And The Smells of Christmas All Through The House

Remember those days when you looked forward to Christmas break?  When you new you could plow through those last weeks of torture because there would be a couple weeks off to look forward to?  *Sigh* I miss those days.  Munchkie's Daddy has made it to that point in time and now gets to sit back and relax for a few weeks (ha ha ha) after working for over thirty hours straight on his last paper of the semester.  I however, on the other hand, get to cram and work and pull everything together only to get to fit full work weeks into all of the holiday craziness.  The last few days I have been completely stressed out over getting those last few packages sent out and mailing out our Christmas cards.  Do you know how difficult it is to get a family picture when you don't really know anyone? Our first attempt in the dark, using the self timer was a complete disaster and it took a while before we could make another attempt.

The last couple days our couch has been my station for cards and packages.  I have been putting together, folding, stuffing, addressing and stamping all of the cards.  Unfortunately, all of this does not put me in the Christmas spirit, but instead just makes me frustrated.  So I needed to find something that would help me relax while I was getting all of this together.  Something that would really make my house feel like Christmas.

In comes my stove top potpourri.  We have been eating oranges like crazy now that they are in season so I put the rinds of the oranges we have eaten in a pot with a few cranberries (I have a bag of them in the freezer and I add a few to drinks instead of ice cubes) and some spices and soon my house smelled like Christmas.  I highly recommend trying this for a wonderfully smelling house without any effort at all.

Stove Top Potpourri

  • The peels of a few oranges/clementines
  • A handful of cranberries
  • A cinnamon stick broken into pieces
  • A small handful of whole cloves
  • A few whole allspices
  • A whole nutmeg (I put it in a plastic bag, pounded it with something and tossed the pieces into the pot)
  • Water to fill the pot at least halfway

Bring everything to a boil and then immediately turn down to low to simmer. Add water as needed to keep the scent going.
If only you could smell how amazing it is.  Just imagine that steam is Christmas filling your house (or small apartment).

The wonderful smell in my apartment was just the motivation I needed to finish everything up and make it to the post office in plenty of time.  Now, I just have to finish up the last few batches of homemade presents and I'm all set and ready for the holiday rush of working, family and food.


Sleep Laughing

Everyone deals with stress in their own way.  I know when Munchkie's Daddy is stressed because he talks in his sleep.  When we first got married and he was having difficulty finding a job he would yell out in what I can only assume to be Albanian (his college roomate would say the same thing in college).  I've been working nights for a few weeks now so we are very rarely sleeping at the same time.  I hadn't noticed him sleep talking until the other night.  He started laughing and laughing.  I wish that I could have known what was so funny.  Last night he started talking nonsense again- his usual stress trend.  The problem is that my stress trend is that I have a difficult time shutting my brain down.  Once I am wakened for whatever reason, I cannot fall back asleep because my brain goes on turbo mode.  I cannot shut it off no matter how hard I try.  This is not a good combination with a  sleep laugher or sleep talker.  Oh and I tend to eat everything in site and then this lovely array of zits graces my face.  So obviously I don't handle stress very well.

I really appreciate my marriage and the equality we have.  I rely very heavily on Munchkie's Daddy to do a lot of the "women's jobs" in our family.  We don't have a very conventional life and so we can't have conventional roles.  So it shouldn't be a huge surprise to me that at the end of each semester things kind of start to fall apart in our home.  Munchkie's Daddy's stress rubs off on all of us.  Then my few weeks of nights doesn't help the matter, weird sleep patterns only cause more problems.  Needless to say, we have a lot of dirty dishes, a counter full of half made Christmas presents and I really can't tell you the last time a homemade meal was made in our house (we barely got a Christmas tree up, and couldn't do the rest of the decorations).  We have been grocery shopping for essentials and food to help us get by.  This means a lot of yogurt and fruit because when I'm at work, mac and cheese is a staple and take out gets us by the few nights I'm home.  I really appreciate all Munchkie's Daddy does and realize how much he does to hold our family together.  I seriously could not do it without him and don't really like when he can hardly do more than write papers. 

Stress is the only excuse that I have for not having posted for a ridiculous amount of time.  There were so many things going on in our lives that I had to cut something out.  I think because I wasn't feeling very creative or like a very good mom I couldn't think of anything to blog about.  It was almost to much to just do day to day functions, anything above and beyond was just too much.  So now I'm back (and yes, the last paper is due on Tuesday, so that helps). And I'm going to try to be more regular.