Chronicles of a Stay at Home Mom: Traveling Dad

Recently Alex flew to Chicago to celebrate his mom’s birthday. It was a huge surprise for her! This meant the kids and I stayed put in Seattle. Given it’s the month of December I packed our schedule with holiday fun to help pass the time while Alex was away.

{“Mama! I’m driving us to the North Pole!”}

I started to see the light at the end of the toddler tunnel during our Children’s Museum trip. It was our best trip ever. Both kids were so engaged, such great listeners and we all had a blast. I had my first moment where I could see that life may very well just get a little less crazy soon. Whew!

{“Mama! It’s just like your new car!”}

Our sweet neighborhood put up a big Christmas tree in downtown for the first time ever. We were so excited to participate in the lighting ceremony on Friday night. We met some friends and braved the rain to get a little change of pace and some fresh air.

The kids had the pleasure of discovering St. Nicholas had left a special treat in our shoes overnight on Saturday morning. Ben was very into the concept of St. Nicholas Day and was eager to learn more and see a picture of him. He had so many questions about St. Nick!

Our big holiday event was riding the Santa Train on Saturday. It was definitely a highlight for us all. This was the kids’ first real train ride.

We met my cousin, Chris, and his family for the ride. Their kids, Henry and Claire, are 4 and 2 respectively, so very close in age to Ben and Hannah. Life keeps getting in the way and we don’t see them as much as I’d like to which made it all the more special to get together.

The train took us on a 3-mile trip to visit Santa! This was the first time Ben had shown any interest whatsoever in meeting Santa. I was happy to oblige for a Santa picture.

We finished out the day by watching the new Grinch movie down in the playroom. It was a little scary for Ben at the beginning but overall I think it was a hit!

The rest of the weekend was a bit more low-key. We hosted a playdate at our house, spent Sunday morning at the park and made a big batch of gingerbread playdough.

{Gingerbread playdough was a HIT! It smells SO amazing! Here is the recipe.}

{Thank heavens for a coffee shop next door to the park!}

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to put up the Christmas lights and decorate our front porch with my two toddlers running around in ourĀ non-fenced in front yard. Pro tip: don’t do this! It ended up being fine, albeit stressful, but it took about 17 times as long as it should have. I would love to see a time lapse video of me doing this – every time I made one minor adjustment to the lights I had to drop them and run to grab Hannah who was darting down the sidewalk or the driveway.

The weekend was a huge success, but boy was it exhausting to be *on* as a parent for an extended period. It’s always hard when Alex isn’t around at all – we all miss him, that’s for sure! We made a lot of really special memories together and I had a great time really playing and bonding with my kids. Sometimes I feel like all we do is go from point A to point B and try to squeeze in cleaning up, doing the dishes, getting ready and doing the never ending laundry but I took a lot of that pressure off myself this weekend and really enjoyed my time. One of my parenting goals is to truly be present with my kids as much as I can and I feel confident that I hit that goal this weekend for sure.