christmas, family, fun, gingerbread, hair dye, new orleans, new years, polar express, snow, travel

Christmas 2016 – New Year’s 2017

Christmas Day

Christmas Eve and Day was amazing, in spite of Dad’s accident. On Christmas Eve, the kiddos opened their traditional matching pajama sets from Gymboree, which I managed to snag a picture of before letting Elias sample the cookies and make a chocolatey mess all over himself. Emily came over and we decorated a Wilton’s pre-baked gingerbread mini house party kit (phew, that’s a mouthful!) and I baked chocolate chip cookies for Santa. I found a Santa-Tracker app on my phone, so it was fun showing the kids where Santa was located and when he’d arrive at our house. It was exciting for them as they hurried to bed. James swears he heard sleigh bells, so they hurried to bed before midnight.

Christmas Day was relaxing that morning. Everyone basically got what they wanted, plus some cool extra stuff. Santa only drops off one thing for each kid now (so much easier), so Zac and I buy whatever else. This year the big kids wanted robots. I blame cable TV in Dad’s room for all the commercials. So James only wanted an interactive R2D2 and Leah wanted a Zoomer cat. Santa brought her a Meowzie (Zoomer kitten) and she was disappointed that it didn’t roll, despite having wheels. She’s come to like it, though. And Elias has been glued to his new rocking horse.

 

We went to Sean’s for New Year’s. We arrived early enough for the kids to play for a little while before having to go to bed. Sean introduced us to his lady-friend, Erica, who Leah just loved to pieces. Erica is into Minecraft on a level similar to James’ so they’re all basically BFFs. Mom had bought tickets for the Polar Express train ride in New Orleans prior to Dad’s accident, so since they couldn’t go, we brought Marie and Francesca. It was such a fun experience. The kids loved it and it was nice going with Zac’s family.

Jessie invited us over to watch fireworks, but it rained all weekend. We hung out and she dolled me up all fancy while Zac picked up a pizza. She even baked some chocolate macarons, O.M.G. They were delicious. The big kids played with Orrin and his super cool Millennium Falcon hovercraft while us grownups enjoyed coffee and conversation. Elias was on such great behavior, we kinda forgot he was around, haha.

It was a great weekend, even in the rain. Karen came to stay with us for a few days to help watch Dad since it’s difficult for me to give him 100% attention when I’ve got kids to worry about.

We had our first snow of the year. I say snow, but it’s really ice. Cold, slippery ice. The kids are loving it, though, even without shoes.
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cat, christmas, crafts, family, gingerbread, holidays, louisiana, pets, thanksgiving, travel

Louisiana Trip

Two weeks until Christmas. I don’t feel ready at all. I mean, I’m ready as far as it’s expected and the gifts are waiting to be wrapped, but I’m not ready for this year to be over. When I was a kid, Christmas took a century to arrive from one year to the next. Now, I blink and my babies are no longer babies, Santa is lurking around the corners, and there’s one more gray hair to pull from my eyebrows. Elias is now four months old. He isn’t as fussy as he was last month. Now, he cries when he’s hungry (which is almost always), tired, or needs a diaper change. He laughs, and when he does, I forget that he cries. 
Wednesday was killer-stress. Zac made a to-pack list, James washed laundry, and I packed our bags for the trip. Elias had to get his second round of vaccinations, so he was coping with a fever Wednesday night. I took the kids to church for 6 so they could practice their Christmas songs, then I stayed for choir practice (I miss singing and soprano is getting harder). Zac had to work til 1am and I stayed awake until 4am trying to rock Elias and monitor his fever. I wanted to be up at 8am on Thursday morning so we could get to Sean’s before lunch. However, I fell asleep around 5am in my bed and didn’t wake up until 10am. Oh well. We left the house at 2. After stopping for gas and food, plus dealing with traffic, we made it to Sean’s around 6. 
We went to Slidell on Friday and walked around the very barren mall. Most of the stores closed or went out of business. It’s a shame. Books-A-Million is still there, which is nice since it was my most favorite place to spend my 30-minute lunch break when I worked at Bath & Body Works. I found a few books I want to read (mostly based on the covers) as well as some ideas for the big kids’ Christmas Kindles. I also found Mom a religious coffee tumbler (something she’s been hinting at). After walking from one side to the other, we left the mall and went to visit Mawmaw. She held Elias and he just laughed for her, even chuckling. It was so precious. I learned that my dear husband used to cry just as much as our little baby. Fancy that.
Amber is still alive and well and so sweet. She was outside on the driveway and was purring and chirping at me. I miss her so much and wish we could take her home. Zac and James have horrible allergies and it wouldn’t be fair to them. Mawmaw is taking good care of her, though. 
We headed to Marie’s to visit for a bit. She brought out some giant gingerbread man cookies for the kids to decorate. James was just saying recently how he misses visiting her because she always seems to have crafts to do, though more specifically, edible crafts.

We spent one last night at Sean’s to watch Ant Man and eat banana’s foster. Zac and James came home with horrible allergies. I helped Zac unload the car and he went to nap before working tonight at 7. I won’t see him until 5am tomorrow. The kids and I went to church tonight to practice the Christmas music. Tomorrow, the kids are singing with the choir (I even joined for the cantata). It’s a bit weird… I haven’t really been involved in the church (or any church, for that matter). I’m exhausted and I’ve gotta get these kids in the bed.

animals, anniversary, gingerbread, kids, mississippi state fair, parenting

Food, Fair, Fun

I attempted homemade gingerbread (recipe HERE), which smelled absolutely amazing in the process, but didn’t taste very good (to me). It was more bland than I expected. I prefer gingerbread cookies, though. I plan to test different recipes in order to make another bread for Christmas.
Zac and I brought the kids to the fair for our sixth anniversary. It’s been three years since we’ve been, which means Leah is the same age James was then. Weird.
Meanwhile, I got around the making the kids their annual check-up at the doctor’s. James is completely healthy, but has to wear temporary glasses for his 20/30 vision. Leah is borderline anemic since she’s a picky meat-eater, so I’ve doubled her vitamin intake. They both had dental appointments and no cavities and James’ adult teeth are growing in correctly after losing his baby teeth.