Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm not very fond of New Year's Eve. I've done quiet at home with the family for my Mom's birthday with cream cheese and olive sandwiches. I've gone to fancy restaurants on dates. I've partied with people who drank huge amounts. I've drunk huge amounts. I've made many courced intricate and ntimate dinners for just the two of us. I've had family game nights with stew and chips.

It always leaves me unfulfilled.

I don't usually make New Years resolutions because I don't feel motivated by the turn of the year. I suppose the start of the school year always seems like the new year to me.

However, motivated by the questions that other people have asked me and the cold truth of single parent post-christmas light I have made 2 resolutions. 1)I resolve to keep my paperwork in order and under control. 2)I resolve to find joy in something every month.

I hope your new year is full of joy and love.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Whew, I've made it through most of the holiday season. It's been tough. My parents and my sister were a huge help! They came up for about a week, picked up my slack, had low expectations for me, and loved me and hugged me.

It was tough for all of us. The MILofJoy came on Christmas Day and was cheerful and grateful to be with us (mostly the kids I think).

We had a ham for my Dad's birthday (also roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, and no sugar icecream pie) and turkey for Christmas. Boxing Day we had our traditional Indian food but we bought the entrees out and only made the veg, rice, and bread. This sort of compromise made life easier.

Christmas Eve, the boy was boat bearer for the evening church service. It was lovely and crowded and we sang great carols. I read the Genesis bit about the Fall. Christmas Day the middle child was boat bearer for the noon service which was less crowded but still lovely. The best thing? I got to sit through both services including the sermons because there was no church school. I love the Christmas Day service because people bring their gifts to the altar rail to be blessed and our priest REALLY loves to see and bless each thing personally.

I finished the sweater for my eldest on Christmas Day. I say finished but it needs to be blocked and is a bit short in body and sleeves. If I cannot get a few inches out of it (they said the silk blend would stretch with wearing) I will undo the cuffs and hemline and add a few inches. The 16.5" sleeves ended quite a ways up the wrists. However, the colour and shape are BEAUTIFUL on dd.

I'll try to get her to try it on for a photo.

I got very nice books for Christmas. Terry Pratchett, S. M. Stirling, Zimmerman....

We only saw my dh once over the week and that was yesterday. He bought the kids appropriate gifts (1 each, not too expensive) and spent an hour with them.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I've been madly knitting a sweater/top for my eldest. She knows the colour and that I'm making it for her and she has even tried it on while blindfolded but she doesn't know the pattern. It is the Simple Bodice from StitchDiva. I am more than halfway down the first sleeve. One more sleeve and the neckline to go. I was deluded (again at Christmas - how does that happen) into thinking I had plenty of time until I realized how little I had done in early December. I've been knitting during my free moments ever since.

This past weekend brought another crisis of self. My kids casually asked when we were going to get a tree and I realized I hadn't even thought about it. It all crashed in on me at once. Getting the Christmas tree was an event for my husband and the kids. They always got up early and journeyed out to a tree farm where they stalked the perfect tree, chopped it down, and drove home sipping cider or hot chocolate. Then he and I would work together to chop the extra branches and trunk off the tree so it would fit in the house. We'd all decorate it together. I don't know anything about the place they went, how much it should cost, or what they looked for (or he looked for). I know he was specific and the tree was always lovely. I asked him about the place they went and he said it had closed. I kind of had a minor breakdown to some friends about the whole thing. There are a few things I'm having trouble facing - buying all the presents, the tree, organizing the menus and some of it I am just ignoring. That doesn't work very well. I sucked it up and decided that getting a tree was more important that having a wonderful family tradition, we can build that anew later. After school we slogged by the library and hit a nursery that was selling Christmas trees. We picked one out and were back in the car 10 minutes later. The girls helped me get it in the house and set into the stand (the boy is on an overnight field trip for school). I acknowledged how hard it was to do this without him. We felt pretty good about what we did and how it got done.

Tomorrow night we will decorate.

Oh, I started a new job today. I am special ed aide for 4 1st grade boys. It pays as well as being a long term sub but without the onus of keeping sequential workdays going. It totally sucked to have to miss a day when the kids had a breakdown. It cost me $20 a day for the next 16 days. But what could I do? I couldn't very well say Sorry you are depressed and frantic and anxious and in need of comfort and therapy and perhaps medical care but I have to go to work...try to hold on until I get home. I had to care for them and nurture them and get them help. Really, that option is unacceptable.

The Christmas feeling is coming. I felt it on Sunday and every night when we read light the Advent wreath and sit together for dinner.