Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sometimes Even Mom Needs a Time-Out!

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth -- I have, as I am sure MANY others have as well, fallen into that hectic flurry of holiday preparations! I have to marvel at how we can go weeks and weeks during the year with no plans, no stress, and then during an already busy period of time (the holidays) we have an influx of activities that have nothing to do with Christmas!

Yesterday was the second Saturday in a row that my girl was invited to a friend's birthday party, at the Las Vegas for kids -- Chuck E. Cheese! Yes, two weeks in a row, my husband was conveniently working (actually, I'm sure he would have traded places with me, if he could have!) and I was left to take my nearly 7 year old and my nearly 18 month old to Chuck E. Cheese. Really, a great time! When I woke up yesterday morning, I was not feeling well, and I asked my husband if he could call and go into work 2 hours late, so that he could take our girl to the party. Unfortunately, he had a new employee starting, and was unable to do so, but he suggested I call my father and stepmother, who, like my mother, very frequently ride to our rescue in times of need. However, I told him that I felt sitting at Chuck E. Cheese for a 2 hour child's birthday party, was beyond what a grandparent should be asked to do! I rallied and I took my girl(s) to the party, and actually, the mother was very nice and suggested that if I needed to, I take the time to run out and do some Christmas shopping, as we were very close to the mall. I checked with my girl (who by this point was already up in the big tunnel with her friends and had probably already forgotten that I was even there!) to make sure she didn't mind, I told her to go see her friend's mother if she needed anything, and I left my cell phone # with this mother, so that she could call in an emergency.

I grabbed my littlest girl, and we drove a few doors down (in the same plaza, conveniently!) to Toys 'R Us -- an absolute zoo on a Saturday during the Christmas shopping season! This year I have done the bulk of my Christmas shopping online, which has been great -- I avoided the madness of the stores, for the most part, and after price checking between several websites, I found that was the least expensive in most cases. But, I still had a few last minute gifts to get for my 2 children and a couple of their cousins. In spite of the crowds, I had my list, I was fairly efficient, and I lucked out while checking out -- they opened up another register, just as I began to suspect that the line I was in was going nowhere! So, I got some shopping done, and I was back in time to watch as the birthday girl opened her gifts. Of course, without Mom there to supervise, MY girl was back up in the tunnel -- she did take a break for pizza and cake -- and was NOT watching her friend open her gifts. I rectified this with a stern call of her first and middle names, which she responded to surprisingly quickly! We went through a similar situation at last week's party, where last week's birthday girl was opening her gifts with only a bunch of mothers and 1 other little girl watching, until I called my girl down from the tunnel to join the party. I got a, "SIGH, but MOM!" and I reminded her that first and foremost, this was a birthday party and it was rude not to participate in the party. She reluctantly joined us and then, after doing her "duty" was able to go off and play again.

Anyway, today, we are having a fairly miserable weather day here, and I am trying to decide whether or not we are going to brave the cold and the slippery roads to go to yet another birthday party (for a cousin, who we will hopefully see on Christmas Eve)!

So, in addition to the non-holiday related activities, we are also busily preparing for Christmas with the usual long list -- holiday shopping, holiday decorating, holiday parties, holiday cards, gift wrapping, school pageants, and on and on! This year I am working on a special holiday project which I will share after Christmas, but that is also keeping me busy!

One way to try and keep sane during all of this craziness, is taking a little time-out after the kids are in bed. I try to quickly get the house picked up (at least the living room, so I can lounge for a little bit without feeling guilty, that I should be cleaning or something!) and then I settle in for a holiday show, or a great movie -- sometimes with egg nog, sometimes with popcorn, sometimes with wine! -- and I make sure the Christmas tree is all lit up. It's very relaxing during this hectic time. A few of my favorite holiday-feeling movies (not necessarily a Christmas movie, but gives you that good holiday feeling!) are Love Actually, When Harry Met Sally, and Serendipity -- all great movies that you should see, if you haven't already! Last year my husband and I put on Love Actually (a favorite of his also) and sat on the living room floor wrapping gifts! And of course, some holiday favorites The Preacher's Wife, A Christmas Story, and one of my favorite classics, White Christmas.

Whatever you choose, make sure to take a time-out so that you can catch your breath and enjoy the season!


Christine said...

Oh I have one! I just watched the Winona Ryder version of Little Women while wrapping presents. I cannot let Christmas go by without watching that. It is my favorite movie of all time I think. (not just a favorite movie to watch with Uncle Steve type thing) I only let myself watch it at Christmas so I don't get sick of it (as if!) It doesn't strictly follow the book but I'm still hooked on it.

Also, at this time of year I have a strange penchant for Made for TV Cheesy Hallmark movies-Don't tell anyone!!!

Deanna said...

Oh! That is a good one too! I am officially on vacation now, until Jan 2nd, so maybe I can a) finish my holiday preparations, b) take a time-out and watch a movie and have a glass of wine, c) post another entry on my blog!

I'll tell Uncle Steve that Will would like to have him over for a Christmas movie marathon!