Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Mommy: Grinch or Spirit Master?

The holiday season brings so many wonderful things, but also a great deal of craziness!  I like to start the holiday season by decorating on December 1st.  This is also the day we cut down our tree and put it up.  I am a stickler for staying with tradition, so it did not matter to me that we had a three hour birthday party on the 1st.  I was determined to fit everything in.  Nonetheless, someone should have reminded me that not only do I have an exuberant almost four year old, but also a very mobile, curious, almost ten month old.  Let me sum up December 1st this year:  INSANE.  We rushed to get ready for the birthday party, went to the party, went home to get Hubby's truck, drove to the Christmas tree farm, searched for a tree in the cold, finally found a suitable one, cut it down, dragged it out, went home, moved toys, furniture, etc., to make room, ran the vacuum, had T Bear watch Mad Man so Hubby and I could carry it up the stairs and into the house, secured it, began decorating, and then we had to take a break.  Exhausting.  Hubby went hunting.  I got Mad Man to sleep, put a movie in for the Bear and breathed a little.  Three days later the tree was finally finished. Although, several ornaments were broken in the process and are still waiting to be repaired.

Decorating the house has been a slow process.  Clearly, I did not help put the decorations away last year, since I was the size of a house and became out of breath with the slightest exertion.  I wish I had.  We still haven't located all of the decorations, but on the bright side I found some of my missing Halloween decorations in our search.  Our Elf on the shelf, Eli, was missing completely.  After many discussions and a grid search of the house Hubby, who was convinced that Eli was in a drawer somewhere, finally researched the basement and located one final Christmas box and lo and behold Eli was in there!  Note to self: never let Hubby be in charge of putting decorations away again.  After several days of slow going decorating - while chasing around the Mad Man, the house is decorated.  So now that the house is decorated, although my favorite singing lamppost, singing snowman, and singing Bing Crosby are yet to make it to the living room, we can have fun.  Wrong.  Think again.

This season it seems that Mommy has become synonymous with kill joy.  T Bear is beyond excited.  Okay maybe starting the celebration December first is a bit much for a three year old, but hey she was fine with it last year.  So I find myself saying, "Honey you need to calm down."  "Calm down please."  "I know you are excited, but I need you to calm down."  "Okay.  Time out for three minutes, you are not listening."  "You need to calm down."  The poor kid just wants to dance around, chase the dog, and throw her Christmas ball around the house.  What is the problem with that?

Another problem: I like to keep the house somewhat picked up, especially considering the amount of real estates our oh so fat tree takes up.  So I have to be the pick up police constantly.  Then there is Santa.  So the day of the holiday kick off parade (Thanksgiving weekend) it was freezing and we watched anyway, but there was no way I was going to have these munchkins wait in the long line to see Santa.  So, I promised we would come back.  Meltdown number one.  Then we went to see a free movie.  I think it is a cool event for kids to do, and it was supposed to be Santa Claus is Coming to Town, much to my dismay Jack Frost came on the screen instead.  Not appropriate.  So Mean Mommy distracts and promises more fun if we leave, minor meltdown but T cooperates and leaves.  Then there is the lighting of the tree ceremony.  Well, I should have checked the weather, because under any normal circumstances I would not have taken my kids out in twenty eight degree frigid temperatures; I did not check the weather so off we went.  So we get to Main Street and see the reindeer, peek at the alpacas and head to Ruffino's to have dinner.  At this point it is clear that we will miss the actual tree lighting.  Oh well.  After we eat, we head back out, me thinking we will just look at some stuff while we head back to the van, my excited T Bear thinking this is when the fun begins. So meltdown again when Mean Mommy says, "No we are not going to see Santa tonight", once again super long line and freezing temps.  Then she spotted the horse and wagon ride and desperately wanted to go on it. Me thinking about poor Mad Man freezing, not to mention T and the rest of us, and said no.  Well the waterworks began and I was reminded by my mother that she is three and wants to do something fun and that all she hears is me saying no.  Point taken.  So I offer to go on the ride.  I mean how long can it be?  Well, we find the spot and of course the line is ridiculous.  We are all freezing, so I distract her and promise fun another time.  She complies and we go home.  Now I am feeling a ton of guilt over squashing her fun.

When exactly will we have holiday fun?  This really gets my mind racing.  What is the point of doing all of these things?  Aren't I doing them to bring enjoyment to my babies?  Well, we have several more holiday events planned and my goal is to not be grinchy mommy but be the fun mommy I envision.  Wish me luck.

High:  Experiencing the wonder and excitement of the holiday season with my babies.
Low:  Forgetting to stop and ENJOY all of the wonder and excitement of the holiday season.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Month of Thanks

I've heard of people doing this but I have never tried myself, so here goes.  This month I am going to be mindful every day and focus on the things I am thankful for.  Here is a compilation of all the things I was thankful for this month, some are frivolous, some heartfelt, but all truthful.  Honestly, if I could do this every single day of the year my overall perspective would probably be much more positive - something to keep in mind and strive for!

1.  Savoring the last piece of birthday cake (after witnessing the most astronomical meltdown I have seen courtesy of T Bear).

2.  The way a great hair cut can make you feel beautiful.

3.  Watching Mad Man light up when he sees his big sister come down stairs in the morning.

4.  Seeing the love my T Bear has for her Mima and Poppi.

5.  The Penguin warehouse sale.  Amazing:  we bought forty three books and only paid seventy two dollars!

6.  Cable TV. After trying to downsize our cable bill we have given in and have cable again.  I love to unwind to my favorite shows:  Revenge, Parenthood, and Castle are definitely at the top of the list.

7.  The past nine months with Mad Man.  He is the sweetest, most cuddly little man around.

8.  Watching T Bear play with her grandma.  She absolutely loves it!  Especially being the boss!!

9.  So thankful for the love and support of family and that we waited until we were ready to start a family!

10.  Dance.  I know the love and passion I have for the art of dance and I love that T Bear is enjoying her first true introduction to dance.

11.  Thankful for the country we live in.  Especially thankful for the men and women who have served and are serving our country.  So much admiration for these brave, selfless individuals.

12.  The Fly Creek Cider Mill.  So much fun.  Feeding the ducks, sampling yummy products, and of course the apples and cider.  Bonus:  Mad Man ate an apple!  T Bear tried blueberry jam!

13.  One word:  Mama!  Mad Man uttered this today for the first time.  There is nothing like the sound of your baby saying your name!  Especially since it is his first word!

14.  Watching Mad Man cruise along the couch for the first time!

15.  Listening to T Bear "read" a story; she is so animated, creative, and most definitely humorous!

16.  Having a pediatrician I trust and feel comfortable with.  She listens to me and doesn't judge (even when I tell her Mad Man is STILL sleeping with me).  Love her!

17.  Kindness.  I love the feeling you get when you do something nice for someone and they so did not expect it and vice versa.

18.  Arts and crafts.  I try to do something creative with T at least once a week and she loves it (generally).  This week we are making turkeys with a kit I bought.  It is so awesome to see how her mind works, and to see her exploring her creative side.

19. A clean house.  At this stage of the game this is a rare commodity, but I do love an organized, freshly dusted and vacuumed home.

20.  Pictures.  I am obsessed with taking pictures and then ordering them from Snapfish.  I am definitely documenting every little moment.  Honestly, pictures help me feel like I am capturing moments in time that are flying by.  If you could see my living room walls you would see how I have covered them with photos.  Love it!

21.  Shopping.  I LOVE shopping.  I so enjoy buying gifts for people (especially my little angels!); it is so much fun!  (Somehow, I don't think Hubby agrees!)

22.   Thanksgiving dinner.  Seriously, does it get any better than an elaborate turkey dinner?

23.   My Stets!  The only time I get to go back to sleep is when my sister is visiting!  That extra hour of sleep is AMAZING!  So is she!

24.   Santa parade!  In spite of the frigid temp, and the flakes in the air, we ventured out to the parade and T loved it!  Mad Man didn't really know what was going on, but he was a trooper none the less!

25.   Seeing how much my babies love their Auntie!  We only get to see each other about once a month due to geography, but they adore her!  T gets really upset when she leaves.

26.   Nap time.  Although T gave up napping, during Mad Man's naps I can get stuff done on the computer, and can color uninterrupted with T Bear (even with Mad Man asleep in my arms)!

27.   Mickey Mouse.  T Bear still loves him and Mad Man gets super excited whenever he sees him!

28.  The sweetness that T shows Mad Man.  Granted this sweetness is not exactly a consistent occurrence, but when it does occur it is truly beautiful.  Today, he was trying to stand on his own and she put her arms around him and helped him.  They were just standing there in an embrace.  Aah.

29.  Friends that you can pick up with the same place you left off.  I find maintaining friendships challenging with two little ones, so I am especially grateful for those friends that you know will be there for you and vice versa.

30.  The anticipation building for the holidays!  T Bear is beyond excited now; I can only imagine what this month will bring!

High:  Focusing on the good that life has to bring.
Low:  Realizing that the rest of the year I do not always focus on the positive.