Except for the virus that Ainsley picked up the day of Christmas #1, that caused us to have to cancel Christmas #2 (my brother has MD and can't be exposed), lingered through Christmas #3, hit Evie midway through Christmas #4 on Christmas Day and that Adrian picked up for New Year's. It caused a 102 degree fever, but no other significant symptoms. So each of the kids took turns being miserable for 1-2 days but kids are resilient and they seemed to enjoy Christmas anyway.
Here are the highlights of our Christmas. Late at night after Christmas #3, on the 23rd, the kids planted seeds that Pip Squeak left for them. The next day it grew candy canes and chocolate bars and Pip Squeak used them to make a sled to fly home to the North Pole and debrief Santa on the kids' behavior. I was afraid adopting an elf would be a giant PITA. Thankfully he mostly he just moved from place to place each night trying to find a better place to keep an eye on the kids. There was no TPing our tree, or making messes I had to clean up and that type of thing. Adrian had SO much fun each morning looking for him so I guess adding an elf to the family wasn't so bad.
And real quick, another little bump in our pre-Christmas planning was a SNOW DAY on the 20th. Steve didn't work and the plan was to get the last couple gifts and get all our wrapping done. Instead we had all 3 kids home from school and the major distraction of SNOW. Arggh!!!
E&A made a replica of Olaf the snowman from Frozen.
And had snow cones.
It was also the day I took Evie to The PNB Nutcracker. We bundled up in warm clothes and boots and left extra early, just to find that the snow was melted once you got to the bridge. It was a wonderful mother-daughter night out in celebration of Evie starting pointe this year. She had a great time.
Thankfully by the next day we were able to get around town with no problem.
Christmas morning the kids found their stockings and gifts from Santa in the living room and we took them into the family room where the tree is. For all the protesting Evie did before Christmas I was so glad the issue of the change didn't even get mentioned.
It was actually really cozy in the family room.
Ainsley's best gift from Santa...A set of indoor snowballs....Maybe the best gift of the season.
Letting loose and having a snowball fight on Christmas morning was SO FUN!
We got a family gift of 3 new fur (faux) blankets. Ours had holes but we fought over them anyway.
We so needed these!
Ainsley's big gift. A storage center for her "home therapy" toys. (On my New Year's to-do list.)
Adrian's favorite gift. An Ipod so he can listen to music (and play games).
We made the decision to buy Evie something she really needed...a new guitar. The cheap one she got when she was 7 wasn't cutting it. This one will last her whole life. It's also her birthday present (she turns 13 in 2 months). We made her sign a contract in blood that she will never give up playing the guitar. Just kidding! She's just a little bit excited.
I cooked my first prime rib for Christmas Day dinner. It was delicious. I was so busy cooking that I have no pictures to show.
I think our guests had a great time and having the tree in the family room was great. It was worth the time spent getting furniture and the rug.
When I went to buy napkins I saw a lady buying Santa hats (at 50% off), and confess she gave me the idea to get them for all the kids. It was really fun. Adrian loved it the most. Love that kid's spirit! He slept in his on Christmas Eve.
After dinner we retired to the living room where our family friend Roger, who happens to be Evie's guitar teacher and his wife Christy setup their gear so we could all sing carols. He and Evie had been working on some songs but by this time Evie had 102 fever. Poor kid she was so upset. But after putting on her winter jacket, taking an Advil and a cup of tea she mustered the energy to play a couple songs on her new guitar.
Ainsley went to her room and got instruments to play along. Grandpa and I took turns helping her to be part of the fun. Bless that girl. She is so sweet! I think this was my favorite part of the night and I hope we have live music at every Christmas from now on!
I admit the best part of Christmas for me is the relief when it is over. My favorite part is just being together as a family. This year we hung out in the family room next to the fire, the kids enjoying their gifts (and Daddy's Kindle). This year Steve took time off. Although there was a last minute business trip to California the prior week for a mini crisis, it was nothing compared to deadlines he faced in years past. He's had a nice break and goes back to work on the 2nd.
Ainsley's LOVES the new beanbag!
We bought Ainsley a temporal thermometer (she hates the ear one). Ainsley and Adrian both had so much fun playing with it. Unfortunately Adrian really had a fever. All 3 kids did this year. Crazy.
It was Penny's first Christmas. We left her presents under the tree until New Years Day. She's a dog and didn't seem to mind. Just like any "baby" she might have liked the packaging more than the gifts. Actually she got some good stuff that she really needed since dog toys don't last forever, especially during doggy "teething".
Steve made breakfast and we talked about our hopes and plans for the New Year.
I asked Ainsley and she said this is the year she is going to eat, talk and walk (independently)! Wouldn't that be something?! She's doing pretty well on that first one. A year can bring so many things, good and bad. Last week a fellow trach mom's nine year old daughter passed away. It breaks my heart how many of our special children leave this earth too soon. At the same time several of our other "trach friends" are having serious health issues. As ironic as it may sound, I am often thankful for Ainsley's good health. While I have goals for 2014, especially for Ainsley, my most important goal is to savor the moments. That's all we really have.