December has come and gone…

1) Having kids makes you realize how goddamn short life is (groan — I know, cliche cliche cliche). Annie’s baby years are already a hazy memory and the fog is already enclosing on barely two-year-old Sam. That ephemeral nature of childhood makes me realize how fleeting it all is: it’s startling and scary and makes me confront my own morality all the time. (I surely can’t be the only one, right?) I know this is what makes us, US — this is the fiber of the human existence, and the melancholy that sets in when I think about all of this means I HAVE IT GOOD. I don’t want it to end. It’s done me favors: my idea of professional success has morphed from titles or money to balance and contentment. I allow myself to eat ALL the cookies, because, damnit, life is short and cookies are everything. I put down the iPhone and listen to the kids because toddler chatter and negotiations are pure comic gold. Like, the other day, playing with blocks, Matt says, “Hey, look, I made a pig!” Annie glanced up and in a very nonplussed way said, “No, Daddy, that looks like a chubby mole,” and went on her merry way. Meanwhile, Matt and I were in hysterics. How does she know the definition of chubby? When has she seen a mole?! See — they are growing up fast.

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It really does look more like chubby mole.

It really does look more like chubby mole.[/caption]

2) The Christmas season has come and gone (and I’m generally ready for it to begin and end — first, the anticipation! then — the clutter!). This year both kids “got it”, so for two parents who are the point of like “so I’m buying something for you that you can get yourself out of our shared bank account and you’re doing the same?” jadedness, sparks of magic began to take hold.

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A local bank sponsors a Christmas party (complete with Santa, toys, treats, and a movie) at our local downtown theatre. The kids love it:

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The next day our local wildlife center / Audubon Society opened its doors for crafts, cookies, and general frolicking on the grounds.

Some of Sam’s early modeling work, circa early December, 2015:

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We also went to Longwood Gardens with Matt’s parents, and thanks in part to global warming (sigh) and El Nino, it was almost balmy:

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Poppy and the kids (and Fern) watching Elf:

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We even hit up the playground because it hit 70 (let me state that again — 70 — which is both amazing and terrifying in that dystopian way):

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We had a blast this holiday season — taking in local parks and lights right up to Christmas:

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And we made cookies for Santa:

On Christmas morning the kids were the most excited about a 69 cent bag of mini marshmallows I picked up at Aldi and were generally unenthused about the Pinterest-worthy grocery store I put together from a yard sale find (until Annie found money in the cash register — those fake dollar bills piqued her interest…she probably thought she could buy more marshmallows). Behold, the power of marshmallows:

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Kiddie capitalism:

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Oh, the Easy Mac was also a hit. (Note to self: cap next year’s Christmas budget at $5.00).

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Fern got a hex bug (at least their new wood blocks got some use):

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We spent Christmas day with my family where the kids (and Matt) had a blast with my dad’s old train set:

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And then visited the Please Touch Museum before our membership expired at the stroke of 2016:

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On New Year’s Day the kids spotted “Rudolph” out our living room window. I’m taking it as a sign of good things to come.

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