Monday, December 14, 2015

Focusing on the Good Things

We are in full Christmas season swing here, trying to power through the things that must get done and still make sure we take the time to enjoy the things we want to have happen.

This weekend was full of a lot of "must do" things, but also some great "want to do" things. On Saturday, we went over to my sister's house to help her decorate her tree. Unfortunately, we didn't get to stay much past dinner time because Petunia wasn't feeling well. She had a fever by the time we got home, went straight to bed, and had a restless night.

I thought that spelled doom for our plans for Sunday, but she woke up feeling just fine on Sunday morning, so we launched into our plans for the day: a trip to a bookstore to buy a gift, then a visit with Santa at the mall. I thought that might take an hour. It took two. Mr. Snarky and Pumpkin had to leave us halfway through our wait, because Pumpkin had a birthday party to go to. So Petunia and I waited the second hour alone. She was very patient. At one point, she wondered if Santa was real, but then she dropped that line of thought and went back to debating whether to ask him for a Frozen skateboard or a remote control garbage truck.

Petunia and I did a little more Christmas shopping after we finally got to see Santa. (She asked for the Frozen skateboard.) Later, after we'd all met back up at home, we crossed something off our 2015 family fun list: we walked around the neighborhood and looked at Christmas lights. It was delightful, mostly. Petunia got hungry and grumpy at the end. But I'm going to overlook that and focus on how excited she was to see some of the displays our neighbors have put up.

Focus on the good things, right?

Once we got home, I decided to finish putting up our Christmas decorations while Mr. Snarky made dinner. This mostly involved figuring out how to hang the decorations Petunia decided to make for us. You can see the end result in my post at Crappy Things I Made to Stop the Whining. The decorating process wass not straightforward- the painted box was particularly challenging to install. Full credit to Mr. Snarky for the idea of lacing some twine through it so we could hang it.

But I really like how festive the room looks now, so there's another good thing to focus on.

Later, Petunia cornered me and asked me if Santa was real, or if it was just Mommy and Daddy buying you gifts. She was not put off with  my usual dodge of "what do you think?" I hemmed and hawed  some more and called for back up, and together we managed to convince her to just think about it until Christmas. I had to pinky promise to answer her questions on Christmas day, though. So Santa's days are numbered here.

I think that if she'd asked on a different day, I would have just told the truth. But I couldn't face the end of the belief in Santa on the same day I waited two long hours to see Santa. I just couldn't.

On the other hand, she's now looking forward to going up on the roof with Mr. Snarky on Christmas to look for reindeer poop. Another good thing.


I squeezed a couple of things on my own to do list into the weekend. I posted the very first guest post at Tungsten Hippo. It is the first in what I hope will become a series of guest posts in which authors introduce their short ebooks to my audience.

That didn't take long, though. My other project took much longer. I painted the last piece of our office shelves: the cabinet doors.

Freshly painted and installed doors
I still hate painting, but at least they came out reasonably nice. I put them on the shelves tonight, moving me ever so slightly closer to my goal of being able to unpack my books. I really like how the shelves are looking. Another good thing.

I will confess that I'm getting a bit cranky about how slowly we're moving towards this goal. Mr. Snarky's CDs are unpacked. Petunia's toys are unpacked. But I'm still attempting to work with my office basically in boxes. At least once a week, I need something that I have to go digging for. I'm tired of it.

And more than that, I just want my books back. They've been packed up since June and I miss them. I still need to get the shelves anchored to the wall and then finish putting the actual shelves in. These are noisy operations, though, so they have to be done on the weekends or early in the evening. I can't do them once the kids are in bed. Once I get this done, I can unpack boxes while the kids sleep.

Maybe we'll make a little more progress tomorrow night. I doubt it, though, because picking where to put the shelves requires input from Mr. Snarky and I am utterly failing to convey to him how much I want this done. He has other priorities. If it doesn't happen tomorrow night, it won't happen until the weekend, because Wednesday and Thursday evening will be given over to making sugar cookie dough (Wednesday) and rolling it out and making cookies (Thursday). I signed up to send undecorated cookies to the decorate-a-cookie party in Petunia's class. Petunia likes baking with me, so this should be fun mommy-daughter time if I don't let my annoyance about the shelves get in the way.

Focus on the good things. It is almost always the best strategy.


  1. Love the cabinet doors! Best of luck with the shelves, that sounds frustrating.

    The Santa thing is hard. I really feel strongly that I don't ever want to lie to my daughter, so right from the start we went with "Santa isn't real, but it is a really awesome 'pretend' game that everyone plays!" which went over really well. Not sure if that's just because she's really into imaginative games, or if this would work with all the kids, but it does mean that you don't have to give up on Santa even once they don't 'believe' anymore.

    1. I think we'll still have stockings and santa gifts once both kids know that Santa is us, but we certainly won't wait in a 2 hour line to meet him!


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