Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Take Three

Saturday we had a chance to have Christmas with my parents.  We put the presents they brought the kids from them, my grandparents, my brother's family, my aunt and uncle, and family friends under the tree Friday night.  When the kids woke up Saturday morning, they came down to see presents......again!  The fun never ends.

We ate breakfast (Mat made us all French Toast) and then the kids opened their presents.  They got another slew of wonderful presents. 

My wonderful sister in law got my the first year of our blog (which was 2007) bound together in a book.  It was such a wonderful surprise!  I have been wanting to do that for a long time.  I have been enjoying reading the book and I will always treasure it.

Here are a few pictures from our morning.

Finley wearing her Rudolph gear.  She is ready to guide Santa's sleigh:
 The presents:
 Tatoos and Boo the dog from Grammy and Papa:
 Big Ninjago set from Grammy and Papa.  He had been hoping for this one:
 Doll house from Grammy, Papa, GiGi and Pap-pap.  It is bigger than she is:
 She played with it all day:
 Barbie head and Wonder beads from Grammy and Papa:
 Phineas and Ferb pajamas from the Hornicks:
 Polly Pockets from the Orlandos:

 Earrings from the Orlandos for her upcoming ear piercing:
 Cars from the Wyatts:
 Butterfly decorating kit from the Wyatts:
 Makeup and Hair dye from Grammy and Papa:
 Ninjago book and legos from Aunt Tricia and Uncle AJ:
 Pajamas from the Hornicks:
 Pajamas from the Hornicks:
 Ninjago legos from Gigi and Papa:
 Lalaloopsy from Aunt Tricia and Uncle AJ:

 Makeup and craft book form Aunt Tricia and Uncle AJ:
 More Ninjago from Gigi and Pap-pap:
 Make a quilt and Duct tape craft from Gigi and Pap-pap:
 Ninjago from the Orlandos:
 Friendship bracelet kit from the Wyatts:
 Magic Kit from Grammy and Papa.  She was really excited about this one:
For my parents this year we got them a couple of small things, but their big gift was that we were taking them to the Boston Ballet to see the Nutcracker.  They were excited, which I was glad to see.  I forgot to take my camera, but my mom had her phone, so we have a few pictures from our adventure.

The theater:
 Waiting in the cold before the show:
 The theater was really pretty:
 Getting ready to go to our seats.  They gave free crowns to the kids - Arlington loved it:
 This Rabbit and Bear were taking pictures with the kids before the show.  Arlington was very curious about the "tutu" around the bears neck:
 After the show!
We all enjoyed the show, and were home before the snow hit.  We ended up getting about 7-8 inches of snow overnight last night, and the kids played out in the snow today.  Those pictures I will share tomorrow!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas break day 6

Today we started to clean up.  This is never a fun job after the holiday.  Toys need to be put away.  We need to make room in the closet for new clothes.  Organization of the kids toys in their room begins.  Blah, blah, blah.

Today - I brought all the kids new goodies to their rooms to put away.  I took one look at Finley's closet and knew I would have to start over.  It was a crazy mess.  I took everything out and over the course of two hours, she and I got it all sorted out and even threw some things away (gasp!).  All of her new toys have new homes and she still has room to grow.  Whew.

Because that took so long, I didn't get far in Arlington or Cainan's room.  I am not looking forward to Cainan's room because he has so many little pieces of toys that I cry every time I think about it.  I think I will wait for my mom - the organization queen - to tackle that room.

This afternoon, we went to see Shrek the Musical at a local theater.  We had gotten the tickets for a great price, so we decide to go over Christmas break.  Arlington and I saw this musical in NYC when my cousin Kirsten was in it a few years ago.  It was a great, funny musical.

This cast did a great job.  But what made me crazy was the audience.  I see now why Broadway has rules about the ages of kids at musicals.  Broadway suggests (and usually insists) that the youngest a child can be to see even the KID musicals is 6 years old.   (the ones that are not family friendly will say no kids).  Now I see why.  Today there was no age limit on the kids that could come and within the first 10 minutes of the musical, you could tell that many parents had made a mistake bringing their kids.

The audience was so LOUD that it was hard to hear the show.  I have never experienced this before, so I was little surprised by how much noise the audience was making.  There was a low murmur of noise during the entire show.  People were going in and out constantly with kids. Kids were crying, running in the isles, etc.  I should have known when they were serving popcorn, hotdogs, nachos, and pretzels that this was going to be more like going to a circus than going to a musical.

I am used to going in, semi dressed up, and ready to be entertained.  I KNOW what to expect at a musical, and my kids understand my rules.  We are there to be respectful of the people on stage.  With cheap tickets, comes a very different audience.  I think a lot of parents saw this advertised and thought "oh!  we saw the movie!  What a great idea for my 2 year old!".


No one was even remotely dressed up.  There were people in jeans and hoodies.  I looked around and saw several adults on their cell phones during the performance, and texting, and surfing the web.  Just down right rude.  I felt like a musical snob, but it was disturbing!  Knowing how hard those actors work on stage, because of Kirsten, it was making me mad that people were being so disrespectful to the show.

The last straw is when a group of kids were running up and down a handicapped ramp on the side of the auditorium.  Where were their parents?  Where were the workers?  Not a single worker was standing at any of the doors to control the crowd.  It was just chaos.

Anyway - chalk it up to experience.  Now we know - if the price is less than $25/ticket you are going to get a different crowd.  And obviously one that has not attended a musical performance before.

Tomorrow will be a blog free day unless something amazing happens.  We will be spending the day getting the house ready for my parents visit.  Looking forward to visiting with them for a few days.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Vacation Day 5

The day after Christmas - I can't believe it has arrived already.  All that build up, all the crazy, and we came crashing down in less than 24 hours.

This morning we went for our annual after Christmas shopping trip.  We like to look for Christmas decoration deals and make returns if needed.

We found some good deals, and had lunch at Panera courtesy of the gift card my mother in law gave me for Christmas and then came home.

This evening we went bowling at a local bowling lane.  I had gotten a Groupon for bowling for up to 6 people, shoe rental included, for 2 hours - $20.  Couldn't beat it.  It would have cost us $50 without the groupon, so it was a score.  We continue our cheap fun with the kids over this long holiday break.  Cainan ended up winning all three games of bowling, which was pretty awesome.

The kids went to bed at their normal "school night" time tonight because the later nights are catching up with them.  Tomorrow we all start fresh.

I took some pictures while we were bowling, but they were with my phone.  I am still working out how to get them from my phone to my computer, so I don't have those to post right now.  I forgot to take the regular camera, of course! 

I only have two pictures to share.  Our Aunt Betty got Arlington a VERY sparkly outfit for Christmas and hair dye, and Arlington wanted to wear both today.  So Aunt Betty - these are for you!

 Her shirt says, "Girls can change the world":
 I tried to take a picture of the hair dye.  She wanted pink and silver sparkles.  It was interesting!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

Well - here I am.  It is Christmas day at last.  I can't believe it has come and gone in a blink of an eye.  Just like every year.

We had a great day.  The kids didn't get up shockingly early, and the morning went off without a hitch.  Now that the kids are older, Chrismtas morning is calm and steady.  The kids had a great time opening all of their presents, and spent the rest of the day playing with their treasures.  We watched Christmas movies, and ate junk food, and didn't step outside once today.

It snowed overnight and most of this morning, so we had a white Christmas.  The kids were thrilled.  It has mostly melted this evening, which is fine by me.  It served its purpose.

I took some pictures - mostly so the relatives could see that we got their gifts.  We are not going to Pennsylvania over Christmas break this year, so all of the kids aunts and uncles sent their presents to us.  So Christmas morning was quite the thrill for them today with all the extra things to open.  We opened all the presents from Mat's side of the family today.  My side will have to wait for this weekend.

The day wasn't without its mishaps.  We haven't stopped being "us", so.....  Arlington got her one and only thing she asked for this Christmas - a remote control airplane.  She was so excited that Santa brought it for her.  After we were done opening the presents, she and Mat got the plane out and took it outside.  Mat took a turn flying the plane to get it up in the air.  If anyone knows Mat's history with flying, you know he should not be anywhere near a plane - especially a small one.

So - the plane was in the air for 5 seconds when Mat flew it into the house.  And broke its wing right off.  Arlington cried so hard and Mat felt so bad.  Sigh.  Luckily he could order replacement parts, so hopefully in a few days we will have her plane up and running. put icing on Arlington's cake, we have misplaced one of her presents.  She knows about it and she was fine with it, but I can't believe that I did that.  I think I accidentally sent it home with Mat's parents when they were visiting over Thanksgiving and his mom was helping me wrapping.  I must have put it in their pile to go to their house.  Sigh.  Poor girl.

Another wonderful Christmas.  Tomorrow we are going to do some returns and after Christmas shopping.  And Friday my parents come for a visit and we will celebrate Christmas with them.  The fun continues.

Enjoy the pictures!

The kids waiting to come downstairs
 The loot
 Cainan's santa stash
 They are ready!
 here they come!
 Finley checking out her stash
 He was so excited about his Ninjago stash this year.  That boy can build legos like no one else.
 Finley was excited to get Vanillope from Wreck it Ralph:
 Marie Claire American Girl!  She was so excited - she loves dolls.  Thank you American Girl for a 61% off sale:
 Cainan checking out his stocking:
 Candy Canes RULE!
 She got a Brave CD
 Rosebud wanted to help Arlington with her stocking:
 Finley loves Eeyore - so we got her an Eeyore hat:
 She got a Lava Lamp from Aunt Carrie and Uncle Jonathan:
 Cainan got a Batman helicopter from Uncle Zac and Allison:
 The dogs got identical toys for Christmas, yet they have to fight over one:
 Box of legos from Aunt Betty:
 Monster high doll:
 Trying on her Rudolph nose from Uncle Zac:
 hair dye from Aunt Betty:
 Lego book from Aunt Betty:
 Police costume from Aunt Jess and Uncle Tom
 Finley loves the Cheshire cat.  For some reason.
 Ninjago from Aunt Carrie and Uncle Jonathan:
 More Ninjago:
 American Girl crafts from Aunt Teen and Uncle Frank:
 Dog from the Kelly family:
 Ninjago book from Aunt Jess and Uncle Tom:
 Monster high from Aunt Betty:
 Lalaloopsy from Aunt Teen and Uncle Frank:
 Detective kit from Aunt Carrie and Uncle Jonathan.
 Fur Real pet from Aunt Jess and Uncle Tom:
From Aunt Jess and Uncle Tom:
 Monster High scooter from Uncle Zac and Allison:
 Bear from the Kelly family:
 Lalaloopsy.  The girl played with these for hours:
 Lalaloopsy from Aunt Betty:
 Lalaloopsy house from Aunt Betty:
 Finley playing with her my little pony stash she got today:
 Bear from the Kelly family:
 Arlington's finished pies from her Easy Bake oven:
 Cainan spent all afternoon putting his Ninjaog lego sets together.

 He was so proud.  I find it so amazing that he can put these really complicated sets together all by himself.