December 24, 2017
I know I just haven't posted enough pictures of my kids loafing around in pajamas... so you're in for a treat ;) The truth is that when I look back on all our photos, both on Instagram and for this space, I do lament that it appears that we spend the vast majority of our time alone and at home. That is a very small snapshot of our life, which is filled with outings and school and friends and extended family... BUT, it happens to be a pretty accurate depiction of the first half of our winter this year.
We were in a weird limbo with Lola's health, (a limbo that we haven't entirely exited and I'm hesitant to write about until we are on solid ground, but things are looking better now than they did in December), we all traded coughs and colds for the entire Christmas break, we didn't visit family or do much of anything... for weeks. It was actually kind of a beautiful and peaceful time, and while we've been back to a more normal routine for over a month, I think I will always fondly remember this winter as a housebound one.
Christmas time with young kids is nothing short of magic. Yes of course there are the stresses and the debates over how much 'stuff' we should be giving them and are we instilling the proper values, not to mention the crisis over where we're going to put all that stuff anyway. We did try to get into the holiday spirit and not center everything around gifts; drying oranges, making gingerbread houses, lots and lots of art projects. Maybe it's because I'm writing about Christmas in March, but most of what I remember is that this year we did go overboard in the gift department, we even got some plastic stuff that I would never have signed off on in the past, and the kids went absolutely bonkers and were all thrilled beyond belief. It was really just so much fun to watch.
I remember that we all came down the stairs together to see if Santa had visited, and when they saw the loot under the tree in that predawn light, they just gasped and shrieked. Smith thoughtfully worked through each of his packages with care, taking most of the day to actually get through them all, Roo tore into everything with her name on it as fast as she could and then wondered why she was the only one with nothing left to open, and Lo was just absolutely thrilled and fascinated by the entire spectacle.
We watched movies, listened to music and audio books, ate lots of clementines and cookies, played with new toys, made many fires, played board games, cooked many meals, and never got out of our pajamas... for weeks. James actually was out of his pajamas before 9am every morning and always the first to volunteer for errands. He also ventured into work most days... the rest of us are built for a good house-arrest, but he goes stir crazy after about a day and a half. We had to bribe him to be lazy with us by offering jurisdiction over the movie selection and a good supply of beer :)
As I write this we are getting hit with another snow storm, and I'll confess that at this point I'm eager for spring and ready to move on from hot cocoa, wool socks, and fires. Still, those slow winter months were absolutely restorative for us, a much needed pause in a stressful year. Fingers crossed for a snow day tomorrow and a little more chill time at home to wrap up this season.