Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Well, again, here we are having to play catch up on our posts. It’s been a very busy, hectic last few months. The holidays are always busy, but on top of it this year, I’ve been finishing up a class. I took a graduate class this summer. (I’m trying to work on my next pay raise which will be a Masters + 15 credits). The plan was to finish it up during the summer, but time got away from me. The final paper was due on December 19 and I was panicking on how to get it done. Luckily, we had a snow day on December 13! I used a few hours of the day to finish the paper! Woo, hoo! Then Grace and I wrapped and packaged two gifts to mail to relatives in other states. We headed to the post office with my paper and the two packages before noon. Grace was so patient with me! Grace and I spent the rest of the day playing out in the snow!

Now I’ll go back and fill you in on the last few months. Halloween was so much fun! Grace had so many parties and activities going on that we chose two different costumes. The first one she picked was a ladybug and the second costume was an elephant. She certainly chose at two very different ends of the spectrum. But both were so cute! She understood what trick-or-treating was all about this year. Along with several families, we met at some friends’ house in our subdivision for dinner. After dinner, I headed home to pass out candy and Greg took Grace with the rest of the group to trick-or-treat. Grace was the youngest of the crew. They were much more experienced at getting to the next house as fast as possible. Grace did her best to keep up. Greg did too! She came home with her bucket full, so I think she had a very successful evening.

We spent Thanksgiving at my parents. We always get together with my dad’s side of the family, which we just don’t do enough. It was very nice to have us all together. We had a wonderful meal! We all ate too much as usual! I was lucky enough to have Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off, so it was extra nice to have the super long weekend.

We were pelted with snow on Sunday, December 12 (which led to the snow day mentioned above). I spent most of the day working on my paper, but Greg and Grace were outside playing. They made a great snowman together. Grace just loves the snow! She could stay out there all day!

Christmas snuck up on us before we knew it! Grace learned about Santa this year. I picked her up from daycare one day and she informed me that Santa was coming. She went on to explain that he was going to bring her presents. I asked her what she wanted Santa to bring here and she only had one thing on her list. She wanted a bike like the one at Jeanne’s, which is a two wheel Disney Princess bike with training wheels. We were shopping at the mall and she saw Santa. She was very curious. She just wanted to stand there (we were on the second floor looking down) and watch him. I asked her if she wanted to talk to Santa. She told me ‘no.’ There was a huge line, so I was not disappointed at all! Later, we talked more about Santa. She said that she wanted to talk to him. I asked her what she was going to do if she were to see Santa. She said she was going to hug him so hard that she would knock him right over! About a week later, Greg, Grace and I were shopping at a different mall and Grace saw Santa there. I asked her if she wanted to go talk to him. She said ‘yes.’ I was very surprised! We got in line (which luckily was very short). When it was our turn, Santa waved to Grace. Grace froze! I picked her up and we walked over to Santa. He was so nice to her! Grace did tell him that she wanted a bike, but was the extent of her part of the conversation. She would not let go of me the whole time. She would not sit on his lap. She wouldn’t let us take a picture with Santa. She would not even give him five when we were leaving. I really didn’t care if she even saw Santa at all, so I was surprised with what she wanted to do.

With all of this talk about Santa, we kept reminding Grace about the real meaning of Christmas. She has the Little Peoples Nativity Scene. We get it out every Christmas to talk about all the events of the birth of Jesus. Like with everything else, she has lots of questions. We do our best to explain everything to a curious three year old.

We headed to my parents on Christmas Eve. Grace wondered about Santa coming. I told her not to worry, that Santa knew all about it and that he would come to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We all went to the Christmas Eve candlelight service. When we got back to my parent’s house, Grace went right to bed. After a bit of a rough night (she doesn’t usually sleep well at any place other than her own bed), she finally woke up at about 8:30 Christmas morning. I brought her downstairs and brought her to her pile of Santa gifts. Of course, there was a beautiful Disney Princess bike. She spent the whole weekend riding around the circle of the family room, kitchen, dining room, and living room. Santa also brought her a Fisher Price laptop. I don’t even let Grace watch TV, so I wasn’t so sure about the laptop as a gift. But she really likes it and hopefully, it will help her learn her letters even better. Grace, as well as the rest of us, was spoiled as always for Christmas. We had a wonderful day with our family and are so thankful for our health and happiness!

We celebrated Christmas with Greg’s family on New Year’s Day. We hosted, so we had a houseful! We had a great time. Grace’s two cousins are absolutely crazy about her. Needless to say, Grace received endless attention all day long! Again, she was spoiled by her two aunts. They got her a dollhouse. It is so cute and we have had so much fun playing with it!

We have been working on letters and numbers. Santa got Grace a Crayola dry-erase board that comes with templates to trace letters, numbers, shapes, etc. Grace really likes it. She’s getting pretty good at making a letter G. She knows that her name starts with a G, then an R, but the R has been a bit more difficult for her to write.

Bedtime has gotten easier. Boy, that was a rough two and a half months! Once she finally started sleeping through the night again, she started having problems going to sleep. Sometimes it took almost two hours before she was falling asleep. She wasn’t going to sleep until about 10:30 p.m.!!! We decided to try stopping daytime naps. They were starting to shorten. She was napping for about an hour, where before it was more like two hours. Even with an hour nap, she was still not going to bed without the two hour struggle. So we stopped naps altogether and ever since, she has been falling to sleep within five to ten minutes! Yay! She is pretty tired by the end of the day and can sometimes get a bit cranky, but it’s a lot better than the struggle to get her to sleep. She is sleeping through the night about two to three nights a week. On the other nights, she usually wakes up one or two times throughout the night. I usually just go into her room, cover her back up and tell her ‘good night,’ and she will go back to sleep. I say usually because I’m not always so lucky. Once in a while, it takes her awhile to get back to sleep. I stand in the hallway outside her bedroom door and tell her that ‘it is nighttime; time to go to sleep.’ Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t! But at least, it’s a lot better than it was!

I think that pretty much catches us up! Merry belated Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!