I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

I know. It’s July. But I’m already thinking of Christmas.  I start early!

Last year I made the tough decision to not unpack all my boxes of Christmas decorations. Yes, all my garlands, ornaments and the Christmas village stayed in their boxes. The train set was not put under the tree. I just didn’t have the energy to unpack, decorate and then pack it all up again a month later. I couldn’t think about protecting all those things from the hands of two little girls who would un-decorate quicker than I could catch them. I thought if Buddy The Elf could make his home look festive with paper crafts, so could I!

So, all that we took out were the Merry Christmas sign (I made out of an old fence board) and Snowman (my sister made for us out of the same old fence!) for our porch and the Christmas twinkle lights. We did go and cut down a tree….I tried going without that one year when our oldest daughter was a baby and that was too much of a sacrifice! I love the smell of a tree (and no, the evergreen fragrance candle did not work)!

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DSC08299_cropThen I got out paper and and my paper cutter! We made the rest of our decorations. I probably spent $10 on paper and cellophane. I used wrapping paper, ribbon, cellophane and toilet paper rolls for the candy ornaments (which could be filled with real candy for Christmas Eve!). The rest were one inch paper strips stapled into shapes of ornaments and hearts. We also made paper chain garlands to hang around the windows and snowflakes out of old rolls of fax paper (it’s nice and thin to cut!).  I remember making the heart decorations in school the winter we spent in Sweden.

Our oldest daughter really enjoyed making the decorations. I had fun as well! She loved helping decorate. I brought out our box of supplies when family came over also.

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Here’s what the tree looked like when we were done. You can see some of our snowflakes hanging off the candle holder on the ceiling. I just used mono-filament thread to give it an airy look.

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They would move around the ornaments on the tree and redecorate. And after a few days  the girls had ripped and torn apart some of our projects. Oh, well! Notice the bottom half of the tree is bare!

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At the end of the season we were able to just toss everything but the lights. The pack rat in me wanted to save them, but I knew that was beside the purpose of having a homemade Christmas!

I got all the festivity without all the stress!

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Together Forever

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When I’m out with our 2 year olds, the inevitable conversation is;

“Are they twins?”

“No” I say.

Then…”How old are they?”

“Two years old”

“Are they both yours?”

“Yes.”

“But they aren’t twins.”

“No, they are a week a part.”

“How does that work?”

“One is biological and one was adopted”.

“Oooohhhh…”

Now sometimes I get asked the first three questions and then I just keep walking… snickering to myself. The confused look on some peoples faces are priceless!

Other times when asked I just say “Almost!” and keep walking….

So far, only one person has caught on after I say that they aren’t twins both are both mine that one was adopted.  I was actually impressed. I guess it’s a hard thing to grasp.

It’s been a fun experience. Having almost twins has made us baby-proof our house to extreme measures, half our furniture and nick-knacks are now in the garage…half their toys too!  They teach each other things! Climbing out of the crib at 16 months made me almost cry since I was pregnant. I had planned for them to stay contained till they were 3 at least!

When I was in the hospital with our littlest one, my sister texted me that they figured out how to climb over the yard fence. They were 21 months old! Last week they just decided it was easier to just unlatch the fence and run across the street and down the ally to the house with the swing-set.  Carabiner  clips now lock the latches. Guess what my husband is doing now? Installing boards on the fence and taking out the wire fencing. Maybe at least that will slow them down!