Tuesday, October 31, 2006

one down, five to go

"Busy day" just doesn't seem to cover it.

I had storytime this morning, and it was fun seeing all the kids in their costumes, and the store had set up trick-or-treat stations for them to visit when we were finished. They had a blast. But, the store is in the midst of a major remodel, and the children's section is in complete upheaval -- who knows what it will look like tomorrow, they're supposed to work on it tonight -- so that added a layer of stress. Plus, I do love the little ones, but it's a lot harder to read to and engage toddlers (18 months to 2 years+) with stories and songs than it is with 3 and 4-year olds. When I subbed in the spring, we seemed to have more older kids. This year, it has been mostly babies. That makes it much more of a performance by me, and makes me accutely aware that the parents are focussing as much on me as on their kids, because their kids are mostly not yet capable of joining in the songs and dances, or even answering the simple questions I ask. Tomorrow's will be interesting because I'm still doing Halloween things even though Halloween will of course be over.

Halloween seems to be the one holiday that enjoys a huge build-up with lots of decorations, etc, that just evaporates as soon as the day itself ends. Even after Thanksgiving we've got the big shopping weekend and of course the turkey leftovers, or jokes about leftovers at least. Christmas and Easter linger for days. Somehow, with Halloween, once we hit November 1, it seems subtly wrong to still have a jack-o-lantern. We're done with that now, move along!

Back home, the kids did their homework agreeably before dinner; I took a short revitalizing nap, then spent 45 minutes taking the hem down on DS1's Grim Reaper robe. It was about a foot too short. We decided not to hem it at all, it's a lot more creepy dragging around on the ground, and I frankly do not care that it is a lot more dirty, too. I didn't feel like spending another 45 minutes putting the hem back in. DD's (new, pink) pretty witch costume was cute, and DS2 looked buff in his muscle Spider-Man suit (photos later, I don't want to deal with them now). We had dinner early, and I put out the jack-o-lanterns (that was yesterday's ordeal: the Great Pumpkin Search of 2006. A helpful clerk at Sunflower Market told us about to a pumpkin patch just a few miles away, and DH stopped on his way home from work to get them. Everyone else was out!)

DH took the kiddos trick-or-treating while I distributed the candy. I took a chair and sat outside, there was a little nip in the air but it was really quite pleasant. It was lonely, though. We're on the corner of the cul-de-sac and all the folks in there set tables in the center and do a communal trick-or-treat thing, but I don't go -- I've got those jack-o-lanterns out, and lit, and it just seems weird to have them out and not be home. We had the usual crowds of little kids dressed adorably who were clueless, elementary school-age kids who were having a blast, and teenagers, suprisingly well-dressed this year, who really are too old for this sort of thing. But since I had plenty of candy I didn't turn anyone away.

I did give up at about 7:45, though. At a certain point the only kids we're getting are the ones whose parents drive them around to different neighborhoods. When I saw ten kids pile into the back of a pickup truck, I was done.

So that was the first day of the current Stress Fest. Tomorrow is All Saint's Day, so we're doing Mass first thing, then I have storytime again. Thursday, my in-laws arrive. Before then, I have to clean the guest room and arguably the rest of the house, too. I am not motivated, but I'll get it done. Friday is DD's sleepover party; I have to make pizza and the birthday cake before then. Again: motivation is lacking. Saturday is DD's party up in Scottsdale; all I have to do is drive, but since I don't know where it is, I'm going to have to figure that out well before (tomorrow is a good time, I'm thinking.) Sunday we're thinking of going to the zoo to see the stingrays, but I haven't rsvp'd to the members-only invitation yet, so I hope it's not late. Monday, my in-laws head home and I should theoretically be able to breathe again.

Let me emphasize that my in-laws are great and I am not stressing about them visiting. It's just all the other stuff that is going on coincidentally with their visit -- of course, because they came out for DD's birthday -- that is making me a tad crazier than usual.

So there it is, lots to do, and honestly, plenty of time to do it in, if I stay focussed. So that means very little lollygagging at the computer for the next few days -- or, if I desperately need to decompress, more posting than usual.

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