Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

A lovely Christmas was had by all and thankfully the storm didn't dump as much snow as expected or as soon as thought and we managed to make it to my grandmother's and back without issue and Lydia arrived safely from Florida!!  So now, here's what you wanted (or at least I'm guessing you want since you read this blog) - photos and stories!

Christmas Eve at my IL's (Nana & Big Dad)

Kids were on great behavior which was a bit startling given how difficult the previous 24 hours had been, but I guess they were getting it out of their system.  After a quick lunch, we opened gifts and of course, the kids went first!  I love this photo - Sandy (Mrs. Claus) getting them started with gifts - they are listening so well!

The kids got so many wonderful things - Ravens long sleeved t-shirts or sweatshirts, books, games, Marvel Comics stuff (Bryce), baby doll crib (Piper), clothes!  They ate a LOT of cookies and candy that day much to my chagrin but I did make sure they ate a decent lunch to start with.  Then later in the afternoon, Sandy's extended family arrived and the kids enjoyed the extra company and excitement.  Although I think all the grownups enjoyed them more.  So full of spirit and fun!  Christmas Eve is the best for that!  Piper conked out on Tom's lap around 7pm and we left soon after to get home in time for Santa.  So cute!

No problems getting anyone to bed and then Jason and I exchanged gifts, which is so nice to do in peace.  Someday we'll do it on Christmas with the kids but right now we'd have no time because as soon as they are done it's time to get all the toys out of their packaging!!  Who cares that mommy got a new lens or daddy got a new golf glove??

Anyway, when we finally got to bed that night, I think I was almost as excited as the kids.  The past couple of years I have a hard time sleeping on Christmas Eve as I'm just so excited for the morning.  I went to bed after midnight, got up with a crying Piper at 2:45 and then had a hard time going back to sleep.  I think after that I only kind of dozed and then was up before 7am waiting for the kids to stir - which Caroline soon did.  She woke Bryce without issue and then woke Piper who was NOT happy to be woken up!  But she came around in time for the annual shot on the steps, but I had to hold her:

They randomly opened stockings first because they are right there on the steps (even though they know the good stuff is in the family room) and then made their way to Christmas land.  Both Caroline and Piper opened their American Girl dolls first!  I was so excited!

Piper finally got her "purple baby" (I had changed the outfit to the one she'd seen in the catalog) and named her "Purple Lola" as she names all her dolls "Lola" but this one must be special as she has a distinct name.  Bryce was excited about all his gifts but I was the happiest when he opened the Monster Truck Ramp and he exclaimed, "This is JUST what I wanted!"  Truth be told that was a last minute pick up for him and it wasn't exactly what I'd wanted to get him, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to get that reaction:

One of the things Piper got was the Olivia dress up set and she promptly put on one of the outfits but when I tried to take her photo, she wouldn't let me.  So naturally, I chased her down.

Bryce was thoroughly happy with his bug sucker too!  Poor kid has no bugs to suck up right now though, but that didn't stop him from playing with it!  Caroline played pretty much all day with her American Girl doll and earlier that morning decided that the doll's name is Emily.  So here, meet Emily:

I'm so proud of how well she's taking care of her already!  (That was part of the deal with getting such a nice doll!)   As the kids played, we called the grandparents to wish them Merry Christmas.  My MIL, Sandy, got on the phone and told the kids that Santa had dropped off 3 gifts at our house overnight from her and they were in the closet.  The kids were so excited and the girls got their American Girl pets and Bryce got a robot. (She didn't want to give them the AG pets the night before, for obvious Santa reasons!)  Then we chatted with my mom and told her we'd be over soon.  It was while I was on the phone that Bryce was laying in the hallway playing with the 3 Zhu Zhu Pets that Jason's Aunt Linda had given the kids the night before. He was having fun with them and then I noticed Piper was playing with them.  Fast forward to later in the morning and Caroline's Zhu Zhu is gone.  I still haven't found it and the mess is fairly cleaned up. I can only guess Piper picked it up and stashed it somewhere.

Anyway, we made it to my mom's by noon and had lunch and waited for my brother and his wife, Kelly, to arrive.  (Lola and Chrissa were there so Piper was entertained with her canine cousin.)  When K&K arrived, it was gift time!  Kids went first, as usual, and they got some great stuff.  The favorites were Bryce's "My First Shaving Kit " (a riot!) and a magic tricks kit.  He even went up in secret with my brother later on and tried to master a few tricks.  I really need to video a few of them for you as he tries so hard to pull them off.  Really adorable!  And then Piper received her Cleaning Trolley.  Hysterical!  She was so excited when she opened it and my mom started getting it out for her, she was kissing my mom's arms and back!  She also refused to open any other gifts!  This is a weird toy as it says "Just Like Home" but I don't know too many people who have a cleaning trolley at home.  More like "Just Like Housekeeping."  All 3 kids were instantly interested and in the time that we've been home, they have all been "cleaning" with it.  Caroline got some more American Girl clothes and played happily by herself  completely into her new doll!

Piper was her usual silly self and got my dad to throw her around a bit (she loves it!):

Oh and here is Caroline in the poofy skirt she was so excited to get:

We got each of the girls the skirt/legging set from Costco and they loved them!  Piper's is purple, of course, and I hope she'll wear it later this week.  They are so darn cute!

After a delicious dinner, we headed home to prepare for today.  We decided the snow might not be so bad and headed west arriving by 11am.  We had our annual gift exchange and gifts from MeeMaw - the kids continued to be on their best behavior and I was so proud of Caroline's developing graciousness and appreciation for gifts.  Piper was thrilled to get her own doll stroller, Caroline some more AG clothes, and Bryce some clothes, musical instruments, and books.  Of course Piper was happy to see baby Flora again but Flora was quickly trumped by Lola's arrival!  But baby time reigned again and Piper got her share of Flora holding, kissing, and poking:

The most exciting part of the day though (for me) was my mom got an accordion!  My uncle owns a music store in KY and gets really cool used instruments.  Mom played the accordion when she was in 4th through 6th grade and picked that thing up like it had been just a few years, not decades since she played!  We all enjoyed the oooom-pa pa tunes she played and had a laugh at how easy she made it seem!  Bryce was VERY interested in it and watched my mother intently.

We decided to head back home by 4pm to make sure we beat any snow we might be getting and have some non-dark driving.  I was sad to leave a little early, but I think we made the right choice. Kids got to bed on time and I had some time to sort through everything, although not really put things away.  Thank goodness recycling day is tomorrow!!  Cardboard out the wazhoo!

And with that, I will end this exhaustingly long post.  Whew.


BJ said...

Love the picture of you and the kids

Heather said...

Sounds like a lovely family-fun-filled Christmas! You'll have to come visit us and take the girls to the AG doll store/museum thingee in NYC. I'm thinking that might be Gretchen's birthday gift...but she really is more into stuffed animals than her dolls, so we'll see if that changes as she gets a little older.