Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Chaos

With the build-up to Christmas, the gifts, the baking, the guests.. it's almost a letdown when it's all over. I love this time of year, I love the excuse to bake cookies and pies and wrap presents. I am grateful this year that we finally wised up and shopped year-round for gifts so that we didn't go broke at the last minute. I kept track of what the kids 'wished for' during the year, keeping an eye out for sales, coupons, rebates and even the yard sales and thrift shops. Evelyn writing her Christmas list back in August was a big help, too, as I was able to get things she wanted that I otherwise would not have known about.

It was a little easier to shop for Evelyn, 8, than it was for the other younger ones. She has developed interests and clearly likes doing crafts and reading books. The younger ones are still into doll-playing and pretend, and Peter just likes to throw stuff. In her Christmas list, she asked for fabric and sewing stuff, and one of my blogging friends sent me some lovely fabric for Evelyn. I was so excited to be able to surprise Evelyn with fabric and her very own vintage sewing box, along with spools of thread, new scissors and pins, embroidery floss and a note asking her to take care of the box and its' contents.

She was so thrilled with her sewing stuff and it was a delight to see her jaw drop!

My Aunt also gave her a kid-size sewing machine, which I had no idea she was going to give! Talk about happy!! The sewing box and machine both sit on her dresser and she is impatiently waiting for me to show her how to use the new sewing machine.

Back in May, my sister and her family came up to visit and she gave me some presents to give to the girls come Christmas. I must have forgotten what she told me was in them, because all along I thought they were dresses or some outfits. The size of the box seemed about right for one of those clothing boxes. When I handed them out, imagine the squeals of joy when they ripped off the wrapping paper to find brand new Barbies!!! They were so happy with their new dolls! Thanks Aunt Teena!!
You've made 3 little girls very happy!

During the summer, I would find Barbies at the yard sales and I'd pick out the best looking ones with the nicest outfits, and in their Christmas stockings, the girls each received a Barbie. So they got 2 Barbies this Christmas!

Peter, at 2, is at the point where he just likes to throw stuff or bop the girls on the head with something. He gets into everything and likes to put stuff into holes or poke things into places he isn't supposed to. The couch you see behind him-- he put a hole under one of the cushions and drops stuff in there. One night after the kids went to bed, I was looking for the remote, and I discovered the hole. I took a flashlight and peeked in and found quite a bit of stuff in there-- so that's where the forks were disappearing to! There's the stuffed birdies I made for the tree, marbles, blocks, cereal, popcorn, sippy cup lids, and yes, the remote. We had to cut a slit in the bottom of the couch to get all the stuff out and now we regularly check inside the couch for missing items. I really need to sew a patch on it and put an end to his squirreling away of stuff.

Grandma got him a new basketball hoop and some legos, since the girls won't share their own legos with him. I found a big box of wooden tracks and trains at the thrift store and a train table at a yard sale. We picked out a few tracks and trains and set it up on the train table and put it under the tree for Peter. I think he's happy with it, but it's still early yet, he hasn't really had a chance to play with the trains.

It snowed on Christmas day, so Grandma and Grandaddy didn't come. It's just as well, they got a lot of presents from us, Grandma, and Aunt and Uncle and I think they were overwhelmed as it was. Peter was having small tantrums when he was stopped from ripping wrapping paper off any box he could get his hands on. Sylvia and Gretchen wanted to just play with their dolls-- the Barbies and their Jessie dolls and they didn't want to open any more gifts. Grandma and Grandaddy will come next week and this way, they can play with what they have now and open a few more later.

We are starting new rules with their new toys, most of the old toys are in the basement and we are trying to teach them to take better care of their toys. I am tired of stepping on toys or having just cleaned a room only to turn around and have it look like a toy box vomited five minutes later. We are confiscating toys when we find them where they aren't supposed to be, and constantly asking them where this or that is, until it sinks into their heads that they are to keep track of where their toys are at all times. Peter got into Sylvia's new markers and scattered them everywhere and lost the caps to a few. As a result of that, all the markers and coloring books are now put up. Gretchen got a 'Go Fish' card game, and last night I found the cards all over the floor, behind the dresser and some fell behind the baseboard. That's gone, too. I have several Barbie shoes and outfits in the "gone box", as well.

It must be working, being mean mama and mean daddy. This morning, crayons were left on the table and the train tracks and trains left on the floor. I called to the girls to clean it up just as I carried Peter to the changing table. Before I even finished cleaning him up, the girls ran back to say they were done! Did they pick up all the crayons? "yes." Pick up all the trains and tracks? "yes." Then Gretchen said something that showed me she really is listening to us: "Many hands make the work go fast!" I was so pleased to hear her say that!

Now we can relax; no more pressure to cook or bake or clean house for guests; enjoy our new gifts and movies; eat the pies, fudges and cookies; we can just be together and be happy.

Hope your Holidays were merry and jolly and filled with laughter and love. xoxo

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