Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Holidays are tough!

I have tons of pictures from both our wonderful visit to family for Thanksgiving and then the month-long preparation and celebration of Christmas. In my head I have several funny posts and several thoughtful posts. Instead of actually writing them, I just keep coming up with excuses. You see, the holidays are tough.

Oh I know, the holidays are tough on everyone, especially Moms. We try and make the magic for everyone, stretch a dollar until it squeals like a scalded monkey, decorate and wrap and cook and sing until we want to scream, and fall into bed each night feeling inadequate and like a failure. (Or wait, is that just me???) I am determined to create memories and traditions that my kids will remember for a lifetime. I carry on some traditions that I loved as a child and have created a few new ones as well.

Right now my house is a disaster. Toys all over the floors, legos covering the kitchen table, tinsel stuck to everything and enough colored sugar and sprinkles scattered on the floors to qualify us as a sugar-hazard. Did the kids have a great Christmas? Oh yeah!!!! Was it everything I dreamed for them? Heck no. I am so stressed by the mess around me that I fail to see how happy my little ones are. I see chaos and cleaning, they see a table covered with the creations we built together as a family then played with for days. Do they see the dirty floor? No, they see the remnants of decorating cookies then eating them until their mouths were brightly colored and their tummies full of sweets. Do they notice the pile of laundry calling for my attention? No, they only remember wearing their jammies all day while we played and laughed and ate our fill of yummie holiday cooking.

So why am I so stressed? Sigh. Because I am a failure at relaxing and enjoying the here and now. I know I will miss these times in the future, so how do I learn to enjoy them now? Someone please come kick me in the arse!!!!!!!

Monday, December 05, 2011


In October we had the annual Say No To Drugs Week where each day the kids got to wear something special. In years past there has been slippers day, hat day and sunglasses day. The favorite day this year was crazy hair day. Having only boys it challenged my mad hair skillz. Here is what we came up with.

The Alfalfa with gold glitter

The Golden Storm

Scary Mess with Green Hi-lights

Halloween is a huge trigger for trauma kiddos. I'm not sure exactly why, but invariably it brings out the demons and the behaviors we would love to forget. This year Ahren was totally un-fazed. He has only had very minor issues in the past so it did not surprise me. Seth began having terrible nightmares about 2 weeks before the holiday. I asked his therapist to work with him on the issue of Halloween so she did. My rule has always been that the kids had to wear non-violent costumes. She actually suggested that I let Seth dress up in scary costumes so that it took the mystique out of it. I was hesitant to try it, but figured it was worth a try.

Pumpkin carving. Always a favorite and yucky activity!

It was 80 degrees and no shirts meant no laundry mess. Just a quick wash up and we were done!

Will this child ever get teeth???

So, following the advice of the therapist, I let the boys choose their costumes. Ahren is Darth Vader (I wouldn't let him wear the helmet to trick-or-treat) Seth is a Zombie/Mummy and Levi is Jason (He didn't know who that was but saw the mask and thought it was cool.) Much to my surprise, Seth's nightmares stopped, he began to talk about the cool costumes and how they were make believe and fun, and he thoroughly enjoyed the evening. You know, parenting these kids is counter-intuitive at times. What you think would be the worst thing ever for them turns out to be the perfect thing to help them work through something. This obviously will not work for all kids, but in this case the therapist was dead on.