Reigning myself in (Happy St. Nicholas Day!)

Last night I hoped to accomplish three things after the kids went to bed:  sew five simple little pouches to hold gumdrops in, needle felt a ram for our Jesse tree, and knit at least a few rows on Larkspur’s completely neglected Christmas sweater.  The five simple little pouches ended up causing me lots of grief.  They didn’t go as planned at all which was really ridiculous considering I have made these before and they aren’t complicated.  My machine wasn’t cooperating though, and I guess I need to give up on sewing after 10 p.m.  My brain just shuts down.  I ended up in a really bad mood, and didn’t get anything but the pouches completed.  By then it was midnight and I still needed to straighten up and line up the kids’ shoes and set out their treats from St. Nicholas:  little bags of gumdrops and their wool socks for this winter.  I woke up today completely exhausted and completely set up to disappoint myself.  I fell asleep when I was putting Beatrix down for her nap, rather than popping up to prepare for our afternoon.  So, not everything that I hoped to do for St. Nicholas day happened.  I hate when I set expectations too high and try to cram too much into a day.  It never works, and I end up feeling like a failure.  I am reaching a definite point where I have to cut myself some slack.  I am typically so high energy and can accomplish so much, but right now I am tired and I am over doing it!  It’s hard because there is so much I want to do with my kids this season and I don’t want to admit that I am going to have to maybe give up some of my plans.  I feel like I am so laid back until I make a plan to do something and then fail to do it.  Then all of a sudden I feel like a mess!  Maybe I need to stop right now though and just focus on what did get accomplished today, the fact that my kids had a great day, and try harder to take things one day at a time.  I am typically so good at that, but I guess trying to give my children the perfect Advent is kind of sabotaging my good nature.  Time to reign myself in and remember that I need to be preparing my heart right now too!
Beatrix was the first to discover the shoes filled with their little gifts.  This is the first year we have observed this tradition, so no one was expecting it.  I wonder if other children get as excited about wool socks as mine do?  We are in the midst of a cold snap here in Virginia and our house feels freezing even when the thermostat reads the upper 60s.  That’s because we live in an old drafty house!  Wool socks are a must.
Killer bedhead as usual!
Everyone else soon trickled downstairs and discovered their treats.  I was so excited when I saw little tubs of red and white gumdrops at Whole Foods when we were in Georgia for Thanksgiving and knew they would be perfect for today (they didn’t have any artificial yucky stuff in them!)
Gumdrops make the perfect breakfast, right?
Poor Gabe.  He likes his hair cut short (and he likes it “edged up” which I hate because it makes him look so old) and he is regretting his recent haircut!  He usually has a wool hat on now, even in bed at night!
The other tradition we started this year is to buy gifts for a couple of people (this year, one elderly woman and one little boy) whom we choose from our church’s giving tree and deliver the wrapped gifts to the church on St. Nicholas day (this is about a week before the deadline of dropping them off, but I would like to associate helping others with St. Nicholas day.)  But that is the part of my plan that didn’t happen.  While we had already bought the gifts, because I stayed in bed with Beatrix too late this afternoon there wasn’t time to get everything wrapped and delivered today.  But that’s okay.  We’ll do it tomorrow!

**Kate left a comment on my last post hoping to be connected with some other crafty single moms.  You can read her complete comment on that post to learn a bit of her story and reply there, or just leave a comment and a link on this post if you are a single mom and think she might enjoy your blog.

**Also, I have been asked for a crown template like the one I use for my kids’ birthday crowns.  I originally used the template in The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections.  Now I just trace my kids crowns when I want to make another one!

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