Friday, October 24, 2008

Holiday Countdowns

Thank goodness for the 100 Days to Christmas site. I have totally fallen off the Grand Plan wagon. I don't even know what I'm supposed to be doing this week house-wise but I know I'm way, way, way behind. (In fact, when I get off the computer--soon--I will be going through the toys that are taking over the playroom as birthdays are past and it's time to rotate again.)

But I've used the inspiration from the 100 Days Countdown to keep me on track for both Halloween and Christmas. The Buzz Lightyear costumes arrived in time for the Lions Club parade tonight. (The dinosaur and giraffe were great for last week's party.) I got the candy on sale and with my 10% off coupon at Target AND enough to survive my husband's pilfering (ok, and mine too). Belatedly for the countdown but just in time for our squirrels, we went to Pumpkinland at our local commercial farm, and for the first time since our younger son was born, it was a total triumph. (Last year, the four year old was so cranky he was downright evil; the year before, the weather was horrible every time we tried; the year before, the baby was so little it was hard to get around.) But this year, both boys loved it, and cracked me up by trying to pull out huge pumpkins from the bottom of the pile. The little one fell in love with the teeny-weeny pumpkins and got three of those; the older one picked one he could carry himself, and I got one for carving, in case I feel bold. Our front window is decked out with our light-up pumpkins, and we're feeling pretty ready. I do think I need to get at least one more pumpkin candy holder. We have one big and one little, but this year the younger one won't take kindly to having a teeny pumpkin.

As to Christmas...I used last Tuesday to finish shopping. I can't believe I'm writing that. But there were great coupons and the boys were in school. We knew what they were getting, so why wait? I'm sure I will augment with books and clothes with trains on them and a few other items at Strasburg Railroad when we go. But otherwise, we're pretty well set.

The theme is chosen for the in-laws' gifts and I've started in on that. I have a way to go but I'm pretty excited about it. I don't think any of them read here but just in case...more on that after Christmas.

And, of course, the 40th birthday is coming, sooner than I think. (Is it 40 days? I think so! Thanks to Emily for pointing that little milestone out.) Still trying to figure out how to celebrate short, nothing. That's tempting--I have grown to hate birthdays without my mother, I'm sad to say--but it seems too pathetic and that's not how I want to be. I loved my one friend who hosted a "bring a special dish" potluck for her women friends. My husband and I have traditionally gone out to dinner. I'll figure out something. I felt bad that my big plans for my husband's 40th last year fell through, so I made it up to him by getting him a flat screen TV to watch the Phillies in the World Series since our kids are likely to be in college next time they get there. So maybe that'll be my special 40th present too. Because I must say, I lurve it. Since I don't usually get to just sit and watch it, but am catching it from the kitchen or dining room, the picture is awesome. Of course, it's like our cars; this TV has been in our house first got cable, which was when I was a freshman in college, so...pre-1986? We were due. (And it was broken since summer and my husband did not complain even as his beloved team got closer and closer to the postseason.)

Anyway. New posts coming on my Parallel LIves Bloggers. And I suppose on lots of things as NaBloPoMo is coming. I haven't been as in to blogging this year but I do love a challenge. And what can be more challenging than trying to get ready for the holidays, doing two for-pay jobs, spending time with my kids and husband, and writing every day? Yikes. I'd better get to the playroom, stat. But the countdown was worth it if only for motivating me to finally get to Pumpkinland this year. We did our first hayride, which was a huge hit, and since it was Friday, their teeny train was running. Of course, this cost me an arm and a leg--exactly their intention--but the boys adored it, and the picnic I brought didn't cost us anything (and have I mentioned how lucky I am that my kids eat what I bring and don't whine about what craptastic food is available at the places we visit?), and next to the hayride, the kids liked feeding the ducks our stale bread the best. Add to that our romping on the football field down the street from our house, and I was pretty happy with what we were able to do outside today. Add to that making the apple cake from Smitten Kitchen for the bake sale tomorrow, cleaning up the kitchen from that and other issues, and answering work emails, and I feel great about today. Tonight is the last football game of the year and the Lions Club parade, making this the quintessential fall day here. Hope your Octobers are winding up well too.


brandy101 said...

As far as pumpkin-chosing goes...

Each year the local bank where my daughter has her *Junior Savers Account* has a coloring contest and free pumpkin giveaway - so we pop over to the bank and she chooses a pumpkin from the pretend *patch* they create right there on the bank floor!

Every fall, I miss Linvilla candy apples. Carmel apples are the rage here; bleh.

I have 2 gifts for kiddo bought and I am waiting to hear who our pollyanas will be; those are chosen in two weeks.

Write every day? Lordy, I dont even work for pay, but I doubt I would have the time or energy/interest/creativity. Good luck with that!!!

listplanit said...

You are doing great! So glad you are finding 100 Days to Christmas useful in your holiday planning. We'll all arrive at Christmas prepared and happy!