1) It's super easy to hide a post-partum belly under warm, cozy sweatshirts, [maternity] jeans and hoodies. You look so great for having a baby two weeks ago! Well, yes, one might think so until he/she saw the wiggly-jiggliness hiding beneath here.
2) Water-retention during pregnancy is kept to a minimum (unlike having a baby in late August. I wouldn't wish that swolleness on my worst enemy).
3) If you're a homebody like me, you can stay indoors for days and no one says a thing. So sorry! Can't leave the house! New baby! I barely stepped foot into our attached garage this week. Of course, I did because I needed Diet Coke.
What's this randomness have to do with Santa Claus? Well, after hiding from the freshly fallen snow and cold temperatures for two solid days, I decided last-minute Thursday afternoon to bundle up the kids and take them to see Santa Claus at a local mall. Believe me, I was very on the fence about this outing because A) leaving the house with two kids is a lot of work, B) this was my first time taking the kids out in public by myself, C) Brrrr. The roads were still pretty snowy / icy and we'd be driving back home during rush-hour traffic.
But, it'd been two days since we left the house and Tory was starting to get antsy. I thought a trip to the mall to burn off some energy at the indoor play park might be good for her. And, we could see Santa at the same time. Win/win. Also? Andi drove to the cabin Thursday night after work to meet the sauna installation guy so I was solo-parenting for 36 hours straight (also my first overnight alone with both kids). I figured we needed some sort of activity to eat up our evening.
Aden screamed from his car seat the entire drive to the mall, so we were off to a good start. (Just kidding, OMG. Thankfully, this is not the norm for him and the mall is only a few minutes away). Tory was cute in the backseat trying to reassure him. "Almost there, Baby Aden, almost there," on repeat for 15 minutes.
I'm nuts and require my kids to wear their Christmas outfits in their yearly Santa pictures, so I brought along Tory's dress, tights and shoes in a separate bag and dressed Aden in his button-up shirt, argyle sweater and red corduroy pants before we left. I also brought the stroller and car seat for Aden and the Baby Bjorn for back-up. Add in the diaper bag and, phew, kids are a lot of work.
When we arrived at the mall, I high-tailed it to the family bathroom suite to change Tory into her Christmas dress. (It was far too cold outside for her to wear the dress to the mall). After I changed Tory, Aden started to cry, so I fed him while simultaneously ignoring the fact Tory was now crawling around on the dirty floor in her new dress.
Luckily, there was no line at Santa Claus (unlike the first year we took Tory), so we walked right up to the Big Guy. Tory was nervous immediately and grabbed onto my pant leg. It didn't matter that Aden was snuggled into Santa's arms, Tory didn't want anything to do with him. I guess I don't blame her. He's a stranger with a long white beard and it's a unfamiliar set-up all together. The photographer suggested I sit on the wooden stool beside Santa and Tory could sit on my lap. We had to do this last year, too, but this time the photographer said she'd Photoshop me out of the photo. For real?! Santa got high-tech this year! I like it.
|Excuse the picture of a picture|
Tory didn't want to talk to Santa Claus, so I guess he'll never know what presents she'd like to receive this Christmas. He did give Tory a little coloring book and she was pretty excited about that. Afterwards, we stopped by the indoor play park and Tory ran around like a crazy-lady for 20 minutes with her "friends." (That's what she called the other kids there when we were packing up to leave. Too funny).
Later that night as I was giving Tory a bath, we were discussing our trip to see Santa. I told her he'll be coming to visit on Christmas Eve to bring her presents and she shot me the strangest look like, "um that guy's not coming to my house." Ha! Oh, toddlers.