Welcome to the Christmas season where there is a party every day. At least that is the story for last week. Saturday, December 8th was the Lighted Tractor Parade and our Bethel Kids sang on a lighted float pulled by a tractor. Jeremy and Owen spent the whole day doing all things tractor parade while I spent the day with a potty training Graham (I’ll update on that situation later in this post).
Monday kicked off party week with our last MOPS & MOMSnext meeting of 2018. I love the MOPS & MOMSnext Christmas party. It’s always a good time! I also love that we only meet once in December, so in a way it feels like a festive way to bring on a small break.
Tuesday was my last book party of the season. Woo hoo!!! And it was my last book party for the foreseeable future. I’ve decided to give my Usborne book business a break in 2019. I will maintain my VIP group on Facebook, but I am not actively seeking book parties at the moment. UBAM has been such a great distraction in my life during a season where I needed to stay busy or go crazy. It’s given me so many rewards – the income portion is obvious, but also I’ve been able to get so many free books for my kiddos. I’ve been able to be an “adult” and work a job that allows me to contribute to our family. It’s been such a blessing. And because of that, I’m not fully pulling the plug on it quite yet. I’m taking a pause to see what my life looks without UBAM. I might really miss it and decide to go back it. I won’t make any big “I’M DONE” announcements because I’m not entirely sure I am. I just want to scale back my life and start 2019 with more simplicity. In less than a year, Graham will be in preschool a few days a week and I could see that being the perfect time to revamp my business. All I know is that I want to be more present now and less distracted.
Wednesday was my class Christmas party with my girls at church. Between the gingerbread house competition and our Christmas party, December is by far my favorite month to lead my class. The girl have a blast. We do a gift exchange. We play some competitive games for prizes and we close the night by decorating cookies together. And if you’re thinking what about the Christmas story? Where is Baby Jesus? We spent a whole class reading the Christmas story and talking about the true meaning of Christmas at the end of November as kick off to the Christmas season. Yes, we have a fun in my class, but you better believe those girls are going to get a Bible lesson about why Christmas is so special. We didn’t just stop at the classic Baby Jesus story, we went on to talk about WHY Jesus came, what it meant to humble himself to become a man and how he did this so we could have salvation. I want them to remember that Christmas leads to the Cross.
Thursday was my nephew Keegan’s 5th birthday party. The party was hosted at an indoor playground which my kiddos loved. Thanks to watching Blippi on YouTube my kids think the indoor playgrounds are the best thing ever. And truthfully, they are. If you don’t think about the germs. My kiddos ran around tirelessly with their cousins while I chatted with other adults outside of the playground. It was great to celebrate with Keegan. We are loving having both of Jeremy’s brothers living close by now. It makes it so much easier to pop over for a birthday celebration. We are grateful for the memories that we are able to make together.
To wrap up party week, we had a board and staff Christmas party at the church on Friday. There was a minor wind storm in the area that night and lots of people lost power – in fact across the street from the church was dark, but the church itself kept power. My sis and brother-in-law watched the boys. They love getting Auntie & Uncle time. The party was entertaining despite not winning any of the prizes and then Jeremy & I came home to put the boys to bed and binge watch Fuller House. That’s how we roll.
While it wasn’t a party day, Saturday was still festive. We went down to Portland and did Zoolights with Jeremy’s brother Nathan and his family. The zoo was literally a zoo with all the visitors there for Zoolights. I ran into my college roommate from Multnomah – that was a highlight. The night ended though with one of my nephew’s throwing up. It was an unfortunate end to the night. Then Owen got it the next day. Luckily, it was a quick bug. Owen threw up twice in the morning, took a good nap and was feeling perky afterwards. The tummy bug did keep us from attending the Young Families Christmas Party last night though. Since Jeremy is one of the group leaders, he packed up a crock pot full of meatballs and went without his family.
Now we’re into vacation time. Jeremy has the next two weeks off from work. We have some adventures planned and plenty of family gatherings to attend. I always look forward to this time of year when Jeremy gets be home with us during the day. It makes each day feel extra special.
Last but not least, I do believe it’s time to share the potty training update. As you know, I’ve tired potty training many times before. All attempts where stopped due to screaming. Graham would just scream – like a constant, wailing scream and I didn’t want to traumatize him, so I’d quit. This go around, I decided to be tough and persevere through the screams. Turns out that it takes a week and half of screaming to have a break through. I was so close to quitting to again and then the screaming finally stopped. The progression from screaming lead to going on the potty at our suggestion and has continued on to now he tells us when he needs to go. The last few days he has done all his business on the potty. I am close to officially declaring this child potty trained. Graham has been so different from Owen through this whole process. It’s like potty training for the first time all over again. Graham has had way less accidents than Owen because Graham’s MO has been to hold it when he is uncomfortable. That has been great for my flooring and furniture. About a week into potty training, we took him into the store to pick his potty training treats – we wanted him to tell us what motivated him. Turns out Twizzlers, Oreos and peanut butter cups were high on his list. We are now at the time where we are tapering off the rewards because wow… let me tell you… There were some crazy sugar high weeks around this house. Graham would just spontaneously run laps around the house or crazy dance as the sugar coursed through his veins. I’m glad to leave that nuttiness behind us and move on to maintenance mode. It’s hard to believe that we have summited the mountain of potty training and survived. We are still using pull-ups for outings, so it doesn’t feel like we’re completely diaper-less yet, but we are so close. The end of the baby-toddler season is really here. Graham is fully ready to be a preschooler now. It feels like it went by in a blink, but it also feels like a long time coming.
That’s the major update for now! I look forward to sharing more holiday cheer with you all soon. Wishing a merry and bright week before Christmas!