Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lincoln's First Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year

My apologies for not posting these sooner. I didn't have enough material for Thanksgiving to post by itself, so I waited for Christmas. We signed up for a free 1-month trial of Amazon Prime so we could take advantage of the free shipping for Christmas presents…and then I didn't have time to prepare this post because we were furiously watching shows on Amazon Prime before our free trial ran out.[1]

Leann discovered that some of our neighbors, the Briggs, were thinking about cooking a turkey but weren't excited about having that much leftover meat and didn't relish the idea of having to make all the sides they wanted, too. Leann told them that she wanted to make all the sides, but didn't want to bake a turkey. So we had Thanksgiving together. They brought the turkey, the gravy, the candied yams, broccoli, and cranberry ice and we provided the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the fruit salad, the dinner rolls, the cranberry Jell-O, the corn, the lemon meringue pie, and two pecan pies. It was all very delicious.

The weekend before Christmas we were supposed to get more than 8 inches of snow in one night. Church was cancelled, but we still let the kids open the presents with their Sunday clothes. What little cuties!

Even though the snowfall wasn't as dire as predicted, we did still get quite a bit. So I took Lilli out to play in it. I taught her how to make snow angels (strangely, mine turned out headless) and snowballs. It was just warm/cold enough for some decent-sized icicles to form. If you look closely, you can see that some of them are nearly a full story long.

In years past [2] we've had a small, artificial Christmas tree. This year we were planning on buying a living tree, but then Leann found a good deal for a 7-foot artificial tree so we went ahead and got it. Lilli got to help decorate the tree for the first time. To avert inveterate ornament-moving on Lilli's part, Leann gave her two ornaments (the candy cane-striped tree ornament and the polished wooden heart ornament) that she could move to her heart's content; she wasn't allowed to move any others.

The whole week of Christmas our heat was out. Leann noticed it Monday night and called the maintenance emergency number. They blandly informed her that one of the two boilers was out (our heating comes from hot water pumped through baseboard heaters) and the company that installed the boilers wouldn't be able to come out to service the broken boiler until that Friday. Our apartment got down to 61°F, so we bought some space heaters and demanded a partial refund on our rent (which we got).

On Christmas Eve we read the Christmas story to Lilli and talked about the birth of Christ. Lilli and Leann made sugar cookies and left some out for Santa (and a carrot for the reindeer) and then Lilli went to bed. Leann and I watched The Nativity.

Much to our surprise, Lilli slept in. (No complaints here.) When she finally got up, we went out to see what Santa brought. Then we Skyped with grandparents while we opened presents. Unfortunately we didn't capture all the present-opening on video because the camera battery died and was recharging for part of the morning.

Lincoln's haul. He mostly got clothes, but there were also a few books, some toys (including a rubber duck with a test tube and Einstein hair, given to him by an undergraduate from my work, and a plush tyrannosaur), and a car seat cover.

Lilli's haul. When we tried to get her to ride the tricycle at the store, she didn't like it. But Leann showed her a little compartment in the back and Lilli instantly loved it. She's always putting her other toys in the compartment. She also scored some Mega Bloks, books, games, stuffed animals, clothes, etc.

Leann's haul. Between Santa Claus and friends and family, Leann received dairy-free food and candy, clothes (including winter wear), kitchen utensils, DVDs, and a calendar.

My haul. I got pretty much what I asked for: lots of books, DVDs, puzzles, video games, and plush microbes, as well as some Mexican candy, a Star Wars t-shirt, a sarape [3], a black carpenter bee, and a San Diego temple decal from my brother Nathan who is serving an LDS mission [4] in San Diego, California.

The next week, on the Monday before New Year's Eve, I came home early from work and we went to a holiday [Christmas] light display at one of the parks in Madison. Since there weren't any nativity displays and they couldn't even bring themselves to call it a Christmas light display, I couldn't bring myself to make a donation to help them perpetuate the display. Lilli was pretty excited to stop at Wendy's on the way home so she could eat chicken nuggets.

For New Years Leann made homemade lemon bars and seven-layer dip. Well, actually mine was a six-layer dip because I don't like olives and Leann's was a three-layer dip since she couldn't have dairy (cheese and sour cream layers are out) or raw onions, and she didn't want to open a can of olives. Leann went to bed at her usual time but got up just before midnight to feed Lincoln, so we were both actually awake (as well as Lincoln) for the transition into the new year.


[1] Reviews will be forthcoming.

[2] e.g. see my posts Christmas Day (2010) and Lillian's First Christmas (2011). There isn't a post for Christmas 2012 because I was too busy writing my dissertation and moving to Wisconsin.

[3] See

[4] For those who are unsure why Latter-day Saints (Mormons) go on missions, I recommend you visit here and here, where you can learn more about LDS beliefs concerning sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you have more questions, ask and maybe I'll do a full post on the topic.

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