28 December 2007


Edited to add:  Thanks, ladies, for all the lip advice!  We've decided it was probably an allergic reaction--to undecorating, maybe?  And now, thanks for a whopping dose of Benadryl and a follow-up of Claritin, it's gone. :)  12/30/07

There is a moment in any undertaking when you realize you've started something bigger than you can finish, and you want to run away. That's how I feel every year when I take down the Christmas decorations. This time, the moment came at about 6 p.m.--seven hours after I had started, when I was still in the same pajamas from the night before, sans makeup (What's the point of makeup if you're still wearing yesterday's clothes?), watching the boys mourn as I took down the Christmas tree ornaments. Caiden wrapped his skinny arms around the front half of the tree, sobbing, while Grayson pointed at the bare mantle in horror wailing, "Look, Brother! It's all gone. It's all gone!" Talk about feeling like the Grinch.

Not one to be deterred by crying (After all, I haven't had a day without somebody crying in 76 months straight and counting), I continued to yank the ornaments off the tree. I reminded the boys that they were eating pizza, after all, and watching a cartoon, and that they should save their sadness for later. I didn't have time for drama; I was on a roll.

So now it's 10:30, almost 12 hours after I began, and I'm still in pajamas, still without makeup, and looking worse by the second. I remembered at dinner that I had forgotten to eat breakfast or lunch and marveled that I wasn't even that hungry. Panic and frenzy can do that, you know. I wish I could have a little bit more of that, without the actual panic and frenzy. The decorations have all been removed, but they're in various stages of disarray, spread out all over the hallway, up the stairs, and covering the entire room upstairs. They're going to have to be put away, and soon, but I don't have it in me tonight.

Now, if you know me, you know our house isn't enormous, and I'm not still on crutches, so you're probably wondering why it is taking me 12 hours to take down the decorations. Well, it's because I have a fierce love for the clean feeling my house takes on once the decorations are down, and I get in the mood to rearrange the furniture. Which inevitably leads to stripping some rooms to refurnish others, and then I have to scramble to make the naked ones look better, and then I call Chris, who's out running errands, and ask him would he possibly mind buying me two end tables, two armchairs, and some pillows maybe? And hey, a lamp too, if you come across one?

And lo and behold he did! (That's why I always ask; I never know when he might say yes.) So one of the chairs looks really fantastic in the living room, which has never actually had bona fide living room furniture in it, but the other one didn't quite work. So then I had to lug the one out of my bedroom and swap it. And then of course I had to change the entire color scheme of the bedroom accessories. And I still don't have enough lamps. And I could really use something to jazz up the antique chest in the living room, too. This is going to call for another trip to the furniture store tomorrow. You can see how this is a sickness. You can also see why this is taking me so long. And now it's too late to quit. Why I can't ever just put the decorations away, without redecorating half the house, is beyond me. You'd think I'd learn.

To complicate matters, I grew some sort of thing on my lip in the midst of playing with accessories in the dining room. I just felt it start, and then in a matter of minutes it was a large, swollen lump protruding out of my top lip so that I can't smile or it stretches my lip til it bleeds. I sang to Caiden when tucking him in tonight, and he was mesmerized at the growth. Or whatever it is. It's so enormous and face-altering that when I passed a mirror and realized exactly how large it was, I realized that I cannot possibly go shopping for new armchair pillows and lamps unless this thing calms down a little bit.

So I chugged down four teaspoons of Benadryl. And now, as I sit in the new chair for the living room which has actually ended up in my bedroom, I'm feeling a little spacey. And a whole lot less stressed about the two overflowing baskets of clean laundry that need to be folded, the pile of bedroom decor that still needs to be put away, the mountain of Christmas decorations all over the stairs and game room, and--actually, I can't remember the rest. Wow. Benadryl is amazing. In fact, it has taken me four tries to type the name right. Fast-acting, indeed. The bad news is that my lip is still swollen four times its natural size. Maybe I should've tried applying ice, first. It's too late now; I'm feeling myself drift away on the waves of a Bendaryl-induced coma.

And after 12 hours of cleaning, undecorating, rearranging, and lugging furniture around the house, I'm beat. Top that off with a liberal dose of Benadryl, and I'm going to sleep like a baby. This undecorating thing, it's not for wimps.

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