Saturday, 4 January 2014

Bits of Our Christmas (1)

There were some rough spots, mainly being sick from weeks 2-4 of advent! Dani had a cold that was getting worse rather than better and lo and behold...double ear infection. Mila held out the longest but once it caught up to her oh boy. My heart broke to see her laying so listless on the floor, not wanting to move from the aches and fever. It troubled me to no end but really brought things into focus. I feel like some of my best mothering happens when my girls are sick...rubbing backs while they're throwing up, snuggling them on a pile of blankets--unconditional, selfless love in which nothing else matters. Back to our Christmas, though, which was perfect. I'll save Christmas day photos for another post because my computer is shuddering under all this uploading.

First things first, I never knew how much we needed a mantel. Maybe not need, I guess a mantle is more of a want. But boy am I ever glad we have one here on out. A whole new decorating surface! And it makes such a statement! I need to hang something in that big empty space, but I think I'm going to like this mantel thing, yes ma'am. My newest obsession took hold in early December (still wild about pom-poms though). Mini bottle-brush trees, bleach them white, then re-dye all sorts of beautiful colors. It's very seussian, no? I saw a pic floating around pinterest and then in a very timely fashion A Beautiful Mess posted a how-to. p.s. I totally googled mantel or mantle for spelling. 

 Other things I made this Christmas season...I finally finished Dani's Christmas stocking. I never did get around to making one last year but at six weeks old...she forgave me. Hers is the embroidered elf-girl one and I love how it turned out. Might be my favorite. Mila's is the sparkly red one with felt flowers--those were made last year for her whilst nursing nursing nursing a newborn. Steve's is the lone knitted one, made by me and there's somewhat of a story there but I'll spare you for now. Mine is the ragtag peach one. It started out as Mila's stocking but I never was satisfied with how the snowflakes turned out. I will say that for once I'm not loving how all our stocking are different...I'm the queen of NON matchy-matchy but I think there's something very traditional about matching stockings hung by the mantel with care. Still trying to figure out how I can marry the concepts of my homemade stockings with some sort of common thread. Maybe Christmas of 2014.

But enough about stockings, I made a couple other things. Even though I swore off the homemade dolls and softies after Mila's doll from this Christmas lost an arm and Huckle Cat lost both his eyes...I still ended up making a special doll for Mila and then one for Dani. Dani's ended up looking like Niki Minaj and her pink mop of hair is already coming undone. I may call do-over on that one (sorry Dani!). Mila's turned out perfectly. It was really sweet how the whole thing unfolded, actually; she's always leafing through my making-stuff books and I told her she could pick something out for me to make her. She firmly decided on the little boy from Wee Wonderfuls, "because I don't have any boy babies." Together we went to Joann's and she picked out the green corduroy fabric for his pants, his skin color, his hair, and I used one of her newborn onesies and turned it into a shirt. She loves it. And I do too.

But much more exciting than me making stuff: MILA made DANI a doll! They had these kits at Hobby Lobby with pre-made fabric dolls and you add the accessories. Mila had picked out a ballerina girl for her sister. And even though the double-sided tape it comes with to attach everything sucks, it's still a good little kit for a toddler (so long as their parent has a glue gun). The perfectionist side of me took a deep breath, stepped back, and let Mila affix the yarn hair all sloppy to her heart's content, with a nonexistent bun, askew tiara, etc. And it was wonderful--for her and for me. I LOVED having a special 'secret' project we worked on together over a couple days, loved seeing how excited Mila was to make something for her sister she adores. She even painted the box she gifted it in and helped write the label. Hands down one of my favorite moments of 2013, Mila giving Dani that little doll she made herself.

Dani got in on the making, too. Like I did with Mila just two years ago, her first painting was done on canvas and gifted to Steve. I have video footage, Dani Lu was NOT afraid to get dirty and all up in that paint and it was glorious. What a turkey she is. Another favorite moment, see the pictures below.

  • times I watched Love Actually this Christmas season: 1. My sister and I quoted it the entire time.          
  • This was the year Mila got a mini PINK tree in her room. I love it just as much as she does and we decorated it with hairclips and some homemade spin-art ornaments :) 

  • Because everyone got so sick and things were suspended for a few days there (all except for tv...oh how the media comes on when we're sick!), there were some things we didn't get to. I had wanted to take Mila shopping to pick out a gift for a needy child, Toys for Tots or something similar since we had missed the giving tree Sunday at church. Salt dough ornaments happened after Christmas and not before (still fun though).  
  • My Christmas fail: only buying one giant wreath at Michael's because I was being cheap and wanted to use a coupon for a second one as well, to hang a wreath in each of our dormer windows. Home Alone style. Of course they sold out for the season on my return trip. Hashtag next year.
  • My unintentional Christmas gift: Steve getting called off on a day where Dani hadn't slept the night before and getting to bake my heart and stuffings out the next day while Steve drove around so she could sleep. I baked and I baked. Chocolate cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, gingerbread loaves, gingerbread caramel corn, sugar cookies. The gift of time, every Mama's favorite.
And at the end of every day in December (well from the 4th on), no matter how harried and crazy (and miserable, when they were sick) it got, I always had this: I'd sit in the chair where I nurse Dani to sleep each and every night and from there, through two sets of windows, I could see the white lights twinkling in our tree. And all was well for those wonderful, calm moments. 

Also, huge for my mental state, there's been something about having a home to decorate that has made this place feel more like ours. Whether you do white lights for days the way I do or put lots of evergreen everywhere or glitz and's hard to not feel the warmth and love in a place all decorated for Christmas. It all came together, just in time. We're finally home.

our nativity

get it girl

very thankful I hadn't cloth diapered her in that moment

made with love by Mila

Santa 2013. The Weibel girls probably weren't his favorites.

Christmas Eve


store-bought wreath for our front door. money well spent...

...because this was my homemade wreath. i consider myself good at a few things...but wreaths just aren't my thang.

how Dani spent the first half of Christmas Eve mass. Steve waited it out in the car. Merry Christmas Eve, Dani Lu :)

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