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Christmas

puppy , Christmas, Sandy Hook Elementary

Our new puppy for Christmas Came home with us on December 14th.

All my girls have been really wanting for Christmas is a puppy. I am trying to think of happy things and do things that make my children happy since last Friday. Sandy Hook Elementary is just a reminder of how precious our time is and how blessed with are to have our children with us, within hugging distance. So, I am sharing for the next 3 days, 3 things I did this year, to make my children happy. These three things made them so happy  and shocked that I have to share. Today, I am sharing a gift that we got them last Friday.

We had no idea that the events that were happening in Newtown Connecticut, we only knew that our little girls have had a hard three years and they have been begging for a new puppy since we lost our sweet Saffaron in August. It’s been a really crap year for a lot of reasons and we thought they needed a special gift to make them smile and how it did. I highly suggest to anyone whose child has ever wanted a puppy to get them one. My girls are excited to see their puppy, Lola, every day when they get home form school. They feed her and get her fresh water, they play with her and she has quickly become one of the family.

Gabi, who wants so badly to be a big sister, is thrilled to be Lola’s big sister. Bella, who has been afraid of new dogs since her Grandfather’s dog nipped her when she was 2, has had no problems cuddling and loving on her own sweet puppy. Lola, our sweet Victorian Bulldog puppy, is reveling in the love and attention that she has found her self enveloped in and we are loving having her as the newest addition to our little family.

Welcome to our family Lola puppy

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Mommy moment monday, Christmas,children, christmas tree

Mommy Moment Monday

My mommy moment almost didn’t happen this week. This past weekend, I wasn’t a very attentive mommy. I was a little self-involved in what was happening to me. From an outsiders view, I spent the weekend being selfish and self- absorbed but in reality, I was dealing with my own shit to make me better for my girls. I know that today.

Sometimes a mommy moment is nothing more than remembering to breathe.

You know that saying that parents should take the oxygen in a plane going down before selflessly handing it off to their children? Well, there is a reason for that. The reason is that if you act all martyr like and give everything of yourself , in the case of the oxygen, you are of no use to help your children get oxygen. So you must make the counter-intuitive decision to get yourself some oxygen, breathe and move on with being a good mommy to your children.

mommy moment monday, christmas, children

That’s what I did this weekend, I stopped for a minute to breathe; to help myself get through something so that I could be better for my children. I’m human. I have to accept that. I can’t always be perfect. Sometimes I can’t even be around. That’s okay. I need the moments of solitude to move forward. My children need me to step away to give them the independence to take flight. I stepped away for a few hours and it gave the Big Guy time to step up and he did.

mommy moment monday, Christmas, children

My Mommy Moment was found in my daughter’s gaze.

Then on Sunday, we all resumed our roles; refreshed, thankful and able to breathe. And then this happened and I remembered why I do this. Why I grew children and give so much of myself to them. They give me moments of complete bliss that I would not other wise have. There is something about a child’s love that is irreplaceable by any other thing in this world. There is no satisfaction greater for me than seeing the little people that I created genuinely happy. It moves me on a level that nothing before or since having them ever has.

Mommy moment monday, Christmas,children, christmas tree

What was your mommy moment this week?



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My favorite Christmas memory as a child was from when I was about 3 years old, it was the first year we were spending away from Ohio. We were living in Indiana about a block away from the Illinois border, in a small apartment with really huge floor to ceiling windows. I don’t know why I remember the windows so vividly. Prior to that we had lived in Dayton, near my father’s Uncle Ramon. Uncle Ramon and Aunt Doris were like my grandparents, since we never lived near my actual paternal grandparents, who lived in Mexico.Uncle Ramon and Aunt Doris were like the glue that held our family together, in a lot of ways.They bridged the gap between my Mother and Father. It was frightening and yet exciting. I remember feeling like something big was happening.
That Christmas I remember being special because it was our first year, as just ‘our’ family, the four of us. Well, my parents, Carlos (my little brother) and I, until my father’s brothers showed up. We always had a house full of relatives. We were never really alone. It’s hard to know how you genuinely feel about the people in your life when you only ever see them in the midst of a perpetual party. There was never any down time.Never any quiet moments with children and parents, just being.Those moments that I have come to realize (as a parent myself now) are imperative to the parent child relationship.
This particular memory, I remember playing outside in the snow in our big crazy snowsuits, having snow ball fights with our Dad and uncles ,who seldom wore gloves.No idea why that sticks in my mind as being significant but I must have thought it very bizarre. They were from Mexico and I really don’t think they even thought about gloves as being an option. Every single photo I come across, they are throwing snowballs, without gloves. Then we’d all come inside and Carlos and I would sit in our little chairs (his upholstered in 70’s fashion avocado green and yellow flowers) and mine was a Big red teddy bear rocking chair that I was absolutely obsessed with. Our Mom would bring us hot chocolate and Carlos and I would watch whatever crazy 70’s cartoon was on at the time or if we were really lucky, an episode of the Monkees in syndication.What can I say? I had a wee crush on Davey Jones, even at the ripe old age of 3. It was unimportant what was on television, it was about sitting in those chairs and being beside my little brother. The illumination from the gaudy 1 string of colored lights outlining the huge gold curtains would dance against the plastic on the big velvet chairs. We’d sit there listening to the silver chirping bird ornament emanating from deep inside the Christmas tree covered with endless strings of flashing colored lights and tinsel that looked, in retrospect, that our Mom just let us throw by the handfuls on the tree. Sometimes we’d climb up under the tree to see if we could find that damn chirping bird and put it out of its misery, but we never did. Mostly, there we sat, my brother and I, hypnotized as we sat staring into space with our hot coco mustaches. I know it sounds so simple, innocuous even, but it was the best Christmas ever.
I do remember that Christmas I got a baby doll that was taller than I was, I could barely move the box to open her. She was beautiful and had long brown hair and big almond eyes, just like me. I loved that doll so much I even let her sit in my favorite chair that I never shared it with anyone. That Christmas was also the same year that Carlos got a giant red fire truck. He tore the wooden floors up with that truck running it back and forth and back and forth for hours. We were both over the moon.But something was missing.Maybe it was Uncle Ramon and Aunt Doris, or maybe just the place they held in the relationship between our parents or between our parents and Carlos and I. Maybe I was just too little to understand but could “feel” something was off.On paper and in pictures, it was amazing.
I look at those pictures and Carlos and I look completely happy. In reality, we were oblivious, as we should have been at 3 and 1 years old. We were happy and blissful and colored lights and bright shiny toys from Santa in a brand new apartment were all that was needed to make this the best Christmas ever, to us. When I look closer at the photos, my Mom looks tired and my Dad looks like he had someplace else to be. He definitely looks like he had someplace else that he wanted to be. Soon after this Christmas is when we all became painfully aware that my father was an alcoholic and my Mom was miserable dealing with the abuse that comes with being married to an alcoholic. For a moment, in a picture of a Christmas in a different place and a different time, we all looked happy.
The years that followed, from age 3 until I was 26, the pictures have smiles but the eyes tell another story. They were pasted on smiles and there was no happy memories to be made because every single holiday meant, a father who drank and had an erratic temper that could go off the handle and ruin everything on a whim. Those pictures from our first Christmas in Indiana reminds me of the potential things had to be different; to be good. Those photos show me the potential for Christmas to be snowball fights and coco mustaches, naïve happiness and joy at simply being together. Instead, the reality for us was that a completely carefree, happy Christmas with my parents was a once in a lifetime event. That alone makes it my favorite memory. It has also been the paradigm from which I have chosen to use as the antithesis of how I want to spend my Christmases with my own children. It’s about the love and the togetherness, not doing the right thing on paper and photos.

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After falling backward into marriage with a wonderful man, more than I could’ve ever asked for in a person to love me, 5 years later I was getting a little worried. I wasn’t worried about the marriage. I was worried about what came next; babies. How do you know if you’re ready to be a parent?
There was no time frame on any of it but I knew, in my heart, that one day I would be married with children. I never doubted it or considered it wouldn’t happen.
One small problem, I met the man of my dreams when I was least expecting him. He asked me to marry him, when I was even less expecting it. I said yes, to the shock of myself and everyone else. You see where I am going with this?
Life just kept tossing me those lovely wonderful curve balls. I went with it and it all seemed to be playing out perfectly. My life was everything I never knew I’d always wanted, served on a silver platter. One thing was missing, a baby.

But, how do you know if you’re ready to be a parent?

It wasn’t missing because I had misplaced it or some unfortunate fertility issues. We weren’t so busy with our careers that we had forgotten about it. What happened was I married a man who wasn’t sure if he wanted children or not. I know it sounds crazy that I would have even considered marriage when I was so certain about this one aspect of my life. I knew I needed to be a mother, at some point, the way I know I need to breathe air. But he wasn’t totally sure that he didn’t want children, I am an eternal optimist, and we took a chance. Actually, I’d say it was more like the biggest gamble of my life because if things hadn’t worked out as they did, my story would be very different. Probably a lot more like Elizabeth Gilbert’s and a lot less like Truthful Mommy’s.
I remember feeling a lot of trepidation the summer of 2004. It had finally sunk it that maybe this wasn’t going to happen and then big decisions were going to have to be made. Decisions that neither of us wanted to even consider. So we vaguely discussed and kind of decided to plan to plan to have a baby. You know…maybe sometime in that not predetermined future. Personally, in retrospect, I think we were biding our time. He was trying to put off something he still wasn’t sure about and I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. I was trying and praying to keep hope alive in my heart. That was the summer of our 5-year anniversary.
We planned a romantic getaway to New Orleans. It was magical. I’m sure it had a lot to do with the “we’re on vacation” mojo and the ginormous hurricanes they serve in the French Quarter but we had a heart to heart and decided that we were both on board to plan to plan to have our mythical baby…one of these days. We walked around the Garden district holding hands and talking about how awesome it would be to live there. Spent nights walking together, gazing at the stars, eating rich foods on Jazz cruises in the Mississippi. We lingered in the French Quarter drinking all that life had to offer before coming back to our hotel to bask in one another’s love multiple times* wink*wink*
Then we returned home. Our marriage stronger than ever, our faith in each other renewed, our love undivided and then…I started puking and puking….and puking some more. Our plan to plan had been foiled and replaced by actual living in the now! We were both scared witless, shitless and sideways and oh, yeah excited. Me more excited; him more scared witless. For a couple months, I was wondering how this was all going to play out. Don’t get me wrong, he was very involved.
We did everything together. I read the pregnancy journal to him every night, so we knew what was going on with our baby. He read and sang to my belly. He was at every appointment. He got choked up at the heartbeat. He catered to my every pregnancy whim. He did everything right but for some reason. I felt like he felt like I had sprung this on him. I was too afraid to bring it up because, honestly, I was afraid of what his answer was going to be. Then I wasn’t sure if it was really fear or some kind of crazy hormonal paranoia. So I just went on basking in my glow and praying every night that he REALLY was too. It felt too good to be true, so I was sure something was afoot.
3 days before Christmas we went to have a 3-D confirmation ultrasound done because I HAD to know what the sex of the baby was going to be. They had told me a girl but said they could be wrong because of leg placement. The doctor had tried 3 times to get a definite sex reading and always the same. She was a good Catholic girl even in utero, closed legs and a middle finger to the world. I was so nervous, I vomited.
It was the big day; I was going to finally know the sex of our baby…our accidental, planning to plan love child. The image came up and we saw our baby in 3-D and I knew…we were ready. He was ready. He was happy. He was ECSTATIC. I had my answer, not about the sex of the baby but the answer to a much bigger question.
Then Christmas came. I didn’t care what I received under the tree because I had already gotten my gift, three days earlier in the ultrasound room. I had gotten peace of mind. All the gifts were open and the Big Guy disappeared. Then he came back in with a huge, beautifully wrapped box and he placed it in front of me. “For me?” I asked. “No, it’s for the baby. I bought it a few months back to surprise you!”  I opened the box and inside it was the most beautiful Burberry diaper bag that I had ever seen, through my tear filled eyes. He said, “a few months back”. I had worried for nothing. This is one of my favorite and most cherished holiday memories of all of my existence.
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MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! I had to share this for all my social media savvy friends.

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It’s a special time of year for us Mommies and so I thought I should share a special set of Mommy truisms. Hope this adds to your holiday enjoyment! Merry Christmas!

  • If your half asleep child wakes up in the middle of the night and you are caught red-handed wrapping “Santa” gifts, its better to gently walk said half asleep kid back to bed versus assuming they saw anything and telling them “Now that you know there’s no Santa….”.Believe me you can’t unring that bell.
  • If you decide to make the elf on the shelf a part of your family tradition and tell your kids that the elves have magical powers of teleportation, its best not to get caught red-handed removing the elf from your luggage at the in laws house. Again, it’s mighty hard to explain your way out of that mess.
  • Speaking of explaining your way out of a mess, if you accidentally use a term that you don’t want your kids to know anything about, do NOT try to make up an explanation on the fly.It will end badly. For example, telling your kid that the “Boogie Monster is like the Cookie Monster but sucks the boogies out of sleeping children’s noses” does not a situation better make.Just shut your mouth and pretend you said nothing.
  • When your littles are bugging the ever loving crap out of you wanting to make Christmas crafts, Christmas Cookies, or sing Christmas songs and you are running yourself crazy trying to make it the best Christmas ever..stop, take a deep breath and remember what its all for and about.It can’t be perfect if you are annoyed with the very little people that you are trying to make it perfect for. Forget about the to do list and give those littles a little Christmas….NOW!
  • Don’t drive yourself insane searching for the perfect gift.Don’t do it. For the little ones it will change on a daily basis.Use your best judgment and give with your heart.Christmas morning is about smiles and togetherness.If you are there in the moment with them and the love is flowing,it will be the best Christmas ever.
  • If you don’t heed the previous warning, as I may or may not have in the past, you may find yourself crying at the end of Christmas morning because the Fancy Nancy book that you ordered special, the easel from France, or the freaking $100 chair you bought them (that you KNEW was going to be perfect) is met with a “why the hell did she buy me this” look.
  • Christmas, like life, is what you make of it. It’s not about how much money or how many gifts you give.It’s about the passion with which you celebrate. Do you want your littles to think the season is about money and material things or about the spirit of love, a sacred religious celebration, and spending time with those you love? Remember, we are teaching them what it’s all about.
  • Don’t assume every gift your little one wants comes from a store.Sometimes the most meaningful gift a parent can give their child is attention, a warm cuddle, a nose kiss, time together, lap snuggles, bed time stories, and REALLY listening to what your littles are actually saying. The smile these things bring is genuine and worth everything.
  • When you are buried up to your eyeballs in snow and and it looks like you are living in a snow globe, and the kids keep begging to go outside, sometimes the best thing you can do is throw on all your layers, go outside and have a snowball fight for 15 minutes. These are the moments that memories are made of, why make the memory be of you saying no.Make the memory be, my Mommy was so cool she stopped the world and played with me in the snow.
  • Christmas eve may be about traditions and Santa but Christmas morning is about presents and a big breakfast.
  • Stress and worry are the only Mommy emotions less valuable than guilt. Don’t do it!
  • When all else fails, coffee and wine will get you through the holidays!

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you. I hope that you have a wonderfully fabulous day basking in the glow of your families love. Kiss those littles, tell your Big Guy how much he means to you, and know that you are a great Mommy and wife.Merry Christmas, my friends.

This song is Christmas to me.

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Today I have the pleasure of being a part of the #HoHoHoHolidayswap ( every single time I say that , I hear the lyrics..hotel, motel, holiday inn…streaming through my head.What’s that say about me?) . Anyways, these are a great bunch of bloggers who will blow your socks off.
But  it is my pleasure to introduce to you one of my favorite people in the world ( bloggy, real and otherwise) Naomi de la Torre the talented and beautiful author of Organic Motherhood with Coolwhip.She can also be found these days writing her velour covered ass off at SheKnows and also as the voice behind baby Lucha @ Baby Banter.
She is a talented writer, a fabulous friend, and can be found on twitter hanging out with the cool kids! Make sure to check out her blog and leave her some love here, as well! Now, let’s give a big Truth About Motherhood welcome to the sweetest, mojito drinking, fallopian tube crossing, salsa dancing, baby wrangling, organic ,baby loving blog bestie of mine…..Naomi!
Today, I can be found spreading my holiday mayhem at A Belle, a Bean and a Chicago Dog.
Stop by and show me some love!
Please stop by as many of the blogs as you can. These ladies are all great writers and you will be in for a treat.
The Bad Sister’s Favorite Christmas
I’m a good sister. Usually. Mostly.
But, according to my little sister Aliza, when we were young, I was bad. Very bad. Very bad indeed. My various crimes include:
1. Tricking her into eating cat food to impress a babysitter.
2. Excluding her from plans to move to New York City and live in a super fabulous loft and write encyclopedias for a living with our same-age cousin Hillary.
3. Not taking her to the bathroom and causing her to have various accidents that could have been avoided. (More on this later.)
4. Sending her out onto a small pond in our backyard on a raft that didn’t float. (Yes, she sank.)
5. Not playing Barbie Dolls with her. Even when she asked nicely.
I must admit, I did all those things. And more. But the worst of all my childhood crimes is probably one that occurred on Christmas one year.
This was during the era when neon clothes, shoulder pads, knee-length sweaters, and Cindy Lauper-inspired stirrup pants were all the rage and my sister had just received a brand-new pair of hot-pink jean stirrups. She was over the moon for her new outfit, which also came with a handful of jelly bracelets and a matching Mickey Mouse shirt. Just as we were trying on all our Christmas loot, my sister said, “Uh-oh! I have to pee!”
For whatever reason (I simply cannot explain my motives) I raced in front of her, dashed into the bathroom and stood on top of the toilet. She came in and pleaded with me to get off. She begged me to get down. She told me that it wasn’t funny. She told me it wasn’t nice. But apparently, I found the whole situation quite hilarious and I stood there on top of the toilet laughing hysterically. That is, until she became very quiet , turned bright red, and stood motionless while a big wet circle grew on the front of her brand new hot pink stirrup pants.
After that, I felt bad.
But apparently not bad enough to avoid the many other crimes that I’ve been accused of during the rest of my childhood.
Is this really my favorite Christmas?
No, of course not. There was also the Christmas during which I got my period for the first time and my mother felt the need to shout this information at top-volume throughout my Grandma’s house in front of a whole slew of male relatives. Which caused me such intense mortification that I considered taking up residence in the bathroom and never coming out again.
But that was probably my sister’s favorite Christmas. Not mine.
In truth, my sister and I are the best of friends. But when we were kids, we fought as often as we got along. My two boys are the same age difference apart as us and their daily squabbles send me over the edge. Regularly. They tease each other incessantly. They fight over toys. They tell tales on each other. Sometimes, I just want to scream, “Why can’t you just get along!!??” But I guess, considering my sordid past, I really don’t have the right to say this.
Christmas, for me, above all else, is a

time for family. And family is love. I love my family with an intensity that sometimes crushes me to bits and makes it hard to breathe. I can’t imagine my existence without them. And I adore this time of year because it gives us all a reason to come together. With a family like mine that is spread halfway across the globe, our times together are infrequent, but they are wonderful.

And yes, though we are now grown, we still tease each other. We argue. We play favorites. We tell stories on each other. We throw each other under the bus. Even as adults. No one is perfect.
And though you won’t find me standing atop any toilets when my friends or family are desperate anymore,  I can’t claim that I don’t do something equally irritating and juvenile, just maybe something a little more fitting for my age range.

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elf, elf on a shelf, christmas, holidays

Elf on a Shelf Run Amuck~ Last year, we  I decided that I wanted to start the whole Elf on the Shelf tradition with my girls.Of course, once I saw what the Elf on the Shelf actually looked like, there was no way I was bringing that thing into my house.It would have scared the Christmas spirit right out of my girls. Thoughts of them sleeping with me nightly until they were 15 danced in my head and I nixed the Elf ( jokes on me because they are currently co-sleepers!) I wasn’t ready to abandon the entire idea, just that particular elf. You know me, I went on a quest until a could locate 2 more aesthetically pleasing elves. I acknowledge that I am so conforming to society’s idea of beauty. Shame on me.The girls were 2 and 4 and, let’s be honest, I needed a new bargaining chip.The fat guy threats just weren’t cutting it anymore. I needed something more tangible, not a threat of 1 day of the entire year. My girls are fairly certain that Santa is like God in the respect that he forgives..everything. But elves, well, those little bastards can be as vicious as Mommy wants them to be. Those little dudes are Santa’s henchmen; they bust kneecaps and bite ankles. And so began the tradition..in our home.

Anyone who knows the Big Guy and I know that, in most respects, we don’t half-ass anything when it comes to our girls, with the exception of when we are dropping the ball completely. Sky’s the limit, to infinity and beyond and all that bullshit. So, our elves ( yes, there are 2, one for each girl…its hard work wrangling babies) are sent via Air mail from the North Pole. You doubt me? Hey, there is postage paid and everything..even teeny tiny holes in the box so those minuscule Northern mafioso enforcers can breathe. Our elf on a shelf #1 and elf on a shelf #2 arrive with a letter from Santa explaining all ( yes, by now you should all be fully aware that we take everything just one step too far).

elf, elf on a shelf, christmas, holidays

Elf on A Shelf #1 has arrived

This year, Analee ( that’s the name since “someone’ forgot to remove the tag from the elf) arrived magically,a s if out of thin air.One day he was not here and the next, there he sat high in the Christmas tree, watching,waiting to be discovered.Keeping watch over my girls as they shouted and fought.And then it happened, Gabs made her way to touch her Clara ornament(you know the special one that she is forbidden to touch) and as her eyes rose from the ornament there perched 3/4s of the way up the tree, Analee.Gab’s let out a yelp. Then said nothing. She slyly made her way to her sister, who screamed and immediately ran to greet our old friend.She was all flushed and hyperventilating trying to get the words out of her mouth, the proclamation that “Analee” was back. Santa had sent him to watch over them. I feigned surprise and said hello. Then it was bedtime. A few days later, after many hours of Bella standing in front of the Christmas tree explaining away every transgression that she had levied against her sister (literally, I found her no less than 15 times talking to the elf on a shelf…explaining that Gabs made her do it and to tell Santa..it was Gabs, I tell you.All Gabs!) a package arrived in the mail.

Elf on a Shelf #2 reporting for Recon duty

The girls saw the brightly decorated box and knew instantly what the package contained. They gently placed it on the floor, in front of the fireplace ( there is a great amount of reverence given to the elves) and peeled the packaging back. Inside, they found a letter from Santa and the jolly smile of “Ed”, sent back by Santa to report for another year of duty in our household. The girls gasped. They love the elves but they are afraid to touch them, not even with a ten foot pole. Well, Bella is anyways.Gabs actually midget tossed poor Ed out of her room on his ear today when she was having a particularly hard time fighting a nap.Poor Ed!But that’s an entirely different post. I was asked to place Ed somewhere, because, silly you, elves don’t run around in front of humans during day light hours.Bella has a theory that she shared with me the other day.It goes a little something like this: Bella” Mommy, how do the elves tell Santa what we’re doing?” Me:”Well, Bella, the elves are magical so they just pop back over to Santa and give him a daily report.” She looks slightly perturbed and confused.Bella:’Mommy, why don’t they just call him?” Me:”Well, Bella they can magically just pop back to Santa, why waste the minutes?”(I’m slightly exasperated.This lie has gotten too big,You know I can’t lie!)Bella: “Mommy?” Me;”Yes?”Bella: “Mommy,  I think Santa has secret cameras in the house and can see everything we do!”I’m speechless.After all, she is only 5 years old.First, she has rationalized the Tooth Fairy and now elves with spy cams? Me:”No,Bella.they.pop.back. to .Santa.every.night!”

elf, elf on a shelf, christmas, holidays
This  letter from Santa makes me cry, a little bit.It choked me up reading it to the girls.

Every night, I move the elves to different positions and to different random spots in throughout the house; the bathroom ( taking a poop, surprise Ed’swatching), eating breakfast (Surprise Analee is in the chair next to you),putting your clothes in the hamper (Be careful you’ll squish Ed), reaching for the milk ( oooh, poor Ed is chilly in the fridge..no sneaking candy!)turn on the fireplace (oh no,be careful Analee is getting hot under the collar).You get the point?

 

elf, elf on a shelf, christmas, holidays

And so starts another year of the mischievousness that is the elf visitors.Elf on a shelf my ass, those little suckers are running all over my house. It scares my girls that our little visitors wield so much power in their tiny hands.They are roaming free, recording every single scream, yell, hair pull, piss my sister off moment/ talk back to my Mommy, fighting my bedtime, not going to eat my asparagus moment that goes down in our house..and apparently, so are Santa’s spy cams!So, remember you better watch out, you better not pout,you better not cry, I’m telling you why..Santa’s sending his henchmen to rat on you!Happy Christmas and beware the elf on a shelf!

elf, elf on a shelf, christmas, holidays

Elf on a shelf saves the Day

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The holidays for me are usually all warmth and fuzziness, mostly. Don’t get me wrong they are chocked full of craziness but right underneath the surface of all the chaos, complete happiness is bubbling its way to the surface and about to spill over. But for some reason, this year things feel… off. It all looks great on paper, we are doing all the things that should be done to make wonderful memories for our girls but for some reason, I don’t feel like my heart is in it. I don’t feel the bubbly goodness rising to the top as it should be this far into December.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am watching the finances closely since this year has been full of new jobs, relocations and maintaining separate households, which is nothing to speak of the fact that our whole life has been suspended and not quite right with the Big Guy not living here. Maybe my lack of enthusiasm has something to do with being overwhelmed by the to do lists and not enough time to accomplish the tasks at hand. I have been buried under snow for most of December and there’s been no time for shopping, baking, enjoying. Its been a series of appointments and dates. Truly, I feel like my girls are being jipped out of their Christmas. I’ve been so  caught up in all the obligations that I’ve been snapping at my girls and firing snark from my mouth like an AK-47.I know on more than one occasion, lately, I’ve given them the “are you retarded?” look and may have even said something to that effect, but not quite as awful. But the sentiment was there and that is as guilty as saying the words themselves. Thoughts become words and words become actions.Well, even thinking that makes me a really horrible Grinch of a mother, in my book. I don’t want to be THAT person.I don’t want my girls to think it even fathomable that I could mean such awful words.The thought of them believing that I think they are anything less than amazing or that my love is conditional upon whether or not they are pleasing to me, makes me sick to my stomach.I want to be happy, excited and gay. I need to get my warm fuzziness boiling back over. I want to spread it all over my children like warm molasses.

Christmas is not about things to do, places to be or presents to open; Christmas is about love, peace and people.I want my girls to look back on their childhood Christmases and remember the cuddles in front of the fire, spontaneous Christmas cookie baking, making fudge with Daddy, snowball fights, and watching Christmas Movies; staying up late to put cookies out for Santa and going to mass with the whole family.It’s firsts snows and snow angels.It’s togetherness.It’s a series of moments that form a lifetime. I want it to be a feeling in their heart.I want it to be the spirit of something larger than us; of hope, love and joy. I’m clearing out the clutter of my life and my mind and going forth, my only true obligation is going to be to see to it that my girls are happy.Everything else is secondary.  

Fah who for-aze! Fah who for-aze!
Dah who dor-aze! Dah who dor-aze!
Welcome Christmas, Welcome Christmas,
Come this way! Come this way! 
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