Mother’s Day

This year I want to give a shout out to all the great, hard working and dedicated moms in my life. I have many ladies that I consider adoptive moms, and growing up I was luckily to have each of them for a multitude of reasons. My biological mom, of course raised me, taught to me walk and talk, excel at school and manage money intelligently, and be independent, in addition to doing that as a single mom for what I would say are the tougher years in a kids life (teenage), and coming out alive afterwards. I was an angel…for most of it. My mother-in-law, who raised a kind, sarcastic, supportive man that I would eventually meet, marry, and survive triplets with; is a tough woman who is always up for a new activity or challenges, handles my kids like they are easy to handle (a feat in itself), and whose “never sit still” attitude is quite the blessing.

One of my absolutely favorite mom photos ❤

On the non-blood related side, mothers are trickled throughout different stages of my life. It’s fun to think back that one of these ladies (Anne, i.e. “Mom Burge” in my phone) first knew me and my life long best friend (Janelle) when we were still bumps in utero, and I love that she she now gets to enjoy watching her granddaughter and mine grow up together! Of course we can’t forget my teenage adoptive mother, Shelly, who I spent countless hours with over many years, cooking and talk to about boys; she always welcomed me into her home and let me crash anytime. Some of my fondest memories to date are at her house, surrounded by a group full of friends, delicious cooking, and boisterous game nights. Looking back, I also can’t forget the mom (Cheryl) who had me over for more sleepovers than probably anyone else in my childhood, disciplined me when I wasn’t obeying (and probably needed to haha), and let me grow up feeling like I had a sister.

Now not to get all mushy on this holiday, but I will say Mother’s Day takes on a whole new meaning when you become a mother. It is an excruciating amount of work by the day- and the night- to keep three littles successful, thriving, happy, and not completely burning your house and/or sanity down; it’s still not a job I’d trade for anything. A lot of days are hard, juggling a busy, full time job, household, and life, but when you have a supportive and exemplary partner, it goes a looooong way in my success. In fact, I easily admit my life would be so much more chaotic and difficult if I didn’t have Craig in it, who is also a rock star (he can wait to have his praises sung until Father’s Day next month!)! It is only fair we have a day committed to us, after all the puking, pooping, breast milk shenanigans, lack of personal space, lack of sleep, total household messes, and complete change from life before kids. But with that also comes the joy of watching them grow up, the love and snuggles, the dependence of a tiny human on you, and the fun watching them morph into their own, unique personalities. It is quite the experience for sure.

I asked the girls on the drive home from school what their favorite thing about me is, and their responses were:

Harper: my favorite thing about mom is when she sits in my room while I sleep. Sounds creepy sure, but that just tells me that she feels safest and coziest when I’m close by, so I’ll take it as a compliment!

Emerie: my favorite things about mom is sitting with her and listening to Elsa together. She said listening, not watching, and it’s likely because we listen to Let It Go multiple times, every single day of our lives, and that is love right??

Reagan: my favorite thing about mom is playing with her. This is a good reminder to remember sometimes chores can wait. Go be present and play while they still want you to!

The preschool class worked hard on a flowerpot hand print artwork project this week. When Harper tried to show it to me early, her teacher convinced her to wait until it was done and ready on Friday pickup. After a few mind games of close your eyes, look at this, don’t look at it yet! I read through their synopses of me and a few produced some chuckling (order is Harper, Emerie, Reagan):

My mom’s name is: Rebecca

My mom is: 26 / 16 / 23 years old.

My mom looks beautiful when: it’s summer / she wears a dress / it’s girls night

My mom laughs when: it’s Christmas time / we wrestle / we do silly stuff

My mom is really good at: cooking / soccer / painting

When I am at school, my mom: works / working at the airport / is at the airport

The best thing my mom cooks is: chicken nuggets / pasta / mac n cheese

My favorite thing to with my mom is: play with her / play hairdresser / making cookies

If I would by my mom a gift, I would buy her: a drink / a toy Elsa / a bracelet

I love my mom more than: playing outside / Elsa / pancakes

They are all clearly informed on what I am doing while they are at school each day, and like all the kid food cooked for them. Craig is much more exciting on the cooking aspect of our lives, so it’s funny they claim I am a good cook! Reagan picked up on the fact I actually put makeup on to attend girls night, while I don’t believe I’ve worn a dress even once for Emerie’s entire life! And Harper would buy me a drink…words of wisdom. I then asked everyone their favorite things about both of their grandmothers, and here are their responses.

Favorite thing about Grandma Sue:

Harper: ummmmmmm, playing with her when I was a baby, and playing with her when I go to her house. When she cooks yummy food.

Emerie: washing dishes with her and reading books with her (I tried to clarify if washing dishes meant cooking and she said no, washing dishes!)

Reagan: making donuts and eating the dough with her when she makes it

Favorite thing about Grandma Anne:

Harper: playing and finding treasure with her.

Emerie: only playing with her.

Reagan: playing with games with her and when we were babies and played with her.

This year I woke up to a wide-awake Emerie, holding a nightlight in my face and yelling, get up mom, we want to go to breakfast! Best part about that was it was 8 AM, which is quite rarely a morning wake up time in my life. It also didn’t phase the sleeping child next to me (Reagan), who was not as excited to move from her cozy sleeping spot and head out to breakfast. We enjoyed a day of sun and playing. Summer is finally here!

A mother’s love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.


Happy Mother’s Day! ❤

Waiting for Spring

Over the past few weeks we’ve had some grumps rummaging around our house, not wanting to settle down for bedtime and acting crazy; and the fighting! But we’ve also had girls mostly sleeping overnight in their new bedroom setup; which is in fact, a miracle. Harper and Emerie haven’t missed a single night since it was built, with Harper waking once or twice and going back to sleep with a bit of coaxing and Emerie getting up and using the restroom, then going back to her room and back to sleep without any assistance. Other than the one potty incident that required her (and me apparently) to sleep in Reagan’s empty bed, she’s been a rock star!

The guestroom bed remains untouched after three weeks and it might be a record, or should I say in “record time.” Reagan, on the other hand, is now more vocal in her snarky comments to sleep in your bed forever, and is entirely against any other options. She claims she doesn’t like to be alone in her bed– at this point we remind her both sisters are in the same room overnight, every night…After watching her sisters both get a tiny, stuffed bunny reward for 10+ days in their bed; she is now concerned she won’t get one and has compromised (in her mind) and given us a few kid free nights. Either way, it’s definitely progress and so far the new bed isn’t broken yet.

A few nights ago was a rough evening, from daycare pickup to bedtime, the girls kept talking back, arguing, throwing fits: being downright unkind to each other. The prior bedtime was late and everyone was clearly running short on a full night of sleep. At one point in the evening Reagan pointedly informed us that Grandma Sue is the smartest person we know, and that it wasn’t either of her parents with a huff. She followed that up with a teenage type comment that she knows everything about HER life. It’s good to know we are already hitting the teenage attitude at age five and looking forward to what a decade from now will be like.

Then no one wanted to get in their beds and settle down. During all the arguments and excuses times three, Emerie was whining my legs are soooo tired and that she couldn’t climb the FOUR stairs up into her new bed, so Craig did his dadly duty and shuffled her up there in one fell swoop. In that moment, she turned to him with unwavering, confident eye contact and said daaaad, I wanted to climb the stairs MYSELF! Parents are not kidding when they say that most kid fight outcomes don’t involve winning, when all options somehow equal a loss for the adult, no matter what choice you choose. In that moment Craig and I both cracked a smile and she knew she wasn’t in trouble and laughed too. Kids can be so silly and so fickle sometimes!

Winter colds finally caught up with us Easter week and somehow Craig and I both contracted strep throat. It’s been over a decade since I’ve had the pleasure, and somehow none of the kids caught it, but likely shared it with us somehow. On day three of my soar throat, Harper began barking orders because Mom’s sick, which meant trying to bring me a Pedialyte popsicle, a warm blanket and telling me to relax and take a nap on the couch. When I refused the popsicle offer, she informed me that is what she gets when she is sick and I should comply. Quite the little nurse when she wants to be.

Easter this year was pretty chill. With the multiple inches of snow falling over the weekend, it still doesn’t feel like spring is around the corner, but we tried to do a few things anyway. Once Craig and I were feeling a bit better we took them to see the Easter bunny, and it was quite a different experience than last year. They immediately ran straight to said bunny, asked him a bunch of questions all at the same time, and Harper instantly snuggled up next to him and provided hugs. Needless to say, snapping an insanely cute photo took about thirty seconds.

I should also share that it was about twenty degrees outside and yet all three demanded to wear the dresses we wore to the daddy/daughter night. Oh and when can we do that again? If you look closely, each dress has bunny ears and, of course, rainbow styled tutus. No, we had the pleasure of carrying their coats around the store because they wouldn’t wear (or carry) them; and yes, they wore dress up heels out in public in the winter. But excluding all of that, the picture sure turned out great and we all survived.

We didn’t let the falling snow stop some easter egg fun. Since the jump park was closed, Craig entertained the tiny humans for an hour at the fast food play-land while I somehow conned older cousin Corbin to hide the eggs in the frigidly cold and snowy backyard. My original plan to toss them off the deck seemed less efficient than convincing an eight-year-old to do my dirty work, and he willingly went out into the cold and hid them. In reality, everyone spent maaaaaybe five minutes out there in coats and gloves, and we will probably find the rest of eggs later this year once the huge snow drifts melts.

Jenny and I hid the rest of the eggs around the entire house while Corbin worked to make them a bit harder to find- those ones we found throughout the rest of the day. The girls started out sharing with each other, and somehow Emerie managed to convince Corbin to collect for her and fill her basket up. Everyone shared their colors with each other until I convinced them they could choose any color. This year’s eggs were filled with chocolate kisses, M&Ms, pennies, gum balls and smarties-pretty much anything I could find in the cabinet.

Everyone devoured their Easter baskets and nibbled on their hollow chocolate bunnies for a few days. It was a sugar filled day, and yet by the time it all wore off, they were so tired and ready to go to bed that they requested it. This was also the snowiest easter for the past several years, meaning we spent most of the weekend continuing indoor winter activities to avoid the lack of spring outside.

Hopefully by my next post we will be out of the eternal winter and into spring, breakup and a lot less snow. The girls consider to hold the parents personally responsible for the lack of warm weather and summer- not quite sure how we can solve that for them- but hopefully we are getting close to some outdoor adventures. We are so ready!!

Wonders of Christmas

This is a little late, but better than never. I’m happy to report our December went off without a hitch heath wise! The girls counted down to the big day, asking how many sleeps remain each afternoon and over and over when Christmas will arrive. That, and when summer will get here, which is a bit farther away considering we just had winter solstice.

The preschool class had a Christmas party the Friday before the big day and cookie decorating was quite the hit, according to the teacher. Emerie decorated her one, completely covered cookie while Harper and Reagan had platefuls of beauties to bring home and display. After a two weeks, they are still sitting on the counter in all their glory, as we attempt to keep sugar to a minimum (since we have sooo many cookies!).

Much of the month, with the crazy shift in weather, was spent staying busy doing all kinds of activities inside. By crazy weather, I mean the close to 70 mile per hour winds in town, to crazy snow drifts blasting off the massive snow piles, and then a dip into negative temperatures; all this equals the girls not wanting to play outside (and who can blame them?!). Since sledding was off the table until conditions improved, we continued to hit up the jump park, visited the play coffeehouse and created coloring masterpieces and art projects at home, almost daily. A number of ornaments were painted, hung on the tree by yours truly, then removed from the tree to become play toys. We attempted Color Me Mine for the first time since last winter and it was a completely different experience than going when they were all three years old. Everyone picked out the same llama planter to decorate and instructed Craig on their color choices. Everyone wanted at least one stamp to spruce up their look. Overall it went quite well; even Emerie took her time and had fun! They finished off the activity with candy cane ornaments- Harper’s became a mesh of green and red, Emerie created a design and Reagan attempt red, white and green stripes. I can’t wait to remake them next year and see what they look like! And, for the next few days, everyone asked me several times a day if their creations were ready for pick up. Silly kids.

Auntie Megan brought over a “pie in the face” whip cream game that was quite the hit with all five kiddos one afternoon. By the end everyone wanted to lose and put far less effort into the battle, knowing the result produced delicious whip cream to sample and spread everywhere. We will definitely have to get another game and continue the kid torture in the future. I’m certain everyone will want to push some whip cream into the faces of several grandparents and uncles!

We spent much of December dressing up, with all three strongly demanding that shirts and pants are unacceptable forms of clothing. At this point in their lives, I’m not exactly sure why I even have a drawer full of shirts, as it becomes a huge task to even suggest they wear anything other than a dress. Luckily it worked out with my overspending on the Christmas outfits, so they had tutu dresses, their fancy “concert dresses” (as they say), princess themed ones and all the normal twirlies to choose from, as well as the festive boots and red ballet slipper flats. Their teachers were told we have HUNDREDS of Christmas jammies to wear, at least according to Harper, after their pajama party at school. It’s not really hundreds, but more than I should probably admit….

The girls visited Santa at Cabela’s and he took time to individually talk to each kiddo, answering questions and smiling for photos. I may have mentioned they needed instruction to sleep overnight in their beds, which he helped me out with! The girls questioned why presents were under the tree mid month- yes, because I’m THAT mom that wants things prepped ahead of time, especially knowing sickness hits our house so quickly- so they learned that only some presents come from Santa on Christmas Eve and others come from mom, dad and grandparents. My theory panned out last year when we wouldn’t have opened any presents otherwise, due to the pneumonia that ran through the adults in the house. Next year I plan to take each kid shopping individually to choose a gift for each sibling. I didn’t try this year, assuming they would pick something they wanted and then lose their minds when it went to someone else.

It doesn’t seem like many kid Christmas shows and movies are a hit in our household, with the exception of the Muppet Christmas, Polar Express and one random Netflix hit that hey, has three tiny kittens in it. We did a week of watching one of the three each night; and the girls were seriously annoyed that the kids in Polar Express don’t actually have names. It’s funny how much this irritates them.

We swapped presents with Auntie Megan and crew on Christmas Eve and as usual, Megan outdid herself for each kiddo. The hit of the afternoon was certainly the color changing barbies, that dunk into water and turn from solid teal to a typical barbie, with skin tones and hair colors. They were thoroughly excited to check them out; Reagan so much she peeled much of the paint off with her nails while sitting at the table.

The girls were wired on Christmas Eve night, especially after opening stockings (stuffed to the brim with randoms I collected over the past few months) and one present. It took a bit to coax them into sleeping, especially so Craig and I could finish the final touches of Santa’s visit and put out a few more of the big presents. Craig spent the afternoon locked in the garage, building the Barbie dream house (Costco!) that had sooo many pieces and I had the presents hidden and waiting for their morning debut. We then filled the dreamhouse with princesses and accessories from when I was a kid (barbie sets from the 90s are way better than now!) and enjoyed a quiet house for a little while, basking in the Christmas ambiance that I truly enjoy every winter.

The girls woke up at a decent hour on Christmas and we somehow convinced the early risers to wait until everyone was up to start. They were thrilled to see bites out of the three cookies, courtesy of Santa. This year presents were far more fun to watch, as less intervention was needed to help open presents. Except when taking apart doll packaging, which takes an army of scissors and patience to pry everything open while excited preschoolers oversee in excitement and demand you to go faster. The girls did quite well playing most of the day, with new toys and with each other, and didn’t even notice the dollhouse downstairs until after lunch. This year’s theme was very girly (shocking), and included mermaids, (pretend) makeup, dance lessons and leotards and new 18″ dolls, with a few other goodies in between. Each kiddo received their own custom music box: Harper a pink ballerina one, Emerie a purple unicorn one, and Reagan a pink and teal mermaid one. This gift might have backfired a bit, as the three separate tunes played allllll afternoon on repeat, and they even managed to remove the windup pins in record time. The boxes now reside in their bedrooms and are not yet filled with treasures, because the music was by the far the most exciting attribute to watch. As soon as presents were opened for the morning, the questions on when is it going to be our birthday and when will summer be here started again, since they know both things occur post Christmas time. I will also say, the kitten (Molly) very much enjoyed the girls opening presents and jumping through all the paper.

This year we ate Christmas dinner instead of throwing it into the freezer for when everyone was healthy again; and Craig’s beef wellington was delicious as usual! Jenny, Keegan and the boy cousins as well as Uncle William brought other goodies and it was a really nice day. The cousins exchanged presents and ran around wild, enjoying the day. The pink, purple and blue sequined stockings were put to work as mermaid tails and are still randomly around the house. It’s wonderful to have cousins close in age that now live close by!

At bedtime that night I asked everyone to share their favorite thing(s) about the day and their most beloved gift. I will point out by this time everyone was way overstimulated and tired, and definitely a bit on the grumpier side of the happy scale.

Reagan (who is definitely long winded like her Grandmother and had all kinds of thoughts about the day- so this is paraphrased…): My favorite thing was opening presents and doing Mom and Dad’s hair and makeup. My favorite present was my mermaid music box, makeup, the dollhouse and new dress shoes from Grandma Sue.

PS. If you allow your “hair and makeup” to be done by your local preschool professional, you can sometimes receive a head massage and nice hair brushing. Not too tough on the sanity and they demand you sit still and not get off the couch. Well played…right?

Emerie (who was extremely ready to go to sleep, covered in her stuff animals and wanting to listen to Elsa on my phone): My favorite thing was opening presents and listening to my music box. AND wearing Pan’s hair headband (a long, flowered braid headband). AND playing with my mom and dad and sisters. My favorite present was the big turtle from Papa Cliff and the big, barbie dollhouse.

Harper (who was past any form of cooperation and crazy raged over still being awake): My favorite thing is nothing! (after further mother harassment she answered better). My favorite thing was playing with the flowers from Aunt Jenny, playing with my new music box and just opening presents. My favorite present was the high heels from Grandma Sue and wearing the black dance leotard.

If I had to choose their favorite items over the past week, the flower set from Aunt Jenny is definitely the winner. They all continue to build custom gardens (and fight over them) and make flower food, flower decor, and anything else they can dream up. The dollhouse has a few visits a day and everyone continues to stomp around the house in their new dress heels (you can guess how thrilled Craig is about that!) while rocking their princess braided headbands. Everyone has already worn the new sparkle pants from Grandma Anne in the next size (sob!). Harper adores her new doll, named Babela (like her last one) and insists on carting her around everywhere and sleeping with her at night. Emerie is now a flower garden queen and always toting a few around. Reagan often wanders downstairs for an hour and pretend plays with the barbie set up.

However busy and dark the dead of winter is, I enjoyed the Christmas season this year. While I am excited for the light on the horizon (for a few more seconds each day!), I find a special place in my heart and mind for the cold, snowy season full of Christmas lights, goodies, friends and family. Maybe that’s the Alaskan in my blood, but who knows. Cheers to a new year!

Christmas Kittens, Anyone?

The past few weeks have been all about the massive amount of snow hitting our city in the past week, in record levels. 41 inches in total officially, but we probably saw a bit more than that at our house! Something that should definitely excite my children, and yet they hardly even batted an eye at each growing foot! When it gets too deep to play or sled in, I guess it becomes a little less fun. From the adult perspective, driving (and shoveling) is terrible but the atmosphere is absolutely stunning. The last few days turned cold and sunny, creative a beautiful frozen tundra look across the city, with frost capped brush. The frost fairies have been busy!

Breaking city snow records is not our news for the month. So if you need to hear about something other than snow and the fact we are in the very middle of the dark, cold, never-ending winter, then here you go!

The Douglas house now has its SECOND set of triplets! Now you all take a deep breath, because it’s not inspired by me (thank heavens!), but our littlest kitten Molly, who managed to get herself knocked up earlier this fall. She’s still a kitten herself, probably around six months or so, and this past Monday she delivered three tiny kittens. A fitting number for us, don’t you think?

This set is definitely fraternal, with one fully black and two tabby orange striped. None of them look like their mother, who is white/grey with some brown. Mother and babies are doing well and they are already growing like weeds. When she’s not tending to her litter, she adamantly demands affection and snuggling naps, which I’m sure I wanted when the girls were newborns.

It is a funny comparison to watch, remembering the tougher, newborn days years back. She will wander off for hours, snuggling on our bed overnight or sitting on the couch with the girls; but immediately treks back to them at a single kitten shriek. You can’t pet anywhere near her stomach or a vicious attack results, because those nipples are raw. I remember that for sure, even just from pumping. She is constantly whining for more food, pointing out when the food bowl is lower than to her satisfaction. Teen moms, I tell you! 🙂

The girls are excited to share them with visitors, but overall we’ve kept them at a distance until they get a bit older and less fragile! Eyes will open sometime over the next week and then they will become more like triplet toddlers- you know, moving around constantly, wreaking havoc and getting into absolutely everything. After that we will let the girls play more a little more.

Harper is telling people we’ve named them Harper, Emerie and Reagan, and the black one is Harper! She of course claims that one since her favorite color is black and pink. From what we can tell the two tabby’s are boys and the fully black one appears to be a girl. Who knows what names they will end up, but it won’t be duplicates of the first triplets of the house!

Reagan also keeps asking how the babies “got out” of her belly. THAT, is a lesson for another day!!

You better believe there will be some up and coming videos and photos of the girls playing with the furry, newborn triplets, once they are more mobile and wild(er). And for now, we will try to keep our household capped at one set of identical triplets and one set of feline triplets and NO sets of future ones…

The Triple Echo

While our family has so many things to be thankful for in our lives, having the kids feeling well for Thanksgiving this year wasn’t one of them. Having the kids feeling well for Halloween wasn’t one of them either, so fingers crossed for Christmas!

By mid-morning on Thanksgiving, and after Grandma Sue flew up here and created a smorgasbord of treats for the day, we made the call to cancel our meet up with the cousins, as to not share the second crud to enter our house in a month. This one is a bit different than a few weeks ago, with Reagan again instigating with the deep, dry cough, but the other two claiming stomachaches (which later turned to coughs). While Harper had no fever, she clearly felt miserable and put herself down for a nap about 11:30. Emerie, on the other hand, seemed entirely fine, but presented a 101 fever that morning.

So while this probably isn’t holiday for the books, we still have so many things to be thankful for. For example, it’s easy to forget how much easier our daily lives are now that the girls are older, and even easier to forget the barely survivable age three. Don’t lie, we’ve all been there!

We are also extraordinarily lucky to have generally healthy kids, enough food on the table, a warm roof over our heads, plenty of toys and crafts, and a wonderful life in this beautiful state. The girls have built-in playmates, even when they fight, and are now playing games with one another and letting that creativity emerge. They all love their preschool and teachers and have grown to have many friends. Craig and I are very lucky to have good, supporting jobs (and bosses) and stability and flexibility from them. I am constantly reminded that having a supportive boss, who values family and reality that life happens, really improves and relieves some of my daily stress! Sometimes I get in my own head about how hard life can be, and I have to remember how truly lucky we really are.

Now that we are full blown into sickness #2, the “triple echo” is back in effect. I don’t know if this is a random thing, a multiples or sibling thing, or just a full on coincidence, but the girls have once again started echoing each other. For instance, when one gets up and wanders into our bed in the middle of the night from a coughing fit, the other two may be fully asleep but will join that sister in a quick coughing fit and then just roll over back to sleep. When the escapee (to my bed) has other fits throughout the night, it’s almost like the ones sleeping across the hall copy and cough in sync. It’s actually a bit weird!

It works on longer distances too, but this could once again just be coincidental or the sharing of germs in a similar time frame. This week Harper coughed so hard she threw up; luckily she was already home for the day with a fever and not at school. Within about fifteen minutes Craig received a call that Emerie was puking at school, after running around in the gym. Coincidence or triplet thing?

When the girls were newly home from the NICU, for the first three days they co-slept in the master bedroom and would echo one another in baby speak while completely snuggled in their swaddling and cribs. You might think, awww how cute! But in reality, it literally kept my dramatically overtired mom brain from catching a few zzzz’s, listening for any sound that might be off; and exactly why we moved them into the nursery so quickly. The constant echo would be crazy for two, let alone throwing a third in there and it stayed on repeat all night long.

Pedialite popsicles and a pullout couch (and Bluey) for the win.

Now that they are older, the echo seems to stick to the coughing nights, that and the synchronized puke fests, which do happen upon occasion, even at age four. I could do with less of those! Often I witness the coughing ones in the dead of night, when I’ve fallen asleep in the nursery chair after convincing someone to remain in their own bed. One kiddo will start the cough, fully asleep, and after a few seconds the second will respond, and then the third. It’s weird and it doesn’t always wake them up, and just like that, it’s done.

My last guess is since they’ve grown up together, eat and nap and go to bed together, everyone is just in-sync and don’t know anything else. They dislike doing things alone (like sending only one to school for the day) and enjoy the comfort of their siblings, even during the constant fighting. When one is gone, the others will point out they miss them. They truly can be sweet when they want to be!

So for now, we are probably more than halfway through sickness number two of the winter, and hope to be feeling better by the preschool Christmas concert on Friday that I REALLY want to go to. The Christmas tree went up last weekend and everyone was excited to look at all the different ornaments and hang them on the tree. We only had one mishap with Reagan sidestepping off a chair as she leaned to hang one up. She has a pretty nasty bruise on her thigh now. They were all thrilled to see the ones colored last year throughout the winter, and enthusiastically decorated the lower half of the tree. And now we get to enjoy the holiday ambiance over the next month, since it seems like we will be home for a lot of it, avoiding the sub-zero cold weather and resting up.