It's been a while. Actually, only a week, but it feels like longer. It's been a big week, and then tonight something rather explosive happened involving my in-laws which I'll probably write about later but don't want to write about right now because it'll make me angry and I want to have a nice, pure, happy Christmas post.
Because it was a wonderful Christmas. We headed to Houston on the morning of the 24th in a car loaded down with kids, clothes, presents, and labradors. From there we attended church (a first time attempt at the 4:00 service, which was shortened and very much geared towards kids; JP and my brother loved it, the rest of us sorely lamented the lack of Silent Night, the holding of candles, and any real Message), stopped by the house to change into pj's and pick up our pack of 5 dogs, and headed to the lake house. We enjoyed a delicious spaghetti dinner (new tradition) and began the opening of presents. I'll let the pictures take it from there.
All dressed up for Christmas Eve. I wore the champagne party outfit and the red lipstick. Red lipstick now equals Happy Holidays to me.
Now we're at the lake house. Our cute little tree was dwarfed by presents and we got a few adorable, but inappropriate pictures of a baby wanting wine:
I was resisting, I promise, but she's surprisingly strong and I didn't want to spill.
Santa might have realized too late that Landon wanted superhero stuff for Christmas (because Santa does his shopping well before December), but Landon's aunt and uncle came through. He got Spiderman, Batman, and Iron Man action figures, along with a Batman raincoat (with cape!) with JP's parents.
It was also a Christmas of footwear. Landon got shiny new orange crocs and dino slippers (because JP always makes him take his shoes off inside, and Landon, like me, likes having his feet covered). Then, my parents got him snazzy cowboy boots, a hat, and other Toy Story 3 memorabilia.
I was also gifted with boots! JP picked out some snazzy ones and I can't believe he (a) blew our supposed gift budget and (b) picked out something that really surprised me (along with being something I wanted).
Clairebear enjoyed the opening of presents as well. She got a new doll, some very noisy toys (thanks Papa and Gigi), and a holiday barbie from her aunt and uncle (the start of a new tradition). She got lots of help from her big brother in opening presents, and Landon was very careful to show her all the features of each new gift.
She also enjoyed all the family time and attention, and even hung out with my slightly baby-phobic baby brother.
Landon put his cookies out for Santa and kept talking about how he was going to meet him that night. Apparently we didn't explain Santa and his time commitments to the children of the world quite carefully enough.
That night the Biscuit woke up every 30 minutes with piercing cries. The walls of the lake house are thin and the room we share with her is small and basically, JP and I didn't get any sleep. Sometime around 2:30 a.m. he declared, "No more babies!" We threatened to take away Santa, but he thought about how good she's been the rest of the year and decided to bring her gifts anyway.
I look terrible in the next picture, but I'm displaying it as proof of how tired and puff-eyed you look after 4 hours of fractured sleep. It's going in the "con" pile for baby number 3. Of course, the 10 billion pictures of the Biscuit looking adorable are a rather weighty addition to the "pro" column.
Santa brought Landon two nerf guns. He's recently gone on a "shoot all the bad guys" kick and these provided fun for all ages. He also got some new books, a DVD, and two games (we have game night every night he finishes dinner by 7 p.m.), plus an Fisher Price iXL portable game system from my grandparents. Clairebear got a soup pot with plastic vegetables that she adores, a Sophie giraffe chew toy, and a peekaboo book. It was quite a Christmas.
We got to spend a lot of time watching them play together- it's adorable and my favorite part of family time. Landon was so happy and so excited to show Claire all the cool stuff around her.
It was a fabulous, low-key day. My aunt and her family came by in the afternoon, bearing more gifts and full of smiles and attention for the kiddos. JP got to blow up some fireworks he'd been saving since the 4th of July. It was freezing and windy and we didn't last too long outside, even though Landon was all dressed in his warmest things.
The day ended rather abruptly when Tex and my parents' yellow lab jumped up for the same frisbee and Max's teeth went through Tex's mouth. We couldn't get the bleeding to stop, so we decided to leave the lake early and head to the 24-hour vet 1.5 hours away, near my parents' non-lake house. It was a little crazy, but with 6 adults and 3 cars we managed to get the 5 dogs, 2 kids, loads of presents, and multiple feasts worth of leftover food back home.
He was fine, no stitches needed, but JP and I didn't get back to the house until about 1:30 a.m. We were exhausted, and it was rather surreal to sit in the waiting room looking at the calendar blinking December 25th, but it really was a good day.
The rest of the visit home consisted of soaking up some family time, shopping and watching a movie with my mom (Burlesque, because we have to see things I'd never get to see with JP), and going out to dinner with JP and drinking TWO whole rounds of margaritas (thanks to some free babysitting and a Christmas gift card to Pappasitos from my parents). We headed home on the 27th, put away all the Christmas decorations on the 28th, and I went back to work on the 29th.
Looking back over this month, I think it's been one of my favorites that I've ever had. Kids and Christmas, it's pretty awesome.