|I think we need to hop on the "Christmas jammies" bandwagon. These children are a mess!|
|She was upset because we interrupted "Chaw-cha-chool" to make her open gifts.|
|And then she was upset because we all laughed at her. This girl!|
The boys broke into our room at 2:45am on our unofficial Christmas morning and Jon sent them straight back to bed in his gruffest 2:45am voice. Meanwhile, I rolled over with a smile because our kids are at that age where they're finally, legitimately excited and Christmas actually feels like Christmas and not just any other morning.
|If you happen to see a Frozen microphone at Target ...|
|... turn around and walk away. Trust me on this. You do not need a microphone that plays the same 10 second segment over and over and over.|
|Kid-safe candlelight service.|
|Aunt "Ay-chel" is officially that relative that buys the obnoxiously large stuffed animal that your child simply adores!|
|I love when Marmie busts out the "former Kindergarten teacher" moves. It's borderline miraculous.|
|I mean, these are my children--actually listening and engaged in the Christmas story!|
And it was very good.
|And Aunt Kylee is officially the relative that can make you feel all loved and special before you even open the gift!|
|Doggie Doo - another gift you may want to run far, far away from.|
|Even Jäger got his most favorite gift for Christmas--attention!|
As a gift for the entire family, my in-laws took us all to Great Wolf Lodge. We love the Lodge. Well actually, I love that my kids love the Lodge. The whole experience usually leaves my little introverted self curled in a ball in the corner, but the kids are off-the-wall giddy and that makes it totally worth it. Also, Jon's parents treated me to my first-ever facial while we were there. It was heavenly.
|Nonnie is so good at Sister Outfits!|
|Coolest room ever!!|
|She wasn't as enthusiastic about sleeping on the sofa bed.|
|In which someone yelled "Whoever smiles gets a cookie!" Works like a charm.|
|Central Pennsylvania walks.|
|And our annual all-you-can-eat-sushi dinner for Jon's birthday!|
|I hate to admit it, but those Black Friday $35 Kindles have positively transformed our road trip experiences!|
|And now this girl gets the DVD player all to herself!|
We got home with four tired and cranky children and one wild and crazy dog. With oodles and oodles of new gifts that everyone wants to play with all at the same time (with mom's help) and an empty fridge and a Christmas tree surrounded by piles of dead needles. And I'm like, "Who was I kidding? I do not like this week. This week is STRESSFUL!"
|Christmas break--in which we let it all hang out.|
Yeah, there are no more diaper changes or nursing schedules. No more middle-of-the-night feedings or long, stretched out moments trying to rock the baby to sleep. Their needs are different these days: watch me sing, watch me dance, watch me do this cool trick! Mom, do you want to see how I craft a diamond sword in Minecraft? Mom, can I gave a drink, a snack, another snack, a treat (that isn't a snack)? Moooom, watch "'chaw-cha-chool (Paw Patrol) downstairs!" (Usually yelled in my face at 5:30am.) Can you play this game, can you paint my nails, can you change my doll's clothes? I'VE GOT BOOGERS!! Why are you wearing that? What's in your hair? Can we make this? Can we make this now? Can we make this later? Mom? Mom? MOOOOOMMMM??
Meanwhile, all this mama wants to do is get this fire hazard of a Christmas tree out of my living room.
|This is progress, sadly.|
|Meanwhile, children don't stop requiring clean clothes.|
|I tossed that tree to the curb! And no, this is not morning. This was definitely taken in the late-afternoon. Don't let the jammies fool you.|
It took 3 whole days but most of the house is cleaned up and whatever isn't was thrown into the guest room in preparation for New Year's Eve guests. We actually made an effort to ring in the new year, along with two other couples and our combined 10 children. It was insane--light up balloons, confetti, whistles and kazoos, and a faux Netflix countdown to midnight. But we managed to have a good time and get the kids in bed before 8:30pm.
And no, we did not make it 'til midnight either. My last memory is of Jon crawling into bed and giving me a new year's kiss at 11:36. Curtain closes. Fade to black. ...Until 7:00am and today's edition of "watch Chaw-cha-chool downstairs!"
|The highlight of her NYE--holding THE BABY! After everyone left for the night, she spent 10 minutes screaming, "I WANT THE BABY! I WANT THE BABY!"|
I plan to spend the rest of this first day of 2016 trying to get back on it. We'll start with a mundane washing of dishes, followed by a sweeping-up of confetti, and finished off with a tackling of the guest room catch-all. And then I'll tell the kids that they can start off this new year with a sleepover IF they go to bed at 7:00pm. Which means I may finally be able to steal a little time for some setting of goals and mulling over my one word for this year. Yay!
Friends, it truly was a merry Christmas. It was also a happy old year, and I am full of faith that 2016 is going to be a happy new year!