Tuesday, November 26, 2013

'Tis the Season

Around this time of year there seems to be the debate that retailers push Christmas earlier and earlier each year and poor Thanksgiving gets looked over.  Especially over the past few years when retailers began opening on Thanksgiving Day.  At first stores opened at midnight, then 8pm, and now some retailers open at 5pm on Thanksgiving Day to push holiday sales.  Will Black Friday cease to exist in the near future?

I used to be a firm believer in “No Christmas until after Thanksgiving”.  I wanted to properly celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  No decorations, no Christmas music, and certainly no Christmas tree until the Friday after.  This year is different.  My friend Carrie, who has had her Christmas tree up for weeks, inspired me by justifying that it’s more fun to celebrate the two holidays in one.  I truly enjoy the music, decorations and basically all things Christmas.  So why put it off?  Especially this year when there are only 3 weeks between the two holidays.  I've slowly started putting a few decorations up around the house and I've had Pandora playing a wonderful assortment of Christmas music.  I must admit, I’m thoroughly enjoying all the holiday cheer.  

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents a week early and because of my new approach to the holidays, we went all out.  We cooked a huge traditional Thanksgiving meal while listening to Christmas music.  We put up the tree and took our family Christmas card picture.  By embracing the holiday season as one, I honestly think I enjoyed myself more.  I also have found myself being more reflective on how blessed my life is and how thankful I am.  I don’t look at my new view as skipping Thanksgiving, but more as embracing the entire holiday season and enjoying it to the fullest.   

Now with this being said, you won’t find me out shopping on Thanksgiving Day to get an early start on my Christmas shopping.  I would much prefer to enjoy the day with my family and friends instead of random strangers looking for the best bargain.  But, I’m not opposed to the retailers being open on Thanksgiving either.  Working for a major retailer, I understand the impact holiday sales can have on a company.  Christmas time is the Super Bowl for retailers.  It’s a big deal!  If people want to shop on Thanksgiving Day, well the retailers will make that happen.  It’s simple supply and demand.  I commend the retailers that are taking a stand and refuse to be open on Thanksgiving, but I also don’t belittle those retailers that choose to be open.  Right or wrong, it’s what our society has transformed into and retailers and consumers both play parts in this ongoing debate.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Finding Indoor Fun

We are an outside family and most of our days in the summer were spent outside.  Mike and I were worried about keeping E busy as the weather turned colder.  So far we've been finding plenty of indoor activities to keep us busy and not get too stir crazy.  Here’s what we've been up to:

Wild Rumpus Bookstore – For any family living in the Twin Cities who have yet to visit this unique store, you must go now!  This place is so much fun for kids and parents.  Not only are there plenty of books to read, but you may find yourself sharing the floor with a chicken as you read your favorite story.  Yes, there is a chicken roaming around the store along with his friend the cat.  There are also two birdcages with parrots and doves, two chinchillas, and a ferret. 

A Creative Kidstuff is just around the corner from Wild Rumpus.  This store is so much bigger than the one by our house which means lots more toys to try out.  E loved "baking cookies in the kitchen." We spent an entire morning playing at Wild Rumpus and Creative Kidstuff. 

We are also fortunate that our community has Tot Time which runs November – March.  This is hosted at the rec center and basically they convert a banquet room into a giant playroom; bouncy house included.  It’s 3 days a week for 2 hours and costs $2 per session or you can buy a pass to save some money.  We've only gone once so far but will definitely be attending again.  E’s favorite activities at Tot Time are “mowing” with a plastic mower, playing basketball and of course playing with the trucks. 

I’m trying to do more arts and crafts with E.  I found a great homemade recipe for play-doh and he also likes coloring and “painting” with shaving cream.  I tried to introduce a glue stick to E but he likes to put the glue on his finger and then have Mom wipe it off.  He did this over and over one day, I finally put the glue stick up.  We’ll save that for a later day. 

Although I would much rather have the warm summer days of splash pads and playgrounds, I’m feeling better about keeping busy during the cold winter days ahead.  This has been an opportunity to try new things with E and go on different adventures.    

Monday, November 18, 2013

Baby 2 Makes 4


I love, love, love this picture!  It’s our first family picture of a family of 4.  I am so excited for this baby I can hardly wait.  April 28th is the official due date but with the complications I had with E, I will have a scheduled C-section most likely on April 21st.  I’m all for it.  I had an easy recovery from my C-section with E and being able to plan makes things so much easier with a toddler to take care of as well. The only bummer is that our good friends are getting married on April 26th in Duluth and I won’t be able to attend.  Mike is a groomsman so Grandma Sharon will be helping out while Mike is gone. 

We've been doing our best to prepare E for his little brother or sister but I’m not sure how much a 17 month old understands.  He’ll point or pat my tummy and say "baby".  We got one of my old cabbage patch dolls out and talk to him about how the baby needs it’s diaper changed and we need to be gentle with the baby.  Things were going fine until one day when Mike was holding the doll while reading E a story.  E didn't care to share his Daddy, and threw the doll on the floor.  I’m sure it will be an adjustment for all of us when Baby 2 arrives but I think of how much joy E has brought our family and Baby 2 will only add more.