Here we are, it’s 2014, and I haven’t visited my own blog in ages. So sad… so very sad.
Things have been busy with the holidays. My parents planned a family trip to Colorado starting on Christmas Eve, lasting until the 27th, and that trip put a wrench in everything holidays-related. We were scrambling to buy gifts in time to ship them to the hotel, get things for the flight (stroller, accessories, car seat bag), and pack all four of us up for a four-day trip. The trip preparations put a damper on everything else, including decorating the house and getting the lights up outside (which never happened). Needless to say, I was a total Scrooge this year. It just didn’t feel like Christmas. I felt robbed – and I still do – in a way.
The trip was great – well – great in an “adult trip” sort of way. The resort was fantastic (a very special place to my family and a resort that B and I have travelled to many times because it’s special to us too!), the room was spacious (my father insists we call it a suite, which is sooooo not me!), seeing my sisters and their kids was unforgettable, and the food was great. But my goodness – B and I spent so much time in the
room suite with napping/sleeping kids that I felt like I wasn’t able to do the things we were there to do (spend time with my parents, sisters, and their families) and that made me very grumpy. I wasn’t upset with the kids – they nap (and well) and go to bed early (thank God!) – I was upset that we took our kids away from home ON Christmas to spend it in an unfamiliar place. The times we spent with my family WERE great and super fun, but I just felt so disconnected from the whole thing, including Christmas in general. I have nicely told my dad that we will not be doing that again while we have small kids – and he gets it. I think he knows it was hard for my younger sister and me (she has 3 young kids who nap and go to bed early as well).
(I do want to make a note here that both Matthew and Bryson were complete angels on both flights. Matthew sat in the big seat without his car seat, and he sat still and was a good boy both ways (and slept the entire return flight). Bryson nursed and slept on the way up for both flights and flirted with everyone once we reached our cruising altitudes. The descent on the return flight got to his ears and he cried, but no one can be upset about that. Poor baby. We are going to fly again this spring and are super calm about it now knowing how well the boys did for this trip.)
We celebrated with B’s family the weekend before Christmas and it was nice! There were some annoying things like our 4 year-old niece being nasty to Matthew and our nephew constantly referring to Matthew as, “that kid,” but I put a stop to both of those situations immediately so that we could move on with merriment. HA! Matthew still is not into opening presents and I had to give him a time-out to get him to come sit with us to open his gifts. After doing that, I read that that was the entirely WRONG thing to do so relaxed a great deal about his lack of interest in his gifts both in Colorado and then at our house on the 29th. I’m learning… I’m learning 😉
We got home from Colorado on the 27th and no gifts were wrapped, so we didn’t celebrate on the 28th. On the morning of the 28th, we felt a strong need to see B’s parents and let the kids have some good interaction with grandparents who are into them (my parents are not into any of the kids – they just aren’t). That was good for my soul – it was great to be with B’s parents who are so happy to see us whenever we can make it work (every other week or so) and it was nice to just be still with them. I’m not sure that makes sense – but that’s how it felt. I always leave them feeling relaxed, which was not always the case. B’s mom and I have come a very long way in our relationship and respect for one another. It feels good!
We finally did our Christmas on the 29th. The best part about it was wrapping presents the night before. B and I setup shop in the basement and I put the art easel together as he wrapped, wrapped, wrapped! He bought a bunch of fun little toys for the boys, things I hadn’t seen yet, and he wanted to keep it that way so that I was surprised when the boys opened their gifts as well. That was fun! I picked out the discovery tower (for the kitchen) and the easel and put them both together since they were my ideas and because I like putting things together. It worked out great! I got a little tipsy with my favorite beer – hooray! The next morning, Matthew took forever opening his gifts which was A-OK with me. He got some super fun stuff from B and it was fun to see his reaction to things. B is an AWESOME gift giver for the kids! And this year – he NAILED it with his gift for me. It made me cry a bit.
I got a wild hair on (our) Christmas morning and asked B if he wanted me to make a big prime rib dinner if I could find a roast (being after Christmas and all). Of course he said yes (he loves my prime rib… and I will say that it is pretty good thank-you-Williams-So.noma!) so I got to work and spent almost 7 hours in the kitchen cooking, cooking, cooking. Oh my god, it was like the best gift to myself! Cooking big dinners relaxes me a great deal – prepping food calms my nerves. I made cheese fondue (gruyere cheese, Emmentaler cheese, dry white wine, salt, pepper) as our appetizer, endive salads with blue cheese and bacon, prime rib and roasted asparagus, and chocolate fondue for dessert. It was awesome – so fun to sit down to a multi-course meal together as a family! We invited B’s brother who is always a fun addition to the evening!
So our holidays ended much better than they started. They ended with loving grandparents, a happy family unit, well-rested kids (finally!), perfect gifts, and a fantastic (if I do say so myself) dinner. Finally – finally – it felt like Christmas 4 days after the fact.
Our tree is undecorated and ready for the wood chipper. The kids are back to their normal sleeping routines (Bryson is sleeping almost through the night with an early morning feeding sometime between 3:45 and 5:45 before sleeping again until 7:00-8:00 each morning). Our laundry from the trip (and afterwards) is almost all caught up. All of the new toys have homes within our home. NYE was celebrated in an unconventional way by letting Matthew stay up to watch The Po.lar Exp.ress in our bed and then sleep all night with us (oh the joy!). And we’re now looking forward to a 2014 full of travel (starting Jan 9th to KC) and better fitness… and much-needed (and deserved) sleep.
As my Aunt Linda loves to say – HUZZAH!