Christmas 2021

We were walking out to the car, stuffed with presents, a dog and a sleepy toddler, to head back home on Christmas night and I suddenly felt like I’d been hit by a bus! Christmas season is a marathon and after back to back to back to back nights of holiday plans and dinners and gatherings… whew, I was tired! But also feeling so happy, so loved, so well fed. This holiday season has been sooooo fun with a toddler. He is so much more aware and interactive this year. It was a true blast 😊 And he (and we!) was so spoiled with gifts and attention. Feeling very grateful for everyone in our lives who made it such a good holiday ❀

The fun all started earlier this week with dinner downtown — we ate at Jovanina’s Broken Italian and oh my god, is was SO good! — and a trip to see the Mile High Tree on the 16th Street Mall. Not sure Dempsey cared about it as much as I did, but he did enjoy those lit up snowflakes near the tree. This was Lori’s idea and I’m so glad she took us. We had a great time!

Thursday, I worked from home and by “worked,” I mean my computer was open and on but I was mostly rushing around like a mad woman getting ready for our Christmas festivities. Thank god my parents were there to take care of Dempsey so I could go to the grocery, put together a couple of casseroles, clean the bathrooms, wrap some presents and who knows what else πŸ€ͺ Got it all done and cleaned up by 5 PM, so my parents could head home and Dempsey and I could head to meet up with Joey for dinner before bowling! It was Dempsey’s first time seeing Dad bowl, can you believe it?! He mostly enjoyed rolling the extra alley bowling balls back and forth on the rack but Joey got to show him off to all his bowling buddies too 😍

Christmas Eve started brighter and earlier than we would’ve liked when Dempsey woke up at 4 AM 😱 Joey eventually got up with him and they both fell asleep on the couch. We had eight people coming over at 8:30 AM, but luckily everything was pretty ready, so the boys could sleep in for a bit. We opened presents while my egg casserole finished baking (oops!) and everyone got such good stuff. Dempsey got a play kitchen from Grandma Lori and it’s soooo nice and cute. He loves it! And breakfast turned out so good. Definitely going to keep that casserole in my back pocket. Also noticed one of my orchids had finally bloomed and gasped!

Had the whole afternoon to ourselves, which was super nice, then headed to Keith and Joanne’s for Christmas Eve dinner/gift exchange. Dempsey’s first bowl of butterball soup and he loved it! He also seemed to enjoy a white chocolate Hershey’s kiss πŸ˜‚ He was such a ham that night, handing out gifts to everyone and doing laps around the kitchen. I loved it!

Christmas Day! Dempsey slept in till 8:15!!!! I am pretty sure that is the last Christmas morning sleep in we’ll get until he’s 18 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ We’ll take it! After being out of the house early on Christmas morning for the past couple of years, being able to be home till 2 PM felt like such a luxury. We unwrapped presents as a family and Santa brought Dempsey that cute chair. He did so good ripping off wrapping paper and pulling stuff out of his stocking ❀ He roamed all over the living room afterward, playing and having fun and hey, that was fun for us too! Tried for so long to take that family photo (ugh, Dempsey’s swollen eyes from his rash…) but he did not want to sit still.

Spent the afternoon at Steve and Lorna’s and seriously took ONE photo. Fail! And except for that time Dempsey alluded all the adult supervision and was climbing the stairs by himself 😬, we had a nice relaxing time.

Headed over to my parents’ after that, praying Dempsey would make it through the evening on his one nap, and had such a nice time. My mom is the very best and spoiled us all with stocking stuffers, presents and an amazing dinner. I love her the most. She IS Christmas ❀ A certain tired boy needed to go home and go to bed so we left before dessert, but don’t worry, we brought some home.

Dempsey was up early on Sunday, so he and Joey headed downstairs and when I came down a bit later, they were in the kitchen making pancakes together. Orrrr more like Dempsey was playing with a teaspoon and a bowl of flour but same thing πŸ˜‹ I took over and WOW, cooking “with” a toddler is a lot messier than I had expected. He was throwing flour, he was eating flour, he was crawling up on the counter 🀣🀣🀣 Post-pancake breakfast, we played around with Joey’s new toy, a record player! My mom knew I was getting it for him, so she gave me my very own record… Folklore! While Dempsey was down for his nap, Joey put together the easel my parents got him for Christmas and I hand-washed, dried and put away our new silverware. It’s soooooo shiny and pretty 😍 And would you look at that small artist at work?!

Ended the evening at La Loma, celebrating Wayne’s birthday! I think Dempsey ate a pepper that was in the guacamole and was none too happy about it, but he recovered quickly and seemed to really enjoy his little plate of quesadilla, beans and rice 😊 I hope your holiday weekend was a good one!

Weekend Things

Someone please tell me how it is Christmas week already??? Could’ve sworn it was December 1st just last week, then POOF, the rest of the month disappeared. So that means we are stuffing in all of the last minute holiday things we can think of, including a company party, present wrapping, one last batch of cookies, all the Christmas movies we realized we hadn’t watched yet and Dempsey’s first visit with Santa! The good news is he didn’t cry but the bad news is that his face rash is back with a vengeance, so he’s looking a little flushed in all of this weekend’s photos. I’m trying not to project my own sensitive skin baggage onto the situation, but it’s hard! Trying to remember that it doesn’t bother him at all and this too shall pass.

Someone was helping unload the groceries on Friday morning ❀ This time of year is nice in the construction world because stuff slows down. Meaning it’s okay to take a half day on Friday to see Spider-Man: No Way Home and then head to a brewery for a sort of last-minute company holiday gathering. Um what to say about NWH except that it was amazing and perfect and everything you want it to be. SPOILER ALERT (no seriously, don’t read on if you don’t want this movie spoiled for you!), but THERE ARE THREE SPIDER-MEN IN THIS MOVIE!!!!!! I’ve actually not seen the Andrew Garfield films but I have seen Andrew Garfield in other things and I LOVE HIM. And I am a BIG BIG fan of the first two Toby Maguire Spider-Man films so seeing him show up made me feel strangely emotional. Also, I was about 95% sure they would both be in this film but to my true surprise and joy, they are in this movie for like an hour?! What a gift! Also, Willem Dafoe is a national treasure. I about died hearing him say “Norman’s on sabbatical, honey!” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Went straight from the theater to our company party and it was nice having everyone from the office in one place — everyone is in and out on different days so I sometimes go weeks without face to face contact with some of my co-workers — and the beer/food were great!

Feels like there was a point in October or early November when Dempsey was sleeping like a dream and since then, it feels like we haven’t even had two good nights in a row 😩 Inevitably he wakes up crying at some point. Sometimes it’s early in the night, sometimes it’s early in the morning, sometimes he settles himself back down and sometimes he ends up in our bed because we’re too tired to do anything else. Saturday, he was up at 4! Joey eventually went downstairs with him and then we traded places at 6ish. When I got the sense that he wasn’t going back to sleep, we made blueberry waffles together πŸ’™

We all took some naps later in the day πŸ˜‚ And then we headed to Steve and Lorna’s for our Christmas celebration. I LOVE seeing everyone interact with Demps. Lorenzo and Elliott are so sweet and caring with him and of course, the adults are too πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯° He got a basketball from his grandpa and Lorna and he loooooves when Joey dribbles it for him.

Our one goal for Sunday was to take Dempsey to see Santa and mission accomplished! I follow Union Station on Instagram and saw that Santa was going to be there one last time on Sunday so after lunch, we packed ourselves up and headed over. The employee holding the “End of the Line” sign said that was the shortest she’d seen it! I think we only waited about half an hour and Dempsey didn’t mind because he got to wander around the terminal with me while Joey stood in line. He got a kick out of seeing his own reflection in the giant ornaments on the tree and so did I πŸ˜‚ Kudos to the two ladies — I think one of them was Mrs. Claus — manning the line and taking the photos. They really knew what they were doing! Demps did great! Joey is mean and wanted him to cry! Everyone has assured me that he’ll cry next year πŸ˜‚

Got a few things done back at home and then Joey made us dinner while Demps and I played upstairs. His new favorite thing is to shut the door on us but I peeked through a crack and watched him play by himself for ten minutes and it was absolutely the cutest thing! He brushed his hair, he looked out the window, he played with his toy workbench, he danced πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯ΊπŸ₯Ί I can’t even! Dempsey was having NONE of the dinner Joey made but I loved it! After we put him to bed, we fired up Love Actually and how is it that we’ve seen that movie a million times and there’s still lines we feel like we’ve never really heard? Let’s all do our best to stay sane this week, huh?

Happy Monday!