What the difference a year makes…
What the difference a year makes…
We rode the Polar Express run by the West Coast Railway for our third time. This was, by far, our most enjoyable year, though that had as much to do with planning as with the age of our children. This year, we rode the train at 2pm, which allowed us to fully enjoy the activities in the Roundhouse after the train ride, while still preserving the illusion of “arriving” at the North Pole.
Though Aiden is not as obsessed with The Polar Express as he was in the two previous years, he did still enjoy the entire trip. His face lit up when the conductor came by and when the child actors came in pretending to be the children from the movie. Very nice addition to the experience and one we did not expect at all. Aiden literally glowed! He was also beside himself with excitement to tour the interior of the engine that mimics the real Polar Express:
The next bonus was the child-led controls in the mini train area, which was a highlight for Aiden. He was mad we had to move on when Damien lost interest, but that was our only low point in the night.
Each year the experience gets better and I am so happy it’s a part of our holiday traditions! Damien also loved riding a moving train, even though he’s not as immersed in the Polar Express culture.
This year, I managed to get both kids into their PJs (I wavered and gave them their Christmas Eve PJs early, since SO CUTE!) and planned it all better, to have two layers of PJs to avoid the cold. This year Aiden was interested in wearing his PJs, so that was a bonus. He didn’t want them last year and the previous year he only consented to wear the top. Finally, after years of struggling to find them matching PJs (who knew it was so hard), I purchased a matching set (2 months in advance, let me tell you). Huzzah!
There are moments when you realize your child is growing up. For me, one of those moments came yesterday when Aiden pitched in to help create my mom’s Christmas village. Rather than haphazardly putting up buildings and accessories, he put thought into the placement of each piece in relation to the rest.
And then, on the way home, he flew Santa’s sleigh full of presents. Still my little boy. But growing so quickly.
Damien turned 2.5 almost a month ago and I wanted to record for posterity where he’s at right now in his life. I can’t believe he’s half way to being 3 years old, and yet for sure I can say he is most definitely a 2-year-old. Since the last time I checked in almost 5 months ago, Damien has learned to assert his will and his independence… unless he doesn’t want to, of course. He’s just as much a 2 year old as Aiden was at this age.
Damien loves to negate things, even when he readily retracts it, and is as much prone to yelling or going limp in refusal or dropping down when he wants to get his way. He has strong opinions, my little one! But at the same time, he’s still very cuddly and loving and outgoing and social. This contrariness, of extreme clinginess to extreme independence, is very common at this age.
This last month saw a lot of these traits come out, particularly exacerbated by a week-long bout of illness and potty training. He’s completely potty trained now, but we’ve had issues with withholding that we are still working on. It’s a process.
Where Damien is now:
Every year, there is a lot of chatter about what to buy for the men in our lives. Be they husbands, boyfriends or Dads, men can be hard to buy for! Now, I know each guy has different tastes, but I know we can do better than ties and golf stuff, right?! Following my post on The Best Stocking Stuffers for Guys, I put together this Shopping Guide to the Best Christmas Gifts for Guys that involves both gifts my husband has asked for in the past, or currently has on his wish list, plus a few ideas of my own.
Here’s hoping these gifts are a hit with the guy in your life!