Friday, December 28, 2012

The Christmas Weekend

The Christmas weekend of 2012 was filled with events. Working for a hotel chain means that I can get a small discount here and there, so off we went to stay at one the hotels that I work for. Jack loved everything about staying the night there. He didn't want to leave the next morning and wanted to stay there at least for a week. The boys even slept in til 8 am! Even Charlie. He never does that. I was happy that such a miracle happened.

We were happy to bring Mr. Elf ( yes, that is the name we gave him) along. I am sure he appreciated the lush digs himself. Lucky elf.

Charlie very much liked watching the buses go by and waved to the cars. 

Plus we made a stop to Do-Rite Donuts! My dream come true. Jack happily ate the chocolate, and now I regret eating it. Since now I know how extremely delicious it is and how close to my work it is.

We made a stop to the Hancock center to watch the trains go by. Trains. A sure fire way to keep your 5 and 1 year old still for a good 15 -20 minutes. Dinner afterwards was at Mity Nice Grill inside the Water Tower mall. I felt it was a little secret that I knew to take my family there, since the whole world goes to the Cheesecake Factory to eat. No line no wait at Mity Nice. Plus Brian had what was a very tasty chicken pot pie there.

Our next stop was to look at the tree by the Tribune building.It was at this point that Jack was feeling it. Feeling the tiredness that is.

Mama and Papa - happy to take a photo with their son. Jack - done for the night.

Onto the next morning where we went to the madness that is Winter Wonderland at Navy Pier. A day before Christmas? On a Sunday? You bet it was packed. 

Look at this crazy photo that Brian took of Jack in the bounce house. Looks like a superimposed photo. But look at that happy face. 

He was content to just look at the ice skaters around the ice. He didn't feel like giving it a try this year.

And here is how we ended our day at Navy Pier. With the two boys taking a ride around in the train. 

The Christmas of 2012

In the words of my husband " I know you kids have been good this year, but I didn't know you were that good." 

This is an indication as to how many presents the kids got. The presents were aplenty, but it was and always is really nice to see my parents and Brian's parents have a day when they are enjoying their time with their grand-kids the most. Christmas is the easiest holiday to celebrate with the families. The 24th is the day that we spend with my family, the 25th with my in- laws. I am proud to say also that I didn't go too crazy with eating like a nut this holiday season around. I did have two helpings of the deliciousness that you see below, and perhaps 2 1/2 mimosas, but hey, it's Christmas.

This lovely dinner that you see above is courtesy of my mom's cooking. Why is that no one can ever cook like your mom? My mom is a master in the kitchen. Her rice? Phenonmenal. Onion and tomato salad with lemon? Awesome. Let's not forget my husband as he made two turkeys for Christmas. We happily ate one and happily had the other as leftovers.

There is no one more deserving to have two grandsons than my dad. After living for almost 35 + years with daughters and a niece, along came the boys. We needed some boys to add to the family mix. Plus I think that my dad secretly needed someone to rough house around, which he happily does with the boys. 

A kiss for vovosito while my mom looks at the grandchildren calender we made for them. A simple gift that left them extremely happy.

And then came December 25th. Madness with presents. Over excitement over every present. And that was just the parents and grandparents. At one point, I couldn't see the floor. There was so much wrapping and presents everywhere. Charlie didn't really get the idea that you had to rip the paper to get to the present. He didn't even go nuts over ripping paper. He did like the idea of seeing a big present on the floor and sitting on top of it. That was his big joke for the holiday. Every time he sat on a gift, he would go " shda da!!" and would look at me and smile. That was his way of saying " ahaa! look at me!!"

I am sure that Max the dog at this point was saying " what the???"

 The kids get very festive in their holiday hats. A tradition that I hope it can continue way into their 30's.

Christmas is not Christmas until you get something Pixar-ish!! Can you believe this whole time that we have never had Toy Story 2? Well now we do! Thanks Santa!

 And to all a good night. Christmas is the one day where I can stay in my Pj's til 1 pm and just lay around and do absolutely nothing. Perfect.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Grandparents

This was right before Charlie was going to bed on his first birthday. Goodnights are always hard to say when you have a cute one year old sitting on your table.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Elf On The Shelf

We received an Elf on the Shelf as a gift. I originally wasn't going to buy into this new hype. Well, it's new to me since I just learned really last week what this elf business is all about. After learning what it is about , now I know why parents were so eager to get it. This is one sure way to get your kids to eat their veggies, stop whining, play nicely, start world peace all because some elf was reporting the day's activities to Santa. 


It's a funny idea but I wasn't going to get it. And then we got it as a gift. And Jack's first words were "Noooooooo" and ran out of the room. What could he have heard about this elf that made him react this way? I thought he probably was freaked out by its face. The elf has a cute face but really, why the sneaky smile? 
I coaxed Jack into liking it, and just explaining that it would be a fun game to try to see where the elf ends up every day. Is he in the toy box? Reading a book? Making breakfast? Doing our laundry? I am seeing a lot of parents come up with creative ways to display their elf. Now I have to think of some way to do this? If it were up to me, he would just stay on the shelf the whole time. Why would he move around? Wouldn't that be sort of creepy for a kid? A moving doll? Hello Poltergeist fans!! Remember that clown scene? 

I had to use the "elf is watching you" bit to Jack two times on Sunday. For what , I do not remember now. But by the second " uh oh, the elf is watching you", that was when Jack caught on. This is not some sweet little elf. This is a tattletale. This is someone who is telling Santa every. little.bit. of information about what you do and what you did. Basically this is Big Brother, little tyke style. Jack was done with this elf on the shelf and said, I don't want him. Take him back to the store. 

I am going to spin this elf story around. From now on, he is not someone who is reporting all news,good or bad, to Santa. I am going to say that this elf is someone that will be helping around the house during the holidays. Putting up the tree, decorating, baking, whatever. Maybe I am taking this elf thing too seriously and sucking all the fun out of it.

Eh. Who knows.