Overall, I am SO grateful for this J-O-B experience -- it is with a financial services industry client, which is something I'm quite experienced in, but this company deals in transactions which are completely new to me. My brain hurts every evening because Me No Like No Learning. However, I love the challenge and it certainly helps that it is actually interesting. No, really! Basically, their business is like a financial playground for accountants and it deals with the Also Actually Interesting, No Really! topic of miltary and refuelment activities. All of this is furthered by that the people I work with are generally awesome -- they work hard with minimal horseplay and there is no messing around with silly, useless meetings -- they get their stuff done within a reasonable amount of time. THEN THEY GO HOME. Imagine that! I try to get in around 7 to 7:30 and generally leave by 5:30 or I'm home by about 6pm, 6:30pm at the latest. Not bad. Or at least, I don't think that is so bad. I have never had a better schedule, so for me, this is what qualifies as Not Bad.
However, this J-O-B came at an awful time -- smack dab right before Christmas (Although, admittedly, I paid for our entire Christmas last week with the aforementioned J-O-B. Oh, Henry!) Fortunately, I had enough notice that I was able to finish most of my Obligatory, Not-Fun Christmas stuff -- there were some last-minute gift purchases, furious wrapping of said gifts and some shipping of packages. Still, I was really quite worried about the Obligatory, Actually Fun Christmas stuff. You know, the IMPORTANT stuff.
Friday before last, I pulled Arun out of school for some "family time" so that we could wrap up some of that Obligatory, Actually Fun Christmas Stuff. We visited the Bass Pro Santa, then had some lunch. Normally, we visit the Crown Center Santa, but I simply didn't have time for that this year. And wow -- since Bass Pro Santa utterly blew the boots off Crown Center Santa, all future Santa Visits will be made to Bass Pro. After the Santa visit, we headed to the Union Station for our annual tradition of riding the Holiday Express. I felt a little guilty pulling Arun from school, but we had such a lovely afternoon, I remain unapologetic.
Overall, Team Chaos is handling my working very well. Arun loved going to the daycare last week since it is ran by one of his classmate's mothers. It was a little tougher on Anjali. She did not cry, but was paralyzed with shyness when we went to visit. That is hard to stomach -- watching my normally obnoxious, little hellfire of a girl stiffen with fright. Sigh. I am not sure how long this engagement will last, but it seems I will be onsite for at least 2 more weeks.
If nothing else, my entire little family is getting a little flex in the muscle of Appreciation. Arun has even been HUGGING AND KISSING ME WITHOUT CAJOLING NOR BRIBERY. If you happen to have a little boy in your life, you know how poignent this is.
At the beginning of Christmas, I had made a little Holiday Bucket List for all of the FUN stuff I wanted to fit in (a wee tyke of a Draft that never quite matured enough to be Published). Considering the addition of the J-O-B, we have done pretty good:
- Attend the Liberty Hall Christmas Tree Festival in Lawrence KS ( this always kicks off our holiday season -- tradition!)
- Decorate gingerbread cookies
- Decorate gingerbread houses
- Bake the kifli
- Do some Christmas sticker crafts
- See the Gingerbread House Exhibit in Lawrence KS
- Drive through and see the Plaza Lights (However, Mama ain't crazy enough to try and PARK)
- Do some shopping in Brookside
- Attend the Nutracker Suite performed by the KC Ballet at the Kauffman Center
- Do some shopping in downtown Lawrence (sadly, I had to nix this)
- Make Christmas Crack (post on this is forthcoming)
- Visit Santa
- Attend Average Jane's fantastic Cookie Soiree
- Make a snowflake garland
- Drive through the Neighborhood of Ridonkulous Decorations (seriously, this neighborhood is so over the top that one year, my sister and I nearly got plowed over by a freaking TOUR BUS.)
- Christmas Books Extravaganza (I've posted some of our favorites in this post)
- Christmas Movies Marathon
- Playing outside in the cold, then drinking hot chocolate after (this is something that Arun insists upon doing for some reason)
We still need to make a snowflake garland (I love, LOVE cutting out snowflakes) and do our neighborhood lights cruise.
Fortunately, my family is low-key when it comes to Official Christmas festivities -- we do appetizers/snacks at my dad and step-mom's on Christmas Eve. Then, I host a traditional mid-day dinner on Christmas day where everyone brings a little something. Addtionally, that side of the family is low in the drama-department.
Bring it ON, Christmas.
I'll race you to the next stoplight.
Anjali got all dressed up for her school Christmas concert and willingly posed. What a treat, baby girl!
It just wouldn't do, otherwise.