September 2019
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The Good Parts of Christmas

This ended up being a fairly tough Christmas. But, despite its challenges, we ended up having some nice moments.

We spent Christmas Eve at my in-laws’ house. Considering the fact that she spent the first two hours surrounded by candy and pastries she wasn’t allowed to eat, and presents she wasn’t allowed to unwrap, I thought Lilian handled herself remarkably well.

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Kristian’s family was really generous with her. Her favorite presents? A little cooking set and the Little People(tm) pig farm. We tried to get her to combine the two by frying up some “bacon”, but she didn’t get the joke.

(You have a reprieve for now… pig.)

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She held it together until she couldn’t hold it together anymore. Which was about a half hour after her bedtime, so I’d call that one a win. We packed her up and brought her home to dream about sugar plums. Or carrots. Something like that.

“Santa” brought Lilian a toy kitchen, and Kristian and I had a little too much fun staging it under the tree with all of her toy food and new cooking set.

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We woke up bright and early on Christmas morning. I was so excited! Unfortunately, Lilian still hadn’t quite grasped the concept of Santa. And Kristian is pretty much the definition of “not a morning person.” So, I sat on our bed and vibrated like a humming bird while Lilian asked for more milk and Kristian asked for five more minutes of sleep. It was like I was seven years old again!

Eventually, I dragged everyone downstairs. “Hey, Lilian, let’s go see if there’s anything for you under the tree?” “Enh…ok.”

I brought Lilian over to see what Santa brought her. She was stunned! Mostly, because all of her toy food was already on it. “That’s new, but it’s covered with my toys. Is it… for me?”

Why yes, yes it is.

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“Hello? Santa? THANK YOUUUUU!!!!”

She also realized (eventually) that she loved the cape I made for her. Also, the ukulele that her auntie and uncle gave her last year.

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We also had a great time spending Christmas Day with my family. We were sad to be missing two of my sisters, my grandma, and my uncle. But we made the most of our day together. I loved watching Lilian play with her cousins.

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(Five minutes after that picture was taken, they all escaped the kids’ table for their mothers’ laps and the breakfast bar).

We even had some nice moments down in Bourne. Lilian loves her GG (my grandma), and was over the moon with the presents that grandma sewed for her. She made her a new pillow and blanket with Frozen fabric (Lilian has been calling them her Kristoff pillow and Kristoff blanket. I’m not entirely sure if this means that she missed the point of the movie or, if like my sister says, she’s just saying no to the princess hype.) Grandma also made her a little rag quilt for Baby (Lilian’s lovie), in the same design as the quilt that she made last year. She’s been having so much fun making little nests for herself and Baby!

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“Comfy Cozy!”

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Baby never had it so good.

We also got to spend some time with my step-brothers and sisters (not pictured… whoops!). I haven’t seen a couple of them since before Lilian was born, so it was good that we had a chance to finally introduce them all. Their grandfather stopped by as well, with some holiday cheer and a sign that we used for photo-ops.

(I will leave the question of who is naughty and who is nice as an exercise for the reader.)

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We’d already planned to spend some time on the Saturday after Christmas with my mom’s family. This was our chance to get everyone together, including the aforementioned sisters, grandma, and uncle. It was a little bitter-sweet, as we spent a good part of the party waiting to hear about my dad. But, we still managed to enjoy each other’s company.

My cousin admitted that he didn’t know the plot to Frozen, so we made him read the book to Lilian and my sister’s daughter, Ruby. He made a big show of reading all of the fine print on the title page, but secretly I think he enjoyed it.

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I consider us to be extremely lucky to be able to spend Christmas with not one, but two grandmas (or great-grandmas, depending on whose perspective we’re talking about). My mom’s mom tends to tire easily these days, but she was a trooper this time! I think it helped that she got to snuggle with her great-grandchildren.

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After several days of being fed a steady dose of presents, sweets, and her aunties letting her get away with a lot more than her parents normally do, I started to joke that Lilian was going feral. And that was before I discovered her dumping out all of the cats’ food and chomping down on it!

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(If she starts treeing squirrels or taking out birds mid-flight, we are going to have a problem.)

That said, I can’t believe how well she’s been behaving. We’ve messed with her schedule, her bedtime, her eating habits, just about everything. And she’s still been behaving beautifully. I mean, she’s been testing our limits here and there. But she’s two. That’s what two-year-olds do.

Our final holiday gathering was New Year’s Eve with my sister-in-law and her family. They live down in Florida, but they came up for the week to spend time with us and let their girls see snow. Lilian is rich with cousins.

(I’m not usually a fan of screen time, but considering the week we had, I think it’s pretty amazing that we only resorted to a movie once.)

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The day before NYE, Kristian went skiing with our brother-in-law and their kids. Lilian and I hung out with my sister-in-law. She was kind enough to let me use the jacuzzi in their vacation rental (our only bathtub leaks, I hadn’t had a real bath in probably a year). I even got a nap in! I’m still exhausted, but every little bit helps.

It’s been a whirlwind of a week, and I still have three days before I start my new job! I am hoping to get some more sleep in, and maybe even do some cleaning and organizing of my craft area. But, let’s be honest here, all I really need is the sleep.

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