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Xmas 2021

Christmas has come and gone and our time at home over this winter break has brought an actual winter. In many ways this has been a blessing, offering many new activities to enjoy while at home. In other ways, it means we are stuck to some degree. We’ve made the best of what we have so far this Christmas season and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Rewind to our Christmas weekend just a bit. For Reese’s last day at school before break, her school had a pajama party where they got to wear their favorite PJs to school and bring in their favorite stuffed animal. Reese wore her white PJs with red floral print and brought in her moose stuffy. Bryan and I savored one last day at home with just the two of us there plus Brooke, gearing ourselves up for a week plus with Reese at home.

On Christmas Eve, we had invited Sarah and Lottie over for dinner but had a surprise guest of Sarah’s mom that also joined us after flying in a day earlier than planned. Reese was excited for Lottie to come over and we were excited for the company. We did a simple but special dinner of Dungeness crab, asparagus, potatoes, bread, and salad. We finished off the meal with Bryan’s favorite grasshopper pie. The girls certainly enjoyed one another and got to open each other’s presents to one another, shortly before the entire tube of Lottie’s Hershey kisses were concealed and eaten under the dining room table between the two girls. They were definitely amped up post candy and for the rest of the night. We opened up our family pajamas just before bed and then Reese definitely had a difficult time going to sleep with the excitement of the next day awaiting.

Reese’s Christmas Eve attire

Christmas morning began in our bed. Reese slept in hers until we were all ready to get up and superdad Bryan went with Brooke in arms to go get big sis to start opening presents. We opened each of our stockings first in our bed. Reese was excited for all of the candy, new undies, gloves, and a slinky that has been a big hit. We then moved downstairs and Reese was the first to see her new purple swing and bike next to the fireplace. Reese thoroughly enjoyed opening ALL of the presents, including our presents. She got lots of clothes and books this year, a necklace bead kit, a puzzle, and lots of other great presents. We snacked on some crumb cake after opening presents and let Reese come down from the high of opening presents and then bundled up to take her new bike for a cruise in the neighborhood, being that cold weather and possible snow was in the forecast for us. She was a little unsure about the balance bike at first, so we pushed her up the gradual climb up 27th Ave and let her balance with her feet on the bike but on the way back really got the hang of it. Once home we also strung up the swing on a tree out front and she was excited about the swing. We enjoyed the rest of Christmas Day indoors, Facetimed with our families, and then Bryan finished off Christmas dinner with a truly excellent New York roast with a bourbon cream sauce, truffled mashed potatoes, green beans and a salad. Bryan and I also enjoyed one of his cocktails before settling into bed.

The next morning, when I woke around 5:30 am to feed Brooke, I couldn’t help myself by saying, “Oh my god!” when I sat next to our big window upstairs in the glider. We had several inches of snow already on the ground and it was still coming down. The blanket of white was so shocking to me and so unexpected from the weather forecast. When Reese woke that morning Reese was equally surprised and excited. After breakfast and coffee we broke out our winter wear and the sled and Bryan got first turn at taking Reese sledding for a few runs on our hill. I came out with Brooke to follow them around. We got paid a visit by Reese’s friend Vivienne from school who lives just up the hill and the two girls played for a bit at our house. After Reese’s nap, with Brooke still asleep, I took the opportunity to take Reese out sledding with me. We made a few good runs, with Reese giggling the whole time, and then came back to the house to build a snowman in the front yard. Bryan took Reese for a few more turns before calling it a night.

The rest of the week was not much different. On Monday, Reese and Bryan did some sledding in the morning, Vivienne came over for another short play date, and the weather stayed cold and the snow remained. I got out of the house for a walk with Brooke while Reese napped and enjoyed the fresh air and sunny skies. Tons of people have been out walking these days which makes it a lot of fun as well. On Tuesday we hadn’t gotten out of the house other than Bryan to do some shoveling of snow but we finally got snow ready and set out for an evening walk to the Arboretum with the sled. Reese swung for a bit in the Arboretum playground before grabbing a slice of Pagliacci’s Pizza for Reese that she could eat in the sled on the way back home. On Wednesday we walked up to Lottie’s in the morning after breakfast and Bryan and I took the two (well, three) girls over to Miller Park to sled, swing, slide, and build a snowman before returning to Lottie’s for lunch and then heading back home.

And today we got more snow! Yippee! Just kidding, I am over the snow by this point, as pretty as it is, we’ve now been stuck for several days. We got a few inches over night and this was the first that I heard Reese ask to get the car out, up until now it had just been me asking for it. Reese has entered boredom stage which means that her creative juices are now flowing and she is actively engaging in more independent play as well. We are going out with our neighbors to walk over to the retention “pond” for some more sledding this afternoon and are planning on getting takeout from Kin Dee Thai for dinner.

And for the last day of the year, our plans to watch the big football games with friends was botched, thanks to snow and their sick kids. We will be coming up with a Plan B, either walking/bussing somewhere to watch the big game (or a half of it probably) or doing something at home and drinking champagne. I’ll be ready for 2022 even just for the weekend weather to drive the snow away and free our car out of the driveway! It’s been a pretty quiet week at home but overall it’s been very nice. I’ve certainly loved the sunny skies and I am very grateful that I had a bunch of meals prepped in the freezer and that we also live within walking distance from so many grocery stores (not that we have even needed to go during this week, other than to stock up on more gummy worms!).

Here’s to 2022! Now I need to work on my “22 for 22” list. Should be interesting since I feel like I have had zero hours in the day to do anything besides, eat, sleep, clean and watch these girls.

Chelsea

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