Holiday Forecast: Spirit Renewed

The last few days have been chaotic, filled with finishing up cases at work, mentally ticking things off the "to pack" list, and getting my cellphone issues resolved. More on the phone later.

It is easy as a new parent to feel completely overwhelmed with the preparations to travel with a nine month old for five days at two different locations. Last week when I began thinking about what we would need to bring, my head was spinning. What clothes to pack? (cute outfits for family dinners, warm attire and extra socks for the BC game, extra onesies, what would be clean?) 5 fruit and cereal breakfasts? 5 yogurt lunches? what snacks were portable? how many bibs? which books weigh the least? the favorite toys? So I attacked her packing and by Sunday her clothes were packed and her food was laid out in an orderly fashion awaiting its trip to the car. Last night we put everything together on the living room couch so that before work the car would be packed and all we will need to do is toss in the last minute items and the baby and we're off!!!

Here is what we ended up with:

a baby gate (those stairs will call to her)
an umbrella stroller for the game
the diaper bag for the car with toys and snacks in case the nap just won't happen
a bag of toys and books
her Caroline bag
a Stop and Shop Green bag (we ALL should be using these by now!!! ahem) with all her non- perishable food and dipes/wipes
the sling for the game
two blankets
a small suitcase for Steve
a bag for the alumni football game
a bag for me
the camera bag
a bag of yarn and half completed projects that I want my Gram's assistance with (she's a knitting whiz!)
AND my pump


Now, that must seem like a lot, and I suppose it really is, but I swear I didn't go overboard. This is for 5 days people. FIVE.

Let's have a moment for my cellphone. Dearest cellphone, I am sorry that I likely dropped you in a small puddle of water at swim last Friday. I never meant to hurt you and I am sorry that your software crashed resulting in irreparable damage. I am even sorrier that I lost all my contacts and photos of my baby girl. My wireless provider was unable to get me a new phone at a reduced price. I had no idea full retail price for a simple cellphone is about 200 buckaroos?!?! So they agreed to send me a refurbished version of my own phone for 50.00 and it was supposed to arrive on Monday, Tuesday at the latest. It never did. We spent some time last night getting it all figured out and the long and short is that I have a new phone now, same number, but my contact list is empty. So - if you want to hear from me ever again PLEASE I beg you, send me your number! =)

Despite all the insane prep work and organization for this trip home (which I love by the way, lists are my favorite thing to write!), we are so excited for this holiday. It will be a lot of driving around and it will probably be challenging this afternoon and then again on Sunday with traffic, but we are going home to see our families and share this important first holiday with Caroline. You can get lost in the hustle and bustle, the suckdom that is holiday advertising (can we PLEASE wait until after the Macy's parade???), the gift buying and wrapping, the holiday travel, but this year is definitely not going to be like that for us.

Whenever Caroline sees a wreath, a Christmas ball, or even a tiny twinkling light, she strains to reach for it. She bends herself backward to keep her eye on evergreen and tinseled decorations as we pass. Her face lights up in a way that I have never seen before and the joy in her eyes melts my hardened holiday heart. I am always excited to decorate for the season and I am overjoyed that my little girl will be a happy participant in my annual sit in the dark with the freshly decorated tree tradition. My Christmas spirit is renewed and though I am not nine months old, it sure feels like this is my first holiday too.

Here she is this morning:

Khakis - Old Navy - 12 months?
Onesie - Carter's 9 monts
Blue turtle sweater - The Children's Place 18 mos, Chloe and Teegan!
Magenta shoe socks


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