I slowly put out Christmas decorations the first week of December, including a little sitting Santa update to the mantel.
I’d previously envisioned the house freshly painted with twinkle lights everywhere, and I was happy that it ended up meeting my expectations. There’s only one area where I’ve second guessed the paint combination (in the dining room above the chair rail), but it would be a fairly easy fix if I decide later on that I dislike it enough to repaint the top. During the day on Friday, December 4th, the kids played in the leaves with their cousins at Mimi’s. I love it when my mom sends me fun pics of them playing while I’m at work.
Later at home, we decorated our new Christmas tree. Quincy wasn’t that into it, but he obliged me with a few ornaments.
The first weekend in December, the kids and I came down with a cold that turned out to be the kick-off to a pretty sick season for our kiddos. During our sick days throughout the month, we spent lots of time resting, snuggling, and watching Christmas movies.
On Monday the 7th, I took the kids to the doctor. Both had pneumonia from the aforementioned cold, so we started antibiotics right away. One of our pediatricians commented that it was almost the same timing as when Maisy had pneumonia last year… Not a holiday tradition I care to continue! Later that day, I got a call from my OB’s office about some genetic testing we’d had done that happened to include the gender of our baby. Here’s my text message conversation with Nate about the baby who, after being so nauseous, I’d felt sure was going to be a girl!
I needed to work in the office the next couple of days, so the kids did a combination of resting and playing at my mom’s. Mimi cracked up when she turned around to see Q falling asleep at the wheel:
December 10th to 15th, my parents took Carson to Utah to enjoy some of the Christmas traditions there, to play in the snow, and of course to visit family. We were originally going to join them but I was still feeling consistently unwell, and the kids were in pretty bad shape, too. We were able to cancel our airfare to Utah and save the combination of miles and money to use later. On Friday the 11th, Tara braved Ikea with us to get a dresser for Q’s new room along with several pieces for new hallway storage. The kids behaved pretty well with pizza to look forward to. Incentives!
The next morning, Tara shared fabulous news with me that she was pregnant. We’d been trying to have babies with birthdays close enough to land them in the same school year. Success! Over the coming days, Nate put together the Ikea furniture with the kids’ help. Daddy is a patient man!
For the evening of the 12th, we went to our church ward’s Christmas party for a while, then got TCBY with the kids and drove around looking at Christmas lights – without me getting carsick! I remember being really glad to feel well enough to enjoy the night.
On Monday the 14th, we picked up tacos from Torchy’s for dinner, went to Costco for groceries, and then put together a little gingerbread house for FHE.
I think the Christmas season felt like it was getting a bit better by the day as my bad pregnancy days became less bad, and the good days became better. The kids and I spent the night at my parents’ house on Wednesday the 16th so Maisy wouldn’t be late to her preschool Christmas party (and puppet show) the next morning. Before I got pregnant, we were doing our best to get out the door in time to sit in traffic and make it at least close to on time to 9am preschool up in Cedar Park. After I got so sick, and after construction and subsequent lane closures made traffic get even worse than it already was, I decided that I just couldn’t deal with it. We started leaving late enough to miss the worst of traffic, even though it meant that Maisy didn’t get to enjoy the full time of preschool. You do what you can to survive. On Thursday the 17th, the kids enjoyed more time in Mimi’s leaves:
On Saturday the 19th, Maisy went to our primary’s annual “Meet Your Teacher” activity. They wear pajamas and eat on “picnic blankets” around the gym floor before visiting their new classrooms and practicing the routes there, etc. Maisy has loved all of her primary teachers, and I’m grateful for the time and care that teachers take to be a light in the lives of my children. Later that afternoon, I ran errands for Christmas, and then I actually cooked dinner for the first time in, I don’t know, forever!
On Sunday the 20th, we delivered Christmas gifts after church before heading up to Cedar Park for dinner with my family (my out-of-town siblings were starting to be in town). In 9 years of work, I don’t think I’ve ever taken the whole week of Christmas off, so I had a goal to take more time off than I had in the past. On Monday the 21st, I worked from home in the morning before meeting some of my family at the Armadillo Bazar art fair downtown. We hit up food trucks after that, then walked over to the Trail of Lights.
The Trail of Lights is something that we haven’t done in many years, partly because it’s one of those things that my dad “punches his card” for once and then isn’t up for doing again. It was an experience I thought the kids would enjoy, so we gave it a try. Candidly, I’m not sure it was worth it. I mean, it was a memorable holiday activity to do with the family, but it wasn’t at all convenient for Nate to meet us there after work, and it was SO crowded that the kids didn’t enjoy it all that much. Quincy got antsy and wanted to run away the majority of the time, and all the obnoxious picture-takers clogging up the front of all the displays made it so Maisy and Carson couldn’t really see. I mean, c’mon people, what are you going to do with those 10 blurry pictures of the Winnie the Pooh Christmas display?!? Oh well, not everything can be as magical as you hoped, and sometimes outings are more memorable because they sort of flopped.
The next day (Tuesday the 22nd), I felt quite sick all morning and afternoon, probably from overdoing it the previous day. On Wednesday the 23rd, I spent part of the day painting Maisy’s dollhouse while the kids hung out with Daddy. Nate had repaired the dollhouse and painted it white before we gave it to Maisy for Christmas last year (it was a craigslist purchase), but I didn’t have the time I wanted to paint colors on the inside. I was determined to not let this year’s Christmas happen without me finishing what I’d intended to do before last Christmas. It turned out very bright and cute!
The evening of the 23rd, we had dinner with my family, after which my mom and the kids did their Christmas puppet show for us. Afterwards, we did our traditional Christmas stocking stuffer shopping at Target. On Christmas Eve morning, I used a credit with the gym that was about to expire to get a manicure and pedicure. I don’t know why I ever get manicures that aren’t gel because they only last about an hour before getting chipped, but it was still a relatively relaxing experience and the kids had fun playing at the gym. The only hiccup was when one of the play place employees came in during my manicure and said that Quincy had gotten his hand stuck in the hinge side of a door. She said she’d never seen any kid do that before… Congratulations, Q-ball! I asked how badly he was hurt/how upset he was, and she said he’d calmed down and didn’t seem to have more than a bruise. She mostly wanted to let me know. Our wild man! He isn’t the easiest to keep safe, but he sure is adorable and oh so lovable.
We spent Christmas Eve at my parents’ with family and friends. The night included my mom’s traditional program with music, scriptures, and story books.
We did Christmas morning at our house with just our little family, then we drove back up to my parents’ in the afternoon to spend the rest of the day with the fam. The kids had a great day! They enjoyed opening some presents, but the highlight is always playing with cousins and the rest of the family.
We’d done a “12 days of Christmas” thing, having Maisy and Quincy open a present each for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. This spread out the love and actually gave us time to play with toys as we opened them. It worked really well for us, so kudos to Nate for wanting to try the idea! We also did the advent calendar ideas that were in the Friend (one of our church’s magazines that’s for kids) to balance the presents with a focus on the ultimate gift of Christmas, our Savior Jesus Christ. Here are some shots we took throughout those 12 days of fun with presents:
One of the favorite gifts from Christmas day was a teeter-totter from my parents.
I think Carson was a little bummed he’s too big for it:
The kids had a great time playing together in the backyard. Q was pantless for much of Christmas day!
On Saturday the 26th, Nate took the kids on a bike ride with the new tagalong my parents gave us for Christmas. The weather was exceptionally nice!
Later that day, Laney and Cory had Evelyn’s baby blessing at my parents’ house, so Cory’s family members who were in town joined for that special occasion.
On Sunday the 27th, Nate took the kids home after sacrament meeting while I stayed to teach a lesson third hour. They simply weren’t getting better from the cold and pneumonia from earlier in the month, poor tater tots. On Monday the 28th, I needed to check back in at the office to get some work done there. Kenzie entertained the kids, as she always does. Maisy always talks about how fun Kenz is. In fact, she’s apparently so fun that Maisy doesn’t believe she’s a “grown-up” haha.
After a couple of really bad nights with Quincy in particular, including a coughing fit at Costco that got so bad that he puked near the rotisserie chickens, I took them back to the doctor. Turns out they’d both developed RSV and ear infections. Cue a sad trumpet for sad breathing treatments… *Whomp, whomp.*
We spent the 30th home resting and playing Osmo:
After work on Thursday the 31st, I went to the grocery store to get a bunch of food so the family could celebrate New Year’s at our house. Q was still pretty sick and even though Maisy was feeling quite a bit better, we figured it’d be best to spend the late night holiday at home. We ate, talked, laughed, played games, and forgot to drink the sparkling juice in the fridge.