Sunday, January 19, 2014

Holidays and Happy New Year

It seems that Halloween ends and Christmas becomes this Mama's focus.  Do I have my list?  What am I going to buy for everyone?  How much should I spend on each person?  Etc.  Yes, Christmas definitely becomes a focal point in this house.

Thanksgiving was beautifully spent with family.

Two days later, a little elf arrived at our house.  This was to be our new family tradition. We read the book (the boys had already seen the tv special).  The boys set out on their task of naming our little elf.  Before long, the name "Stinky Chips" was chosen.  Stinky Chips was a good little elf.  He didn't get into much trouble and was only touched once by our oldest (age 6, at the time).  An emergency intervention gave Stinky Chips back his magic and the rest of his time here was without incident.

Yes, Stinky Chips helped pass the time awaiting Santa's arrival.  We did a lot (most) of our shopping online this year.  Gifts simply arrived at our doorstep.  We wrapped and labeled them.  It just seemed the easiest thing to do.  The oldest is in 1st grade, has almost-nightly homework, and karate 3x per week.  The middle child is in 1/2 day preschool, and is a whirlwind of activity in his own right.  Josiah has EI 2x per week, OT 2x per week, Speech 2x per week, and playgroup 1x per week.  After adding in random doctor's appointments, errands, etc, there hardly seemed time to shop.  Online shopping saved my sanity.

In the middle of Holiday preparations, we decided to plan a trip.  My parents are going to Florida in 2014 and asked us to join them for a portion of the trip.  So, after searching for the perfect price (which doesn't exist), we purchased airfare for us to fly to Florida.  Disney is the destination.  2014 holds something fun to look forward to....

We managed to keep the upcoming trip a secret....until Christmas Eve.  Then, we told the boys.  They are excited as kids can be who have no idea what to expect.  I am excited for them.  They are going to love it.

For the third Christmas Eve, we celebrated at my parents home.  We read the same story that has been read to my family since 1873.  We opened gifts from those would not see the next day.  We ate great food.  Once the older traditions were complete, we wrote messages on balloons to Scott (my beloved brother), formed a circle on the back deck (each with a hand on the balloons), played "We'll meet again" (Inkspots), wished Scott a Merry Christmas in Heaven, and released the balloons.  

The next day, we celebrated at our own home.  It's always fun when the big boys run downstairs to tell us that Santa Claus has visited our house.  We spent the day opening gifts, preparing (and eating) dinner, and visiting with family.  It was a lovely day.  Josiah was particularly fun this year.  He's two.  He's a fun age for a Christmas celebration.

Though I usually enjoy leaving my tree up, this year it only lasted a couple days into the new year.  Beneath the branches, had become a 'dumping ground' for all the opened but yet-to-be-put-away gifts.  Josiah had also become a master at pulling on those aforementioned branches.  We had a dumping ground under a very tilted tree.  Yes, it was time for the tree to go.

As the new year approached, one more test had been passed.  We made it through the month of December without RSV.  This is the first year Josiah has made it through the month of December without RSV and a resulting trip to Children's. 

Happy New Year!!! 

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