Christmas is Coming.

I have a desire to write today, without simply saying the same things I’ve been saying for two weeks.

Ronan is still sick.  I am now sick.  If his poor little throat hurts even a fraction of what mine hurts, he is in some serious pain.

He woke us all up with his coughing all night last night.  How can anyone get better without sleep?

There.

I’m done with that.

Christmas is coming up.  I know you know it.  I bought our first Christmas tree for our family this year, and it actually had me excited for Christmas for a few days!  I’ve done a little Christmas shopping, we have Ronan mostly bought for, but I can’t help but start to feel the pressure again.  Who do we buy for?  Do we do Christmas cards?  Should we take a Christmas picture?  I don’t know when to start decorating.  I have an urge to do it now, but I feel like it’s a bit premature.  I hope I still have the energy to do it in a few weeks time.  I might have to ask for some help!

I always start out with the greatest of intentions, and somehow it all gets lost in the jumble.  Last year, my mom and dad were here for a few days so we did some Christmas baking.  It was really wonderful, and I find myself aspiring to do it again this year… only this time it will be solo.  Mom kept up with the baking while Dad and I ran out for a few things we needed, and she kept Ronan on the floor by her the whole time.  It didn’t even begin to phase her.  The ease and comfort with which she handles everything makes me envious.  I want to be able to do things like she does.

Brock and I have also talked about what kind of Christmas traditions we want for our family.  This year may be the first year we stay at home for Christmas morning, rather than spending the night at Grandmom and Granddad’s.  Ronan is getting old enough to understand a little about what is going on, and we want him to remember Christmas mornings at home, and Christmas evenings with family.

I wish I had unlimited funds, and didn’t stress out about buying for everyone I care about.  I wish I had the time and energy to be crafty and give home-made gifts.  I wish I lived a little closer to my family.  I hope the Christmas bug bites me hard this year… it’s been a while.

The Long Awaited Christmas Post!

Well.  After nearly 4 days of trying to figure out how I was going to get my camera back from Brock’s parents house, I found it in the diaper bag.  Epic fail.  Better late than never, right?  [Warning: this post is picture heavy.]

I want to start out by sharing a Christmas tradition Brock and I decided to start for our family.  We want to continue this as our children grow, and have it be something they look forward to every year just as much as they do Santa.

LEGO!

We bought one of the Lego City sets that has over two thousand pieces.  Our plan is to always build them together as a family on Christmas Eve.  We started it this year, and it was a rousing success.  After we put the little ones to bed, we broke out the instruction booklets.  They were more like novels.  There were three tiers to the “Corner Cafe” and six of us to built it.  It took us nearly four hours.  I would love to say that I took pictures of the whole process, but I honestly forgot to take any pictures until the very end.  Everyone had so much fun, and thought it was a great idea for a new tradition.

The ground level.

Bottom two floors.

The final structure!

Allender Christmas Tradition!

Christmas morning, Brock, Ronan and I were the first ones up.  We made breakfast, and waited for everyone else to get up.  Ed was next, then Thomas.  Ted and Jane woke up, and we all ate in the kitchen while we waited on Brady.  Brady is a NOTORIOUSLY late sleeper, and nearly impossible to wake up.  Brock finally took Ed and Ronan downstairs to try to wake him up… and he came upstairs immediately, upset that we hadn’t woken him up when everyone else got up.  Sorry Brady. 🙁

On to the presents!  Jane handed out all of the gifts.  Ed got RIGHT into it, he had no problem figuring out the point of presents, nor how fun they were to tear into.  Ronan ripped open his first package, and was content to play with the paper from that for the rest of the morning.  It was so much fun watching the kids get excited.  Ronan and Ed got pretty excited too.

My best gift?  The complete set of Sex and the City.  (Home Run, Jane!)

Brock’s best gift?  Ahahaha, his new PC.  Or his new TV.  But he also got a Keurig one cup coffee maker, which rocks.

Ronan’s best gift?  Over all, probably the ball pit.  But on Christmas day, the drum was a big hit.

Ed’s best gift?  Check this out.

Hope everyone had a wonderful, happy, fun-filled Merry Christmas!

So this is Christmas.

Aren’t we funny sometimes?

Dad and I went out last night, and were looking for some movies or TV seasons to buy and watch.  As we were walking through Target, we found a couple things each of us might want.  I was looking at the complete collection of Sex and The City.  It was on sale at Target for $99.99  which is actually really good.  Dad asked me if I wanted him to buy it for me.  I laughed, and said, “No, dad, you don’t have to buy me anything.”

He said, “Your mother and I want to get you something, Mand.  We WANT to get you a gift for Christmas.”

The funny thing is, I consider them being HERE my Christmas present.  And yet, I still want to get THEM the perfect gift.  Even though Brock has gotten a new computer, and we have a new TV, I feel like I really need to get him a gift.  Something sweet, and thoughtful. I haven’t once thought about something that I want, or something I would like someone to get for me.  Above all else, I want everyone to get something for Ronan – clothes, books, and movies.  I know he wont know whether or not he gets things, or how much, but I so much want this to be a great Christmas for him.  It wont bother me if I don’t open a single gift on Christmas day.

I want to buy and buy and buy for everyone.  I love to wrap gifts, and I love to see people open what I get them.  Strangely, though, I always have a really difficult time thinking of ‘thoughtful’ gifts to get everyone.  I find myself wondering, every year, what to get and how much to spend.  It’s so stressful, and really I just want it to be fun.

I haven’t decorated at all, and I wish I could do that, too.  Finances just wont allow.  Maybe next year?

I’m just thankful my family is here, everyone is having a wonderful time, and I get to share my son with my parents.  That is the best gift I could have asked for.

Hey Santa…

I didn’t dress Ronan up for Halloween, and I really regret it already.  All of the cute babies in cute costumes?  I don’t have a picture of that!  Ronan is going to be 10, and ask me where is the picture from his first Halloween, and all I’m going to have is this.

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I think I’ll just tell him he hated Halloween so much, he wouldn’t let me put him in a costume.

Anyways, we decided to get Ronan’s picture taken with Santa.  We expected the line to be hours long at the mall, so we got up early, got Ronan dressed in his Christmas outfit, and headed in anyways.  We were ready for the long haul.  Brock parked the car and Ronan and I went in to get in line with the thronging hordes of parents and children, all eagerly awaiting their chance to sit on Santa’s lap.

We went down the escalator, around the outside of the “Snowglobe Village” and… there was no one there.  I double checked the schedule – yup, they open in 15 minutes.  Seriously?  We’re the only people here?  The first ones in line?

Awesome.

Brock went and got us each a coffee from Starbucks (Grande Decaf caramel latte for me) and we waited for them to open.  In that time, NO ONE else showed up.  I guess we picked the right day to go?  Hey, I’m not complaining!

Ronan wasn’t really into it.

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When they opened up the line, we walked around, set our coffees down, and asked Ronan very politely to try to make it a good day for Santa.  Since he was the very first, he was going to set the day up for the old man in Red.  I don’t really know that he was listening.  Brock, instead of just handing Ronan to Santa without letting him see who was holding him, decided to try to introduce them.  Santa said, “Just turn him around and put him on my lap or he’s going to scream.”  Evidently, we are Santa-Baby Noobs.

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Ronan sat for all of 3 seconds before he started screaming.  Arching his back, throwing his elbows out, and yelling at the top of his lungs, he just wanted OUT of there!  I ran over and sat beside him for a minute, and had Ronan calm down… and then asked “Can we try one more time?”  Santa didn’t look very hopeful.  Actually, he was much less than jolly about it.  He said, “I guess.”

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In the end, Ronan tried to look around and see who was holding him, and Pro-Santa dodged his line of sight.  We kept him from seeing who was holding him JUST long enough to snap this picture, and I’m TOTALLY happy with it!

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Yay for Ronan’s first Christmas Picture!

Super Duper Wife.

I think I’m the best wife ever.

Not really, but I love to make my husband happy, and I want him to get things that he wants.

We live like we’re broke 99% of the time.   We don’t eat out, we don’t go and buy whatever we want, and we don’t have super nice things.  We’re the only couple of all of the people that we know that don’t have an awesome home-theater system, haven’t just bought a new house or made any other big purchases of that sort.   But we’re happy with what we have, and we’re also the only couple that has gotten married and had a baby all within the same year.

We live like we’re broke, and it has allowed us to survive while paying off our debts.  It has also allowed us to save up a cute little nest egg.  This Christmas, I told my husband to get a new PC (the one he needs for when Starcraft 2 comes out.)  He’s been shopping for parts for MONTHS now, and quite frankly – I’m tired of it.   I want him to just get it over with and purchase the damn thing so I don’t have to keep hearing about this cooling system, and that motherboard.  Which video card?  I don’t care!  JUST BUY IT.

In return, I’ve sort of had my hopes set on a pretty little digital camera.   I’ve been thinking that if Brock gets his PC, perhaps I could get a new camera and indulge in my favorite pastime a little more seriously.  Bouncing back and forth between a new entry level Canon Eos T1i… or a Canon 5D – used. I couldn’t really decide.   I would end up spending about the same amount, but there is a vast difference in the camera quality.   Do I really want to go used over new?

Now, it DOESN’T MATTER.   Because I’m the BEST WIFE EVER.  And we found a great deal on TV’s.  So, I let Brock order a new 46 inch Samsung LED TV.   AND get his new PC.

Wow, are we just being frivolous or what?

We have been dealing with so much debt over the last few years.  It always seems like things have been hitting us harder and harder.   First the wedding, then honeymoon, then baby-stuff, then medical bills.  Now that we finally have it all paid off, it feels really good to spend some of our hard earned money on US.

And hey, it’s not like I’m not going to enjoy the new TV as well.  New camera will just have to wait a while.  And I’m okay with that.