Holiday Traditions for those with Little Ones

I realize that it is not even Halloween yet but I can’t help getting excited for this holiday season.  The boys are a bit older this year and I am hoping that they will start to really enjoy this year’s holiday festivities.  That being said, they will only be two and half years old so many of the family traditions that I would love to start they probably do not have the attention span for.  Our little princess, who just turned one, will probably only be excited because her brothers are.  Here are some of my favorite holiday traditions that you can do with your young ones:

  1. Make an ornament time capsule.  I absolutely love this idea found on thefarmersnest.com – I only wish I started the kids first Christmas.  You use a clear ornament and on a piece of paper write some of the moments events and fun tidbits about your child that year.  Tuck the sheet in the ornament and decorate it with the current year.  I love having a tree just full of wonderful memories!
  2. Christmas/Holiday Themed Book advent Calendar. I did this last year and this year I have been keeping an eye out for cheap holiday books at any mom 2 mom sales or garage sales.  I only had 10 Christmas themed books last year so I ended up checking out an additional 15 books from the library to add to the book advent calendar (they weren’t due until after the holiday).  I wrapped each book and the kids got a kick out of having something to unwrap at the end of the each night and winding down with a Christmas story.  On Christmas Eve, I save my favorite book:  The Night before Christmas.  Check out this tradition here:  The Real Housewives of Riverton
  3. The Night Before Christmas Box. I did this for the first time last year.  Toy boys were one and a half and Juliet was nearly 4 months old.  Needless to say they didn’t really get it.  They did, however, enjoy unwrapping something.  They each got a box with a brand new pair of Christmas PJs, a small Rudolf stocking filled with a piece of chocolate candy.  I tried to get a picture of all three of them in the Christmas jammies which was impossible.  I still love this Night before Christmas box tradition and fingers crossed I get a better picture this year.

    This is the best picture I got in their Christmas jammies.  I have no idea where my third child is.

    This is the best picture I got in their Christmas jammies. I have no idea where my third child is.

  4. Christmas Cookie Giving. This is a new one I would like to try this year.  I am sure that it will be quite the mess and more frosting will end up in their mouths than the actual cookie but I want them to start learning the concept of making something someone and giving it to them.  Each child has a set of sugar cookies to decorate.  After they are done they put them in a plastic bag to give to two people to say thank you.  This could be the mailman or their Sunday school teacher.  This will probably take a lot of direction and I anticipate a little tantrum of not wanting to give up the cookies but it’s better to start early showing them that this is the season of giving, right?  I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!
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Introducing our Family

all threeIt seems like only yesterday that my husband, Justin, and I decided to start trying for a baby.  For as long as I could remember, I have wanted to be a mother.  I couldn’t wait to hold a baby of my own, and I could spend hours daydreaming about what this little person would be like.  I thought getting pregnant would be easy, especially when you have spent the past four years of marriage trying not to.  Much to our surprise, it was difficult for us to conceive.  The best reason our doctor could give us was “unexplainable infertility”, which basically meant that he had no idea why we were having difficulties, even after their analyses of me and my husband.  This, as you can imagine, was discouraging.  At least when you can identify a problem, you can come up with solutions to try to fix it.

So, long story short, after two years of fertility treatments, we finally got our wish!  I remember going into the doctor’s office for my first ultrasound, after spending the entire time since that stick came up positive, praying that something… anything “alive” would show up on that ultrasound.  When my doctor showed us two little tadpole-looking-things on the screen, we were floored!  I couldn’t believe it.  It was like winning the lottery…twice!

I was blessed to have a pretty uneventful pregnancy. Our twin fraternal boys Jace (baby A) and Jet (baby B) came at 36 weeks.  Perfectly healthy little boys!  I wish I could tell you what the first few months were like… I wish I would have started this blog from the beginning so that I could have something to look back on.  But honestly, those first few months are a complete blur to me.  All I remember was praying for a four hour stretch of sleep all the time, and waiting for my husband to come home from work so I could finally shower.  When the boys hit seven months, we were in for a big surprise.  We were blessed to find out we were expecting again!

This was both exciting and terrifying for me… probably more terrifying.  I couldn’t believe it.  After it had been so difficult to conceive the first time, this happened so easily.  I wondered how we were going to do.  Logistically, how am I going to take three babies out on my own?  Would I be forced to be homebound?  How can I give three children my attention when I already felt I wasn’t giving enough to the two I had now?  And when would I be able to sleep?  The boys weren’t sleeping now.  It was a miracle that my husband and I found the time to conceive another one!

Juliet was born this past October, and I shouldn’t have worried so much.  If there is a will, there is a way.  She is a perfect addition, and truly is such a blessing.  Besides, we needed another girl in this family!

I have my bad days, but my good days always outnumber them.  There is something really special about watching your kids who are so close in age grow up together.  It is perfect chaos, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.