First up was our yearly Secret Santa party with our friends. The kids had a blast. They got to run around like wild things with their friends…
…and open a ridiculous amount of presents. In this shot, Elyssa is attacking a stack of presents that doesn’t belong to her. It belongs to the only creature in the room who was both able to open presents and smaller than her (sorry Caroline!). Once we got her to her own pile, she decided the toys in the playroom were way more interesting than boxes wrapped in silly paper.
The next day we headed over to my momma’s house to celebrate Christmas there with my family–which meant another gift explosion. Sam and her cousin Jack opened their presents right next to each other and kept stopping to check out what the other was squealing at.
My Secret Santa there was pretty fantastic as well. My little bro saw my wishlist blog post and picked up Junot Diaz’s This Is How You Lose Her for me. I can’t wait to start it! It got pretty fantastic reviews and Diaz’s last book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was one that I could not put down.
The next day we headed down to my in-laws house where even more presents awaited their eager little fingers (and ours too! My mother-in-law saw that same blog post my brother shopped from and got me TOMS plaid wool classics. They’re so cozy!).
Ellie’s favorite part seemed to be the sparkly bows that she kept sticking all over herself.
We came home around bedtime on Christmas Eve and laid low all day on Christmas. We watched movies, tried out new toys (like the doctor kit and scrubs Samantha got) and played Hedbanz (which was a lot of fun and reminds me of a college drinking game).
On Wednesday we just hung out all morning. One of my favorite moments ever was when Ellie went into our little bookcase, picked out a book, brought it into the living room where her sister was watching TV and said “C’mon Bubba. Book.” She plopped her little self in their mini Toy Story couch and patted the spot next to her for her sister to sit down.
Samantha, of course, melted and immediately listened to her baby sister’s instructions. She sat down and read to her while Ellie gave her big fat hugs. It was pretty much the sweetest thing ever.
That afternoon we headed to the mall so that Sam could hit up Claire’s and spend the gift card she got in her stocking. Not one to miss a chance to get all fancy, she absolutely had to wear the Snow White dress Santa brought and some heels (even though it was freezing and the forecast promised snow).
Afterwards we had a little lunch date at Friendly’s (ditching the Snow White gown only because of a fear of ketchup and ice cream stains). It was a meltdown free, fabulous experience. Sam worked hard on a crossword puzzle and word scramble while her sister tested how many times she could stand in her highchair before being strapped down (turns out the answer is about a million because the girl knows how to butter me up).
Yesterday we kept the low key ball rolling. We stayed in our pajamas all day and played with new toys. Sam pretended to be my art teacher and taught me how to draw a snowman and a cake. When Ellie took a nap, Samantha went crazy with her new Lego Friends set. It’s her first real experience with Legos and she is madly in love with it.
We really need to get rid of all of the sweets in the house now. If they’re here, I will eat them. And I don’t really need to be eating them.
Case in point: hot cocoa and candy canes (the perfect combo, by the way). If they are here they will find their way into my mouth. And I will enjoy them before being annoyed at myself for my excessive chocolate consumption.
It all must go!… I just have to eat through it. Because that makes sense, right?