The Adventures of Christmas with a Two Year Old

Before I get to the Christmas Day activities, I forgot to post our Countdown activity on the 21st. We went and visited the Live Nativity. It was kinda cute. Miss Punky was having trouble saying Nativity. (Remember the wisemen she popped the heads off of) She kept saying “Bativity.” Finally Kim broke it down “Nu Tivity.” Punky says, “Nutivity? Oh! I like nuts!”

Of course, her atheist moms thought it was hilarious that she continued to call it a nutivity the entire time. I insisted we go to visit the nativity because its something we did as kids with my grandmother. It doesn’t hold the same significance now that I no longer believe in the story of Jesus, but I do want to keep some of my traditions from my childhood alive.

Believe me, there are a lot of childhood memories I work very hard to shield her from, but there are some, the fun memories that don’t involve my upbringing or my parents or alcohol or anything that may contribute to my PTSD, such as this live nativity activity that I cherish in the mixture of crazy in my kidhood. I want to keep that spirit alive in Punky’s Christmas experience.

We managed to make our way over to the people in the nativity, Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus – just to see them. She did not pop anyone’s head off this time. But she did much prefer climbing on the gates to get at the animals than the plastic doll and the story she didn’t understand.

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So, on to Christmas Day.

Surprise, surprise, our kid is spoiled rotten. We have gotten through Christmas with minimal damage – involving only one tantrum/time-in combo, and an otherwise pretty very happy toddler.

Last night, we ended our Christmas Countdown with a gift on Christmas Eve which consisted of brand new PJs. We made a trail in the driveway with reindeer food so Santa’s reindeer knew how to get to our house. We spent the afternoon on NORAD Santa Tracker, following his progress. By the time the cookies were set out and we had a sip of Santa’s milk, we were in bed and Santa was headed out of Georgia!

Since the kid woke up at 3AM Christmas Eve, a day early, expecting Santa and too excited to sleep – she crashed long before bedtime yesterday – in fact before we made it to our first family function. She fell asleep on me while everyone was getting ready to leave and then again in the car on the way to the party.

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We did get some new, current pictures of us as a couple and a family. I really like how they turned out.

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We got home super passed her bedtime,so imagine, no matter how excited she was, with no real nap, other than sleeping in the car for a minute, she fell asleep the minute I shut her bedroom door, and then it was time to get to work on Santa Duty.

I had to pick up the Minnie Mouse bike from her godparents’ house. We had the toughest time finding a bike we could afford and get it in the Minnie Mouse style she wanted. So, we swapped out the neighbor’s kids’ bike and took Punky’s cousins bike from the garage, gave it to her godfather (fucking awesome guy who is wrapped around ALL her tiny fingers) and he painted it up all nice for her.

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I set up her burlap bag from Santa and her stocking in front of the tree and then hid the bike under a blanket in the back where she wouldn’t be looking or paying attention. Helped Grammy and Papa stuff the rest of the stockings and finished wrapping up some gifts for the rest of the family’s kids, then I went to bed. Of course, I was too excited to sleep. Not to mention that we live in the basement and she is at least two flights above me, so I was anxious all night, worried she would wake up and open all the presents, discover the bike and be riding it around the livingroom when I woke up!

As luck would have it, and as expected, she kept her pinky “I Promise” and stayed in bed until the sun woke up so that Santa could deliver is presents and the magic of Christmas would work – if she woke up, he would not be able to deliver the presents she was asking for.

So, when she got up, she was excited to pull open the first present she saw. We had to wrangle her a bit, but she was pretty awesome about opening this year. This is the first year she’s been as interactive and really knew what Christmas and Santa and presents meant to her.

The bike was a hit.

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We took it outside for a bit, with her baby Ellen (who Santa brought a new outfit) and tried to get the hang of the bike. She enjoyed it and then she got frustrated, because she would push the pedals back and put the breaks on and then not understand how to get the bike to go again. So, it will take some getting used to and some practice, but she got what she wanted and it comes with a helmet, knee/elbow pads, and bike gloves. All in MINNIE MOUSE. LOL.

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She wore her helmet and new bathrobe for most of the rest of the morning while she tore through box after box after bag after toy and movies and yet, she still came back to the bike. She did get a very special gift from Grammy this year. Which in her own words is “Very special to me.” Its a music box with a dancing ballerina, the old school kind. Our kid is kind of a tiny dancer and really wants to be a Doctor Ballerina when she grows up, so this was a pretty sweet present for her. Grammy got her into the ballet stuff and encourages her to dance and sing all the time, so this gift between the two of this, was just super heart warming.

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On that note, even though we live with her grandparents, I’m just so glad they were there for her to open her presents. When I was growing up, and I’ve been getting a little sentimental lately, my grandparents came over every Christmas morning and watched us open our presents from Santa and eat breakfast with us. It was one of my more favorite memories of Christmas. A lot of family stuff has happened in the last week and a half that have really put my childhood and my memories in the forefront of my mind. Not all good – but in this case, not all bad.

By the end of the day, she had gotten away with all sorts of stuff. New clothes from her bestie her Aunt Ashley. A new tablet from her Uncle and his wife, and lots and lots of toys from everyone else. The big thing was the accessories for her new dollhouse.

We had been batting around the idea of getting her a dollhouse from Santa, but she asked for a bike and that’s what she was getting. So, the dollhouse was going to be put on hold. HOWEVER, while we were all driving around the town checking out the light displays on houses, Grammy spotted a dollhouse on the side of the road. We stopped the car, I hopped out, grabbed it, and tucked it in the trunk.

When we got it home, we realized it needed lots of TLC, but it was going to be great for Punky, since she doesn’t know its someone else’s ‘trash’ and she didn’t know it was broken. She was supposed to get it for Christmas, but she found it in a closet and didn’t stop til Grammy cleaned it up and we found some toys to play in the house with it.

Now, as of Christmas Day opening, she has an additional dollhouse (the dogs’ house) and people, furniture, accessories, and puppies to go with it. She also has a mechanical hamster that has a rolling stage van parked behind her massive dollhouse.

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We have more Christmas to go to, but I just can’t thank people in our lives for the support and love our little girl has in her life. I am filled with some melancholy this season, due to the family stuff back home (my family lives 3 hours away) and someday, maybe I will blog about it. It really just involves addiction, neglect, and beating the violent cycle that is my childhood and relationship role models. So, I didn’t get to celebrate with my side of the family and that does make me sad.

But we called all those who we could call (those not in jail and such) and I sent a Christmas text to our ever so special donor to wish him a Merry Christmas. We don’t exchange messages often, but I like him to know we think of him on days like this – special times that we can share these days and spoil the crap out of the kid he helped us create and then took a backseat where most lesbian couples don’t get so lucky.

Anyway, my kid is set for a while. She’s for sure loved and filled with an overwhelming, overflowing support and family – more than any little girl could ask for and more than either of her moms could have expected for her to receive.

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I saw some of my TTC blogger friends got a nice Christmas BIG FAT POSITIVE, congratulations! As for those still trying, you know I’m rooting for you in 2015!

To all the readers out there, whoever you are, Happy Holiday you celebrate, however you celebrate it! May you be happy and loved in every sense of the word!

Christmas Countdown Out of Whack

Well, I’m terrible at updating the countdown this year. But we have done all sorts of fun things.

Day 11: Pick out ornament for the tree (2012 was Cat in the Hat, 2013 was Tow Mater, 2014 is Minnie Mouse) This was the first year that Miss Punky picked out the ornament herself. Its going to be a very Merry Minnie Christmas. Literally. She has asked for only two things from Santa. Minnie Bike and Light Up Shoes. I have the bike in the works (her godfather is painting an old bike we had) and the light up shoes I got for her are Minnie Mouse and the bows and hearts light up. She’s going to love them.

From her moms so far I have gotten her a zebra print Minnie Mouse bath robe, because she’s so dramatic about being cold when she comes out of the tub and dries off. The small walk to her room or down the stairs in just a towel brings on the jitters and shivers. Its pretty darn adorable. I also found the cutest Minnie Mouse duffel bag for traveling and it comes with a sleeping bag. So when we go visit my family, she will have her own bag to take! Just like a big girl.

So – Minnie Mouse is the theme of this year.

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Day 12:Angel Tree and Senior Tree at Walmart. Walmart always sponsors children for Christmas. Kim and I have been picking stars off the tree for several years. This is the first time Miss Punky picked her own star. A 6 year old girl who wanted a baby doll and stroller. Miss Punky picked out the baby doll and I added the cheapest stroller(cause we aren’t made of money) to give to the little girl. Our bank sponsors seniors. I always try to take one of those as well. Punky picked a Grammy instead of a Papa and we bought their wish list item of art supplies.

I always feel bad that the paper ornaments with all the senior citizens on it are not usually touched. In fact, when I went to put the gift in the their collect box, there was trash inside of it, but no gifts. When we went back to Walmart the end day of the collection, there were still the same amount of ornaments on the tree. No one ever thinks of the senior citizens – at least that’s the way it looks. It’s pretty sad.

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Day 13: Kim’s grandfather’s union always has a Christmas Party and he gathers all his grandkids and great grandkids together for chili and nachos at 9am. We adults are getting to be a little less steel stomached for it. But they have Santa and pictures and lots of great things for the kids to do. Its a nice time normally. I didn’t get to attend, because with this midnight shift, I have been sleeping in late. So, I’m not in the family picture with Santa. But! Miss Punky is sitting on Santa’s lap! How exciting is that development?!

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Kim, Mrs. Claus, Santa, Uncle Eric, Punky, and Aunt Ashley

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I very small portion of the very large Italian family that I married into. They are all the grandkids and great-grandkids and their parents.

Day 14: We colored plastic ornament balls with sharpies for our neighbors and their kids as well as her godparents. She had fun just scribbling and it really added character to the gifts.

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Day 15: We filled the ornaments with hot chocolate and then delivered them to their new owners. They are lucky they got any marshmallows though, because she kept putting them in her mouth, instead of in the ornament!

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So that’s what we have been up to so far. I have also mailed all my Santa Letters this year. I dropped them in the mailbox to be picked up yesterday, so they are on their way to all the kids on the list. 140 of them this year!

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We have 9 days til Christmas. This has been the most interactive holiday with Punky – the one where she has participated, started to fully understand that this is a holiday, and really gotten into the spirit. I can’t wait to keep on making traditions with her!

Day 22: Ornament for the Tree

Last year, Kim and I decided to get Punky an ornament each year that represented her personality and her likes of the year. Last year, we spent a lot of time reading and we took a great liking to Dr. Seuss. Her favorite book when she was little was “Fox in Socks” and it inspired her first birthday party theme.

So, she got a cute little Dr. Seuss ornament for last Christmas. This year, she’s all about the trucks and cars right now. So we got her a Mater ornament. She’s never actually seen the show, but that’s the closest ornament I could find with a truck.

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We are excited for the holiday. Today’s activity was actually supposed to be about playing in the snow, and we do have snow now, but unfortunately – she’s not fully well enough for me to feel comfortable to let her go outside in the cold again.

While I was going through pictures from the last year, I really noticed how much she looks like me. I knew it, I hear it all the time, but my goodness, the pictures just don’t lie.

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We are super close to Christmas and I need to start wrapping stuff and getting things ready to go for Christmas. This is the first Christmas she will really know what’s going on, so I’m super excited about it!

Day 21: Slowing Down On The Countdown

I know, I know. I have been slowing down on the countdown. Yesterday, I forgot all about it. I gave her two envelopes today, but since the stuff required us to do things with snow, which we don’t have yet, we skipped the activities.

We have been more focused on getting our little Punky Monster well again. She’s been dealing with the breathing treatments better, which means, Mommy is also dealing better with them.

It’s not as traumatizing for me as it was a few days ago. It’s still pretty darn exhausting and I have been known to shed a tear or two, just because she looks so miserable when we do them.

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My poor sweet baby.

We are gearing up for a large snow/ice storm if the weather man is correct, which of course, who knows, they get paid whether they are right or wrong. Though, I just recently looked out my window and found a thin layer of snow on the ground, but more icy sheets than anything.

Good thing I’m off work tomorrow. I regret that I have had to miss quite a bit of work this week, from sickness from both my girls. Punky and Kim have been super puny for different reasons, neither contagious that I can think of, just unfortunately, sickly and needing extra love and care from Mommy.

I did give Punky one of her presents early, a few weeks ago, and she seems to really enjoy it. She likes on Nick Jr. and I found the cutest little Millie doll that dances and sings.

We have been trying to work more on counting with Miss Punky, but so far that’s been unsuccessful. However, her vocabulary has been growing and growing. She is saying two word sentences now and it cracks me up when she says things like “No Way” and “Oh Man”.

We have been singing the ABC’s together lately. The video is a little blurry, but I just love how much she has grown in the last 21 months! OMG, I can’t believe this kid is almost TWO.

Day 19: Memories and Sickness

Today marks the one  year anniversary of when Kim’s grandmother passed away. I love that woman and I still miss her a great deal. I’m also sad that she won’t be able to see Punky grow up. A year ago, we were in the hospice entertaining small babies, this year we are remembering our family matriarch with love and growing toddlers.

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She would have had such joy watching them grow and learn and play. Some people believe she’s out there watching us and while I believe her good energy surrounding us and keeps her family’s spirits up, it’s a sad time of year to have a loved one leave a very large hole in your heart and in your life.

I had to come home early from work, because Kim has been puny and last night, we were both up with Punky coughing and puking. She’s been pretty ill since yesterday afternoon. I feel like her cough has escalated – so we have been having a pretty low-key night as far as our Christmas countdown goes.

Punky and I spent the late evening in the Urgent Care of our pediatrician’s office. If I haven’t mentioned this before, I absolutely love our pediatrician’s office. Not only are the doctors and nurses awesome, the rooms are decorated for children in mind and they have an after hours and weekend urgent care.

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When we laid her down for a nap, I could hear her in her room coughing and I was going to let the Benadryl kick in to help her sleep, but then she started gagging and sounding like she was about to vomit. I went in there to check on her and her pillow was soaked in sweat and she just couldn’t stop coughing. It was making this Mommy with an anxiety problem really nervous. I picked her up and got her in the car without much thought.

She stood on the scale like a big girl this time and let them get her vitals and stuff without much fuss. When the doctor listened her her lungs, she was wheezing. They recommended a breathing treatment for her in the office. I knew that wasn’t going to go very well and I was right.

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She wrestled me for most of it and it broke my heart! We got through the bucking and the screaming 10 minutes with very little medicine getting in her, but the doctor said afterwards that her lungs sounded 100% better. They sent us home with a seal shaped nebulizer to take home. She won’t be thrilled when we have to do this at home, every four hours. I’m not looking forward to it.

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Hey guys, guess what.

That breathing treatment was as traumatizing for everyone involved as I was afraid it would be. But, especially me. I think my number one and main fear is suffocating. Literally, I am terrified that I will suffocate and I make a point not to cover my nose and mouth for any reason.

So to see my little girl struggling and screaming with that mask on her face. She was bucking like a bull and it was just SO hard. I actually freaked out for a minute. We had to stop for a second, because I was afraid we were suffocating her.

I did what all moms do, I called my mama. My sister has been through the breathing treatments with her boys for years now. She got a hold of my sister and they reassured me we were doing it right and it was ok.

It wasn’t any better for my the second time around, but hopefully, this gets better, because it’s to make her feel better and I will do what needs to be done to make her feel better. Sometimes, I feel like things like this make me play tug of war with myself.

On the one hand, I absolutely know it’s good for her and yet all I could think about was how much we were ‘hurting’ her. So if I can’t get a hold of my fears, like Kim says, it’s projected on Punky and it makes things worse.

Send me calming vibes people, this is going to be a stressful few weeks with the little one.

Day 6: Planting Candy Canes with Mommy

I had to work late tonight. I had stay later than I even expected helping a customer get their medication before the weekend. I was really looking forward to today’s event, so I started it right away!

Day 6 started out with opening the envelope. It had little chocolate snowmen balls to eat. She has become such a chocoholic.

I got her all set up and got her set up with her mini plant pot and some crayons. They are ‘my first crayons’ for toddlers specifically. This was a learning experience for the two of us. She is learning to color and I learned that she didn’t try to eat the crayons this time!

We might be able to color for real now! Let’s hope!

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She had a nice time picking out the colors and making a few little scribbles and marks. She really enjoyed coloring on the inside of the pot the best.

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She looks so focused right! So, once she got tired of coloring and got ready to move on to the next step of planting the candy canes. I just think this idea is the cutest thing and I am sure that as she gets bigger she will really love doing this every year.

What did we do without Pinterest, I mean seriously?!

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Next we put some snowflake confetti in the pot. She had a little fun dropping the plastic snowflakes into the planting pot. I think she really just liked to hear the sound as it was dropped into it.

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Next, we took some ‘elf seeds’ and pushed them in the snowflakes and shook the pot around. She sprinkled a little blue glitter on the top to ‘water’ it and we will wait until the morning for the candy cane to sprout!