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I’m Still Cute…

And yes he is.  My husband was telling his daughters how before he met me, his existence was barely worth living, dating teenage girls at the mall, having free time out the wazoo, sleeping in when he wanted.  Poor him.  But when he told them he was dating teenage girls at the mall, I had to remind him that he was 20 years old when we met, so it’s not like his 40 something year old self was attracting the cream of the 16 year old crop!  In his disbelief that I would allude to the fact that he might not be attractive to a group of teenyboppers, he asked if he was still cute.  I’ll let you be the overall judge, but I certainly think he is.  You could just melt looking at those dimples….

‘Twas the Day After Christmas

And I’m having a bitch of a time trying to pry my husband’s arse off the chair to go do some after Christmas shopping and exchanging.  I’ve been up since just after 5 AM, thanks to the mystery munchkin, who sneakily crawled into bed with us in the middle of the night.  She may be small, but she takes up an awful lot of room.

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty


Anyway, if I get nothing else, I wanted to stock up on holiday paper goods for the party I insist I am not having next year.  And I love to pick up wrapping paper at 70% off!  I had to pick up a few rolls this year, and hate paying $3 a roll for paper that is going to be ripped and shredded all over the house.

We had a very nice time at my mom’s on Christmas eve.  The girls got some wonderful gifts, and I got a cute leather jacket.  We had my mom’s traditional ham and potato salad, but there was also roast turkey and all kinds of snacks, cookies, and chocolates.  I know why I needed gastric bypass surgery!  We came home to find, as usual, Mrs. Claus has been here while we were away!  She always leaves us one gift to open up on Christmas Eve, and it is always Christmas pajamas for everyone!

The kids actually slept pretty good on Christmas morning.  Eilis and Jim were up first, but it wasn’t long before they were looking for Granuaile and I.

   Little did they know that it’s not a good thing to wake Granuaile before she has had the appropriate amount of unconscious time.

Brighid was the last one to come down the stairs, and she immediately begins regretting asking Mrs. Claus for those cute little boxer short Christmas PJs and wishes she had warm toasty PJs like the rest of us!

The kids all had a great time opening gifts – and it took a good two hours for them to get through the pile!

They’ve been playing Rock Band pretty much non-stop since yesterday afternoon.  I have been praying for an agent to come here and take them on tour.  No, seriously, get these people out of my house! 

We opted not to cook a big meal on Christmas day and have snack foods instead.  It sounded like a good plan to begin with, but it ended up being cook-a-palooza for me!  I made a big breakfast, which I usually do on Christmas day (scrapple, grits, eggs, cinnamon buns); and then made dips, appetizers, cheese platters, grape pizza, and zucchini squares.  It was way more time in the kitchen than it would have been if I had thrown a ham in the oven and kept it there.  But everyone enjoyed the food!

Brighid was the first to fall asleep – on the sofa around 7 PM.  I went up to bed around 8:45, watched a little TV, then fell asleep.  Jim came up after Eilis fell asleep on the chair downstairs, and Granuaile followed.

It was a Merry Christmas – peaceful, quiet, and wonderful fun for the girls.  And that’s really what Christmas is all about.

2008 Christmas Party Wrap Up

Alrighty then.  This is going to be MUCH different from years past, because I was so completely unorganized this year – I know, no difference there – and the party really didn’t come off very smoothly.  Let’s discuss, shall we?


This is my stepmother, Ann.  She will forever be known as my absolute savior and true hero.  I protested this whole party from the beginning.  Not only did we book a cruise at the last minute and spend a week between Florida and the Caribbean, I also spent those 5 days in Florida for my moms panel training.  There was barely time to do the Christmas shopping, let alone the decorating, cooking, and cleaning it was going to take to get the house ready for company.

My stepmother, ON HER DAY OFF, came over and helped me clean the house.  She scrubbed both bathrooms, top to bottom, and left with them sparkling and smelling clean.  All I had to do was throw fresh linens in there and we were good to go.  Then on the day of the party, with me falling behind on everything, she showed up early and not only finished running the sweeper downstairs, she also swept the floors, and helped get everything out and ready.
Were it not for Ann, our guests would have been sitting in dust and clutter, and starving to boot.  I had even enlisted two of Brighid’s friends to help.  They tried.  But they are teenage girls.  Nuff said.
This year, the menu is determined mostly by my mother – who is not even coming to the party!  She won a tailgate party for 30 people from the local grocery store, and because you have to use the food before Christmas, she gifted us with the party food!  Not exactly a holiday menu, but we don’t have to cook some of the stuff, so it’s good.  We had a six foot Italian hoagie, crab bites, hot wings, sodas, chips, potato salad, and a HUGE sheet cake.
I figured since the menu was simple, the old standbys would be good.  We cooked sausage and meatballs, a roast turkey with stuffing (Ann’s recipe – she really had a huge impact on this party – did I mention that yet?), and kielbasa and sauerkraut.  I had all the typical snacks – chips and dips; cheese and pepperoni; shrimp; and a pickle and olive tray.
Desserts I went lighter on due to the enormous sheet cake we had coming in, but still put out a couple of cookie trays, a pumpkin pie, and some cheesecake bites.  We added to that a small sheetcake that Harry and his family brought, and some delicious chrusciki that Aunt Barbara made (using Grandmom Holak’s recipe). 
What went?  Turkey was a favorite this year, and we used about 3 feet of the 6 foot hoagie.  We had nearly a whole crockpot of meatballs and sausage left over, which is rare.  I had almost no stuffing left, and half of the chicken wings were eaten – spicy though they were. 
We went through about half of the sheet cake – but some of that was gifted to people as they left.  Most of the cookies are gone, and the cheesecakes got thrown away.  There was just a bite or two of pie left. 
The plan for next year?  RUN!  This is so hard to do year after year, and Jim wants the big party without participating in the work and preparation for a big party.  As part of my stay at home mom gig, there is some assumption that I am equipped to handle this type of thing.  Nope.  I fell behind in the house cleaning as it was with two vacations right before the holidays, and had mountains of laundry to do.  Granted, Jim washed most of it, but nothing got folded.  Then when you add to the race I was already losing the fact that decorations had to be put up, two Christmas trees decorated, and this party to throw, it’s a lot and it’s overwhelming.  I am going to have to seriously plan out next year’s event if we’re going to have it again – beginning with cooking things in advance weeks before.  And next year, in the absence of his assistance, he’s going to have to hire people.  This is way too much work for me, and Brighid and her friends will be off at college.  If I were a betting woman, I would bet the only way this party is happening is with a good caterer and cleaning crew.