Stayed up way too late last night. I was working on putting holiday presents together. Because money is so tight, I have gotten very creative with gifts. It used to be (before kids) we would set a price limit for each family member and buy and buy until we reached that. Now we set a gift number per family member and I rack my brain coming up with something meaningful for them. My in-laws took us on a family vacation this summer, so one gift is a photo collage of the trip. I took all four kids to the Picture People Thursday and (miracle of miracles) managed to get a photo of all of them looking at the camera with no one making a face or scratching his butt. That's in a frame waiting to be wrapped but is the perfect gift for my sister. And since I used the coupon for a free 8 by 10, it only cost me the price of the frame, which I managed to buy on sale at A.C. Moore. Of course, it also cost me the time and energy it took to get all four dressed, cleaned, to the mall, waiting for the photographer to be ready . . . well, you get the idea. :) My mom's gift is taking a little longer. My sister and I (and my dad and brother) threw my mom a surprise birthday party last month. We had about 75 people there (it was her 60th - had to be big). I'm making a scrapbook of the event, including in it all the "memory cards" we asked people to write while they were there. But even with that, I'm over halfway done. I'm thrilled. Normally I am still working on most of this stuff the week of Christmas. I feel really good about getting so much done so early. But I foolishly stayed up last night, even after I stopped working for the night.
When A started singing at his door (we keep a gate at the boys' door so they can't leave their room) this morning, I was able to convince him to lay down for a little bit more (it was only 6:15!) so I was able to lay down for a little bit more. It was like my human snooze alarm. On the weekend the kids get to have a "picnic breakfast" - they get to stay in their pajamas and eat breakfast while watching tv. So they're eating breakfast and I'm checking in. But now I have to get them more food and run up and grab a quick shower and dress so I can go to work (Sunday School). I'm off!
P.S. Thanks for all the nice comments after my first post. It's nice to know my friends are checking in, even if you won't be regular readers. I appreciate the support.