Speaking of barely keeping things above water... the schedule probably could have a few more things crammed into it, but it would take a crowbar.
Penny has a half-day today, and tonight we'll probably do our usual Friday night shindig with the Hegemony. Tomorrow, Jenn and Brian are coming into town to do some shopping and then stopping to visit with us afterward. Matt has his D&D game, so he'll probably miss some of their visit, but that'll be okay. They can help me take the kids out to dinner and then we'll figure out something to do once the kids are in bed.
Sunday, so far, has no plans. I'm hoping against hope that the Christmas cards I ordered will arrive today or Saturday so that I can spend part of Sunday signing and addressing them and they can go in the mail on Monday. And I did kind of promise Penny that I'd take her out shopping to try to find some fancy shoes to go with her Christmas dress. I'm not sure when that will happen, but I'm betting on either Saturday or Sunday this weekend.
Next week, I have two doctor appointments on the books, plus I'll probably have to schedule a bloodletting so that my GP will refill my synthyroid prescription.
Then, next weekend, I've got my book club meeting/Christmas party on Friday night, and then nothing on Saturday (except probably doing Christmas cards, if they don't arrive in time to do them this weekend, and shipping those gifts that need to be shipped -- which means we should probably get a move on the last of our gift shopping -- and a box or two of stuff to Matt's mom in advance of our trip, like some presents for the gang there, and we can fill extra space in the box with some of our bulkier clothes), and then Sunday Matt's taking Penny to a local production of The Nutcracker ballet, followed by dinner at my folks' to celebrate Alex's birthday (for which I need to acquire a cake).
And the following Wednesday, Alex and I both have appointments with the ear/nose/throat doctor at the same time that Penny has her quarterly checkup with the endocrinologist, and then she has a half-day of school. We'll spend that night and Thursday morning packing stuff, and then pretty much right after lunch that Thursday, we're off to Richmond to catch our flight to Chicago. (Which should be a hoot, as the flight was already slam-packed full when I booked it in September, and I couldn't get ANY seats together. We'll be relying on the kindness of surrounding strangers to swap around so that the kids can sit with us.)
Matt has been trying to impose some level of organization on our time in Chicago, but my impression is that he's getting a lot of, "Oh, let's just wait and see" responses, so... not so much. I'm trying to stay out of it, for the most part. I'm just chalking those 9 days up to a blur of alternating running around and trying to keep the kids from getting so bored that they wreck his mom's house, and otherwise letting the chips fall as they may.
We're coming back from Chicago on the 30th (at least our seats are all together on that flight), and then on the 31st we'll "do" a mid-day Christmas with my family and end up at the Hegemony to ring in the New Year. (I've promised Penny she can try to stay up until midnight this year. We Shall See how that goes -- and whether I manage to stay awake that late, myself.)
And then I'll have the 1st and the 2nd of January to catch up on sleep, unpack our bags, try to figure out where all the new loot fits, and start un-decorating the house.
Somewhere in all that, we need to find a time to match schedules and meet up with KT and Kevin and Jess so we can give them their presents (and I can get the stuff I ordered from KT's thirty-one show). I need to get some occasional exercise, stay on top of everything at work, finish editing the story I'm working on, and gin up a couple of promotional blurbs for my publisher. I also need to do something with an assortment of vegetables and fruits in my kitchen before they start to go bad on me, and I'd really like to try out the all-edges brownie pan that Karen sent for my birthday. (Maybe Alex will get brownies in addition to cake for his birthday. Just 'cause.)
What I'm saying is -- if I miss a day or two of posting in the next couple of weeks, don't worry; I'm not dead, just insane. And between the 22nd and the 3rd, you probably shouldn't expect to hear from me at all, though I may manage a post or two via my phone. My twitter account is much more likely to see semi-regular posts, if you find yourself saddened by the silence here.