Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas in Texas (Part 1)

We flew to Texas on the Sunday before Christmas. The flight went pretty well, at least how we anticipated with the exception of a last minute gate change and a bit of a delay once we boarded. William did well playing with his dad and walking up and down the aisle making friends of every age. Around nap time we tried to calm him down and get him to sleep but he is just a bit too big to sleep in our laps without laying on the stranger next to us! (We both had aisle seats.) But even without his nap he only had a few fussy moments; I think he did very well.

We had a few days to relax before the festivities began which was great. The whole family got together on Monday for games and playing outside. On Christmas Eve we attended the church where our niece and nephew were singing in the choir. The church was beautifully decorated with poinsettias and candles. The pews were packed but two nice gentleman gave us their seats in the back row. The pew was conveniently located near the side exit so Chris could take William outside when he got restless. I think William loved watching the choir and all the people at the beginning; unfortunately he didn't take to the sermon.

After the service we went to Uncle David's home for dinner and a party. One of William's presents was a big hit! He opened a box with a stuffed fox that danced and sang "What does the Fox Say?" when you pressed his hand. William only needed to watch someone turn it on once before he got it himself. Now he dances, too!

When we awoke on Christmas morning, we were surprised to see frost on the ground! I don't think we ever expected to see a White Christmas here!

Christmas day started out fairly relaxed. People came over to Mom and Dad's for dinner. It was delicious! So many of my favorites: sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and ham (yes, I actually like ham now). It was challenging getting William to eat though. He eats so well when he's a little distracted (by a toy or cereal box) but when there are several people talking, laughing, or poking him he just doesn't do well at all. I think the most difficult part of the week's gatherings was finding the balance William needed to be happy. Too much attention and he was overwhelmed, not enough and he whined. (And then he got really sick two days later which made everything challenging.)  I think by the end of the meal I felt overwhelmed myself and needed a time-out.

When we all gathered to open presents I snuck William into a little corner by the Christmas tree hoping he wouldn't feel quite so overwhelmed by the older kids opening all of their gifts. We slowly opened his gifts together. By the third one, he was getting the hang of it and excitedly reached for the next one. He loved his gifts! He got a set of watercolor paints and paper and markers (both only work on the special paper!), several books, a puppet, and a wooden train. I was so in-the-moment with him that I completely forgot I had my own pile of presents to open!

After a quick family photo, William went down for his nap and we played games for a couple of hours.

We were so blessed to be able to spend the week and this very special holiday with family. I'm so thankful both my family and my husband's family are closely-knit and enjoy getting together. I ended up skyping with my family a couple of times during the week!

Last year, I spent the majority of our Christmas holiday getting William to sleep (we were in Minnesota). Some of my family didn't even get to hold him (which makes me sad and angry with myself). This year, I think I spent equal amounts of energy getting William to eat and adjust to a different schedule. I've been told I worry (which is an understatement). In the end he adjusted well enough and ate well enough, but the first few days and the large group gatherings were challenging.

Willam got sick on Saturday which made the next two days and our flight home difficult. Our flight was delayed an hour before we boarded (at least we weren't stuck on the plane this time) and William was quite a bit more fussy due to this cold. Nothing could keep his attention for more than a minute or two. Books, snacks, drinks, walking, rocking, singing, etc. . . and then we looked at the clock and it had only been an hour! The flight attendants were super helpful and everyone on board seemed to give us the grace we needed to get home.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Stay tuned for parts two and three of our week in Texas which includes a Princess Bride themed Birthday party and date night on the River Walk in San Antonio.

No comments: