Living life in the carpool lane..

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas

Today is Christmas Eve.  This is the first year since Hubby and I have been married that we will be staying home for Christmas.  That means that we will be able to do the whole “Christmas Eve” experience with M.

We will be spending time with Hubby’s family tonight to exchange gifts and open presents, then it’s back home.  Usually, we spend Christmas Eve night driving an hour and a half north to my parent’s house to spend Christmas Day there.  However, because of this pregnancy, we’ve decided to stay in the area just in case this little girl wants to make a Christmas debut.

I have to admit that I’m pretty excited.  We have the stockings up on the fireplace mantle (click here to see our heavily toddler-influenced Christmas decor), and M is super excited for the whole Santa thing.

Her “Santa gift” is all wrapped up and hidden upstairs, ready to be brought down after she goes to sleep.  Before she goes to bed, we will set out milk and cookies (or brownies).  I can’t wait!  I’ve been waiting to be able to do this for her since she was born.  This is the year I know she will totally understand and I can’t wait to see her face when she sees the treats all eaten and a gift waiting for her!

Tomorrow is Christmas and I’m planning on taking that day off on the blog!

Have a great Christmas Day!  May it be full of happiness and blessings!

When I come back on Friday, I will be 36 weeks pregnant… yay!

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As promised here, this is the blog post about the hands/feet wreath in the middle of our Christmas mantle.

I found this on Pinterest and I knew I had to try it!

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Click here to take you to the website the pin is linked to.

I had supplies.  I had green cardstock in two different shades.  I had red cardstock scraps and a circle hole punch.  I also had a paper plate to make the process of wreath-creating much easier.

I took two full 12in x 12in sheets of green cardstock in a light shade and a dark shade.

I took M’s hand and traced it out.

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Sorry so blurry.  It was hard enough keeping her still to trace her hand, so you could imagine how hard it was for me to try to trace her hand AND take a picture at the same time!

After I did her hands, she wanted her feet traced too.  The pinterest project doesn’t feature feet, but I figure we could take some creative license and add some feet.  So I took the other shade of green cardstock and used that for her feet.

In the end, we had a stack of hands and feet.

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I cut a hole in the middle of a paper plate, covered it with glue and we just started sticking the hands and feet down.  It took a bit of guidance from me to make sure we made it circular.  She had fun sticking things down in the “goopy glue.”

I used my 1in circle hole punch to punch out several red circles out of a piece of red scrap cardstock.  I put down blobs of glue and allowed M to stick them down where the blobs of glue were.

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I’m sure we could have covered the paper plate better buy adding more hands and feet, but the amount of hands and feet we had were just the right amount to keep her attention.

Have I told you how much I love having a three-year old during Christmas time?!

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I’m learning that any festive holiday with a three year old is fun.  She LOVED Halloween.  Now she’s totally embracing the Christmas spirit.

So far, we done several Christmas crafts.  I featured one here and plan on showing you more before the month ends..

We put the tree up early because of this unpredictable pregnancy and have been letting M have free reign over all the decorating.  It’s a four foot pre-lit tree, just her size, she she’s been having a blast putting all sorts of things on it.

This is what our tree currently looks like.

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Ignore the mess.

With Hubby’s help, she wrapped the garland around the tree.  At one point, she hung the light clips around the tree as decoration.  Light clips are clips that you install outside to make hanging lights from the house easier.  They aren’t really made for tree decorations, but I let her imagination go wild.

Sure, it’s not gorgeous, but it’s made with the love of a three year old.  To me, that makes the tree perfect.

This is the first year that we have a mantle to hang stockings from.  Last year, in the apartment, we just thumb-tacked them to the wall  This year, we hung them.
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M got to choose her own stocking this year, so she chose the white bear.  Last year, she had the tiny pink one.  This year, that tiny pink one is for her soon-to-arrive baby sister.  Next year, who knows what the mantle will look like!

Hubby added some left over lights to the mantle and we just love it!

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That little wreath was a Christmas craft that M and I did using her hands and feet.  I plan on making a post about it soon.

We also plan on creating little Christmas trees using popsicle sticks to add on top of the tinsel for added decoration.

I’ve always loved Christmas.  I love it so much more being a mother!!!

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I can’t believe we are here.

December.

Christmas.

Christmas shopping.

Christmas activities.

Because of the unpredictability of this pregnancy, we are trying to squeeze in as much Christmas for M as early as possible.

That means, the tree is up, she’s already decorated a gingerbread house, and we put lights up outside.

That also means that we are going to decorate the inside of our house soon and we will be scheduling our Santa visit soon.

We’ve already purchased her Christmas presents, both from us and from Santa.

We also plan on going to visit some of those neighborhoods with the festively light houses.

I know it seems like we are trying to squeeze a ton of Christmas stuff so early into the month, but I just don’t want to deprive M of a proper Christmas.

She’s at that age where she in absolutely in love with everything about holidays.  She’s currently in love with anything and everything that has to do with Christmas.  She loves browsing the holiday section at Target just to see the various ornaments and trees on display.  She loves browsing Pinterest for different Christmas crafts she and I can do together.  She loves watching her favorite TV shows do their holiday episodes.  She LOVES Christmas.  Who am I to keep her away from that because of this pregnancy?

I’m hoping we have this baby AFTER Christmas, but if we do, I’m confident that we are prepared to still provide M with a Christmas she deserves.

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Before bed, M and I sometimes browse Pinterest on my phone.

She LOVES looking through the Christmas pins, so we’ve been finding some toddler-friendly Christmas crafts to do.

One big shopping trip to Joann’s later, we had enough supplies to start working on these Christmas crafts.

M and I started with this pin.  Clicking on the picture will take you directly to the pin.  Clicking here will take you directly to the pin’s website.

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These items were super easy to find at Joann’s AND they were reasonably priced.  All these items costs less than $10 and we have enough to make about 10-15 candy canes.  Perfect to hang around the Christmas tree this year.

M loved stringing the beads onto the pipe cleaners.  She started off following a traditional candy cane pattern of alternating red and white, but after awhile I let her just do her own thing.  After finishing the first candy cane, she was so proud of herself.  She held it so carefully so she wouldn’t ruin the shape and would look at it many times.

She wanted to make a second one.  She started off ok, but being three years old, the lure of just playing with the beads was just too strong.  So I finished the second one for her, and I let her continue to play with the beads.  We counted them, lined them up on the ground, and sorted them by color.  It was a great learning opportunity AND a super fun craft!

I can’t wait to work on more Pinterest Christmas projects with her!

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M loves the holidays.

From Halloween to Christmas and New Year, she’s totally into it all.

During Halloween, she LOVED going to as many pumpkin patches as possible.  We went to three, but I’m sure she would have loved to go to more. 

She loved Halloween so much that she still will walk around with her little pumpkin and tell us she wants to go “trick or treat.”

During Christmas, she loved all the lights and the trees.  Her eyes lit up whenever she saw a house just flooded with lights and decorations.  She loved each and every Christmas tree she saw and she would wave at every Santa.  She loved when her favorite shows would do a Christmas theme.  She’d watch them over and over again.

She loved coming home to tell us to “turn Christmas on.”  Turning Christmas on meant that we had to turn the Christmas lights and Christmas tree lights on inside the apartment.  She absolutely loved it. 

She loves Christmas so much that shes STILL talking about it! 

Just yesterday, she was playing with her toys and you can hear her talking about Christmas and presents and Santa to them.  It was the cutest thing.  She’ll still ask about turning Christmas on and when we tell her that we had to put them away, she’d say, “Christmas all gone.”  We are quick to reassure her that Christmas will come again later this year and she can look forward to all the lights and trees once again. 

I’m so glad M embraces the holidays.  It will make for some wonderful memories as the years go by.

Christmas could not have come soon enough this year.  I think you can tell by my rare blog entries that it’s been a real challenge to keep from drowning in my “to-do list.”

It’s been a definite struggle to get everything ready.. between M and I getting sick.. and all the other obstacles we had to get through.. I’m exhausted!

But M is totally enjoying this holiday season.  It’s puts things into perspective having a kid around..

She LOVES Christmas lights, Christmas trees, Christmas songs..

I love the way her eyes light up when we drive through neighborhoods with the awesomely lit homes.  I love the amazement in her eyes as she looks up a gigantic Christmas tree.  I love her reaction to seeing Santa Claus at the mall.  I love how she continually finds her “hidden” Christmas gifts in the closet and gets so excited knowing that she has those toys..

I love the way she appreciates the Christmas lights hanging in our apartment and the little 4ft tree that only has lights as it’s decoration…  I love how she always asks to turn “Christmas on” when ever we are home…

She helped me feel the Christmas spirit again.  She’s helped me feel the warmth and joy of the simple things that Christmas is about. 

It’s my job now to teach her WHY we have Christmas.  I know that at this age, it’s all about the lights and the presents.. but as she gets older, I hope to really instill in her the reasons why we have this holiday and that it will help her appreciate this season even more..

Merry Christmas to all my blog readers.  May you be blessed during this holiday season!

This Christmas, you can definitely say I’m drowning..

There is so much to do and there always seems to be a reason to get distracted..

Preparing for Christmas with a two-year old is definitely harder than preparing for Christmas with a one-year old or an infant.. She’s everywhere and wants to get into everything.  She also wants my attention. 

She always picks the perfect time to want me to read to her.  Right when I get everything set up to start a Christmas task, it’s “Mimi, read book.  I sit on lap.”

Sometimes telling her, “Let daddy read,” works.  Sometimes, I get, “No.. Mimi read.”

Another issue I’ve been dealing with is M finding her presents! 

Hubby made the mistake of hiding M’s Christmas presents in plain site. 

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When she went to play with something else, I quickly grabbed the gifts and shoved them in the closet in her bedroom..

I thought we were in the clear, but I forgot that she knows how to open the closet door. 

Several times, when we are in the bedroom, I’ll hear the sound of Dora and Boots singing.. when I turn around, M is deep in the closet playing with her toys.. When I take her out, she cries out, “Dora, guitaaaaaaaaar!!!”

I’m going to have to wrap those soon so she can’t see it anymore…

I am trying so hard to get everything ready before Christmas day.. but I’m totally willing to accept that some of our gift recipients will probably just get their gift handed to them unwrapped.. I hope not!

Holy smokes, it’s December..

Getting Christmas cards out.. getting Christmas shopping done.. wrapping all those purchased Christmas presents.. making Christmas gift tags..

All these tasks will basically consume me for the entire month.

All these tasks PLUS dealing with my rambunctious toddler.

Please forgive me if I tend to disappear this month.  Just know I’ll be trying my very best not to drown in my to-do list..

So my little break took a little longer than expected.  It’s no joke that life with a toddler is very unpredictable.  My blogging break is a testament to that.

Our Christmas plans were simple.  We’d be up at my parents house starting on Sunday.  Then we’d go to Mass for Christmas Vigil on the 24th.  We’d wake up early the next day and head out to my cousins house to spend all of Christmas day there.   Then M and I would stay at my parents house until the new year.

But then, Sunday at lunch, it started…

M started sneezing a little bit more than usual.. and her nose was just barely starting to run..

By the time we got home from Mass, she didn’t want to eat much.  She didn’t even want curly fries from Jack in the Box!  She LOVES the curly fries from Jack. 

Her nose turned into a faucet, and she was running a fever.

Not good.

That night, she was miserable.  She tossed and turned.  Neither of us had a good nights sleep.  She also ended up with a fever of 102 at 4 o’clock in the morning.

Not good at all.

A high fever has so far meant an ear infection for her.. never fails… 100% of the time she gets a fever of 101 or higher, it’s an ear infection.

On Christmas day, instead of getting into the car to head off to my cousins house.  We were getting into the car to head off to the local urgent care.  Sure enough, it was an ear infection.. in BOTH ears this time. 

At the same time, my mother started feeling under the weather. 

In order to allow everyone to get the proper rest and keep all the germs separated, I made the decision to go back home instead of staying at my parents house for the rest of the week. 

I had blogged earlier about how I had no more days off left.  However, mommy duties take priority and I took the 26th off of work to take care of M.  She was extremely clingy and I wanted to make sure I was there to comfort her and look after her.

Thankfully, she’s been getting better and better as the days are going by.  The nose is still a little stuffy and runny.  She isn’t as cranky anymore.

She’s started to laugh and run around again.

I’ve never been so happy to see toys scattered around everywhere..

I hope you all had a great Christmas.


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