Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas 2016 in Ohio!

Every year, I say we are going to sit in front of OUR Christmas tree for a family photo and every year it doesn't happen.  Well at least we get a family shot SOMEWHERE, right?!

We made it up to my parents a few days before Christmas. (via Columbus, Ohio-2 hours away-not ideal!) Paul's Shuttle made the pick up run though, and guess what?  He didn't even charge us extra!! Tis' the season! 
We stepped into my moms Christmas wonderland that is her house.  She had already done her baking, but saved icing the cutouts for these little elves.  
 I would bet just as many sprinkles made it in their mouths as on the cookies.
 As you can see from the next photo, I guess you could call it a white Christmas.  The kids ran around a little bit, but I was hoping for a snow storm so they could go sledding.
It melted quickly.
Ernesto and I left the kids with grandma and grandpa one day and had a good 'ol time shopping and even made it out to eat.  (BoneFish)  We bunkered down in the basement that night (my mom always sets up a wrapping station there) to finish up our gifts.  All of sudden, the lights went out and on the wall I start seeing these.  
Ok, quality aside, don't you just love old slides?  Look like anyone you know?
 When I saw that middle picture of me, I think my jaw dropped.
 Maybe that is not the best comparison shot....but OMG!  Paloma looks EXACTLY like me!!! But with the Mexican's eyes.

This year we did things a little differently.  My brother Bill was going to be entertaining his in-laws on xmas day, so we sort of pretended that Christmas Eve was Christmas day.
That was fine with us, because TWO days of opening presents and that is always good!  Really the holidays are about being together and LAUGHTER, right?  At least that is what it is for us.  If I don't bust a gut a few times that day, it was a bad Christmas.  Hasn't happened yet.  
I love that picture.  I can tell that my brother is saying something hilarious and I am about to say something [probably really sarcastic] and bust up laughing.  
This text made me bust up laughing when I received it a day or two before Christmas.....

You noticed he is at Walmart at 1030pm right?  Good stuff.  Everyday things are used as material for a joke.  #ilovemyfamily

Ok back to the festivities....The Wooster clan arrived at noon, regular time, but because the traditional meal of Christmas Eve (Mushroom soup) did not change, we were able to open presents as soon as they arrived.  

With my boys sitting in front of a Christmas tree that looked like this, it was not easy to contain their excitement.  
At least this year they did not sneak a present behind the bed to open it [while waiting].  #so2015

But the questions were non-stop:

"When can we open presents? When are our cousins going to be here?  Can we open just one now? Are they almost here?" Once everyone arrived, they didn't want any greetings or chatting. "Noooooowwwww, can we open our presents?  Ok Let's open our presents!"

I have NO IDEA how these kids got to be so persistent.  And who....WHO gets so excited/impatient to open presents?
Ok, I'll admit (and only because my family would call me out on it)  before kids, it was ME doing the asking and rushing to open presents.  
Well, just to torture the kids a little more, pictures had to be taken beforehand.  ha! 

First up...the grandparents with grandkids pic -Tyler and Noah missing :(
 Oh is that a new baby you say??  Yes,  yes it is.  Meet 5 month old baby Hazel. The little Hazelnut.
BIG blue eyes and just a cutie pie all around.  She rounds out all the girl cousins.
We continued the Wellman (my mom's side) tradition of singing some carols on Christmas Eve, something we grew up doing every year at our grandmas, and started up again once there were little kids in the mix again.   Here "Up on the Housetop" The kids sat around and grandma elf and anxiously waited for the first presents to be passed out. 
Notice the fast moving mixing hand.  "Oh aunt Jenny, these are the best pots and pans, thank you sooooo much," said Paloma
 We interrupt this important session of present opening to.....
.....let you know that the so-and-so football team in down by ten points and your fantasy football dreams are down the drain Brandon!  Haha   This is my neice Kelli's boyfriend and we LOVE him.  Sports ass and all.  Now get back over here and open some presents....
There is my little fashionista in her designer Ted Baker dress (thanks Beth!!)  Maroon and hot pink? YES!  I mean look at her!  She has got places to go and people to see! 
You may notice some good pictures in this post and some not-so-good.  I bought another 50mm lens for my Canon and I just need to use this thing experiment more.  I love how this portrait of Mateo blurs the trees lights in the background.   Also I love my cute 5 year old with a natural smile.  Something hard to capture in a picture these days. 
Although I was not ready to get up at 630am [actual] Christmas morning, the sounds of the boys' voices made me happy.  "Santa came!  He was here! Come look at all the presents!"  Then straight into grandma and grandpa's room to tell them the same thing.  
As usual they can look in their stocking while waiting for the adults to grab some coffee in order to fully wake up and watch the unwrapping frenzy that is Christmas morning.

These guys whipped through their presents at lightning speed.  And what do you know?  Santa brought them some more Imaginext, even though I told him not too.  They have WAY.  TOO.  MANY. Already.  I don't know what he was thinking. Maybe he got a good deal or something?!?
Whatever the case, these guys were EXTREMELY happy and excited.  Oh the excitement!! I need to share a video.
These glow in the dark skeleton pajamas were a big hit too.  And the matching shoes of course!

Papi opened a few nice things too! 
Yes, baby girl was awake too! 
Unlike her brothers, she played with each toy until she was prompted to open another.

Funny enough, there aren't any pictures of me opening and presents, so you will just have to believe me that I too opened a few Christmas presents.  Ernesto skipped my [usual] stock up on Victoria Secret undies and bought me a slew of unsolicited Regenerist products for my aging face. LOL.  (Seriously mi amor, not offended at all-great little stocking stuffers!)  PLUS- nice slippers, a garden tool set, some yoga clothes/sweat towel, and more...
2 days and FOUR boxes later, we flew home (on the 27th). Unfortunately, the flights out of Canton Airport were not open (shocker! that NEVER happens at xmas time!) We ended up contracting Paul's Shuttle AGAIN down to Columbus for an 11am flight....where we proceded to sit.  And sit.  AND SIT SOME MORE.  9 hours more.  Until we finally made it on a 7pm flight. Oh, the joys of flying standby.

Home sweet home.
Ernesto was back working on lights BEFORE New Years (take down), which meant I was back to single parenting.  Boo-hoo, cry me a river, I know....but if you have two [SUPER] high energy boys close in age that play-then-fight in 15 minute intervals, you know what I'm talking about. EXHAUSTING!
If that sounded like Im ready for xmas break to be over you read that correctly  you misunderstood.  I love being with my kids- Im actually considering home schooling! LOL! NOT!  Merry Christmas everyone!!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas, Christmas Time is Here!

Yes!  It is December and I can FINALLY say....It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  Even though we have been up to our eyes in Christmas lights, it NEVER...EVER feels like Christmas until this happens.

Visiting Santa is the start of our Christmas season.  Unfortunately, baby girl was not having it.  Even though I prepared her with Santa songs and books, she was too scared to sit there. 

Waiting in line and looking at santa from afar was not a problem, but once she sat on his lap it was over. I did have to leave her there long enough for our annual shot, but she was not happy about it. 
Is it just me, or she a very cute cryer?? LOL
What a classic picture though, right?
On a side note, I am not happy with Santa's couch this year.  In previous years, it has always been a tufted green velvet,(like so) and this one is just bad.  Santa is still good.

Although Ernesto did get started lighting our big dogwood on Thanksgiving day, he was not able to finish it until after he got everyone else's lights up (the cobblers son, that's us!)  Boy was it worth the wait though.  So. AWESOME!  

We have people slowing down to check out our lights.  The tree is impressive - to say the least!

I have adventurous, daring kids.  And I like that about them...However, this I did not like.  
"GET DOWN OFF THAT ROOF RIGHT NOW...but wait....wave for my picture!"
Seriously [mom], they were only up there one minute.
Since that was too dangerous, they decided to do this:

Not. Scared. Of. Anything. [except monsters on the lower level of the house?? whaaa?]
This Santa blow up was only $50 at a warehouse/surplus/random store in Alabama.  (Thanks Sue Ellen!)  I wanted to put it outside the boys' room in the back, but it really fit perfectly with our lights out front.

Our house felt like Christmas on the inside too.  Actually the tree was assembled on Thanksgiving day, but unfortunately did not get decorated until a couple weeks after. #priorities
My new white tree brought a smile to my face. As you can tell by the picture, I decorated the top half [with my beautiful blue glass ornaments] and the kids had free reign on the lower half.

Ernesto was working hanging lights until the 17th (!) this year.  This didn't leave much time.  We made sure to squeeze in our Christmas traditions before jetting up to Ohio.

Atlanta Botanical Garden lights is a must.  Yes, we have seen lights before,  but it changes a little bit every year, and it is just so special walking around with the crowd.
This is one of my favorite displays.

And Even though it was past baby girl's bedtime, she was wanting to runnnnnnn with her brothers.
Well. brother.  Marcelo was not his normal bouncing-off-the-wall self.  We brought in the little stroller in case Paloma was sleepy, but then this happened... 
Out like a light.  Marcelo fell asleep!?  What?  But your brother is ready to run around with you and cook marshmallows, why are you so tired? 
Oh you have a fever? UGH!  Yep, he slept the whole time.  Transferred him into the car and into his bed and he slept until 9am. NEVER!
Mateo roasted marshmallows and still had a good time, but he really missed his sidekick.
The next morning both boys weren't feeling well.
I got them set up all cozy in mami and papis bed and there they stayed.  All. Day. Long.  They did not make a peep.  No fighting, no name calling, no nothing.  Yeah, just not themselves at all.  I periodically checked on them and offered water, food, and lots of hugs and kisses.  Ernesto and I hung out with Paloma and were reminded how easy the days were with one child.
Fortunately, they were only down and out for one day.  

We are enjoying a few more days en la casa before the hustle and bustle of traveling during the holidays.  Yes, we will be flying up to Ohio as usual, but I think like anything, you forget the bad when you are making good memories.  

Just tryin' to live a bloggable life my friends, and it has been a little tough lately.
BUT BUT BUT....2017 will be "the year of the BLOG"


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