Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I took the girls to Santa Claus the other week. Ava was so excited! We had actually gone to the mall on a Saturday afternoon, but I had to hit Belk before their sale ended at 1:00, and by the time we left, the line to Kris Kringle had been blocked off. I guess Santa had to go feed Rudolph some lunch or something, so we didn’t get a picture. Anyway, I took them back to the mall a few days later. The line wasn’t too bad, and they both behaved while we waited, which is one of the most important factors for me. The good behavior ended for Savannah when I tried to hand her over to Santa. She wasn’t too keen on that idea and started screaming her head off. Instead of making St. Nick hold her for a picture that would haunt her for the rest of her life, I decided just to let Ava get a picture by herself so we could have decent memory of the event. Plus, I figured the employees there aren’t paid enough to have to tolerate screaming children. Neither am I, for that matter.

In the words of Professor Hinkle, December has been busy, busy, busy. (Hinkle is from Frosty the Snowman…where’s your inner child?) Getting ready for Christmas was no easy task this year—not that it is for anybody any year—but I think I got everything done. At least I don’t realize if I messed something up terribly. Santa is going to need to make a list of what he gets for the girls next year so he doesn’t overdo things like he did this year. I don’t have a lot of storage space in my house, so I had to hide things here and there. I’m certain I’ll find stuff three months from now that was intended for Christmas. In fact, yesterday I realized there were two small things I forgot to give the girls, but I have no idea where I put them. I’m sure they’ll make lovely birthday presents or gifts for Christmas next year. I’m not real big on buying the girls toys unless it’s for their birthdays or Christmas.

My family and I had our annual progressive dinner the Sunday before Christmas. We’ve been doing this for about eleven years or so now, and it really is a lot of fun. I have four sisters, and we go to each others’ houses for a different portion of the meal: appetizers, soup, salad, main course, and dessert. We open gifts at each house, so everyone gets a present at each stop. I had appetizers this year, and those of you who know anything about me know that my culinary skills are limited to pancakes, brownies, and anything that can be tossed in the microwave. Mike was the cook in the house, so let’s just say the stove and oven don’t have to worry about getting worn out any time soon. The oven, however, did get plenty of use for the festivities warming up a variety of delicacies that can be found in your local grocer’s freezer. The girls got enough toys from all of the stops that I think Santa could have skipped our house this year. I don’t know where we’re going to put all of it…if anyone wants to volunteer to come build an extra room onto our house, feel free. A shed in the backyard will be fine by me.

The girls and I stayed at our house Christmas Eve. Ava made some sugar cookies with her Aunt Cindy and we left one out for Santa that night. There were a gracious plenty cookies, but Ava only wanted to leave one for St. Nick. The girls actually went to bed around 9:15 that night. I was worried about there being too much anticipation on Ava’s end—I remember has a child staying up half the night waiting for Santa to come. When Ava woke up Christmas morning, she lounged in bed until Savannah woke up. Even then, she wasn’t ready to run to see what Santa brought. I asked her if she thought Santa had come, and she said, “No.” I told her I thought he did and took them both into the living room. A short clip of them playing with their toys shortly after they saw them is below. I’ve also included some pictures of them playing as well. We went to my parents’ house around 2:00 where we stayed the rest of the day. Ava got a Black and Decker work bench and a girly train while Savannah got a doll house and a very nice rocking chair to match her room. We all got a family membership to EdVenture for one year, so we can go as often as we'd like over the next 365 days!

Santa brought Ava a bonus present that we weren’t expecting—pink eye. That was lots of fun. Luckily, my mother had the eye drops from when Ava had it a couple of months ago, so it’s pretty much cleared up now. I suspect Savannah will have it before long. I think I’m going to go ahead and put some drops in my eyes as a preventative measure. And let me tell you I am not a fan of the eye drops. The first time I ever put them in my eyes was when I got pink eye from Ava in October. I swear I don’t know how people can use Visine or put in contacts on a regular basis.

Thank you all for continuing to check on us through the blog and your many prayers. Christmas, of course, wasn’t the same, but it is what it is. As Mike used to tell me, you control the things you can control and deal with the things you can’t. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a blessed new year.