It's November 11th which means, besides Veteran's Day, it's time to deck the halls.
Oh stop cringing. If you had holiday crazed kids, you do it, too. :)
Yesterday afternoon Kelton decided he was brave enough to get up into the garage attic to retrieve the Christmas boxes. The high schooler that I have been paying to do things like this sprained his knee and has to have it immobilized for two weeks. The kids wanted no part of waiting two weeks and well...I don't blame them. So Kelton gathered his courage and hoisted himself into attic.
I have a 6 ft ladder but it's a good 2 feet more to the ceiling - which is a good sized leap of faith for a 9 year old. More so for coming down than going up.
Very proudly, he worked and worked and pulled the bins to the edge of the opening so I could grab them and pull them down. We got everything and then it was time for him to come down.
He freaked out. I tried to talk him through it - told him I was right there and I wouldn't let him fall (knowing full well it was quite possible we would both end up hurt but no good would come from telling him that). Nothing doing. I called a neighbor to see if she had a taller ladder. She didn't. She suggested calling another neighbor but I really didn't want to. I tried with Kelton again. Still nothing doing.
I went out on the driveway and saw the son of one of my other neighbors (the one the first neighbor suggested I call) so I yelled out asking if his dad was home. Casey popped his head out from where he was in the yard and I quickly explained my situation and over he came. See...Casey is a firefighter so rescuing is something he is trained to do. Thank goodness.
He climbed up the ladder, explained to Kelton what he would do, talked him into getting on his tummy and sliding towards the exit. Kelton did as instructed and with seconds, he had his feet on the floor.
He and I were both very relieved.
We gave our thanks, and Casey headed home. It sure is good to have neighbors who are looking out for the kids and I. It really does help me feel safer here alone with them. I have good neighbors and I am very thankful for that.
So - this morning, the kids and I brought in a box at a time and they happily and excitedly unpacked everything. The "OH WOW! Remember THIS?" flew about. I stood back and let them go at it. They decided where they wanted things (a lot of stuff has had a regular "home" for their entire lives so they put much of it in the places I would have) and I just let them have at it. I wish I could say I felt the excitment, but I didn't. I had hoped that would be different this year. It isn't. I talked with Stephanie a bit ago and lamented how I was feeling so she and I are going to try hard to create some new memories together. I think that will help because right now, I feel very much like I have a blank slate and just need to start over.
I nixed some of the stuff and either got it ready to donate, put it aside for Dakota, or just put it away for another year. Many of the things my grandmother gave me, or made, is put away. I just wasn't feeling it this year and well...as it turns out, you really CAN have too many needlepoint decorations hanging around.
I pulled out the Santa photos and a few other Christmas portraits and put those up. I have to say, the kids Santa pictures and portraits are probably my favorite decorations. I love seeing how they were and how they have changed. The memories flood in; first Christmas', second Christmas'.... My favorite photo of all is the one of the two of them when Kaylen was 22 months old. She was having a FIT over Santa and we had to take her shoes off because she kept kicking him. It's hysterical! Dakota thought I was mean for making her do it but I knew that A) she wouldn't remember and B) it would be an awesome photo to have. I was so right. :)
You know you want to see it. :)
Santa freaked her out for years! In another photo (the next year's) Santa had to sneak in behind the kids, as they sat on a bench, so he could even be in the photo. The poor man had made the tragic error of walking into the room prior to the photo and Kaylen saw him. After the photo, he had to sneak back out of the room and hide from her. I'm pretty sure everyone there that day remembers the epic freak out. I have to say though, Santa and his staff handled it like pros!
So - the house is decorated. The kids would have loved to put the tree up today but no way am I going to trip over a tree taking up half the living room for 6 weeks. I'll pull it out and set it up with them the first week in December. Besides - it gives us something to look forward to.