Sunday, December 11, 2005

Decorating

Hoo boy. Take one husband out of town, three small children, one large dog, and a crazy schedule, and you'll find that blogging ends up very low on the list of priorities.

Even with Mom here to help out, it's been a week of very short tempers, too little sleep (both the kids and me), falling asleep at stoplights (me), and the capper, the night I took the dog out right before the kids' baths, and was unable to locate his deposit in the pitch dark so I could pick it up. Grumpy and frustrated, I gave up and went in to give the kids their baths. I walked around the first floor a little and that's when I found his deposit. On the BOTTOM OF MY SHOE. In every possible crevice of my oh-so gripping sneakers. And now in many other places as well -- in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the dining room ON THE CARPET. You get the picture. Disgusted beyond measure, I scrubbed everything in sight while cussing an unbelievably blue streak. The poor dog was in disgrace for two days, even though he didn't really do anything he shouldn't have done, except maybe poop in the darkest spot in the yard. Fortunately Mom had started the kids' baths, as I was too busy going into conniptions until I cleaned everything up the best I could.

But we did manage to put the Christmas decorations up before Tim left. First, the tree.

Then, a few days later, the wreath. The only portion of it I can take credit for is the red berries that have been jammed into an already beautiful wreath. You will also notice that there is no bow on this wreath. That is due to my complete and utter lack of ability to make a decent bow. So I have opted for the minimalist approach this year, at least as far as wreaths are concerned.

Usually my Christmas decorating attempts look like this:

a scrawny, fake garland that has been inexpertly arranged on some structure, adorned with semi-resurrected bows that someone made for me in a previous year. This year I stopped before I ruined it further by attaching fake fruit that doesn't match.

However, I was not as restrained when it came to the banister:

not a very bright picture, but apparently we live in a place where pinecones, red berries, and grapes all grow on the same pine boughs! And again, no bows.

Tim came home Friday night, and it took me all day yesterday to start to function semi-normally again. Today he took extreme pity on me and took the kids over to Grandma and Grandpa's for the morning until after lunch. I spent all day working on his stocking, which I finally finished.

Even though this is the 10th Christmas we've been married, he's always had to use the boyfriend stocking, which is a non-specific stocking purchased at a grocery store many years ago that we used whenever someone's boyfriend came over for Christmas.

I have a stocking that my mother and grandmother made for me when I was very small, and I've used it ever since. For some unknown reason I was unable to find the time to make Tim a similar one in the years after we were married but before we had kids. And after we had kids, I made one for them, always meaning to make Tim's next. That accounted for the next 5 years, and last year we were within a month of moving when Christmas came around, so he is just now getting his own stocking.

Here's mine, which is 40 years old now!

And the one I made for Nate a few years ago.

Charlotte's was the last one I finished. Her birthday is on Epiphany, commonly regarded as the day the Wise Men made their appearance, so I had to go with the Nativity scene on hers. If you notice a striking resemblance between this design and the pictures in her Speech Notebook, that would be because I designed this myself. Without the benefit of clip art, which would have been the sensible way to do it. I prefer to think of it as 'primitive art.'

And you may be thinking, where is Hattie's? I only started hers today and it isn't finished yet. But it's a pretty simple design, and therefore a lot closer to being done than you might think. In a couple of days we all could have finished stockings for the first time ever! I ran out of navy felt, so I'll have to resume after a trip to the closest Michael's.

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