Monday, November 28, 2011

Decking the halls

We went and cut down our Christmas tree this weekend, like we do every year after Thanksgiving, and I gotta say, it really isn't the same without snow.  Last year we pulled Gus around in a sled, all bundled up and adorable, and we threw snowballs at Bella and we frolicked and it was all very pretty. 

This year was certainly fun, but not nearly as picturesque, as our surroundings essentially amounted to brown, dead November.  But that's okay.  Snow may be awesome, but so is not dealing with the additional traffic headaches and the shoveling and the slushy goopy sidewalks.  So for as long as nature will allow it this winter, I'm cool with no snow.

So no winter wonderland, and my camera died pretty much upon our arrival.  This is literally all I got.

And from my cell phone camera, here's Gus "helping" my dad load up the trees.


Such a fun day though, and we picked out a real beauty.  It can actually be pretty stressful, wandering around trying to really visualize how certain trees will work (read: fit) in our small home.  (This year I think we actually did it... we didn't underestimate the size of the tree and end up with something that takes up our entire dining room!)  And then there is some added stress when you throw into the mix a toddler and a dangerously encroaching nap time.  One moment he'd be having a blast, running around wildly and fully enjoying the open space, and then all of a sudden he'd appear at my feet, pulling at my pant leg with snot running down his face, whining, "Carry you mommy, carry you!"

His misuse of pronouns never fails to make me giggle, but it really does make sense.  He's such a sponge these days, basically repeating everything we say, so since it's common for me to ask him things like, "Do you want mommy to carry you?" or "Do you want me to help you?", it only makes sense that when in need of help, he (quite adorably) exclaims, "Help you!  Help you!"

Yesterday was spent getting the tree up. 


It really is quite the process isn't it?  Especially when you do the real tree thing, because there's just oh so much more cleaning and sweeping and vacuuming of needles involved, not to mention the trimming and the sticky sap and inspecting it from multiple angles and messing with the tree stand to make the darn thing straight.  But really, that's only the beginning.

Dan took what felt like 7 hours to get the lights on the tree.  We switch off, every other year, because we both hate that part equally, and I was thankful to be off the hook this year.  Anyway, he is very particular, as only an engineer could be, but he does beautiful work. 

And our house is feeling mighty festive today, I've been reveling in it, seriously soaking up the holiday spirit, trying to drink it in and savor it like a really incredible cup of coffee.  I love this time of year.

Charming.  This year, I'm getting Gus a stocking with his name on it.

Just look at those chubby little fingers of Gus's from two years ago.  Oh I really can't wait to taste this new baby's chubby little fingers. 

I love this little kitschy Scandinavian skier guy my mother-in-law gave Gus last year. 

It's true what they say about kids making Christmas and other holidays about 1 gazillion times better than they are without (not to mention 1 gazillion times more work, yes that too).  It really was so much fun pulling out some of the ornaments Gus has been given over the last few years, remembering the times we've spent as a family in the past two years.  Awesome stuff I tell you.  Truly awesome, heart-kablooey, sappy stuff.  

This was a fun surprise, something I had completely forgotten about, but was reminded of as we pulled all of our holiday stuff out of big blue tubs.  Gus was given a Little People nativity set last year by his godparents, and it's pretty adorable.  However he refuses to keep the little angel on the top of the stable where she belongs, and tears her off and casts her aside as soon as he sees that we've placed her there.  He does what he wants, people.

Of course we also have our boring (really I love it), breakable, grown-up nativity scene set out as well.  It, however, doesn't require batteries or play "O Little Town of Bethlehem".

Birds at the top of our tree.  We attempted a new star year after year and it just never worked.  How do people use those heavy star tree-toppers?  Those mothers always just ended up causing our tree to precariously bend and nearly tip over.  Whatever.  These birds just clip on and I find them delightful. 

We have no holiday decor in our bedroom, but look!  I made our bed today.  So I guess I'm just looking for a high-five for that effort.  ;)  And I really love this funky quilt we pulled out of the cedar closet when it started to get colder this fall.  Made up bed equals me feeling all domesticated.

Gus just came and asked me for blueberries, and about a half hour ago he pointed up to the Bose sound dock thing and asked for us to turn on "the songs".  So cool.  I just have to say, I'm having so much fun being this kid's mom, and being around for all these little subtle moments of growing and learning and communicating.  Just thinking about how different he is and how many new things he's doing from even just a month ago, it's pretty mind-blowing.  Makes up for those times when I'm super frustrated with his constant hanging on me, clutching my hair, climbing all over me asking for hugs at the dinner table. 

Yeah, that's motherhood for you.  One second reveling in your kid's awesomeness, and the next begging him to please just stop hanging on you, feeling claustrophobic, overwhelmed, and stretched thin.  It's all worth it.  Every second. 


Angela said...

Beautiful decorated house. You guys are so quick! I love that quilt. Very beautiful.

Erin said...

Ohh I love your tree! We get a real tree too, but just from the tree place like a mile from our house :) Not quite the ordeal. We're going Saturday, and I'm hoping the forecast for snow holds out... it really doesn't feel the same to me without snow, even though I know this must happen quite often. Regardless, I'm excited to deck our halls this weekend.

val said...

Oh, Alicia, I forgot all about that handprint ornament we made. I think it took three or four tries before we got a print that wasn't mooshed.

It was so fun he came for a little while this morning and had lunch with us.

What do people DO when their kids live far away? Oh, wow.

See you in the morning, Buddy.

love, Grandma

Frugal Vegan Mom said...

Such a great description of motherhood there at the end, so true! One second it's like wow you're amazing... next second... wow you're still amazing but go the F to sleep so mommy can have some alone time OK??

Very impressed by your dedication to the x-mas tree also! I love all the holiday sparkly things!

Heather said...

Love the plaster handprint ornament - so cute! Do tell ... how did you make it?

AliRose said...

Heather, pretty sure it's just this super easy kit:

And like my mother-in-law above (Val) said, if it doesn't look perfect the first time, you can just smooth out the clay and keep doing it to get it right. It's kind of strange clay, very soft and fluffy, and it doesn't really harden over-time, so it's not at all breakable at this point, two years later.

Anyway, totally probably worth the $10. :)

Lisa said...

The tree looks great! And I swear Gus looks 3 times his age in that first picture, in stride with his hat and little man jacket and boots... only his toddler face gives away his real age. Too cute.

It sounds like you guys are ready for a lovely holiday season!

Betsy said...

Yay for getting the tree up! I like the birds at the top...cute idea! I found setting up the tree this year was far more stressful than last now that Isla wants to "help". I was sweating profusely and it took everything I had to remain somewhat calm and collected. Yikes. Oh well. It will get better with time :)

I love the whole pronoun thing...that is so cute and really makes sense. Isla seems to get the whole me/you thing, but doesn't get him/her or he/she yet.

And awesome job making the bed. I haven't made mine since 2006.

Mandy said...

Your tree is beautiful (it always is and makes me very jealous, Frankie will not allow a real tree in the house)! And that hand print ornament reminds me that I need to do that with Mason - we made one with Colton when he was about 7 months old although we ended up using his foot as he wouldn't lay his hand flat he grabbed and made a fist everytime we put his hand into the clay which really made things difficult!

Erin said...

Love the birds on your tree! Your house looks so festive! :) I wish we had a fireplace for our stockings. So cute about Gus and the "help you!" - I love that. Lib's pretty much growing out of a lot of those cute phrasings - pretty much only does "his/hers/mines" now. :/ Trying to soak up the cute toddlerness before I have to wait a few more years for it!

Freckles said...

House is looking SUPER cute! We JUST put up our decorations felt nice to get a distraction from the sadness. Kellen was in awe of the tree.
Anywho, hoping we can spend some time together this holiday season! Feels like forever since us ladies have gotten to spend some quality time together!