I took Wednesday, 12/23, off of work, and managed to get a few errands done, and things prepped for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It's amazing how much better things can go when I have the time, the energy, and the foresight to plan ahead!
We spent Christmas Eve with Scott's family at his brother's apartment. The food was wonderful, and the kids had a great time running around and being stinkin' cute.
G and his new G-sized Mickey Mouse from Papa Whitey!
Fun with her new Bratz doll!
Once we got home, we left out cookies, fudge and milk for Santa (no eggnog this year...I think that perhaps Santa overdid the eggnog in the coffee drinks leading up to Christmas, and needed an eggnog break...) We also started a new tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve...new pjs for everyone! Next year, I'll be sure to wash them BEFORE wrapping them so we can all wear them on Christmas Eve night. Oh well, lessons learned for next time!
I'm pretty sure that G touched all of the pj gifts, in rapid succession...
Lo and behold, the kids were good this year, because Santa came!
We had a nice Christmas breakfast, and then had a great time opening up the gifts. This was the first year that G could actually open the gifts, so it was fun to see him running around trying to pass out the gifts, and then patiently wait his turn to open his. Ava also did a fantastic job of being patient and letting G open his gifts, and not try to take all of the attention away from her little brother.
Sometimes it can be hard to work in the kitchen with two kids and two dogs always underfoot.
Patiently waiting for breakfast to bake...and for present time! G is doing some push-ups to kill some time, apparently.
Being super silly at breakfast! Moments after this, G grabbed my arm with his sticky hands. Yuck. :)
Our gift from Ava - a super cute snowman!
Our gift from G - I love getting gifts like this which have his hands or foot prints included!
Oh yes we did...his first drum set!
I disappeared for 10 minutes before we opened the gifts, and set up all of the new American Girl items in Ava's room. After we were done opening the gifts, I asked Ava to go up to her room...she completely flipped out when she saw the set up, and immediately named her new doll "Michelle". Not sure why, but whatever...Annie has a new best friend in Michelle!
This pic doesn't do justice for Ava's excitement - but, you can see that she's jumping for joy here!
Annie and Michelle, enjoying some pie...
We were so excited about Michelle and everything that she came with that we forgot we still had to stockings to open. Santa was very good to all of us this year, and even managed to surprise Scott with a few things.
This is a little CAT train set for G...even Lucky was interested in checking it out!
After all of the excitement died down, we had to focus on getting everything ready to go for Christmas dinner. We hosted all of the grandparents, as well as Scott's uncle Dale, for a prime rib dinner. As usual, we had more than enough food, and were all happily stuffed at the end of the dinner. It was a perfect way to cap off a wonderful day.
So happy to be able to spend the holidays with my parents again...20 years is a long time to be in different time zones (or states. Yes, Dad, I know that Kansas is also in the Central time zone.)
Ava had fun hanging out with Uncle Dale!
I won't lie...it was nice to get into my freshly washed, new pjs that night, and completely pass out on the couch after the kids were in bed. We tried to watch tv for a bit, but I'm pretty sure that neither Scott nor I made it longer than 20 minutes before we were both snoozing.
Yesterday was a little more normal, although Ava and I spent an entire hour trying to make an eraser (one of her new gifts) in the shape of a doughnut. The sculpting compound used to make erasers is nowhere as "user friendly" as play-doh, clay, etc. It is a super PITA, and my fingers are still sore from trying to knead all of the compound together to mix the colors. At least we have the "fun" memories of trying to make it!
Enjoying the K-cup hot chocolate that Santa brought to her!
This little boy has an amazing arm on him...he makes the basket more often than missing it!
G discovered a spray bottle full of water and had a blast squirting it all over his face...and pjs.
I took all of next week off...the kids will be at daycare/school release care, and I am SO excited to have the time to myself. My list of projects that I didn't finish over Thanksgiving week has had babies, so I have even more things to go. I'm sure I'll manage to fit in some fun things too (like going to the MOA with my mom for some quality mom-daughter time!)