We purchased Cora a special newborn sized Santa suit just so we could complete this trio:
It's a tradition Cora was largely unimpressed with, but she wore her suit with style and mostly good humor (as long as she wasn't in the papasan for more than 30 seconds at a time, anyway). As you can see, we did finally decide to decorate a tree. I found this tiny fake one we used to use when we lived in Chicago, put it on a table, put the tree skirt underneath, turned on some Christmas tunes, and let the kids go to town. Landon and Claire were thrilled and given that we head out of town tomorrow, I think it worked out to be an excellent use of resources. Next year though, the tree is going to be Big.
In other holiday fun, Claire had her Christmas Program on Friday night and she did great! I was by myself with Landon and car-seat-hating Cora, but after some initial reluctance that gave me visions of last year's ballet recital, Claire allowed Landon to walk her to her classroom for warm-up and then marched on stage with her class just like the teachers always assure me she does in the rehearsals! She was a penguin for the recitation of a Christmas themed "Brown Bear Brown Bear" and then sang Jingle Bells with great gusto. Landon also ended up on stage as one Transition class member was stuck in traffic. He performed well, as always (Landon loves a stage), and just looked like the world's tallest 3-year-old.
After last week's Santa-debacle at Sundance Square, we decided we'd drive over to the Dallas Arboretum in frigid weather early in the morning to make use of their Santa and the membership we bought at Halloween. As it turns out, no one wants to go to a giant garden on a lake with high winds in 28 degree weather and we had the whole place- including Santa- all to ourselves!
Cora is such a third baby. I think it was only 25 degrees out when we arrived. Santa is totally judging us.
Santa's reindeer also flew in for the occasion and Vixen was probably the only one perfectly pleased with the day's weather.
It had poured rain all day yesterday and the kids had so much energy we nearly had to kill them (at one point JP made them lay down on the floor with their arms above their heads. I walked in and asked what was going on and he said, "Oh, it's a new punishment. I really just wanted their bodies to be still."), so even though it was freezing and windy, we headed deeper into the gardens to let them run. Cora, snug in her snow suit, with a blanket over the car seat, and fast asleep because we were able to drive fast on the highway, didn't seem to mind.
We found ourselves in the new Children's Adventure Garden and it was AMAZING. Amazing. If you go to the Arboretum, find it, pay the extra $1-2 (free for members; or the employees were just too cold to collect the extra buck, I'm not sure). Today we were the only people there, so for two hours, we go to pretend like we owned the place.
There was a giant log, waterfalls, a vegetable slide, vegetable gardens, a giant kaleidoscope, an area you could design your own garden, a path inscribed with the Fibonacci sequence (squee! math nerd), solar panels, a wind tunnel, a giant planetarium, and exhibits on every outdoor biological/ecosystem/planetary/meteorological type thing you can imagine.
And, my favorite part, a giant tree house with nets hanging off the side you could jump and lounge in.
We went inside the "plant lab" so Cora could emerge from hibernation and drink a bottle.
And then we went back out to explore and run some more.
And then we came home and everyone ended up in timeouts much too soon. But now our bags are packed, the kids are in bed, our presents are wrapped, and our stockings that were hung by the chimney with care will travel with us to the lake.
Five stockings! I'm still getting used to that.
I hope everyone reading has a wonderful holiday week full of family, food, and fun, and a minimum of tantrums and timeouts. Merry Christmas you guys!
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