Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mother-Daughter Holiday Tea

Yesterday was my sickest day yet of this pregnancy so far . . . which is to say exponentially better than any of my prior four pregnancies! I mean, seriously, I can still brush my teeth every day, something I couldn't do for the entire duration of my earlier pregnancies, which make shock readers but that's common when one has hyperemesis gravidarum. I am grateful for what is seeming like the typical pregnancies I've always heard about.

Mary wearing a Mass dress for no good reason

Yesterday I couldn't make it past two o'clock, when I lay on the couch while playing Uno with the kids.

Then I lay on the couch in the sun room while supervising them playing in the back yard . . .

. . . followed by laying on the couch back in the den while they watched TV, and then while Daddy made and served them dinner.

Then I transferred upstairs to bed where I lay still manning a movie on the iPad to captivate the children who were not currently receiving a bath from Daddy.

And then I went to sleep. I guess that means I was laying down for sixteen hours straight! (Thank you, Chris!)

Therefore, I sure was worried that today I would be unable to keep my long-held reservation to take Mary (6) to the holiday tea at The Ballantyne Hotel. When I had called on December 1 to make a reservation, they were already booked a month out with only a few openings left. Thankfully, today wasn't so bad and I was able to fake it till I made it!

Leaving for the Holiday Tea

Such lovely table decorations!
Mary took home the candy canes to her siblings.
The Ballantyne Hotel is one of the fanciest hotels in Charlotte and, apparently, where President Obama stayed when he visited our town a couple of years ago. The atmosphere, decor, live music, and service were refreshing and peaceful. This is the same hotel we have visited each year to see the gingerbread houses (which we will be going to see as a family soon).

Do I look queasy? I sure was!

A feast of sweets!

I talked to Mary ahead of time about using her "fancy manners" and was very pleased to see how well she rose to the occasion. It can be so disheartening to be around one's children's relaxed manners day in and day out and to think they're just a bunch of wild Indians. But all my teaching, guiding, haranguing, and disciplining isn't for naught! Given the right environment, Mary was able to walk slowly, sit up straight, speak very politely to the waitress, make conversation with me, and use her silverware well. In fact, not one but several mature, silver-haired ladies came up to us over the course of our visit to speak to Mary because they had noticed her behavior. I think learning to exhibit good manners is empowering for children (and then adults), as it is the key that opens doors to events and places they couldn't otherwise visit.

A two-story Christmas tree

We enjoyed listening to a harpist during our tea. When we first arrived, he was playing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," which is one of Mary's piano pieces for her upcoming recital, so that caused her excitement. After our tea, she requested we sit and listen to the music for a time, and the gentleman paused to talk to us, which tickled my little girl.

I hope this holiday tea is the first of many! This is a wonderful, truly special event and I look forward the future . . . and when Margaret turns five so she may join us too!


  1. What a fun, sweet occasion! I'm sorry you've been so sick...just think-in a little under nine months, you'll have a new blessing in your arms! I'm sure that makes it worth it. -Emiliann W.

  2. Ugh, well, hurray for teeth brushing! I'm so glad you were able to make the tea. What a lovely holiday tradition! I'm glad you posted this, I was under the impression the gingerbread house were up until New Year's. I would have missed them otherwise.