Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy January

So it's January 4th. The holidays are finally over. Today, Jim watched sadly as the garbage truck crushed up our Christmas tree. Good thing I didn't see it or I'd have cackled with glee. We put it out on New Year's Eve. I'm still sweeping up needles and will be until our wedding anniversary. We were married on the first day of spring.

Not taken on Christmas Eve ... 
We did have a nice, low-key holiday, mostly because we were all so sick that we could have recorded a coughing version of Jingle Bells. I was in the doctor's office with a wheezing baby two days before Christmas and by Christmas Eve, my husband had a fever of 102.6 (I just love using the decimal. It makes it so much more dramatic, don't you think?) We didn't go to Mass with the little boys dressed in their matching outfits and Fiona in her finery and we didn't even have that nice Christmas Eve lasagna (from Stoeffer's. ever heard of 'em?). On Christmas Eve, I took the older two out to Wal-Greens before dinner because mommy really needed some Diet Coke bad. I popped a Digiorno pizza in the oven. It was the extra fancy kind; it came with breadsticks. And we ate in the dining room to make it even fancier. I broke down in tears before trying to chat up my sister in Japan on Facebook that night because one more holiday without the other half of my heart here felt impossible. I put the kids to bed alone, which involved quite a bit of yelling. I put the presents out alone. And I cursed my stupid luck that I hadn't gotten sick myself just so I could get some rest. It was not an idyllic Christmas Eve by any stretch of the bounds of optimism.

But Christmas Day was a better. The kids liked their gifts. They played more with the gifts we got from the thrift shop and the low-cost gifts than anything else we got. We spent the afternoon at mom and dad's house and my brother and his wife were there. I wrestled the kids into their Christmas outfits just to be sure we got plenty of bang for our buck. The boys wore theirs all day; my daughter told Nana to "take it off" almost as soon as we arrived. She's just like her mother, that one.

Christmas night was awesome. The snow started falling just before the kids went to bed. Danny stayed up watching it out his bedroom window and then fell asleep on the floor in his new sleeping bag from Nana Meehan. And we all woke up to this sight:

We had a fantastic couple of days sledding down our hill which Jim enhanced with a curve and a ramp built up with snow. All the kids went sledding, even the baby, and we actually caught some air going over the ramp. Sweet! The kids also really dug the hot cocoa, although Danny doesn't like his hot.

Come this time of year, though, I don't really make resolutions. Especially ones involving food or beverage. Here's why:

Saturday, January 1: I tell my husband that I really want to stop drinking so much Diet Coke. It may be keeping the baby up at night. But the dilemma? Saturday is always pizza night. And you can't have pizza without Diet Coke, now can you? We ordered from Randy's instead of making it at home. The baby and I went to pick it up. I theorized that I could not likely carry an 18" pizza, a 20 pound baby and a Diet Coke from the fountain. I was wrong.

Sunday, January 2:  I told my husband about how I learned that aspartame had addictive properties. This does not surprise me in the least. I still manage to down a diet drink, but at least it's just ginger ale.

Monday, January 3: I was good. Instead of Diet Coke, I downed about a quart of seltzer water from my new seltzer bottle that was a gift from my brother. I tell my husband that I think I just crave carbonated beverages.

Tuesday, January 4: I am forced by poor planning (due to extreme exhaustion) to stop by Wal-Greens on the way to preschool this morning to buy some candy for Danny's class. Long story short, I buy the candy (75 percent off!!) and wind up with a 20 oz. Diet Coke AND a bag of Cheetos.

To my husband's credit, he rarely ever calls me on any of this.

And to complicate matters, I found a book before Christmas at Barnes & Noble, bought it on Amazon and it arrived before Christmas. The title? Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Merry Christmas to me. If there's one thing I love more than Diet Coke, it's bread. Hot, fresh, crispy crusted bread. With butter. Real butter. Since Sunday, I've made three loaves from this ingeniously evil, pound-packing method of providing fresh bread on a daily basis. Actually, on Sunday, I made a second loaf after realizing that the first loaf may not make it to dinner.

I suck at self-denial, which is why I try not to make resolutions based on abstinence. I seem to do better with resolves at any time of the year to do more in some areas. Last year, I made a promise to myself to be more honest about what goes on under my roof and how exactly I feel about it. Judging by some of the comments and emails I've received this year, I'd call my resolve a success.

This year? I'm trying to be more careful (see? more!!) with the grocery budget ... details to follow. It's not as exciting as it sounds, but to me, it kind of is. It combines my love of food and my insane need to categorize and control, I mean, quantify things. I so desperately need order in some area of my life right now. 

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