2014 Christmas Countdown Day 4,5,6 And the headless wise man…

Yep, I suck at blogging this year when it comes to the Christmas Countdown this year.

Day 4 – Making Christmas Cards for family and friends. She got to color all the cards and then we put wallet sized pictures of her and Santa inside and will mail them to our family and friends. Mostly, my family who is out of town and we don’t see them as much as we do Kim’s side of the family.

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Day 5 – Write a letter to Santa.

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I think she really enjoyed the letter writing to Santa. This year, she’s really getting interactive and that’s why the activities that I picked for this year’s countdown was more interactive and meaningful. If you notice, she asked Santa for … TWO bikes. I also love that she made her squiggles on the lines, like she was really writing a letter.

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Day 6 – Christmas Movie Night with Moms. We watched a movie on Netflix called Little Brother, Big Trouble. About a little reindeer who has to come to terms with his family being different than he wanted. His dad was Prancer and he lived with his mom. His mom was getting married again and the new step reindeer dad had a son. He was not happy about a new ‘dad figure’ or a ‘little brother’. It was kind of touching and nice to see a family with divorced and remarried parents. I don’t remember seeing much of that, reflecting my own family dynamic growing up.

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So far the countdown has been quite the success – and its awesome because she’s sooo interactive. She’s so excited about Christmas and since its my favorite holiday, I’m excited share it with her.

Of course, with this holiday, comes the beginning of the questions that haven’t been asked yet, but I am mentally preparing myself. She loves all the decorations, all the fun stuff around the house, and thus far, she hasn’t really caught on that Christmas, to some people, is not just about baking cookies and getting presents from a jolly fat man who flies the world. To some people its something more. Something we don’t necessarily believe in – her mama and I.

I’ve been bracing myself for the questions. For the why and who and what for that kids always have – and maybe this isn’t the year that will happen. Maybe this year, it will be simply having fun and celebrating with her moms.

She loves all the decorations, especially the talking Santa.

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But, she also loves the Nativity that Grammy has out right now. Complete with Mary, Joseph, the wise men and baby jesus. She likes to play with the little figurines, so much so that the heads have been popped off of the porcelain people.

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She knows that the baby in the manger is baby jesus and she isn’t supposed to hide him. She knows that the two people next to baby jesus are his parents, Mary and Joseph. That’s the extent of what she knows. She likes to hold the baby jesus – even though she hid him that one time. She likes to hold them. So far, she hasn’t asked why Grammy has a Nativity or what its for. She just knows its fun decorations for Christmas time.

I know, the time will come – when she wants to know the story behind that Nativity. And its a story I know well – I can recite it in my sleep. But, Kim and I have not really discussed how we will approach the subject when it comes up.

I mean do we proactively tell her the story that other people believe or do we wait until she asks. Is she really too young to have that discussion? We have lots of different faiths in the family right now. Our own family – her moms – are atheist. We don’t really believe in the ‘spirit of Christmas’ in the same way that Grammy and Papa do. Of course, we also have a set of cousins that are Jewish converts, they are celebrating Hanukkah this year and won’t be having Santa visit their house.

With all the different beliefs in our blended family – what is the appropriate way to approach the subject? Or, maybe I’m just making it too complicated.

I’m so on guard about how we will discuss it. I’ve just recently, in the last few years, myself been more in tune with my non-believing side and what that comes with. I have grown up as a Christian – listening to the story of Jesus’ birth every Christmas Eve, listening to the Christmas carols and thinking of the Christ who saved us, and attending or participating in the Christmas pageants at church.

So, like all things that come with the religious upbringing that has been put in my head from a very young age, it still creeps up. It also makes it difficult to decide how we should approach the subject with our own daughter. The daughter we want to make her own choices, ask her own questions, think her own beliefs.

But, she’s two. She’s interested in tutus and fairies (that’s what she calls the angels around the house) and Santa. So why complicate it with another story, about another imaginary man in the sky?

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I suppose I will enjoy the innocence. The oblivion to the religious undertones that surround her during this holiday. The history and the stories – the beliefs and non-beliefs of her family and friends. She just thinks its a pretty holiday – one filled with magic and presents, and soon with our countdown it will be one of giving as well as receiving, so in the end, that’s all that matters.

But, I struggle with the anxiety of what to say, when the questions come. Because they will come. She’s a smart cookie. She has questions. She’s full of curiosities. It is going to be inevitable. My anxiety disorder is starting to dampen my on Christmas spirit, with the whys and what ifs and the questions that are soon to be coming. I just have to keep reminding myself that I have to enjoy the non-questions this year, and simply wait until they come.

Until that time, we will spend time with our daughter and celebrate the magic and joy of Christmas.

The Holidays Are Here

Where the hell did 2014 go? I also can’t believe it’s taken me so long to update this blog! I’m one of those people who get sad when people have their babies and then get “too busy” to blog… and here I am, I inherited a toddler suddenly and I am “to busy” to blog!

Believe me, if I could stick this two year old back in the bottle I would. She came with a demon inside her. Literally. I don’t know what happened, but she has such a mouth and an attitude that would infuriate just about anyone. We also just got the first “I hate you.” and “Mommy I don’t love you.”

On a brighter note, we had a nice Thanksgiving, hanging out with family. Where she stole my camera and took her own pictures of everyone. She’s really become such a little photographer.

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And she helped her Grammy make lots and lots of sweets. And of course she got to taste test them.

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Last Saturday we had a little date day, and she got to get her haircut and blowdryed at Shear Madness for Kids. I will highly recommend them always! They are just awesome for kids. She got to pick out the car she sat in while the girl cut her hair. She also watched Frozen the whole time. Afterwards, she got a new bow for her hair.

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Have I mentioned that my aversion to large bows and headbands has been overridden? This kid loves all things bows and headbands. SIGH. She wore the new headband when we went on our cupcake picnic. When we go on a date and get her haircut, she usually gets to pick between a cupcake(Smallcakes) or frozen yogurt(Yogurtini). This time she picked cupcakes. The place was packed, so we had to eat outside. Luckily for us, the weather didn’t get bitterly cold until after that weekend!

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Sunday we went to the local mall and saw Santa. It’s been something interesting every year. The first Christmas, she screamed and screamed. Last year, she just sat near him but she clutched her doll the whole time. This year, she almost cut the whole line to tackle the big jolly Santa. I had to stop her before she could get to him and we could wait our turn.

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And then, in true Punky fashion, once it was our turn, she got up there and didn’t want to sit on his lap. She almost didn’t sit at all. Which is why Santa had his hands in his lap, he didn’t want to scare her.

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But, she did tell him she wanted a Mickey bike…. where the hell she got that …. I have no idea. Not to mention that we aren’t really sure when she will get to ride that, since Christmas around here usually turns into Snowmageddon and we won’t be doing bike riding for quite some time.

After we visited Santa, we took a ride on the carousal. That’s another thing that she has always been afraid of. I have tried to get her to ride the horses in the past, or the riding toys in the grocery store and she would just scream and scramble to get off the thing. This time, she  climbed right up there and had a blast.

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And on Monday, we started our Christmas Countdown. We started this little Christmas tradition last year. I made a similar envelope and card system for her. Since we are still living with my mother-in-law, we don’t have anywhere to hang it like last year, but its still been pretty fun. You can find my Christmas Countdown cards here. You can download them if you would like, or come up with your own! I’d love to see what other people are doing with their kids this holiday.

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Day 1 – She got a message from Santa. (I used this site and its free). I didn’t take as many pictures of Day One as I would have liked. But, I have video of the whole thing.

Day 2 – We got to help out up the Christmas Tree and decorations with Grammy, Papa, and her cousins.

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Day 3 – We made a salt dough hand print and compared it to last year’s hand print.

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So far the end of the year has been pretty good. Last year I tried to post our countdown every day, so I will do my best to do that again this year. I swear, this kid is a handful, my Etsy Shop has been blowing up since the legalization of gay marriage everywhere and so many new two mom families have been emerging. I’m also working late shift at work, so I am constantly tired when I get home!

Well, I’m off to catch up on all the blogs I’ve been missing out on! Hope everyone’s holiday season has started out as special as you want it to!

Day 24: The End of Our First Christmas Countdown

On this our last day before Christmas, I think it’s pretty awesome turn out. I love that we have something to remember her second Christmas by. Part of me feels like this is the first Christmas for her, she really was able to participate in all the fun activities and I had such a blast spending extra special time for her.

After work tonight, we headed on over to Kim’s grandpa’s house. It was a little empty without her grandmother there.

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But, in our true family style, there was still food, love, and laughter.

Punky sat at the table like a big girl and eat her dinner, sort of. She doesn’t really eat much of anything. If we can get her to eat anything but bread and pasta, we feel like we have won the lottery. If she puts meat in her mouth of any kind, well, then we are the best moms ever!

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When we got home after dinner, we gave Punky her Christmas Eve present, we have decided to incorporate Kim’s family tradition of getting pajamas for Christmas Eve. So she got to open her present under the Christmas tree lights.

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She got a new book, that we will be reading before bed tonight and a new little pajama set, which she was very excited to put on right away.

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I just love them! They were just too cute to pass up. Kim really likes moose, so this was a shout out to the warm winter pajamas before Christmas, but also to her mama’s favorite stuff.

We are definitely ready for Christmas tomorrow morning. I need to wrap the rest of the presents and stuff her stocking with some little toys and fun stuff.

Hope everyone else is going to have a great holiday season. No matter what you celebrate and no matter your reason for the season!

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 13: Santa Writes A Letter To The Toddler

We already put the tree up and the card in the envelope said to go sit with Santa, but we will be doing that tomorrow. So, I was in a bit of a tight spot in which I had no idea what we were going to do today.

Then we got the mail!

So, I let her open up her envelope and munch on her chocolate covered marshmellow Santa.

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It was the most delicious piece of candy to come out of her envelopes thus far. At least, it looks like she was very excited about it, hmm.

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We then got to go to the mailbox and got our very first letter. Well, technically, she got a letter last year too, but this is the first time that she has opened her own piece of mail.

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We found out that she was on the Nice List this year. Which, her moms find a little hard to believe, as she’s kind of a jerk some times. But then of course, she’s also been engineered to survive all her ridiculous brattiness with severe cuteness. So, it all balances out.

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Her mama, on the other hand, is getting NOTHING for Christmas! 😉

Day Four: Gingerbread Man Decorating with Moms

Day four was thwarted by the retail and Pinterest impossibilities. Originally, I was going to construct a felt Christmas tree for her, complete with ornaments, so that when we put our tree up, she won’t be as tempted to play with the real one. Of course, that’s the theory.

I looked very long for a large green piece of felt. It didn’t work, I would have to order it online and I didn’t have time to wait for the felt to come. So, instead, I was at Walmart getting some errands run and I came across some super awesome pre-made gingerbread men.

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So we had a little dinner and then set up the highchair at the dining room table and set up the decorating station. I knew going into that Peyton wouldn’t really be able to help decorate and do a ‘professional’ job. However, she did have fun helping put on the gumdrops and pretended to put icing on the cookie.

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So, she did a lot of decorating, sampling and licking her fingers. She also mimicked her Mama who was making her own gingerbread man. It was great to see my girls doing something extra fun together.

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Of course, when it came to eating the cookies, none of us really wanted to eat them. As you can see by her face, Punky was thrilled with her decorating skills and was ready to hop right in the bath after she finished.

Day Four of the Christmas Countdown was a success!