Monday, November 24, 2008

The Holidays

The holidays are coming and I can hardly believe it. Practically seems like a couple months ago that I was nervous about seeing family at Thanksgiving and not letting on that I felt like crap because I was in the middle of my first trimester. It doesn't seem like that long ago that I was dragging myself through decorating for Christmas and packing for our trip to Florida feeling sooo exhausted. I remember marveling at the thought of having a 4-6 month old baby by the holidays this year, looking at our nephew Grant and thinking our baby would be right around his age by this year. And sure enough, here we are. We have an amazing five month old little boy and we've survived parenthood pretty well so far.

I remember thinking last year as I struggled through Christmas shopping and decorating that doing the Christmas thing exhausted and nauseous was one thing...but doing it in and around a baby's schedule would be something entirely different. And from what I can tell so far, I was absolutely right. Gone are the days where Craig and I could head out to the mall together at 9pm to get in an hour or two of shopping minus the crowds. This year we'll either be going early or going solo late, with one of us staying home while Jacob sleeps. Lately I've been doing my grocery shopping at 9 or 9:30, once Jacob is fed and in bed. It's just easier to do that than to work around his feedings or cart him around (he's HEAVY these days) and hope he doesn't freak out in the middle of the store. For the most part he's a good baby and doesn't even cry that loud most of the time, but it's still a helpless feeling when you're out in public and your baby is screaming. I can go out with him just fine, but a lot of times I simply choose not to. It just makes the quick in-and-out running around I used to do a lot harder. There are days I'm willing to attempt it, and some days that I'm just not.

As a result, Christmas preparations are going to need to be more organized and streamlined than ever. I'll need to get my lists together ASAP, figure out if any trips can be combined, and focus on the best uses of my time. I am still probably going to take one day of vacation in the next couple weeks (hopefully my lists are coming together by then) where I send Jacob to day care, get as much shopping done as possible, and go pick him up a little earlier than usual. I think that's going to be the best way to get things done. I tried shopping with him a little this weekend at the mall, and I just wasn't into it. I was worried about him getting hungry and I just didn't want to take the time to try things on or really look around. And manuvering a stroller through some stores is nearly impossible. Based on running around this weekend, I think weekday shopping is wise. Crowds were already terrible this weekend. Annoying when it's just you, but extra inconvenient when you need to have a stroller or cart and everyone else's carts are blocking everything! Add a crying baby into that and I'm headed to the insane asylum.

Even getting decorations out at home is going to be a challenge. I think once they're up Jacob is going to have a blast with them, but just finding the time and energy to get up all of the bins and put everything out is going to be tough. And just wait until next year when everything needs to be baby-proof...yikes! But for this year I am looking forward to his reaction to all the lights, and hopefully he'll be ready to do a little tearing of wrapping paper in another month. He may not get it yet, but he may like that sensation nonetheless.

There's so much to do and I have a lot to organize in the next month. Holy cow, it really is a month from right now we'll be hanging out with Craig's family for their annual Christmas Eve get together. Wow. It's coming quick...and I better get ready!

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