Thursday, December 8, 2011

Overheard in our Abode

Big Brother: "When Santa comes, I'm gonna go hide in my room because he's pretty scary to me."

We've also heard him say "When Santa says, 'Ho, ho, ho Merry Christmas' I'm gonna hide in my room!'"

#1 Concern about Santa - How does he get down the chimney?

#2 Concern about Santa - Why does he need to eat our cookies?

#3 Concern about Santa - Will he leave the reindeer on the roof or bring them in our house?

To all of these questions our most popular response has been 'well buddy, what do YOU think will happen?' It's so fun to let him 'problem solve' all of these questions and here his active imagination at work.  I'm not 'pushing' the Santa thing but I do think it's fun to play along with him - what a 'new normal' this whole 'Santa' thing has been for us this year.

My Mantra

My mantra (a statement or slogan repeated frequently) this holiday season is: "Emily, this is the ONLY Christmas season you get with a 3.5 year old Big Brother and a 3 month old Little Brother - enjoy it!"

Today, while baking 2 batches of Christmas cookies with my 3.5 year old baking assistant who turned our baking into 'the baking show', I chanted my mantra as a row of my pretty cookies slid off the cookie sheet into the oven and then again as I burned the top of my hand on the inside of the stove all while he was some what whiningly insistent that I come and play with him in his train room.  (While the mixing part of baking is fun, the whole "Mom has to now scoop cookies onto the baking sheets and cook the cookies" part of baking is not so fun for a 3.5 year old.)

While doing our Truth and Tinsel Advent Crafts each day, I am trying to enjoy the brief moments of creativity my son has instead of 'fixing' his 'designs' or making him sit for longer than he is willing.  I probably should just make my own craft along side of him - they're just that fun (Admittedly, I have a perfectionist side that wants to make everything look exactly like that picture :))!

For any of you who contribute anything to the Sunday morning service, you understand that Christmas and Easter are 'high expectation' times of the year.  Being the worship leader at any church means you need to be communicating with more people, involving more musicians, including everyone's favorite Christmas hymns/songs, all while honoring Jesus and keeping the service length reasonable.  Try planning those services with a beautiful baby boy calling for you and a busy 3.5 year old tugging on you ... my shoulders are a little bit tense right now.   However, I'm trying to keep my mantra in mind which means I need to/want to be as present as possible with my kids.  So, I'm trying to 'work' either late at night or when Ross is at home (insert mantra).

Yesterday I took a  road trip to toy store about 45 minutes away with both kids in tow even though the 'secret' toy pick up I needed to do for my parents was for the big kid in the car.  Such is life these days!  We made the pick up and while were waiting in the toy store for this awesome gift to make it's way to us from the back of the store, Big Brother was running in circles chanting "I'm hungry in my belly" and I was running my mantra silently through my head (while missing my Mom!).  We survived a lunch out directly after picking up the toy (which BB wanted to immediately play with and wasn't entirely grasping the concept of waiting until Christmas) and I enjoyed some time out of the house with my boys (even though immediately upon entering the restaurant, BB declared he had to pee and it was an emergency and LB let me and everyone else nearby know he needed to eat so ... I did what I had to do - yes - in the bathroom - and then we got back in line to order - crises adverted - shew!).

I know I need to work on having more patience and self-control in my life and I can especially sense this during the slightly elevated stress level the 'holidays' bring to me.  Unfortunately, my kids and kind, loving husband are the ones who bare the brunt of my lack of patience and/or self control so I'm openly confessing my issues and admitting that the mantra needs to be even more front and center so that my family can experience the love of Jesus through me this season.

As we prepare to head out on a road trip to spend some time with family and celebrate Christmas together, I'm sure my mantra will come in handy a few times but I'm hoping it can sink down into my heart and soul and not just be something on 'repeat' in my brain. I'm praying for an abundance of peace and joy, presence and memory making - after all - this is the only Christmas I get to share with a 3.5 year old Big Brother and a 3 month old Little Brother.