Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oh, the weather outside is, um, quite nice, actually

Well, after all my angst and grumbling and moaning, it HAS finally gotten cold around here.  It has been cold enough to wear socks and long sleeves for several weeks now, and just in the past few days, it's actually been cold enough for winter coats and hats and whatnot and we had our first overnight freeze.  And oh, how happy it makes me...  I really enjoy cold weather.  Well, moderately cold weather, I guess--  Even I start to feel less cozy when the daytime high temperatures are in the 20s or lower.  But that is not something I shall ever have to face while we live here, so I am enjoying our chilly spurt tremendously.  The air outside feels so bracing and brisk and refreshing, and inside we can have hot tea and things spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon and slippers to keep our feet warm.  Our furnace is finally running and I must admit that I love the way a house smells when the furnace is on.  I know that it is probably the smell of hydrocarbons being burned, which can't truly be a good thing, but to me it smells like coziness and home and wintry loveliness.

It makes me happy that it has finally turned a bit cold when we are all really gearing up for Christmas.  We have been listening to a great deal of Christmas music recently and I've been struck this year by what a large percentage of Christmas songs (more the secular ones than hymns) are all about snow and the weather and whatnot.  It seems strangely unfitting when such a huge chunk of, for instance, the United States population has next to no chance of any snow at Christmastime.  And what about the entire Southern Hemisphere?  Do they listen to "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" and "Let It Snow" and all that in Australia and New Zealand?

Crazy Abbey

Before I was struck down by my UTI (which is doing TONS better) we finally managed to get into our storage unit and retrieve our Christmas decorations, along with some baby stuff we had there.  We went to buy a tree on Sunday and by Tuesday finally had it all decorated.  I am kind of a minimalist about things around the house and have a deep abhorrence of clutter so we don't do much besides the tree and stockings.  Oh, how lovely the tree is, though...  I know it is probably a pagan symbol or whatever but I care not one whit.  The lights, the lovely ornaments, the smell...  Rob's family includes German immigrants of fairly recent origin so they hold fast to the tradition of putting actual candles on the tree and ACTUALLY LIGHTING them on Christmas Eve.  I thought this was utter insanity when I first heard about it, but it is really lovely.  And they are all very responsible about fire extinguishers and not letting their trees get too dried out and whatnot.  So now, we do it too and I'm looking forward to the ritual in another few weeks.

Trimming the Tree

Getting our Christmas decorations at the same time as the infant car seat, the crib, the bouncy seat, etc. has led to some confusion on Grace's part about Christmas.  We have gotten out books and a toy Nativity scene and whatnot for her, but despite this, when Rob asked her the other day why we were celebrating Christmas, she joyfully declared, "Because we got Violet's crib!"  Oh well, she seems to be getting marginally clearer on the idea as the days pass.

The contractions I was having while MONSTROUSLY SICK have largely subsided.  This is good, on the one hand, because it means I am getting much, much better.  It feels slightly anticlimactic, on the other hand, because I would like to have this baby in the relatively near future and it seems like nothing is happening now.  It is just two weeks until my due date (and CHRISTMAS as well, in case you haven't been paying attention) so I shall attempt to sit back in glowing maternal peace and patience.  The baby has dropped lower in my belly and I have more of that classic curvy pregnant figure now (instead of the giant-squashy-abdomen look I've been sporting for months) and I actually am feeling a bit of that mythical rosy pregnant beaminess as what I deduce is my new daughter's tiny baby butt pushes my belly into round asymmetry.  I have not enjoyed the state of being pregnant very much (either time) so it's all rather refreshing and novel.  And really, there is not much time left for me to persevere through heartburn and backache.  And lots of shining, magical good cheer to contemplate in the meantime.



amydove said...

I guess you guys missed the storm Tuesday night? Here in Austin it was a lovely 75 degree sunny day, which then suddenly dropped below freezing in a dramatic fashion, leading to freezing rain and even some honest to goodness snow - flakes and all! Ah, you have to love Texas weather.

Beck said...

It's very MUCH a white Christmas around here - we have distressing amounts of snow.

Kylie said...

Just a lurker delurking to say, yep, we in Australia and New Zealand do get all the classic wintery Northern Hemisphere holiday classics. It sounds weird when you think of how hot and humid our Christmasses are, but when you grow up with the songs, it's just another part of the season!
All the best for the next couple of weeks, and for the birth!


Eva said...

The crossing of the ocean made me miss the news for a few days. I'm glad to hear you are felling better.

I still can't get over the German habit of using real candles. I don't think I could relax at all knowing there are all those lit candles next to all those twigs. I have to say I haven't seen a lit tree so far, they must look very pretty.