Christmas snuck up on me this year. All of a sudden it was here, and we hadn't done the gingerbread house yet! So on the morning of Christmas Eve, that's what we did. I helped out a little, but the kids did most of it themselves. I think it turned out pretty cute.
We decided as a group (our little clan: us 5 plus my Mom and my sister) that we were going to have a low key Christmas this year. Thanksgiving had been quite the "to do", and we didn't want the stress of the cooking the big fancy meals. We had plans to go to the 7pm family service at church on Christmas Eve, but I got a late start on my spaghetti sauce, we ate dinner at 6:15pm, and it just didn't happen. I of course, feel like crap about that....but what's done is done. Anyway, we had spaghetti on Christmas Eve, which was thrilling for the boys who love my spaghetti. For Christmas dinner, my sister cooked a wonderful authentic Mexican feast. It was so good, and so nice for me to be out of the kitchen for once.
As a holiday must....there was lots of champagne! YAY for champagne! This time last year, I couldn't have any as I had just found out that we were expecting a baby. It was nice to indulge this year! When I look at this sweet, gorgeous, strapping 4 month old baby, I can't believe that one year ago - he was basically a collection of cells. Women. We are so awesome, aren't we? Making humans in our bodies. Totally amazing.
The kids were SO excited on Christmas Eve as they got ready for bed. We left cookies and milk out for Santa, as well as some carrots for the reindeer. N. also wrote a note to Santa, requesting that he leave his stocking in his bedroom. This way, if he woke up at the crack of dawn - he'd have something to do while waiting for his meanie parents to get up, make coffee, etc. He ended up talking us out of bed at 5:30 - 30 minutes earlier than my 6am requirement.
Christmas morning was super exciting for the kids, as we (Big Al and I) don't let them see wrapped presents from us until Christmas morning. The only presents that are under our tree before Christmas are from relatives who have sent them to us in the mail.
This year we had my Mom and sister come over right when the kids got up (also in their jammies...because it was 5:30 in the morning) and we opened all of the presents at once. Santa's, ours, grandma's, auntie's, everyone's. Just one more perk of having my Mom right around the corner! It was a lot of fun. As always, my children were spoiled rotten and have been loving every minute of it. Every year, I'm surprised at what the favorites are. I always think...."Look at that. *That* lame thing is his favorite toy. Why didn't I just get that? I could have saved hundreds of dollars on all of this other crap I bought!" One of my lovely Christmas presents from my cutie-patootie husband was one that didn't have to be wrapped - a 3 hour nap after we were done with our big Christmas breakfast. Awesome.
Anyway, Christmas was great this year. And I'm glad that it's over!
(This pic of R. is entitled "Twas the Night before Christmas...........")
In other, less festive news.....
Yesterday morning, while trying to haul a very smart-mouthed R. up the stairs for a time out, I threw my back out. It's absolutely killing me. Advil is barely cutting it....but little by very, very, little - it seems to be getting better. See what 50 pounds of bratty almost-4-year-old can do? I'm getting old and beginning to break. Thankfully, my Mom is off work this week, and has taken the big boys off my hands yet again. Thank God for that woman. I truly don't know what I'd do without her.