Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas "Break"

Mama needs a break.

You know it's bad when I start referring to myself as a child-bearer in the third person.

I adore Christmas...truly adore it. Both for what it really stands for and also for all of the tinsely, lit up splendidness of it all. However, somehow this year, I went into the Christmas holiday on a deficit and I'm having trouble catching up. Between my work schedule and Charles' work schedule, it has been double duty on passing the baton- which has meant little, to no, time together and little, to no, self-time. I have realized that I am not really "great" at anything- being a good Wife, a good Mother, a good Teacher, a good Businesswoman- when I haven't had some alone time to recoup.  Christmas was full of all of the traditions I enjoy so much, and seeing the joy my boys were experiencing was very heartwarming, but it didn't quite hold the magic I'm used to...because I'm tired. And Mama needs a break. There are a couple of spa gift cards with my name on them from last year and I am planning on cashing them in. Stat.

The very, very best part of Christmas, though, is seeing it through my boys eyes...

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Santa filled the stockings...and even "George" got a Paw print stocking filled with goodies.

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Santa delivered our first Christmas train! We have all had dreams of an adorable battery operated train set to circle the tree and have been enjoying this one immensely!

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The view after Santa had visited on Christmas Eve, along with my beautiful table setting. (This year, through my Event Design business, I created some floral arrangements and tablescapes that we sold to add just a little ease and beauty to people's holiday tables. I loved this "Glam Christmas" version we did, and made an extra for myself!)

Christmas morning arrived, but luckily my boys are sleepers and woke at their regular time...

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On Christmas morning, Christian got the drums he had been asking for from Santa! Yes. I might be crazy. Please refer back to sentence number 1 from this post.

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But, just look at his face...sheer happiness.

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Elijah tore through the stockings and loved every minute, but his favorite toy was the Alphabet Train Santa brought.  He loves, loves, LOVES this thing...

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Our big gift to ourselves this year was "George".

IMG_0859 This dog has really captured our hearts, but the most amazing gift came the day after Christmas.

The Rescue that we got George from (called Mutt Match LA) requires you to have a recommended trainer come to give you some help training your dog. George is a good natured, easy going, loveable dog, but he's also young. He is persistent around food and has been chewing quite a bit. (In fact, we had a song started to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." It went something like this: "On the fifth day of Christmas my dog chewed up for me: Five... Precious... Binkies...   Fo-ur pairs of shoes, three plastic cows, tw-o tupperware, and a string of  lights on the Christmas tree!")

 But, on the day after Christmas, a true "Dog Whisperer" walked into our house, showed us how to speak to George in his language (body language...not barking language) and we instantly watched George transform before our eyes. I have never seen anything like it. Now, George sits in front of the door when we eat and even if I threw a scrap of food near him, he wouldn't move a muscle to get it until I tell him it's okay. He's completed connected with me now when I take him for walks and it has been a ton of fun taking him out for a couple of runs lately. The trainer told us that when George starts to see us as his "pack", the destructive chewing is likely to diminish or stop. I'm still knocking on wood, but it has been two days since he's chewed anything up!!

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School starts again for Christian on January 2nd. On one hand, I'm sort of looking forward to the school schedule again, but on the other hand we were having so many problems with one of the kids at school, that I'm kind of dreading it. My plan was to get Christian together with another boy from his class to help encourage a newer friendship that might not be so dramatic, but it hasn't happened yet. With all of the commitments and the busyness of the season, I just haven't been able to make it happen. We still have a few semi-relaxed days left, so I'm hoping to still pull it off!

Tomorrow, I have big plans for a yoga class in the morning as a first step in re-grouping. Sunday I have big plans for a spa pedicure and a girls night. And somewhere thrown in there, I plan to pack up the Christmas decorations and enjoy the feeling of a fresh start, a scaled-down living room (sans Christmas tree), and the whiff of a New Year and all of the adventures waiting for me.

I love Christmas time and all the hominess and warmth that it brings, but I also love the anticipation of starting something new. A new year. A fresh start. A little break to regroup and then pick up my pace again. Hey...if my dog can be transformed with a perspective change, then I'm pretty sure I can too...



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