December 12, 2015 | I don’t recall how many years this has been happening, but I do know it looks VERY different than it used to. So many kids! While E is the youngest by far, she manages to hold her own (for the most part). R & S host, and they are expecting their first baby in February. They make the main dish and everyone else is responsible for sides and adult beverages. So once the kiddos were setup with a Christmas-craft, the adults gathered for the “Favorite Things” exchange. We had a $10 budget to bring something we loved, and the rules were setup just like a White Elephant. It was fun, and interesting to see what things people enjoy the most. Lots of wine… 🙂 Ultimately WE had to end all of the stealing because it was past E’s bedtime and she was starting to lose it. The first images are of the kids looking at vintage-mechanical-Santa…who sang and danced (& Dave unplugged by the end of the night)… #scrooge
December 12, 2015 | After the cries of last year, we were SURE that it would be a repeat performance. I researched all of the options/times/costs/etc, when out of the blue our friends asked if we wanted to join them at their Real Estate Agents party. PERFECT! No major lines, plus all sorts of added activities for the kiddos. Balloon art, face painting, snacks & crafts…plus a photo with Santa. But at this particular function, they don’t allow the “crying-kid-on-Santa” bit to happen. As soon as tears are detected, he gets up and walks away, while the parents sit and hold the nervous kiddo. Then he stands behind us for a photo. Waaa waaa. Oh well, I’m sure the photo will be great once we receive it! I have always wanted E to try the whole face-paint thing, and this was the best time. She sat totally still, and even smiled at herself in the mirror once she realized the flower was on HER CHEEK! And the red balloon flower was a big hit too — even if she swung it around like a sword after watching all the older kids do it. I’m going to call this a big success!
December 8, 2015 | There was a loud THUD, followed by some more urgent crying than usual. I walked into E’s dark room towards the crib, but heard the crying at my feet vs. in the bed. Imagine my surprise to find her standing on the floor, with a large bump on her forehead!? The day had arrived that she climbed out to freedom, but I think it was traumatic enough that she didn’t attempt it again. Just in case, I ordered the rail that night to add to her crib, thinking we would wait and see what happened. Well, my dearest decided this night that he would install the rail while I was with a client downstairs…imagine my surprise. Were we ready for this?! But so far we are over a week into this new adventure, and she’s done awesome. Naps are a little more challenging (she’d rather get out and play then nap) but overnights are good. Except when it is time to get up, we are waiting to hear talking and instead hear her door rattling and the doorknob making scary-sounds. It’s so creepy!
December 6, 2015 | I can hardly believe it, but I didn’t take a SINGLE PHOTO. It had been awhile since we saw all of our friends and their kiddos, so that week I just sent out an e-mail to see if anyone could get together on Sunday. Much to me AWESOME surprise, everyone could make it! I made a couple of main dishes and people brought some sides/desserts. Low-key, a bit crazy with all of the kids, but really great. I’m kinda thinking I may want to make this an annual gathering the weekend after Thanksgiving… 🙂
I’m so happy D took video and photos, and put it all together!
November 28, 2015 | After a full day at my parents’ home, we dressed E in her PJ’s and left at bed time. She doesn’t usually sleep the whole time anymore (2 hours) but we hoped she would sleep a little. I think the first 45 minutes she was still amped-up and chatty, but finally fell quiet. Once we arrived, there were LOTS of family members awake and having fun (cards and drinks) so E was just stunned when we carried her into the chaos at 10 PM. She sat in my lap and just took it all in, eventually smiling when Cousin S had his dog walk closer to her. Then she started talking and having fun, and we let her stay up a bit before deciding she should sleep.
The next morning we woke at our usual time, but the rest of the house was asleep in most of the rooms E usually plays in. Not to mention it was REALLY cold outside, so that was only a 30-minute option. We had to keep her off the stairs, out of the office, and try to keep her from stomping too much on the floor. After we exhausted all of our efforts, we killed some time at the Walmart. It’s nice that she’s still at the age of “ok, now put it back on the shelf” and she does. 🙂 We may have brought back a wiener-dog Christmas inflatable since a couple family members own wiener dogs. It was a big hit with the littles!
Tons of the crew trickled their way in to the house over the course of the day, and we took a fairly-complete family photo as well!
And I want to include the cell-phone images too:
November 27, 2015 | Since we celebrate with D’s family on Saturday each year, and my sister has her in-laws to celebrate with on the actual day of Thanksgiving, we decided to do our big family on the Friday. Which means just our immediate three spent Thursday relaxin’ at home. Well, except for photographing our annual Christmas card during her nap and putting it all together/ordering that night…phew! But we knew we wanted to spend most of the day/evening with my parents before making the night time drive to D’s Mom’s house. After a whole random set of errands and packing we made it to their house close to lunch…with a Bux in-hand of course! The two cousins stole the show, and have a lot of fun around the house. Grandpa thought it would be funny to teach them how to drink out of shot-glasses…which was pretty great despite water going EVERYWHERE. Great-Grandpa was there too, and I’m thrilled that E didn’t cry at him! Even smiled, and brought him a few toys. Although after the image on his lap was taken she wanted DOWN… 🙂
And the cell phone pic…the only one I grabbed!