Christmas 2014

We have had a wonderful two weeks of vacation for Christmas! I’d love for this to be one of those beautifully written and thoughtful essays on the meaning of Christmas, and the joy of the season with our small children that leaves you with a tear in your eye and a smile on your face, but…this isn’t really that kind of blog. So you’ll get a recap instead. 🙂

DSC_0125_WEBMostly our vacation was great because our daycare was still open for the non-holiday days. (So grateful!) And since we both took the time off work, we still sent them to daycare when we could so that we actually had some free time at home! It. Was. AWESOME. Oh my god, it was amazing.

The last six or seven months got really busy for me, and I was able to keep everything juggled, sometimes just barely. Most weekends as well as evenings after kid bedtime have been dedicated to at least some work (which is why things like this blog got pushed to the back burner). Don’t get me wrong, I was really happy about the work, but I kept wishing for an extra day of the week so I could get more stuff done. So, starting in late November, I had been clinging to the idea of TIME, finally, to just sit around and relax…and work on all the other things on my list. 🙂

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My first major accomplishment was catching up on Project Life. I’d been caught up to Week 49 with photos, but was something like 13 weeks behind on the journaling part. It took more than a few days, and it was hard to focus, but finally, that got done and checked off the list!! Hurray! (The other day I just got the last three weeks of pictures for the year, so I’ll have to get those done hopefully soon.)

IMG_9181_WEBMy next big task was getting some rest. CHECK! I took naps most of the first week, and slept in when I could. I literally hadn’t felt that good and rested since before the babies were born. The second week I’ve gotten less sleep again, but I’m hoping to get back on track. In addition, we worked on getting caught up on the big DVR backlog. I’ve also been watching some stuff on Netflix. I EVEN started a small knitting project. Look at me, such a lady of leisure! I love it!

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We also did some big household projects. With some amazing help from family, we now have shelves in our kitchen, which means a ton more storage for all the crap that has been accumulating on/in/around the cabinets. We also did major cleanup and organization in the basement! It only took an afternoon, but the results are INCREDIBLE. (No before picture, because it was pretty icky and messy). There are some other storage things I’m working on in the garage too. A couple smaller tasks got done too: Andy finally anchored a couple big pieces of furniture, which we’ve been meaning to do for over a year, and he also put together the new storage/dresser thing for the living room, which we’d left sitting in the garage for over a month. Generally, because we’ve actually had some time, we’ve gotten on a roll of getting shit done around the house! Woohoo!

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I’ve also been working on other personal photos, and trying to catch up on this blog, and also starting on my massive list of business-related tasks. I’ve made great progress for such a short amount of time, and I’m really happy and excited. The crossing off of items on my endless to-do list is so damn satisfying and has me all psyched up to keep up the good work!

DSC_0170_WEBThe Christmas part itself has also been really fun. Everyone says that the holidays are amazing through your kids’ eyes, and it’s so true! This year, the holiday decorations are so happy-making for the boys, and for me too. They know and talk about Christmas trees (which they adorably pronounce “mih-miss ree”), lights, stockings, ornaments, presents. I was really excited about the gifts that we piled up under the tree, though I had to consciously resist buying lots of stuff for the dudes, since they got lots of wonderful gifts from family. I got some cheap plastic ball ornaments for them to ‘decorate’ with. They loved it, and kept putting them on and then ripping them off again. Sigh.

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We did go see Santa again, to the downtown Macy’s Santaland. I would like that to be the place we go every year, it’s a fun outing downtown to see the big tree and see the Santaland display. They cared more about pushing their strollers around than looking at the moving reindeer this year, of course! The train stuff later on they thought was super cool. And the Santa there was great again this year too. The boys were not at all sure about sitting on a stranger’s lap. They didn’t cry, but they did do their classic wary/stoic thing. I wonder how old they’ll be before they’ll smile for Santa pictures. 🙂

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This year is an interesting one, because though they’re just starting to notice and learn things, they aren’t old enough for ideas like Santa Claus, or that there’s a special day, or that they can expect presents. Next year is going to be completely different, but this year they’ve been beautifully innocent and fun. I’ve really enjoyed it all, and I’ve been surprised at how happy and how emotional it’s all made me. Turns out I really am a big old softie. 🙂

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Christmas morning was so much fun–I started them off with stockings (because that was always my favorite). I gave them each a matchbox car and a packet of crackers. They were psyched and wanted to eat them right away, and I let them, because it was Christmas! 🙂 They got into the unwrapping thing, but they weren’t that good at it, or understanding that things have to be unwrapped or unpackaged before they can play. They got a fun new lawnmower push toy and a toy guitar, which were the two big toys they played with a lot right away. They also got the Goodnight Moon board game, a doll, some great new board books, some adorable clothes from their very fashionable auntie, a hammering toy, and some bookstore gift cards. Quite a haul for two year olds! They’ve been loving all the new stuff!

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Mid morning, though, we had a scare. I wasn’t paying attention while Malcolm was over by the tree, and suddenly there was something in his mouth. Little red shards. He had eaten or bitten something off the tree! Andy realized it was a tree light bulb. I found the end third caught in his bib and got some biggish shards off his tongue, but I had no idea how much else there was and how much, if any, he had swallowed. Oh god. I was really scared, and so worried, and so guilty. I took him to the ER – the children’s hospital where they were born has a pediatric emergency room, which meant that the decor was really friendly and nice, there was a toy right on the wall of the exam room, and the staff were extra gentle and wonderful and kind. That made things so much easier for both Malcolm and me. Happily, he seemed fine; the doctor told me that if he had swallowed anything, it would most likely pass right through with no damage at all. He was showing no signs of anything amiss, so they were not worried. Which meant that I didn’t have to worry anymore either. And indeed, he’s been totally and completely fine. I was so relieved!

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Later on, we continued our Christmas Day tradition of watching a movie and making/decorating a gingerbread house. Last year we watched Pitch Perfect and this year I sort of wanted to watch that again, but we ended up with 21 Jump Street, which was totally dumb in just the right kind of way.

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We also got in plenty of fun quality time with the four of us together. We went out for a walks a couple times; went to the indoor park; took the Max together for the first time; went to the bookstore; and went out for pizza. Not to mention the jumping and tickling and dancing and playing at home.

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Overall, like I said, it’s been a beautiful, productive, restful, and fun two weeks with our family this Christmas. I hope that you and your family also had a wonderful holiday and new year!

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