Friday, December 30, 2011

Our Christmas, in pictures

Wow.  I feel like the last 2 weeks hit me like a truck!  We've been going nonstop, and I don't want another Christmas to slip by undocumented, so here, in blurry cell phone pictures (spoiler alert, the pictures get better at the end!) is our Christmas.

Things started to get Christmas-y at Emily's preschool show on the 18th.

In the middle, playing the angel just like her mama used to.  Blonde girls are always cast as the angel.
Glad she's short so she gets to stand in the front!
My girls <3

Next was a visit to Santa!
Charlotte was pretty unsure, but seemed ok once we sat her on the couch vs. in Santa's lap.  We are 0-5 for Santa-induced meltdowns!  And here, because I like to compare (and because these are really the only professional pics we have taken of the girls on a regular basis) are the pictures from previous years:
 The next day was filled with parties.

Birthday party #1 - Sam's 5th birthday at Pump it Up
Birthday party #2 - Nora's 2nd birthday at FISC
Party #3 for the day - The Dray family Christmas party at my mom and dad's house
Phew.  That was exhausting.

The Christmas festivities resumed on Wednesday with Emily's preschool Christmas party.  The moms didn't even know we were putting on this party until a couple days before, so we didn't have time to have meetings and offer ideas.  As a result, almost every activity involved candy :-(

Pin the nose on Rudolph
Decorating gingerbread houses...there was NOTHING I could do to healthify this :-(
Making reindeer candy canes (and getting sneezed on by classmates)
 I think that picture is about the exact moment when Emily contracted the nasty cold that started on Christmas Eve and STILL continues to make her miserable (and has sent its friends to live in my lungs as well).  The boy next to her (not the one in the picture, the one sitting to the other side of her) kept sneezing and sneezing and since his mom wasn't there it somehow became MY job to keep fetching him tissues.  As if I don't have to wipe enough noses between my own two kids, blech.

After the party, we went to my sister Krista's house to pick up Charlotte.  The kitties are getting big, but they still nurse on her throw blanket.  It's the weirdest thing I've ever seen!  All cats knead, but hers actually suck on parts of the blanket while they purr and knead.  Goofballs.

Emily imitating the cats
They really are awesome, patient little kitties
 Then, out of nowhere, it was Christmas Eve!
Making sprinkle cookies for Santa
Snack-dinner was served (and consumed with gusto) in the family room
There was much goofiness
Remy hoped we'd look away so he could grab a bite

The elves sneaked into the girls rooms and brought new pajamas!
Cookies and milk (plus, at Charlotte's request, beer and soft pretzels) were left out for Santa, with a carrot and some  half-eaten apples for the reindeer.
Stockings were hung
There was more goofiness
 And the girls didn't fall asleep until after 10 :-(

Christmas Eve is one of the most exhausting days of the year for us as we make all the preparations and food for that evening and the next day, especially because we know we still have all of Christmas to get through tomorrow!  Neither Will nor I slept well on Christmas Eve night...we were awoken by Emily freaking out that she couldn't breathe through her cold-clogged nose at 1:30, a cup falling off the counter in the kitchen at 5:30, and my phone (which  I had forgotten to silence) announcing that I had mail at 6.  But then it was Christmas!

Excited little girls were good sports about waiting for pictures to be taken
Being a parent has given me a new appreciation for all that MY parents went through to make Christmas happen for my sisters and I when we were kids.  Putting on a Christmas is hard work!  In my family, Santa always brought 1 present, whatever you wanted most (and whatever you told the Santa at the mall that you wanted) and then the rest of the presents were from my parents.  It's easier that way, plus I don't think I really even noticed as a kid amidst all the excitement. This year, Santa brought just what each girl asked for...
"A book" for Charlotte
"2 blue unicorns, a mommy and a baby that look just like the unicorns I already have" for Emily
Emily's oddly specific request required a desperate Ebay bid, a can of blue spraypaint and some glitter nailpolish, but Santa came through in the end.

After the first wave of presents, my family arrived with a fresh supply...

...then Will's family with even more.  

Will ended up juicing ALL of these oranges, plus some grapefruits!
After this, thank goodness, my pictures got a lot better because I GOT MY NEW CAMERA!  It's a Canon Rebel T1i and I'm in love.  I am still a long way from knowing how to take advantage of everything it can do, but in the meantime it is certainly improving my snapshots.
The first picture I took, yay!
 I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have a camera that takes pictures QUICKLY.  I have been able to actually capture some of my girls' faces before they realize I'm pointing a camera at them and look away/start pouting.

After 3 rounds of Christmas at our house, we went to Will's Aunt Dee Dee's house for the evening, praying that the girls would be able to hold out through dinner and presents before melting down for the day.
Charlotte with Papa and Pingu in front of the GIANT chocolate Christmas tree!

Emily, still excited about Christmas
Even my Father-in-Law was excited to try out my camera
After holding out on her all day, Emily finally decided to give Aunt Dee Dee her hug, and ended up knocking her to the ground.  And yes, I took this picture before offering to help her up.  Priorities.
I turn my back for a minute to pack up some presents, and my children have been helpfully supplied with ice cream and fudge sauce
So that pretty much covers Christmas.  Ever since then we've just been crouching in our house passing colds back and forth and enjoying not having to get up for school every day.  Oh, and fighting like cats and dogs over the new toys.  You would think being surrounded by an almost sickening number of toy choices would mean that the girls would play happily for hours, but in actuality they just spend all their time engaged in vicious combat because both of them HAVE to play with the exact same toy at the exact same time.

Now I have to go try to get some rest so I can kick this junk out of my lungs before attempting to stay up until midnight tomorrow.  Will doesn't think I can make it, so I have to prove him wrong.

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