So we're back! We're in school and work and the pool and we've got our groove on and we're whittling down the days until Christmas break. And they are going to be some crazy days: science fair (Landon), the spelling bee (Landon), the talent show (Claire), a ballet recital (Cora), battle of the books (Landon), and a bunch of parties (everyone!). Luckily my Christmas shopping is done, my cards are on their way, and I'm genuinely looking forward to all of the above.
Except maybe the science fair project. It was due on Monday. The Monday after Thanksgiving/Mexico and that was a terrible thing, but Landon worked hard and did great and we didn't help (though I did suggest some color pairings for the board; his taste runs to the clashing) and no one cried.
And, we found out today, he got a 2nd place ribbon! Very exciting. And not just because it's the highest place you can get without having to do more work to then go on to Regionals.
Also over the weekend, Cora graduated to a new big girl bed!
Well, newish. It's an altered version of her crib and the first time we've ever stopped at a toddler bed, but I love the open space in the middle of their room and you can't fit two twins along the walls. So toddler bed it is! For as long as Cora's body fits inside, which is going to be forever because I'm renewing my pagan sacrifices to get her to stop aging.
She has freedom! It's going really well. She has yet to get out at night, but does get out each morning to go pee pee "IN THE POTTY" and not her bed, as we have struggled with for the last month because while she was totally potty trained, she was not able to climb out of her crib, and her big sister was too exhausted from being the world's most excited 1st Grader to wake up to help her. So goodbye to cribs and setting alarms to help Cora pee, and hello to dry sheets and occasionally not knowing where Cora is.
And as happens at every milestone I feel like I should be excited about, I'm really just sad I don't have any babies left to put in a crib. But I'm glad Cora's so excited.
She's also really excited about the new lunchbox she got to debut on Monday. It's been a big few days for her.
Claire got to go to the TCU tree lighting ceremony on Tuesday night with a friend and then met up with another friend.
Friend #1 took her from Science Night and then Landon went home with another friend so a tired Cora and I got to go home early. This small town city life thing is just the best.
Also this weekend, I decorated the house for Christmas!
And then went to At Home, Michaels, and Homegods and bought a bunch of new decorations to add to the festive look of the house for Christmas! I just love it.
I've promised myself that next year I won't need to buy a single thing.
And that might even be right because I FINALLY found something to put over the mantle. We don't have many shelves or surfaces to decorate, something I normally love, but I like a little oomph at the holidays and switching out our art makes an impact. Plus there's a hole in the wall over the mantle because the last owners had a TV mounted there, so I need something solid to cover it.
I accidentally found a few other things at Homegoods too, like the perfect print for the girls' bathroom wall and a small picture frame with a gold mirrored sunburst patttern just begging to sit on our mantle. This is why I only go every 6 months. There's always so many things that promise to make my home so beautiful.
While I was buying beautiful thing, James spent a million hours on a ladder hanging a million lights in our tree. He is justifiably proud of his work.
"Someday," he says... "Someday I'll cover the whole tree." We're only another million lights short.
Food!! After eating out every meal for 6 days, all I wanted was cozy, homey things. We had some great food on the trip- amazing ceviches, sushi, avocado on everything, and lots of french fries at the swim-up bar. So now I wanted soups and things you're never going to be able to order from roomservice. Like the best soups and our family friend's jambalaya. It's a cozy kind of week.
Saturday: Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup, crusty bread. Delicious.
Sunday: Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. This was SO good and so much easier than the recipe I used to use.
Monday: Turkey tenderloins, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, sauteed green beans, rolls (with the help of Trader Joe's, we're recreating the Thanksgiving meal we missed and it was delicious, particularly the turkey. You should all go make that.)
Tuesday: Spaghetti with tomato basil sauce, wolfed down before/after Science Night at school
Wednesday: Creamy Chicken Enchilada Chili. This is SO good. Served with cilantro, lime, chips, and cheese on top. I also frequently add rice to the bottom of each bowl before ladeling the soup, mostly because James needs to consume 10,000 calories a day to avoid wasting away and there isn't enough chili for that.
Thursday: Pasta bake: homemade sauce with chicken sausage, ground beef, spinach, shredded carrot, lots of herbs and cans of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste, simmered forever and mixed with a pound of penne, a container of ricotta cheese, and baked for 30 mins with some mozzarella on top. Basically lasagna, but you don't have to layer it.
Friday: Debbie's Jambalaya. Best recipe ever.
Also food related, these little bites of dark chocolate covered magic are BACK! When I spied them in Trader Joe's and then engaged in a FIERCE inner battle over whether to buy them, knowing I would be the only one who eats them because James is broken inside and doesn't like the combination of mint and chocolate (or mint and peanut butter; I know), Landon saw me and exclaimed, "Mom! Remember when you ate all of those in 2 days last year?"
Oh I do. This year it took me 3. With age comes wisdom and great control.
And semi-related, I'm jumping back into the workout world this week! On our trip to Mexico, inspired by the advertising of their gym and yoga classes, I packed workout clothes. I never unpacked them, but still, that I even thought about it is a significant step for me. I taught barre the day after we got back and it was as painful and wonderful as I expected it would be. As was my OTF workout the next day. It continues to shock me how much I enjoy the running. I feel so much stronger every time I get on the treadmill, it's a powerful thing.
Tuesday: C2 Yoga
Thursday: Cyclebar spin class
Friday: Teaching barre; C2 Yoga
Saturday: attending Cora's ballet recital and possibly chasing her around the stage
Sunday: C2 Yoga
And now it's 5 minutes to midnight and I need to get in bed. Work is super busy. November me made promises December me finds unreasonable. But it's good. My house is sparkly. I've eaten a tube of dark chocolate covered peppermint Oreos. And I ran 3 miles today faster than I ever have. Bring on the new month!