Monday, December 22, 2014

Advent Update: Week 3

Since we were out of town last weekend, we had to make a trip to the grocery store Monday night or we would starve after work. Apparently, everyone else in town felt the same because the parking lot was packed as was every aisle we went down. After that nightmare, we rushed home to make a quick dinner and then get to Day 15's activity: Dance party in the living room to some Christmas tunes! As stated in the last post, Taylor is obsessed with nursery rhymes, so when I came across this assortment of Christmas videos I knew I had to make it an activity. While watching these videos, the tot does one of two things: dances, claps, and spins in circles like a crazy person or sits completely still and stares at the TV in a trance. Last night, the latter occurred. But I know she loved it, because when I turned off the TV she grit her teeth, strained her neck and let out a super-annoying squeal.Clearly, she didn't want the party to end, so I turned on Pandora and we continued our party straight into bath time. Nothing says festive quite like a Christmas caroling bubble bath!

Tuesday evening my quick and easy dinner turned into an hour and a half long process as I simultaneously prepped treats for our work holiday party the next morning. By the time the tot was fed, it was almost her bedtime, so we quickly got to our Day 16 activity of painting our nails red while singing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer! I must have been feeling brave, because instead of only painting her piggies (like normal) I decided to attempt her finger nails as well. Before we began, I turned on my secret weapon, and sure enough the tot sat completely still as her eyes remained glued to the Christmas videos the entire time. Our only problem came when it was time for the polish to dry. This little lady simply refused to keep her hands flat! I kept having to pry her chubby little fists open so she wouldn't mess up the polish. Regardless of the extra work, I must say that the final product was pretty darn adorable (even if it only lasted a day before chipping off).

I had been anticipating Day 17's activity all month long. Growing up, every week at Sunday School was spent either finger paint or playing with homemade play dough. We would get out the rollers and cookie cutters and go to town making one-of-a-kind creations only to smash them back into a ball and start on something new. My goal with this activity (which I'm sure will be done every year from here on out) is to instill those same fond memories in my daughter.  Tay had a blast with this activity and I didn't have to spend a single penny. It took less than 10 minutes to make and is something that will keep for months. It's easy to get distracted by fancy new toys (half of which I don't even know how to use) and giving our children the things that we never had, but sometimes the simplest things actually create the most fun.

When I picked the tot up from daycare on Thursday, her sitter handed me a bag full of Christmas presents and informed us she was handing them out early this year just in case an unexpected snowstorm hit or anyone came down with the flu. I guess both have happened in the past causing the kids not to get their gifts prior to Christmas, so we gladly accepted and rushed home to open our goodies. Day 18's original activity would have to wait until another day. Since we have a lot of family that lives far away, we have been opening our presents as they arrive. After all, the tot doesn't know it isn't Christmas and the more we space out her gifts, the more likely she is to enjoy each one. Typically, she is much more interested in the wrapping paper than the actual gift itself, but not this time! Our sitter knows this girl all too well. She bought the tot a copy of her favorite book at daycare, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? along with a touch and feel book featuring all of her favorite farm animals. Both were a huge hit. After our present high, we needed to keep the festiveness in the air, so off to the tub we went to create Santa beards with the bubble bath. This kid loves bubbles but hates washing her hair. Oh well, you win some; you lose some.

Friday evening came just in time, because this momma was spent. After a super long work week, I was so excited to pick up the tot from daycare, eat a quick dinner and then melt into my bed. Thankfully, Day 19's activity was to watch "Frosty the Snowman" and snack on some festive marshmallows. Taylor loves marshmallows so I knew she's be excited for this (but probably not as excited as she was for that cotton candy!). We finished dinner and the bath routine so quick that we were able to watch "Frosty" and "Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too." She was mezmerized the entire time, clapping and giggling whenever a song would come on. She's simply the best, and I love her silly little self so much. This was exactly what we needed after a very long week.

Saturday was supposed to be filled with wrapping presents and baking cookies, but since Taylor refused to nap all day we didn't get any of those things accomplished. After being confined to the house with a crabby toddler all day, I was bursting to get out of the house for Day 20's activity which was to visit the Magic Tree. I'm fairly certain they have done a large amount of trimming to the tree over the last year or so, because it was much fuller (and brighter) the last time I saw it. Jake was able to get off work in time to join us for our outing so I was excited regardless. Since we had the brilliant idea to go on a Saturday night, the place was packed! Taylor was more interested in all of the other kids running around playing than she was in the lights, but she had a good time and loved getting to ride on Daddy's shoulders! Since it was cold and muddy, we didn't stay long but I'm glad that we were able to go and experience at least one of our activities as a family. Trying to contain the tot and snap pics wasn't the easiest thing to do, but we did manage to get a few good shots (and a terrible family selfie). I think we were mostly just happy to spend the evening with Jake; it's pretty clear that we both have missed him more than he knows.

Yesterday was a stay-in-our-jammies-all-day kind of day at our house. Since the tot didn't nap at all on Saturday, she more than made up for it on Sunday. I was thrilled because I was able to finish up some homemade gifts and get some last minute wrapping done. I was also able to bake two batches of cookies (after I burnt the first batch) and get the entire house cleaned. Major momma win. Between naps, Tay and I turned up the Christmas music and got busy making some chocolate covered pretzels. She loved spreading her fingers in the chocolaty mess but I think her favorite part of Day 21's activity was getting to sample all of our tasty treats! This baby has been in sugar heaven all month long. I'm sure she's going to have major withdraws after the new year!

Well kids, we've made it through the third and final full week of Advent. That means we are officially just days away from the best holiday ever! Christmas is so close I can taste it...

In case another post doesn't arrive before the 25th (which I'm doubtful it will given our busy schedule), I want to wish all of you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of holidays! God bless each and every one of you for reading my blog and sharing your sweet comments. I'm sure Santa will be good to you all! ;c )