The picture below was taken the morning after Christmas - notice the rain falling on the windows. It started raining on Christmas afternoon and rained for nearly 48 hours. And melted all 2 feet of snow. The only remaining evidence we have are a few snow banks that were piled in parking lots. So sad, but much easier to drive in. Also notice how everyone has their hands up by their mouths, the reason that I took the picture to begin with. (Harry Potter was playing) Photographic evidence that what Aunt Heather predicted did in fact happen. Hello Kitty wall decals being placed on the living room wall. Thankfully, Ashlee took all the decals and the little sister into her bedroom and helped her hang them up all around the crib. Much better, but no picture.
In this picture, Paige is playing with: Little People gifts from Santa and a tiny doll, blanket, and pillow that came in a little box from my mother. She loves this doll. We are on the fence. Several times a day, Paige will say something like: "Where's my doll, where's my box, where's my pillow....." She's not such a great looker for things, in fact she's pretty awful at it. We are learning that the first place to look is right around her - usually she has just set it down and forgotten that she did so.
Maggie woke up at 5 something on Christmas morning, she waited until 6 something to wake Ashlee and 7 something to wake Paige and us. We love her.
- The Christmas holidays - especially Christmas day - are not the time to give up Diet Coke. Next year, go ahead and buy some when you are doing the big grocery trip (unless you have been living without it for several months). Because there is no possible excuse to leave the house and get one on Christmas day and you will REALLY want one, and it is Christmas after all. Consider a gift to yourself.
- Maggie has fewer Christmases yet to spend living at home than the ones she has already spent with you - be with her and all three girls more.
- Nobody but you will be excited about home-made marshmallows. Yes, everyone will be a year older, but they still won't think they are that great. And honestly, they aren't. Better than the grocery store? Yes. Enough better to make them at home? Not really.
- If you want to make home-made gifts, have them planned and done by Thanksgiving - or at least planned and prepped by Thanksgiving, otherwise you will not get to it.
- Ditto with any additional advent calendar activities you want to try.
- Ditto with the Christmas cards.
- Ditto with the advent wreath.
- Sugar cookies and gingerbread houses are fun for the girls. Don't take all the fun out of them by freaking out about the mess or the sloppiness of it all. Let it go.
- Remember how much better things are when the Mom decides to be happy and have fun - try to have a little more fun be a little more silly. Also remember how much more festive you FELT when you were dressed, with your hair and make-up done.
- Having Chris take the girls somewhere for a few hours on Christmas Eve or the day before Christmas Eve is a great idea and should be a tradition. Having the house to yourself is kind-of heavenly for a few hours.