What we have been up to in December

Ok, so I’m going to warn you – this is going to be a long one. Like reading-it-until-next-Christmas long. I’ve been bad, again, at periodically updating. So, I guess you are going to get a whole load of what we’ve been up to in December.

Nothing radical, but we kicked the Christmas season off with setting up the tree and decorating it and the house.

Mr. H got the tree assembled, only to discover that, of course, the top lights didn’t work. After a little finagling though, they finally came on. Then I let the kids hang the ornaments on the tree. Norah loved unwrapping each ornament and finding a spot on the tree. She did a great job – if you like all your ornaments concentrated to the front, center, lower two-thirds of the tree, then she’s the girl to trim your tree. There were a few ornaments left over, so I tried to even things out a bit. But despite my perfectionism, I have left the ornaments she hung in their original places. I’m getting good like that.

We visited Santa at the mall. Thankfully this year was a lot less eventful than last year when I practically, and obviously accidentally, mooned and flashed Santa, and he, not the elves, had to help me right the tipped over stroller. I vowed I would not attempt a solo mission again.


I assure you that Santa really is behind there. I don’t have a picture of him or of the kids with him because we were too cheap to pay for the $30 photo. And I wasn’t brave enough to chance a photo only to be confronted by a segway -riding mall security officer. It was the same Santa as last year, but I’m about 100% sure he didn’t remember us. Plus, this year, we didn’t make a scene. Mr. H was there to help and both kids sat on his lap and whispered their Christmas wishes to him – a unicorn for Norah and anything Thomas the Train for Garrett. I did have to reinforce to Norah that Santa would not be able to bring her a “real” unicorn. Thankfully, she already knew that. She’s hoping for either the plastic or plush sort.

Norah and I made snow globes, which was fun, but we learned a couple of things.

If you make a snow globe:

1. Don’t use hot glue. We did and Santa was free-style swimming the next day. Mr. H saved the day with some epoxy glue, which has seemed to hold so far.

2. Make certain the items you are going to put in the snow globes are color-safe, or whatever the right term is that means “will not bleed and color your water.” Our trees were not, and so, although we were dreaming of a white Christmas, we got an aquamarine one instead.

Otherwise it was a fun craft. And our tile floor has not sucked them out of our hands as a Christmas sacrifice…yet…

Norah and I made a candy cane cake, and I gave her free reign to frost it.


She enjoyed the process so much, that now instead of being a “firegirl” when she grows up, she wants to be a baker. Who knew frosting a cake could be so inspiring.

After seeing Elf on the Shelf all over Pinterest, I finally got on the bandwagon and bought one.


Apparently, it made a huge impression on Norah, because right after Mr. H finished reading them the storybook, Norah ran to her desk and wrote Henry, as we have named our elf, this note. She also included a wrapped gift.

DSC_0712I think someone’s trying to get on Henry’s good side. A few “I love you, Henry” notes have also been carefully tucked next to him. I think Norah’s a little concerned though, because she mentioned to me that she now has four watching her – God, Jesus, Santa and Henry. You would think that would cause in an increase in the good behavior and a decrease in the bad, but I think the presents that are already stacked under the tree may be giving her a sense of gift security. Mr. H and I have been having fun hiding Henry in a new location each night after the kids are asleep. It has been awkward though during the day when we accidentally make eye contact with Henry. He’s really riding that fine line between cute and creepy pretty hard. We like him, even if he is kind of a creeper.

Norah finally got the chance to make a gingerbread house – something she’s been wanting to do the last couple of years. I went the easy route with a kit. I thought briefly about baking it up myself, but I figured it would be more stressful and by the time I bought the candy, a lot more expensive. I should have bought the pre-built one, as getting it to stay together was a huge challenge. Thankfully, my sister Jody who stopped by for a visit just at the right time, who I failed to get a picture of, helped us hold up the house till it dried. Norah had a lot of fun making it.

And obviously, the gingerbread house pictured on the box is the result of a Christmas craft time with Martha Stewart. We made the Christmas craft time with a 5 year-old version – which I prefer immensely. The addition of the Christmas tree peeps were Norah’s idea. I was more than happy about her idea as the peeps were purchased on a very weak-willed grocery trip. The more around the gingerbread house = the fewer consumed! I was rooting for the creation of a whole forest!

And of course, there has been snow. We have been happy for that. Well, some of us have – Norah chiefly. Garrett will not venture out with her. Too cold, he says. Looks like we’ve got a tough guy in the making!

And we have snowflakes inside too. The paper kind that is. After several days of folding and cutting, Norah and I had lots of pretty snowflakes to put on the windows.

Trying to start Christmas traditions, I had the bright idea of us all sleeping out by the Christmas tree in the living room. Hmmm…maybe I should have thought about that a little longer. Don’t get me wrong – it was a lot of fun….for the kids. We played games, Mr. H blew up the air mattress, and we all sat on it and ate snacks and watched Elf. Once I had changed the sheet on the air mattress, as it had been littered with cracker crumbs and a smashed Christmas cake, we “settled down” for the night.

Quite a night it was too. Mr. H had kindly offered the couch to me, but as two kids and a parent were going to need to sleep on the air mattress, and as the air mattress was a full-sized and whoever was going to sleep there needed to sleep the opposite way on it to fit everyone, I figured the 5’3″ parent should have that job instead of the 6’2″ parent. I guess I momentarily forgot that the 5’3″ parent is 6 months pregnant. It came to me very rapidly though….pretty much a second after I had laid down. After much fidgeting, they finally fell asleep. Garrett was next to me, and although I love it that he likes to be close, very close, I’m not so crazy about the wildness in how he sleeps. Combine that with an hourly, increased scent of wet diaper, mine was not a restful sleep. Plus, not only is there the mysterious phenomenon of feeling simultaneously sweaty and cold while sleeping on an air mattress, I found out something very important about our air mattress. It has a leak. This was obvious when I woke up flat on the floor in the morning. I call the couch next year!

On the 19th, Mr. H and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Wowzers! I’m hoping for many more decades with this good man.Wedding 2003I bet that picture makes you want to gag a little – yeah, you’re welcome for that. 🙂

So now I think you’re pretty much caught up on our lives.

So how was that year it took you to read all of the above? Hey, I warned you it was going to be long.

Hope your Christmas season is going well. Do you have any traditions that are a must every year?


One thought on “What we have been up to in December

  1. Abby!!!! I looooooooooooOOOOved this blog post!!!!!! I miss them when I am at school, but I know it takes some time to make them. I love all the pictures!! You guys are so crafty!! Ginger bread houses, snow flakes, snow globes (which btw are adorable!!!!)! Those kids are going to have some awesome childhood memories. 🙂

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