Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas...a little late

Christmas 2012 was a wild success against a lot of odds.  In years to come, when I look back at this Christmas I will remember it as one of pure magic.  Little Man was at just the right age to really believe that he heard Santa's reindeer on the front lawn eating the reindeer food and Peanut was at the right age to be excited because his big brother was excited.  Sweet Pea was at the right age to get into everything and cause trouble in her super cute way that makes it hard to even get upset with her.  We got to accomplish most of our family traditions like making sugar cookies on Christmas Eve, putting out the reindeer food, breakfast casserole in the morning and a special Christmas dinner.  We also added a new tradition of going to our great friend's house on Christmas Eve for dinner. The kids played, the adults drank and talked and it couldn't have been a more perfect evening. 

Christmas morning, the boys played in their rooms until 7 and then eagerly waited at the top of the stairs to be let down to see the magic.  Little Man told us that he got everything he asked for so Santa must have thought he had excellent behavior all year long.  Papa Bear completed the long awaited lemonade/icecream/ticket/fast food stand for the kids and it was a huge hit.  We opened presents and then paused for breakfast and then resumed the present opening.  The kids loved things so much that they would go and play with the gift for 20 or 30 minutes before coming back to open something else so it drew out the pleasure and the fun all morning.  I love that they didn't just rip through the gifts just to open them but that they took their time to enjoy it first.  It helps that Santa has everything out of the contraptions that strap the toys into the boxes so that it was easier for them to play with right away.  The other fun part was that Santa had the presents labeled with pictures instead of names so that everyone could see who the gift belonged to.  This helped alleviate fighting and allowed the boys to pick out the gifts not only for themselves but for each other and their sister.  Santa will do this again every year until they are all reading!

I know that when we look back at this Christmas it won't be about money or stress or jobs, it will be about the magic and miracles that happened for our family resulting in a perfect holiday.
Putting out the reindeer food

Let us down!!!

For me?

Patiently waiting for their first gift


Lightening McQueen

Not what we had in mind for this toy...

Toy Italian Firetruck from Uncle Mark and Tita Michelle

Pretty pretty

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Santa has already stopped by our house to deliver presents, eat his cookies and cheese and drink his milk.  He was VERY organized this year and each present has a picture on it of the child that it belongs too.  I love this idea and am hoping that it will allow the boys to know whose gift is whose and not fight or argue and it will allow them to be the elves that go and get gifts for each other to open.

Today has been an amazing day.  It is one of those days that you create in your head in the early morning hours but never actually imagine it will go that way.  We had a lazy morning and started the day with candy cane shaped pancakes and reading all of our Chanukah books a thousand times.  Then we played and had lunch followed by baking sugar cookies and decorating them for Santa.  (We used dough that we had made last week and frozen to cut down on the amount of time this all took).  Papa Bear and I prepped our breakfast casserole and the kids Christmas dinner (lasagna)  We attempted naps but there was just too much excitement in the air.  Then we headed out for Christmas Eve dinner, dessert and drinks at our good friend's house.  It was a laid back, carefree, drinks flowing kind of event that was just icing on the cake to an amazing day.

When we got home, the kids sprinkled reindeer food on the lawn, carefully put out the cookies and milk for Santa and then went straight to bed so that Santa could come.  Papa Bear and I got down to business getting things ready and enjoying a few drinks while we prepped for the morning.

I can't wait to see their little faces in the morning when they see everything Santa brought them.

More pictures to come....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You Better Not Cry.....

This year we didn't brave the malls with the long lines and high prices for a Santa picture because we still weren't sure if any of the kids would get near Santa. Little Man was excited to see Santa in theory and had written him a letter with the three things he was hoping to get this year  He was so excited to be able to hand deliver his letter but wasn't 100% about actually sitting on the Big Guy's lap.  So we found a local place near our house that had free Santa pictures, an Elf bounce and other fun activities.  Peanut was super excited in theory and didn't have any qualms but the closer we got to the front of the line the more he insisted that we go home.  So we promised him he didn't have to see Santa and he held us to that promise.  I don't even think he made eye contact with him.  Little Man hand delivered his letter and then Santa picked him up and put him on his lap.  Santa thanked him for writing him a letter and told him that it made his job a lot easier and he would try very hard to get him as many things as he could from his list.  Little Man was in awe.  Peanut was in hiding and Sweet Pea, well Sweet Pea was not thrilled at all. But we have our Santa 2011 picture and even though we are missing Peanut and Sweet Pea has her pacifier and is still crying - it is perfect!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Where is Sweet Pea?

Our most often asked question these days is "where is the baby" and the answer is never good. The question is always asked when she gets quiet so we send one of boys out as our scout and the report is usually something we don't want to hear. She has been found standing on the table, climbing the book shelves, stuck in the toy box, under the couch and behind the tv cabinet. And that was all in the last three days. The christmas tree is in a room all by itself and it is gated off at every entrance to the room because she would take it down one ornament at a time if we let her so we all admire it from the distance and the boys go in the room when she is sleeping or otherwise occupied.

Peanut is the family comedian and is often found laughing at himself especially at behavior that is not really laughable but he thinks that if he laughs he won't get in any trouble. The other night at dinner he declared "Peanut a funny funny guy". He has also started some real "almost three year old" behavior. After he hits his brother or pushes his sister he willingly goes to timeout but then he says that he is sorry from the step and pops up thinking that all is ok in the world. He gets very distraught when I explain that he has to do his time in timeout. Although he can be very convincing, as I have always said my will is stronger than his.

Little Man is all about trying to be a grown up these days. Oh I wish I could tell him not to be in a hurry but he asked me if he could have a chat with me and I asked him what about and he said that he just wanted to talk to me about life. So we talked about life and it was adorable because we didn't really talk as much as he talked and I listened and then I listened some more and he just went on bout every little thing that vent through his little head. I away good to catch up with my Little Man and I just love how his little brain works.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Virtual Holiday Cards

This year we have decided not to mail out our typical holiday cards to save the money on postage, printing and the work into addressing all of that so that we can spend more time focusing on family time and family fun.  But that doesn't mean that I didn't try to capture the perfect holiday photo to use to send a virtual card.  We captured some really great pictures.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy New Years!

Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Little Man, Peanut and Sweet Pea

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Stockings Are Hung By The Chimney With Care....

The Stockings are hung by the chimney with care with hopes that my kids will actually leave them there.  The Children were running all through the house to see if an elf came, hoping they'd find him and give him a name.  They found proof of his folly in a hat and a note, now they are thrilled with the words that he wrote......

Last night an elf came and set up some of the Christmas decorations in our house.  He left a note that he had lost his hat while decorating and asked the kids to find it for him.  Little Man has watched the Elf on a Shelf movie and while he was at a playdate saw the elf that was visiting that family.  He is convinced that we have an elf too but since the elf loses his magic if he is touched our elf is hiding really well because he doesn't want to risk Sweet Pea or Peanut touching him.  (This works out really well for me because the "Elf on a Shelf" is expensive and not remotely in our budget this year).  So our elf is a very good hider but left his hat by accident proving his existence.

The kids have taken down the stockings, rearranged all of the window stickers multiple times, Peanut is running around in circles yelling "ho ho ho" and the fire truck is sporting all of the nativity figures.  (The shepards are driving and Mary is working the rescue ladder).  This is exactly what Christmas is all about.  My house may not be perfectly decorated, heck the decorations might not even make it to see Christmas morning but my kids are loving it.

More fun to come today....we are putting up our tree and then trying to figure out how to Sweet Pea proof it.  I made the kids Christmas ornaments this year and they are almost ready to be added to their collection.  We are watching The Grinch (original version) tonight and maybe taking a drive through a few neighborhoods to see Christmas lights.  I love love love this time of year!