December 27th, 2011 – The Last Trio Christmas

With the arrival of Little Man’s baby sister only a few days away, this post takes on a special meaning. Not only is it a post about our third Christmas together as a happy trio, but it’s also the end of an era. For almost three years, Mommy has made weekly posts about the happenings of our first little love, Jack. I have tracked, described, and relished every moment from his entrance into our family to the smallest of quirks that make us laugh. It has been a beautiful and wonderful journey recounting the greatest of life’s treasures, watching your child grow. For years to come, Mommy and Daddy will have a record, a journal, of all of these moments, told no more than a week out from their happening. This is truly a blessing. Best yet, when our darling little boy is all grown up, he will be able to read about his life and what Mommy and Daddy were thinking and feeling as he grew up before our very eyes.

However, with the arrival of a second darling to our lives, it would be unrealistic to think that Mommy will be able to keep up with this weekly pace, especially given the level of detail and thought I strive to include in each and every post. As a result, after this week’s post, Mommy and Daddy have decided to start a new family blog that will include events from all of our lives, including the happenings with Lil Miss and the many misadventures I’m certain Jack will be having. It’s our hope that this new blog will grow from the loving experiences we’re tracked with Tuesdays with Jack and provide a fuller picture of our family as a whole, including activities we’re all involved in, recipes and crafts we’re trying, and just the general life and love we share as a family. The site name and occurrence schedule of posts has yet to be decided on, but will certainly be folded into this site once our lives settle following the birth of Little Man’s little sister. In the mean time, here’s Tuesdays with Jack. . .

As I’ve said a million times before, we love Christmas. Christmas in our home isn’t just an excuse to give gifts, because we hardly need an excuse for that, but it’s a holiday season that allows us to burst at the seams with love, joy, and thankfulness like one experiences when they’re a young child. While Mommy and Daddy have always loved Christmas, it has only been since having Jack that we’ve been able to recapture the true magic of Christmas, the magic that you only experience in those special moments around the tree when you’re a little one, waiting for Santa to scurry down the chimney. This year, our third year as a happy trio at Christmas, was destined to be pure fun from the beginning, if for no other reason than Jack is old enough to understand what’s going on. So, with this in mind, and knowing that this would be our last Christmas as a trio, Mommy and Daddy set out to ensure this holiday season was especially thrilling for our little guy.

From baking Christmas cookies to looking at Christmas lights, Mommy and Daddy tried to ensure all of the typical holiday cylinders were firing. We colored in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer coloring books, wrapped presents, and watched all of the typical Christmas movies that warm the holiday heart. Jack was a huge fan of Rudolph this year, but much to our dismay, he also found a horrible Christmas movie on Netflix streaming entitled, The Alphabots Christmas. And yes, it is worse than it sounds, but whatever makes our little guy happy. While all of these traditions are fairly common the holiday around, we also tried to have some of our own traditions. For Mommy, one of these traditions is giving Jack a special handmade gift. Last year I made Jack a patchwork quilt from his receiving blankets and this year, given his love of cars, I made Little Man a special 3 foot by 3 foot car caddy/ play mat that included all of his favorite things, airplanes, apples, fire station, trees, helicopters, and Shaun the Sheep (more on him later). It was a special moment for me when Jack arrived upstairs on Christmas morning to not only see the fun things Santa had left in his stocking, but to see the special mat Mommy had made and stocked full of new cars.

But, Mommy is jumping ahead of herself. Of course before Christmas morning, there was Christmas Eve, which has its own vibe and traditions as well. To kick the morning off, Nana and Grandad came over to give Jack his presents. This was Little Man’s first experience with presents he could open that were just for him since his birthday. It took a little bit of coaching, but eventually he got the hang of it. He was super excited with the emergence of each new toy and could hardly wait to bust them out and play. After each package was opened, he would smile widely and frantically sign “open” for each.

Between Play-Doh and a Toy Story Duplo set, Little Man didn’t know what he wanted to play with more. Fortunately, he was more than happy to play with the Duplos with Grandad for a little while, but once it was time for them to head out to their next stop, the only thing on Jack’s mind was getting his hands on some Play-Doh. So, that’s what we did for the rest of the afternoon before it was time to head out and look at Christmas lights. I only had to keep him from eating it twice. Rubbing it all over his nose and in his hair, now that’s a different story. . .

Jack also received a cute raccoon hat and mitten set from Nana and Grandad and he was more than happy to try it on before we set out on our Christmas light adventure. Unfortunately, after a few quick pictures, he was over the fashion show and was only interested in heading out the door. Given that he refused to take a nap that afternoon, our quest for holiday illuminations was short, but sweet. Little Man enjoyed a few displays in some of the older neighborhoods close to our home, but his temperament soon waned and we were headed home to open up our traditional Christmas Eve pjs.

Given how tired he was, our pj gift exchange was a little short and not so sweet. Little Man wasn’t a fan of his new Cars 2 pajamas and was clearly ready to tear into all of the other presents out of frustration and being tired. So, we quickly headed downstairs to begin our nightly routine.

There, Mommy tried on her new pjs. It was a bit of challenge for Daddy to find pajamas for Mommy that would both work for the few remaining days that I’m preggers, but also be cozy after giving birth. He found the perfect combination. He picked out a cute preggy night shirt that says “Sexy and Pregnant” and cozy pj pants that fit both now and can be adjusted once Lil Miss arrives. Mommy felt particularly cute in her new pjs.

Daddy received new slippers and Mickey Mouse flannel pjs, but he waited to put them on until after Jack went to bed because he still had to venture out to pick up our Christmas Eve dinner of Chinese food.

Little Man was so sleepy from not napping that he fell asleep almost immediately after being put into bed. Thank goodness too because he had a big day ahead of him . . .

Christmas morning, Little Man rose bright and early as usual. However, since he’s still discovering the whole Christmas morning anticipation thing, he woke up early simply because that’s what he does. So, Mommy and Daddy rolled out of bed. I tried to keep Jack downstairs for a little bit of cuddling in bed while Daddy popped our traditional Christmas morning Monkey Bread. But, after a few minutes of this, Jack booked it upstairs with Mommy hot on his tail, waddling as quickly as my overly inflated with baby abdomen would carry me. Unfortunately, upon reaching the upstairs, Jack wasn’t in the best of moods. For some reason, he was completely obsessed with the idea that we should be cooking something. He desperately wanted Mommy to make muffins or cookies or pancakes, whatever he could help stir. This wasn’t an option since we already had Monkey Break cooking and Mommy was fresh out of any additional ingredients that would satiate Jack’s desires. Fortunately, after a few minutes and a sippy of orange juice later, Jack was persuaded to check out the awesomeness of Christmas morning in the living room, complete with a stocking full of presents.

The rest of the morning was a bit of a juggling act. Between an oven that suddenly decided to start smoking due to Monkey Bread droppings, an insane amount of gifts for Jack to open, and Mommy and Daddy’s gift exchange, it really was a miracle that we managed to get through the morning without too much craziness. Just like the morning before, Jack would open a gift and then anxiously await its opening so he could begin playing immediately. This wasn’t so much a problem except when Mommy made the mistake of giving him a small present of Play-Doh to open. . . It took the opening of a tool box and drill set to momentarily take his mind off of his favorite obsession.

It was during these moments of play that Mommy and Daddy were able to exchange our own gifts, which was nice. However, this also meant that it took us a couple of hours to help get Jack all the way through his loot. Eventually, we made it through. After some down time and a lot of Monkey Bread and house airing later, it was time to take Little Man downstairs to see what Santa had left him there. . .

Yes, Santa certainly knew what Little Man wanted most even though he didn’t write him a letter this year. Our Jack received an awesome play kitchen so he can “cook” any time he wants! Upon seeing his gift, he knew exactly what to do and immediately set about the work of making Mommy and Daddy some coffee. Our time spent in the basement with Jack acting as our chef was the last quiet moment we had for a little while because soon after, the rest of the family descended onto our home for a huge holiday celebration.

This was the first year that we had the whole family over for Christmas. Not only did we have the three of us, but we also had Oma, Papa, Aunt Ali, Cousin Carson, Aunt Shayla, Uncle Shaun, and two of Jack’s favorite people, Demeree and Jailynn. It was a full house of holiday fun. There was literally wrapping paper flying everywhere and Mommy could barely distinguish between all of the conversations. On top of all of the gift giving, Daddy had also made a super delicious glazed ham dinner. It was chaos, but the good kind that one can only achieve with a house full of loved ones.

After the crowd thinned out a bit and we gave our Christmas hugs to Oma and the gang, Jack spent the evening running around with Jailynn playing with his new loot. Aunt Shayla, totally knowing her little nephew had given Jack a tool bench complete with nailing station. So, Jack spent the rest of Christmas hammering away. The only time he took a break from was his “work” was to munch down on some Turtle Cream pie. A dessert that he aptly described as “Mmmmmmm”.

It was a crazy and chaotic Christmas, but boy oh boy was it fun. The magic of the holiday could be felt whenever Jack laughed or seen in his face as he truly experienced Christmas for the first time. Mommy and Daddy couldn’t have asked for a better day. The air was full of fun and our home full of laughter and love. While it was our last holiday as a troublesome trio, it was the perfect end to an era as it embodied everything our family has been for the past three years. Mommy can hardly begin to imagine how amazing the journey we’re about to embark on as our family grows will be considering how spectacular it has been up to this point.

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