Tonight, we are home from our third family Christmas, Cruz is "napping" at 5:30 at night, and I am attempting to find a comfortable position in the recliner, on the couch, or whatever will have me. It's not working. I'm about three weeks away from giving birth to this baby and am realizing that the holidays are just going to feel different this year. I'm uncomfortable, I can no longer zip my coat, and I seem to be running on about half the steam I usually have. Tonight, I am just plain tired.
But the other side of the coin is my last Christmas with only one babe to focus on and he is at just the right age this year. So, I keep plugging along, singing those Christmas carols and answering his request to 'dance wif me, Mommy,' because that twinkle in his eyes is usually just the fuel I need. Not everything may be as 'ready' for Christmas as it has been in years' past, but we're making do. With dance parties by the Christmas tree, verse after verse of Rudolph on the way home from school, a new Boone discovery every morning, and the bittersweet knowledge that this is my last Christmas with just my boy.
Special moments to remember this December...
...Friday night we had a dance party by the Christmas tree. Because there's no better way to welcome the weekend than with the Alabama Shakes by the Christmas tree. Cruz LOVES our dance parties and Beau said later that we need more of them. There's just something about dancing like a fool in front of the picture window that makes you feel like you can take on the world.
...Driving around to look at Christmas lights. We went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner and drove around to look at lights with full tummies afterwards. Thanks to my father who seems to know all the best places to scope out cool light displays, we found our favorite on 12th Street. We rolled down the windows, drove by slow, and Cruz stared mouth wide open at the sight. We listened to Christmas music, talked about our favorite songs, and peeked into people's windows before Cruz fell asleep in the back seat.
...Our advent mittens on the mantle. I started this advent calendar a few years ago and it's always a hit around here. I fill about half of the mittens with fun little treasures - I peruse the dollar bins at Target, stick in yummy fruit snacks or chocolate treats, and fill the other half with little notes and messages of fun things to do during the month - a trip to Barnes and Noble to look at books, a cup of hot cocoa and a candy cane before bed, directions for a Christmas craft. It's one of my favorite little traditions we take part in each year and it's getting more and more fun the older Cruz gets.
...Oh, Boone. You haven't made it on the blog much this month, but you are sure making your appearance each morning at our house. He's only 'forgotten' to move once, which we are pretty proud of, but Cruz has enjoyed discovering the mischief his elf has gotten himself into every morning.
My favorite was this morning. Have you heard of the website, Portable North Pole? If you have 5-10 minutes to spare before Christmas Eve, I highly recommend this one. It's a personal e-message from Santa himself, addressed to your child and personalized with their name, their picture, and a few facts about them. After Cruz went to bed last night, I made the video and wrote a little note from Boone telling Cruz Santa had something for him to watch on my computer. I stuck the note in a little mailbox in Cruz's room with a piece of candy and Boone sitting proudly on top. Watching Cruz's face as he watched the video was priceless. His eyes got really big when he spotted his picture on Santa's book and he looked at me and said, "that's me, Mommy!" Boone (and Mom) were pretty proud of ourselves for that one.
...Christmas books, movies, and songs. I purchased a basket from Hobby Lobby, gathered up all our Christmas books this year and piled them right next to the Christmas tree. Sometimes, we pull out a few before bed and sometimes, I'll catch Cruz thumbing through one on his own. We've watched lots of Christmas movies this year - the traditional Grinch (Cruz is not a fan of the Jim Carey one), Polar Express, It's a Wonderful Life, and Elf, and Beau and I stayed up "late" to watch our favorite duo Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon on SNL last night. Cruz has learned the words to Jingle Bells and Rudolph this year and we spend many afternoons singing them for all to hear on the way home from school.
Can't believe this week is Christmas. I'm looking forward to candlelight service, the peace of Christmas Eve night, and the look on Cruz's face when he opens up his presents Christmas morning.