Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tree Hunt 2012

Before babies, we annually cut down our own tree. We always talked about keeping this tradition once we had kids. This year we headed to the tree farm, and you would've thought we were first time parents. We brought no stroller, no wagon, no extra blankets (it's cold out there, people), no snacks.

Of course, we didn't realize that we were so ill-prepared until we had unloaded all of the kids in the parking lot of the tree farm. So we just rolled with it. We investigated the pre-cut trees first. Decided we weren't sold and hopped on the tractor out to the tree fields. The kids LOVED the tractor. We were dropped off in a turn around where we were able to grab a tree dolly and a saw and off we set, walking roughly a half mile to the fields. With three kids. Under the age of two. I didn't say this plan was well thought out.

I was wearing Lauren and, of course, neither of the twins wanted to walk. So I carried Reese while Joe pulled along a saw and dolly and carried Ryan. We finally got out to the fields and most of the trees were the size of our toddlers. There was a lot of whining and shivering, and that was just from the adults. So we turned around, got back on the tractor and rode back to the main farm stand.

We popped into the country cafe on the farm and Ryan housed four apple cider donuts while Reese guzzled cider like it was nobody's business. Since the twinks were preoccupied, I headed back out to the pre-cuts to reevaluate our options with Lola strapped to my chest. Having a baby strapped to you makes lifting up heavy trees nearly impossible. But I managed to find a few that looked like they had potential.

By the time the kids were done eating donuts for dinner with their snacks we headed back out and lo and behold, one of the trees I picked was a winner.

Everything with three kids takes longer. This trip was no different. Picking one tree took us the better part of three hours from start to finish. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Our tree really was the perfect tree. Perfectly shaped, with no bald spots. Really pretty. Although this wasn't our best decorating job. And one of our light strands burnt out the week before Christmas making the whole tree turn off and really putting a buzz kill on the holly jolly around our house.

That said, the kids were great with the tree. They don't get gifts often enough to know what they are so they left the presents under the tree, untouched. And aside from pointing out "balls", "pretty" (i.e. bows), and "mirrors" (i.e. beads) they didn't really touch the tree itself.

Well, that's a lie. Ryan broke a Christmas ball, but it was my fault. I heard him take a ball off the tree and I whipped around the corner and yelled "what are you doing?!" causing him to throw the ball in the air. It crashed to the floor and shattered into a bunch of pieces. I managed to pick him up and put him in the playroom without anyone getting hurt. Lesson learned. Don't sneak up on a toddler playing with glass and scare the turds out of him. Shame on me.

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