It is the last day before Christmas break. I am so looking forward to it, but also feeling like I have so much to do, will it really be a break? Even though I usually have all my Christmas shopping finished by Halloween, I still seem to have a million things to do the week before Christmas. Go to therapy tonight, go to Costco to sign Fili up for her membership tomorrow, pack everybody for our trip, pick up some groceries, get creamer…its like a news ticker tape running through my head, you know those announcements they have running across the bottom of the TV?

We’re going out of town tomorrow to Connecticut to visit the kids great-grandfather. It will be four generations together, and the first time we’ve been up there since I was pregnant with Schmitty. Half of me is so relieved to be getting out of town, away from all the stuff I have to do, away from our families, whom we love, but will be getting to see plenty of over the holidays and half of me is dreading a “wasted” weekend. I know I shouldn’t view a relaxing weekend that way, but I have a hard time turning my ticker tape off.

The morning actually started out well, with Schmitty waking me up, saying “cackuw?” (cracker). I keep the crackers on top of the TV in our bedroom, for mornings such as these when I really don’t want to get out of bed and walk down to the freezing cold kitchen floor and fix the kids something to eat. After I give him his cracker he comes in the bed with me and cuddles. It is moments like these that I cherish, and try to keep in my head when we have the tantrums and the “I don’t like you” moments. Vivian comes in a little while later, and she had discovered our new stove. “Mom! We got a new stove! Check it out!” “I know Vivian, I saw it last night.” “No, Mom, c’mon! Come check it out!” I told her if she got dressed I would come down with her. She runs back a moment later, “Dad, did YOU put out my outfit?” He laughs and says to me, “I think she just insulted your taste.” I admit to having set out the outfit, and am informed “Mom, I wanted to wear purple!” As I groggily pull on my bathrobe and go downstairs to brave the cold tile floor, a feeling of comfort and joy settles in my heart…

…soon to be replaced with an overwhelming feeling settling in my brain. Fifteen minutes later, my sister arrived to watch the kids, and she noticed that there’s water in the hall. Turns out my roof is leaking. I call Carl to ask him to fix it with my brother-in-law, who has dealt with this problem before. “Can’t we just pay someone to do it?” God love my husband, he brings home the bacon, and does a great job of it, and can do anything with computers, he’s a great provider, he takes good care of us, but that man hates to do Mr. Fix-it stuff. Mechanical stuff, remodeling, installation (other than technology related equipment) replacement, etc. just not his thing. I’m too much of a cheap skate to pay for these things, so I threaten to do it myself and that usually gets a “I’ll see what I can do.”

My sister-in-law was induced this morning, and I’m ashamed to say that I’m relieved that the hospital where she is delivering the baby has a no visitors policy due to the H1N1 virus. Isn’t it sad that the thought bubble over my head read “one less thing to worry about!” In truth, I am looking forward to meeting my new niece, and annoyed with myself that I associate it with my checklist. It will just be so much easier to meet her next week in her home with my kids.

On my way to work, Mrs. Baumgart (Viv’s teacher) calls me “I just wanted to let you know that Vivian has an injury, she was walking into the classroom and tripped on a stool, and cut her lip. There was some blood and its pretty swollen, but we put ice on it, and she has stopped crying and seems to be doing okay. I was just calling to see if you would like her to tough it out, or if you want to take her home.” Feeling like I’m a horrible mom for having her “tough it out” I say “I think she will be ok, just give me a call if you think she’s getting worse.” Of course, she is proud of her scar when I come to pick her up “Look Mom! I have a boo-boo!” I did appreciate the call, but I also had to think: what a bunch of wimps have we become!

When I think back to how the morning started, I try to forget all the unimportant things that happened today, and focus instead on my daughter’s enthusiasm as she discovered our new stove and my son’s head on my heart. As crazy as they make me, they are my sanity at the same time.