Sunday, January 26, 2014

Christmas in Toledo

The day after Christmas we woke up early (since the kids never let us sleep in) to open presents and have another Christmas morning at Nana and Papa's house! Funny story: Adalyn woke up super early and decided she was going to go wake Nana up. As Nana was trying to wake up, she walked into her bathroom to find that Adalyn had completely stripped down and told Nana that she was ready for a bath. My parents have a big garden tub and Adalyn loves taking baths in it. Of course if it had been me, I would have told her to put her pjs back on, but my mom is a good Nana and obliged her. This is why she had crazy hair for opening presents.

 My parents got the kids their own suitcases and got the large size so that the kids can use them for many years. (My teenage nieces still use theirs.) The funny part is that the bags were so huge that the kids could actually fit in them so of course they wanted daddy to lift them up in the bags.

Happy boy!
 My cousin called and wanted to come see the kids. She brought these two matching reindeer hats for the kids that she made. She made both in one day! She is crazy talented! Adalyn LOVES hers. And both are big enough that they can wear them next year.

We all got ready for the day and headed out to Children's Wonderland. I have lots of memories from going to Children's Wonderland when I was little so I was excited to take the kids. They both really enjoyed looking at all of the Christmas scenes and all of the moving parts. Cayden was so intent on everything too. 

 Everything was at eye level / stroller level for the kids so I think they were extra in tune to everything.

 Adalyn went on a train ride a few times. She was a fan!
 We had a fun day!
The next day my brother and his kids came to town. Adalyn absolutely loves her cousins and was so excited to spend time with them! (Me too!) After church on Sunday we had to get some pictures!

Sunday night we went to The Lights Before Christmas at the Zoo. Yes, it was after Christmas but we'll still call it by it's name. This is another one of my childhood traditions. We always go see the lights at the zoo. And every year the zoo does more lights than the year before!

The view headed into the zoo from the bridge.

Of course it started raining on us but we braved the rain in order to drink some hot chocolate and dance to the "dancing trees" as my nieces and nephew labeled the choreographed lights/music trees. Thankfully the rain was light and didn't last long. We had a fun family time and didn't freeze. The kids enjoyed all the lights and music!

My nieces wanted to go see Frozen with Adalyn before we left town so on Monday all of the kids (except Caleb - he had already seen it and wanted to stay home), my brother, my mom and myself went to see Frozen. We had fun and Adalyn never got restless in the movie. This was her first movie in a theater and she did so good!  Even a couple weeks later when she heard a Frozen song she told me all about one of the scenes in the movie. We can wait to buy it when it comes out!

We had a wonderful mini-vacation in Toledo for Christmas. It was hard to come back home and get back to reality. We made a lot of memories!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Christmas Day

Santa came to our house!

 We got the traditional picture on the stairs.
 We tried to start a kids only picture tradition on stairs, but this is how it turned out.

 Brother was not interested in another picture!
 Santa brought Adalyn a new doll and new fairy wings. He brought Cayden a fishing game and a remote control car.
 Their big gift from Santa was a table and chairs. They were both excited about it!Cayden thinks he's big stuff sitting at the table.

 Sweet boy!
We opened stockings next. (Of course even though Cayden and Adalyn got almost the same items in their stockings, he still wanted hers! Santa knew that we're at the stage that we have to have two of everything the same.) After stockings we took a break for some homemade sticky buns. After breakfast we opened presents. I didn't get my camera out because we video taped the whole thing and I just wanted to be present and enjoy and not worry about messing with my camera. We took our time opening gifts and each person took a turn and we actually opened things so kids could play before moving on to the next present. It was so nice and relaxing and felt non-commercialized. We didn't do lots of presents but it took us a good 3 hours to open presents just because we were so slow! Kids don't know that other kids tear through presents like tornadoes so we feel like we can set a different precedence in our house so that our kids can appreciate each item and not be all "gimme gimme". That's just not what Christmas is all about.

After we finished opening presents Adalyn asked if it was time to go to Nana's and Papa's house. We were planning on heading there the next day and told her we would go after bedtime. But she begged that she would take her nap in the car and really wanted to go to their house. So since we had absolutely nothing else planned for the day other than playing with toys, we obliged her. You would have thought she won the lottery she was so excited. I think she might have been more excited than opening her presents. We packed all up and the kids napped in the car and watched their new Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 movies and about an hour away we called and surprised my parents and told them we were headed their way. They didn't have any kids/grandkids in town on Christmas so they were excited that we were surprising them! We got there close to bedtime so the kids went down to bed soon after we got there but we were able to all wake up the next morning and have another Christmas morning with Nana and Papa.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve afternoon and evening was spent in Louisville. After the Christmas Eve party at Jonathan's Aunt's house, we changed the kids into their Christmas pj's and headed home. Looking back, we probably should have left Louisville earlier than we did since we had an hour car ride to get home. (You'll see why in the pictures.) There are some traditions I like to have with the kids at our house (cookies for Santa, reindeer food, hanging stockings, opening a present of a new Christmas book, reading the Real Christmas story and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas) but most of those were completely spoiled by my children being so far past bedtime. Poor things were melted down and just wanted their beds. No precious pj pictures in front of the tree this year.  Here are a few pictures of our night...
Poor boy just didn't want to open that present.
His sister didn't want to open it either. She just wanted to lay down and was begging for her bed.
Mommy somehow talked them into opening their new Christmas book.

 Hanging their stockings by the chimney with care.
Daddy read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. One of his childhood traditions.
 Adalyn didn't want any part of putting cookies out for Santa. Poor girl was just too tired and refused to look at the camera. She did tell me which chair was for Santa to sit in to eat his cookies, though.
 She did notice in the morning that Santa had eaten his cookies and drank his milk. She was pretty excited about that. 
 And this was how I was able to bribe her to do all of the above pictured things. She was so excited to put the reindeer food out that she had just made with Aunt Heather. That was her highlight of the night.
 Mommy and Cayden came outside to help with the reindeer food too!
After the kids went to sleep, I took a few pictures of our Christmas decorations all lit up at night. I love our tree! It's so much fun and I love the bright colors. My only purchase this year was the stocking holders and I think they go perfectly with the stockings! (Of course I don't have a close up pic of all of them.)
 Here is the other side of the room. The kid stuff takes away from the decor, but that's just the phase of life we're in. This is reality. Decorations and toys have to live together:)
 The kids loved the mistletoe this year. They were programmed to give kisses when we walked under it. It was so sweet.
 This is the tree in the front window. Having two trees is a lot of work to put up and take down, but I love having both of them. This one is formal and has a lot of special ornaments and is beautiful from the street. The other tree is fun and bright and so much fun for the kids!
Spoiler alert: Santa came to our house! I'll have pictures to prove it in the next post:)