It's a busy time of year--Christmas, New Year's, Margot is 18 months
old, our marriage turned seven! I'm going to just ramble about all of
these things (or whatever I have time for while Margot sleeps) because I
don't know how to separate them. I was in Boise with the kids for a
little more than two weeks, and Jon came right before Christmas. For
those of you who know Boise, or just know the tiniest bit about Idaho,
there isn't a ton to do there if you aren't into say, hiking or hunting.
The best part about that is I get to spend a lot of time reading,
pushing my kids onto their grandparent's care, have my kids play with
cousins, hanging out with my family, and more reading. I think I took
five phone photos.
The trip there was my first alone with both kids. I was nervous of course, mostly because Southwest canceled their nonstop flight from Portland to Boise so we were left on an Alaska prop plane, the kind you walk outside to enter and are as loud as...loud. And we had to pay to check a bag, so we were hauling all kinds of carry on luggage. The flight was great. I handed each child their own electronic fun device (Margot does not understand sharing in the least) and read The Economist. But that was after I mopped off gallons of sweat from at times, carrying, pulling, cajoling, and probably a bit of panicked barking. Theo had a new suitcase that he or I can pull, or he can use as a ride on toy. While he did ease the load at times and happily scooted through security, getting a three-year-old to consistently scoot himself about a mile to a distant terminal is almost impossible. Margot decided she wanted to walk the whole way herself, and when that wasn't possible to squirm and squeal and make herself as difficult as possible. And the coats! Carrying winter coats through an airport is pure drudgery. Normally the terminal path is all motorized walkways and flat lanes, but since we were going on a small airplane powered by pedal strength and faith in the least used obscure terminal, we had to walk it ourselves (!) and then hit an escalator. I guess I had forgotten how long it had been since Theo had ridden one, because I went first holding Margot, our coats, a large backpack, and carry on and expected him to follow. He freaked out and refused to go, and as I was already a third of the way down and now panicking myself, I SPRINTED up the down escalator carrying the aforementioned items. Then my coat and his suitcase went down first, alone. Luckily a nice man could easily see how crazy things were getting and caught those things for me. I ate three bags of snack mix on the plane, easily Alaska's main strong point as they include things that are similar to Corn Nuts in the bag.
When my twin sister Mackenzie and I are in the same place, which is not often since she lives in Pennsylvania, we think of many time consuming projects to complete. We usually don't finish them all, but that's part of the ritual. I actually brought an embroidered ornament to finish from last year--still didn't get finished. We probably scaled it back this year, focusing on making a Stump de Noel from the Baked cookbook (a sick child is sleeping, so I have no time for links, sorry). It's a yule log set on its end, only fatter than a normal yule log. All the reviews of the recipe basically said "It's amazingly delicious! But the most time consuming, intensive cake recipe I've ever made!" We were sold. It took almost two dozen eggs, lots of chocolate, and Whoppers. It took most of the day, but it was all enjoyable except when it got a little stressful for me at the end when we were rolling the thin cake and it started breaking on us. Luckily it is the kind of thing that is worth all the effort and five sticks of butter (in the frosting alone). I love it when a new Christmas tradition is born. Next time we will do the meringue mushrooms, we didn't have the willpower left to make those.
Theo and Margot had a great Christmas, Theo especially was so into all things Christmas this year. At our extended family party there was a general call for random talents or songs to be sung and Theo immediately shot up his hand and proceeded to sing a Jingle Bells solo (I helped a little, in the way a sitting Mom tries to pretend she is singing at regular volume but is whisper singing to bolster confidence) with a grand bow at the end. He got a Postman Pat van and figurine and lots of other things he loved. He loved all Margot's presents too, like her baby doll and stroller and tea set. I admit to looking forward to Margot opening up her carefully chosen baby since her birthday, so of course she acted afraid of it and ignored it until we got home. The stroller and doll bed were waiting for her after Christmas so I'm happy to say she is now enjoying putting her baby to bed and strolling it around. She showed everyone her loud and assertive side while we were around my family, squealing and screaming loudly and chasing my sister's dog around yelling "Gigi? Gigi! Gigi!" She also learned how to nod her head yes to a question after shaking her head to every question which is huge. I feel like our communication and understanding have increased ten fold.
Even though its wonderful to spend such a long time with my parents, brother, sister and their families, it felt good to be home. I really like feeling excited to be home.
|Postman Pat! And matching hats by Auntie Kenzie.|
|After Christmas Eve dinner, we sent the kids downstairs to watch a movie while we cleaned up. Theo fell asleep and never got to hear the Naylor Sibling Violin, Flute, and Trumpet Christmas Eve Concert Spectacular.|
|Celebrated seven years by escaping the kids at Hotel 43 and stayed until the last possible minute, just sitting and watching crappy cable TV. It was bliss.|
|Margot still loves to do this in the airport. Our checked bags are always alone and deserted on the carousel by the time we get there.|