December Twenty Nineteen

December happened. And like every other month, it was busy. One of these months it’ll be boring as hell around here. Maybe. Probably not. Speaking of as hell, that reminds me… Brian called me one day and asked, “Why did Saige just say ‘these noodles are good as hell?’” Haha. This was a few months ago, when Lizzo’s Good As Hell song was playing on the radio all.the.time. Poor Saige and Baby, and now Maive. I was so tired of kid songs after listening to them with Blaise and Laine, that I switched to regular music by the time Saige was born. I’m surprised Brian was taken aback by Saige saying hell, not that I promote swearing kiddos (they don’t). It’s just that I don’t exactly have the cleanest mouth at times. My kids have heard it all. And a certain word that begins with the letter F is probably my favorite word. It’s every part of speech and can be used for all emotions… so (fucking) versatile. And I’m pretty sure the kiddos think Jesus’s middle name is Fucking.

Speaking of Jesus, Christmas. Man I love Christmas. It’s by far my favorite holiday. Not in the religious sense, we don’t do the Jesus thing… we celebrate Christmas because it’s fun. Each year my plan is to go minimal—only buy a few gifts for each kiddo. I fail every year. It gets out of hand. There’s always just one more gift I buy. It’s too easy, with the Amazon and Target apps, and now Target Drive Up (amazing, especially with a carload of kiddos). Again this year, I’m only going to buy a few things for each kiddo, I told Brian. Brian read a tweet about that four gift thing: something you want, need, wear, read. Someone replied and said, “Yeah, nope, we do Extreme Christmas.” Brian and I concluded we had an Extreme Christmas. There were mountain bikes, regular bikes, scooters, Switch games, another Switch, LEGO sets (I even bought two of the same sets not realizing I already bought one), several cheaper gifts wrapped—like coloring books, board games, art supplies, etc…. even their stockings were overflowing. It’s the one time of the year I go crazy. I’m not a stuff person. I don’t like things. But the kiddos love it and it’s fun as parents seeing their excitement over the big and small things. The rest of the year will be minimal. And I’ll likely purge much of what the kiddos got for Christmas in the coming months.

Enough rambling. December in pictures (likely with more rambling). I never start these posts with any sort of plan, outside of having pictures from the month. But I think that’s obvious.

December.

Guys and Dolls. I’m a musical buff. I’ll see anything and everything that’s a musical, even if I’m not that into it. I’m always in awe of the talent at these shows. It’s so impressive. Guys and Dolls was no exception, talent galore. I wouldn’t say the story was all that great but the acting and singing, the music… totally worth seeing.

Cougar Mountain Zoo. The big kiddos had an optional field trip to the Cougar Mountain Zoo through DigiPen. Each December, the zoo holds a month-long Reindeer Festival. I’ve always meant to go but never have. I’m not sure it’s something I’ll go back to but I’m glad I finally checked it off the list. The kiddos’ friends went also, and they all had a great time. My favorite is seeing the big cats… they may be big, but they still act like any other cat. Adorable.

Art Saige. Brian set up Saige with some cardboard and paint, and she went to town.

Tree day. Bob and Tara come up the first weekend of December each year, and we get our tree with them. Courtney joined them this year. Being creatures of habit, we go to the same tree farm every year. We’re team real tree. I will never, ever go fake. It’s so not… Christmas to me. I need the experience, the memories. Walking around, discussing which tree we should get, each kiddo trying to sell their pick to everyone else, the apple cider, Brian putting it on top of the car… I have a hard time envisioning fondly looking back, pulling out a box from the garage and assembling plastic, or whatever synthetic material fake trees are made from. My grandmother had a fake tree. And I’m pretty sure it was the same fake tree she bought long before I was born.

Lucky for us, there is a tree farm a few minutes down the road here in town. It was wet and misty, and we quickly selected a tree. It was slim pickings this year. With Thanksgiving happening so late in November, it seemed most people cut their trees the weekend before we went. It worked out though, I’m not a perfect tree person. I like the awkward trees, the ones people overlook.

Tree decorators. I’ve given up caring about having the perfectly decorated tree. Before the kiddos were old enough to start decorating, I cared. But Christmas is about the kiddos and however they want to decorate the tree, I’m cool with. I’ll never forget taking Blaise and Laine to a class as toddlers, and there was a coloring sheet of a bunny. Blaise was scribbling a green crayon across the bunny, nowhere near coloring within the lines. There was another mom with her kiddo, sitting next to Blaise. I complimented Blaise on his bunny or said something about how great it looked, and the mom asked me how I could handle him coloring like that. I was like, he’s three? Art is subjective? He’s happy? What does it matter?! Brian says you can always tell who those parents are at the Gingerbread House event we go to every November. The kiddos with perfectly decorated houses, those are the kids with overbearing, control freak parents.

Back handspring! Laine finally nailed it. Her goal was to get her back handspring down before meets start in January. It took a few private lessons but she finally has the sucker. I’m so proud of her!

Happy Laine. After nailing her back handspring, we stopped by Homegoods for a dog bed and she found this thing. She had to have it, even asked to buy it with her own money. I would never have had this on my radar as something Laine would want. She’s funny like that, she never wants much but when she does, it’s random. I bought it for her, celebrating her back handspring success.

Art kiddos. Just Baby and Saige being Baby and Saige. Baby makes silly faces and Saige always poses with the peace sign.

Dina Martina. The annual tradition Karann and I go to every December. It’s not Christmas without Dina. Another fabulous show this year.

Clay elves. Laine and Blaise made elves from clay, and then painted them in their DigiPen class.

Can Can. The Can Can in Pike Place Market had a Wonderland Brunch for all ages. I couldn’t pass that up. I love the Can Can, and again, anything live. I texted Laine’s friend’s mom to see if she was game to go also, she was. We hit the Can Can, perused the market, went to Erin’s house for waxing, and then to IKEA for things I didn’t even know I needed. It was an eventful day. I felt bad though, when I bought the tickets I figured Blaise wouldn’t be interested in going. To my surprise, he was. But it was sold out when I went to buy him a ticket. So I took him later in the month, along with Saige and my mom when she was in town. It was worth seeing twice.

Gymnastics Laine! Laine’s gymnastics pictures for this year. She has a different leo because she was on the JO team but we moved her to the Xcel team in September. Which makes it easy to spot her at meets. I’m torn on the move. I’m happy with the less stressful Xcel team—it’s cheaper and less of a time commitment—but I feel like she is a natural and could really do well with the more intense program. But at about $7,000/year for tuition, booster fees, travel to meets, uniforms, etc., we figure that even if we kept her on the JO team, the most she would get would be a scholarship to college. And by then we would have spent about $70,000 for the next 10 years of gymnastics before college. So it’s a wash, haha. We’ll see how she feels at the end of this season. And she can still get a scholarship to college if she decides to stick with the Xcel team.

Star Wars kiddos. Star Wars is so not my thing. Blaise on the other hand, he’s obsessed. He knows everything about Star Wars, and can easily recall any detail about any episode or character in a split second. Eh, I don’t get it. I’ve never watched any of the movies but the little bits I’ve seen, so cheesy. But I’m happy he enjoys it so much. Laine likes it also but not to the extent Blaise does.

Brian wanted to take the kiddos on opening night. It technically opened on a Friday but for some reason, they had Thursday evening shows before midnight. I bought four tickets figuring someone would want to tag along. Sure enough, Laine’s buddy is a Star Wars fan also and wanted to see the movie. They had a great time, and I had a great time at home since all the younger gals were asleep.

Winter showcase. The kiddos switched to a new (to them) dance studio this year. They’re still taking hip hop… thankfully they love it but it’s a requirement from me. Just how Brian makes them all ski, I make them take hip hop. Baby is taking ballet and tap, only because there is a class at the same time as Saige’s class. There isn’t a hip hop class for Baby’s age. Next year.

All the kiddos did a great job! I was especially surprised at Baby. She isn’t exactly the best student in class. Both Brian and I were shocked at how much she retained for the recital, and how well she did. Her class is larger but only three kiddos were on stage. Kiddos were missing from Saige’s class also. This was an optional performance. My mom was in town for the week and was able to see them all perform, a nice bonus for the kiddos.

Costco Laine. I needed to hit Costco, the Sunday before Christmas. Bad idea usually. I decided we’d go right when they open, which wasn’t bad. Laine asked to tag along, which means she didn’t have a chance to eat breakfast before we left home. I gave her $10 and sent her to the food court while I checked out. This is what she ended up with. Eh, it was the holidays.

Seattle Men’s Chorus. I have been going to the Seattle Men’s Chorus holiday performance every year since we moved to Washington in 2006—with the exception of 2010, the year Blaise was born. I figured this was the year to get Blaise and Laine in on the tradition. They loved it! I’m so happy. And they both want to go again next year.

Fruitcake hats. So this is super awesome. One of the songs during the show was about how nobody likes fruitcakes. A soloist came out wearing a fruitcake dress, and the rest of the chorus pulled fruitcake hats out of bags during the number. Someone came on stage with a fancy little hat for the musical director. It was a great number.

When the show ended, we stayed put because I don’t do crowds, and I knew everyone would be heading down to the parking garage to leave. I’d rather wait in the quiet of an emptying theatre (people watching) than wait in a line, close to other people. We waited and waited, and when I felt it was a good time to head out, we decided to walk outside and down to Second Avenue where there is an elevator to the parking garage. It also happens to be next to the performer entrance.

As we waited for the elevator, a few of the men from the chorus walked in and waited for the elevator with us. My mom commented how wonderful the show was, and one of the men asked Blaise and Laine which song was their favorite. Laine immediately said the fruitcake song. Blaise agreed. With that, the man was so polite and said someting like, “If it’s okay with your mom, would you like…” and pulled out a fruitcake hat from a bag and handed it to Blaise. I said sure and thank you. Then, he pulled out the fancy little hat the musical director wore and gave it to Laine. It was their last show of the season this night so they no longer needed the hats. Both kiddos were thrilled and thanked him.

How amazing is that?! Their first time going, and then everything lined up from us killing time waiting, to deciding to take the Second Avenue elevator, to Laine saying the fruitcake song was her favorite, and it being the last performance of the season. We couldn’t have timed any of that if we had tried.

Christmas Maive. Just a baby wearing an adorable Christmas outfit. The plan was to take Santa photos this day… the line was so freaking long when we went that we decided to skip it and go the next day.

Christmas art kiddos. Nothing to see here, only kiddos painting some cheap Dollar Tree Christmas art. So cheap that the paint that came with the art dried up… good thing I have oodles of kiddo paint. Did I just type oodles?! Haha, I’m turning into my mom.

Cookie time! It’s not Christmas without making sugar cookies. And by making sugar cookies, I mean playing with the dough if you’re Baby. Flour everywhere!

Santa photo. We almost missed the opportunity to have a Santa photo. Which is funny since we don’t do the Santa thing. Well, Saige has taken it upon herself to buy into the Santa thing, from watching Christmas shows. We let her have it but make no effort on the Santa front whatsoever.

We went to Redmond Town Center Christmas Eve morning, where we always go for Santa photos. Santa opened at 9am. We got there about 8:40am and there was still a line! Thankfully not long; we were maybe the tenth family from Santa. Baby is hilarious. I would love to know what goes on in her head. She is a constant stream of consciousness, and you never know what she’s going to say. And she has this thing where she repeats herself about five times. So we’re standing in line, and all of a sudden Baby turns to the mom and dad standing behind us and says, “Santa has a penis.” Then repeats it about five times. The other thing about Baby, she is NOT quiet. She is so loud that when we pick her up at school, we can clearly hear her back at the fire pit from the pick up spot. So here’s Baby, loud as hell, repeating five times, “Santa has a penis.” I think the entire outdoor mall heard her. The mom behind us said, “Yeah, I guess he does. I never really thought about it before.” Haha. Then Baby moved on to talking about something else.

Sometimes I wonder if I should get matchy outfits for the kiddos when it comes to certain occasions. But I never do. I suppose it’s the same way I feel about wedding updos… I didn’t want to look like I never do on my wedding day. So my hair down it was. Now if I wore an updo often, then sure, I would have on my wedding day. This is why I’m old and don’t understand the Instagram culture. I like reality, nothing staged. Maybe next year we’ll at least get holiday-themed outfits. But only if the kiddos are on board. I want these pictures to be true to who they are.

Can Can, again. Blasie was bummed he didn’t get to go when I took Laine. Back to the Can Can it was. I took Blaise, Saige, and my mom. It was just as entertaining the second time around. I think this has made it on the December tradition list.

Saige really wanted to be called on stage. She was sad at intermission and told the waitress she wanted to go on stage. The waitress must have said something to the show host. After intermission, the host came over to Saige and chatted her up, and proceeded to constantly “check in” with Saige the entire second half. Saige was in heaven.

Christmas! At 6am. The kiddos were super excited for Christmas morning. They are all so funny how they open gifts. Their personalities shine through. Blaise is a maniac, quick and efficient though. He starts with the LEGO shaped presents. And he always nails which ones are LEGOS. Laine is slow and methodical. Saige opens things just enough to see what it is and then moves onto the next present. Baby opens one thing and starts playing with it, and we have to remind her there are more presents to open.

I wrap each kiddos’ presents in their own wrapping paper to make it easy. No gift tags needed. Normally I stack them all in a pile, based on wrapping paper. This is the first year I put them randomly under the tree. I figured it would take longer to open things. I was right. It was a successful opening. And bonus for the kiddos, we put all the bikes in the family room near the stockings so just when they thought they had opened everything… there was more in the other room.

And I’m quite proud of two gifts I bought Brian. He never wants anything. But I managed to catch him talking with his dad about that large frying pan we had at the Rio Mondego house. I bought him a 17 inch cast iron pan. I also picked up that he wanted a hummingbird feeder. And I even remembered stocking stuffers for him. The kiddos love to talk about that one year I forgot stocking stuffers for Brian, and how I filled his stocking with boxers I was planning on putting under the tree.

Christmas Maive.

The rest of the day was lazy with naps. The kiddos went to town with their new loot. I don’t think Brian or I changed from our jammies. Maive sure didn’t. We ended the day with our traditional Mexican feast dinner.

Another successful Christmas, check.

Roar! Brian’s mom sent Blaise a dinosaur outfit. Baby decided she wanted it, Blaise didn’t care. She wears this thing all.the.time. It’s adorable. Espeically since it’s about three sizes too big for her.

Eevee! Eeeve came over on Christmas day to stay a few days with us. Her family was traveling. She is such a sweet pup! I’m happy to have her any time. Mel is also.

Skier Saige. Saige is back at lessons every Sunday up on the snow. Before she started, we had an indoor lesson as a reminder. She remembered.

Snoop around! I love this. Laine and Blaise had their buddies over, and this was Laine and her friend’s plan of action for the day. Haha. I didn’t mean to find this, I wasn’t snooping… it was wide-open on her desk as I was putting laundry away, using her desk to fold.

December Maive. I figured I’d just do one collage of the Marvelous Miss Maive since we take so many pictures of her.

Unrelated December pictures. Saigers in the bath and a Dollar Tree find. Brian always says his name is dead. That nobody names their kid Brian anymore… maybe it’s making a comeback, haha.

New Year’s Eve Maive! Maive waiting for the new year to start. She was awfully excited. Except not so much for the new year, Mr. Fan on the ceiling is hot stuff.

Later, Twenty Nineteen.

2 comments

  1. I really enjoy your posts! Your family does so many fun and interesting things!

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