Thursday, December 26, 2013

Best Christmas Yet!

I have been more excited for Christmas this year than I can ever remember being! The boys are so much more aware of everything Christmas related this year, from Santa Claus to the Christmas tree. They woke up on Christmas Eve morning saying Merry Christmas & are still saying "Ho Ho Ho" & asking to watch "Thamas Santa" (a thomas the train christmas video.) We shopped early this year & have had gifts hidden our closet for months, which had been killing both of us not to go ahead & give them to the boys. I knew that the things we had bought & the other gifts they were getting they were going to LOVE. We focused a lot on their interests of course & their interest in pretend play but also on developmental needs, especially for Caden & Kellan's speech & expressive behavior.

We did things a little different this year. Some things will always be the same, like Donna working late into Christmas Eve & sometimes even for a couple of hours on Christmas Day (Christmas day is only on really busy years like this this one) this is just the norm for FedEx families. Last year we headed to our parents in FL as soon as she got off work & spent Christmas with them. This year we decided we would be home Christmas morning/day & the boys would get to enjoy their goodies from Santa & some much needed family time with mom mom who they desperately missed by the time Christmas Day rolled around.

Donna got home from work about 10:30 Christmas Eve. I had already prepped all the food for Christmas brunch & she had already wrapped all the gifts that needed wrapping. Once the boys went to bed I did a little rearranging of their playroom to make space for the new stuff & i brought their gifts out from hiding. I knew Donna really wanted to partake in putting together toys on Christmas Eve so I held off on that until she got home. Once she arrived we went right to work assembling a play kitchen from my parents & a train table & tool bench from us. Come 2am I was saying nasty things to my parents in my head, lol... That kitchen took FOUR HOURS to put together! It should out last our grandchildren though. I set up a little display so the boys would see everything as soon as they walked out & we finally made it to bed at 3am.


The boys woke at their usual 7am and were so excited to see what Santa had brought them! They didn't know what to touch or play with first. They drove their trains, washed their hands in their new kitchen & even hammered & drilled at their new tool bench, sometimes with a hand on 2 of them at the same time.

Caden

Caden, Garren, Kellan 

Kellan & Garren 

Caden... Bake cookies or play with Thomas???

Garren washing his hands, lol

Caden, Garren, Kellan

Kellan & Caden

Caden & Garren,
Caden had a nice long chat with Santa on that phone.
 
Caden, Garren, Kellan 

Kellan

Garren 

My mom & bonus dad joined us for Christmas arriving about an hour after the boys woke up. The boys were still very busy with their new stuff & couldn't be slowed down for unwrapping other gifts. We just enjoyed watching them play & started cooking brunch. 

Garren & grandma

Garren opened most of the presents, even his brothers :)

We did eventually open more gifts with or without the boys interest. Once they saw more new stuff like tool boxes with tools, Thomas puzzles, Nabi Jrs & art desks they were excited all over again. The best show of excitement was when Garren noticed the box of gifts my parents brought in & spotted a red robot inside. He exclaimed "WOW!!! Look at that!" As he picked it up.

Caden & Kellan, the robots from Poppy are a big hit!

I had never made or hosted a Christmas brunch before (only dinner) so my menu was a bit experimental. 

The menu
Spiral cut smoked ham
Egg nog coffee cake muffins
Christmas casserole
Baked oatmeal
Broccoli & cauliflower casserole
Cheesy spinach crescent rolls
Pumpkin pie

Everything came out good but I will tweak a couple of the recipes when I make them in the future. 
(Muffins needed more egg nog/liquid & Christmas casserole needed to be thicker so more potatoes & probably eggs. I cut the oatmeal recipe in half to begin with) Overall everyone enjoyed everything with the exception of the boys, with all the new goodies they could not be bothered with food, Caden literally ate nothing until dinner, Garren & Kellan only had a muffin or two.

My parents stayed until around 2 & they headed home to getting ready to leave for a week TN with my aunt, uncle & cousins (I'm so jealous!) we put the boys down for their nap & relaxed the rest of the day.

Our plans for the rest of the week & New Years have changed back & forth a couple times now, as it happens when you're married to a FedEx manager. They were so busy this year with deliveries that the director asked the managers to work the 2 days following the holiday to insure everything gets caught up. We are leaving Saturday morning though to celebrate with the rest of our parents & 2 of my sisters & their families. I always look forward to the kids all spending time together!

I hope your all had a wonderful Christmas too! What were some of your favorite highlights of the day?

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