Monday, November 30, 2015

Gingerbread Houses

Frosting Before I ever got pregnant, I had a vague list in my head of Fun Holiday Things we would do when we had kids. I imagined taking (well-behaved) little girls wearing patent-leather mary janes to see The Nutcracker. I pictured us lighting advent candles and decorating the tree with Christmas music playing.

So much of my desire/ability to make the most of the Christmas season died with Eliza. Things I'd previously looked forward to became reminders of everything I was missing, and even now I feel a little twist in my gut when I turn the radio dial to Christmas music: "All I want for Christmas is you..."

I'm easing my way back into the holiday festivities. I don't think I'll ever feel quite the same way I once did about Christmas, but I imagine now that it's really very few people who celebrate Christmas without some kind of pang of loneliness or sorrow or regret.

Having little ones here has both forced and eased my re-entry into the world of Christmas. Zuzu's enthusiasm is contagious: "Is it Christmas?" she asks on a daily basis.

Today, she and David built the gingerbread house that Elsa the Elf/Elk brought her as a bribe gift. It was so cute to see them work on it together.

We had one unfortunate incident when Coco grabbed a gingerbread man included in the kit, then Cooper snatched the gingerbread man from Coco. Zuzu was determined to hold the other gingerbread man for safe keeping, but she dropped it, and Cooper moved in quick, snapping him up.

Many tears were shed for the gingerbread men. RIP, gingerbread man. Cooper apparently found you delicious, and hopefully you were non-toxic.

There were a few moments--when Coco was fussy and trying to grab things and then the girls wrestled over a bag of candy, and Cooper was sticking his nose in everything, and David was trying to facetime his grandma, and honestly I wondered whether this project was worth the hassle. But Zuzu was so excited, and really thrilled with the final product.

It was sweet to see her so proud of herself. She decided to display her house on the mantle so that Santa will be able to see it when he comes down the chimney.

Two things about this photo: (1) David asked if he could lift her up there for a photo away from Cooper and Coco, and she said, "But don't put me in the fire!" (2) I don't think Zuzu looks much like me at all, with her double chin in this pic, she kind of resembles the round face in my little kid pictures.

We still don't have our tree up or our decorations out. We usually do that stuff Thanksgiving weekend, and had originally planned to come back from visiting David's grandma on Saturday night so we'd have Sunday at home to do that stuff. But with cousins in town that we rarely see, we wanted to make the most of our time with them, so we waited to come home on Sunday.

When we got home, we discovered our heat was not working. We've had a sticky/pesky valve on the furnace that my dad was able to get working a few weeks ago, but it has decided to quit us for real. David called about a repair, and the part plus labor was going to cost us almost as much as a new furnace if my dad bought it with his contractor discount and installed it for us. So, Merry Christmas to us! We bought a new furnace for each other. 

Thankfully, my dad was able to drive up tonight so we only had to spend two nights huddled up in front of the fireplace and sleeping all in one bedroom with a space heater going. It feels very Little House on the Prairie, except with a space heater instead of a wood stove.

And honestly, I'm okay with delaying the decorations a little bit... I need to ease my way into the holiday spirit. The gingerbread house definitely helped. Frosting and gum drops are paving the way.


  1. This is my first year starting to enjoy the holidays again since I lost my daughter (definitely helps having my son here and old enough to get a little excited about the festivities). But sure enough I turned on the Christmas music last night and the first song that popped on was "All I Want for Christmas is You" which pretty much left me in a puddle!

  2. I don't have decorations up either, but I DO have Thanksgiving decor down so there's that. The plan is to do it throughout the week. We shall see.

    I appreciate how much the kids' excitement is contagious - I imagine for all you with losses in December, your living kids' joy is especially brutiful.

  3. It is ridiculous how well I'm doing this year now that all our Christmas decorations burned up. I could win for Queen of morbid I'm sure. Doing just fine with our newly bought light up flamingo and tiny tree in a pot thankyouverymuch.
    I really should look into therapy again.

    1. Hmmm. Maybe I should donate all of mine. Or set a bonfire in the backyard. Hah.

  4. We have nothing decorated. I fell out with the plague this weekend and as much as I thought I could rally and put out stockings, I couldn't muster the strength to get down the stairs, let alone make it back up. (No heat reminds me of the few times our gas was cut off because we couldn't afford to pay the bill. Space heaters and a wood burning fireplace are life savers.)