Wednesday, December 5, 2012

let the festivus begin!

well friends, christmas has arrived in the strader home!  before december was even upon us, mind you. it's a new record for me.  

honestly i can't believe we decorated as early as we did, because i feel like i have so many other things to do that decorating kind of gets put on the back burner. this is coming from the same source who, when asked by her son if she could please decorate for halloween this year, answered matter-of-factly, "yeaaah.  that's not going to happen buddy, but i love you."  

it's just not a priority for me and i think it has something to do with it being a lot of work that i'm usually stuck with on my own because ben is gone so much.  i have to tackle & conquer the garage {dun dun dunnn} which isn't messy, but it is.....stacked.  tubs of kids clothes and camping gear and winter coats that we may or may not one day actually wear again line the walls and take up of one half of our garage.  and as much as i love a good challenge, i have this deep-down fear somewhere that my lifeless body will one day be uncovered among tubs and tubs of paraphernalia, flattened in an avalanche of grey plastic and lids like one of those poor petrified cats in an episode of hoarders, all because i was off searching for the tub that held holiday decorations.  

woah.  death by tubs...i have seriously derailed here.  back on subject!  

anyway, i had a good 24 hours where ben was actually home, so we put that time to good use, popped on christmas music on pandora and got to work.  

for a couple of days it actually looked like it christmas had vomited all over it, and i momentarily worried that we had made a huge mistake, but we stuck with it and eventually that momentary worry turned into the twinkly and warm feeling i get whenever i stare at white christmas lights and colorful ornaments surrounding fake pine. 

here are a few somewhat pathetic & grainy pictures from my phone, but it's the best i've got for right now.

caleb was a huge help, i'm sure he was elated we decorated at all.  his excitement that his mother didn't give him another matter-of-fact lame answer accompanied with validation that her love for him continues on even if the decorations do not was almost palpable.  he's also learned the art of spacing out the ornaments & garland which i appreciate because i get a bit OCD about that part of it.

leah was interesting...i wouldn't exactly call her "helpful," though she did put ornaments on the tree.  but the majority of her assistance was spent with her turning each of her ornaments into imaginary friends, and bunching them into one section of the bottom right of the tree so they could all stay together, apparently to socialize and play so they wouldn't get "lonely."  anytime one of the rest of us would try to spread them out to more than one of the 3 branches she picked as their designated spot to stack/cram them, she lost it.  wailing that they needed to be close, the mommy ornaments with their babies, and so on.  well, who is going to argue with that?  as the days have gone on, i've found myself slowly moving them farther and farther apart to get her used to seeing them that way.  i'm no fool.

last year, i prepped myself for june of 2012.  i remember leah at this age, and didn't want to spend my time paranoid that she was going to either break the non-toddler-proof ornaments, or choke on tiny little pieces before i could save her life.  when we were in texas last year, we went to target a few days after christmas and i stocked up on their clearance of ornaments.  and i have to say, i found a bunch of my now all-time favorites, and they're toddler-friendly to boot.  

that target, i tell you what.  it just gets me.

i told the older kids to put all of "baby june's ornaments" on the bottom half of the tree and it worked like a charm.  she loves to pull them off, rearrange them, shake the heck out of them, yell and scream at them, lick them, walk around the house with them....and it doesn't bother me one bit.  

so, here we are.  'tis the season and all of that. i'm still trying to figure out where to hang our stockings since we don't have a really convenient place to hang them.  

oh!  i almost forgot!  stop the presses, this is BIG news.  

in an attempt to actually achieve one of my new year's resolutions for 2012, we had family pictures taken with the *hope* of sending out christmas cards this year.  the cards are already actually ordered! i would give myself a pat on the back, but i know my weaknesses & that until those puppies are actually IN the MAIL, i cannot cross it off my list yet.  

we didn't have the money for a professional photographer, so i asked my friend to come to a park with us, using my camera and take family shots & then i would take individual ones of the kids.  holy cow, i underestimated miss june.  i knew she'd be the one to keep entertained, but she was just. not. having it.

the individual pictures are really cute, but we got one decent family shot out of about 35.  and here is a sneak peek at all of the fun we did{n't} have:  

these pictures totally make me laugh.  caleb's trying-too-hard smile, leah's puffy fish cheeks, and then the wee lassy. i realize that this is probably our last family shot for the next couple of years...unless we can catch june with a surprise camera attack or something.  oh well, we did it.  

here's to the holiday season!

and here's last year's christmas decorating post, if you're interested.  look at fat, bald baby june!  


Rachel Chick said...

I'm not sure what it is, but your junie b. reminds me so much of Clara sometimes! What a doll! I love your outtakes, too. They look about like ours . . . with fewer tantrums and your kids are actually LOOKING at the camera. :) Love you!

ohmylanta said...

I love that last picture! Good tip on the target ornaments too!

And I must say - that green grass looks marvelous! *sigh I am ready for summer to come back! :)