Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Nutcracker and the Moon

Last Sunday I took Ava to see The Nutcracker at a nearby performing arts center.  This show was billed as having a bit of a Minnesota twist, which I thought sounded interesting, yet...I hoped they wouldn't stray too much from the original ballet.  Turns out that the story is the same, it's just the background settings that changed - and honestly, unless you read the playbill, you wouldn't have even known that it was set in Minnesota, as opposed to Germany (Austria? I'm not 100% sure where it is supposed to be!)

It was a lovely afternoon spent with Ava, where we both enjoyed the ballet...the dancing, the costumes, and the music (my favorite part!)  It reminded me of all of the times my parents took me to see it when I was a little girl.  I hope to continue that tradition with Ava.  Afterwards, as an additional treat, I took Ava to a Caribou and treated us both to some hot chocolate. She was pretty excited to discover what coffee shops were like, and also taste the sheer yumminess that is produced there!

She insisted on taking a selfie!

Enjoying her hot chocolate with a caramel shot

The holiday fun didn't stop there!  On Monday night, the whole family, including both sets of grandparents, watched G's daycare perform a variety of holiday songs at the local community center.  It was adorable, heartwarming, and filled with moments of utter chaos.  Props to the teachers who tried their very best to teach the kids (even the two-year-olds) a few traditional songs.  I'm certain it was a ton of work, and their efforts paid off.  (G is STILL randomly singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"...)  The teachers clearly knew their kids limit, and made the wise decision to have them all onstage at once, and limited it to just a handful of songs.  The highlight of the show came when one little boy dropped his pants and mooned the crowd.  I didn't see it happen, but the crowd reacted...and then all control was lost.  The program quickly wrapped up, which was a good thing, because...Santa had come to visit all of the kids! 

See the kid in green in the front row?  Now, see the little face sticking out over his right shoulder?  That's G!

G and I waited in the Santa line, and we got to meet his girlfriend (who was right in front of us.) I'm pretty sure that G has no idea what a "girlfriend" is, but when asked if he had one, he didn't hesitate to say Ellie!  Also, I have no idea what G told Santa he wanted, but it was a nice ending to a very long day.  Ava and Grandma Karen came up to keep me company while waiting in line, which was a nice reprieve...G wasn't the only one who had a long day, and I was running on E trying to keep little G entertained for 20 minutes while waiting in line!

This captures reality...Ava is such a good, well-behaved kid.  G is a little bit more wild (but sweet, too!)


Long list for Santa! 
Side note: is that a dinosaur on the floor by Santa's right boot??

The rest of the week was full of work, errands, and wrapping Christmas presents in the morning (I really, really dislike wrapping presents, so last year I figured out that if I wrap 4-5 gifts each workday morning, while I still have energy and no one is up yet, it becomes an easier task to manage.  Right now I only have 5 left to wrap and it feels GREAT!)

Due to an incoming snowstorm, I worked from home on Friday afternoon...I was able to get so much work done, and even enjoyed watching the snow come down (instead of lamenting about how it would impact the evening commute.)  After the kids were in bed on Friday night, Scott and I rented a movie...we both managed to stay awake for the entire thing!  Amazing!

Yesterday it was snowy and cold, so we kept ourselves entertained inside. (Scott was busy clearing out several driveways, plus he was able to get his Christmas shopping done, too...and when I say "his" Christmas shopping, I mean the gifts for me. Since I do all of the shopping for ALL of the other gifts, I insist that he buy and wrap mine...I like to have a few surprises under the tree, too!) 

Ava and I worked on decorating a gingerbread house, but this time, it was a pre-built one.  It was a great kit, but Ava's interest level waned after 20 minutes or so.  I'm pretty sure that this would not win a realtor's showcase award for amazing homes.  But, it was time spent together, and that's what matters.

Last night we had a super early dinner and then watched "The Secret Life of Pets" as a family...we had taken Ava to see it this summer, but G was too little to go at that time.  He was pretty excited to see the animals doing all sorts of crazy things (plus he has a few stuffed animals from the movie, so he got to see them in live action!)  We were supposed to go to a Christmas party last night, but due to the snow and freezing temps, we opted to stay warm and at home. 

I just checked the temp and it's -18 right now.  BRRRRRR!  We're not going anywhere today, that's for sure!

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