Monday, December 19, 2011

A Glutton for the Holidays

I have a lot going on in my life, which seems funny to say like I am bragging or something. "OOOH, ooh, look at me - I have A LOT going on right now!" and doesn't really seem all that true when I actually stop to think about it. And, really, who doesn't have a lot going on right now?

Let's take a look at the list (I adore lists) and consider what I have at the moment. 
Kid + Family = Driving my kid 800 miles away to visit my mom (and brothers) for 3 or 4 days. 
  •  Washing, Drying, Folding, Packing. 
  •  Shopping for snacks and drinks that are car friendly (i.e. not too crumbly, do not contain Red No. 897, not too mushy, or juicy (no oranges or pickles in le car), will not mold or rot under a car seat a week after returning home). 
  • Cleaning out said car so that the two of us will have a place to put all of our junk and still have space left in case we acquire anything new for our return trip (one time, I got a dog on the way home - not sure how that would go over this time)
  • Planning out a route that will get us there safely and much quicker than the last trip. 
  • Shopping for the Hubs so that he will eat more than just hot dogs and baked beans while we are gone 
  • Cleaning the house so that I don't have to do it when I get back home (cause it sucks to be on the road for hours and walk into a dirty house)
  • Going to the tag office and paying 6 bucks to get a replacement sticker for my tag because somehow I managed to lose the one for my car and replace the one on the Hubs car
  • Getting the oil changed in my car because by the time that I drive 1600 miles it will be way past due for an oil change. 
Christmas - as much as I would like to think that I am TOTALLY prepared to fake the whole Santa thing with the kid, I am so not. I have lost her stocking for one (I could've sworn I packed it in the box with the the others, but it is not there). I have time to make her another one, but now it's just the damn point of it. We are a 3 person household, how are we not organised enough to find one F*ing stocking in our little house?
Don't forget the annual visit to Santa Claus!
Then there is the whole grandparents thing - do we have them over early Christmas morning to watch her open gifts and take pictures or do we trek over there once our morning revelry is done? If we have them over on Christmas morning, do I have enough time between getting off on Thursday and Sunday morning, even though I will be at church from 3:30 until 8:45 on Saturday evening to clean the house enough so that I don't get the disapproving looks from Grandma? Or will this be the year that Grandma breaks down and gets me a maid? Oh, the suspense of it all...

The kid wants to bake. Seriously bake, as we have done in years past when I have had two weeks off for the holidays and have whipped up cookies and Happy Birthday, Jesus cakes and pumpkin pies for the Hubs (it is his favorite food after all - if I could think of a way to incorporate some green veggies into his pumpkin pie we would all be happy). Unfortunately, try as I might I can not fit two weeks of baking into a solitary weekend. Looks as though there will be much baking mixed in with all of the laundry that must be done.

Face painting is a prerequisite to all holiday related activities lately. 
Then, there is all of the traditions from my childhood that I would like to share with my girl. Driving around to see the Christmas lights, opening pajamas on the night before Christmas (the pajamas better be here before Christmas - TARGET - box number 2 still has not arrived at the house and I am getting a bit panicky), getting toothbrushes to stick in our Christmas stockings (I have found that a lot of people have this as a tradition and it seems kind of odd to me), making Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve for Santa to eat with his beer (because after all that milk, Santa is feeling the need for something different), and making cinnamon rolls to put in the fridge for breakfast Christmas morning (cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate - yummmm).

I know that I am not the only person out there working full-time and then racing off to make fun holiday memories with my kid - how do you find your work/life balance? What is your favorite holiday tradition?

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