On November 1st, I started setting up our Christmas trees and by the end of the month we had five! The real one is close to 11 feet tall and makes the house smell amazing! By the end of the month I was also nearly done with Christmas shopping and wrapping. My return to work (on campus) coincided with Cha's transition to his big boy bed. Like every other transition he has passed, it was easy-peasy, lemon squeezy. After he commands me to read a book, I tuck him in, give him a kiss and close the door. I leave the light on low and sometimes I hear him playing with whatever toy he has chosen to go night-night with, but over a month in and he has never gotten out of his bed once I put him down. We own a monkey lock and have yet to use it. Mornings are surprisingly the same! I will hear him chatting away, but he has never left his bed even once before I open the door! He is the most a remarkable little guy.
Aut started ice skating lessons this month and enjoyed them more than I anticipated. Although she also takes horse-back riding lessons and gymnastics, ice skating quickly became her favorite, with her excitedly saying "yay!" when I tell her that she has a lesson.
Polar Express. I may have been as excited as the kids! There was a bit of snow on the ground and the whole event was the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season. The small, old city of Williams, known as the "gateway to the Grand Canyon" holds meaning to me because Mom and I visited the summer after I finished my first year as a school counselor. We also went to the Grand Canyon for the first time on that trip back in 2007 and so it was nice to take my children there.
The train ride was only half-full to allow for social distancing, and we wore masks. But it was otherwise a normal experience, with Santa still boarding the train to give each child a bell. This video of Charles receiving his melts my heart. We had fun being the only ones in our hotel's outdoor hot-tub, visiting a playground in town, and seeing Artic Wolves and bears roaming around our car at Bearizona. The Polar Express will definitely become an annual tradition for us.
We spent Thanksgiving at home, with my Dad and brother. I love cooking a good meal for others to enjoy, how it makes the house smell and having leftovers. I love it when Aut helps, and baking desserts together.
After Thanksgiving, the Elf on the Shelf made her appearance, and it was so much fun seeing all of the mischief she got into and the kids' reactions. Cha is such a good, good man. I started wrapping presents this month and placing them under the trees. He was patient and somehow understood that they were not to be opened until Christmas. A conversation surrounding this would go something like this:
Me: We can't open these until Christmas.
Me: We can't open these presents until Christmas.
Me: We will open these presents on Christmas.
Aut is such a joy and a good, sweet girl. She wants to please and she wants to do what she is told. She plays so well with her brother. She is thriving in kindergarten, and has received only positive comments from her teacher. I was able to take some time off work and attend her class party which is so important to me and, to her. We are truly blessed and thankful, and will never forget the struggle to become parents. It has only served to deepen our love and appreciation for what I see as the most important job in the world: being their Mom.