Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The holiday blur

Holy whirlwind! I kind of cant't believe the holidays are already over and I'm sitting here the day after Christmas trying to remember it all. It seems like the older I get and the bigger my kids are, the faster the time goes by. I really don't even know what happened to 2017...it's almost over and I'm having a hard time remembering all of the highlights. It was a tough year for me personally, what with this crazy PPD & anxiety, but despite that, I tried to still be there for all four kiddos and highlight the special celebrations and moments we had throughout the year. Not an easy task, but I feel like I kept up appearances just fine. That's a win in my book.

Christmas is always magical when you have kids, and I had the privilege of seeing it through my older kids' eyes this year and experience some fun "firsts" with the littles. This was Josiah's first "real" Christmas, since he was just a baby last year and I'm pretty sure we let him sleep through the entire morning's festivities. Harper is 3 1/2 so she was very excited about Christmas this year., and we were super excited to spoil her. Shopping for her was SO fun- I love buying presents for toddler girls because they just love everything. She's currently obsessed with Moana (her & Josiah both- we watch it every damn day- Christmas included!) So she ran around Christmas morning in her new Moana costume and necklace (the heart of Tafiti!) and sang us songs and acted out the movie all day long while jumping around from toy to toy...all while staying perfectly in character. She reminds me so much of Lily at this age- sweet and sassy and lover of all things girly, musical, and princess-like. 
The only picture I got of all 4

The big kids were completely surprised by their gifts. They wanted electronics of course, and we'd had them fooled for months that we weren't going "big" this year now that we're a family of four and have so many kids to buy for. Well, we had no idea what to even get them besides the one thing they each asked for (it's so hard as they get older), so we did end up getting them their "big" gifts they wanted and kept the rest pretty minimal. Ayden finally got his new XBOX One (he's been asking for a few years) and Lily got a tablet loaded with a really nice drawing program for her digital art she's been doing lately. She wants to be an animator and/or fashion designer and recently started using a drawing app on her Kindle, which she quickly outgrew. She's SO talented and this new tablet is already allowing her to do some advanced stuff she couldn't do before. I'm all for her using technology to advance her artistic ability! She's amazing. The XBOX for Ayden...eh...if that's what he's into I'm not going to fight it anymore. I told him as long as he keeps his grades up and does his chores he can play. He's a 13 year old boy- what are you gonna do? At least he's not interested in what I was at 13, which was boys, makeup, and smoking. Sure kid...you can play Minecraft until your eyeballs fall out as long as you're not smoking cigarettes in middle school! I am going to start loading him up with more chores though if he wants to game more...I realized yesterday while shoveling the driveway that I have a perfectly capable 13 year old boy I could be putting to work more! That's what all these kids are for, right? Hehe. 

I know the holidays can kind of be a bummer time for some who don't have a lot of family. This year it was just the six of us and it was great- no one was stressed out, we had nowhere to be, and we even got some sledding in. We had a nice ham dinner with all of the fixings and I talked to a lot of friends and family throughout the day via text (isn't texting amazing for the anti-social people like me?) Still, it was kind of sad for me. My family and I have been estranged pretty much since Josiah was born (he's almost 16 months old). It's sad when you have to over-compensate for your other people being absent in your children's lives. It's hard not feeling that twinge of jealousy when you see your friends post pictures of their big, happy families sitting together with 3 & 4 generations of people together, all getting along. I wish I had that, but I don't. We've never been able to mesh our two families together. There are people on one side who just can't get along with anyone, so it's always been weird and awkward trying to do birthdays and holidays together. And then we had our falling out last year and it hasn't gotten any better. My youngest two don't even know what they are missing. The older I get the more I realize how completely ridiculous it is...but what are you going to do? I spent a fair amount of my Christmas day feeling really mad about it. I'd find myself seething with rage while I was cleaning up wrapping paper or putting the ham in the oven and I'd have to force myself to stop thinking about it. Not today. Be happy for the kids. Forget about your own mommy/daddy problems and make the day special for your kids...don't let them know they are missing anything. So that's exactly what I did and will continue to do in the future. At least I know how not to treat my kids and how to not perpetrate the cycle and repeat history. My kids are the most important people in my life and I will not let anyone else make them feel less than. 

So aside from the moments of self-pity and anger about the current situation, we still had a great Christmas, and I'm looking forward to 2018. Today we are dealing with the aftermath- the toy explosion, kids fighting over use of the TV for movies & XBOXing, the abundance of cardboard & paper (too much for the recycling bin), and leftover pie for a mid-morning snack. I'm really going to take this "new year" thing to heart (hopefully) and make some changes in my life. My diet and health have been absolute shit this last year and I'm feeling it. Zero energy, zero motivation. Hopefully I can make some lifestyle changes that will make 2018 better than 2017 was to me. You can't drink from an empty cup, so I plan on filling mine next year.

Happy holidays, friends! I hope you caught a Christmas nap too :) 

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