So I've been feeling overwhelmed and stressed and depressed and lots of other awful things lately. Mostly while I'm at work. Yesterday was particularly bad, actually. There were moments throughout the day when I just wanted to say "you know what? I just can't do this any more. See ya." but I didn't because I did the math and I don't think we could afford it, plus I really should discuss that sort of thing with Bill first.
Finally the day finished and I went and got my kids and the day began to improve.
For one thing, on the ride home, out of nowhere, Alex announced "You're a banana sandwich, Mommy!" He said it like it was some secret I'd been hiding and he'd figured it out and thought it was pretty amusing.
Later on, after we'd been home for a while, and the kids were settled down doing something relatively safe, I got the mail.
And there it was. My "House on the Hill" catalog. (I'd link to it but my computer's being weird and I could lose this post so I'll do the linking later…) House on the Hill is a company that makes and sells springerle molds, among other things. I've posted a recipe for them somewhere in my recipes category. I need to restructure that section, now that I'm thinking about it.
Anyway, it brought me a much-needed change of focus. Here it is, October, and guess what, it's time to start planning the Christmas cookie baking. YAY!!! I don't know how to explain how happy that made me, and then, the more I thought about it, mentally planning who I need to bake for, and how many batches I'll need of the different recipes…and I realized, this year will be BETTER than the previous years!!! I can do MORE!!! I can go back to doing some of the more time-consuming decorated giant cookies that I used to make YEARS ago! I can make those really cool gingerbread cookie BOWLS like I did about, oh, probably ten years ago….I HAVE TO START MAKING LISTS!!!
I couldn't sleep last night. I know I sound nuts. It's just cookies, after all. But no, it's way more than cookies. It's creativity, for one thing. It's COOKIES, for another. It's traditions. It's the holidays. It's me showing off, probably. But none of those things compare to the biggest thing of all – the thing that makes all the other elements so VERY possible this year:
My kids are toddlers.
Both of them.
I loved both of their babyhoods – I'm not dismissing that section of their lives. I sort of miss it, when I see little tiny baby clothes at the stores. But. Now. They can play by themselves. I don't have to carry either one of them everywhere all the time. They mostly sleep through the night, which means so do I. In short – I have more time and more freedom. I need a little of that right about now.
And another fun thing – Alex helped me last year, cutting out the almond stars. He will help again. And maybe Julia can help too…though I can just see her just ignoring the whole "helping" aspect and grabbing blobs of dough off the table and shoving them into her gaping maw as fast as she can….
But still. I am wound up now. If I didn't have to work today, I would have stayed up last night making my lists – of cookies, of ingredients, of people I'll send these to or bring them to, of other stuff I need (cookie tins, for one thing…)…ah, the bliss of lists.
We'll bake some cookies this weekend, me and Alex. You know, for practice.