Monday, December 25, 2006

That was fun!

So, Christmas weekend has been and gone. Last Wed. we kicked things off at my aunt's with an early Christmas dinner. Emma enjoyed opening presents. Then we flew into the whirlwind that was this weekend, with putting up my mom's tree and decorating it for her Saturday, church on Sunday (mostly stories being read and lots of Christmas hymns for us to sing; we had our choir and Primary Christmas program the week before), then finally getting home, trying to get everyone down for a nap (it actually worked okay) so we'd be rested for that night, then we went over to my mom's. When we got there, she wasn't there. After calling my brother's cell phone, we found out he was, and so we said, "Open the door!" "Now?" "Yes, now!" Sheesh.

We got in and Michael was supposed to be setting the table but had no clue how to do it, so I took over. I got the tablecloths on, directed Jeff on what to set out, and got the cheese and cracker plate ready. (Good thing, too, because Ems was in a grumpy mood at dinner and that's mostly what she ended up eating, besides salad, of course-- she loves salad.) My mom called and told my brother to check the chicken. He had no clue how, so I checked it, determined it was ready, put it out, and decided to start the water for the rice. My mom got home and was glad I had; it had taken her longer than she had thought it would to get done with her errand. She showed me where the olive plate and the carrots and celery were, and I got those plates ready and out, too. Then I tried to convince her to let me make gravy and she wouldn't. I was very sad. (Yes, I put gravy on my rice! So sue me!) My sister called and said she was coming, and was bringing her boyfriend, too. My mom hadn't realized how many people she was actually having; it ended up being 10 people (HS age or up) plus my kids. We got the table set and when Erin showed up she helped me toss the salad (because she felt guilty that she didn't bring anything and I wanted to make her feel included, having shown up in time to take over everything that needed doing. It was Trader Joe's Asian Salad in a Bag, which she thought was cool-- it comes with EVERYTHING that you need for the salad, you just put it in the bowl and toss.) She also helped find room for all the desserts Grandma Katie brought-- cheesecake, sugar cookies, spice cookies, AND miniature red velvet cakes! My mom's friends showed up as we were finishing everything and my darling husband was enlisted to get drinks for everyone. (I had sparkling apple cider mixed with cranberry juice, my favorite!) We had a non-denominational Blessing for the New Year which my mom read (since her friends who came are Muslim) and we all ate. Actually, I didn't eat as much or as soon as I would have liked because Bridey was STARVING TO DEATH (or so she told us.) Then it was time for presents.

Erin, Emma, and I went in the living room and started making present piles. Emma quickly caught on and helped go under the tree for the presents then handed them to me or Aunt Erin to sort. (She thought it was hilarious when she went all the way under the tree on her tummy and yelled out, "I UNDER the Kissmas tee!" To be truthful, so did we.) When they were sorted we got everyone together to open them-- fun! Maybe I'll write about what we all got later, it goes on for a long time... Emma loved the present opening, again, and every time she opened one she would bring it over and hand it to "Uncle Freddie" (my sister's long-term live-in boyfriend) for him to see! It was hilarious! She helped open Bridget's toys, too, since Bridget was happy in the playpen.

We finally made it home and Bridget crashed immediately but Emma was all wound up. When she finally fell asleep, I snuck out to fill stockings. (Santa presents were put out unobtrusively the night before.) Uh-oh! I heard little feet in the hall! I quickly killed the light and ran away from the table where the stockings were now laid out with everything on top of their respective pile. I asked what Ems was doing up. "I hear bells! Jingle bells!" Oh, no! Jeff's and my stockings have bells on the front! Yikes! I carried her back to the bed and laid down with her. I got her quiet and when she was, said I was going to go get a drink. She said she wanted some water, too. So I took her Superman straw sipper cup and went out, hastily crammed everything into the stockings, and poured some water for her and took a sip myself, so not to be a liar.

I woke up earliest the next morning, needing a bathroom trip. Then Bridget woke, so I nursed her and changed her and put her back down. When we had to do stockings or it would be too late to get to my dad's in time, I went in and woke Jeff, let him use the bathroom, and then started rubbing Emma's back and talking about how Santa came and filled the stockings. Finally, I said, "It's time for presents!" and she sat bolt upright! We carried her out and got our stockings. She wasn't sure what was her favorite-- the chocolate, the tangerine, or the Superman toothbrush and toothpaste! When we were just about done, Bridey woke, so we brought her out and gave her the things in her stocking-- a peach cup (we all got those), a small container of Cheerios for her to start on wheat, some Dutch Apple Dessert baby food (basically cinnamon applesauce), a ducky-pattern "first toothbrush" (we all got toothbrushes-- we've been cleaning her teeth with a little gum and tooth cleaner thing, but she's starting to chew our fingers) and a teether rattle. She was happy with everything, of course. Then we did presents (again, we'll leave details for later, if anyone wants them.)

Then over to my dad's. We had to wait around while my dad finished cooking and my brother was picked up by Jeff, but there was hot spiced cider for me and orange-tangerine juice in a Sesame Street cup for Ems, and Bridey could crawl around, so it wasn't so bad. We all sat down for a huge brunch: leftover ham from their dinner the night before, kugelis (Lithuanian potato "pudding", kind of like a potato kugel, but with bacon and topped with sour cream!), home-baked scones with currants, with Devonshire clotted cream and fresh-chopped strawberries or strawberry jam (the jam was actually my request, I prefer it to the fresh strawberries) to go on top, scrambled eggs (with ketchup for me, of course) and of course fresh tangerine segments. My, it was delicious! My dad does the best brunches. I drank sparkling cider, then orange-tangerine juice, then back to sparkling cider. Then we went out to the living room while my dad did dishes; soon we were sorting presents. Some friends showed up as we were about to open them (old friends-- we all met when I was in Brownies) and didn't mind sitting around and watching (and holding Bridey for us!) as we opened them. We all had a great visit and soon were exhausted and ready to go home. Jeff ran me home with Bridey then went back to get Michael and run him to my mom's. Of course, my mom wasn't home and Mike didn't have a key. So Jeff took him along as he ran to the store for some onions and Anaheim peppers for my chili the next day (and then to a different store because the first one was out of Anaheims.) Emma slept in the car (good, because she was really wound up and needed a nap-- she actually told me at my dad's house, when I chastened her for something, "Mommy, I just all wind up!" She's so cute.) Michael ended up going back to my dad's for a while. Then Jeff came home with Ems. We had Jack-in-the-Box for dinner because they were open and neither of us was even up to opening a can of something for dinner after our whirlwind two days of Christmas!

So that was Christmas. Hope all of yours was good! I'll try to keep up on the rest of my blogging this week, but don't know if I'll make it all within a reasonable time, so please bear with me.

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