Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Happenings...

Winter break. Right now I'm thinking it's called that because it breaks your spirit :) Ha! No really. My kids are off school for two weeks, and I'm thinking that I definitely made the right decision when I switched my major in college from Elementary Education to Business Management. Crikey, I'm not cut out for this. Anyway. A week has passed since I last posted, so let's see what we Harried Mom and company have been up to:

The Mickey


This picture is a personal favorite. I found this coffee ornament last week at Tar-jay, and immediately thought, what could be more perfect for me? It was singing my name! A spotlight shone on it and I heard choirs singing :) I knew it must be mine. Interestingly, when I took this picture of it to share with friends who share my love of coffee, there in the background was the Mickey Mouse ornament. Let me tell you the story about THAT one....

Every year I buy the kids Christmas ornaments either from where we went on vacation (which is usually the beach, and our tree was starting to get a little 'beachy'...) or something that interests them - dragons, dinosaurs, what-have-you. When we went to the Magic Kingdom in August, I found a 4-pack of these Mickey/Santa ornaments & thought they were perfect. Now, usually I wrap them and put them under the tree - this year, we put up our tree later than usual & I thought, why not give them to the kids early so we can enjoy them now? So that's what I did - the tree was pretty much decorated & I called them all into the living room last week & gave them their ornaments. Everyone was SO excited and happy! Except, of course,  William. Yes - William, who 2 years ago LOVED Mickey Mouse SO MUCH that we had a Mickey-themed birthday party, now LOATHES him so much that the sight of that ornament sent him into tears. Srsly. He told me he wanted to punch it. And moaned and cried, "Why, WHY did I give it to him?" Honestly, I have NO IDEA! What possessed me to do such an awful thing? Happily, the other three love their Mickey ornaments. I told William to forget I ever gave it to him, that I would keep it, and that someday maybe he would change his mind...

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Baking Cookies

Amazingly, even after the Gingerbread Fiasco, I agreed to make rolled sugar cookies. Because when you ask kids younger than 5 or 6 what kind of cookies they want to make, you get answers like 'trees!' or 'socks!' - that would be 'stockings', if you speak Jason. That's what I get for asking everyone what kind of cookies they'd like to make this year. Rather than making a ton starting early in December, which I would only eat and then hate myself for, we didn't make anything until Christmas Eve - Lemon Bars for Matt, Russian Tea Cakes for Evie, and sugar cookies for Sarah and Jason. (William wanted Peppermint Bark so that had to wait a few days...)

So Christmas Eve I spent the day in the kitchen with various kids at various points, baking cookies, and Matt was gracious enough to jump in at the end and help with the decorating. Sarah was so excited about her trees!!! All the cookies turned out really great, the kids had a lot of fun with them, and I actually didn't get too frustrated - although WHY they tell you to chill the dough, I have no idea - it actually rolls out better if it's a bit warm...




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Santa Visits the House of Harried Mom

After making cookies, scarfing down Chinese food, Christmas Eve church and the requisite leaving of cookies & milk for Santa/ carrots and water for the reindeer along with the Magic Reindeer Food, Santa and Mrs. Claus had some bourbon and/or wine and got to work. Now, I don't know how your particular brand of Santa works, but our Santa leaves a few unwrapped presents near the tree for each child, already assembled and ready to go. All wrapped gifts under the tree are either from Mom and Dad, or have been shipped in from relatives. I have to say, I appreciate Santa's efforts that allow less assembly and package opening on Christmas morning, and more 'let's dig in and play'. More work for Santa on Christmas Eve, but less wrapping paper and work on Christmas Day. Anyway - Santa finished his work around 12:30 pm, while Mrs. Claus had a few things left to wrap up before she went to bed. Thankfully Mrs.Claus checked the camera & realized 33 remaining pictures was not enough & she cleared off the memory card before heading to bed at 1:30...
Mrs. Claus regretted being up so late when Evie arrived next to her bed at 3:15 in the morning, to let her know that Santa had, indeed, arrived and brought gifts! Oh, to be 9 again :) Evie was sent back to her bed with a 'go back to sleep!', and all was quiet until about 6:15 when William meandered his way downstairs....

Matt went down when William got up and found Evie asleep on the couch and William reading the letter Santa always leaves. Gone are the days when the oldest comes running into our room to excitedly wait upstairs while Dad goes down to get cameras ready and bring Mom coffee, before all the kids head down together to see what magic Santa has wrought - I'm really going to miss those days...

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Merry Christmas Morning!
I think we hit the right note this year! Nobody had anything too over the top or insane on their lists this year, and I think everyone was pretty happy with what they received. Although Evie, after opening all her gifts, did actually go get her list off the refrigerator so she could check off what she received...STINKER!!! Anyway. Nothing too crazy here, everybody received a book and a puzzle, and then a few things off their list, and Mom and Dad came up with one or two other things we thought they would like. Hopefully we got it right.


Jason's Mazing Hampster

Sarah's much desired pinkish-reddish dragon. That she made up in her head. Thankfully this seems to have fit the bill.

Jason's much desired Littlest Pet Shop of his very own. Because the girls won't share.

Sarah introducing Lemon, her old dragon, to her new red dragon

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The rest of Christmas Day
It's just us here on Christmas Day and most other holidays, as the nearest family lives at least 3.5 hours away - too far for a day trip, and everyone has kids of their own that they want to be home for - at least for the near future - so we stay home and try to make the day as special as we can. We had french toast for breakfast, and while I cooked dinner for mid-afternoon, Matt played Mouse Trap with the younger three while Evie played her new Harry Potter video gameA lovely side note, Matt and I have discovered that Mimosas are a fabulous holiday cocktail that one can enjoy while spending a day at home with the kids! Try it, you'll like it!! :)

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Bowling with the boys...

I have no idea what we did on Sunday - other than that Matt and Evie had to go to church - but on Monday I took the boys bowling. Divide and conquer, you know. At this point, the novelty of Christmas has worn off, and I've frankly tired of arbitrating the bickering and fighting. And also of picking up toys. Mouse Trap already has a broken piece, because nobody in this house wants to pick anything up and they just walk all over everything. Anyway. I took the boys bowling, and Jason quickly lost interest & started playing with my phone! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture he took.....
Jason's feet in bowling shoes
I didn't think this was a half-bad shot either :)
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Happy Anniversary

Also on Monday, Matt and I celebrated our 13th anniversary! How, you ask? Why, we took the whole family to Olive Garden! What else would you do?? But seriously, we did have a babysitter, only lined up for Tuesday night - so Monday night we all went to OG on the spur of the moment. It was surprisingly pleasant! And on Tuesday, Matt and I escaped - and it really felt like an escape at that point - to one of the nicer hotels in the neighboring town for a drink, and then off to a movie - which was probably a complete waste of time. I think I dozed off at one point. Anyway. Matt and I have now been married for 13 years, and we're thinking we'll go ahead and stick it out for another one :) What have we got to lose??
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Happy New Year!!!
So that's it! While not everything we've been up to, those are some highlights. On this next-to-last day of 2010, my sister and her family are traveling to ring in the New Year with us, and we're really looking forward to spending the holiday with them! Hopefully a good time will be had by all. May you all have a very Happy New Year, and much happiness, health and wealth for 2011!

7 comments:

  1. How funny! My family played mousetrap on Saturday too!

    Happy Anniversary!

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  2. Nice Christmas. I enjoyed reading about it. Thanks. Dad

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  3. Well it looks like you had a great Christmas!!! The barbecue is adorable, btw.
    Santa always assembles toys for my boys too. I love that. :)
    I hope you have a happy New Year celebration with your family!
    You and Matt?? Adorable.

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  4. Loved reading the update. The pictures are wonderful, as usual. :) Looks like everyone had a wonderful Christmas!! Happy Anniversary to you and Matt! Hope you all have a very happy New Years!!

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  5. Your photography is awesome - and so cute your little guy getting his own littlest pet shop!! Happy New Year!!

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  6. It is scary how similar our holidays were to yours....scary....even with the all day mimosas.....

    ~Becca

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