I have decided that I should own stock in whatever company makes Shout Advanced laundry stain remover. I use more of that product than any other household cleaner, except for hand soap. I spray almost every article of clothing my daughter wears. She is really into Justice clothes and has a ton of them, but they are expensive. I usually buy them on sale or from consignment sales. Regardless of that, she always gets paint on her Justice shirts. I am not sure why this is. I know it is partly because she prefers her Justice shirts to others so she wears them more frequently, but she has ruined 2 so far. When I say ruined, they have paint spots on them. I have to admit that I have done a good job getting the paint out of one. There were quite a few spots on it and there are only a couple of very light ones in inconspicuous places. The other has some brown paint on the front. It is a small spot, but enough for me to consider it a play shirt now. Speaking of play clothes. My oldest son had ruined 3 pair of "church" pants. I am not too sure which part of change your clothes when you get home from church is difficult for him, but he never remembers. I pulled the pants he wore to church yesterday out of the dryer to fold and there was a hole in the knee. The pants didn't even show a sign of wear and now there is a hole. How is this possible I ask my son. He tells me maybe he bent his knees too much yesterday. Keep that in mind the next time you are wearing a pair of trousers. Do not bend your knees too much! My next laundry challenge is to remove crusty bananas from onesies and sweat pants. Our youngest has taken to feeding himself and he eats a whole banana at a sitting. Or he sits on the banana is more like it. He is covered hen he is finished eating. It is impressive, the amount of banana an 8 month old can get on his face, clothing, and high chair. At least he smells sweet!
Unprecedented! I am posting again today because I had to write about what just occurred at my home. My middle son and nephew took a skein of yarn out and made a "pool". They unraveled it all over the living room, wrapped up the dog, and started jumping around in it! I had to take some photos which do not do it justice. I will add them to this post if I can figure it out. While I was taking the pictures, my son started running around the "track" (the loop through our hallway, kitchen, living, and dining room). This presented a problem because he had the yarn in his hand. I was chasing him around the house, trying to get the yarn back into the bag it was in before the pool was made. Luckily, my mom who was here to witness it all was able to capture the little rascal. No one was injured and all the yarn has been cleaned up. It was so funny. My stomach still hurts from laughing. I have never seen such antics, no really!
This week is a blur to me. It started Monday with a long meeting. It lasted until 4:45 or at least that is when I left because my oldest son had Cub Scouts. Then I came home, made dinner, gave baths, and put the baby to bed. I can't remember what I did that evening. I think I baked cookies. Yes, that is right. I baked cookies for the preschool Happy Birthday Jesus party. Tuesday, I worked all day and then dragged the baby to Target to pick up photos. This was my third attempt to pick them up. Thankfully, I was able to pick them up and I received 3 free sheets for my troubles! I proceeded to take the baby to Justice (Just for Girls). He loved that. Then I drove clear across town to purchase a charm for my Brighton bracelet. I was dying to get this Santa charm and with so few days left before Christmas, I wanted to get it so I could get the most use out of it! Of course, by that point I needed gas and the baby was screaming! But we made it home by 5:45, just in time to cook dinner! Wednesday brought more of the same, with a visit to the Bull Run Festival of Lights. Then, while putting the baby to sleep, I fell asleep. I was awakened at 10:00 p.m. by my husband asking if I was getting up. I had to make more cookies, this time for the preschool Christmas show and the kindergarten class party. I called my mom and asked her to pick some up for me. I did make pretzels with a melted Hershey Kiss and M&M on top. They don't take too much time in the microwave. My husband tried for several hours to print out the Christmas letter. This continued into Thursday evening when he returned to the computer after he came home with our oldest. They were at Cub Scouts for the second time this week. After another hour last night, we decided to print the letter on regular paper with clip art. It is cheaper to print this way. Or at least I think. I had to pick up printer ink which cost $61.00. Not cheap! We were out of Magenta. So, tonight I was supposed to go to Bunko. I told the hostess I was going, just last night. I called a few minutes ago to cancel. Apparently, I am not the only one. It is the holidays and everyone is busy. I hate to say it, but I am choosing our time honored tradition of a pajama ride over a girls night out for Bunko. I also really need to start wrapping, get that Christmas letter out, and clean the house. It is really gross. One of my friends just dropped by to deliver my Pampered Chef order and I was embarrassed to let her in. It is so messy and dirty. I feel like there is just no hope for it! Only time will tell. It has been raining for days here and he dog brings in half the mud in the backyard every time he comes back in the house. So, that in a nut shell was my week. As I look at this, I realize that i must be exhausted because I can not type. If this doesn't make sense that is why. Although, according to my husband, it is because I have poor grammar. Just kidding dear!
So, I am finally feeling the crunch of the holiday season. It is getting down to it. Two weeks from tomorrow is Christmas. I am not even sure what I have up in the attic for the kids. My husband and I are going to go through it right before bed tonight so we can talk about what else I will need to buy. However, that is not what I am really concerned about. The shopping will get done. It is the rest of the stuff that I am trying to figure out how I am going to manage. I planned on making quick breads for the Pediatrician's office and the Veterinarian's office. I also wanted to make cookies for the school. I also need to finish making cookies for our family. I have not started wrapping anything, which as it turns out is good since I don't know what I have for who right now. I also still need to set up my Christmas village and my white Christmas tree. I approached my husband this morning about driving through he Bull Run lights. He reminded me that we haven't written the Christmas letter or taken the Christmas photo for the cards yet. So, with all that hanging over my head, I am a little worried about getting it all done. However, I know I will. I guess my real worry is that the holiday season is flying by and I don't want it to end. It is my favorite time of year. I absolutely love it!
Let me start by saying oh my gosh! My family and I went on a trip this past weekend to Richmond, VA to see the Legendary Santa. It was absolutely amazing! My husband and his family went when they were growing up. My father-in-law went when he was growing up. Now, our kids have gone and we plan to take them back again. We started the day with Sunrise with Santa. At 9:00 a.m. we went into the Children's Museum of Richmond. My mother-in-law waited in line so that we could be second. When we entered, she and my father-in-law went up to the front of the room where chairs were set up. She sat there with my husband and my kids and my sister-in-law and her kids. My sister-in-law's husband and I stood in line to hold our place. After a short while, sleigh bells rang and feet started dangling from the chimney in the fireplace at he front of the room. The feet started kicking back and forth and seconds later there was a thud and Santa was standing in the fireplace. He ducked down and entered the room. It was amazing! My children went up to visit the Snow Queen when it was there turn. They told her there names and talked about Christmas. When Santa was ready, he called my kids over by name. They sat on his lap and he asked what they wanted to for Christmas. My middle son had a "pretend" coughing problem and was unable to answer. The two older ones told him in their "quiet" voices. After a picture, we left. We then spent the next 2 hours passing time until the museum opened to the public. We had a delicious breakfast at Bob Evans and returned to the museum. We frequent children's museums every chance we can. We love them. I make sure that we know where the nearest one is whenever we go on vacation in case it is raining. It makes a great rainy day or cold weather day activity. For the past two years our middle son has had a birthday trip to a children's museum instead of a party. The Children's Museum of Richmond is one of the best we have visited. We didn't do everything we could have in the time we were there. After 2 hours of activities, it was time to have Tea with Santa. So at 1:45 we walked over to another room and stood in line to enter the tea. We sat down to a plate of cookies and tea sandwiches. My daughter loved the candy cane shaped cheese sandwich. I will have to surprise her with one in her lunch box before the holidays arrive. Santa entered the room in the same manner as earlier in the day, by coming down the chimney. He talked about drinking milk and eating cookies and showed the kids how he drank the milk. He led the group in Christmas carols and read to the children. He served Rudolph cake and then gave the kids an opportunity to visit and sit on his lap again. By the time, our kids were beat. We got a great picture of the baby with Santa and one of our middle son with the elf. On the way out we all received a gift from Santa, a book. It was a fabulous day and wonderful trip. I will not soon forget the magic of that special day and the magic that fills this holiday season. It help me see Christmas through children's eyes. Best of all, it was a day away from home and responsibility for me to focus on nothing but my children. I had an absolutely amazing day!
So, I should be trying to wrap up some Friday afternoon paperwork, but I am surfing through the blogs I keep up with. I just read one that made me think. It talked about the holiday season and slowing down and remembering what is really important this time of year. It mentions focusing on family and friends and putting less emphasis on parties and presents. I have been reading a book. (I know, crazy!) I can't remember the title and I don't have it in front of me. But, it is a compilation of short stories about the time of year between Thanksgiving and New Years. These stories are humorous in nature, but really make you think about family traditions this time of year. So, these two things, the blog and the book have me thinking about what most people think is a crazy time of year. I prefer to think of it as magical. I would love to see it through my children's eyes, but I guess I see it through my own and remember what it was like as a child. I remember Christmas the best. We would go to church on Christmas Eve. Depending on who was doing what, at which service, we would chose from 7:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m., or 11:00 p.m. Sometimes we went to more than one. I can remember going to 7 and 11 some years. I often sang in the church choir or played the hand bells. My father ushered most years and my sister even sang some years. My mom and grandma stood by to support and enjoy the service and all that we would do that night. After the service, we went home, turned on the Christmas music on my parents record player, put pajamas on, and opened a few gifts! It was tradition. The next morning brought more of the same, opening gifts and listening to Christmas music. After we completed opening gifts, we ate breakfast and I would wait for the phone to ring. It would be my best friend, Jessica. Every year for as long as I can remember we went to each others house to show off our presents. Then in the afternoon, we would visit with my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins on my father's side of the family. We would rotate whose house the festivities would be at. Those times are long gone, but I think about them often at this time of year. That is what I want for my own children. Church and the "Reason for the Season" was a huge part of holidays. But, the presents and the hype had there place too. I want my children to remember why we celebrate Christmas and what it is about. We light an advent wreath each Sunday and talk about what it means, say and pray, and then eat dinner. All of our children are participating in the Christmas Pageant at church. These are things I want my children to remember as they look back on Christmas when they are grown. But, I want them to look back at the other things we do. We have made it a tradition to go to Christmas Candy Lane at Hershey, PA. We go to Bull Run Lights in Northern Virginia. We started a pajama ride a few years ago. This includes putting the kids to bed early (they don't know it is early) , then my husband and I go down to the kitchen grab some pots and pans and run upstairs, yelling pajama ride. Then we leave the house with snacks, hot cocoa, and head to adjacent neighborhoods to look at light displays. Our favorite is a house with a dancing Santa! We got to breakfast with Santa at a local fire house and this year we will take a trip to see a "Legendary Santa" from my father-in-laws childhood. When my children look back at Christmas as adults I want them to remember the magic that we created for them and the magic and wonder of the birth of Jesus Christ. Those are our family traditions.
Lately I have been thinking about time. I never have enough of it in a day before I fall asleep. Some days are worse than others. This is mainly because I fall asleep nursing the baby shortly after 7:00 p.m. When my husband comes in to wake me, I tell him I am staying in bed. Bless him for putting the other kids down and cleaning up the house each night. Otherwise I could not stay in bed and get the sleep I must need if I am falling asleep at the same time as my 7 month old and before my older children. But, back to the issue of time, there is never enough of it. I have 5,000 things to do around the house; reorganize the kitchen, clean the bathrooms, do the laundry, cook dinner, the list goes on... I want to spend more time with the kids, playing, working on fun learning activities, cooking, or watching T.V. But, I always feel like I have other stuff hanging over my head. Which of course I do since I over-extend myself like you can't believe. I am Marsh Brady. Or at least my husband thinks so. Remember the episode where she signs up for every club there is at school? My favorite was Scuba! He is right. He called me on it today. In a previous post I said I was going to make reindeer cookies with the kids. Well, we didn't make them. I do have all the ingredients though! We made another treat instead. I am already thinking of what I am going to do this weekend. We have breakfast with Santa on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. I then need to go to COSTCO, Giant, and drop off our 7 year old at a friend's house, make Christmas cookies, and at the conclusion of the day, go out with my husband to do the majority of our Christmas shopping. On Sunday, we are taking a trip to see Santa. Not just any Santa this is the #1 helper. My father-in-law visited this Santa as a child and his mother told him that there are a lot of "Santa helpers" but this is the #1 Santa Helper. We are taking our children, meeting my sister-in-law and her family and my father-in-law and mother-in-law, and filling the day with Santa experiences. So that is the weekend. Every minute packed full of activities, but not enough time to get it all done. The best laid plans! And that is the story of my life. There is never enough time. While, I sit here and complain, I realize how lucky I am to be able to complain about this. I am thankful that I do not have more to complain about today. While, I can not get time back, I do realize how precious it is and will continue to work to manage it more effectively, to be able to stop and share an extra minute with my kids and husband everyday. Because that is really why I complain that there is never enough time. I need those extra minutes to enjoy what is most important in my life, the people I love!