Holiday Happiness

Creating a memorable Christmas takes a lot of work. With each Christmas that comes and goes, it seems even more work goes into making the holiday magical, but in all honesty, I love each and every minute of it. With each passing Christmas comes new memories created with traditions that Rob and I are putting into place. As I sit here looking through pictures from the last month, I’m reminded just how special we try to make it for our children. And part of me can’t help but wonder if we aren’t making it special for ourselves as well. Perhaps we are trying to re-create a feeling we miss from our own childhoods. I’ll probably say it year after year, but this Christmas was my favorite thus far and it’s solely because I watched my family experience pure joy, I heard bellies full of laughter, I saw wonder in their eyes, and I saw smiles that validated all of the craziness that lead up to this one day. It was a beautiful day indeed.

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The newest addition to our decorating.  Aren't they darling?

The newest addition to our decorating. Aren’t they darling?

Now I’ll be completely honest, Christmas morning did not go exactly as we intended. My visions of excited children giddily opening their presents while Vince Guaraldi played in the background turned out to be more difficult to achieve than I had imagined. Sebastian was hysterical and Lola was just off. Rob and I couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of the morning, but after a couple of good naps, the universe was back in our favor and the rest of the day was quite delightful. I tell you this part of the story because the internet never paints the truth. Instead you get snippets of perfectly planned out photographs that makes you long to be in that house instead. Trust me when I say, you wouldn’t have wanted to spend your Christmas morning in our chaotic household!

Decorating cookies for Santa.

Decorating cookies for Santa.

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The topic of Santa is a weird one in our house. Santa is plastered all over the world so even if you didn’t want to expose your kid to the myth of Santa, you kind of have to. Rob and I decided that Santa would only come to our house on Christmas Eve. We wouldn’t use the line, “You better be good because Santa is watching,” and we wouldn’t pretend like he snuck in our home at night, ate cookies, left presents and walked out the front door. We just want to keep it a simple fib with hopes it doesn’t traumatize our children someday. And that’s the beauty of being the parent, you get to decide how you want to shape these magical memories for your kids. Lucky for us, we have a lovely neighbor who calls himself Indy Santa-Fred. Each year, he dresses up as Santa and his wife plays Mrs. Claus. They go into people’s homes for a small fee and he later donates that money to a charity for children. Indy Santa-Fred came last year and neither Lola nor Sebastian were too engaging with Santa. This year, Sebastian was rather shy and Lola couldn’t get enough of him. Even Santa commented how different she was with him then the year prior. His visit is among our favorite traditions as we beat the lines at the mall, we get authentic pictures taken within our own home and we support a good cause.

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Christmas shopping has gotten easier over the years. We used to have no idea what to get Lola for Christmas because she doesn’t enjoy toys in the same regard as most kids. If anything, we could have wrapped up her toys and given them to Sebastian for her to truly enjoy them because sister always wants what he has. But Lola is starting to show particular interest in things like shoes, socks and almost all things sensory-oriented. The good news is that sensory seeking toys are now part of the norm in the world today so advice from fellow bloggers and parents of children with special needs led us to an Inflatable Jumping Horse and Kinetic Sand, which was by far her favorite gift of all. She also received socks and shoes because she absolutely loves socks and shoes!

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The end of a year and the beginning of another always prompts reflection. This year has not been the easiest yet it hasn’t been that bad either. Adjusting to two children is still a daily struggle and I’m open to any suggestions on how to mother two young children gracefully. The budding relationship between Lola and Sebastian is sweet some days and brutal the others. Sebastian is donning three massive scratch marks on his face from his darling sister and she has a nice bruise on her cheek too. Some days he is her biggest champion and helps include her in every part of his life. Other days he wants nothing to do with her yet that doesn’t stop her from trying and trying and trying to be near him. I think much of it is pretty typical behavior, but I long for the day where peace is more present than chaos. It’ll come right?

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Lola continues to grow in every area of development. It’s hard to believe that just a year ago, she barely used the word “Mom” and today she is able to tell me most everything she wants even if it comes out in a word or two. Just this week she asked me to “zip” her “coat” so we could “go park.” And this morning she said it was “raining” and boy was it ever! She’s saying things I’ve never heard her say and she’s saying them in the right context. Every day I find myself mesmerized by how far her speech is coming along. I have spent years talking to Lola. I’ve asked questions all while knowing that I probably wouldn’t receive an answer, but I asked them anyway because I had faith that someday she would respond. On Saturday, we went to Monkey Joe’s just to get out and do something. When we got home, I asked Lola if she had fun at Monkey Joe’s and without hesitation she said, “Yes.” I was a little shocked by the quickness of her response, but it’s in there. We knew it’s been there all along…we just needed to give her the time she needed to put it all together.

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As you may have noticed, I don’t dedicate as much time on this blog because our life is pretty normal. Most days we are trying to keep it all together between kids, jobs, maintaining a marriage and keeping our house presentable. If you’d like more updates on Lola, please follow us on Facebook or on Instagram. We thank you for following Lola and our family on this journey and we appreciate your continuous support of our little girl. Happy Holidays!

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If you’re interested in those cute gnomes check out Gnomes4theHolidays on Etsy!

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