Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Rewind, Part 1

Well, here we are on New Year's Eve, and I'm finally getting around to blogging about Christmas. A whole week off, and only now on Friday am I getting around to this. Granted, we weren't home most of the week, and then the last couple days have been busy as well. Not to mention that it was quite a daunting task to sort through the nearly 200 pictures I've taken in the last week or so. I am seriously considering buying a netbook, something small and simple that I can take with me when we travel or that I can use in the living room while watching TV in the evenings (we got a wireless router for Christmas!), so blogging isn't something I have to specifically set aside time for. I'd much rather multitask! So, that's on my shopping list currently. Of course, I didn't have one over the holidays, so now I'm way behind. I did spend a lot of time playing on my parents' iPad, so maybe the fun of that was contagious :)

Anyway, last week was crazy. Evenings were full of wrapping and planning. Here's a picture of a Christmas decoration Jacob contributed to our decor...

In case you're wondering, it is an ice cream cone covered in paint, sparkles, and Trix. I love it!

As you may recall, last Tuesday we went to Craig's work Christmas event at the casino. We dropped off Jacob at my parents', then slept there overnight. We came back to Rochester in the morning and worked a half day of work. Thursday I took a half day, then stopped for some last minute gifts and did a marathon wrapping session at home. Fortunately, I was able to finish all my wrapping before Jacob came home. And if I do say so myself, everything looked picture perfect!
Jacob was eager to start unwrapping once he got home. He especially wanted to open two of the biggest gifts. He even guessed one correctly!
Santa brought him a hockey net, a wooden Amerks goalie stick, and a new hockey rink for his hockey guys. Here he's checking out the new balls and sticks that came with his net while Daddy put the net together.
And here's his hockey rink. It's a real air hockey rink, complete with stands. He misses Daddy's big rink a bit, but I'm hoping that this will be sufficient since it takes up a third of the space of the other one!
He also got some Legos, a stuffed hockey penguin (you can see him in the picture above), a bunch of hockey shirts, some candy, a couple books, and a hockey dress-up outfit. That was a last minute purchase at Toys 'R' Us on one of my last shopping trips, and for $15, I couldn't pass it up. It came with a jersey, a stick and puck, an inflatable helmet (never mind that it looks like a football helmet), and a goalie blocker glove! He loved it. Gift opening was a bit of a challenge, though, since he wanted to stop and play with a couple of his key gifts. Since we had a lot to do that evening, I really wanted to keep things moving, so that got a little frustrating. I guess next year I'll have to buy less, but I know at some point he'll turn into one of those crazy gift openers that can't get enough. After dinner, I wanted to whip up some treats to take to our Christmas stops, and then I had to start packing. I was so beat by that point that I didn't get far, and unfortunately that set us back for our departure the next morning.
Christmas Eve morning was a challenge. Packing, one last minute gift to wrap, and double checking my to do list ate up the morning, but at long last we piled in the car and set off for lunch and a drive to Hamburg. I ended up forgetting three things--including an article of clothing for me and a certain pair of shoes for Jacob, which meant I had to overhaul our Christmas Eve wardrobes. I guess I could only remember so many things! Shortly after arriving we had to get changed and head off to church. I very much enjoy Christmas Eve mass at Craig's parents' church. Christmas Eve at my parents' old church was always the best, but this is a nice alternative with beautiful music and a nice message. Jacob was a bit of a handful (we were there for a long time), so it was tough to really focus and reflect, but I did my best. Jacob was obsessed with the slightly frightening bronze wall art of a sacred heart Jesus in the back of the church ("Jesus scare me"--not what you want your kid saying in church, eh?), and he kept trying to crawl under the pews. Still, he did like the music and he was interested in seeing the baby Jesus at the front of the church. Afterward he also wanted to check out the piano...
I haven't quite figured out the piano thing, but I'm wondering if maybe playing the piano on the iPad at my parents' got him interested. Hmmm. At least he was gentle. After church we headed to Craig's aunt's house for the big gathering with the extended family. We had a very nice time and got some fun gifts, and Jacob loved playing with all of the sports action figures that his four older male cousins (second cousins?) have collected over the years. He fell asleep on the way back to Craig's parents' around 9pm, and I sat with him in the car while Craig went in to change and get ready for our next stop (yep, we had one more). We headed off to Craig's brother's house around the corner, and Jacob woke up shortly after we got there. I immediately put on his pajamas, hoping he'd conk back out shortly after presents. I wish.
Amidst the chaos of four kids and six adults opening presents simultaneously (one less than usual--one kid couldn't be woken back up), Jacob got another hockey net (yes, we now have two), along with a bunch of clothes, some cool sports PJs, a bowling set, and a couple other cool things.
Despite my best efforts, Jacob got his second wind and was hyper for the rest of the night. We ended up not getting back to Craig's parents' house and in bed until well after midnight. It made for a very long day, but a very fun one. I can't even tell you how happy I was to have my head hit the pillow, though I did have a heck of a time falling asleep--probably the worst case of Christmas Eve sleeplessness I've had since I was a kid. Too much on my mind and in my belly, I think! Fortunately we got to sleep in fairly late, and then it was off to day three (!) of our Christmas extravaganza...which I will blog about later :)

On a side note...I was thinking back this morning to how we spent New Year's Eve last year. We sent Jacob to daycare, which was the last day of operation for the center (still sad about that), and then headed out to put in an offer on a house (yes, the one we ended up with), eat lunch at Moe's, and pick up Craig's Christmas/birthday gift from his parents, a suit. I remember it being a cold, snowy day, one filled with emotion. The house thing was stressful, obviously, and the last day of daycare was especially sad. We had a low key evening before what turned out to be a long and hellish New Year's Day (and the days beyond) thanks to an evil stomach bug. First Jacob, then Craig, and then me to a lesser degree. Awful. Everything was such a blur for the first week or two of the new year. And then I suppose ther blur continued right through March and our big move. It's hard to believe we're at the end of another year, with nine months under our belts in this house. I was sort of expecting 2010 to be a big year for other reasons, namely that we'd be heading toward baby #2 at some point this year, but as you know, that didn't end up happening. I'm definitely ok with it (I will probably elaborate on this topic again in the new year), but in general I'm leaving this year with mixed emotions...or maybe no emotions. I don't think that's a bad thing, because I'd rather be a bit ambivalent rather than looking back on a year with sadness. It was just a good, solid year. We had the good of the house and watching Jacob grow, and no major losses. We didn't get to start adding to our family and we did have some frustrations with Craig's job and Jacob's behavior, but as a whole it was a good year. I think maybe I'm at the point where I'm thankful for the year it was and looking to the new year with hope and anticipation of good things to come. You just never know, so I'm trying to appreciate the present for what it is. Hopefully that's a good thing. In any event, Happy New Year, everyone!

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