Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Is a Full Time Job

Things have been all a-bustle around here with holiday preparations, and why not? Nutmeg and I have to do something during the day, so why not make a cranberry-popcorn string (last week), water the tree, open a door on the advent calendar, and -- to be started after naptime today -- make a gingerbread house? Also our holiday cards came in already so Epu and I started scrambling last night to update our Xmas list, which is always a massive administrative task.

We also decided to celebrat St. Nicholas Day this year, something Epu's family always did growing up. Except that both of us thought YESTERDAY was Dec. 5 so we are a bit ahead of the game. We borrowed a custom from mamazilla (mamazilla.blogspot.com) and had Nutmeg put her letter to St. Nick in her stocking last night. Then in the morning she checked to see if it was gone and found one small gift in there -- a stamp kit that kept her busy all morning. She loves stamps.

We also have a Xmas event scheduled every single weekend until the big day. That started this past weekend with the Danish Brotherhood Christmas party up in Kenosha. Nutmeg was pretty subdued during most of the party since it was smack in the middle of her regular naptime, but she got a big charge out of sitting on the big guy's lap. What a difference from last year.


No tears this year

However she was dismayed by the gift Santa gave her at the party, a teddy bear, because, as she had clearly told him, she wanted a pretend vacuum cleaner. She has clearly grasped the idea that Santa has supernatural powers, since she fully expected him to be able to produce her wished-for gift on the spot.

It's 28 degrees out, after dipping into the 20s for a couple days and the single digits at night. I'm actually glad for this early cold snap, because it has shown me that I can cope with the winter weather ok. We have gotten out every day since winter weather descended on Dec. 1, even if it has just been for a quick car trip. And our apartment is toasty warm, even with no storm windows up, which is a nice switch from San Francisco where you freeze indoors most of the winter with no central heat. Also, having radiators means we haven't suffered from the dryness as much as we do when visiting people who have more modern forced air heat systems.

But of course the real challenge of winters here is the duration. Sure, we're fine when the playgrounds have been buried in snow for less than 7 days. Ask me on Feb. 20 or so how we like it.

On the pregnancy front, I'm now 32 weeks along. The back pain I suffered from in my first pregnancy has kicked in in the exact same spot, the upper right side, mainly when Filbertine is digging her foot into my rib cage there, as she is right now. Epu theorizes that Nutmeg created a nitch for her in that spot by popping one rib out of alignment. Indeed, I just felt the area with my hand, and it does feel like the same rib is sticking out like it was last time. On the bright side, the discomfort gives me a chance to practice techniques like deep breathing and hypnosis that will be useful in labor. Another upside is that it makes me realize how grateful I am not to be working a desk job anymore, since even an hour at the keyboard exacerbates the pain.

So with that, I should probably sign off and catch a nap before gingerbread time is upon us.

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