Now that I'm less distracted by the Challenge, I'm focusing on all the other things that need to get done around the house and feeling the stress. I totally love this time of year, but sometimes it all gets a little overwhelming! Case in point: our Elf on a Shelf, Herbie, is visiting right now. Every once in a while, that darn elf is so forgetful and doesn't remember to head back to the North Pole and then reappear somewhere else in the house after the kids go to bed. It got so bad that I had to set a reminder timer for him on my phone... Abby just informed me yesterday that she thinks Herbie goes to Elf School after she goes to bed, and his teacher is Santa! Not one to miss an opportunity, I told her that we'd better make sure she gets to bed on time from now on, because we wouldn't want Herbie to get in trouble for being late to school. Ha ha! :) Here's Herbie hanging out in Jake's room last week--his first foray into Jake's room (in two years) because Jake can't be trusted not to knock him down and ruin Herbie's magic... I think Abby might faint if she came into Jake's room and saw him holding Herbie...not kidding. She's super protective of that elf. Herbie found a safe(ish) place to perch in Jake's room this year, and managed to survive untouched. As an added bonus, Jake took a great nap that day because Herbie was right there, staring at his bed! :)
|above Jake's dresser...safe from curious hands!|
I also have yet to do the kids' Santa video, which I do every year for them from the Portable North Pole--such an awesome thing to have to motivate their behavior...it cracks me up every time. You can personalize all aspects of the message Santa gives, and I have had lots of fun with it over the years. Abby has always been on the "nice list," and Jake has yet to make that list...two different children entirely! Abby has her naughty moments, but she's such the responsible first born. Jake obviously has his nice moments, but he's our high-spirited little monkey! This year will be Alex's first video from Santa...I'm not sure if he'll be naughty or nice at this point. He learns everything he knows from Jake! The videos are obviously a project that I have to complete when the kids aren't around, so either naptime or after they go to bed...and I haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe today? Here's Jake's from 2010--absolutely the best one ever, because Jake was almost 2 and totally ornery with a BIG temper, and it scared him into shape! Hysterical.
So it's Christmas fun that I've brought on myself that adds a little stress to this time of year...but I wouldn't have it any other way! I don't remember Christmases being as enjoyable until we had our own kids, other than when I was a kid myself--it's just wonderful to see the magic of the season from their eyes. We drove around looking at Christmas lights on our military installation this past weekend, and the excitement from all three kids was so much adorable. I couldn't help laughing every time Alex said, "It's awesome!" or, "Those are my favorites!" :) So cute! I'm probably going to pull about 20 late nighters between now and Christmas to get everything done--we still have to wrap all our presents and put together a huge train table because Santa delivered it a little early and we're doing him a favor by putting it together (you can thank us later, Santa), but I'm going to try my best to not let the stressful aspects take away from the magical ones.
|Abby writes notes for Herbie to take to the North Pole--this was last night's!|