‘Twas the Day Before Christmas…

…And all through the house roamed sick toddlers and a stressed out husband.

I came to work.

To clarify my last post: I was very, very ill on Sunday, not just sick about not having a Christmas tree. I spent most of the day on the couch, even napping during the first half of the Steelers’ game. (Should’ve napped through the rest of it.) Sore throat, very achy. DearDR spent most of the day with Monkey next door; Bun and I muddled through at home.

I managed to cook a very yummy lentil stew for dinner. I also put together gifts for my daughter’s kindergarten teachers (only two, thank goodness). I was going to bake cookies on Sunday, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen before… oh, the new year, probably. Too bad, because I have tons of flour, sugar, and butter at home now! (DearDR, bless him, did the grocery shopping.)

Also, bless DearDR for buying a Christmas tree. He brought home a pretty little Fraser fir last night. Now we just gotta throw some decorations on it.

Here is why DearDR is stressed out: My in-laws decided to take their car (the Cadillac) to the shop today. They want to use the station wagon. The children have to go to the doctor (Bun’s Rx does not seem to be helping her; Monkey is complaining about a sore throat — hey, wouldn’t it be hysterical if she had mono?? hahahaha! No). They are currently scheduled for back-to-back appointments at 10:15 (the doctor’s office is only open a half day today).

And DearDR has not bought one Christmas gift. For anyone. Well, no, that’s not true — he bought iTunes gift cards at the grocery store for his teenage cousin.

Do you know how many people DearDR has to buy for?

One. Me.

If he wants, he can also purchase gifts for his parents and his grandmother. But the past few years, we have primarily only purchased gifts for the kids in the family. It is too expensive to do otherwise. This year especially.

Sooooo, I am facing the reality that I may not get any gifts from my husband this year. I am having a difficult time with it. [See update below.]

I don’t want to be angry, but I am angry. After all, I’m the one over here trying to get my children to appreciate that Christmas is not about presents and Santa, but about Jesus’ birth.

(Had to review this last night with Monkey:
“What is Christmas about, Monkey?”
“Presents?”
“No, it’s Jesus’ birthday.”
“Oh, I thought it was about presents.”
“Well, Jesus was the best present of all.”
“…Okay.”
I could see in her little head she was thinking, “I am still getting presents, right?”)

Part of me feels really bad for DearDR. He loves Christmas shopping — he loves shopping for gifts in general, really — but he is stuck. He doesn’t plan well; he’s not very organized; he spends almost all of his time working. If he had thought ahead a little bit, he could have ordered gifts online, and he’d be done. And now, instead of going shopping, he’s got the kids all day; he has to take them to the doctor; he is stranded without a car until his parents get back from the garage. He doesn’t really know what to get me. We didn’t exchange lists this year, and he can’t spend that much money, anyway.

I am trying to let my sympathy and my Christian spirit carry me through or past my anger. I’m having uneven results. Besides, it’s not a foregone conclusion — after all, we get our prescriptions filled at Target, that mecca of shopping!

I just want to focus on making Christmas a fun day for my children. I want us to go to church as a family. I want them to enjoy the tree, and opening their presents. Maybe when Bun naps Christmas day, Monkey and I will try to bake a few cookies (note to self: must stop eating pistachios DearDR bought for recipe) before we go next door to my in-laws.

I need to find it in my heart to let DearDR off the hook. (This year, anyway!) And he has to do the same to himself. Yeah, it stinks. But DearDR is not a bad guy. He’s not a mean guy. He’s not out to hurt me.

He makes me laugh. He’s a good father. He makes awesome green beans. He works damn hard, too hard sometimes. He is good at doing things around the house — unstopping drains and fixing dryer vents and changing furnace filters.

This is the guy I married. And I love him.

Merry Christmas, DearDR. Take it easy on yourself, okay?

Edited to add: Monkey has an ear infection in her left ear. Bun has a sinus infection to go with her two ear infections.

At least he will be going to Target. I will be getting Christmas booty! And maybe some green beans later. Mmmm.

Merry Christmas Eve. Sigh.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short: The Green Beans Edition

A woman whose blog I read (I’m one of those darn lurkers, sorry, trannyhead) had a little contest yesterday. And the point of the contest was to spread the term “green beans” far and wide across the blog-o-sphere.

And many people came, and saw green beans were good, and wrote their own green beans story.

I used to write a lot about green beans (not online). I used to partake of a lot of green beans. I love, green beans, truth be told. But — and many of you know the story — you have kids, the hormones are crazy, you work full time, and suddenly sleep looks a lot more attractive than green beans.

Well lately, regarding the hormones anyway, green beans became something I loved again. My husband and I have difficulty getting enough green beans because of our schedules — he is often coming home when I’m asleep. Additionally, the room we like best for making green beans does not currently have a door. Which is a problem when your 4-year-old wants the door to her room, which is across the hall from your green bean room, kept open at night. I guess in case she needs a quick get-away from the shadow monsters.

We have resorted to making green beans in other rooms. Desperate times call for desperate measures, after all. We have even had green beans when our younger daughter is napping and our older daughter is resting in front of the television. Once, and I’m slightly ashamed to say this, but we had very, very fast green beans when the girls were downstairs with the babysitter, before we went out for the night.

But quick green beans and green beans when one party is exhausted are not the best green beans in the world.

So I was looking forward to coming to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, where the room we usually sleep in has a door. And a very nice bed. And my husband and I would be on similar schedules. I was going to get me some green beans.

Unfortunately, it looked as if my craving for green beans (a craving that is even stronger in DearDR) was going to be thwarted.

First of all, my parents’ had a lot of overnight guests. Aunt and Uncle Redhead were sleeping in our usual room. My father said we could have the fold-out couch in the living room or the basement with the blow-up bed. Inflatable mattress notwithstanding, the basement room HAS A DOOR. We picked the basement.

And then, although we thought Bun was going to sleep in with my parents, my father suggested that it would be better if she slept downstairs with us because he had to get up for work at 5:30 in the morning. There was still hope, as the basement is divided, and we could still shield Bun from green beans. Now, DearDR and I just need to go to bed around the same time, and not drink too much wine, but just enough.

And then, more green bean-related tragedy. While I was settling my older daughter in her bed for the night, Bun woke up crying. DearDR lay down with her on our mattress. And they both fell asleep.

As my sister and I changed into our pajamas, I lamented that Bun was asleep with DearDR. “I need some green beans,” I lamented. She clearly had no idea what I was talking about.

Although afraid of waking a sleeping Bun, my choice was clear. Carefully, I moved Bun into her pack ‘n’ play. I closed the folding door, and gently woke the sleeping DearDR.

And we made sweet, sweet green beans. Despite all the obstacles, our goal had been reached.

We hope to reach that goal a couple more times this weekend. I don’t care if we green bean that inflatable mattress flat. Green beans are good!