We picked out our Christmas tree today, and put up our inside decorations.
Once I realized (after four years) that a baled tree does not spread all over the car and smush the child, we decided to just all go to Lowe's in my car, instead of Shrike following along in her truck as we've done the past couple of years, or leaving Peeper at home, like the first couple of years. Of course, leaving her home for such a momentous occasion is not at all an option any more!
We found a tree that we all liked pretty quickly and then went in and looked around at the Christmas decorations for sale inside.
As soon as we went in, Peeper told me, "I want to see that Santa Claus that talks when you bonk into it." She was referring to the sort of creepy, life-size, singing and talking, motion-sensitive Santa that she played when with we bought our tree last year. Holy crow. Unfortunately, while they do still sell them, they didn't have any on display.
I told her, "Oh, there's one in that box, but it's not put together."
She asked, "Can we put it together at our house?"
No. Not for $129, we can't!
When we got home, we weren't moving as fast with the tree putting up and lighting as she would have liked, but she was about as patient as one could expect. More, actually. Shrike didn't even have to take her away so I could do lights in peace!
Of course, the whole time she was asking, "Can I put the ornaments on now? Now can I put the ornaments on? When can I put the ornaments on?"
And as soon as I gave her the go-ahead to put them on, she took one look and said, "I don't wanna put the ornaments on."
She did enjoy looking at them, though, especially all the ones of the pets.
There are a lot of pet ornaments. It seemed reasonable to make a "Kitty's First Christmas" ornament in 1995, when MamaCat was a kitten, but then it just kept going, and she had babies, and they got old, and we got two dogs . . . .
In 2006, Galoot's first Christmas, I finally started getting wise, and made one ornament with photos of all three cats, and one with both dogs, and in 2007 I was a damn genius, and made one ornament with all five of them on it.
Since 2008, we've had a human kid (and that's also when MamaCat had just gone missing, and as of Christmas, I wasn't quite ready to accept that she wasn't going to wander back into the yard), so sorry, critters, no more ornaments for you.
But if you're keeping score, that's a total of . . . let's see . . . thirty-five pet photo ornaments.
Okay, perhaps that might be a bit excessive.
Actually, as I was looking at a pile of about ten more that needed to be hung, and couldn't find any more spaces on the tree, I promised Shrike that next year, I will be ready to pack them all away, except for the one of all five from 2007.
Of course, we also have couple ornaments from 1998 - 2007, and multiple family or Peeper ornaments since then, plus some other particularly meaningful ones, so it's not like the tree's going to be bare without them!
But I don't think it looks too bad with them, either.
We also hung the stockings on the window with care.
(Beautiful personalized stockings courtesy of Frappa.)
You see the multiple Santas and entire cast of the Nutcracker there?
Evidently Peeper lined them all up on there while I was conked out on the couch. (I feel icky today. Sore throat and although the bastard thermometer says differently, I'm sure I have fever. I have the hot mouth, and the shaky feeling.)
At one point, I heard Shrike saying, "Santa's not coming tonight, Honey. He won't be here for a month. Because it's still November."
I opened one eye and peeked at her, and she was up on the table, looking out the window. Watching for him, I suppose.
It's going to be a looooong month.
Shrike let me sleep while she got Peeper bathed and ready for bed, and tried to get her to sleep, but that just wasn't happening. When I woke up, they were reading in the bedroom, and waved me away. I finally went back in about twenty minutes later when it was clear that there was no night-night going on!
Evidently, at some point in the evening, someone (ahem-Mommy-ahem) came up with the idea of Peeper sleeping in the living room under the Christmas tree.
I relented, and Shrike agreed to sleep in there with her. I told her that "I will goody you in the floor, but I am not sleeping here!" She nursed for about two minutes, and said, "That's all I need," and invited Shrike - who had agreed to sleep in the floor - to join her.
That lasted about ten minutes, and then she came looking for goody in bed.
So, yet another night-night book, and she was finally asleep around 11:30.
At least maybe she'll let us sleep in in the morning. I sure hope so, because after that nap, I'm going to be up a while!