The Christmas things we DON’T do

I’ve read many posts on Christmas traditions (and don’t you worry, I intend to write one myself) but I thought it might be interesting to post a little list of Christmas traditions we don’t participate in and why.

1) We don’t look at lights on Christmas eve.  I love to drive around looking at all the twinkly lights, and we definitely will do that at least once (probably multiple times) this December.  However.  My parents’ neighborhood has long been one of THE PLACES to go light-looking.  Like, it’s made the newspaper’s list of places to go more than once.  So on Christmas eve?  This neighborhood is a crazy mess.  We’ve gone to other things on Christmas eve a time or two and come home and had it take a good 20 minutes to get from the only neighborhood entrance to our house.  (It should take about 2.)  It’s not fun, so we try to stay home Christmas eve.

2)  We don’t open any gifts on Christmas eve.  I know some people do stockings, some people open all the gifts, some people do grandparent gifts or whatever.  We wait until Christmas morning for all of it.

3)  We don’t do Christmas pajamas.  I have purchased Christmasy pajamas for the kids once or twice, but it’s not a *thing* we do.

4)  We don’t leave treats for the reindeer.  We always did the cookies for Santa, but that was it.  My kids are a little young for this yet, but I will not be doing anything for the reindeer even when they are older.  If reindeer come to our house they’re just going to have to go hungry.

5)  We don’t read “The Night Before Christmas” on Christmas eve.  I’m sure we’ll read it at some point in December, but on Christmas eve I prefer to read the Christmas story in Luke chapter 2.

So, what traditions do you skip out on?

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What the kids are getting for Christmas

Probably you don’t care, but if you’re interested, here’s what the kids are getting for Christmas this year.

For Kalena from Brian and I:

A Disney princess dress up set.  (Photo credit: biglots.com)  That’s not the exact one, but it’s the closest picture I could find.

Dinosaur flash cards.  The girl is obsessed with dinosaurs.
From my parents:
Melissa and Doug shopping cart and food.  She loves her play kitchen (last year’s gift) and at one point she had a shopping cart.  They played with it until the wheels fell off.  Literally.  So we figured this would be an excellent choice.  (Photo credit: amazon.com)
For both kids from Brian and I:
A Mega Bloks table.  The kids love their set of mega bloks, but they always want something to build their towers on.  Here it is.  (Photo credit: amazon.com)
For Will from Brian and I:
The Little People Zoo.  I’m actually not positive this is the one I bought, apparently there are two.  I got one a couple months ago on clearance and I’m too lazy to go look at which one it is.  (Photo credit: target.com)
What can I say?  Both my kids are obsessed with dinosaurs.  (Photo credit: amazon.com)
From my parents:
A Vtech Alphabet Train.  The kids played with one of these in the waiting room at the dentist’s office and both loved it.  So now we’ll have one of our own for them to fight over.  Good times.  (Photo credit: amazon.com)
So.  What are your kids getting for Christmas?

So close

I really want to start writing about Christmas.  Christmas traditions, thoughts on Santa, how much I love hot chocolate, etc.  But I feel like I shouldn’t be doing that until December.  Seeing as December is only days away, I feel like I should be able to hold out until then.  Unfortunately that leaves me topic-less until then.  And NaBloPoMo isn’t over yet, so now you just get to listen to my rambling!

On to other topics.  (Okay, so maybe I’m not completely topic-less.)  Baby clothes.  When I found out we are having another boy I felt a little bad that my sisters weren’t going to get to unload all the baby girl clothes to me.  And a little sad that I wasn’t going to have boxes and boxes of darling baby clothes to go through.  But then my parents went to Kirsta’s house for Thanksgiving (if you don’t know, Kirsta has 2 boys and a girl) and came home with two giant tubs of baby boy clothes!  It’s like the maternity clothes all over again!  So once again, WOOHOO for having sisters and all these babies being close in age.

Well that’s a first

We put Kalena to bed every night at 7.  She usually plays in her room for an hour or two, which I suppose means 7 is a touch early for bedtime.  However, she gets up at 6:45 no matter what time we put her to bed, and she’s perfectly happy to play in her room by herself starting at 7, so that’s what we’re sticking to.

Anyway, that’s not the point.  The point is, well, okay there are two points.  The first is that the lamp we put in there?  Has made a HUGE difference.  She doesn’t leave her door open anymore, nor does she come out in the middle of the night and turn the hall light back on (usually.)  However, the lamp has 3 settings and Kalena goes to sleep with it on the brightest setting (of course) which means someone has to go in and turn it down to the lowest setting before we go to bed.  That’s not a problem, but it does lead me to my second point which is this: when I go in Kalena is always in her bed.  (That’s another reason I don’t worry about putting her to bed at 7- she is obviously very good about getting in bed once she actually gets tired.)

But last night she wasn’t!  She was asleep on the floor, next to her bed.  And I’m not sure what to think about that.
 

23 weeks

I’m a little surprised to find myself at 23 weeks already, but here I am.
The holidays are the best time to be pregnant.  Stretchy pants all the time!  Of course, by Christmas I’m going to look like I’m about 8 1/2 months along, but OH WELL.

Thankful

Even in the midst of everything going on here, there are always things that I’m thankful for.  Actually, I feel  extra thankful this year, to the point of being cheesy even.  I blame the pregnancy hormones.  So I’ll keep my list brief.

1) I’m thankful for my parents who happily took us in, AGAIN, when we needed it.
2) I’m thankful this pregnancy happened before everything else went south, so that we don’t have to wait for “better timing” to have a third.
3) I’m thankful for kids who are healthy and happy, for the most part.
4) I’m thankful that all of our family is being supportive of Brian going back to school.
5) And, of course, I’m thankful for Brian, who is a wonderful husband and father.  And that’s something I probably don’t say enough.

Alright, cheesiness over.  Back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

A Thanksgiving related question

Here’s what I want to know: how many of you make your own pie crust?  (I also wrote about this at Food Lush today, but I am very curious.)  I grew up in a house that made pie.  A LOT.  I mean, when you have cherry, apple, and peach trees in your back yard pie is sort of a necessity.  And we always made the crust.  So I grew up thinking that’s what people did.

I’ve always sort of equated it with buying prepared cookie dough.  I was aware that you could do it, but not sure why people would since 1) making it isn’t hard and 2) the homemade product is FAR superior.  But the subject of pie is big right now (what with Thanksgiving being tomorrow and all)  and I keep hearing about how nobody wants to make pie crust.  So do you make pie crust?  And if not, why not?

Ultrasound says…

We’re having another boy!

I was surprised since the symptoms have been so similar to my pregnancy with Kalena.  Kalena has insisted every time I’ve asked that it was a boy, so she was unsurprised when I informed her.  Will repeated “baby boy” when I told him, but I’m pretty sure he has no idea what’s going on.

Time to think about names!

Big changes y’all

So, Brian got laid off today.

Maybe I should back up.  See, pretty shortly after I found out we were expecting again, things were not great in the industry Brian works (well, worked) in.  I won’t go into details, but we decided that we probably ought to come up with a plan B.  After much thought and deliberation we decided that this would be a good time for Brian to finish school.  He’s halfway through a computer science degree but had to quit school back when I got laid off in 2009 so we could move back to Colorado.  He’s wanted to finish school since we’ve been back, and we’ve talked about it several times but it’s never felt right.  This time it did.

Anyway, for him to go to school full time, he wasn’t going to be able to work full time.  And if he couldn’t work full time, we needed to cut WAY back on expenses.  So we went to my parents and proposed that we move back in with them while Brian finishes school.  They were pretty excited about this plan (no sarcasm here, my parents really like having us around.  Okay, maybe it’s my darling children they like having around but whatever.)  We started the process of moving back in with them and selling our house.  (Which is another post for another time.)  Brian got registered for school, financial aid in order, then went to his boss and suggested that he switch to working part time.  And his boss said sure.  This was a couple weeks ago.  We figured he’d work full time until January when the semester starts, then go to part time.  And then today happened.

To summarize:
I’m pregnant
We’re living with my parents
We have no income
AND THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME.  (Unfamiliar with our history of this?  Check out this post.)

We’ll have to seriously consider these patterns next time we want another baby.