What are you doing New Years?

on 30 December 2011

People keep asking me this.

I find myself looking at them quizzically because I'm pretty sure that I LOOK 9 and a half months pregnant.  What are they expecting me to say?  That I'm going out to PARTY?  Staying up DANCING?  What am I doing for New Years?


We're going to have a newborn in our house in a matter of DAYS.  It's going to be MONTHS before we get to sleep with any degree of predictability.  Chris and I have already divvied up the weekend, he gets a late lie in on Saturday morning and I get to lounge about in sleepy luxury on Sunday morning.

We're so NOT New Years people...Chris' theory is that the New Year will come whether we stay up to ring it in or not, and given the choice between staying up for an anticlimactic clock tick tocking over to midnight, or sleeping like normal human beings and waking up with any kind of energy and motivation to actually FACE the New Year, we choose the latter.

As it is, for all intents and purposes, our year is DONE.  The last of our holiday festivities (my Dad and Sister's birthdays) were celebrated yesterday.  I have to pay bills for the month, but otherwise we are DONE. 

Well, until the Girl decides to make her appearance. 

A Very Festive Recap

on 28 December 2011

Christmas was lovely.

Of course it was.  Amid all the other crap, amid exhaustion and frustration and discouragement, it would take a real Scrooge not to enjoy SOME aspect of Christmas.

So here's a quick recap.

We hosted Christmas Eve at our place again this year.  This has become my favorite tradition.  There was quite a bit of discussion in Burnstopia as just how this party should manifest itself this year.  I am, after all, GREAT with child.

For 10 years now, my sweet husband, has wanted a TRAY of chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A.  And for 10 years he has been DENIED.  I thought it could be fun, something whimsical to bring out his buried-deep inner child.  So I floated the idea of a "Nabs" party to my family.  They're all afraid of me at this point, I think, I may have had one too many meltdowns in the past month.  Anyway, they thought it was a great idea, so that's what we did.

What are Nabs, you may ask?

Nabs are what Chris' family calls finger foods or appetizers...not knife and fork food.  Stuff you can eat with your hands or a toothpick.  So that's what we did!  We had this huge tray of chicken nuggets (we are STILL eating nuggets) and bruschetta (my sister makes the BEST) and a meat and cheese tray (my family's been looking out for the emotional, pregnant, gestationally diabetic girl this season), a veggie tray, a fruit tray, meatballs, boursin cheese and spinach dip and fruit and some marinated veggies that turned out SO good!  And then there were the 5 different kinds of fingery desserts...mini cheesecakes and pecan tassies and 3 kinds of Christmas cookies.  And oh, everything was SO yummy and good.  And it was so fun to gather this group of people into our cozy apartment and eat and talk and laugh and tease. 

We opened the Grandma presents (this one is a tradition that's held over since my childhood, every Christmas eve we were allowed to open 1 present, the one from our Grandma), and then dispersed.  It was so fun, but I was pretty grateful it didn't go too late this year, I was exhausted.

Christmas morning dawned and the Boy slept until 8am which we were all grateful for.  We got up and opened presents and stockings and it was so much fun to watch him go from one present to another and then to try to incorporate ALL of his new toys into 1 homogeneous, imaginative play scenario.  There's nothing funnier than listening to a kid using his imagination.  And it really was such a fun morning that it was hard to get dressed and head out to church.  But that's just what we did.

After Church we headed up to my sister's house where we all got to say hi to my nephew who's serving a mission in Denmark...he looks good but he's so grown up now that there's no real resemblance to the little kid I fell in love with half a lifetime ago.  It was sort of bittersweet.  I'm sure my sister can still see it, Mothers have that special gift of being able to look at their child and see both the adult and the child.  But it made me a little sad.  He sounds amazing and he's doing good work and we're all so proud of him.

After wards there was yet another dinner, followed by phone calls from absent family, which was also bittersweet.  It would be so amazing, well, exhausting and amazing, to have us all gathered together for Christmas some time, maybe someday...but for now, we were all spent.  Poor Sherry was sick, her kids were fried, the Boy didn't get a nap and so fell asleep on the way home (at 6:30!).

It was a weird Christmas for us, well, at least for me.  I usually have plenty of energy to carry me through, but not so much this year.  Chris' socks are still unfinished, but so much prettier than the previous pair that I started and abandoned.  And it's ok because one of his gifts for me didn't arrive on time either, so he and I will get to have our own little cozy gift exchange in another week or so.  I was just so relieved to have it all over with this year, and I've never actually felt that way before.  I had the most fun putting together Chris' stocking (you'll have to get him to tell you about that!) instead of presents, which were undeniably practical this year.   And you know, I've given myself permission to just have an off year every now and then...it just happens.  And it's ok. 


And now?   Well, the Christmas stuff is down and packed away.  Chris and I, well, ok, just CHRIS did laundry for approximately 15 hours on Monday.  But Phase Two of the Nesting is complete.  The pack and play with bassinet is set up, sheets and all.  The clothes and diapers are all washed and ready to go.  I need to make one more run to the grocery store to stock the fridge with staples for the next few weeks and then we'll be all set for the entrance of the Girl into Burnstopia.

And now, it's your turn.  How was your Christmas?


on 15 December 2011

Chris' Christmas socks this year have been the BANE, the BANE I say, of my existence.

Back in September, I chose a lovely (and challenging) pattern out of Nancy Bush's Folk Socks.  They seemed totally do-able at the time.  Of course...that was September. 

And then I got sucked into this vortex of aggressive nesting and baby knitting.

And now, it's 10 days to Christmas and last night, I ripped back Chris' Christmas socks to salvage what wool I could and threw the rest away.

Yes.  I threw away the entirety of the colorwork motif.  It was painful.

But also cathartic...those socks have been torturing me for WEEKS.  I ripped them back THREE times to try various decreases and I could NOT make them work.  The pattern was clearly written for people with infinite time and patience.

I went to bed last night mulling over the problem of Chris' Christmas Socks, and what to do about it.  It's TRADITION, and my man doesn't have many Christmas traditions that he likes.

So I woke up this morning feeling excited.  Excited to cast on some NEW Christmas socks for my Man.  I had him bring down my Big Bin o' Yarn and I chose different (and simpler) colors.  I then went to my stash of colorwork motifs and flipping through I found this lovely Estonian motif that was reminiscent of M.C. Escher to my mind and I thought, "I can totally still DO this."

And so I cast on.  And began the process of work work working on them.  Sure...I may miss my Christmas deadline, but by all that's wooly, if I have to knit until  my fingers bleed, my Man will have SOCKS before New Year.

Burnstopia and the Worst. Christmas. EVER

on 09 December 2011

Do you think it's too late to call of Christmas?

Just cancel it this year, and we'll resume our festivities next year? 

I know there are people out there who have it A LOT worse than us right now, but from where I'm sitting this is projected to be one of the worst Christmases in Burnstopia history.

Would you like a recap?

  • Chris gets passed over for promotion
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Twice weekly fetal non-stress-tests from now until the Girl comes
  • A big FAT speeding ticket (and mandatory court appearance) issued to Me (M) because I wasn't paying attention.  And if you think I haven't learned my lesson think AGAIN.  I have spent the entire DAY in tears over that one.  (And yes, Chris has been chastising me for years about slowing down.  YES, I have actually slowed down.  I was coming back from a non-stress-test, that rather ironically stressed ME out to no end and I was going down hill and not paying attention to how fast I was going.  By the time I realized I was going too fast, the police had picked me up on radar.  YES, I feel stupid.  Please do not berate the heavily pregnant girl who is already in tears.)
  • No ability to change ANY of this, no matter how hard I work.

Seriously, can we just call off Christmas this year?  If you need me, I'll be in bed with the covers over my head.  I should be out sometime in early January when the Girl is due to arrive.

Buckling Down

on 01 December 2011


I'm sorry to inform you that my time is no longer my own.  I have 24 days to finish Chris' Christmas socks.  The Christmas socks that seemed perfectly reasonable back in September, and then stalled through ALL of October and November, and now seem not very reasonable at all.

In addition to knitting my fingers down to nubs on the socks, I have a sweater to finish for one baby girl.  A baby girl that I am hope, Hope, HOPING decides to arrive in the next 3-4 weeks.  And if my dearest little hope comes true then I may NOT have 24 days left to knit those socks.

So if you wonder what's happening here, just know that there's copious amounts of knitting and swearing (alternately).  And when my hands start to hurt, just know that Part Two of the Nesting, has in fact commenced.  There is an ENORMOUS pile of tiny little baby things sitting in my bedroom.  There are, in fact, just a few more little items that I'd like to acquire before I begin the mass laundering.  Once that Mount Visuvius is laundered and folded, I'm going to get Chris to set up the pack n' play and we'll be all set.

(In funnier news, I was taking inventory of what all we had and what we still needed and I was asking for Chris' opinion and he looked at me and said, "You know what I learned watching Babies?  That in Mongolia, all babies need are a t-shirt and sandals."  I chuckled and reminded him that we do not live in Mongolia and our daughter is due in the middle of winter...so maybe she might, just might, need a bit more covering than a t-shirt and sandals.)

Trust me, if anything exciting happens, I'll blog about it here.  And WHEN I finish the Christmas socks that NEVER end, I'll post pictures!