A First Thanksgiving? Well, Not Exactly.

It’s my favorite holiday.   I look forward to it every year.    The food is the best, the time with family is awesome, and some of the best football games of the year occur on Thanksgiving.   Last year, Davey was a mere two months old.    He slept for the most part and the only way he was able to really partake in any of the food was through my milk.    Not so great.   This year was a completely different story.

So, how did I spend my Thanksgiving, my second as mother, but my first with a child that is able to understand more of what’s occurring?    I spent it the way I always spend Thanksgiving…with family eating good food watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade (the Rockettes are my favorite) and watching a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

The day started out much like any other, with the exception of my husband, who rose much earlier to hit the woods with my dad for what is starting to be yet another Thanksgiving tradition…a morning deer hunt before feasting on turkey.    My husband and dad have both informed me that within a few years, this will be a tradition Davey will be able to take partake in as well.   I’m not so sure about that…he’ll be much too young to have a gun.   

After a morning of lying on the couch, both of us still in our pajamas and watching the parade, Davey took a much needed nap before we headed over to my parent’s house.    My parent’s house has become a bit of a landmine these days as my son reminds me of a bull in a China shop.   My mother has much too many Christmas decorations and trees up, all of which seem to be breakable and expensive.    So, instead of relaxing for the afternoon, my husband and I spent it chasing after our son, taking knick-knacks from his mitts, and moving obstructions before he decided to not so delicately remove them himself.   

Finally, dinner arrived and we sat around the big dining room table like we always have.    Our seating arrangements have changed over the years as we’ve lost both my brother and my uncle (two of the biggest proponents of Thanksgiving I’ve ever met).  My husband took over my uncle’s seat at the other head of the table (opposite my dad) and my son was able to sit at the big person table, albeit with multiple beach towels under his high chair.    And I must say, I am so proud of my boy and how well he ate and the fact that Thanksgiving appears to be a favorite holiday for him.   He ate healthy portions of sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, dressing, turkey, ham, cranberry sauce and even pumpkin roll, cheese cake, and peanut butter pie for dessert.   We were able to sneak in a few green beans (by masking them with the macaroni and cheese which saddens me as I LOVE green beans).  

Another holiday first (although it was technically a second) is in the books for our clan.  Next up is Christmas and I can hardly wait to see how Davey reacts to it. 

It was nice and magical to experience this Thanksgiving with my son, to watch his reaction to so many different things and to see him explore and enjoy the day as much as me.    Now, onto the leftovers!

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My Husband’s Child

“This is normal for every child.”

“He’s exploring.  It’s a learning experience.”

“Just move everything out of his way and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches.”

These are just a few of the comments I receive from other mommies when I ask about how or if their kid(s) are into everything like mine.   I know it’s normal for babies to be this way, but my mother swears that I never was.   I hate to accuse her of being a liar, but if I was really the complete opposite of my child then I was an anomaly.

Davey is exhausting, at least for me he is, which I know comes with the territory, but unfortunately my mother instilled a false sense of reality all my life when she would tell people that she never had to move things from my reach.   I can recall how she would tell family friends and cousins who had babies and were stressing about their littles being into everything.   She couldn’t fathom it because she swore that I and my brother were never into anything.

As I blogged earlier, I’ve started decorating my house for Christmas.   6 trees this year instead of 7, just because I don’t have room for one of them thanks to the influx of all of Davey’s toys.   As a matter of fact, I’m re-evaluating the lay out of the family room right now to accommodate the tree.    And I’m re-evaluating what I’m going to do to ensure that the tree remains standing and in tact at least until December 25th.

When I’ve told people I’m putting up all of my trees, the look of shock that rolls across their faces is quite humorous.   “You’re going to wear yourself out watching Davey.”    Of course, I find myself just laughing it off because the words that continue to travel through my head are from my mother.

“I never had to move anything or worry about a Christmas tree because you and your brother NEVER touched it.   You never gave an inkling that you had a desire to touch it.”

Unfortunately, Davey doesn’t seem to have that same inkling as me and my brother.   For the most part, he’s left the trees alone (and I attribute that to the fact that I’ve put them up but don’t acknowledge them), but he still wants to grab at everything else including the little trinkets I place out on the tables.    So, I can’t help but wonder if my mother is trying to make me and the general population believes that she had everything under control or perhaps my brother and I were indeed the exceptions to the rule.

I actually decided to ask around to people who knew me and my brother as a child and the general consensus was that we never touched anything.   There was never a worry about us pulling a tree down or breaking decorations.   While we weren’t perfect children, we weren’t the types who my mother worried about bringing into someone else’s house.   So, all of this leads me to Davey and where he gets his incessant desire to touch everything…HIS FATHER!   This is obviously a character trait passed down from him.

Yesterday, as a matter of fact, Davey did something I had been bragging about him NOT doing, and of course I blamed it on my husband.   He hasn’t touched a Christmas tree, but yesterday as I’m carrying his laundry upstairs, he takes it upon himself to pull a few of my ornaments off the tree!   I’ve told everyone that he’s been a perfect angel, I guess the jokes on me and reality has officially set in.   He is indeed my husband’s child.  🙂

It’s The Most Wonderful Season of All!

Santa has his own helpers and now Mommy officially has hers as well.

This past weekend was the official start to the Christmas decorating season in our household.   I am guilty of being the type of person who starts decorating even before all the Halloween candy has been handed out.   In my defense, I do have quite a few trees to put up and I really would like to enjoy them for more than just a couple of days.

Last year, I only put up two of my seven trees.   I was a working mom then with a 3 month old baby.   I had no desire to spend my two-three hours of a day I had with him on Christmas decorations.   This year, since I am a stay-at-home mom, I have the time to be able to jump back into that tradition I so look forward to every year.

While my husband was hunting, Davey and I decided to decorate the first of 6 Christmas trees (one will not be going up this year as Davey’s toys are now occupying the space once reserved for that tree).   I pulled out my Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr., Dean Martin, and Michael Buble cds, placed them in the cd player, put it on shuffle, and away we went.

I blame (or I should say thank) my mother for my over-zealot desire to decorate all things and to do it early for Christmas.    She’s always been this way.   I can remember as a child, the most exciting time of the year was the Saturday my mother decided to pull all of her decorations down out of the attic.   It was a family event.   We all worked to carry box after box into the living room, making sure to keep a walking path (which is really all the room there was) so that we could reach both sides of the room.   I was happy to help my mother, to listen to her and daddy reminisces about the ornaments that were being hung or the decorations being placed.   It was one of the many happy times of my childhood.

Davey is a mere 13 months, much too young to really comprehend the meaning of Christmas, much less my desire to make all things beautiful and festive.   He isn’t too young to explore and be fascinated, though.    And watching him look at the first Christmas tree I put up, with wonder and twinkle in his eye, brought back the warm fuzziest of my childhood.   I love this time of the year and not just for the superficial reasons but also because it is a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior.

I can’t wait until Davey can understand the stories of my childhood that I’m telling him as I decorate the tree (he didn’t show much understanding over the weekend).   I can’t wait to tell stories of Jesus’ birth as we sit by an open fire, listening to Christmas music and eating popcorn, which is something we did as children.

Basically, I can’t wait to start new memories with my baby!