Saturday, December 3, 2011

Counting in December

For some reason, tonight's 'TGIF' was welcomed with even more excitement than usual.  It may be because I had to trade my 'Jeans Friday' for dress pants and attend a conference in Ames with a few other teachers today.  Or it may have something to do with the fact that Cruz was really sweet this morning before I left, cuddling and kissing and giving me that pouty lip as I headed out the door five minutes late.  I think it also had something to do with the fact that it's December, December 2nd to be exact, and I have Christmas on the brain.  

I'm a person who works well under lists, and I thrive in environments with numbered expectations.  For example (and this is where the weirdness comes out), I number my to-do list each week, counting the tasks I hope to accomplish for the week, then dividing them by five for each day of the week.  That gives me a number, an expectation to work with.  I know by now what is realistic and what is totally wishful thinking, but I love my list and work well with my lists.  It's a reward system of sorts, as I make sure to add in a few fun to-dos each week, too.  

And because of my love of numbers, love of lists, and love of countdowns, the month of December is right up my alley.  I love the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family, and have filled my DVR with both classic and contemporary titles.  Home Alone 2 last Wednesday, Jim Carrey's, The Grinch, tonight, and The Polar Express on MondayThe movies ensure there is always something good on TV at night, and I've retired to bed every night this week with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.  I'm excited to introduce Cruz to some of my holiday favorites this month, and can't wait to see what he thinks of Charlie Brown, Rudolph, and even that mean ol' Grinch.

In addition to my ABC family obsession, I've also continued my mittens on the mantle place, 25 to be exact.  Last year, the empty mittens served solely as decoration, but this year they have a dual purpose.  This year, each mitten is filled with a treat, a tiny surprise to help Cruz count down the days until Christmas Day is here.  Last night, we pulled the very first mitten, and found a Santa Claus sticker inside.  Tonight, a miniature Twix bar.  Somedays, he'll get to open a wrapped book, or uncover a little seasonal sock monkey snow globe, while other times he'll find tiny notes of fun Christmas tasks to take part in together.  A sippy cup of 'hot' chocolate, a book about Jesus' birthday, or a car ride in pajamas to check out Christmas lights.  I had so much fun filling each mitten with a surprise, and hope this is a tradition that continues for years to come.

And now comes my third countdown adventure, something new to add to the list this year.  Call it my 25 Days of Kindness, 25 deliberate and random acts of kindness around our community....

Day 1 - Cruz and I brought a sack of toiletries to his daycare yesterday.  Toothpaste and dental floss, baby lotion and Germ-x, are all part of the Kidz Care Program, a program that seeks to provide underprivileged families with care packages during the holidays.  During a season when we seem overly occupied with toys and new clothes and plates and Christmas cookies, we forget how the essentials, the necessities add up.  It's fun to walk by the big box every day at daycare and see the contents pile higher and higher.  

Tonight, the three of us had so much fun.  We wandered through the aisles of Lowes, getting up close and personal with the inflatable Christmas decor, had a super fun dinner at Olive Garden, and ended the night with a little Christmas shopping at Toys 'R Us.  Cruz was good as gold, entertaining the hostesses at OG by blowing kisses and playing hard-to-get, and eating his kids' meal of penne alfredo, grapes, and of course, all-you-can-eat breadsticks like a champ.  And because Cruz was such a good sitter at Olive Garden, we decided to let him wander a little at Toys R' Us...

I think his face says it all...

Cruz was a big fan of this old school popcorn popper toy.  He pushed that thing all over the store.  Although I try to not to age him, I secretly love that he is walking now.  It's fun to let him explore on his own.  He walked up and down those aisles, proud as can be.  He's a ham, that's for sure, and while we left the $12 popcorn popper behind, I may have to let Santa know about that one. 


  1. We don't know eachother. A friend of a friend told me how wonderful your blog is and I have been following it since right after Cruz was born. I just found out in Oct that after 4 long years of 'unexplained infertility' we are finally expecting! Yay! Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for this blog. I truly enjoy reading it and I LOVE you countdown to Christmas. I hope you don't mind but I may steal your mitten tradition for this baby when she or he is old enough to enjoy it. Is there any way you could post a few pics of your mittens on the mantel? Thank you again for this blog.
    Your faithful follower,
    Sandy Kloos

  2. Thanks for the comment, Sandy, and congrats on the baby news! I am so happy for you. If you decide to start a baby blog, send me the URL ;)

    I actually stole the mitten idea from another blog. I found the mittens, tiny clothespins, and twine string at Joann's Fabrics, and nailed tiny nails into my mantle. Although Cruz is only one, he still gets excited every night when I pull another mitten off the mantle.

    Thanks again for your comments---and so happy for your news!



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