My favorite time of year!!!
Christmas is in 20 days! How prepared are you?! To be honest, I’m like so ready minus the gift’s I didn’t buy lol. Meaning I’m ready to be in California with my amazing family! Ready for all the festivities, cold crisp mornings, going to the Galleria Mall (even though its a disaster this time of year,) and ready to create beautiful memories with my little girl making it her second Christmas.
What we’ve already done:
Ever since Mike, and I started dating going to Connecticut for Thanksgiving has become a “thing.” This trip is like the kick start of getting into the spirit of the season. We leave paradise behind to get a taste of the cold, and bring out our winter clothes that sat dusty in our closet all year long. If we are lucky it snows, however this year it snowed literally 2 days before we got there! ☹️ So you wanna know my favorite part?! Going out to breakfast! I finally have a reason to shout out “Mike go warm the car up!” Giving me extra time to get ready lol. We get all bundled up, listen to Christmas music on the drive over, then when we arrive we have to quickly get out of the car which means we are freezing again, and then we rush into a cozy warm diner that smells like coffee, and cinnamon. With of course more Christmas music playing. I know I’m not the only one who strangely enjoys this right?! So anyway…the night before Thanksgiving we go to his aunt’s house where we set everything up for the next day. (Preparing the gingerbread kits, hand make the placemats, etc.) Thanksgiving morning we watch the Macy’s Parade, and get ready to go back to her house. Just like my family they have a lot of relative’s, which makes it that much more exciting! I love the gingerbread contest! Such a cute idea for the kids, and honestly the adult’s look forward to it more because they take it much more seriously lol. We have an amazing Thanksgiving Feast with the best food, and desserts, and then after dinner we start to play Bingo. Goes on foreverrrrrrrr because everyone needs to be a winner by the end of the night lol
The day after Thanksgiving we go to another family member’s house for a huge brunch. Guess who took over the cooking this year for 15 people?! Mike! It was no joke he had the bacon going on one skillet, eggs on the other, cutting potatoes with his left hand, slicing tomatoes with his right, cutting onions with his toes lol it was a scene to be seen…actually here’s a photo with bacon grease all over him haha
After brunch we go tree picking. Something I look forward to all year because we do it the original way where we actually go, and cut it down. Not pick it up at the local Christmas tree lot.
This year Mike’s amazing mom surprised us with a trip to NYC. We stayed in the cutest little boutique hotel that was walking distance to absolutely everything we needed. The first day we got there we had lunch, and went to watch the famous Rocket’s Christmas Show at Radio City. I wasn’t sure how Luna would behave considering she’s never experienced anything like this before. But she was in such AWE. The excitement, and curiosity on her tiny little face was priceless. She would point to everything that caught her attention which actually made me notice thing’s I wouldn’t have seen if it weren’t for her. Her eyes were lit up the entire time, and mouth stuffed with cotton candy. Then she would put her hands together, and clap when it was time to applaud the dancers. She basically sat through the entire show…Mike got up with her for like the last 15 minutes.
Look at her face expression haha she has such a big personality
I couldn’t miss out on doing a little shopping….and of course it wouldn’t be like of me if I didn’t get lost on my way back to the hotel lol. We ended the night with room service, and a movie while Luna was sound asleep. The next day we had plans to go to Santaland inside Macy’s. I’ve never heard or done this before, but apparently it’s been around for a while. This part was very special to Mike because he did it when he was little, and now he gets to carry out this tradition with his family. We had to stand in line for like an hour…that was kind of tough on Luna, but once we got closer there was this path of lights, and decorations everywhere leading up to Santa. Lets just say she was better at waiting in line than seeing Santa 😂 I don’t blame her because he wasn’t a pleasant one….
Behind the scenes:
Luna: “Oh heck no he’s creepy!!!!”
Me: “It’s okay Luna he’s nice!
Santa: “Why did I agree to this bs every year!?”
Luna: “Let me go right now!!”
Me: “Just keep smiling, this will be a funny photo.”
Santa: “did I fart or was that the kid?”
Michael: “wooohooo she’s a quick one!”
Luna: “SOMEBODY HELP!!!”
Ta-Da!! The Final Picture!
Our plans for the next few weeks:
♦ We just did a Christmas photoshoot today! I’m a sucker for cute family photos (obviously) so part of our tradition we will be taking a family Christmas photo every year…as long as we live, and our family expands lol like I’ll need Luna’s kid’s, kid’s in the photo 60 years from now.
♦ Taking Luna to the movies for the first time!!! Going to watch the new Grinch. She loves the one with Jim Carrey so I’m hoping she can sit through this one. (I’m worried of it being too loud though.)
♦ Michael’s dear aunt Suzanne is taking us to see the Beauty and the Beast musical. One of Luna’s favorite movie’s so I’m sure she will love it!
♦ Celebrate Christmas with my brother’s before I leave to California. So sad they aren’t going to be with us this year!!! =(
♦ Polar Express Ride this Saturday. It’s in Fort Lauderdale on the Brightline train! Heard so much about it, and can’t wait to see how it goes. Not gonna lie this was mostly for me lol, but I’m glad I have a child to drag along haha
♦ Luna and I leave for California December 11. She’s still considered a lap child so she could travel free, but I decided to get her own seat this time. With it being such a long flight, and Mike isn’t coming till later I figured it would be a little easier if she has her own seat.
♦ Michael flies in Dec. 19
♦ Rented a cozy cabin in Tahoe Dec.20-22 (hopefully it snows a lot!) ANDDDD we will be putting Luna on ski’s for the first time!
♦ Hopefully make it to Bayside Church for one of their Christmas service’s. I love, and miss this church!
♦ Celebrate Christmas Eve, and Christmas with my crazy Russian family! Cant wait for all the food, everyone talking over each other, singing Christmas Carols, and eating more food lol
♦ Ring in the new year in Miami!!! (Luna sitting this one out.)
Gift idea’s for your toddler:
• A couple months ago we got Luna an Arts and Craft Table from Pottery Barn. Let me tell you, it was the greatest investment! Im not joking when I say she sits, and draws throughout the entire day. And when we go out to eat she gets so excited when the hostess brings her something to draw with. I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear her little mouth say “Draw? Draw? Momma, draw?” lol
• Matryoshka (Russian doll) I just recently discovered her love for this doll. When I posted her playing with it on my IG I was so surprised to hear some of your responses! Even those who aren’t Russian played with one as a kid, and I’m so happy to have reminded some of you about it because many came back saying how much your toddler loves it!
• Kiwico Subscription Box. No I’m not getting paid to advertise them lol as a matter of fact I actually can’t speak to highly about it either because I just registered, and we got the first box a few days ago..but the concept is great. Every month your child receives a fun box with a little project specifically made for them based on their age. It’s convenient for us parents because sometimes we run out of ideas on how to entertain our kid! At least that takes care of one day out of the month where we can count on this activity box!
• What does your kid love?!! Like I mentioned above Luna is obsessed with anything that she can draw with so… I’m planning to get her this art easel from Melissa & Doug. I already know this will be her favorite gift!
• Bath Crayons! I just got her some a month ago, and omg water + drawing all at once?! It’s HEAVEN FOR HER. Now I can actually enjoy a bath without her rushing me out. It’s a win win. In case you are wondering how safe these crayons really are for your tub, well they are! Comes right off with just water, and your hand.
• More stuff to make bath time fun! I just got her these Bath Drops which we haven’t used yet. Going to add this item into her stocking!
• Okay so I’m not going to get this for Luna yet because she’s still too young, but I wanted to share this for the parent’s who have kids that are at least 4 years old. A Ponycycle! I’m sure you’ve seen these at the mall! Well, they sell them on amazon! If I was a kid this would be like the best gift ever! (It’s a bit pricey so make sure it’s something your child will love, maybe go test drive one at the mall first lol)
• Igen Magnetic Toys (they sell these on Amazon) It was during one of her appointments when she saw these magnetic toys. She didn’t want to leave because she was so attached to them! Just ordered it for her! Hopefully she still finds them fun.
• Large Floor Puzzles. Again amazon sells some amazing ones.
• A train! I am so excited to surprise Luna with this. I don’t know where her love for trains started, but anywhere we go if she see’s one she says “oooooo Momma, Choo Choo!!!” There’s one on amazon called the Polar Express Train which looks very sturdy, and blows smoke!
• Duplo Lego Sets
• Button Art (on amazon) just warning you the button’s are going to end up all over your house, and hurt like a b*tch when you step on one. Other then that, it’s great for their development!
• Anything from Little Tikes! We got Luna the waterpark play table which has been great! Especially since we live in Florida. When I’m too lazy to take her in the pool or go to the beach I just let her splash around with this table… going to get her either the little indoor trampoline or slide next =)
• Books! If your toddler doesn’t like them, too bad!! Force them! I don’t know if I even have to say this, but get books that make sounds, touch & feel one, bright colors, hard pages so they don’t rip them, anything that grabs their attention!
• Go to Target!! Last time I went they have the BIGGEST selection of toys! I know that’s where I’ll be going!
• Christmas Eve Box! One of my sweet followers brought up this cute idea that I’m for sure going to do every year with Luna. It’s called the “Christmas Eve Box.” Basically fill it with everything to use that night. Christmas pajamas, socks, cute props to take fun photos with, A Christmas movie, favorite snacks for the movie, and whatever else you can think of! Now, this is great to give to your kid’s, but what about your significant other?! Sooooooooo I’ve decided how about doing a “Naughty Christmas Eve Box” for your spouse!? 😈
When it comes to toddlers, and finding things to entertain them with it’s hard! I want toys that are fun, but not pointless. Meaning it needs to be something educational, helps her develop, and so on…If I get meaningless toys they usually end up being….well very meaningless. She will play with them for a second, and forget about it later. The ones that are actually good for her become more useful, and she enjoys them! A lot of the things I mentioned above I personally feel confident about. Whether it’s educational or simply something fun that they can entertain themselves with to give you a little break….
I know I just mentioned all these amazing gifts, and it seems like I’m encouraging you all to buy your kids everything, but thats not the case at all. In fact I completely disagree with giving them TONS of presents. As Luna gets older I want her to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas, and not expect lavish gifts during this Holiday. I want to make sure she doesn’t get too spoiled or feel entitled. But rather generous, and understanding that everything we have is a blessing from God.
On that note, for those of you who are religious, I have a HUGE question for you! How do you introduce this to your child? Like get them in the habit of praying, reading child friendly bible stories and so on? Is 2 years old still too young for them? Please comment below! 🙏🏼