Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Merry Christmas Indeed

Christmas was busy, but it came and went so quickly, I feel like it's still the holidays. Last year was our first Christmas as a family, in our own home, so we happened to started a few traditions. We've been buying our tree for the last few years because it's just easier and less time-consuming. Plus, you never know where you can and can't cut down a tree these days, even if it is from your own backyard. We got one of the scraggly ones nobody wanted from one of the few tree establishments still in business, and I think it was our best one yet.

Saturday was a normal weekend day, only there was a lot more cheer throughout the house. I still had to do laundry and clean and the like, but since it makes the decorations look better, it's not completely thankless. I finished last-minute shopping and wrapping of gifts while we planned for our special Christmas Eve evening which included a fantastic dinner - ham, mashed red potatoes, and green bean casserole - egg nog with rum, Sangria, candy, and PRESENTS.


 Her giant bus, monster truck thing.

 YUM-MO Gerber Puffs. She didn't like them when she first started eating solid foods, but with these that Grandma and Grandpa sent her, she was eating them by the double-handfuls.

 Inspector Louis, on the job.

 Opening her Olivia doll from Grandma and Grandpa. It's a show on Nick Jr. about a very dramatic pig. Zoey calls her Ya Ya.

"It's Ya Ya!"

 Showing Olivia to Durbin. She knows he's the dog who doesn't care about stuffed animals.

 An Elmo for the bath! Life vest and everything.

 Jacob opening his awesome shirt from my mom and dad. It looks very good on him and he really likes it. It's even label-y and everything, some motorcycle thing I'll have to ask him about later.

 Zoey's adorable new ensemble from Grandma.

 Yup, Daddy's helping her adjust her purse strap.

 Ensemble complete!

 Once we showed her how to open a present, she was pretty into it. She was probably hesitant since we're constantly telling her not to rip the flaps out of her pop-up books, but I think she got the idea. Here we are opening the Corn Popper Grandma and Grandpa got her. The noise really isn't that bad, compared to a lot of her other toys. At least the popping can't get stuck in your head.

 Trying it out, she was pretty entertained.

She does vacuuming motions with it.

We opened presents after dinner so, unfortunately, it wasn't long before it was bed time. It was bath night anyway so what a perfect opportunity to play with swimming Elmo!

 Elmo has never been in her bath before so I think she was pretty thrilled about that. Oh, and she loves baths.

My parents sent Jacob and I some really cool things too. My mom sent me some very cute pants and tops and - of course - candy! She sent Jacob another shirt and his favorite candy, and both of us some house-stuff, SO much appreciated! My mom also sent me a cookbook for different kinds of cookies, so who knows what my next cookie man might be!

I managed to get the house back from the brink of Christmas explosion and not get to bed too late. We woke up at the usual time because my body absolutely refuses to let me sleep longer than 7 hours, and Zoey usually gets up at 7am. We packed up our other batch of presents and headed up to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Columbus.

 Getting started with the wrapping.

Our haul, ready to go.

By 9am, us and all of our crap were ready to go. It's amazing how it always looks like we're moving anytime we go anywhere. Once we got to Grandma and Grandpa's, everything multiplied.

Jacob, Zoey, and I got a lot of wonderful things. I got a bevy of kitchen things that I've been needing (and that will aid in my baking and general June Cleaver-ish-ness), Zoey got more toys than she knows what to do with, and Jacob's parents gave us a fake, pre-lit tree. There was always yummy, delicious food on the table and someone to talk to, something to play with, or look at. And Layne and Zoey just ran circles around each other. Coincidentally, they both refused to take naps in the afternoon.

 Playing with Layne's cars that came from his cart 'o cars.

 Playing with the new Little People Farm from her Uncle Todd, Aunt Rachael and Cousin Layne.

 Introducing "Bank" to her new farm. We discovered later that it takes batteries and makes farm noises.

But what she loved more than her toys, the wrapping, or the boxes they came in were chairs. She was obsessed with the two little-people chairs in Grandma's living room. She's got her own way to get in them that includes me having to remind her to turn around and sit on her butt. She runs towards them saying, "Chair!" just like she runs towards her sleep suit exclaiming, "Schute!!"

We had a great prime rib dinner but, unfortunately, had to leave before we were able to try Jacob's dad's homemade cranberry ribbon cheesecake with Oreo cookie crust. Good thing we took some home.

The best present ever is that I get to be home this week (I write this as Zoey "naps" in her crib; i.e. talks to everything in her room). Monday was a bank holiday but that doesn't mean everyone would have had it off - Jacob had to work no matter what. What a rude awakening after the events of the last two days.

We don't have anything planned for this weekend - New Years. Zoey is going to have a sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa and I'm sure Jacob and I will be in bed by 11pm as usual. I'm glad I have this week to organize, go through things and essentially "start fresh" with the new year. Until then, nap time.