Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

 I want a do-over.  I've been so excited for Christmas and feel totally jipped that I spent the entire break on my death bed. Everyone else seemed to have a wonderful time while I layed on the couch in a tylenol induced stupor (since that's as hard core as the drugs get when you're great with child. waahh.) We had Grandpa Young and aunt Jessica here which added to the kids' excitement and Jessica was so great to pitch in and help. 

Christmas Eve is always my favorite with the excitement, anticipation and traditions, I look forward to it more than Christmas day.  I gave it a half hearted effort this year and was sad that I couldn't enjoy it more.  Instead of a big Christmas Eve dinner we ordered pizza and watched "Elf" (which Kylie and I watch atleast once a month throughout the entire year) while sipping hot cocoa and eating popcorn. It was cozy and my favorite part of the night because I didn't have to get off the couch.  We had the traditional "open first" present with pajama's, the chaotic Nativity scene, scrounging up treats that the neighbors had given us to leave out for Santa, running outside to check for Rudolph's nose and logging into Norad every 2 minutes for a Santa status update.   

 My favorite part of the break is watching Christmas movies everynight in the loft with the kids and they would have sleepovers under the little Christmas tree lights.  They didn't want to sleep there on Christmas eve because they were too anxious to get to sleep so that Santa would come, but they did spend a while peering out Jayden's window and getting excited with every airplane that passed with a blinking red light.
 I can't put the presents out before Christmas eve because Maddox (and Jayden) would open them, so we spent Christmas eve getting the presents all ready and Jason spent the whole time trying to Jimmy rig Maddox's bike because the rod that holds the back wheels together was missing. He ended up using a tent pole as a temporary remedy until we can order the part, but it sticks out atleast 6 inches on each side and scrapes every corner and innocent bystander as he passes by.

Eagerly waiting to run down and open presents. Maddox was a little too eager and ran down and hopped on the bike before we could stop him.

 Maddox's favorites were his "fast bike", "big tractor", airplane set and "glubs" (gloves)
 Kylie's favorites were the trampoline, guitar, scooter and bike (so now she doesn't have to be emberassed about her Strawberry Shortcake bike anymore).
 Jayden's favorites were his lego set, skateboard, trampoline and scooter.
 My favorites were Jason's surprises, an external flash for my camera, Pink Sugar perfume that Jessica got me hooked on, and a sweater that I wanted to buy when I was out with Jason but didn't want to wait in the mile long line for so he went back and got it for me. awwww. Jason's favorite surprise was the new grill I got for him. I don't have a very good track record when it comes to surprises so I was glad I finally got something he was excited about.

 We had our big Christmas dinner that night, so I didn't get completely off the hook when it came to cooking but it was nice having Jessica around to help.  Besides the burning throat, throbbing sinuses and hacking up of the lungs, it ended up being a wonderful Christmas. This is what we spent the rest of the day doing...

 Jason took the kids to the dollar store to pick out presents for eachother and I loved seeing what they chose.  Kylie got me a ped-egg because she said I needed it REALLY bad and Jayden got me a set of combs because I've had the same one for the past 10 years. Gross, I know but who thinks of buying new combs? Probably everyone but me. Kylie got Jason work gloves and Jayden picked out a glider for Jason and Grandpa, but secretly (and not so secretly) he just wanted it for himself. Imagine the surprise when that's what Kylie picked out for him :).

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Pictureless December

It's 4 am, I just finished a bowl of ice cream and am working on my 3rd mug of hot chocolate (who counts calories at this time of day?).  No, it's not some weird pregnancy craving, I'm just trying to make this raging sore throat feel better.  And since I can't sleep I figured I might as well get caught up on the blog before Christmas comes with all its picture overload glory, besides, this is the quietest the house has been in a long time and I might as well take advantage of it (although I will regret it in a couple of hours when everyone else wakes up).  Between the blog, the blurb book and facebook I feel like I spend more time documenting our life than I do living it, but this month was different.  We have packed so much into this month but I have barely touched my camera.  The month started out with the RS progressive dinner that I was a stress case trying to plan, but it went well and I was glad it was over.  Then we went to the Christmas lights at the Temple after family pictures.  I love that my kids still get so excited to see the Christus statue and hear the presentation year after year.  Then came Jason's Christmas work party.  Nothing says Christmas like trying to act interested as Jason schmoozes with his coworkers and I try to engage in meaningless small talk with strangers. Ugg. Atleast the food was good. We tried to fit in some Christmas shopping afterwards, but why the malls still close at 9:00 during the busiest shopping season is still a mystery to me. Then we had our monthly minority break the fast dinner with our fellow minority friends (hence the name).  It was the Herrera's turn to host and we were excited that they carried on the hayless hayride tradition to drive around admiring the Christmas lights and singing a few carols. 

Our friends hosted their annual Christmas party next, which is always a fun night for the adults.  Then came the ward Christmas party.  I love our activities committee director, she goes all out.  We had a nice sit down dinner and a cute play.  Kylie was thrilled to be a part of it and was convinced that it brought her one step closer to stardom.  I love that they got to sit on Santa's lap and we didn't have to wait in the etermal line at the mall.  I thought Maddox would be scared, but he loved "Wonton Clause", as he calls him. Very appropriate for a chinese boy.  After he was done he climbed back up for a second round on his lap.  Careful Santa, don't get that drool all over your gloves.

Then came our neighborhood Progressive night, which is really a "get progressively drunk" night.  Each house serves a different holiday cocktail with sparkling cider and hot chocolate for the mormons.  After 7 houses everyone was getting a little tipsy and I just had to pee like crazy.  It's always fun getting together with the neighbors, we really have lucked out to have such a tight knit group and such friendly neighbors.  Then we had our visiting teaching Christmas brunch with our ladies, which was fun and made me think we should do that every month. Then came the class parties and the small investment in store bought cookies, treats, book exchanges and teacher gifts.  I was glad I got a chance to help out, it's always fun seeing them at school and watching them interact with their friends.  Jayden is a show off and loves to make his friends laugh.  Kylie is progressively becoming a big flirt (I have no idea where she gets that from) and I am progressively getting more worried. Finally we had our annual neighborhood caroling night.  I have to admit that we (Jason especially) don't always look forward to this event (I still can't decide who feels more awkward, the people doing the caroling or the people standing awkwardly at the door), but once we go it always ends up being fun.  Kylie takes her singing quite seriously and is always in the front of the pack with her song sheet ready.  So cute. I love Christmas.  Sometimes the craziness gets the best of me and I am feeling anything but the Christmas spirit, but I still love it.
The last week of school is always a chaotic one but I was determined to knock off as much as I could from my to do list before the break.  I managed to get the neighbor treats, Christmas cards, shopping, hat orders and all that other fun stuff done so that we can just hang out and relax during the break.  And we have done just that. (well, except for Jason who has taken 2 weeks off and instead of laying around being lazy he has a to-do list a mile long.  It makes me feel guilty, but I love having a clean garage and having everything checked off my honey do list, dang his ambition.)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Family photo shoot. Oh joy.

Family pictures are one of life's necessary evils.  The fake smiles make it look so easy, but looks are deceiving.  Approximately 5 seconds before plastering the cheezy grin I am snapping at the kids to put their hands down, make a real smile, look at the camera and then we stuff Maddox's mouth with smarties.  Last year the 100 mph icy wind was our demise in our Utah photo shoot.  This year it was the street.  We did a photo swap with 2 other families.  The location was great for pictures, not so great for the 15 kids we had running around in the street.  I think by the end all us moms were a hot sweaty mess from chasing kids out of the road (maybe it was just me, but I'll pretend like it wasn't).  But despite all the behind the scenes chaos, I love having new pictures to look at for the rest of the year.  I love comparing how much the kids have grown and how much the family has changed.  It's crazy to think we'll have a 6 month old gracing the next family photo, and heaven knows how hard it is to keep a little baby happy and cooperative for pictures, so thankfully I have a whole other year to recuperate.  Atleast I had a smothered bean burrito at Rosa's and the temple lights with the family afterwards to put me back in the Christmas mood. After we manage to survive the photos it's time for the critique.  Jason and I can never decide on a favorite.  Of course I pick the ones that I look best in, because if mom ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.  This was my favorite because I thought my legs look kinda sexy, I'm just sayin...don't mind that Jason was accidentally flipping off the camera so I had to photoshop it out and now it looks like he had an accident with a chainsaw.  Don't mind that Maddox looks like he's about to cry.  Don't mind that Jayden looks...special.  Because darn it, my legs look good.  I tried to tell Jason it was the family pose I liked, but he saw straight through my facade.

After my legs lost out, I took one for the team and this was the second runner up...

but in the end we decided this was the winner.  After I get over the obvious fact that Jason had no idea where to put his feet and hands and that I wish Kylie and Jayden had swapped places to balance out the color (especially since I thought Jason's shirt was charcoal and not navy, uggg.), I like it. 

How did I luck out and get such cute kids???

This kid could do no wrong, seriously. (except maybe when he ripped off the entire front of the kitchen cabinet drawer today. Even then Jason questioned whether I disciplined him or not because he knows I'm such a softy when it comes to my Na-Na.)

Me, my honey and my baby bump

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Here's the link to hear the song Kylie helped out with, it's track #11  (thanks Chels!)....


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A happy unconventional Thanksgiving

Instead of packing up and heading to visit family (which still would have been fun), we decided to go against tradition and eat our Turkey on the beach.  The trip got off to a rocky start when we got stuck for a grueling 3 hours in traffic right outside Phoenix. It didn't get any better when Jayden started whining about being carsick.  This happens pretty much every trip and since he rarely throws up I sometimes wonder if it's all in his head (especially since he complained about being sick while we were completely stopped in traffic).  So being the good parents we are, we handed him a plastic bag then turned the radio up so that we couldn't hear him whine for the next 4 hours.  Then we were filled with guilt when he started throwing up and decided we were the worst parents ever (we tried to make it up to him, and ease our guilt, by telling him all about the great Christmas presents he was going to be getting).  We finally made it to Newport and thankfully it only got better from there.  The kids woke up early and spent the morning collecting a whole family of snails on the patio (Maddox was especially fond of the "tute bebe nail").  In an effort to redeem myself from the night before, I made them hot chocolate then snuggled up with them in the blankets and enjoyed a cozy morning.

We spent Thanksgiving being lazy, playing card games, having popcorn movie parties, exploring the resort, swimming and napping.  And of course, the big feast. I have to confess I LOVED the simplicity of it.  I usually spend all morning cooking then all afternoon cleaning.  This time we kept it so simple and I loved spending time with the kids and not slaving over a stove. Jason did the turkey and I refused to even be in the same room with the raw, gizzard filled bird; I made potatoes, we bought rolls (which we ended up eating a total of 3 dozen rolls in 2 days, Jason found a winner with the "King's Hawaiian" rolls); bought jello salad and took 2 minutes to make the stuffing. It was definately a starchy carb filled spread, considering the only thing on the table that's not a golden brown hue is the Sprite.  That may be the reason for the later episode we'll refer to only as "the Wal-mart tooter"...

The next day was the beach.  It was the perfect weather with no crowds and I wish we could have stayed there all day.

 The kids have recently started tennis lessons and were so stoked that they got a chance to try out their new rackets. It was nice that there was so much to do at the resort that we didn't really have to go anywhere (except for the infamous Wal-mart trip and an outing to our new favorite "Sweet Tomatoes" where Jayden can eat his staple food, bread and cheese, for dinner and we don't have to hear him complain about what we order).  We did have to endure a 90 minute presentation where they tried to convince us to sell our souls and get a time share, but it was worth it for the steal we got on the room.

We were originally going to go to Disneyland, but then we found out that Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest time to go, so we axed that idea.  Knott's Berry farm was our next plan, but I think we were all amusement parked out and I'm glad instead that we spent the weekend relaxing.  On the last day we did go to a children's museum (which cost nearly as much as an amusement park) and the kids loved it.  Thankfully the trip home was much faster and not a single complaint about carsickness.  It was a happy Thanksgiving indeed.