Hey everyone! How was your holiday! It’s nice to see you in 2013. It’s also nice to see that the world didn’t end on December 21st, not that any of us thought it would. The kids thought it was mostly funny and made a game of checking out the window to see if the Zombie Apocalypse was upon us, which it wasn’t, obviously, but they had to pretend.
Christmas was pretty crazy around here. The kids each had a stack of presents so large it was crazy. Sander wouldn’t stay asleep Christmas Eve. Corde got up at 2am. Oz and I didn’t get to bed until 3am. It was craziness. We were lucky that the kids let us sleep all the way until 8am before dragging us up to open presents.
Every year it’s been tradition for the kids to decide what gets the present of the year award. As much as I’ve worried in the past that this might make other people feel bad for not getting the favorite gift , I’ve realized the kids have too much fun trying to figure out their favorites. We’re keeping it going for one more year.
We’ll start with Corde, since she’s the oldest. She got some really great stuff. She got two games this year, which goes with our tradition of games for Christmas. She got one I’ve never even seen before, but looks really fun called Don’t Say It. She also got Yahtzee, which I’ve actually never played, even though I’ve certainly known enough people who have had it. It’s one of those classic games that just about everyone has played, except for me, I guess. We’re going to have to try it out. Her aunt sent her some new sketch books and a whole bunch of art supplies. I know there was some clay in there, maybe some pastels. I haven’t really gotten a chance to look through the boxes, but there were two shoe boxes full of supplies. She was really excited about all of it. I was pretty certain my budding Picasso would put those close to the top of the list, but I’m not completely surprised what won out. I knew before she did what she was going to choose. Corde got another American Girl doll from her grandmother, Julie. Corde’s wanted Julie since I read the first book in the series to her. Julie’s got divorced parents and stands up for the belief that girls and boys should be equal. It was the perfect match for Corde. She also got Julie’s Christmas dress. Corde couldn’t be more excited. She’s already thinking about all the other American Girl stuff she wants. She even wants to dress like her dolls. That might be more of a challenge where Marie-Grace is concerned, but Julie should be pretty easy. I’m sure I could find some retro-looking 70s style clothes. If not, they’re easy enough to make by modifying sewing patterns that are already out there. It would make for some great sewing projects.
Beekee had a lot to choose from for favorites this year. It was hard to keep up with him because he flew through everything so quickly. One of his early favorites was a crocheted apple pie. This was no ordinary crocheted food item. This had a separate pie pan, pie bottom, pie top, and individual apple slices as filling. Of course, it wasn’t long before we had apple pie pieces all over the house, but now he’s getting creative with making apple desserts and filling the pie with all kinds of things. For games Beekee got Chutes and Ladders, which was a good replacement as the last version we had got scattered when the box eventually gave out. He also got a game that I played with the downstairs neighbor when I was younger, Enchanted Forest. The puzzles he got were pretty cool too. However, his all-time favorite was a bunch of things that all were by the same company. The first ones he opened up were both Christmas things, which he loved. Corde got a couple of them too, but his were the Santa & Reindeer Figures and the Santa Sleigh Christmas Holiday Set. His next favorite (and I think maybe Oz’s favorite) was a Pony Farm Carrying Case Playset. This one is especially cute in my opinion. It even has a little mole that can peek out of a mole hill, or you can plant the radish and the turnip in that very same spot. Grandma really made the day for Beekee too. Last year it was castles and dragons. This year she expanded Beekee’s world to include Ancient Egypt. The biggest piece was the Egyptians Sphinx with Mummy with an Egyptian Chariot and Tomb Raiders. Can you tell Beekee likes Playmobil? We especially like the Playmobil sets because they offer so much creative play. They share a lot in common with Lego blocks, but Lego kits have gotten really expensive for what you get in them, and so many of the pieces are molded now, which takes away so many creative options. The Playmobil are larger and that makes it possible to have greater detail. I loved them when I was a kid, so I’m not surprised that my kids love Playmobil too! So far Beekee’s gotten some for the past two Christmases and his last birthday. I have a feeling we could do his entire room in Playmobil in a couple of years!
This year Sander got very distracted from opening his presents. He’d open a couple and then want to play with them. He didn’t want to finish opening the rest. He got some games too. We got a new Candy Land, which was Sander’s favorite game before he lost all the pieces. He also got Cootie, but the pieces are now all over the place and the board is ripped into three pieces. We may have to get creative with actually playing the game, but it still works. He also got Pass The Pigs (Party Edition), which we thought was cute because we used to call him Piggy or Sander Pig when he was small. He never cried as a baby. He just grunted like a little pig. He also got spoiled with Little People. We love Little People in this house because they’re the only doll like entities tough enough to hold up to the way Sander likes to play. He got a cool set with some aliens and a little garage, but his favorite by far was the Musical Ferris Wheel. He was in love with his Pirate Ship. The biggest hit was his Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo, complete with a few extra animals. We still need batteries so the Zoo Talkers can actually, you know, talk, but we’ll get there. He’s very excited because it’s like having his own little jungle. Of course, Little People are great because they can do all kinds of crazy things. His zoo animals go live in his house, visit the castle, and play at the carnival and none of the people think it’s strange. If only all of life could be so simple! I’ve decided I have to find a way to get him some more animals because he loves them so incredibly much, though I might do better to get him some more carnival pieces. I know it seems silly to clutter our house up with stuff, but it’s toys the kids actually play with, so it’s worth it. Besides, it’s much easier to have a lot of one kind of toys than very little of a lot of different toys. It makes organization easier.
Poor Luca didn’t have much interest in presents this year. We handed him a present. He chewed on it twice, then promptly fell asleep. He slept through most of the present opening. Then I had to open most of his presents because he really wasn’t too interested in taking part. He just wanted the presents as soon as they were unwrapped. He got some pretty great stuff, though I think the Weebles were his favorite. There’s something about a toy he can try to grab but wobbles out of his grip that keeps him entertained for hours. He got some teethers, though the greatest gift is yet to come. We ordered him an amber teething necklace, but it had to wait until after Christmas. He hasn’t really picked a favorite present, which is okay by us. He’s still on the young side to be picking favorites. Christmas is always hard with babies because they don’t know they’re supposed to be exited about it, and they can easily become overwhelmed with all the toys, chaos, and wrapping paper. As you can probably tell by the picture, he was more than a little overwhelmed. It was a very exciting day because there was so much to taste and chew, which has become his new hobby. It came with the down side of being unable to crawl around and really play because there was no room for him to play anywhere. He’s been pulling up to standing a lot and was very disappointed that nothing was quite sturdy enough for him to get onto his feet. Everything kept wobbling and toppling over. It wasn’t fun at all, at least not for him. We got a lot of amusement out of watching him experiment with all of the things he could climb on, especially at his surprise when something made noise. He truly seemed to enjoy it until he realized how incredibly limiting it was. We need to get him some batteries for his Ball Popper, but he’s gotten to enjoy the rest of his gifts. The only down side we’re finding is that sharing our bed is that Luca doesn’t have a room to put all of his stuff. We’re thinking we foresee a trip to Ikea in the future to get some toy storage solutions for our living room, that way Luca’s toys can have a home.
And the best present for Christmas? Well, check out our photos on the page about us (if it hasn’t changed by the time you read this, it will be changing soon. It’s hard to update things when the kids are up. Slow going…) We had a white Christmas! In Texas! Can you believe it? I’ve only seen a few Christmases with snow in my life. All of this typical Texas weather was getting me down. Then Oz interrupted me to say, “Um…babe? Look out the window.” What should we see, but snow! Not only was it snowing, but it was coming down pretty hard and actually sticking! Everyone got bundled up to go outside. They played, threw snow around, and generally had a good time. Even Luca got in on the action. He got to taste snow for the very first time. He didn’t get to go out in the snow, but at least he got to see, feel, and best of all, taste it! He decided snow was quite delicious.
In closing, about all the links. Well, first off, the obvious. I’m an Amazon Associate and would love to make a little bit of money to help us out with adventures, arts and crafts, and other useful, interesting things. However, I mostly like including links (and have since long before the Amazon Associate thing) because it shows you exactly what I’m talking about. It also means I don’t have to bog this whole thing down with a million pictures of everything I find pretty cool. I hope you enjoy! And remember, if you’re buying from Amazon, don’t forget to use an Amazon link for your shopping! I don’t care if you’re supporting me, your best friend, or your favorite podcast. Using Amazon Associate links are free to you and give a little kick-back to the associates they support. Share the wealth!