R while he recuperates). R's school decided to close for the week between Christmas and New Year's this year, so I have nearly 10 days off - woohoo! On Christmas Eve, we're hoping to keep up our tradition of going to Edaville Railroad with a bunch of our friends, although it's supposed to rain so we may have to bail. On Christmas Day, we'll be home. R wants to put his gingerbread train together and A wants to make a big pancake breakfast. I'm going to make my mom's famous crab fondue to snack on, we're going to roast a chicken for dinner, and I picked up a princess cake from IKEA to have for Christmas dessert. I think it'll be a nice, relaxing day.
I hope all of you will have a wonderful Christmas, too. And, here's to better things in 2009!
I must be signing off now. It's my turn for the Feats of Strength. :-)