Tuesday, December 25, 2007

holiday traditions

And just like that, it's Christmas Eve. How did that happen? Last time I checked, it was Thanksgiving and we had plenty of year left. Now, it's over.

We had the traditional Christmas Eve with the folks tonight. My mother gives us two gifts on Christmas Eve - pajamas, and a gift she made. The PJ's go back to when we were little and she'd want us to look cute in the Christmas Morning pictures as we opened our gifts. The gift she makes, well she's been doing that for years. When we were little it was dolls she made. I have several handmade dolls in a box in the garage, ready to pull out if I have a little girl. As children, we didn't always appreciate the care and effort she put into making these gifts for us, and they could get lost in the excitement of opening the shiny toys. So she started giving them to us on Christmas Eve, so they became a special part of the holiday and weren't overshadowed by the rest of the frenzy.

This year I received a pair of maternity jammies and a silver bracelet that she made. The jammies look comfy, and the bracelet is gorgeous. I've gotten to the point that these are the gifts I most look forward to every year. I don't need or want piles of "stuff" to open and to add more clutter to my life. The PJ's I wear all year long, and still enjoy ones from years past. The gifts she makes are made with love, and sometimes a sense of humor (like last year's Pillow Cases O' The Season, made of special fabrics specific to holidays and times of the year), and those mean more to me than notepads with my name on them and calendars of places I've been.

Dad brought back an old beloved tradition tonight. My grandmother used to make the most wonderful candy ever - bon bons and peanut brittle. She stopped a couple of years before she died. My aunt has taken up making the bon bons, but no one has been ambitious or brave enough to try the brittle. But something came over my dad this year, and he made several batches. I almost cried when I tasted it - *exactly* like gramma used to make. Light and airy, melt in your mouth goodness. It tasted like Christmas Past.

Next year will be Baby's First Christmas. I'm already thinking about what kinds of traditions I want to pass on to my children. I know that Grandma will do the jammies and the hand made gift for the baby. It's her thing. I would like to find my own thing, something that will be meaningful to my kids as they go through life. My own grandmother used to have us over to bake Christmas cookies, and then to go see The Nutcracker Suite every year. I miss that, actually. Maybe I'll start that again with my kids. I tried going to see the ballet with DH one year, and it just wasn't the same. I think I need to experience it through the eyes of a child once again. I think the magic of the season is best experienced with the wonder of a child. I'm glad to have that coming into my life next year.

Monday, December 03, 2007


I don't think I have ever been this tired in my entire life. Not even in college, when I'd pull all-nighters. Damn. I slept for most of yesterday, didn't even get out of bed 'til about 4. We managed to make it out for dinner, and I had grand ambitions of seeing a movie, but after dinner I was wiped so we just went home. Dozed in front of the tv for a couple of hours, and went to bed. People keep asking me if I'm taking naps during the day, but I'm not quite sure how I'm supposed to do that when I work 9-5:30 with a half-hour lunch.

Something very sad (to me) happened at dinner. We went to Souplantation, and about halfway through my small green salad, I looked at DH and said, "I used to enjoy eating, didn't I?" It's just no fun anymore. I get super hungry, and as soon as anything hits my stomach I feel nauseous. Things that tasted great yesterday turn my tummy just by me smelling them. I don't crave anything - on the contrary, there is absolutely nothing I want.

So I'm exhausted and queasy all the time, and every day I think to myself "I should just call in sick, take the day to rest, not push myself." Then I realize, I'm going to be feeling like this for a while, so I might as well suck it up and deal with it.

My mother told me the other day, "I wish you'd just enjoy this. This is the golden time in your life - I really hope you can enjoy it." Overall, I am. For the most part. When I see that little heart beating, for example, or when I'm thinking about how to decorate the nursery. Just not when I'm doubled over the sink retching, or trying not to fall over I'm so effing tired.