Saturday, January 1, 2011

Holiday Wrap Up!

Shew, the holidays are over! What craziness! It's been about 2 weeks since my last post so I'll do my best to sum up things as quickly as possible so we can move on and immerse ourselves in the new year. I'd skip it entirely if I could, but since it's Ethan's first Christmas, I couldn't imagine not documenting it through the blog!

We'll start at the beginning with the Christmas tree. Our tradition is to chop one down ourselves every year and of course we wanted Ethan to experience it this year. After finally finding a Christmas tree farm in our new hometown, meeting the owner, and Santa we walked out to the trees, saw in hand, to find our perfect one. Unfortunately that's when I remembered it was spruces and firs that I loved....not pines and cypresses.

Thankfully, Old Time Pottery had pre-cut trees that were perfect for us! Oh well, there's always next year for the Christmas tree farm experience.

Decorating took two whole days this year instead of the usual half day it used to take. Having a newborn makes everything take at least 3 times longer than you think it would to begin with. Ethan hung his first Baby's First Christmas ornament....I think we ended up with at least 5 by the end of the season.

We couldn't forget our fur baby...Lola had one as well. This is technically her second Christmas, but we didn't have our own tree last year since we were living with dad. We found this cute Westie ornament in San Francisco last year.

After all the Christmas tree farm disappointment, a broken tree stand, and numerous newborn meltdowns we finally got the tree up and decorated.

The rest of the house also got decorated, both inside and out. Just remembering now that I didn't take a picture of the outside. We have to add on more stuff next year - we are definitely lacking compared to the rest of the neighborhood.

Ethan's stocking did not get made this year, but will in the near future...I have already purchased the materials. One of my favorite additions to the decor this year is that cute little Gingerbread advent calender house that my mom got for Ethan. My grandmother always did one with us and I can't wait to share the tradition with my kids.

And now let us begin the Christmas madness........

First up was Christmas brunch with mom the weekend before actual Christmas. Ethan was amazing yet again. People can't stop saying what a happy baby he is - thank you very much! He was showered in gifts this whole season of course, but his number one gift here was some silver coins given to him by my stepfather and the Yookido Crawl and Go Snail (can't wait until he's old enough for this one!)

Immediately following brunch, was lunch with my mom's side of the family where Ethan got to hang out with his Great-Grandmother again and mommy got to enjoy homemade boiled custard...yum!

Then it was time for Christmas dinner with Michael's side, followed by breakfast the next day with more Ethan gifts (we are up to our eyeballs in toys right now!), and then lunch to celebrate two December birthdays in Michael's family. And yes, I've gained 20 pounds by now!

Here's a picture of Michael's dad with Ethan. He's a grumpy old man who hates gifts (don't worry, he knows I say this about him and he agrees) I gave him popcorn balls this year and some other goodies. I think he liked it. Ethan gave us a present as well....poop up to his chest in his cute Christmas outfit...we are adding baby wash to the list of things to bring for an overnight stay.

Now we are up to the week of Christmas. That Tuesday we celebrated with my dad's side. I managed to make my traditional tiramisu even after burning the frozen pound cake in the microwave (blaming that one the mommy brain). Apparently there is a big difference between 10 minutes and 10 seconds per serving!

Everything else went swimmingly. Ethan got passed around...I barely saw him. Thankfully we remembered to get a family shot (something we have to get better at remembering)!

I cooked most of the day on Christmas Eve. Here's a scene from the kitchen that day that sums everything up. Chrissy is holding Ethan (you can barely see his feet), Dad was enjoying a beer, my kitchen was a mess with food, and snow was falling outside to make a white Christmas that we haven't seen in 17 years.

Christmas morning came and all of the grandparents arrived to celebrate Ethan's first. I made brunch and handed them all framed pictures of Ethan's newborn session.

Ethan opened a couple of his presents and we recorded it all...I've got to figure out how to save that to the computer and share it.

After everyone left, we opened presents with my dad, sister, and her boyfriend. Michael gave me a kindle (whoopee!). It actually ended up being a very techy Christmas for us. We got ourselves a new pocket camera, Mom gave us an iPod touch, Michael gave me the Kindle, and Dad gave us an external hard drive to store all our thousands of pictures.

One of my favorite pictures every year...the Christmas destruction!

Now on to Christmas dinner with the annual prime rib roast. Unfortunately we forgot to purchase all the meat ingredients...I guess I was only focused on the sides and dad was only focused on the glorious piece of meat. all worked out though. You forget about the stores all being closed! Here's my table setting. One course at a time here!

This week we had some visitors from Knoxville. Ethan got to meet Nolan who is just two weeks younger than him. We all vacated together in Siesta Key over the summer (they just didn't know it!). They didn't notice each other too much, but there was some hand holding occurring on the activity mat!

After our visitors left, I managed to get our Christmas decor down in time for New Years Eve. Don't want to bring in the year with bad luck! We headed over to my Uncles that night to meet Ethan's 2nd cousin Eva from Minnesota. She's 3 months older than him and has such an inquisitive personality.

We celebrated New Years Eve on eastern time (we are technically on central time here) and went to bed early like true exhausted newborn parents. Then we headed out for our last holiday celebration to another Uncle's house to eat the good luck lunch of hog jowl, turnip greens, and black eyed peas. Yum! 

Shew...........that was fun, but exhausting.

I'm glad it's over and looking forward to what 2011 has to bring. Next up...goals for the New Year and a massive reorganization project! 

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