Tag Archives: christmas

2015: an overview

Since I rarely blog anymore and I like to use my blog to travel back in time and reminisce, I thought I’d do a 2015 timeline entry. 2015 was a pretty huge year for us.


  • Packed up all of our stuff and moved our family (including our 3 cats) from Los Angeles, CA, to Raleigh, NC (1/22)


  • Found our home (2/8)
    We went from 1300 sq feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms to 2600 sq feet, 3 (incredibly large) bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a YARD!
  • Experienced our first NC snow – first time either boy had seen snow (2/24)


  • Monkey started at a new preschool…
    …which was a disaster.
  • Monkey quit the new preschool


  • First Easter with cousins in SC (4/5)
  • Monkey loses first tooth (4/10)
  • Moved into new house (4/26)
  • The MM turned 2 (4/29)
    It was a quiet affair at home with balloons, gifts and cake. It was enough of a feat to get the sunroom orderly enough to put his new train table there.


  • The MM’s first hospital procedure/got front teeth capped (5/15)I didn’t blog or FB about this because I was actually rather embarrassed. The MM had some discoloration on his top 4 front teeth, so I took him in to the dentist for the first time in April. Turned out that it was decay (!!) and they recommended capping them. Since he was so young, it needed to be done under anesthesia (!!) in a local hospital (!!!!). I was freaked out about it, of course, so I got a second opinion, and, yes, this was the recommended course of action. I called every local ped dentist to see if there was anyone who could do this in their office and nope.I took him in super early in the AM after an overnight fast. They put us in a room to wait. They wait until they are in the OR to give gas to get them out quickly and then do IV, procedure. Then one of the worst things ever – they took him screaming and crying from my arms to the OR. It. Was. Awful. I waited for an excruciating 1.5 hours and then they brought me back to hold him as he came to. Again, just awful. He was so upset and disoriented. I nursed him, took him home, and put him to bed. He slept for a few hours (with constant Mama checks) and then woke up and was absolutely fine. And that was that. The capped teeth will fall out as normal when his permanent teeth start coming in.The dentist blamed my nursing him overnight as the cause of the decay, which is why I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I’ve read that breastmilk doesn’t pool in the mouth and lead to this problem like formula from a bottle overnight does. Who knows. I just know that I did what felt right for him and for me and that’s that.


  • Our first ER visit: The MM gets stitches (7/9)How we made it 5 years without an ER visit is beyond me. This one happened because Monkey was chasing the MM through the house and of course the MM fell right on the edge of the fireplace (Note: We’ve since purchased guards for the edge.) DW tried cleaning him up but we quickly saw that his poor lip was split. I first took him to Urgent Care as they said they do stitches. On arrival, however, they said since it was on the face, they wanted us to go to the ER.The MM was a freaking rock star. First they applied topical numbing cream with a cotton ball taped to his lip. Then they did some sort of nose spray that makes you very woozy and out of it. Lastly they sewed up his lip. Dude didn’t even cry during the stitches and barely did for the other stuff.He did great! And now he has a small bad ass scar on his upper lip. Dude has been through it this year.
  • Monkey started Kindergarten (7/7)


  • Trip to Wilmington (8/10)
    First time to NC beach for any of us. Granny came along (my mom). We went to the beach (but only for one day as the kids really wanted to be in the pool at the hotel), did a lot of swimming in the pool, visited the USS NC Battleship and NC Aquarium, and Mama and Mommy went out for dinner did the Ghost Tour.


  • Baseball for Monkey!

    This was actually t-ball, but ended up being coaches pitching. Monkey was much more focused and into it than he ever has been and did well. We found a great league nearby and loved Monkey’s coach (a former NY Yankees player!). We found that out when the team was invited to coaches’ house for a post-season wrap up. Dude lives in a freaking $2 milion dollar home! Cray. We just signed up for Spring ball and are really hopeful we are on his team again (his son is the same age as Monkey).


  • Color Run (10/3)
    Monkey LOVES to run and this seemed like something he’d enjoy. Did he ever! The whole family went but only Monkey and I did the actual run (let’s be real, Mama mostly walked). We got covered head to toe in colored powder, much to Monkey’s delight. Afterwards, they had a big dance party where they handed out more color packs and everyone got even more covered in color. On our walk to the car, there was a powder station that a bunch of kids were playing at (purple powder EVERYWHERE), so we stopped and let the kids go to town. You guys, they were seriously covered in purple powder. They loved it. Monkey still asks when we can do it again. LOL.
  • NC State Fair (10/17)
    Meh, we are not really fair fans, but the fairgrounds are super close and everyone said you must experience it. It was hot, parking was hell, there was disgusting fair food, there were smelly buildings full of farm animals, and overpriced tickets to ride crappy rides. Kids loved it – Mamas, not so much. Mommy was like, “We aren’t doing that again.” I was like, “You know you’re dreaming, right? We have kids!” LOL!
  • Mama starts new job (at same company)
  • First Halloween in new house
    In LA we lived in a security condo building so we never got trick-or-treaters. Monkey thoroughly enjoyed handing out candy. In fact, he cut his own TOTing short so that he could go home and hand out candy. DW also really did up the house for Halloween. Orange lights around posts on front porch, skeleton lights along front walkway, tombstones and flashing lights in yard, and spooky sounds via a speaker in the front window. Pretty impressive 🙂


  • Mommy’s band plays first gig
  • Mama has work trip to LA – first time away from the MM overnight (11/17-11/19)
    Highlights included staying at The Standard hotel, going to The Broad museum, partying on my last night there with my old gay work boyfriend (we did drinks at the rooftop bar at The Standard, hit Clifton’s for dinner, and walked around downtown LA, which is really lovely these days). Bonus? I was not at all homesick for LA – I was totally ready to come home to NC 🙂
  • Wean the MM (11/17)
  • First Thanksgiving with my family in SC


  • Monkey turned 6 (12/21)
    No party or huge activity planned this year, which ended up making Monkey sad. We hit up the local kid’s museum, went out for brunch and went to the trampoline place. Then home for gifts, dinner and cake. Next year we’ll do a party at our place.
  • First Christmas in new house
  • Mommy visited Grandma in LA (12/26-12/29)
  • Mama and boys visited family in SC (12/26-12/28)
    Highlights include exchanging gifts with family, visiting the Riverbanks Zoo with cousins, and seeing The Good Dinosaur.

So far, we’ve had a pretty busy January 2016 as well!

  • The MM saw his first movie in the theater – Hotel Transylvania 2 (1/3)
    We have a $2 theater near our house so we thought we’d try it. He did great and we’ve already been back to see The Peanuts movie, too.
  • Monkey received a character award at school for Respect (1/8)
    There were around 6 total character awards per grade. Very proud!
  • Toured and applied to a magnet school for Monkey for first grade (we find out if he got in 2/5)
  • Had our first snow in our new house (1/17)
  • Scheduled a tour of a local pre-school for the MM for next August (1/22)
  • Monkey’s first school performance (1/22)
  • Roller skating for the first time  for a school fundraiser (1/30)
  • Mommy’s band has scheduled their second show (2/6)
  • Researching soccer and/or karate options for the MM, and track options for Monkey
  • Work on potty training the MM (ughhhhhh)

Whew! Non-stop action over here.


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Protected: christmas 2013: a picture post

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eleven pipers piping, twelve drummers drumming

Topic: Song and Music

We are huge fans of Christmas music. DW has a few Christmas music blogs she visits and downloads new-to-us music from. We have a red iPod Nano with a TON of tunes on it. Our favorites have been the same for years, but it’s still fun to get new ones. Our very most favorite is A Big Band Christmas.

Followed closely by A Charlie Brown Christmas.

We also have Elvis, Johnny Cash, and many more big band CDs. Some recent favorites include The Surfers Christmas from Hawaii (different, but so fun) and Sufjan Stevens’ Songs for Christmas (OMG I love Did I Make You Cry On Christmas Day… like I can’t tell you). If you’re into the indie scene like we are, you’ll also like The Christmas Song by the Raveonettes and The Spirit of Giving by New Pornographers (I’m not even religious but Joseph, Who Understood totally makes me teary).

Topic: Traditions Marching On

This is a good one as we are looking to start some new traditions. We bought a nice wooden Advent box that we will put to use next year when Monkey is old enough to understand it. My family always opened one gift on Christmas Eve, so I’m thinking we’ll probably do that as well. DW’s family does the brown sugar cookies for every holiday, not just Christmas. One thing DW’s family used to do that was fun was to buy for each other’s stockings. When I “joined” the family, I got in on that one and I always enjoyed both the giving and receiving of the little gifties.

Please share any traditions that you have – maybe we’ll steal one or more 🙂

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

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eight maids a-milking, nine ladies dancing

Topic:  Holiday Eats
We have already indulged in too many holiday treats at our house. DW’s family recipe brown sugar cookies and several batches of fudge have been made and consumed. Doh! Sometimes we make peppermint bark with dark and white chocolate and crushed candy canes, but not this year. We also like to make a minty milkshake (vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, and peppermint schnapps), but we have yet to do that this year either.
Topic: Party Time!
The only holiday party we have gone to in years past was my company party, but they haven’t had one for the last couple of years. I’m fine with that. About 5 or 6 years ago, though, my company rented out the House of Blues and had a 70s cover band! It was really fun, even though DW was sick that year and I had to go on my own. I have lots of buddies at work, so I still danced the night away with my fave gay boys 🙂
We don’t have any friends who do holiday parties, and we’ve done just one that I can remember. It was only us and our 3 fave couples who hadn’t yet met each other, so not sure you’d even count that as a party. Still fun, though!

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Protected: seven swans a-swimming

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six geese a-laying

Topic: Gifts galore

Yeah, it really is gifts galore around these parts. I think we went a bit overboard this year, but Monkey is still young so there is time to correct that without him knowing it. It’s so hard to keep it in check when you have the money and desire to go nuts. I remember gifts spilling out all over the room when I was a kid and how completely magical it was. I’d like that for Monkey, but maybe without quite so much stuff. It’s also hard when his birthday is 4 days before Christmas. It’s a giftapalooza over here, y’all.

One thing my parents did that I don’t want to do is give so much from Santa. I remember most of my gifts were from Santa and I had maybe two small things from my parents. I want Monkey to know that we pay attention to his requests and for him to be grateful rather than simply take it for granted because “Santa brought it.” Not to mention I want the credit for the big gift! I’m thinking two or so gifts from Santa and the rest from Mommy and Mama. Those of you who are doing Santa, how are you planning to handle this? I like the Santa thing and had a ton of fun with it as a child, so I don’t want to minimize that. Surely there’s a balance.

All that said, I’m sick to death of most of Monkey’s toys and am looking forward to new stuff to play with!


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four calling birds, five golden rings

Yeah, yeah, I’m playing catch up 🙂

Topic: Holiday cards

I’ve always sent Christmas cards, but it is SO much more fun to do now that there is an adorable little guy to feature on them 🙂 We did a family shoot in November at the Getty Museum and they turned out great. I’ll try to do a password-protected picture post today or tomorrow and show you.

Christmas/holiday cards we receive get placed on the fridge if they are photo cards and on the bar if not. I’m thinking about doing something like this or this with photo cards from now on. I like the idea and I never know what to do with them when the holiday is done. It would be fun to store with our Christmas stuff and pull out each year at the holidays.

Also, how cool is it to get fun stuff via the regular mail?

Topic: Decor and baubles

I mentioned before that we do a woodland animals themed tree, but I didn’t mention our crazy adorable tree skirt, which looks like it belongs in a cabin somewhere. It is kind of a patchwork of plaid and corduroy fabrics and has a deer, a bear, and a couple of other woodland animals, as well as some pinecones and other such cuteness. It was expensive, but so perfect for our theme. I’m glad we got it. My MiL also got me a realistic looking black bear cub that I wanted a few years back. Our plan is to photograph the baby with it each year to see how he’s grown. He is already as tall as the bear this year! INSANE! He frequently hugs the bear 🙂

Other holiday decor includes a big collection of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer toys that DW displays in a scene or two (this is a small portion of the scene from the last time we put it up in 12/08):

We also have a wooden Advent box, an old-fashioned Santa with numbered blocks to count down the days until Christmas, and other small items. We don’t have all of this out this year, but we know Monkey will love it all when the time comes. Here is baby’s stocking, which we got this year:

In short, we love the holidays!

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three french hens

Topic: Travel Tales

We are usually homebodies for the holidays, but sometimes we venture out. Christmas 2008, DW, MiL and I went to my parents house in Charleston, South Carolina (they have since relocated – bummer as I love Charleston). It was the first Christmas after FiL died, so we thought it would be good to do something different, change of scenery type of thing. We had a great time! We did lots of touristy stuff, ate a bunch of delicious meals out, and enjoyed visiting with my parents and my brother and his family. I know it was still difficult for DW and MiL (and for me as well on a lesser scale), but I think it helped to be somewhere new and keeping busy.

Middleton Place Plantation, Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC

For the last few years, my company has closed the office for the week between Christmas and New Years so we sometimes do a 2 night trip up the coast a bit to Cambria, which I’ve mentioned before on my blog. It has been a favorite spot of ours for many years – we tour Hearst Castle, hang out on the beach, shop in the cute little town, and build a fire in our room. We are thinking about doing it this year, too. Better get on that!

Me in Cambria

I could definitely see us traveling over Christmas when Monkey is a bit older, but for now, I like having a cozy family Christmas at home. This year we aren’t even traveling to Grandma’s (she lives 45 minutes north of us). Instead, she is spending the night on Christmas Eve and will be at our house for Christmas day. Yay!


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