I can't keep up. With some things, yes. Some, no.
Christmas time is always extra busy. I LOVE Christmas! I miss Advent at my church, yet, I feel conflicted about ever returning there (and had intended to visit another church yesterday yet M needed more sleep and I was trying to get stuff done, even while I should find more time for Christ, too). We will go to Christmas Eve services, however. We love it there. We'll likely go with my mother/stepfather to services at their newer church, too, but there is nothing quite like how the magic of Christmas spirit is at our church.
I'm so behind, even on the two, yes only two, Christmas cards I'd intended to mail out. After I got over the nice but too unrealistic idea that I'd send Christmas cards out to everyone who'd expressed greetings of some fashion or another when my father passed. Yeah right, I could hardly find cards I liked this year, and I've not gotten cards out but minimally ANY year since M's birth.
The third Christmas card had to wait until after my mom's December birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!!!). I had intended to bake her a cake, then buy a really great tasting one I'd gotten to sample, get her flowers plus gifts. Nicely, we postponed thee celebration to later this week when her favorite restaurant is open. We had her birthday card in plenty of time, somehow, and one gift. I had her SRO 2007 sweatshirt all folded and ready to bring her, forgot it. (She was polite in her annoyance at that. Is she grasping the stress I've been under and trying to dissipate, or was she just happy from church, and to see M again? I actually enjoyed our visit yesterday, and was glad to talk some with Bob, too.)
M complained about her selection of clean pants (jeans or cords) on Friday. She who complains, gets to start doing more laundry! Hehe. She had the singing portion of her Cinderella auditions, and wanted to look nice (she did), the reading audition the day before. Yeah, okay, she's also grown more, and one pair had a zipper break. I did pick her up two pairs on Friday lunchtime, that sigh, do NOT fit and need returning now. M's grown too tall for the older girls section, and isn't quite yet tall enough for some pants selections in the junior selections.
We were also both hormonal oh joy we're in synch now.
The previous weekend, with M away, I slept Saturday; it felt good to not interact with the world and regroup. I joked with my aunt that what I wanted for Christmas was a way to keep the water in the tub warm for as long as I wanted. Sunday, though, I started missing Dad and M, and feeling overwhelmed with what I had to catch up on from having been away the previous weekend and then a full week of, well, work and M's school and schoolwork. I didn't get laundry or other things done I'd intended. I'm allowed a day of the duldrums just gosh, I don't have the time for that!
I did make it out to Target that Sunday evening, which felt almost as if I was intruding on the workers restocking and straightening the store. Glad I got out in fresh air (more rain), without too many people. We had gifts needed and likely pet food. My dance group's fantastic Christmas party was last week, with singing of carols and a fun gift exchange. It's NOT to be missed. It was such a struggle to get organized sufficiently to GET to, but as always was well worth it (gifts, food, clothes! where ARE my Christmas sweaters/ turtlenecks I still don't know).
Since before our trip to Atlanta, we've been re-looking at "the next 4 years," aka, high school options. Admittedly, I've been researching that for years. I even spent a lot of time this past weekend talking with parents, even though the decision time for applying for magnet school programs is gone. (At least I know we're not moving into Dad's house, a different high school district, nor are we going private school.) Still, this was too important of an overall decision, some of M's input was not realistic to truly consider and I'd explain to her why, and some were really good points I had to consider. I felt so behind and rushed this fall, so caught up in my father's things and the other details of M's current schooling (what good points DOES the "annoying" boy have for affirmations they'll all get, what gift for Toys for Tots should she bring, how is alleluia spelled and why does the ending differ from the word hallelujah, papers and science seminar on, ironically, adolescent brain development and sleep requirements, and what cereals for her presentation, and fantasy football continuing, and the really great detailed job she's doing on her mermaid marionette along with it's weekly development). FYI --
We DID decide, in time, to NOT have her apply for ANY of the great public high school magnet programs (ends up, she only had an interest in the one -- she herself tried to shadow someone a year ago but they somehow won't let people visit the programs until after applying, huh?). I was a bit disappointed, yet her home high school is not only close by, it is a good school. Putting pressure on my ADD child to finish her homework, even non-challenging homework, within the time limits non-ADD children can, is not realistic. Having her get up almost 2 hours earlier than currently, to catch a bus to get to the other high school with the International Baccauleaurate (sp!) program, 5 days a week, or drive that much further from her dad's home on those mornings, would have her TOO sleep deprived. It's not realistic. Don't think I haven't been talking with teachers and parents and students THERE these past several years, also. Last? week's The Washington Post (or Gazette but I think "the" Post), showed details of The Challenge Index. Tests and rankings cannot and do not show the entire pros or cons of a school. I'm still pleased. M's home high school is still within the top 3-5% of high schools in the NATION for percentage of students / # of IB and AP tests taken. It has a great drama department she's already interested in, good AP programs, an equestrian club, sports and such, knows some others who will attend just likely not in the same classes, right HERE. Her current principal agrees with me on my assessment, of the sleep requirement and the home high school, pointing out a Ulysses or Oddyseey program, something. This principal knows M well. M will do fine, nah, she'll do GREAT!
We used to read a Christmas book nightly, listen to Christmas cd's, some in particular one that follows along with a book, and/or sing carols before M went to sleep. I need to re-institute some of that. At least she's had an Advent calendar up, and she decorated a tree with lights and garland and plastic ornaments (safer with the cats). I found the wreath holder ha. The season is here NOW, it's both hard to face this year, and something I wish to get absorbed into.
So much of my dad's stuff to deal with.
Sometimes, life itself is a struggle.
An ADD example of M's: she had a bit second draft literary analysis paper due today on the book Secret Life of Bees. She worked on that last Wednesday and last Thursday, me worried as it was originally due last Friday. M thought she told me it was changed to today. After hours spent on that, she remembers she needs to do something for FRIDAY. Friday day, M works more on her re-write. I am so glad that she's dedicated and wants to stay on top of her homework and do well with it. At the end of the day, she'll go to the "board," and verify what school work she has the following day or upcoming, and make sure she brings home those folders / schoolbooks. Except Friday, she'd put her paper back in her locker, not enough time to get it into her folder, so it was left in her locker. Nicely, "the barn" is co-located, and someone had a key, and she got her paper. We DID have what she wrote up to Thursday night electronically, yet she'd made a lot of changes since. Earlier last week, M had a retake of her Algebra test (hoping to get that A instead of the solid B). She KNEW what to do, she MEANT to do it, but she simply forgot to go back and shade in a quadrant. Oy.
I'm going off on a tangent. AH, well. Rambling, I know.
The power was out at my mom's last night, but is on now. The winds were up to 50 mph. The weather's been a factor lately in many lives, and I've wanted to write something about that.
And about the other corn-syrup eggnogs we found and taste-tested.
And the movie, p.s. I love you -- great movie, btw!!! M danced at a preview / premiere showing of it one night last week, then we were invited to stay and watch it. It's not released officially until December 21st. "We laughed, we cried," said another dance parent. Three great men in it oh yeah that was nice to see, admittedly. Hillary (Hilary?) Swank? is great. It's not as cutesy lighthearted as the previews make it seem. It IS okay for almost 13-year olds, except perhaps the quite backside shot of the cute guy from Grey's Anatomy whose character had been the fiance of Katherine Hiegl's (sp) character. Anyway, in some ways, it's a primer on how to grieve, and move on. That was helpful for me, who IS moving on while it takes time, too, and that's all okay.
E-mails? Alerts? Ha. I MEAN to. I like staying in touch with my friends online here. I'm finding I just cannot like I wish to. Not right now. So forgive me if I've missed your journal lately, or your e-mail with a subject line looking like a journal alert.
I'm way behind. Sometimes, I feel as if I cannot keep up. Sometimes my head feels in a vise without the intensity of pain, as if it needs caffeine or something to soak in, and get the neurons or whatever working properly again. Then I relook at things -- and [take some minute charge] make homemade applesauce, or M made thee really great peppermint bark in a pinch while I waited over an hour to rent a car for the weekend, did I mention mine is dying again??? (even her big crush asked her details on how to make the peppermint bark! while they were otherwise SILENT (sitting apart) in the back seat lol). I'm getting a handle on important things again, like clean laundry. And touching base with some. It's bit of a handle. I'm trying. Just forgive me, please, if I don't "get there," and know I'm trying to balance our lives and not struggle TOO much while doing so. Know that if I've visited and cared about you and your life in the past, I don't care any less now. IM me if you see me on, and if I have time (as I keep AOL up in the background often), I'd be happy to chat.
While I have the service station to call and a store to return those not-fitting pants I got for M as I need the money back......... among other things, but I'm trying to keep the to-do list short enough so that I can accomplish SOMETHING on it! Really, don't put EVERYTHING on it or it's overwhelming and who knows where to start. Break it down into smaller things.