Two days till Christmas!

December 23rd...I can’t believe it!  We’ve been busy with lots of holiday get togethers, crafting, and doing all things Christmas for the past several weeks.  It’s been great!  I’ve actually felt better emotionally in the past month than I otherwise have in a long time.  I think there are several reason for that, but mainly I’ve just been recognizing all that I have to be grateful for.  

My mom, aunt, and cousin’s significant other did some Xmas baking together a few weeks ago.  Margaret and Emily helped roll out the dough and cut some of the shapes for the sugar cookies.  A few weeks after that we did more cookie baking at my bro and sil’s, where Andrew got right into his element with it.  He had missed out on our other baking because we did it during the school day.  

There were several events at Andrew’s school over the holidays, including a play, pajama day, and a pancake breakfast.  The play was interesting, a different sort of concept but the song Andrew and his class danced to was PRICELESS.  Andrew had practiced for at least a month, religiously at home every day after school.  To the point that both of his sisters were also able to do the dance!  James and I went to the afternoon performance and my parents were able to go to the evening one.  

Unfortunately they don’t seem to be allowed to do anything with the word ‘Christmas’ in it at school, which to be honest I find very disappointing.  I don’t feel you have to be Christian or even religious to celebrate Christmas...My family is living proof!  I am not Christian and don’t follow any religion, but I love Christmas, I just don’t understand why it has to be such a big deal.  It’s called ‘Winter Break’, we can’t even call it Christmas Holidays anymore.  There’s something seriously wrong with the world.  But whatever…

We’re all set for the big day!  All gifts are wrapped, the tree is pretty much already full of presents but there are still lots more to put under on Xmas Eve (we have lots of family visiting over the holidays so everyone’s presents are at our house for opening!)  We’re hosting Christmas dinner, a Boxing Day get together, then another family do with James’ side for an overnight on the 29th, and then Andrew’s birthday is on NYE.  It’s a busy time, that’s for sure!  If I think about it too much, my head will spin.  So I’m not thinking about it too much!  LOL.  It will all go fine, I did a big shop and have pretty much everything we’ll need, and what we don’t have we can get when we need to.  Not saying I won’t have moments of stress when it comes down to making sure the house is totally clean and everything is ‘just so’ to my liking, but for the most part I don’t think I have too much I have to worry about.

We all got new beds last weekend!  We’d had our bed for about 10-12 years, and it was getting to the point of being so noisy I couldn’t stand it.  The kids used it as a trampoline too many times and ended up breaking some of the springs.  Not cool!  They are not allowed to jump on our new bed EVER and that’s a hard rule!  So far no one has disobeyed it (we’ve had the bed for 4 days now so we’ll see how it goes!)  It’s so comfy, much more cushiony than our old bed and yet firm, and much higher than our old one was which is the only thing I’m really having to adjust to (because it’s taller than our nightstands now which feels a bit weird for some reason!)  Andrew has a loft bed from Ikea, which he’s wanted for a long time.  I was worried it wouldn’t fit well in his bedroom but it turns out that it’s perfect in there, and I love that he has his very own fort underneath.  Margaret and Emily love climbing up into his bed, too, but of course they have to be supervised.  One of them inherited Andrew’s old bed and we bought another of the exact same one, and all new mattresses for everyone.  So the girls still have matching beds, and I’ve been reconfiguring their room pretty much every day since we switched out their cribs, trying to get the set up just right.  I love their big girl beds, as now I can actually go in and sit on their beds with them or even lay down with them and I don’t feel squished or like I’m going to break the thing by sitting on it!  It was a bit emotional saying goodbye to the cribs, because it really reinforces how fast time is going by, but on the other hand they’ve had the cribs converted to toddler beds for ages so it just felt like it was time.  

It’s always a work in progress, but I also went through literally everything in both kids’ rooms and purged as much as they would let me.  I’ll have to do more when they’re not looking!!  But Andrew’s room in particular is SO much better organized.  A couple more hours and I’d have it perfect I think!  I got rid of at least 3 big garbage bags of stuff, either for garbage, recycle, or to donate.  He is way too much of a hoarder!  And knowing how much they’re all going to get for Christmas, it’s just ridiculous to hold onto so much stuff that they really never use and/or don’t need.

I have a lot more work to do in our room, mainly the closets, but that has to wait till after Christmas.  And I really want to paint the cabinets in the upstairs bathroom white before the end of Xmas ‘break.’  James is off till the 11th so I feel like we should be able to get a few projects done while he’s home and can be helping with the kids.

Yesterday I got out the Christmas puzzle my mom bought our family when I was 10 years old, with the idea of it being a yearly tradition.  It lasted for about 5 years, then there was a bit of a hiatus, then another hiatus after a few more years doing it annually.  I hadn’t dug it out for a few years because when the kids were really small it just wouldn’t have worked out to have that on the table.  But this year I was able to bring it out, and to my amazement, all 3 kids were able to help me with it!  It’s a 500 piece puzzle, and definitely geared for older than the girls, but Emily in particular was able to do quite a few pieces.  Margaret sat with us but wasn’t really interested in helping much.  Andrew helped a lot and I loved how into it he got, since I love puzzles - and so does James for that matter.  Back in the day when it was just the two of us, we did puzzles a lot.  I loved being able to write on the inside of the box with today’s date and say that we had all worked on the puzzle together as a family!

We’re probably going to go out and look at Christmas lights tonight, which is something I look forward to so much at this time of year.  Definitely one of my favourite traditions.  The kids are so enthusiastic about it, too, which makes me so happy.  Finally, all of my kids are at ages where they can get so much more enjoyment out of things, which means I can, too!  Honestly, almost 7 and a little over 3 is my favourite stage so far!  I do sometimes miss my little babies, but as Emily loves to remind me, ‘We’re just grown up now, Mommy, because we are!’  Or, as Andrew would put it, ‘This is real life, Mommy!’ :D


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