Griswilliams Family Christmas Tree

We went full-on Griswald yesterday and drove an hour outside of town to cut down our own Christmas tree. This is not something I ever imagined myself doing, as we live in the deep south, but I read a review about a central Texas Christmas Tree Farm where they provided hayrides, saws, a free petting zoo and everything else you  need to kick off the holiday season right, so we went. It didn’t glow like the Griswald’s tree, but Brooks approved and we let  him believe he picked it out.

Spence sawed it down and we drug it back to a tractor that hauled it back to the shaker. And holy moly, have you ever seen a Christmas tree get shaken? It’s insane. And beautiful. And disturbing. The purpose is to shake off excess needles, although my living room carpet says they could have shaken this trunk for a few more minutes. They shot a net around it, we paid less than we would at a tree lot and headed back to Austin, stopping for some Elgin barbeque of course.

The grandparents came along and it couldn’t have been a lovelier morning. It must be so special to be a grandparent because you are a full-time soaker-upper. I mean, all you really have to do is enjoy these tiny people because they are already obsessed with you. Brooks requested chauffeuring in the Subaru, so he rode out and back with the GP’s.

With bellies full of BBQ (or in Brooks’ case mac ‘n cheese), I assumed both kids would pass out until we got home. Sabra got buckled in, shot her thumb into her mouth and was out for the ride, but I was surprised to see Brooks chipper when the Subaru pulled into our driveway. Apparently they sang songs the whole way home – and how adorable is it that Grandma had to Google lyrics to “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad.”

Sabra didn’t say a word, but I could tell she dug the hay and animals and one-on-one time with Grandma while we went for our tree hunt. Brooks, on the other hand, has never been more outwardly excited in his whole life. I suppose that’s why we are going all out this year (read: real tree, outdoor lights, staircase garland); he really gets that this is exciting.

And, honestly, I can’t think of anything better than watching my children light up.

Daylight Savings Kills

Daylight Savings is a mother’s nightmare (or any mom with a sleep schedule). November 2, 2014 was officially the longest day of my parenting life. Tiny children don’t understand adding an hour to the day and they certainly don’t want to obey that suspicious, much earlier sunset.

It’s a mess.

But what do we do when it’s a rough day? Well, here at the Williams House, we pull out the tents. Rain or shine, a tent can be popped in the living room or the backyard. And thanks to this little 4-man, we survived another storm.

Also, our kids just love being outside, so this makes for a double whammy!

Book Review Meets Epiphany

The book: The Diaper Free Baby

The method: Elimination Communication

My initial reaction (while reading this six months pregnant): Let’s nail this beast! Why didn’t I do this with my first!

My reaction as a sleep-deprived mother of two: Screw it. I love diapers; nay, I need them!

I pretty much concluded that the reading of this book was a waste of time until the day I caught my daughter grunting at the breakfast table and I decided to multitask and save a diaper by putting her on the baby toilet  in our downstairs 1/2 bath.

To my amazement, she went. And then that night before her bath, I put her on our upstairs potty again. And she went. Again!

This could have been a fluke, but she’s been doing her big business on the potty twice a day for weeks now. She goes on the potty more than our 2.5 year old!

In sum, this book was not a waste of time and I’m glad I read it because I learned how to pick up on my baby’s elimination cues.

Dampened excitement: Now, she can’t even walk, so I’m not betting on full potty training for quite some time, but at least she won’t be scared of the porcelain throne when the time comes.

Healloween

I’ve never thought of Halloween as a family event until this year.

Let’s face it, our parents messed up. Most of them did so pretty big time, but now that I’m a momma of two, I realize that family is precious. Also, mine is pretty small and this is the only one I’m going to get! So, I’ve let go of the past and let my own family decide how much they would like to be involved in my kids’ lives.

My in-laws just moved up here a few months ago. I never knew them as parents until I married Spencer, but I have watched them as grandparents, and they do a phenomenal job. I also see my mom grandparent so sweetly, as if this round gives her a redo on what she did wrong with us. It’s precious and I will take it.

What does this have to do with Halloween? Well, this year’s festivities started out with Brooks requesting some pumpkin carving with Grandpa. And because Brooks’ strength is seen most clearly in the pulling of heartstrings, he got what we wanted. We had a family dinner of soup and lit the fire pit out back, then Grandpa got to work with his pint-sized assistant.

Grandpa went above and beyond (thanks to some online reading, I assume), bringing lights and glow sticks to put inside the carved pumpkin. Brooks was so proud of his jack-o-lantern that he gave it a kiss on the cheek. And, upon awakening the next morning, he demanded we step onto the front porch to make sure it was still functioning at full capacity!

The kids wore their costumes all day and Brooks finally decided he would rather wear a monkey PJ than the owl costume I paid actual money for. My mom came up for our first official trick-or-treat outing and I have to say, it was a success!

I never knew I could be so thankful for a silly day like Halloween.