Friday, January 03, 2014

A Very, Merry Christmas in Ohio

Christmas came too fast this year.  I didn't even have all of my decorations up, and before I knew it, we were getting ready to leave for Ohio.  I just never feel like I get to enjoy my Christmas tree or our outdoor lights long enough. So busy with Christmas that you don't get to enjoy Christmas.  Such is the life of a Christmas Light Pro.  Sigh.
Not the most flattering picture of me and Ernesto (#deerinheadlights), but damn our kids are cute.  Its all about the kids now. 

News Flash: I can sometimes be a procrastinator.  I know, hard to believe. This time though, I really dropped the ball. 
Here is the story:
Mateo turned two in September which means he is no longer able to fly as a lap-child.  Well, wouldn't you know, I forgot to send in his birth certificate...until the week before xmas.  A week before planning to fly to Ohio.  Delta was great and processed the paperwork quickly however Mateo would not have our flight benefits until January 1st. Ugh!  What to do??  I asked a couple friends for buddy passes.  The problem with that is Mateo would have a different boarding priority (flying stand-by) and it's not like we could spit up.  Plus flights are never really good around the holidays.  Friday morning (before xmas) we decided we would drive to Ohio! What?!  Yes, our first time driving [in our 13 years in Atlanta] to visit my family.  

Once we decided to drive , I kind of got excited. 
#1 - It was a great opportunity for a surprise
#2 - I could shop to my hearts content and not worry about packing rubbermaid tubs to check on the plane
#3 - We could leave whenever we wanted and not rely on availability of the flights.

All of these things, although great, will not convince me that driving is better than flying.  (Sorry dad)

We were out of our house by 420am. (I still can't believe that happened!)  We actually packed the car the night before so we were ready after a quick shower and some coffee.   The drive took us 12.5 hours  and we couldn't believe our luck with these boys.
 I was just amazed at how quickly the ride went and how little fussing there was.  I was actually able to relax and that was GOLD.  I searched Craigslist on my phone for all of the bigger cities that we were driving through.  That was fun!  Im such a junkie!
Besides two extra long naps during the rides, Mateo peeled some crayons, and sang some songs.  I waited until he was totally bored then he played a little while on the paddy pad. 

Marcelo?  Im not sure what else he did other than sleep, but next thing you know, we arrived.  

We caught my parents off guard (in the same fashion they did on my birthday) with our arrival.  Neto face timed my dad and started bullshitting sports (as usual) then he said the boys wanted to say hi and panned over to us standing in front of their house.  The garage door opened in a split second and they ran out.  Excited. To. Tears.  
My dad said, (and we knew) "never in a million years did we think that you would drive!" 

Normally on Christmas morning I am chomping at the bit for my siblings to arrive at my parents.  They unwrap presents early at their respective houses, and we wait for them before we open ours.  Well, not this year!  That's right!  Santa came with lots of gifts for Mateo and Marcelo, so I got my fix of [watching them] unwrapping gifts before everyone else arrived.  It was really cute how Mateo "helped" Marcelo with his gifts. 
And on a side note, we did not punch our child in the eye.  Poor baby fell down the 3 wooden steps leading into my parents' garage.  10 seconds of crying and a week of healing.
Back to presents.  It was really fun to watch Mateo tear through the paper and actually be excited with whats inside.  Last year the paper tearing was more exciting. 

Some highlights: a green garbage truck, a "Cars" racetrack, Hungry Hungry Hippos, a Take-apart Truck with working drill (his first power tool!)more Thomas the Train, a rocket alarm clock that projects on the ceiling and lots of cute clothes! 

The number one gift on Mateo's wish list?  "Doh peas" he told Santa.  
He can't get enough of it. He even watches videos about it on youtube.  One he likes is an ice cream Play-Doh Playset.  Santa must have been paying attention to what he was watching, because wouldn't you know he got that set for Christmas. 
Although Marcelo had quite a few presents to open too, he was happy gumming away at his wooden penguin.  Of course Marcelo would be happy with anything. 
Mateo helped me open my presents too.  
Good things come in small packages.  And this one had a mini paddy pad! (thanks mi amor!)
Not something I asked for, but something I definitely like!  We facetime frequently and our current paddy pad doesn't even have a camera (first version- oh the horror!) It will be nice to FT on something a little bigger than my phone.  Plus, it is just so darn cute!  

A lot of fun gifts opened that day...
...and a lot of laughs.  Kelli just started her first "real " office job out of college so Bill got her a red stapler! Come on movie buffs, you know this one right?? (100 points for the answer in the comments)
Since we are talking movies, let me throw out another bit of trivia. For some reason when I saw this picture of my brother, I immediately thought:
Name that movie/character for 1000 points! My whole family knows this one, but don't worry they won't win the points because THEY NEVER COMMENT!  (Oh, Im sorry, did I just scream that?!) 

We had a little white elephant where everyone brings a present and you can steal from each other.  It was fun...and funny.  Brrrian got the last pick of all the opened gifts.  He chose this cozy white throw and a big bottle of Canadian Club.  Meet Brrrian Hefner:
Shots all around he declared! (As he poured from my dad's bottle instead of his brand new one-ha!)
Bruno even got in on the fun!

I love this pic of my parents with the youngest grandkids

I always count on having a white Christmas in Ohio and although it was just a dusting, it was white! 

We had to get outside and pretend there was enough snow for sled riding.
I think we convinced Mateo!

It was fun, but unfortunately, it just can't compare to last years winter wonderland.  Even with less snow though, Mateo was able to enjoy the ride.  Last year he was scared stiff...this year laughing.  What a difference a year makes, right? 
Yes, we are now a family of four.  unbelievable.  Look at Mateo in that shot.  He looks like a big butterball.  We bundled him up good.  And of course Marcelo was warm in the carrier under a fur coat.  People thought I was nuts buying a fur coat in May in Georgia, but I knew it would be put to good use.  Well worth the $25 I paid for it! Vintage and in mint condition!

Of course, New Years Eve morning (the day we left) the snow started coming down and then they got a ton more after we left.  #shouldhavestayedlongerforserioussledriding
I tried to convince Ernesto to stay...I mean look at our car, we were practically snowed in! Ha!

Ernesto wasn't convinced.  He was anxious to get on the road.
Lighting removal started the 2nd and he is ready to be DONE!!!
As you can see, we jam packed the car.  Presents, clothes, and some thrifted items.
I wonder how many rubbermaid tubs that would've been to check on the airplane.  I know one thing...I wouldn't have been able to bring back two new exciting pieces for my house. 
Can you spot my new table and awesome painting for my art wall?

Officially the most boring New Year's Eve I can remember.  Definitely the quietest one. The boys fell asleep in the car around 8p and slept the rest of the ride. Ernesto  handed me the wheel at 830p, which is about the time I get horribly tired every night.  I lasted one hour. ha!  Glad I could help!
Anywho, that was just enough time for him to have a little snooze and finish off the trip! We walked in the house right at midnight.  Here we are at 12:04 am ... ready to PARTY...or maybe just kiss!

Home sweet home!  Ernesto lit a fire, plugged in the tree and the boys and I drifted off to sleep.

New Years Day included football, friends and my mom's delicious pigs in the blanket (pork and cabbage/sauerkraut).  Incidentally, I searched my blog for a past post where I shared the recipe the whole thing made me laugh.  Good memories.  Check it out here!

Hope your Christmas and New Years was full of fun, family and friends! As you can see, ours was, and I am so grateful!

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