Tag Archives: family

A holiday wish.

From my family to yours…

Merry Christmas!

 

or, if you ask my little man, Happy Birthday! (he’s catching on, little by little…) :)

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The Trouble with Shopping Early

As I recently explained, my Grinchiness is waning. My tiny little Who has brought out my long-lost festive side, and now I’m really starting to get into this whole holiday thing!

The only problem: I can’t stop buying gifts! 8O

Believe it or not, I like to start my shopping in January, right after the previous year’s holiday season ends. I begin by watching the many daily deal sites I belong to, stacking up half price vouchers and great deals to spend later. I enter some online contests, and buy things when I find an exceptionally good coupon code…and by the time Little Man’s birthday and Christmas roll around, I’m usually have quite a nice stash of things ready to be wrapped up and gifted (without breaking the bank all at once.)

It’s a good plan. I’m sure of it. But it has one glitch: When you’re done shopping midway through the year, what do you do when you find yourself feeling unexpectedly “spirited” in December? Especially when Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the like bombard you with so-good-you-can’t-pass-them-up deals?

I’ll tell you what you do. You spend more. And you end up with more gifts than a 2-year-old needs or expects.

When I was preparing to be a mom, I always said, “Oh, who needs lots of toys? A few blocks, a ball…he’ll be fine. Books are better.” I wanted my son to interact and be imaginative, not rely on some toys to entertain him. But then, as reality set in, I realized how important it is to have a good array of developmentally appropriate, stimulating toys around to encourage growth and challenge your child.

Plus, he just so darned sweet I just want to give him everything! I know. I’m a sucker. That smiley, happy, squishy little face just kills me.

So what does it hurt? A few extra Melissa and Doug toys here, a couple of wooden cars or animals there (Not to mention a few new diapers or some snuggly Aden and Anais blankets, especially when you find a rockin’ deal!) I mean, what could be more fun than finding truly great products your kid will love, at great prices to boot? I’m not quite sure if it does hurt anything, really.

But one thing I’m sure of is that I don’t want our holidays to become all about the stuff. Too much stuff is too much stuff, even if some of it happens to be free from a Twitter party or sweepstakes win. We’ve made some very carefully planned changes in our lives over the past several years in an effort to simplify and plan our escape from the proverbial rat race, so I really think I need to stick to those same ideals even when it’s challenging, like in December.  Hoards of presents under the tree may be fun on Christmas morning, but I don’t think the long-term effects will be.

Note to self: You’ve caught your mistake early, now it’s time to reign it in, mama.

(But I’m still ordering a few new Aden and Anais swaddle blankets for nap time at Grammie’s…What? I have a great coupon code! :roll: )

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What are your thoughts? Do you set limits on the amount of presents your children receive during the holidays, or do you go as far as your budget allows?

 

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Confessions of a (semi)reformed Grinch

Spring is my thing.

Winter, not so much.

As I’ve gotten older, each year seems to have found me less and less “into” Christmas. The commercialism irks me, I’m not religious, and I get tired of the whole thing just dragging on for an eternity. I don’t particularly like visiting people I don’t want to just because I’m supposed to, and trying to avoid their yucky food while they ask me why I’m not eating more. And the one year I decided to do Christmas the way I wanted, not giving or receiving gifts but actually trying to refind the spirit of the season that I had lost, I was told I was being selfish and ruining it for everyone. Merry effing Christmas.

Pretty Grinchy, huh? I’m not really sure why. Perhaps my heart was just two sizes too small…

Ever since becoming a Mommy, I’m finding this whole holiday thing just a little more appealing. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m still not totally down with the Santa, but I’m getting there.

We have our first tree in 3 years, and my boy is endlessly fascinated by the reindeer with the light-up nose he saw on TV. I’ll be taking some vacation time over the coming weeks to bake cookies with my boy, which I used to do for days on end, whipping up 10 or 12 different kinds and delivering fresh trays to all of my friends and family. It’s been a while since that happened (and I’ve gotta say, I think my husband is looking forward to it…)

Today, we even picked up tickets to the local Christmas train ride, and next weekend we’ll be hitting up Christmas Candylane at Hersheypark. (I know, right?! 8O )

I knew that motherhood would change me, I guess I just didn’t realize that in creating a new childhood I’d be getting back a lot of my own. Ever since the day my son was born, everything has been a little more fun, felt a little more festive. I just seem to have more room in my day-to-day for superfluous things like tinsel and twinkly lights.

…maybe my heart really did grow three sizes that day.

(But I still really hate driving in the snow. ;) )

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Have you ever just wished you could skip the holiday season?

Have your feelings about the holidays changed since you became a parent, for better or worse?

 

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

from our family to yours!

 


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On Loss…and Feeling Thankful

I apologize. I’ve been avoiding you.

Or, sort of, anyway.

I just didn’t have the words this week. I had a few, enough for a tweet here or there, but not enough to put together a coherent post. I had to get them sorted out for myself first, and I think I’ve finally had enough time to do that.

You see, this was a week of loss for us. On Wednesday, we were told to say goodbye to what would have been the newest little member of our family. The little one we didn’t even know yet, but had come to care so much about.

And so I revisit the reluctant sisterhood of mothers who have experienced pregnancy loss. Mothers who wonder “Why me?” and “Why this baby? This baby who is so badly wanted, so incredibly loved?” Mothers who get so invested so quickly, even though we all know the deal we sign when we get pregnant has fine print stating:

No Guarantees.

 

I join the timeless lineage of mothers who then remember that there is no real answer to the question “Why?” other than the knowledge that this is all part of the journey.

This baby simply wasn’t strong enough to come join us. I know that, and I’m OK. My heart is broken, and my spirit is trying to heal, but I know deep down inside that I am carried in the hearts of so many generations of women before me–women from every time and every place, joined by a common thread–and my experience will, undoubtedly, help me in guiding the important young women in my life through their losses someday.

It may sound a little odd to some, but for me, embracing my loss is really the only way through it.

So, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful. I’m thankful for the joy I felt when I found out we were expecting. I’m thankful I got to carry our little bean for 8 weeks, and I’m thankful for the support I received while adjusting to the news that the new future we were envisioning wasn’t meant to be…yet.

But most of all, I’m thankful that for one brief, fleeting moment, as my husband, my son and I peered at that little screen watching the flicker of a heartbeat, we were a family of 4.

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