Counting down to Christmas

Since December 1 the kids have been receiving nightly visits from Billy the Elf. It has been a blast! Billy is not an elf on the shelf. In fact, the kids never see him. Elves are far too busy making toys to hang out on our shelf, at least in my opinion! Billy brings us an activity, craft, or treat every day that we can enjoy together. We’ve made gingerbread trees, snowman faces on paper plates, foam gingerbread men, pipe cleaner candy canes, ornaments for the tree… Well you get the point! The elf also changes our ‘days til Christmas’ board so the new number is showing every morning.
I have LOVED doing this with the kids. I love how Nick is recognizing the numbers, how Zoey’s fine motor skills have improved putting the perler beads on the pipe cleaners, how Alex is starting to get an understanding for the concept of time… But most of all, I love hanging out and doing Christmas activities with the kids. I’m looking forward to Christmas Eve, when Billy leaves them pjs and dvds so we can have a pj party and green and red pancakes for supper.
Christmas is magical.
From our home to yours, I hope the magic of the season finds you and brings you the joy its bringing us ❤
Love hugs and more to come later!
Lynn

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Christmas Traditions

Its December!! And with that comes Christmas! I love Christmas. The togetherness, family, lights, traditions. This year is a little different for us then most years since we are living close to my family which means we won’t be spending the holidays alone, like we usually do. Which is going to be absolutely fantastic!
Last year I introduced the concept of Billy the Elf to my kids. Billy isn’t an elf on the shelf. Elves are too busy making toys to hang out at our house all day everyday. Billy is an elf who pops over every night while the kids sleep to leave them a Christmas activity for us to do together.
Of course that means that I spend November cruising Pinterest for a bunch of Christmas crafts and activities and then go through our craft supplies to make sure we have what we need. Our elf leaves everything we need to do a craft or activity in our ‘elf bag’ which is just a crocheted bag that I made and he changes the number on our countdown to Christmas board. Sometimes, when he has time, he leaves a letter for the kids.
I love making memories and having traditions for the kids to grow up with! I can’t wait to enjoy the holiday season with them! Our elf bag is just one of our many traditions. What are some of yours?

Love, hugs and more to come later!
Lynn

Memories

For some reason the Christmas season always leads me to reflect on the last year. Even with the hustle and bustle of getting things ready for Alex’s birthday, and Christmas I can’t help but take time to look back.

I can’t help but look back on the Christmas traditions I grew up with, and, as the kids get older get some of those same traditions (or slightly modified traditions) in place.
One of those traditions is getting to open a present on Christmas Eve. Who doesn’t like to get to open just one present before Christmas morning! I loved this as a child, I think it builds excitement for the ‘big day’ Hubs and I agreed that Christmas Eve the kids would get to open one gift. It’s going to be the same every year, a pair of pj’s, a DVD, and hot chocolate. It gives us something fun to do together as a family. I am looking forward to it.
Another is the advent calender. My parents always got us the ones with the little piece of chocolate in each of the little windows. I loved it and planned on doing the same with my kids. But, in the age of Pinterest, there are so many ideas out there! I know a lot of people that are doing the 24 days of books, and while I like the idea, my kids already have thirty bazillion books and we read all the time together. Instead, I decided to do 23 (Dec 1 is Alex’s birthday party so we are going to start on the 2nd) days of family activities. From baking cookies, to Christmas stickers, to visiting Santa, to putting up our tree. There is something fun for us to do every day up to Christmas.
Family is so important. And I don’t want the kids to become trapped in the ‘what did you get for Christmas’ cycle and think it’s all about what you get.

On another note. I am totally obsessing with the fact my baby is going to be 3 in a little over a month. How did that even happen?!? Zoey is going to be 6 months old tomorrow. Nick is going to be 2 in four months.

Honestly, it feels like I just found out I was pregnant with Alex. And now here I am, almost 3 years into this parenting thing and still going strong! My kids are happy, smart, loved, loving, and healthy. (granted, Nick and Zoey have colds right now)

I am looking forward to the next month or so. I can’t wait to jump into Christmas with the kids and see the wonderment and excitement in their faces when they see the tree, the lights, the movies and shows, the crafts, Santa, and the presents under the tree.

Being a parent gives a whole new perspective to the simplest things 🙂

Love, hugs and more to come later!
Lynn

Wait… what’s the date?

Anyone else notice that October is almost over? Anyone else caught totally off guard by this? Or is just me? It could be me. 

The last couple of weeks, I have been feeling like myself again. The new birth control pills combined with the multivitamin, combined with being more active combined with a very in depth conversation with hubs have all created a more normal feeling Lynn. It’s a great feeling. I have been more productive, more hands on with the boys, a better wife. You know. Just better. Then I noticed Christmas is coming. And Bitter Lynn started showing herself again. 

It’s not that I don’t like Christmas. Quite the opposite. I absolutely love and adore Christmas. I love Christmas shopping (I already have all my lists made, and a good chunk of the shopping done, and the stuff I am making homemade is almost done too!) I love wrapping presents, I love donating whatever I can, I love the stories (ALL holiday stories.) I love decorating, I love being with family, I love the lights, the food, the ambiance of it all. I seriously LOVE Christmas. 

It’s the family part that I am struggling with. This year is going to be the second year in a row that we can’t go to Winnipeg to celebrate Christmas with my family. (It’s a $3000 trip, and we just don’t have the money after already having made two trips out this year) And for me this is really really hard for a lot of reasons. 

First off, it’s my family. My parents, brothers, aunt, uncles, grandparents, cousins etc that I won’t get to see and celebrate with. I am very close to my family and me living out here has been hard. I hate not being able to spend the holidays with them. 

Now. Staying in New Brunswick shouldn’t be that bad. Hubs family is all here. But, if you remember, they tend to pick favorites among my kids. (You can read about that here if you missed it) And I hate it. Alex’s birthday is 4 days after Christmas. He is going to be three guys! THREE!!!… Anyways. His birthday is 4 days after Christmas and last year he got some of his birthday gifts with his Christmas gifts. This pisses me right off. His birthday and Christmas are TWO DIFFERENT HOLIDAYS. But that isn’t really my point. If the people who didn’t acknowledge Nick’s first birthday are going to acknowledge Alex’s third birthday I am going to lose my mind. It’s not that I don’t want Alex to be celebrated, but I want ALL my kids to be celebrated by their family. It’s not about the birthday gifts. It’s about acknowledging your grandchild. (Or niece/nephew) Have I mentioned that none of Hubs brothers have met Zoey? Yea. Why do I want to spend the holidays with these people? Unfortunately, I have no choice but to put on a smile and pretend it’s all rainbows and butterflies. I got my way with not seeing his family at Thanksgiving and I am not even going to attempt to dissuade Hubs from seeing his family at Christmastime. It’s not like we actually see them Christmas Eve or Christmas Day anyways. They are far too busy those days for us.

I am trying not to let those feelings overpower the excitement I normally have about Christmas. After all, Alex is old enough now to REALLY GET IT and Nick is getting there. And it’s Zoey’s first Christmas! Our home is going to be full of warmth and love! And Christmas crafts!! We just did some pretty awesome Halloween ones that I am going to post tomorrow or the next day!

If you have any ideas for Preschool/Toddler friendly Christmas crafts I would LOVE to hear them! (I can’t believe I am calling Alex a preschooler!)

Love, hugs and more to come later!
Lynn 

Doing the right thing?

I have lived in NB for 4 years as of October 9. Crazy.

This is our fifth Thanksgiving in NB. (In Canada, we celebrate in October, I know it’s not like this everywhere!) Our first Thanksgiving was the weekend I moved out here and as we were staying with Hubs’ Mom and Step Dad until we got out own place, we had dinner with them. 

The following year, we more or less invited ourselves to celebrate Thanksgiving with Hubs’ Dad and Step Mom. 

The third year, we celebrated ourselves at home since everyone had their own plans. 

The fourth year, we did the same as year three. 

This year, I planned a nice dinner for Hubs, the kids and I. Then, we were indirectly invited to celebrate Hubs’ Step Dad’s nephews wedding the weekend of Thanksgiving. I don’t want to go. I told Hubs, I am not going. He can take the kids and go, he can go by himself.

But. I. Am. Not. Going. 

Why you ask? Why am I choosing to stay home with my husband and kids instead of spending the holiday with family when I am the first to complain that we never see family?

1- Because we weren’t actually invited. Yes I am going to be that petty about it. We seen Hubs Mom and Step Dad on Saturday. They didn’t invite us while we were there. She called Hubs Dad after we left her house (no, they are not close) and asked him to pass the message on to us. She did not call our house to give us the details. I don’t really feel wanted there. 

2- Because I don’t want to sit and play nice while his Mom and Step Dad pretend to be the grandparents on the year when they never see my kids or call to see how any of us are doing. Not to mention the way they ignore Nick and Zoey and favor Alex. Shame on Nick and Zoey for looking like me and not looking like Hubs side of the family. /sigh/

Hubs says he isn’t going if I am not going. That’s his choice. 

Am I doing the right thing? I don’t know. But I know that I am doing what feels right to me. And yet, I still feel slightly guilty for it /sigh/

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn