Merry Christmas at last!
Merry Christmas finally from all of us here at Crazyland! My friend Leah gave me a funny note today that said, “Better late than later!” So while I drink my coffee and ponder whether to say I’m sick of being too tired to blog, or tired of being too sick to blog, I’ll begin.
We finished a busy month of redoing the basement suite just in time to decorate for Christmas. I tried really hard to fight my scatterbrained last-minute ways and do stuff ahead of time, so my tip of the season is this: pre-stuff the stockings a few days ahead and put them in a giant Tupperware tub so no tiny visitors (children move or other) will get into them.
It sure was awesome to not be filling the stockings in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve! Instead, I could just lay them on the kids’ beds (which we do to buy a little time in the morning) and head off to midnight Mass with my husband and the baby, while the kids slept with Grandma and Auntie Karen.
It was beautiful. Our parish florist always does an amazing job, and our choir is phenomenal. All the light and warmth in the darkness of night brings home the beauty of the Christmas message. Happily on the incense didn’t set off the fire alarms–until Christmas-day Mass the next day that is! Needless to say my 3 year old son was in his glory at the back of the church when the firemen came to check it out. He was still wearing his red fireman costume (to avoid a pre-Mass meltdown…plus…it’s red! Super Christmassy!).
Nice costume, buddy! Fist pump!
Best. Christmas. Ever.
But back to midnight Mass. When we got home around 3am (there was a celebration with treats after the Mass) we found out that the kids had already woken up, opened, partially consumed, and played with the contents of their stockings, and had gone back to sleep! Rascals! And they look so innocent…
Christmas Day was lovely. We had James’ mom and sister as well as my brother spending the day with us. “Gezellig” (cozy), as they say in Dutch, and everyone enjoyed spoiling each other a bit. My big surprise was opera tickets for La Boheme from my husband! 🙂 Date night, here we come!
I discovered that it’s really easy to cook a whole chicken in my Instant Pot (just add a cup of water or sauce and your flavourings…we put lemon, herbs, garlic and butter), and we made potatoes, yams with cinnamon and maple syrup, and Brussels sprouts, which apparently contain excellent health benefits, even if you only look at them! 😉 I can’t quite remember where I read that…
All was good until after pumpkin pie, when I totally crashed and fell asleep early. My Christmas duties were complete…so my body figured it was the perfect time to get the stomach flu that night! 😦 No fun. Thank goodness our relatives and James were still home the next day to hold the fort, because I could not move. All I really wanted for Christmas was a nap and a massage, but this was quite the price to pay…watch what you wish for!
As I lay there with a churning stomach, headache and sore muscles, I contemplated the Incarnation…how incredibly generous it was of God to enter our world as a tiny, vulnerable baby, unable to move or protect Himself from suffering. He could have remained aloof in the golden warmth of Heaven, safe from our sufferings, not subject to weakness, but chose instead to enter into our frail human existence to show us His love.
I will never comprehend the depths of His generosity!
Well, that’s about it for now! Normal life sure feels good after you’ve been sick. A breath of cold air when you can stand upright again is a real treat.
God bless you all, and best wishes for a beautiful 2019!!
Some long days…
Some long days the baby cries
and the toddler screams
and the 5 year old seems to have
ants in his pants
and a megaphone around his neck.
Some long days
the toddler won’t nap
and the phone rings five times
during the quiet-time movie
and it seems nothing can wait
for you to just chill out and relax
for just an hour…even half an hour!
Some long days
the boys fill your kettle with pencil crayons
and draw on the bathroom door
and the baby wakes up
as soon as you begin the math lesson
and everyone moans and groans
and forgets how to round to the nearest ten.
Some long days you hit dinner time
with a sense of desperation…
“How long till bed?!”
and sing along to “The Muppets” soundtrack
in an attempt to feel that you’ve got
“Everything that I need, right in front of me.”
Some long days
the smartest thing you do
is have a glass of wine with dinner
and veto everything but laughter
as you listen to stories from the Vinyl Cafe
with the kids
who delight in the one
when Dave gets trapped in a sewer
after dropping down his keys
and gets mistaken for a monster by a little boy.
Some long days
the greatest relief is the feeling of your toddler
drooling on your shoulder
as you rock him to sleep early, to prevent any more fits.
Success! The little beast is quiet…
and you can actually read the others
“The Never-Ending Story” about Atreyu and Bastian,
the luck dragon Falcor and the childlike Empress,
until their eyes close and their breath gets deep and even.
Despite all the chaos,
all they’ll probably remember about today is
listening to stories with you
and falling asleep on the warmth of your lap.
Some long days
when the hours drag on,
remember you’re not alone
and try to end them with a smile…
Just keep picturing diving into bed
and sinking into the sweet relief of sleep!
Some long days, mamas,
you gotta keep your eye on the prize!
Bad Day Mama Blues
Sometimes when you’re tired it feels like the world is ending, even though everything is actually ok. So this is a shout out for all the moms out there who had a bad day, or even a bad week, and don’t want to feel alone. If you’re tired of airbrushed social media images of perfection, this post is for you.
So it all started with running out of coffee. Think alarm bells and
Code red, code red: mom down, mom down!
A disaster of epic proportions…leading to an immediate need to at least consume extra chocolate. So how ’bout you join me? Here’s a chocolate quiz. Eat one chocolate for every time you answer yes (chocolate chip or chocolate bar? That’s up to you!).
- Did your baby spit milk on you within 3 minutes of getting dressed? (Hey, good job getting dressed!)
- Was there a civil war at breakfast over who was looking at whom, followed by the building of a cereal box wall?
- Did you have to chase your naked toddler around the house to get his or her clean diaper on, right before you had to leave?
- Did you wonder if climbing the piles of laundry counted as a homeschool sport?
- Did your dishes magically reproduce the second your back was turned?
- Did you daydream about hammocks and drinks with little umbrellas in them?
- Did you feel inadequate or incapable…especially late in the afternoon, during that “witching hour” before dinner?
- Are you getting a toothache yet? 🍫🍫🍫
- Did your kids run screaming or getting suddenly faint and ill when you mentioned chores?
- Did it take three tries to call your child by the right name when correcting them?
Well, my friends, you’re not alone! Hope you’re munching something yummy, and ignoring those little ugly voices that sneak up when you’re tired and tell you you’re not good enough. If you’re worn down and feel like you have nothing left to give, it’s likely because you gave it all already. Like a fireman, you’ve been putting out fires all day…so the smoke and dust are a sign you’ve worked hard. Battle scars!
Motherhood is a tough job, and requires all your strength and all your heart. Chances are you’re doing an awesome job…not perfect, but awesome, so keep it up, and here’s to moms everywhere, struggling to love their little ones and make their homes happy, even when disaster strikes, and the coffee runs out!