Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas in retrospect

The decorations are all put away, the tree is down and chopped up into tiny bits to fit in the yard waste can, and every errant pine needle has been swept away.  And if you're like me, you could probably go at least 9 months without hearing the word "Christmas" again.  But we had such a wonderful time with family and friends last week I didn't feel like I could skip this post entirely.  So I'll try to cut out all the jingle jangle and stick to cute and funny stories about the boys.

We celebrated Christmas at our house the week before the big day.  Originally we were going to open presents on the 23rd, before we left for Pennsylvania.  But if you know our history you know we tend to decided to "just go ahead" and celebrate early.  But it was totally justified this time!  We though it would be too much to open gifts, pack up and drive to PA all in one morning.  And I'm sure we were right.  Saturday the 18th was free and clear on the calendar so we deemed it our faux family Christmas, jammies, messy morning hair and all! 

Photobucket

Not only can Jack say the word "presents" now but he clearly knows what it means and all it entails.  He's an entertaining unwrapper ... and his excitement was everything we were hoping for.

Photobucket


Jude was pretty impressive too.  He must have been watching his brother because he was whipping off paper in no time.  I wasn't expecting him to be able to celebrate much so we didn't really bother getting him many gifts.  I ended up stealing a few from Jack's pile and sliding them over Jude's way halfway into the morning.  Not that it matters, Jack thinks every child-like item in this house is his anyway.

Photobucket
Jon and I got more of a kick out of Jack's horse costume than Jack did.
The morning started with Christmas tree shaped pancakes and ended with a walk through National Zoo in DC to see all the Christmas lights.  It was, sadly, my first time into the city since we moved here.  And although the Zoo Lights were fun and pretty ... they can't hold an (electric) candle to Virginia Beach's boardwalk and Norfolk's botanical garden displays.

Whenever we're home for the holidays our calendar is abuzz with celebrations, dinners, breakfast with friends, and shopping trips.  We were fortunate not to have to travel to New Jersey or New York this year, which was a big help, especially with the kiddos.  Jack and Jude are really great travelers for the most part, but I like to avoid extended hours in the car with them if at all possible.

Photobucket

Our first day in town, the boys spent an evening with Marmie and Poppa so Jon and I could celebrate his birthday with his parents, sister and brother-in-law.  Can I just say how lovely it is to go out for an adults-only dinner every once in a while?  It's such a luxury to get to eat my food with both hands ... and while it's still hot. 

Photobucket


We spent Christmas Eve with Jon's family too.  By this point the anticipation was starting to get to Jack.  And I can't blame him, Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the year too!  We had a special candlelight service with Christmas songs and scripture readings.  After Jack realized his candle wasn't real, he was ready to move on to something else.  So we spent the better part of the ceremony munching on cookies in the kitchen.

Photobucket

Of course, Jack isn't alone.  He just feeds off his older cousins' energy.  When the 5 of them get together it can be a touch overwhelming (don't even want to think about adding Jude to the mix next year!). 

Photobucket

But they all love each other. 

Photobucket

Photobucket
Jack just took a swipe at Alex a second before I snapped this picture.
And despite spending months practicing all the family names using pictures on the fridge ... Jack still can't keep the boys straight.

Photobucket
Ryley, Tyler, Ethan and Alex in their new Redskins jerseys!
And that was our Christmas with Nonnie and Poppie and the rest of the family.  If you ask Jack about his time there he'll probably mention two things:  "applesaw" and " 'gerines".  It's all about the food with this kid.  Nonnie let him sit at the counter (on a big boy stool no less) to eat a tangerine one day and he insisted on eating them in the very same spot the rest of our visit.  And thanks to his grandparents he's been asking for "applesaw" and " 'gerines" several times a day since we got back.

Photobucket

Christmas Day we spent with my folks.  Thankfully the kids were up neither early nor late.  Although Jack has got the hang of presents, he hasn't quite figured out the benefit of waking up the house.  We kept the kids in their jammies until well after naptime.  As for the adults, well let's just say the year I started caring about how I looked in Christmas pictures for years to come was the year I stopped racing down to the tree in my jammies and bed head.  You only live in a moment once ... but those pictures last forever.

Photobucket


What they say about kids and the packaging is all true.  Jack had more fun trying to open a present with a plastic tab from a different gift than he had with the present itself.  Or the hand trowel that Uncle Micah had in his stocking.  Jack whisked it away and immediately started fishing for shark.

Photobucket


It's really hard to open gifts when your 2 year old keeps stealing the show.

Photobucket

Of course, all that faded away when Uncle Jared brought out the big gift.

Photobucket


Jack is all seriousness when it comes to riding his new Handy Manny quad.   So far, he's only managed to figure out how to push the button.  But those steering skills will come.

Photobucket


One of Jack's favorite things to do at Marmie and Poppa's house is jump on the trampoline with Poppa.  They can jump for at least an hour at a time, in the cold!   One particular afternoon Poppa decided to combine two Jack-loves:  the trampoline and the quad.  And in case you're wondering why my son is wearing a robe, his coat was dirty and in the wash.  It was the next best thing.



Another exciting moment was when G'Ma and Great Uncle Carl rolled in this beast, built by the Amish and with plenty of room for future offspring!  We all took turns rolling Jack around the house in it, and it certainly made packing up the Christmas presents a bit easier ... now getting it back to Maryland was another story!

Photobucket



Photobucket
Jack got a lot of big boy underwear for Christmas ... I think our family is trying to tell us something.
It was a good thing we made two trips!  Jon is yet again in the throes of paper writing for his grad program.  Our original plan was to come back after Christmas so he could get back to the grind, but I started to get a little depressed thinking about my parents being off of work and me being off of work and hanging out with just the kids while the hubster wrote papers all day, and not having anyone to ring in the new year with...  So we decided that the boys and I would stay up in PA while Jon came home to work in peace and quiet for a few days.
Jon was back in time to kiss me into 2011.  Plus we got to enjoy sauer kraut at Uncle Micah's.  Speaking of whom, for some reason Jack started referring to him as "Micahjer" - a combination of Micah and Jared.  Oddly enough, Uncle Jared is simply "Jer."  I'm not sure why or where this has come from, but it has been confirmed on several occasions, such as when Jack said "Micahjer's house" even though only Micah lives there.  It's kind of like the way we kids used to call my dad's mom "Grandma Benji" because she was our grandma and had a dog named Benji.  It will be interesting to see how long it lasts.

Photobucket


So we had a lovely Christmas and happy New Year, along with 10 fabulous days in our favorite state, and now we're back home and recovering well.  I'm hoping to have my life in order, and the house all cleaned up, by the end of the week. :)  And now, I'll leave you with this.  All I wanted was a picture of Jack in one of his new, utterly adorable Christmas outfits.  I ended up with this treasure, to add to my growing collection.

Photobucket


To all a goodnight!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow by Email