Getting ready for baby?

Okay, so with baby #2 due in just a few short weeks, I decided we really need to start getting prepared. So far we have a car seat (not yet installed), we pre-registered for the hospital, and I pulled out most of m's baby stuff (clothes, blankets, cloth diapers, etc). The problem is none of this stuff is set up in any usable way. That's my goal for the weekend. The two high priority tasks are to get the changing table set up and to pack the hospital bag.

There is plenty of other stuff to do. I wish I could start my maternity leave early, but I really want to save it for after the baby is born.

And, I really want this stroller since we don't yet have anything that the car seat can snap into...


Happy Holiday

Despite my worries, Christmas was very pleasant. On Christmas Eve, everyone in the neighborhood lines the street with luminaries. So, just after dark, we met up with M, M and i to take a walk. The girls had a great time looking at all the lights and got to work off some of their pre-Santa energy. We stopped in at M and M's house for wine (water for me) and toffee before going home and wrapping gifts.

In my family, we always got to open one gift on Christmas Eve (usually pajamas) so m opened her nightgown. It was my first attempt at making a nightgown and it turned out pretty cute. m was very pleased and said she felt like a princess! Thanks for teaching me how to sew, mom!

On Christmas morning, we had a relaxing time opening gifts, eating whole-wheat blueberry pancakes, and enjoying a fire in the fireplace (I almost knocked myself out when I hit my head on the mantel but that's another story).

We ended the day with a fancy dinner at a local hotel. No cooking!


Can we limit Christmas extravagance?

Right now, m has been playing with a little lizard she got a Chuck E Cheese (much as I hate that place, she loves this inch-long lizard), a little set of figurines my mom bought her at an art gallery in Edisto, and some plastic hair barrettes. She has been occupied for more than 25 minutes with just these few toys!

Then I think about how much stuff m is going to get in the next few days... I did the shopping for Mr. Claus and kept a reasonable budget. Four toys, a homemade nightgown, and some stocking stuffers. I purchased something else too (before she wrote her letter to Santa) and decided to keep that until her birthday. If it were just these few things, we would be fine. But I'm afraid adding a bunch of other gifts from friends and relatives is going to overwhelm m and send the wrong message about the holidays.

In her gift exchange at school, m got a cheap babydoll set from a large national retailer (made in China, of course). I tried (a little) to convince her that we should give it to charity. I admit, I would rather just make it disappear since poor kids deserve better quality too. m cried at the suggestion, and, since it was her gift from a friend, I let her open it and told her she could play with it for a few days. I am *hoping* she'll completely forget about it after Christmas.

I guess we'll see what other gifts she gets. She is one kid who actually likes getting clothes. Since she wears them often, we always talk about who gave her a certain shirt, sweater, etc. That helps her remember names of relatives and also to appreciate their generosity.

I admit I'm anal about what she has- after all it's in our house. I want to make sure that it is safe, good quality, and doesn't take up too much room. We already have much more than we need and I want to create nice holiday memories for m - spending time together making cookies, decorating, donating things to less fortunate families- not just gift giving.


More holiday happenings...

Forgot to add these fun holiday events to the previous list:

- put out our shoes for St. Nick's day (Dec. 6th)
- decorated gingerbread houses with M and i
- went to see the Christmas lights at Hopelands with friend EG

- saw our public tax money spent on a Christmas tree lighting ceromony (involved a lot of Bible thumping by public employees- this really got me riled)
-made our own wreath from branches cut off the bottom of the Christmas tree


In the Christmas mood

I'm finally in the holiday spirit...

- got an Advent calendar for m
- we've gone to several Christmas parties
- saw the Nutcracker
- put up the tree
- baked candycane cookies and spritz
- sent Christmas cards (today!)

I think I've got all my Christmas gifts done, with 2 exceptions (both sewing projects)- a nightgown and some grocery sacks.

My energy level is low and now I've got a wicked cold.
Glad the only thing I need to cook for Christmas dinner is the stuffing.

Here's a photo of m having a serious conversation with Mr. Claus!