1. Pregnancy brain has me wrapped in its clutches.
This is not an entirely new feeling... I remember laughing about it before in previous pregnancies, but this time it's become a bit of a problem. Less... funny. More... frustrating. Trying to string two thoughts together is like trying to catch a bat with a pot (and we all know, you can't catch a bat with a pot). I keep picking up pens and paper to try to organize my thoughts in a readable format, thinking that if I could just get them down, then I could consult my list as frequently as I needed to in order to stay on task. But I keep losing the lists, or forgetting that I made one, so start another. The interesting thing, when these lists are compared side to side, is that they're not really consistent with each other. You'd think a to-do list would be a to-do list and not change much over the course of a few hours... if you need to make brownies, you need to make brownies yaknowwadImean... but, oh, there are several things that are completely different. Laundry on one list, shopping on another, wrapping presents on a third. So, generally, I just end up starting a multitude of different tasks or projects and then completing none of them. Need to do laundry? The darks will end up in the washing machine... for 3 days. Need to wrap some presents? An inventory will be completed... and then forgotten. Need to make dinner? The water will start boiling... and end up evaporating completely before it's remembered, by which time the husband is home, kids are wild and/or crying for food, and I am left with my hands upturned and a confused look on my face thinking, wait... didn't I start dinner? Well, regardless of how I am or am not perceiving things, the Christmas season is well underway.
2. As long as it has pepperoni, my kids don't care how ugly the Christmas tree turns out
To kick off our Christmas celebrations, we made pizza. This Christmas tree pizza was the most intense... the other two pizzas were in the shape of an ornament (think large round pizza) and a present (think large square pizza). We're full of creativity over here.
3. If you don't really think it's funny, don't let your children think you think it's funny. Otherwise it might just become a holiday tradition.
Dancing around in stockings has become such a tradition in our house. You know, trim the tree, hang the lights, dance around in the Christmas stockings... I actually am quite fond of this little tradition that has spontaneously happened for the last 3 years, but there is another parent around here that feels a little scroogy about it (one of the stockings did have a bit of an accident involving a tear and a bit of tape...). However, three years is the official stamp of a tradition, so... I can't wait to stuff my 16 year old into a stocking a few years down the road. All for the sake of tradition, of course.
(Yes, we taped the stocking back together. Yes, we own needles and thread. They just happened to be in another room at the time. Yes, I plan to fix it properly. Yes, I know most of my plans never actually come to fruition, so we will probably have a taped-back-together fabric stocking hanging on our mantle for the rest of the year. And probably years to come.)
4. Warning: If you can't put lights all the way up through your Christmas tree angel, she might look more like a dementor when night falls.
A beautiful angel... really, she is. But she looks a little... how should we say... ghastly at night. Sorry beautiful angel. Did you notice the ribbon on my tree? Doesn't it make it look fancy? I feel like a real grown up this year. (Because, apparently, grown ups have ribbon on their trees.)
And how about this cutie helping to set it all up? She's getting too big these days. Puttin' Christmas trees together and all.
And, I enjoyed my pre-lit Christmas tree this year just as much as I did last year. Remarkable how free you can feel when you don't have to string lights up and down branches.
5. Sometimes it's okay to take a break to read a book.
Just for the sake of taking a break. Or reading a book. Don't worry,
all the boxes of Christmas decorations were still all over the place
after I read the last page. Plus, it was fun to turn around the corner after things were cleaned up and find these two taking their own little break.
6. You know you've succeeded in your dessert making responsibilities when your never-thinks-about-the-camera-ever husband seeks the camera out to take a picture of your latest dish.
Sincerest form of appreciation, dear. Thanks. Plus, who knew he would be so easy to please? Box of brownie mix (and honestly, even as a make-everything-from-scratch kind of person, I've never been able to find a brownie recipe that I like better than the box mix), cartons of Cool Whip, chunks of candy bars... could this be easier?
7. Zippo has returned
And this year he's slightly more mischievous than in years past. He must have heard the rumors that all the kids friends' elves are making messes, and bringing them fun goodies to eat. He must have felt a little pressured to keep up with the Joneses. I bet he's not a big fan of Pinterest and all of those super creative people who are making his nightly jaunt to the North Pole and efforts to find a new hiding spot every morning seem piddly-ish. Now he's dipping himself into flour, eating bananas and putting the kids' shoes into their Christmas stockings. Silly Zippo.
8. Christmas concerts are way more fun when you don't have a baby to entertain.
We've loved the Duke Choir Christmas Concert for the past couple of years now... but this is the first time we've been able to stay for the entire thing. Usually the baby or the 2 year old starts wailing in competition with the choir about halfway through and has forced us to count the blessing of staying for half of it, and take our disturbances home. Not this year! Hooray for happy kids and late nights... a combo that hasn't been seen much in the past. I think it had something to do with the jingle bells they passed out in the middle.
9. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
Another fun way to spread Christmas cheer is by scowling at all the happy patrons who are enjoying a story-time read aloud by Mrs. Claus herself. This little elf sure spread some cheer to Brian and me as we watched her through the entire story-time... she rivaled Kristen Stewart on her vast array of facial expressions. Here... and just because she's so awesome, let's zoom in a bit:
She screams 'Get me out of this stupid costume' all the way from the dagger eyes, to the pouty mouth, to the hand on the hip, to the other hand clicking her pen in-out-in-out-in-out-in-out-in-out. Kids seemed to like Mrs. Claus, Brian and I liked the grumpy elf, we all won.
10. Pregnancy brain has me wrapped in its clutches.
It's happened to me before, this being my fifth pregnancy... but I don't remember it happening at this level. It's been so bad lately that I even mentioned it to my doctor this morning. She just laughed and said it's probably the combination of increased hormone levels (which studies suggest may be a primary reason for the muddy thinking in the first place (I love that... the words suggest and may be totally sell me)), the decreased level of sleep I'm getting, and juggling three other children in the whirlwind of the holiday season. Whatever the reason, it's bad. In creating my to-to list this morning, I somehow got to thinking about blueberries and couldn't even trace my thought trail to see where I had veered off the 'to-do' path. No one really even likes blueberries in my house, and I can't remember the last time I had a conscious thought about them before... weird. I picked up the wrong flat rate box at the post office yesterday (apparently they have a flat rate box only to be sent to military members), spent over an hour at the dollar tree trying to help my kids pick out just 9 Christmas presents for family members, lost the scissors and tape at least 24 times during the course of wrapping 15 presents, and have left wet clothes from the morning load in the washer overnight several times this week (which is a problem because they start to smell). And, we've been out of paper towels for over a month now because every time I go to Costco, I forget them. Trying to string two thoughts together is like trying to catch a bat with a pot (and we all know.....
...wait... have I already told you about this?)