Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Wrap-up

So, here we are, the wonderful week of repose between Christmas and New Year's Day. The house has been moderately picked up numerous times. We have had scrumptious food, visits to both sides of the family, with accompanying feasts and gifts, and our own celebrations at home.

I tried hard to follow the "slow Advent" I had been reading about at Melanie's blog. We identified the activities we most wanted to do, did those, and eliminated the rest. Consequently we did make a gingerbread house, then ate it, we did have an Advent wreath, and a Jesse Tree (which we actually finished!), we did bake sugar cookies (thanks to visiting relatives), and I did make cinnamon rolls. We did make paper snowflakes, and I did not do Christmas cards. We did go to Royal Hours on Christmas Eve, followed by confession. We did get a photo of all the kids, we did keep gift giving simple, while still having the kids do a secret Santa. We did get a real tree, for the first time in 13 years. We did not get out all of our decorating, just a bit each day until it seemed lovely. I did do my St. Nicholas mantle. And we are having our New Year's Eve party.

Sounds full, but we eliminated a lot of unnecessary stress. And I did enjoy Advent and Christmas this year, although I fought the nagging feeling of it not being "enough". Not enough glitter and spice, not enough "dream presents", not enough festivity. But then, I remembered that those things are imaginary, made up images. The reality of Advent and Christmas we realized in our home, with only a few moments of despair. Mostly, content anticipation. Lovely!

All of them. The best of the lot of 10 I took. The series is pretty funny, maybe I'll share it some day.

Her Royal Highness, after a haircut courtesy of her 10 year old sister.

Melanie's Stocking

Our little, lovely Christmas Tree, with presents. See? Not much for 8 children, but it was enough.

Sleepy baby Christmas morning. With daddy.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Where in the World?

I can not believe the unwritten posts in my head and heart. I need to at least jot down the inspirations, so ideally I'll get back to it someday.

But, I haven't, and the ideas have slipped away into the ether. Instead of a real, substantial post, I'll do a baby update. She is still the highlight of the house, the little queen of the castle, and, yes, super cute.

Melanie at Halloween. Our little Giraffe.

Melanie is nearly 21 months now. She is like a mountain goat, she is so agile and always climbing. Nothing is safe, no matter where I put it or how high. She pushes chairs and stools, and stacks things to climb up. I have never had a child do this sort of thing before. And, like most almost two year olds, she loves toilets and if she is quiet more than 2 minutes, we must immediately find her and clean up her mess.

She is very quiet though. We call her the "stealth baby". She speaks very little yet, just Mommy, Daddy, a few siblings names and please. She grunts and points mostly, but is able to communicate quite effectively. She had a visit from a very talkative cousin, who is only a few months older than her, recently. After that, she has been babbling quite a bit, and seems to see the advantage in using words instead of gestures to get her desires met.

Melanie is a good sleeper at night, but a terrible napper. oy. No break in the day usually, except for the 20 minutes of trying to get her to take a nap in the afternoon. Occasionally, I'll get lucky and she'll take a real nap, but most the time not so much. So not the way I parented my other children at this age.

She is very sweet, she pats and caresses people, and when I hold her she always plays with my hair a little, very gently. She gives good kisses, and is very, very gentle with babies (so many of her siblings had one at this age. Weird).

She loves to play chase, and loves to run, and to be outdoors. She also loves to sit with books, and is very careful with them.

I can't believe I don't have any more current photos of her on my camera right now, but I'll work on getting the ones on there now downloaded, plus taking more now. Her little self is so cute, but the growing up is happening quickly, and I want more documentation.

So, I'll keep trying to have more substance, someday. Until then, God bless, and Blessed Advent Season to you all!