It’s been a rainy month here by Southern California standards, where we’re used to a small handful of showers during the whole season. It seems like it’s rained every day of December so far. Our neighborhood has been slow to put up decorations for the holidays, and I’m thinking the rain is largely to blame. Annie gets excited about our Christmas lights every night (Mama! They came on! LOOK!), and she’s been anxiously asking about the rest of the houses on our street. “Are they gonna put up lights too, Mama?” she’ll ask, pointing out the window at the dark houses across the way.
My mom mentioned to Annie something about driving around to look at lights, and that sounded wildly appealing to her. I don’t know if she remembers looking at lights last year or not, but she’s been begging to go looking at Christmas lights for at least a week. And I’ve been putting her off…because of the lack of neighborhood participating…because of the weather…because I haven’t felt well enough to go for a drive. But last night she asked me again if we could go look at lights, and I saw her hopeful face and I couldn’t say no. She didn’t care about the rain, or the lower number of decorated houses. She just wanted to see “beautiful beautiful Christmas lights.”
She grabbed her Minnie Claus doll, and posed for me in front of the tree.
Then she, Mike, Rigby and I got in the car to look at what our neighbors had put together. I played Christmas standards on the radio, and Annie sang along to the songs she knew (and even the songs she didn’t).
I was pleasantly surprised – some people had really made some great displays.
MAMA! It’s the bomdominal snow man!
It’s Rudolph! And a rocking horse! I want that horse from Santa!
She held Minnie Claus up to see the best houses:
It really was a little bit of magic to hear her happy voice in the back seat:
LOOK AT THAT HOUSE! Look at the snowflakes! Look it’s Frosty the Snowman! He’s a very happy snow!
When we got back to our house she said, “Mama, Daddy, my house is awesome.”
There were so many things I wanted to do with Madeline and never had the chance. I swore I’d never put things off with Annabel. And yet, I still do. I get bogged down and assume that there will be a tomorrow. I take the future for granted even though nothing is promised, and nothing is owed. I have to remember to live more in the present.
When I tucked Annie into bed and was whispering my goodnight wishes in her ear, she whispered back in mine, “Mama, can we look at lights again tomorrow?”
And I said yes.
Awwww, look how happy she is. She’s definitely inherited your love of all things Christmas. Adorable.
So sweet. In the picture of Annie pointing out of the car window, I see a lot of Maddie in her. Beautiful girls!
I love that you’re teaching Annie about living in the moment!
Why shouldn’t you say yes! It’s such a simple request in the grand scheme of things. I have found myself with my youngest saying Yes to more things as well. Knowing he is my last baby, wishing I would have said Yes to the others more.
What a great reminder to live in the present. I get bogged down, too. I worry too much about the house or projects or whatever. I struggle every day to remind myself, too. I recently bought an hourglass I keep in the living room to remind me that time is always flying by. It helps. I also read this recently and printed it to remind me.
I know I’ve been looking at my old babies (10 and 11 years old) through fresh-mommy eyes after Friday. I even felt happy to fold their socks last night.
Thank you fo the kick in the butt I need to take mine. My mom already took her, but my hubby and I have not. SOO its on my to do list- xmas lights by Friday! And Annie looks so sweet and happy. Nothing like a kid at xmas!!!
There is a house in Wildwood that plays to music. It’s pretty cool. I take my kids there anytime we are out at night and they love it!
You should go over to Candy Cane Lane in Woodland Hills for the light displays! They are pretty awesome!
There’s also a great neighborhood by Moorpark High School that puts on a great light display. It’s been a while since I’ve been, but it’s off Tierra Rejada, Country Road Drive I think, then turn left into that housing community.
Awesome! I think I will take Dannica tonight. Thanks for the kick in the butt Heather
Well said Heather. So hard to fit it all in sometimes, but nothing more important than our babies.
Love all the pictures! Thanks for sharing.
My mom told me, a long time before I had kids of my own (I was coaching kids and commented about a parent staying after to play with a frisbee, and that it was so sweet), that she tried really hard to think about why she would say “no”, and make sure it was meaningful. If it was a “no” simply because she didn’t want to do something, or she didn’t want to be put out, she would say yes, knowing that she could do that for us. I need to be more mindful of my “no” answers as my baby gets bigger and asks for things. He, and his experiences, are more important than many reasons I might say no.
I wouldn’t beat myself up too much, because you and Mike seem to know this lesson pretty well, and sometimes there is a good reason to say no, like not feeling well. Fair or not, your body is telling you to slow down right now, and much as it sucks (I know, says the lady who’d insist on doing stuff at 8 months pregnant, and then get indignant with her own body for responding with fatigue and blood pressure spikes), that’s important for you to keep in mind too. Just remember that as long as you try to be in the moment more often than not, it’s okay to wait out some things. It wouldn’t serve Annie better for you to push yourself out of your current comfort zone and get really sick later on, either. Maybe take Annie out to see lights again tonight, but then tell her that you’ll have to wait until the weekend to go again, to give your other neighbors time to put out their lights.
P.S. I loved the “bomdominal snow man” comment. It’s a much fun-ner name than the real one.
A huge second recommendation for Candy Cane Lane! I didn’t know there was one in Woodland Hills, which is obviously perfect for you. We’re in Sherman Oaks and went all the way to Redondo Beach to see their Candy Cane Lane, which was pure amazing. Annie would adore it!
I love it!
You are doing great. Really, you are…you need to realize it and believe it…
So sweet. All of this.
These pictures are amazing! How wonderful that she finds such amazement in Christmas lights. As a little girl, one of my favorite things was driving around in our car, all of us kids snuggled up with blankets, and looking at lights until we fell asleep…
Also, if you do want to blow Annie’s mind with lights, the Camarillo candy cane lane is amazing (and even better if you park and walk up and down the streets if you are feeling up to it), AND you must check out the insane house in Dos Vientos. It’s on Via Patricia and is seriously the coolest ever. However, it might have ruined my boys for looking at “regular” Christmas lights. They are kind of underwhelmed by anything less than Griswald-ish lights now. Boo.
You are doing an AMAZING job with your sweet Annie. No little one could have such joy in her eyes all the time if she didn’t have great parents. She is so lucky!!
Oh, one last thing- I am so happy that you have Annie’s chest clip positioned correctly in her carseat! It’s so nice to see carseat pics where the child is properly restrained. Some pics on FB just kill me with how unsafe their kids are. Yay, Mama Spohr for doing it right!!!
Love to you all, and hope you are feeling ok!
You put me to shame, sista! I am amazed at all that you do despite feeling crappy! Of course, that look of utter bliss/joy on Annie’s face is a great motivator! I live with chronic pain & hate when it keeps me from doing things! I have (slowly) learned over the past 6 years to budget my time, energy, and activities so I can participate in more things–even if it’s for a shorter period of time than I would wish. You are doing a great job being “present” for Annie. But take it from a slow learner: it’s ok if you have to say “not today” for a time while you are pg. Conserve your energy: Christmas day is right around the corner! XO