We recently went to visit family for an early Christmas.  The Grandparents had visions of a perfect Christmas with all their children and grandchildren at home at the same time – we attempted to make their Christmas wish come true.  There were visions of toddlers playing nicely together, singing Christmas carols and opening gifts together.  There were visions of a family Christmas dinner – turkey, wine and Christmas pudding.  There were cute moments – making ice cream with their grandpa, playing outside, seeing Santa and taking a Christmas train ride.

But the reality of the trip was:

  • 5 days of no sleep.  As in Little MPB fought sleep with every ounce of his tiny little body.  Mr. MPB and I took nightly shifts with a toddler screaming, crying and ultimately watching Paw Patrol until he fell asleep.  He averaged 4 hours of sleep per night.  Which meant, we averaged 4 hours of sleep per night.  Through pure desperation naps were forced through car rides around town.
  • Little MPB is cutting his first 2 year molar.  We can only assume this contributed to the sleep problems.
  • When I wasn’t with Little MPB at night, I slept on the floor.  My whole body hurts.
  • The toddlers fought with each other, more then they did anything else.  One loves to give hugs, the other needs personal space.  There was no explaining this to two children under 2.  91% of the time they did not coexist well.
    • They opened Christmas presents at different times.
    • They fought over toys.
    • They played in separate rooms.
    • One got upset a bit more frequently, the other learned to taunt and make it worse.  (Little MPB was the taunter).
    • One liked to hit, the other did not like being hit.  (Little MPB was the hitter – a skill he’s been perfecting for a few weeks now regardless of all our attempts to redirect him).
    • One liked to throw things, the other did not like random toys flying their way (Little MPB was the thrower – another skill he’s been perfecting for a few weeks now regardless of all our redirection attempts).
  • There were no adult visits after the kids went to bed.  Mr. MPB or I were always in our room trying to keep Little MPB calm because if he screamed, he woke up the other toddler and the baby too.
    • Adults weren’t able to open gifts together.
    • I missed family meals.  Mr. MPB missed family meals.
  • Mr. MPB and I argued, sleep deprived fuelled arguments.  Heck, we even argued via text when it was the only possible way to have an argument. If we weren’t arguing we were bickering and just barely co-existing.
  • I ate horribly unhealthy for the entire visit as my MIL refuses to accommodate my inability to eat MSG (I get severe migraines from it). I lived off bread and bananas as to avoid making myself sick.

Needless to say, as we flew home and I look out the window I was thrilled to see this ‘vacation’ come to an end.  The misery was over, because no matter what, at least noe we will be attempting to sleep in our own home.  I have never in my life been so excited to get home.  The combination of an unbalanced diet, lack of sleep, sleeping on the floor and constant arguing has left me physically and emotionally drained.

We may never leave our house again over night.  Except for next year, because there is already talk of making this early Christmas a family tradition because the few good moments were truly amazing.

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Crafting

I made a craft.  Not the cristmas craft that’s been sitting on my kitchen table for a few weeks, but another craft.  

Well, I shouldn’t take all the responsibility for said craft.  Mr. MPB helped.  And Little MPB even attempted to help too.  Although I’m not quiet sure what Little MPB contributed should be called help.

It wasn’t the hardest craft ever, but I’m not particularly crafty.  So, I am considering this a massive success anyways.

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A few years ago a bunch of pinecones ended up in our backyard from our neighbours tree. We collected them, shoved them into a garbage bag and tossed them into the garage to do something with them one day.

Well, Mr. MPB got sick of the bag of pinecones taking up space so he decided it was time to do something with them.

We had an extra string of tiny lights, so all we needed was a some sort of pinecone holding device.  We were thinking an oversized glass vase, but after searching 5 stores (with a toddler in tow) we were ready to give up.  But at store number 6, our last store, I found an overly large glass house thingy.  It was more expensive then we would have liked, but we had no patience left and just needed something.  So, we bought this overly large glass house thingy:

So, with a helpful toddler, a lot of pinecones, a simple string of lights and an overly large glass house thingy, we managed to put everything together to create a something kind of nice.  And as a craft challenged person, I love how easy it was.

I think it works as a Christmas decoration, but I also think it works year round too as there is nothing overly Christmassy about it – rather it’s more about bringing a touch of the outdoors indoors.  In the end, as an added bonus I think the overly large glass house thingy is perfect because unlike the oversized glass vase we had envisioned, Little MPB actually cannot get inside to play with the pinecones which means I do not have pinecones all over my house.  Instead when the lights are on, he points at it and says pretty while trying to unlock the door (because he is a toddler after all).

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