Before I begin the Christmas recap, I have to tell you: I have loved our Christmas tree this year. Really, if a woman could date a tree, this tree and I would be off on a romantic date at a tiny Italian restaurant, sharing a piece of tiramisu.
This is the first real tree I've had in years and years - we finally retired our Charlie Brown hand-me-down tree - I just couldn't take it anymore. I also couldn't handle the tinsel that wouldn't die, left over from years of children (that would be my brother and I) enthusiastically throwing more tinsel on it.
We bought new ornaments this year - most of mine were disassembled last year by a certain two-year-old. Really, that was fine - all we had were a few Target ones - and I replaced them with more Target shatterproof ones...as well as a few special glass ones in my favorite turquoise hues.(Those were hung in the higher areas of the tree, for obvious reasons.) I decided to go for all the bright colors, instead of just red and silver or green and gold or whatever. Somewhere during the season I read about someone remembering that they had to use ONLY silver glitter on their crafted ornaments from school so their Mom would hang them on their family tree...that absolutely broke my heart. I never want Thomas or any future kids to feel that way - so it is a tree of many and all colors for our home. (The picture above is the area where Thomas decorated the tree heavily to one side. I never did change it, because it's just too charming and perfectly imperfect.)
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches (indeed)!
This year, Beaux and I nearly called a divorce lawyer over Christmas arrangements. Does every couple have this issue? It's just so hard. I want to be my with my family, and he wants to be with his - and everyone wants to see The Beloved Grandkid. Since Thomas was born, we have stayed home on Christmas morning, but this year, it was causing major issues to stick to that plan. With some magic worked by Beaux's kind boss, as well as Beaux's dad starting a new night job, we found a plan that worked for us. Our family of three would celebrate on Christmas Eve (as Thomas has no clue about these things) and then leave that afternoon for the Christmas Eve service at our home church in Hattiesburg. We would go to my family that night and stay until the morning of the 26th, and then go to Beaux's family through the afternoon of the 27th. Or whenever. I was so grateful we finally got it worked out, that's all I know.
I love the bedhead in this shot.
He is still excited about his easel, and some new foam blocks. We practice the 'three presents' rule (the child gets three presents because the baby Jesus received three presents from the Wise Men) which makes things easier for us (even though it's hard to stop at three presents).
Here's Thomas watching his Where the Wild Things Are DVD (not the new one, the Scholastic one) and clutching his Buzz flashlight.
Later, we made sugar cookies to take with us on our trip.
And somehow, we managed to get out of our cozy Christmas pj's and pack up the car for our journey. I swear to you, I nearly left the house without underwear or my cell phone or camera charger. I also forgot my toothbrush. Still, no Christmas gifts were left behind! I consider that a success in itself.
We were an hour into our trip when I was woken out of my car doze by the unmistakable sound of puking from the backseat. Poor sweet Thomas - he was sound asleep, gave a few coughs, and then - sickness. All over his cute train sweater, all over his car seat. We pulled over at a gas station and managed to wipe everything down with diaper wipes, and change him into different clothes in the freezing wind. He was inconsolable - this is a child who very rarely gets sick. The last time he had a vomiting episode, he was still nursing - sometime before he turned two.
Still, we hoped it was just a fluke. Definitely, church was off the plan, but surely he just ate too much cookie dough? Beaux had also tightened his car seat straps because he had figured how to get his arms out of the top part, and maybe they were too tight? Thomas soon rallied and was singing in the backseat. Then, 30 or so minutes away from my parents' house, another round of puke.
Not cool, kid.
Another gas station stop, where I took him inside to change. The bathroom was truly dreadful, and there wasn't even a sink IN the bathroom. It was just bad all around.(Why is the first gas station you come to always the dodgy ones?) I had to let Beaux take over trying to clear the mess out of the backseat because I was getting queasy myself. Now we were really worried - were we taking a germy stomach bug straight into our family? Still, the last thing we wanted to do was turn around and drive two hours back (and stop how many more times)?
On the other end, my family was running out on Christmas Eve to get Thomas Pedialyte and popsicles. What a great Gramps and Uncle Chris! We ended up having a good night of snacks and very limited sickness. In the morning, all was well. And there were presents.
Speaking of presents, this year I ran out of gift tags and had to make my own. I like making my own better, honestly. I decided to use contrasting paper (I had Christmas scrapbook paper leftover from my Advent stocking calendar project, which ended up being very cute but we never used...) and thought it was super cute. That's just me. Maybe it drives other people crazy.
We were all very spoiled and received way too many presents.
I got lots of striped socks in my stocking, which made me very happy. So happy I had to take a picture to send to people.
Thomas and Lovie worked on a puzzle, because it was cold and rainy outside and therefore no fun at all. Gramps took Thomas out later for a ride in the truck and then, a tractor ride where they moved some logs around. (The tractor has a closed in cab, so they weren't out in the rain.)
Later, there was some scooter ridin' in the long hall at Grandma and Grandpa's.
I also received some scary slippers from my Grandma. Please enjoy:
I mean, can you believe these things? When I opened them, I thought they were potholders of some sort, and even said, "Hooray!" But these slippers? They are crazy. I adore my Grandma, but her gifts are getting wacky as she gets older.
The rest of our Christmas was really quite nice. We were the only family to be at Beaux's grandparents for Christmas so it was QUIET. And peaceful. Thomas played with his new toys and cracked out on Sprout; I read my new book and had my laptop at my disposal (so nice, when everyone just sits around and watches TV for family togetherness). Beaux made chili and then oversaw the ham baking, as well.
Thomas and Grandma got a little silly, but it was awesome.
A really lovely Christmas, even with our sickness. I was felled by the bug as soon as we got home, so I was very thankful to be home and in my own bed. Now I feel that the New Year is hurtling towards us, and we have our dear friends Josh and Angie and baby Elinor as houseguests. So exciting to have someone to spend New Year's with...we're putting the babies to bed and breaking out the champagne. I'll have more thoughts on my word for 2011 and books of 2010, coming soon.