Monday, November 30, 2015

Bits and Pieces: November

The year feels like a roller coaster to me. The first few months: slow. You're climbing  to the top of the ride. Then it's June and WHOOSH, down you go, and suddenly it's the end of the November. Have I used that analogy before? Anyway, here we are. The end of November!

I haven't put out any Christmas decorations yet, but the Christmas tree lot at the school next door is in full swing. I love Christmas music, but even I get tired of hearing it every night. All well, they give us a free tree. I am trying not to be a Grinch about it. (It really isn't bad, except for the nights that they are out there drinking until all hours. In the Catholic school parking lot. As you do.)

Christopher's vocabulary continues to grow daily. He also knows at least half the alphabet, the numbers one through 10, and the primary colors. (He can count to five in order, but gets confused after that.) Whenever we're out anywhere, he starts emphatically shouting out letters he sees on signs or buildings. We sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to him every night and he sings along. He knows quite a few of the words. I melt.

He and Clare are both having trouble adjusting to the cold weather. They insist on wearing their fall coats. Clare spent yesterday running around the house in a tank top. Clare's argument is that since it is technically still fall, she should be able to wear her fall coat. I keep trying to explain that in Minnesota fall ends with October, but she doesn't care. IT IS STILL FALL. I don't know what Christopher's deal is. I think he is just trying to assert his independence.

They are playing together more and more, which I love, and not only because it gives me a few minutes of peace.

Clare conquered a major fear this month: Santa. I've always been vague about Santa - you have to be when you have a fearful child. (And I mean really, the whole thing is kind of creepy when you think about it.) However, this year Clare was willing to meet Santa. (She would not sit on his lap. Again, understandable.) She even told him what she wants: a Doc McStuffins doctor kit. Poor Santa clearly had no idea what she was talking about. Luckily, Mommy does, and may or may not already have one in the basement. It was a really fun day all around. We were in Evansville visiting my parents. Evansville held an Old Fashioned Christmas celebration. Eleven inches of snow had fallen the night before, so it was quite Christmasy, even though it was the weekend before Thanksgiving. Clare and I took a ride on a fire truck, and she and my mom and I spent some time drinking coffee and doing puzzles at the local coffee shop. Actually, Clare did the puzzles mostly by herself. She is really good at them and can even do 50 piece puzzles on her own.

And, of course the kids had fun with their grandparents. They love going to the "Cuckoo House."

I hosted Thanksgiving for my in-laws for the first time this year. It went pretty well. Everyone helped. Ben washed all of the dishes after the meal, and made a pumpkin pie that morning. Clare stirred the corn casserole and tore the bread for the stuffing. And Christopher took an extra long nap on Thanksgiving Day, giving me a lot of uninterrupted time to cook. Wow, it is a lot of work to put together that dinner. It was worth it, though. Everyone had a good time.

Next weekend we celebrate my sweet niece's 1st birthday. Her two biggest fans (besides her parents) will be in attendance. Clare and Christopher are just so excited to see her every day. You would think it had been weeks since they had seen her, rather than, you know, the day before. I love that they have such a special relationship with their cousin.

On to December!

Christopher and Baba Ralph.

Watching the snow fall.
Clare got to go out for ice cream with Baba by herself. Can you tell she was happy?
Tearing bread for stuffing. Josie is not helping.

Clare sort of smiling with Santa!


  1. Cooking TDay dinner is SO much work. It's yummy and a nice day, of course, but by the end, my feet and back are so tired from standing in that damn kitchen! I'm glad you got to host though - with little kids, it's always easier to host then go somewhere else, I think!

    And that tree lot next door sounds like NO FUN. I would be a total complaining neighbor and Grinch about that!!

  2. I am so impressed that you & A have prepared a Thanksgiving dinner on your own. I mean, I'm HOW OLD and I've only made a turkey once, when I was 28 and living out in Portland with Tonya. I can't even remember if it turned out or not. I just remember going to the bar that night. (Christmas Day!)

    I love the idea of a Christmasy atmosphere next door, every.single.night until Christmas, but in actuality, I can see how it would get annoying. Last year I was so burned out on Christmas music, that I wanted to listen to a regular radio station ON CHRISTMAS. Aaron couldn't believe it. Too much of a good thing is still too much of a good thing. (We all have our limits.)

    How is Josie turning one!?! That year went fast.