Monday, December 31, 2012

December 26th

We spent the entire day the 26th with Darrin's family.  Ian and Owen played outside with Grandma while Annaliese was napping.  The snow wasn't great for making snowballs, so instead they used the chunks made when plowing and scooping the snow.








For dinner that night, Great-Grandma took us all out, and then it was back to her house to play with presents. She got Ian the game Gobblet Gobblers, which is Tic-Tac-Toe on steroids and is quite fun. He played with nearly every adult that night, and beat almost all of us.  Annaliese got two magnet 'paper' dolls and loved changing their clothes all night long. They both did take a break, however, to wrestle with Uncle Brian. 





Christmas Day

Christmas morning brought Christmas with my family.  We opened our stockings and got down to the job of opening presents. Ian was getting pretty tired of taking turns opening presents by this point; he just wanted to open all of his.  Annaliese and Oliver, after the present opening got started, used their waiting time to run around the house; they weren't as concerned with presents as Ian, so it actually worked out well in that we let Ian open more of his presents while they were playing. 

First things first, checking out what's in the stockings.
Grandma helping Annaliese with her paper.
Shake, shake, shake to see what's inside.
Two princesses to go with Ian's castle.
Ian's initial reaction was, "Awww, man, clothes" until he realized it was pirates.
Everyone listening to the Mickey Mouse Christmas story with Darrin and my voice recorded on it as a gift for Oliver.
Ian excited to open more of his castle accessories. After presents were all done, he attempted to knock one of the knights off his horse using the catapult.
Grandpa gave Ian Battleship because it was a game they could play on a table.  Ian has played it multiple times a day since he got it.
Annaliese and Oliver running from the kitchen into the living room. Forget presents, this was way more fun.
I found it interesting that after Annaliese had opened a multitude of gifts, it was my old Fischer Price Little People house that's always out at Grandma and Grandpa's that she wanted to play with.

Chrismas Eve Night

We spent Christmas Eve night celebrating with Darrin's immediate family.  We had gone to church, and Annaliese LOVED her new dress, actually, more accurately, she loved her fancy new black shoes she got to go with the dress. Every time she needed to wear shoes while we were home, she would want to wear those dress shoes. Pretty much everyone got a Nerf gun, or brought theirs from home, and at the end of opening presents, there was a Nerf gun war in the basement. 

Uncle Brian and Aunt Jodi call Ian "Frank" instead of his actual name, so this one was for him.
And inside was the Transformer Jazz.
Annaliese's Nerf Gun
Ian opening his Millennium Falcon
So happy I captured Owen's expression as he opened his car transporter from us.
Annaliese studying her Minnie puzzles.
Ian's Nerf rifle
Ian stoked about getting more Transformer stuff
Minnie Bowtique- we played with those shortly after she opened it.
Combing Rapunzel's hair.
Jazz transformed into his car.
Annaliese and Grandma Nerf gun fight (Ian and Grandpa battling in the background)
Ian thought the bathroom was safe, but Grandpa found him.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Eve Morning

We had our Christmas at home Christmas Eve morning.  Ian is just starting to understand when Christmas Day actually is, so he bought our story of talking to Santa and telling him he needed to come a day early so we could celebrate with Grandma and Grandpa on the actual day.

Ian woke up at 6:15 that morning and instead of checking out things downstairs, he came to our room concerned about where he could use the bathroom just in case Santa hadn't come yet. We let him use ours, and then he went straight back to bed.  Darrin and I actually had to get up a bit after 7 to wake the kids up.  I turned the tree lights on and paced a bit outside Ian's room, thinking it would wake him up, but we had to go in and get both of them.  Annaliese's bike was waiting for her by the tree and after checking it out, both were cooperative (if Annaliese was holding Snow White) in getting our annual picture in front of the tree in our new pj's.

And the presents were all hits. Ian got his Imaginext castle, a dingy and cave the goes with his Pyrates Lego ship, a Star Wars tent for his bed, and books. Annaliese got a Cinderella big-girl-bike, Princess backpack with a sleeping bag inside, furniture for her dollhouse, and books. I got my camera purse, laptop battery, and big envelope page protectors. Darrin got some more clamps for his woodworking projects, a Jawstand for his woodworking, and Madden Football 2013 and Mass Effect 3 for XBOX.  I'd say it was a great Christmas!

She's still a bit dazed. Only been awake about 2 minutes. We had trouble getting her off...
Annual family picture in front of the tree with new pajamas.
Ian opening his stocking. Battery on our external flash died, so we had to switch to the internal one. Inside were some Star Wars figures.
Annaliese with her stocking. Inside she had Ariel with an outfit she can change into.
Ian opening his dingy, with other additional Pyrates things to go with his large pirate ship.
To get her off her bike, we had to encourage her to open more presents to see if she got her backpack.
Inside her backpack was a princess sleeping bag, to which she said, "It's so boo-ti-ful."
The only time she took the backpack off was to change clothes. There was a huge tantrum getting in the car and realizing she'd have to take it off to get in her seat.  Here she's sorting out the book she likes from the ones she doesn't want.
Opening another set of books wrapped in the paper they painted. It's a lot thicker than the normal wrapping paper and so was a bit harder to open.
Dollhouse furniture
The last gift was the most anticipated- his castle. That got opened immediately.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Advent Activity Dec. 21, 22, and 23

Our Advent Activity for Dec. 21 was travel through Santa's Woods to see the light show.  The owners had put together several animated light displays.  I was so impressed with the number of different models and the timing they had to have for one display.




Our Advent Activity for Dec. 22 was ice skating. It was the first time either kid had been on the ice, and it had been since I was a tween that I was on.  Annaliese had double-blade skates, so she was able to walk across the ice with no problems.  That didn't stop her from whining and throwing a tantrum every time Darrin and I didn't help her.  She saw us giving Ian help and wanted some for herself; that, and she wanted to go fast. Oh, and she was very opinionated about the direction she wanted to go, too. We'd skate three strides and then she'd say, "No, not this way, go that way!" which was always opposite the way the other skaters were skating.  While she should have had the easiest time skating, she spent most of her time complaining. Ian said this was his favorite activity of all of advent. We figured out he actually did a better job just holding his arms straight out and getting no help from us.  We tried helping him to begin with, so that he could see how you actually glide on the ice instead of step, but his legs would become jelly-like every time we helped him.  

This video is about 2 minutes after we stepped on the ice. Yes, I lost my balance at the end while trying to show Ian how to skate backwards. No, I didn't fall on my bum.  This was the high point for Annaliese. The only time she'd skate by herself again was stomping off the ice while throwing a tantrum. Ian, however, wants to go skating again. I think it might become some boy bonding time in our family.

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Our Advent Activity for Dec. 23 was open new pajamas. We do this every year the night before Santa comes so that in the morning, we can get a picture by the tree in our new pj's.  Ian was super stoked with his Darth Vader ones, and Annaliese loved her princess pj's (which were an XS in girls, not toddlers!).