Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Cheer

Christmas 2012

Thankfully I remembered to grab my camera and take a quick photo of us before we rushed out of the door for mass.  It's normally something I forget to do.  But look how nice we all look, and the kids... in their matching outfits....still relatively clean.  This happens once and a blue moon these days so enjoy that is.

The reason we probably took the picture above is because my picture obsessed loving father-in-law was in town.  And had we not taken those photos before matter how late we were going to be....he would have flipped.  But seriously I'm happy he was here and that he has a very unhealthy habit of taking photographs or I would not have that gem above.

Luckily he managed to grab a few with the kiddos as well.  I think he is physically restraining Margot from moving right here.  No I'm not kidding....anything for the picture.

After Mass, we headed home where we took our turn in hosting the annual Christmas Eve party.  I managed to get one picture of the kiddos with their nice clothes on by the tree before all our company arrived.

Sadly my father-in-law was upstairs changing clothes or doing God knows what,  and I know he was because if he was around for the tree picture taking session, I'd have a lot more than the one above to show you.  In fact, he may have even got a rope out to tie that youngest tike to the tree for the perfect picture.....and there are some of you out there that think I'm kidding.  I'm so not!

After lots of drinks, food, laughter and almost setting my neighbor's yard on fire, we said good-bye to our company and got into our cozy jammies.  We read our yearly "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and then got settled into our beds, with visions of vomit dancing through someone's head.

That's right, as Santa and his elves were finishing up downstairs we heard a weird noise coming from the littlest tike's room.  I debated on whether to actually go into her room to check on her, I immensely feared waking her up and that resulting in her wanting to come down and play with all the new loot Santa had just dropped off.  It has been known to happen with our sweet, stubborn, little caboose.  Once she is up, she is up. But that mother's instinct kicked in and I went up to check on her.  As soon as I opened her bedroom door, the smell knocked me out.  All of the Christmas goodies she had eaten that night made a nasty re-appearance.  So at 2am we  whisked her off into the bathtub and then into a new set of pajamas with a fresh set of sheets on the bed.  Nothing like early morning Christmas laundry.  Then we amazingly were able to tuck her little butt back in bed.

At this point Santa was exhausted and so was his elf.... and the Momma knew it would be a long Christmas day ahead.  The biggest two tikes were up bright and early and were mesmerized when they woke up to this...

 But I made them wait patiently until their baby sister was awake...after about 45 seconds of them complaining about the unfairness of that.  I decided they were right and told Josh to go and wake the little booger up.  I mean I have been woken up by her more than my fair share....what do they say  about payback.  Oh I kid...she did rally though and came down with a smile....well sort of a smile.  

Meredith was thrilled to finally be able to attack her pile.  She went at it in true Meredith fashion. One gift at a time, taking her time and watching to make sure she was going to be the last one left with something wrapped.

I wasn't quite sure how Noah would attack his pile, but he did just that.  He went at it full speed.  He never turned around or showed us what he got.  He simply unwrapped every wrapped item in the pile to quickly see what it was.  We heard.."WOW....COOL....I LOVE IT.....AWESOME...COOL....LOOK!"  Over and over until it was nothing but a pile of unwrapped toys.  It took approximately 35 seconds.

Margot went right after hers as well.   She became increasingly interested in unwrapping gifts this Christmas. In fact a few family members received already opened gifts this year.  I was not wrapping anything twice.  She attacked her few wrapped gifts cautiously and thoroughly.  She ripped tiny piece by tiny piece and didn't stop until the job was complete.   And once it was, she parked her little but in her new house and watched everyone else.

After about a half hour my living room looked like this.  You can see Noah's pile over there of semi wrapped gifts.  The first thing he did was go to the toy room and get some of his old toys to play with his new ones.  Meredith looked at her gifts one by one and decided what she was saving to play with later.  And Margot, well her everything Santa left open and unwrapped she plays with daily, but the ones in the original packaging are still in the original packaging, in her closet.  Mainly because I am the meanest mother ever and have decided that since our house was on the market, we weren't opening unnecessary toys.  They would be easier to move in the original boxes.  It would be like Christmas all over again when we moved.  Now 2 months later, the house still on the market, I guess I should break out those little people.  Seriously, it was only like 3 things...maybe two...Hmmm I wonder where they are.  Poor third child.

And that my friends was our Christmas.  Margot wound up spreading her Christmas Cheer around to everyone, including me.  Phenegran gel and Zofran became my favorite gift that year.  Tis' the season.  We also sent that special cheer home with Poppy Greg.  

**This post was written in February of 2012...the end of February.  I'm backdating it.  I'm trying to get back at it and highlight some of the things I missed.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The land of the mouse

So maybe you heard...we visited the Land of the Mouse again.  I know, the kids expectations on Disney is high now.

 Meredith and Noah have both been three times and Margot just experienced it for the first time.  It's honestly not the kids, it's me.  I love it.  I'd rather go to Disney, then some exotic island.  I guess I'm weird.

 But I'm going to be honest now, the mouse land, it did me in.  I promise we are not going back until Margot is about 4.  Even with an extra set of hands, it was exhausting.  Had we not brought my mom, I might have booked us all plane rides home mid-week.

 Oh I kid, the kids loved it.  Margot was a definite trooper.  She was so very tired, but she hung like naps were a thing of the past.  Poor baby asked to go to bed at 5pm the day we got home.

 Meredith and Noah saw Disney again for the first time, Noah was a baby (22 months & 11 months) on his first two trips so this was essentially like he was going for the first time again.  He was amazed.

This year we did more stuff in Disney than we ever had before.  I guess it was their ages.  Well Josh and I  and the two bigs, Mimi and Margot joined us here and there, in between naps and rests stops for Margot.

 Margot was scared to death of all the characters, she would scream frantically and run into her daddy's arms everytime one approached us.  By the end of the week, she loved them and thought they all should greet her personally and give her a hug. Her favorite characters were Pooh Bear, she cut a very long line of people and walked right up to him to plant this smooch on his lips!  And she also loved Thumper.

We were actually waiting in line to see Minnie Mouse about 100 feet away and she saw Thumper across the way and demanded to go see her.  So we go out of  a very long line to meet Minnie to go and see her.  Her favorite rides were the carousel, Dumbo and it's a small world.  Oh and FYI, best place to see the characters in my opinion is Animal Kingdom, best setup to stand in lines and cutest shots!

Meredith decided she was over princesses.  Instead she was enthralled with the lion king.  With her envelope of money she brought home the entire set of lion kings stuffed animals.....exciting! (Can you hear my sarcasm, it's there....I loathe allergen collectors stuffed animals.)  Nevertheless we now own several stuffed animals shaped like lions.  It wasn't what I would have picked, but it wasn't my money.

 This year, the kids got money in and envelope from their Mimi and when it was gone, it was gone.  Meredith waited all trip to spend hers, hemming and hawing and thinking long and hard about what she wanted.  Her favorite shows were The Festival of the Lion King, Muppets, Mickey's Philharmonic Orchestra and Beauty and the Beast.  Her favorite rides were tea cups, Dumbo, Peter Pan and It's a Small World.  She also rode her first roller coaster...Splash Mountain...and while she was so very nervous, she loved it.  And she also rode her first thrill ride...Test Track...she also loved that!

Noah loved Disney World, but he really loved was the transportation to and from Disney....the boats, buses, and the MONORAIL!  I could have skipped purchasing this guy a ticket and just put him on the monorail in the morning with some chicken nuggets and a coke and picked him back up at the end of the day.  He knew all the different colors that rode on the various tracks and could not wait to get on them.  It only added to the excitement that we stayed at the Contemporary, where monorails passed through the actual hotel.  Yes, exciting stuff indeed! (no sarcasm...seriously...loved this hotel!)  The highlight of his week was taking a picture with an actual monorail driver.  After he was finished he looked at her and said "One day I'm going to be a monorail driver just like you!"  To him it was like meeting Cinderella.

And he also did meet Cinderella and that confirmed what I already boy is a flirt!

Noah's favorite rides were Small World, The Track, and Peter Pan.  He cried because he wasn't tall enough for Test Track...I mean crocodile tears.

The trip was great, the kids had a blast.  It was also right around Noah's 4th birthday so we scored a Birthday pin and every person who worked at Disney from characters to food service workers told Noah Happy Birthday.  He had no clue how they all knew it was his birthday!  Super cute!

Disney was awesome, but next time we go I think I will require everyone be able to wipe their own asses first and entertain themselves happily and quietly on the plane.