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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

On holidays with small children

We are going through this special pattern right now where the twins are fairly pleasant and agreeable during the week and then when the weekend rolls around, they unleash their inner grumps and invite them to camp out until Monday. I know what you're thinking- and yes, I only spend 1-2 hours/day of awake time with them during the week, so it only makes sense that the additional togetherness on the weekends adds additional opportunities for irritation. And I'm sure that's the primary factor. But whatever the cause, I have to tell you I am mentally/emotionally/physically exhausted by the time Sunday evening rolls around. 

All that to say, I wanted to share about our recent Christmasy activities for the sake of posterity, but I wanted to give a disclaimer to say that our lives have not been breezy and fun-filled as these blog posts might suggest. Although I don't think anyone will ever accuse me of painting an overly positive picture of things, I still want to keep it real, lest I make it seem like our life is not as chaotic/overwhelming/challenging as it really is! So just know that there is a lot of bickering/whining/failed attempts at disciplining/etc. in between what I post about.

Ok, moving on.

Let's start with our elf pal, "Jingle Bells." At our house, the elf moves at night but typically doesn't do anything other than that. We felt ambitious last week and allowed him to steal a piece of chocolate, but the mischief stops there, because ain't nobody got time for anything more than that.

We also took a picture of Jingle Bells with each of the twins while sleeping, which they of course got a big kick out of the next morning!

On Friday night, Allison hosted a "Favorite Things" party for the girls in our small group- it was extra fun doing one at Christmas time! My contribution was these BP stud earrings that I've never actually owned, but always admired from afar (and can't beat that price). I made it home with two edible items, hand soap, dry shampoo + hair ties,  and a very full stomach :)


We woke the twins up on Saturday morning with these festive pancakes... funny to consider that these Christmas cookie cutters have never been used to make actual cookies, ha!

We spent a good chunk of the day at a birthday party for a (former) daycare friend, and as usual, a bounce house and cake were involved. The twins seriously don't think a birthday can be celebrated without these two items... they are going to be sorely disappointed when we go to dinner tonight for their Aunt Shannon's birthday (HBD, Shanny!) and no bounce house is in sight.

We finished the evening with a trip to Sugar Land Holiday Lights with the Olivers and once again, I have to be honest and tell you it was not enjoyable. There were brief moments of happiness, but overall, the twins were terrible and we were miserable. Fortunately for you, there are no photographs of them running away, not listening, or disobeying, or us yelling, spanking, or generally regretting all of our life choices.

Brian didn't get the cute winter hat memo

Major highlight every year: unlimited FREE carousel rides!

The alligator was the obvious choice over the lame horses.

Crafting after we almost offered Colby up to the highest bidder for running away from us for the 8 millionth time

And then, out of nowhere, he asked me to dance with him and my heart exploded into 8 million pieces and I questioned why I would ever considering giving away this sweet little angel. Therein lies the perpetual inner conflict of parents: torn between desperately loving your child and desperately wanting to get as far away from your child as possible.

After church on Sunday, Brian took Clara on a date to see "The Nutracker." I don't remember when it started, but for years we have talked about Brian one day taking our daughter to "The Nutcracker" at Christmas time, so it was a pretty sweet moment when the day finally arrived. 

She is touch and go with her threenager emotions these days, so I wasn't sure how she'd do. Fortunately, she loved the show and fell in love with "the new Clara." I'm hoping this becomes an annual tradition for her and Brian... and if we're being honest, I'm also hoping this means she'll become interested in dance class again and stop faking ailments every week :) 

Again, how could we ever stay mad at this face?

Clara squared

Meanwhile, per his request, Colby and I stayed home (minus a quick trip to Target for a cake pop) to watch tv and eat snacks. I'm sure this will become an annual tradition for us as well, ha!

He dropped it on the floor and I still picked it up and let him eat it. #awesomemom

We are gluttons for punishment, so after all of the weekend's fun, we dragged the kids out to look at Christmas lights on Sunday night and attempted one of those Christmas light scavenger hunts. They argued most of the time and said they wanted to go home, so that was neat. Then at the end, I asked Colby which lights were his favorite and his response was, "Nothing, mom." Heartwarming.

So with that, we will continue pressing on with our holiday festivities, despite our children's behavior. I think there's a Bible verse about that, right? "Rejoice in three-year-olds, for three-year-olds develop perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."


the blogivers said...

Don't you wish you could trade places with them for just one weekend this time of year? So you could remember how care-free it was to be a kid at Christmas and they could realize how stressful it is to be a parent at Christmas?

Emily said...

I love you so much for always keeping it real. These special phases of nightmare monster child can make a parent feel very alone in our horrible children. Those blogs that are eternal happy and sunshine (you know which ones I speak of, ha!) piss me off so much (yet I still read them). I wish you some good memories tucked in here-and-there this holiday season!

Laura said...

So funny and so cute! Completely relate to the internal conflict of emotions and is it wrong I had to fake concern when Mason ate a pea off the floor? We aren't even at the terrible two's but judging by his tantrums now, "serenity now" will soon become my mantra.

Brittnie said...

The struggle is real. These days I go from "Aw, Camille is the sweetest child ever," to "Oh my goodness I'm about to go insane." :)

About the holiday lights . . . Does that carrousel have a carriage to sit in or only standing animals to sit on? Camille will ONLY sit in the carriage portion and freaks when we try to get her to ride on the horses so, yeah.

Love that little smile on Colby's face while y'all are watching a show and eating snacks!

That's the same Clara we saw when I took Camille to the abbreviated nutcracker tea a few weeks ago, through Ft. Bend Dance. :)

Erika said...

Love the honesty here- and also, the life changing ideas (the earrings- ordering immediately; the using cookie cutters for pancakes- WILL BLOW MILLIE'S MIND) thanks for blogging, even when your kids are punks!!! :)

Brittany said...

Three is such a hard age, but way to push through and keep making memories! :) I love that Brian took Clara to the Nutcracker! So sweet.

Suzie Que said...

Thank you for your honesty. My daughter just turned 2 and has already hit the full-on toddler phase. We had one long, whiny Thanksgiving trip to Upstate New York and are now about to torture ourselves with a Christmas trip to Chicago (all for family because, trust me, I wouldn't volunteer this). Holidays are hard! Children are hard! Life is hard! Ha ha! Merry Christmas!

The Joiners said...

Ha ha very well said, Suzie Que!! Merry Christmas to you as well :)

Anonymous said...

Girl, I am home with my kids all week and we still have that problem. It is a mystery, maybe the lack of structure. But weekends are HARD at our house too!!