Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas mayhem...

Well, my family, as wonderful as they are, have managed to put a crimp in my typically last-nanosecond (hey, the tree only went up yesterday, haha) preparations for the big event. Because my sister's son and stepsons will be celebrating on Christmas Day with their "other" families (oh, divorce, how you complicate matters), our family celebration--complete with turkey dinner and at least a portion of the gift-unwrapping--will be done Christmas Eve. This means I have ONE DAY to finish all the shopping and wrapping, instead of two. And I work at 5 on the 23rd, wheeeeee! Should be a fun day. :)

I haven't even counted the gifts I've managed to get for each kid (they should each have an equal number of presents under the tree, even if I have to wrap socks and underwear, dammit), so I'm not sure who I even have to buy for in the morning. But I did manage to get a few things I need for myself to wrap and put under the tree, so the kids won't feel I've been completely left out on the big day. (I'm usually ruthless about denying myself material things, but hey, it's freaking Christmas and I could use some nice, 300 thread count, 100% combed Egyptian cotton sheets, so what the heck. Hang the expense.)

This will be my first Christmas here in Edmonton in over a decade, and I can't freaking wait. But as much as I like having family around, the weather has been brutal. I think temps have averaged out at about -15C for the last six weeks or so, and my car is covered in crud and salt from the roads. Lugging stuff in from the car to the house leaves me hypothermic, my fingers stinging from the cold, even through gloves. Lugging it back to the car, all wrapped and nice, just to lug it into my parents' condo won't be fun, either. But it will be worth it. :)

Frankly, a turkey dinner cooked by someone else, with the dishes going into someone else's dishwasher? I can't even imagine what that's like. And we're having ham at my sister's on Christmas Day, too, even if we'll be three kids short. Two evenings of wine and comfort food, family and Christmas spirit, and no mess in my house...that's freaking priceless.

Next year is soon enough for me to have everyone over to my house. I still have renoes to finish in order to make this place liveable (oy), and I'll hopefully be in a better position to dictate days off with my employer by then. And maybe next year I won't leave everything to the last possible moment, too. But I don't think so, lol.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

busy busy busy

So I was out all morning yesterday, but my amazing 15-y/o daughter fielded the delivery confirmation call from Leon's, gave the guy directions to the house, reviewed the invoice, and had her older brother sign for the bunk beds that arrived while I wasn't here. (Yet somehow she can't manage to throw her granola bar wrappers in the trash, even when the trash can is 4 inches from the table where she's left the pile of wrappers. Hmmm.....)

So now I will spend my day moving furniture, lugging the rest of the scrap from the wet bar out onto the back patio (to be carted away in the spring when the condo board brings back the "big bin"), and putting the boys' bed together. And working at 5, as usual.

Also spent my morning sorting out my money, trying to figure out how to juggle bills and stuff from my 4 bank accounts at 3 different banks (necessary, between rental income, debt payment and my US income, but annoying and a little confusing to keep track of, all the same).

My daughter's computer finally died the other day, so now I not only need a new one for my oldest (his planned x-mas gift, to replace the one he's outgrown), I need to look into a laptop for her if I ever want to get 5 minutes on my own computer again. So Christmas will be a little more pricey than I'd thought--but still essentially workable.

My sofa looks awesome, and I managed to fit it into the available space without having to rearrange everything in the room, which is cool. And it had a little bit of damage on the upholstery, so I called and they gave me a 15% discount on it--preferable to having another one delivered, and then having my kids end up doing the same amount of damage in the space of a week, no? Nicest thing about it is the lack of squabbling over couch space, though I'm sure they'll find something else to pick at each other about soon enough, lol.

Now that the wet bar is out of the way, the amount of space downstairs is HUGE. At least compared to what it was. The old sofa should fit there perfectly, and I'm planning a built-in computer desk that will serve all the kids. It should be a nice place for them to hang out when it's done (drywalled and painted)--less like a squat in a condemned building and more like an actual, you know, room. And finishing it will up the value of my sister's place, which will make me feel better about her giving me a break on the rent.

I'm getting lots of shifts at work--more than I really want or need--but at the same time, I do need to get a pot together for Christmas, so I'm letting that slide a bit. It's going to be busy over the next few weeks, but I'll manage. :)