2014 flu bye.

Vivi

We all ended up with various stages of the flu over Christmas, all of us except Addie. I take this as proof that she has officially outgrown that kid thing where they lick weird and random stuff. Vivi on the other hand, stand close to her for too long and she will for sure lick you.

Vivi

I’ve been stuck in a bit of a funk, the fourth annual Midwestern winter funk.

A friend’s dad has been struggling with depression and anxiety for a long time, and earlier in the month he tried to take his own life. Her dad and I are very similar in how we experience our depression, and I wonder if there will come a time when I’m just too tired to fight back against my depression. Like if my emotional strength is similar to my immune system and over time it will just grow weaker until it betrays me and takes me out.

If that’s the case, is this the happiest I’ll ever be?

Don’t think about it too hard if you do deal with depression because it will make you really depressed. (Which is why I stopped thinking about it and focused more time and energy on petting my cats.)

Who else is excited for a shiny fresh new year? I’m okay to see 2014 change over, even if it changes over to three more months of cold gloom.

At least it won’t be 2014 anymore!

Vivi

ten.

Thanksgiving 2004.
Swimmin1

day one.

Casey_Addie_0187

one.
One Year. Hated Cupcakes.

two.
the moosh.

three.
Barbie the Island Princess and her little cake too.

four.
four year old wish.

five.
my five year old. on her birthday.

six.
six candles

seven.
7th Birthday

eight.
Friday - Disney Cruise

nine.
Addie's 9th Birthday Party

ten.

10th Birthday-1

Ten is a real kick in the face.

Happy birthday my love.

Spiders, cake, and princesses sum up your current existence perfectly.

NOTHING. JUST KITTIES. (vivi’s christmas list)

I decided to go headfirst into this whole Santa thing, and you know what? I’m SO GLAD I DID. Last year Hallmark sent me a pack of Northpole Magic Mail but I didn’t do it for whatever overwhelming reason. Tonight I pulled it out as a test, I gave the wish list to Addie and asked her to fill it out for the entire family.

“Vivi! What do you want Santa to bring you?”

“KITTIES!”

“What else?”

“NOTHING. JUST KITTIES!”

Addie took that as her cue to fill up the other 27 lines with her requests. She squeezed in a few for Cody, the cats and me at the end as well.

The thing about this paper, you have to put it somewhere cold and a magic message shows up. I wasn’t quite sure how to convince Addie her letter to Santa had to go in the freezer, but I took a deep breath and said “Hey, you know how everyone travels through fireplaces in Harry Potter? Well, Santa is trying out something new this year, he’s using freezers to get his mail this year. So when you’re done you have to put your letter in the freezer and sing “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” while knocking on the door.”

She totally did it.

She opened the door immediately and was bummed the letter hadn’t disappeared. I made her wait another minute then open the door.

“It’s still here! It’s not gone!”

“Well, freezer mail is kind of new, there’s probably still some bugs to work out. Does it look any different?”

“No, it’s just my lett…MOM! THERE’S A MESSAGE ON THE BACK! SANTA WROTE BACK!”

christmas card.

In that moment of squealing  joy I’m so glad I didn’t break the news to her, she still wholeheartedly believes. She’s not doing it for me or for Vivi’s benefit, the kid *believes.* Cody looked at me from across the table with a “Uh-huh, who was right on that one?” look.

He was totally right.

The message disappears completely after being outside the freezer for a minute or two, so the rest of the evening was spent with our two little girls putting their letter in and out of the freezer, out of their minds with excitement.

If you have little kids you need to get some of this stuff, and you can totally use my freezer mail story because it’s brilliant. We have last year’s version, which means I’m going to be getting this year’s version so I’m all caught up for next year. $7.95, seriously.

While I’m all high on Christmas spirit, decorating our tree the other night with Vivi was the absolute best. She’s old enough now that she doesn’t just throw the ornaments at the tree hoping they’ll stick. The John Elway ornament I bought Cody our first month together always goes on first, front and center. Addie has amassed quite the collection of ornaments over the last 10 years (she chose Elsa this year, normally our tradition is to go into Hallmark the day after Thanksgiving and pick out our annual ornaments but when I saw the pre-order option back in July, I jumped on that.) Vivi chose Olaf this year and if you come over she’ll probably make you give him a warm hug.

Christmas Photo Attempt 2013

Vivi puts our nativity to bed every night and each day Addie explains how many days until Christmas (and her birthday) are remaining.

I’m excited for this year, and I have Cody and your comments to thank for that. So thank you, sometimes we think our comments go unnoticed on the blogs we read, but I assure you every one gets read and they really do matter. It may sound stupid, but Addie still believes in Santa because people spoke up and told me I was wrong.

On Not Giving Up Santa Just Yet

When I told Cody my plans on breaking it to Addie that Santa isn’t real, he grew three inches taller and said “Don’t you dare.”

It turned into quite the discussion with valid arguments on both sides. In the end he made me promise I wouldn’t tell her the truth and if she did have questions I was to send her to him.

With a heavy sigh of defeat, I agreed.

After reading the few comments on the post about breaking the news to Addie and thinking about Cody’s side of the discussion — I was wrong. I still very much want her to believe in Santa, but (maybe you can understand this) I don’t want her to get made fun of. Maybe she has figured it out but won’t say anything because she too wants to hold on to her belief. Vivi on the other hand is all revved up about Jesus’ birthday, Christmas, and Santa. Trying to keep her enthusiasm under control has only been manageable because I have my precious little Addie who makes sure her little sister understands everything there is to know about how we do Christmas.

Cody said this may be the only year we get where they both truly believe.

He also said it’s one of the few remaining parts of childhood she has left.

One of the comments from my last post was from Jill, “…I genuinely hope that he never tells me that he doesn’t believe and that I’m still wrapping presents from Santa when he’s twenty-seven years old. I know…this is my issue and not his, but it’s the one place I just don’t want to see him grow up.”

That’s EXACTLY how I feel, but I figured if someone had to break the news to her it should be me, right?

Addie turns ten in less than two weeks and it’s such an overwhelming transition for everyone. Double digits. I’m more than halfway done raising her to legal adulthood. It’s gone by so fast, when I think I was only 19 when I got married my brain shuts down. She’s still so little in so many ways: she loves to snuggle, she still loves to play with toys, play pretend and play dress-up. But she’s so big, her feet are two sizes smaller than mine, she’s on a 9th grade reading level and is doing 6th grade math. She asks grown-up questions and is capable of telling jokes and puns that are actually funny.  The other day she when she was reunited with Vivi after school she took to caring for and playing with Vivi the way I used to watch grown-up girls play with her when she was a baby.

When I started this blog 8 years ago vs. today:

paddythennow

Oof.

Benefits Of Giving Up The Santa Gig

This is a sponsored post. I received compensation from Visa/Gymboree to buy my products and use its Visa Checkout online payment service, but all thoughts reflected here are my own.

Hey Kid,

I have good news and bad news about Christmas this year. The bad news is that at some point between today and Christmas I will tell you that Santa isn’t exactly the guy you thought he was. I’ve seen you become more skeptical as years have gone by and it’s been an awful lot of work to keep up the Santa gig on our end, so this year it ends — and knowing you, you’re going to like playing Santa for your little sister even more than you ever liked the idea of a jolly old guy in a red suit stuffing himself down our chimney. Take comfort knowing your gifts will make it here, Santa or no Santa.

November 2014
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