Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

Can you believe another Christmas has come and gone? I think this Christmas was the best so far. Of course I will think that every year as Baby Bean gets older and enjoys the day more. I thought for sure she would grasp the concept of Christmas this year, but she didn't get it as fully as I thought she would. She was, however, very excited to see that Santa had come as she came down the stairs that morning.

Baby Bean was lucky in that she got to have two Christmases this year too. We had one with her grandma and great-aunts on Thanksgiving where her grandma gave her a really cool digital camera for kids. Her aunts gave her this cute horse pillow. She also got some new clothes and a couple sets of Lego's.

That same weekend we also went to the Texas Renaissance festival and spent the day with Hubs' best friend and his family.

She would not let that camera out of her site from the moment grandma gave it to her.

Baby Bean got to ride a lama. She loves to ride either the ponies or the lamas.

After Thanksgiving, it was time to get ready for Christmas! I started a new tradition for our little family 3 years ago which involves making gingerbread cookies for my coworkers. Baby Bean LOVED to help add the ingredients to the mixer and turn it on, cut out the cookies, eat the cookie dough, and eat the baked and frosted cookies. She is my big helper.

She even helped me put up the Christmas tree. As was a tradition in my family, she will get a new Christmas ornament every year. This year I took her to the Ha.llmark store where she picked out a D.umbo ornament. This was the first year she was really able to pick out her own ornament. Let me tell you, giving a 2.5-year-old choices like that can mean you are in the store for a lot longer than you would like! "I want this one. No, I want this one. I want this one too. Why can't I have both? I want this one."

Hubs also got into the Christmas spirit and decorated the front yard.  I was amazed. He has been saying for years he wanted to, but this year he finally did it. We went to the store and he bought hundreds of dollars of Christmas lights and decor. Of course the picture can't do it justice, but we had the brightest, most festive house in our neighborhood. We plan on being "one of those houses" who adds something new every year.

And this brings us to Christmas Eve. Getting Baby Bean to stay in bed this past week has been ridiculous. Her dad and I took vacation so that we would have the entire week and then some off work. Baby Bean knows that she doesn't have to go to school right now, so even when we put her in bed on time, she will sneak out of it for hours after she gets put down. This made getting presents from my room to under the Christmas tree tricky. I never knew if she was actually asleep, or if her door was about to open and she would try to sneak out. But she eventually went to sleep and I was able to play Santa.

As you can see in the picture above, she got an art center as her big, unwrapped item. I tried to upload a video of her checking it out, but I got a new laptop for Christmas (!!!) with updated software that I have to figure out how to work. (My old laptop took its time dying. The CD drive went first. Then the WiFi, then the hard drive. That's when you know its time for a new one.)

Baby Bean's favorite present of the day? The doll house.

In fact, once she opened the doll house, she didn't want to open any other presents. Even though there was no furniture for it yet. The house came with a family of four and a table and chairs. That was it. But she was content. I told her to open more presents and she would say, "No thanks. I have this." And she would indicate her doll house. It took us hours to get her to open half of her presents (hence her not really getting Christmas). At one point I started taking some away to give her for her birthday, because all she saw was that doll house. Eventually she opened some of the furniture sets, or maybe I did for her, I can't remember. She did keep telling me to open her presents because she just wanted to play.

I mean, the doll house IS super cool. Hello, I bought it! I just wish I had saved it for last or something so that she would open her other gifts. She seriously couldn't care less that she got anything else. Hubs enjoyed this because he had told me multiple time that I had gone overboard. I kept telling him no I hadn't. She had three different classes of presents: 1) the doll house and all  of its furniture; 2) the art center and all of its supplies; 3) baby dolls and furniture and supplies for them. The third class is the one I held back for her birthday.

Every now and then throughout the day I would ask if she wanted to open more presents. Sometimes she would say yes and go open one, and others she would say no thank you. I think by about 8:00 that night, she finally opened her last present.

When I put her to bed that night I asked her what her favorite part of the day was. She replied, "Presents!" I asked her what her favorite present was, "My doll house!" My husband said you know you have done you job right when your kid opens the best present and doesn't care about anything else. He told me that to keep me from feeling bad that I had gone a tad overboard with the gifts. lol

This past week we have all had fun playing in the doll house and at the art center with play dough, markers, and paints.

I am so grateful that this little girl finally came into our lives and made it incredible beyond words. I might not always be the mama I want to be, but I try. I constantly remind myself that my job as her mother is to teach her to grow up to be kind and considerate, but it is also to make her childhood as magical as I possibly can. She is the most precious thing in my life. There is nothing like her sweet hugs and kisses. Most of all when I lay with her at night and on occasion tell her I'm sorry I'm not a better mama, but I'm trying, and she leans over and gives me a big hug and kiss. She knows I am trying. If I never got anything else in this life, at least I have her.

As for her daddy and I, well we spoiled each other too. Like I said, I got a new screaming laptop from him. The rest of my family gave me jewelry, body wash from VS, a heated blanket (that will get used as much as a French bayonet thanks to the fact that we are having more 70 degrees here than not), and some great chick movies. Hubs got a new and much needed leather jacket, some sunglasses, a new wedding band (its a long story), and a few other geek gadgets.

The dogs and gerbils were not left out either. The dogs got two big bags of rawhide chews and other tasty dog treats. Mags got a new pink collar because I hated her green one. The gerbils got an edible house and a toy ball. They also got their cage thoroughly cleaned, which doesn't happen often because it takes hours. Usually I just clean the main areas and replace the bedding, but this time I cleaned out all of their tunnels too.

It has been a great Christmas, and I am looking forward to 2012. I am going to give 2011 a giant boot to the @$$. This year was so brutal for me, but I took most of it in stride. I am so hopeful that 2012 will be our year. I mean, we already have a Cancun vacation booked and a California vacation in the works! We also gained some ground on the TTC front that makes me hopeful in a way that I haven't been in a long time. I hope and pray that we actually get pregnant this year. I have a good feeling so far. Its not going to be easy, but I at least feel like it is doable now. Very exciting!

I wish you all the very best in the coming year. I hope that you all have the kind of year you deserve and have worked so hard for. May the IF blogosphere bloom with pregnancy announcements all year long for one and all!

Friday, December 9, 2011

I know, I know!

I am just not so great at keeping up with updating or reading the blogs for the last few months. No excuses, just know that I know. Yep, I am horribly behind on all of the goings on of your lives, BUT I do think about all of you often (yes, all of you), and keep thinking I need to check in. I will. I promise.

So of course a million things have happened since I last posted. As always, life goes a million miles a minute, and I keep thinking I need to blog before I forget about everything. As such, this will be a bullet point post.

Baby Bean
This little girl is amazing. Seriously. She is so intelligent, and so sweet, and so sassy. We are most certainly in the Terrible Twos, but in the moments when I think I am going to lose it, I remember how much I love this little girl and how hard won she was.

So much has been going on with her. She is fully potty trained and in the big toilets that flush and I don't have to clean after each use. She says the most hilarious and insightful things. Like this morning she gave one of the dogs a bone, and her daddy and I told the dog to tell Baby Bean thank you. Baby Bean said, "Dogs don't talk." This is true. I found it funny that she let her dad and I know that.

She is turning into quite the little helper, and is starting to mimic me more and more every day. Last weekend I made potato cheese soup for dinner, and BB was right by my side the whole time. I would chop the vegetables, and she would put them in the pot. I would peel the potatoes into the garbage can, and she would pick up and throw away any errant pieces. It just melts my heart.

I bought her an advent calendar to count down the days to Christmas, and she is so disappointed every time she opens a door and there is nothing behind it, either because she has eaten it for the day, or I haven't put a piece of candy in for the day yet.

She is apparently still too young to ask for anything specific for Christmas. When I ask her what she wants Santa to bring her, all she says is, "Toys." So I try to guide her into "asking" for the things I have already bought for her. I seriously can't wait until Christmas when she can open all of the things I have bought for her. She will be a busy little girl for a long time.

The Dogs
Boltie has finally left the nest and gone to live with my MIL. I had a really hard time leaving him initially because I had grown so attached. I cried for a good 15 minutes. But I know he is in excellent, loving hands. As I kept telling him, "If you don't behave, I will send you to live with your dad." And I did.

He is adjusting to his new home very well and has become a member of the pack.

Maggie could care less that her puppy is gone. In fact, I think she was downright happy because she got her person back and no longer had a little leach stuck to her side. She was soooo happy when we got back home after dropping Bolt off. She was literally dancing around the whole night and so excited. So sad. lol

Life on the dog front has returned to normal, with both my girls curling up and snuggling with me in between chewing on chewies. Oh yes, and Mags got a new bed because Bolt decided to pee on her old one a couple days before he left. I guess it was his parting gift.

Not a lot to report here. I have been totally slammed at work and with Christmas. I ended up doing a cycle over Thanksgiving break, which I totally regretted because I was just too stressed out in general without the added cycle stress. It was so bad, my hair literally started to fall out and I had to take sleeping pills to knock me out at night. Otherwise I would lay awake and think about all of the things that still needed to be done. I love and hate this time of year.

Thankfully everything that was on fire at work has been taken care of this past week, and I am finally able to take a bit of a breather there. I had all of my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving, which was awesome. Then it was just down to wrapping and sending the gifts and getting Christmas cards put out (those were done before TG too).

If all of that that isn't enough, I also bake a lot this time of year for my coworkers. Baby Bean and I made gingerbread cookies last week that I brought to work and everyone enjoyed immensely. (I have pictures and will post later.) It has become our tradition. Baby Bean has helped me make gingerbread cookies for the last three years, and I intend to keep it going.

Thankfully, everything on all fronts has slowed down. The presents that needed to be shipped have been wrapped and sent, and the first wave of Christmas cookies is down (2-3 more to go). I plan on baking some more this weekend and am going to try to get Christmas cards out. If I do that, I will only need to wrap presents from Santa, mom, and dad, and bake 1-2 more batches of cookies. Basically I am down to the enjoyable stuff and am able to stress less.

Just to show you a bit of what I have been up to, here is "Christmas Barf" at work:

This picture does not to it justice. It is much more spectacular in real life. I think it took me a few days to get all of this put together with some help from my coworkers. We had a good time putting it all together. My husband and I did a lot of decorating around our house too. Hubs put up a billion lights in our front yard, and I put up decorations all over the inside of our house. It has been fun.

I guess that's it for me now. I will try to be better about updating. :)