Christmas Festivities & Holiday Blues

The holidays can be a hard time for a lot of people and I’m one of them. From November until the end of January I live in survival mode. We’ve been back home for six months and people are still asking me if I’m happy to be home. My answer is always yes, and that’s because I am 100% happy to finally be back home. I was hoping this holiday season would be better for me, and in some ways it is, but it’s also harder in other ways.

We’ve always waited until after Nakiah’s birthday to put the tree up because she/we wanted her Birthday and Christmas separate, but this year she wanted to do things differently.
So we started a new tradition of putting the tree up the day after Thanksgiving.

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I love our little tree. I bought this tree three years ago…it was our first Christmas with just the four of us in our first apartment. The entire place was probably the size of the living room and kitchen I have now, so it fit the space perfectly.

The 2nd Christmas we were living back with my parents and used this three.
Now that I’m back home and it’s the four of us again, I thought about going with a bigger tree, but this one has been through three years of major transitions with us, so it’s special to me. It felt right to use this one since life seems to have come full circle this Christmas.

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We had our first snow on December 2nd.

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Kiah turned 11 this month, and she’s as tall as me now!
We had a hot chocolate bar, chili bar, and a brownie bar. It was nice to celebrate with people we haven’t seen since her first birthday.

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Since it was in the 60’s all last week, I took the kids shopping to finish up their Christmas outfits and we came upon this gigantic tree in the middle of the shopping center.

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Can’t come across a tree like this and not touch it…

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We went to see the wildlights at the Columbus zoo with our church group on Saturday.
I think it was a little over an hour drive there, but we sat in traffic for over 3hrs.
Once we were inside, one of the girls mentioned cotton candy to Samuel and he loudly whined about it for the next hour until I finally found some for him.

The lights were very pretty and I would love to take them again, but we would need to leave much sooner to avoid traffic, and have time to explore the zoo/aquarium.

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The kids had their Christmas program Sunday morning, and Samuel was the most adorable shepherd!
He wanted to bring his costume and the sheep home.

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Kiah and Ava both had a small speaking part in their programs, then all the kids sang a few songs together.
They all did an amazing job, and I took lots of video and pictures.

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In between these fun times, we’ve had meltdowns, hurt feelings, yelling, crying, and reasoning.
Every year I say this Christmas will be different. I had visions of baking a different cookie each week with the kids. Trying new allergy-free treats for Samuel. Doing a craft a week to decorate our place. Taking them to several more places to see lights, and we haven’t even been to see Santa yet!

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We are doing a couple of crafts this week, and one can stay up for the rest of winter.
I feel this pressure to make it the biggest and best Christmas for them since we’ve all been through so much over the last few years, and then the move this year. Sometimes I feel like nothing I do will ever be enough. It’s not because I’m looking at what everyone else is doing, I’m thinking about what I wanted to do for my kids. Baking for Samuel is tricky because he doesn’t like the boxed cookies or brownies, and trying to find the right consistency with an egg replacement, and substituting milk has been a little difficult in the past. I don’t have it in me to try a bunch of different recipes for him to not like it. So i decided to wait until after the holidays and hopefully I won’t feel as frazzled.

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He’s had to be put on steroids again and needing to use the breathing machine more often. I have to be extra careful with him and our outings this time if year. Can’t go out when it’s 60 degrees one day and 40 the next. Being home more than usual has been hard on all of us.

He’s been hard to parent lately. I’m tired, he’s tired. He’s whining and having meltdowns, I’m trying to stay calm. I would love to sleep for at least 4hrs straight before waking up, but I wake every 2hrs during the night, every night. Sometimes I can fall back asleep and others I lay there. I don’t know if he’s generally not feeling well because of all his asthma and allergy issues, if there’s a full moon coming, or what, but I’m having a really hard time with him lately. On top of all that, he’s always wanting me to hold him, or has to be touching me in some way, and I feel like I want to climb out of my own skin!

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My fuse is shorter than normal, and sometimes I just want to cry. I need a break, but try not to think about it too much because then I get angry knowing a break isn’t coming. I always look and feel tired, but then I have moments throughout the day where I’m happy and content.

Keep reminding myself that I am one person and I’m doing what I can. Trying to find a balance of what I can do, what I need to do, and what I want to do is not easy. I have so many ideas that I can’t seem to get off the ground and that leaves me feeling like there’s never any time for me. All I do is pour into everyone else.
Christmas is in 11 days and I find myself wishing we can get it over with and move on to the next crazy holiday. Then I feel bad. Shouldn’t I be enjoying Christmas through my child’s eyes, seeing all the magic and happiness? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll feel that way tomorrow.

Anyway, I’ve rambled, but that’s whats going on over here. I’ll call it beautiful chaos. We’ve laughed, watched movies, had fun with friends, gone to bed without crying. Sometimes I’ve enjoyed the flow of our days, watching them do puzzles and drawing, listening to their hilarious conversations and theories, reading the advent books to put on the tree. All that’s beautiful. The chaos I talked about before gets mixed in with those moments.

This was us yesterday afternoon.

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