Skip to main content

Another beautiful Christmas

Christmas this year was blissful. Having gone out of town a week before, I did not get everything done that I wanted to before Christmas. There was so much to do and so little time to do it in, but I did the things that were the most important and just let the rest go, and sometimes that's all you can do and that's okay. We decided to keep things simple and quiet this year, and that's exactly how it turned out.

We came home from LA in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, the 19th. We were up bright and early to make it just in time for the annual Jingle Jog at school. We've been going since our 6th grader was in kindergarten and it's always a fun thing for the kids. They dance to silly songs, take a lap around the soccer fields, and then go inside for lunch in the cafeteria that the students have decorated for the holidays. Since we had both still been asleep when the big kids left for school, it was the first time we had seen them since Monday night and there were happy reunions between Raya and her big kids!
*sniff sniff* Last Jingle Jog with my big 6th grader! *sniff sniff*

Friday evening, the big girls had their first piano recital. They've been working really hard on their recital pieces and both had them memorized and did a great job!

And this child doesn't seem to understand lately that not everything is about her. She insisted on having her picture taken at the piano too.

After the recital, we had a Christmas party to go to so the kiddos stayed home and we went out by ourselves. This is what it looks like when a kid takes our picture:

 The Sunday before Christmas, we got everyone dressed up in their Christmas clothes and did the annual family picture in front of the tree. But first, this girl had to get her picture taken by herself.
This is as good as it gets with a tripod and remote!

My baby is growing up way too fast. :( She is such a sweetheart!

We spent Christmas Eve with family about an hour away. We always look forward to our Christmas Eve get-together! This was my 13th Christmas in Arizona, and it turned out to be the year that my tastebuds decided that tamales are tasty. I have tried one every year and had not found one that I liked yet. The ones my in-laws bought this year were out of this world and I wish we had more of them!
Cousin love!

Decorating "safe" cookies for Santa

We were a little short on boys for the Nativity so Raya got to be Joseph. With a sparkly headband.

She is such a ham!!

Sometimes you take 10 pictures and this is as good as it gets.

Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus

The whole cast

Family picture with Grandma & Grandpa (oh, Raya...)

The annual picture in front of the tree before bed with the plate of cookies for Santa. 

Christmas morning was fabulous. The kids were all excited and grateful, and watching them made us happy. It doesn't get much better than that.

Baby's first Christmas!

Fruit snacks for breakfast

All I really wanted for Christmas was for this little stinker to snuggle with me

Santa brought Raya a new bike with training wheels. It was a tad too big for her.

She went right over into a bush the first time she tried to go around the corner. Oops. We adjusted her training wheels and she's done great with it ever since.

December was incredibly stressful for me for many reasons. I did the best I could to focus on the spirit of Christmas but it was still hard to feel the peace & joy that I wanted to feel. All of the anticipation and stress started to subside when we left for the Christmas Eve get-together. I think the best gift I received was finally being able to relax and enjoy the time with my family. We had such a nice Christmas break and I truly enjoyed having the kids home with me for 2 weeks. (I can't always say that...)


  1. Your family is seriously just so stinkin' cute :)


Post a Comment

All comments will require approval from blog owner prior to being published.

Popular Posts

Adhesives Part 1: Adhesives & Taping Techniques for NG tubes

This series has been a long time in the making. Back when Raya got her NG tube, I had no idea there were so many different adhesives on the market. At the hospital, they had used some kind of fabric tape in a box that had to be cut with scissors and that was the ONLY thing we accidentally left at the hospital. Raya caught her little pinky finger on the tube a couple days after we got home and the only medical tape I had ended up bringing home was Durapore. This tape is VERY sticky, very strong, and definitely not the best option for the tender little cheek of a 2 month old baby. A couple days later, we went to the GI doctor and the nurse saw the tape and told me that Duoderm would be much gentler on her skin and she gave me a couple of 6x6 sheets to try out.
That was the beginning of our trial-and-error process of figuring out which types of adhesives were better for all of the different things we used them for. This will of course NOT be an exhaustive review of every adhesive out the…

Sensory Processing Disorder: How to Make a Weighted Blanket

Lately I've been toying with the idea of making Raya a weighted blanket. She loves heavy things and has a lot of sensory seeking behaviors in regards to proprioception. Translation: she craves sensory input that helps her to gain awareness of where her body is in space, and it takes stronger than average input for her to get the feedback that her body is craving. (or at least that's how I understand it :) She seeks out "heavy work" activities, like carrying heavy things, pushing heavy things around on the floor (chairs, full laundry baskets, etc), and anything that gives heavy resistance to her muscles and joints. Lucky for us, carrying her backpack is a good heavy work activity because the poor kid gets to do that for a few hours a day. :)
The idea behind a weighted blanket and other heavy work activities is that when the child gains greater body awareness through proprioceptive input, the nervous system can be calmed and the need for constant fidgiting, moving, jump…

Feeding Tube Terminology: G tube words

One of the many things I didn't have a clue about before Raya got her G tube was the fact that there are LOTS of different kinds of G tubes, all with similar but different features & functions. Some of the terminology that was tossed around in the beginning was very confusing. When I met with the surgeon to pick out a button for when Raya's initial tube was ready to be changed, they pulled a bunch of tubes out of a cupboard, put them down on the table in front of me and said, "What kind do you want?" I had NO idea what to pick, all I knew was that anything would be better than what we had at that point.

Here are a few things I wish someone could have explained to me before Raya got a G tube:

1. What the heck does PEG mean?
PEG stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. In other words, a gastrostomy tube is placed through the abdominal wall using an endoscope to visually guide the surgeon to the best location to place the tube. The term PEG is used to refer to …