Well, up until the very first day of December we were all scoffing at winter. We had a beautiful and seasonally warm November, with just a tiny skiff of snow (just enough melty sticky stuff to build a good snowman). We would have been perfectly happy for the trend to continue, but as soon as December began the tune changed quite significantly. We’ve been stuck in an ugly -20ish cold snap for almost 2 weeks now. With two little ones (one being under a year) we haven’t been out much for walks, and otherwise, only when a necessary errand was upon us. We are all getting cabin fever, including the poor senior lab, who still needs his regular exercise despite the chilly conditions. We’ve almost been doing rock, paper, scissors to decide who “gets” to go out.
December isn’t all bad though, as its a nice lead up to the Christmas season. This means lots of baking, family get togethers, choosing and donating to a charity (or two) of choice, and buying gifts for friends and family.
I am trying to spread out and tone down the baking (pun intended) this year for a number of reasons… first we are heading to a warm, sunny swimsuit destination very shortly, and my figure that is finally reappearing post baby will not thank me. Secondly, I don’t think i can pawn it off on many of my family members this year either, as everyone else is watching their healthiness as well. I’m on maternity leave, so work colleagues are also out. Plus a good chunk of them are doing 21 day fix for the millionth time in a row and wouldn’t appreciate my kindness. Enough said. I still made sugar cookies, Christmas crack, and some caramel pretzels… yum.
As for family get togethers, we headed out for the annual “gingerbread competition” (a term used lightly since we added kids to the mix) with Josh’s family. The young girls did great this year, and their attention span peaked about 30 minutes this year!
Then, the very next day we packed up the fam and went to my grandparents place for the annual sugar cookie decorate-off. It’s usually just for grandkids and great grandkids… but we enjoyed having a couple of the gramma’s there this year too. I think Rylie loved both events, and she piled as many tasty treats on each cookie or on her Frozen Castle as possible; right after as many went in her mouth. “Mom, can I taste this one?” Repeat.
For charities this year, we did a senior secret santa back in November as a larger extended family project. This consisted of taking our provided shopping lists to Walmart as a group and filling the carts for three lonely seniors in our city. Later this month, we heard that the Salvation Army was short on toys for the kids this year, so we piled into the car and headed to Ikea where we filled another shopping cart full of fun things. This was a good learning opportunity for Ry to understand giving. She helped choose the toys and put them into the collection tent. She asked lots of questions, and did a great job giving up all those toys.
We are happy to say we’ve finished our Christmas shopping and wrapping early this year. We have Amazon and some cold weather to thank for that. So, now we can sit back, relax, drink hot chocolate and watch movies, and urge our littlest to crawl/walk/ get mobile while counting down the days until we can escape this ugly winter weather!