December always goes so much faster than I expect it to. Here we are on December 13th, the month nearly half over, already over half-way to Christmas. If the first half of December went this fast, then how fast will the second half go??? There is still a lot to be done before the big day, like most of my shopping, wrapping all of those unpurchased gifts, writing my Christmas cards (oh yeah, I still need to take the picture of the kids I put in the card every year), and I kid you not, ALL of the baked goods I made for the hopes of squirreling away for Christmas have been dashed. Between me and the kids, nothing has survived. Poor Scott hardly got a thing! Not that it should matter too much to him since he’s in a weight-loss competition for work right now anyway. And while maybe I should be just a little bit concerned about the amount of stuff yet to be completed, I’m not too worried. You see, Christmas came a little early here this year…
The Sunday after Thanksgiving, the kids and I spent the day cleaning up decorations from Thanksgiving and fall, and we put up our other decorations, and Peanut, Miss Lady, Doodles, and I went out to cut down a couple of trees for this years Christmas season. (That’s Miss Lady carrying a tree into the house in the picture below… Peanut’s head is just sticking out above the van, and he has an even bigger tree. But don’t worry, I’m not forcing hard labor on the kids, the trees are light, and they wanted to bring them inside!) Miss Lady and Peanut helped decorate both trees. In fact, aside from stringing up lights and putting some ornaments on the high up parts of the big tree, they did it all themselves. It’s a Charlie Brown tree, and not at all decorated like I would have done on my own, but it’s cute and scrappy and plucky, just like the kids.
Where were the others during all of this? Well, E was passed out in bed… it was a long weekend, and he just wanted his sippy cup and his crib. Scott and Pumpkin were off to get our big Christmas surprise… a puppy!
The kids loved her right away, though E was a bit unsure at first. It’s been 2 1/2 weeks now, and things have calmed down some. The initial excitement has worn off, and we’re workig to find a rhythm that works for us. She’s doing a pretty good job of potty training thus far, and at 10+ weeks, I can’t really expect much more of her. She understands her name (Poppy, by the way, and no, not after the Troll character), and some basic commands, though she still needs to work on it. This Christmas gift wasn’t really able to wait until Christmas to be given. We’ve been talking on and off for over 10 years about getting a dog, and we would have gotten one after moving here if it weren’t for the fact that I was pregnant with E at the time. This summer with all of the predators nearly brought me to the point of picking up ANY dog to keep the raccoons away, but common sense prevailed, and we waited. In fact, we knew that with the road trip in November, the soonest we’d want to get a puppy would be sometime after we returned. We almost waited until spring, but I’m glad we didn’t because we would have been too busy with chores to focus on training a puppy.
The plan then became this: if we found a puppy in time for Christmas, we’d get it right away… if we couldn’t, we’d wait until spring so potty training wouldn’t happen during the cold of winter. Thank goodness, the first week of her being here, the weather was pretty warm, so when I had to get up a lot in the middle of the night I wasn’t totally freezing. Of course, the snow started to fall after the first week of having her, and it has been cold when I take her out, but I’m mostly taking her out 1 to 2 times a night, so it’s not that bad, and she doesn’t want to be out in the cold, so she does her business as fast as she can. I am most definitely glad that we got her when we did, but it’s been so long since I was around a little puppy during the training phase that I forgot how time-consuming they are. It’s like having a toddler and a baby rolled into one, and I already have one of each. Well, I guess Doodles isn’t so much a toddler anymore, but he’s still rambunctious and very curious! And E is beyond babydom at this point, I guess. He’s 19 months old, walking, talking, sleeping in a toddler bed, drinking out of cups… but he’s still just little enough that he needs me a lot. Thank goodness puppies grow fast and train faster than children do! Needless to say, I’m tired and a bit exhausted right now, and I haven’t gotten nearly as far on my list of preparations this season as I would have liked, but I’ll get there. I’ve been introducing her to the chickens so that she learns off the bat not to chase after or eat them. So far, it’s going well. We’ll see how it goes in spring when they’re all running around outside together! The kids have been great about helping me get her out to the bathroom, training her and playing with her. For now, I’m in charge of all feedings because of the potty training, but you can bet that once she’s fully trained, the kids will be helping with that as well. Now, if only she would sleep through the night!
Over the weekend, the kids had their final German lesson assignment. They performed a variation of The 3 Little Pigs (along with their classmates) at a local historical center (where they were having their Christmas weekend), along with a few songs they’ve been learning. I wrapped the few Christmas gifts I already have, and I started making a doll for Miss Lady for Christmas. Early last week (or maybe it was the week before, I can’t remember now), I made a clock for one of my nephews, and I made some hand cream (which is like a lotion) from the Boot Camp. My hands are loving it because of all of the handwashing I’ve been doing taking care of the puppy. And we have another Christmas event tonight, a short church service followed by a party for the kids religious ed. class.
Oh, and there were two other gifts that came early this year. I was given a new laptop. Alas, the hard drive must have been faulty, and I was only able to use it for a week, and we still haven’t gotten it fixed/replaced. Sad, since my old laptop doesn’t work, and the only way I can write is on the desktop in my sewing room… problematic when there’s a puppy to watch, and I need to keep the kids out of my sewing room because of gifts and such. The second gift was truly a surprise, and whether it was meant as a Christmas gift or not, I’m not entirely sure, but it was a sweet gift nonetheless. A packaged arrived one day with this honeypot inside! A gift from an extended family member and blog reader. Thank you! It’s beautiful! (I haven’t gotten honey into it just yet, but that’s because our house is cold and honey crystallizes easily here. I have to figure out a spot to store it where that won’t happen 🙂
Well, that’s all I have time for today. I’m hoping to write more soon, but with the chaos of the season and a new puppy, I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you! Hope your preparations are going well!
P.S. Peanut got a gift as well… his chickens hadn’t started to lay any eggs before the cold came, and we figured we’d have to wait until spring to get any, but after putting a light on in the coop, one of his hens laid this beauty! I also wanted to show you just how excited E is about his St. Nick’s stocking 🙂 He’s getting so big!