My Decembers

December has been an emotional month for me for the past few years. Here's a timeline.

December 2003: We tossed the birth control and started trying to conceive.

December 2004: We had just started fertility treatments, and I was consumed by the holiday-related funk that besieges most women who can't get pregnant.

December 2005: The culmination of our IVF cycle with the embryo transfer on the 6th, followed by two weeks of weeping and hormone-driven outbursts until the afternoon of the 18th, which is when we got the call that I was pregnant.

December 2006: We celebrated Christmas with our four-month-old.

It's in this last month of the year, more than any other, that I am reminded just how lucky I am to be a mother.

Here's what we've been up to this December.

We started out the month by picking out our tree last Saturday. When I was growing up, we always bought our trees from sales held in parking lots, so this is the only way I've selected a Christmas tree as an adult. I've never done the "chop down the tree from the woods" thing, although someday when Isabella is a little older, I'd like to give this a try.

Last year, Isabella was a very passive (and excessively bundled) participant in the tree-selection process.
This year, there is absolutely nothing even remotely passive about my daughter.

Once the tree (a Douglas Fir) was selected and in the process of being readied for transport, Isabella decided it was time to get acquainted with the strange white stuff on the ground.

I'm entitling the following WWGS? (Or, What Would Grandma Say?).

Sitting on the cold, hard ground! Snow on unmittened thumb! Trees perilously close to toppling over on top of her. Runny Nose! Frostbite! Gangrene! The possibilities for ills that could befall Isabella from the scene captured here are endless. Grandma would call CPS on me in a nanosecond if she could see this.

And then there's this, a proud maternal moment for me to be sure, as I realized my daughter approaches life with the same grace and finesse that her mother does.

(I cannot center this video within the post. This bothers me greatly.)

This past weekend, we decorated the tree. Last December, Isabella slept through it. This year, she wanted to help. And so far (knock on wood) she hasn't attempted to scale the tree or eat the needles.

We also baked Christmas cookies. I dusted off my beloved Kitchenaid, brought down my neglected baking gear, most of which is Pampered Chef (love, LOVE the stuff!), and got to it.

I donned my very favorite apron (also know as my only apron), which I bought from a little old lady at my church's "Next-to-New" sale about five years ago. She either made the apron, or it's vintage. Either way, I love the handkerchief hem, and the kitty in the center.

Last year Isabella watched me bake cookies while wearing my Santa hat that was mine when I was a baby.
This year, she got in on the action, again wearing my hat (although this year, not quite so merrily, given that it was probably cutting off the oxygen supply to the brain encased within her 92ndth-percentile head).

When I first put the dough in front of her, she attempted to eat it. I told her we were going to "make Christmas cookies." Clearly, she heard the word "cookies" and not much else.

Once I put a cookie cutter in front of her, she got over the huge disappointment of not being allowed to sink her brand new choppers into raw dough quite quickly.

And much messy fun commenced.

It's often difficult for me to take that step back from the toddler tantrums, the food battles, and the often arduous days of motherhood and recognize how fortunate I am to have been given the gift of a child I thought I'd never have.

December grants me this gift.

12 Responses to “My Decembers”

  1. # Blogger M

    Great post, as always. I salute you for actually making homemade cookies. This is something I only dream of doing someday...yet I have no clue how. I don't even own a rolling pin.  

  2. # Blogger Lis Garrett

    LOL! I feel horrible laughing at Isabella's unfortunate spill, but it was quite a moment (and a bit unexpected!). Even the most graceful of children have a difficult time navigating snowy terrain bundled in snow gear, so she did rather well. ;-)

    I am glad that your Decembers are taking a positive turn! We'll be making gingerbread and sugar cookies soon. Mmmmmmm!  

  3. # Blogger shokufeh

    I should be brave enough to involve MrMan in a cooking venture, but I haven't gotten there yet. You provide inspiration.
    Great apron.
    And a very nice post.  

  4. # Anonymous Kris

    That's Brody almost all the time these days! =)

    We're doing cookies on Friday with grandma... I think shaking sprinkles might be as involved as he'll be getting!  

  5. # Blogger MsPrufrock

    OH how I laughed at that video. Sorry Isabella. I also laughed when P screamed on Santa's lap yesterday, so clearly I have some issues to work through.

    Faceplant aside, a great post.  

  6. # Blogger Tracey

    Cute pictures. I loved the little sounds and her slipping. (is that bad?) she's a cutie!

    My kids like to help bake, but the best part is the frosting with sprinkles. Trust me, it's allll about the decorations.

    Glad you got to make traditions and memories!  

  7. # Blogger kenju

    This is a wonderful post, Kristi, I love the video. She looks so cute (as do you) and it is great that you let her help make the cookies.  

  8. # Blogger Marie


    Love all the pics. I wonder if Isabella will have the Martha skills you have?  

  9. # Blogger Jesser

    Wonderful post!! I went through all the infertility stuff with my best friend (who has since had two darling little boys!!) so I really relate to this ... and heck, we're all lucky to be mamas, no matter how we got there, really.

    Also love the photos. :)  

  10. # Blogger mrsmogul

    Maybe I should bake cookies this December. It's a very Xmas'y thing to do. I usually get depressed during this month! I'm always jumping for joy whe it turns Jan 1!  

  11. # Blogger Christine

    Love, LOVE your apron. And the WWGD picture cracked me up. I thought it before even reading the caption.

    She's so cute and smart! We'll leave grace and the ability to stand without falling for other children. Besides, I've never been good at it either.  

  12. # Blogger Beagle

    She's the best gift ever, I'm sure!

    Love the WWGD and the baking photos!  

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