Just a couple of thoughts about Christmas this year... (warning...this will be a long blog with pictures and video!)
I had thought about asking someone to take pictures (especially of Ryan and Adam) while we were opening presents but since I knew we were going to be recording it I didn't. In the past, I've been able to import movie clips into windows movie maker and take still shots from there and so that was my plan for this year's Christmas morning video. Unfortunately, our camcorder records mpeg2 videos and those do not work with windows movie maker. I've researched converting the videos to make them work but it's just not going to happen this year.
In my hopes for the season, I wanted to be able to take my time, and enjoy it all with the boys while still holding on to traditions and making some new ones. I started early but things always took longer than I imagined and in the end not everything I had hoped was done but it was still a festive year and I have ideas on how to improve things for next year. I am in the process of making myself a holiday planner like the one I made Amanda (and Darryl) for Christmas. I hope it will help me feel more organized and ready for Christmas and able to do and enjoy more.
I took Ryan and Adam to the Fun With Friends Christmas party. It was bitterly cold that day and there were not many people but they had booked the assembly hall at the MFRC (where we have our baby sale) and so there was lots of room for the kids to run around in...which was GREAT! I helped Ryan make a couple of Christmas crafts and I made a couple for Adam as well. Then we had some yummy holiday treats. In fact, I still have to go and pick up my muffin tins that I left there that day.
Brad and I went to his staff Christmas party. Gran-Gran Anita came to babysit Ryan and spend the night, and we took Adam (dressed as Santa) with us. Again, it was bitterly cold. But a fun night. We had dinner at Clarks (yummy!) where Adam managed to spill a whole picture of water into Brad's lap. Then we all went over to the Harbour House for desserts, drinks and a gift exchange. Brad and I took Adam for a quick car ride first so he would fall asleep- which he did! Paul had a new camera and took photos of everyone at the party. He printed them off on canvas and very large for everyone for Christmas. We left with 3 new pieces of tupperware from the gift exchange.
Of course I took Ryan and Adam to see Santa at the mall, have Angel portraits done, and had holiday pictures taken at Walmart. I also took them to the Santa Claus parade. Ryan let me put Adam in the wagon with him to pull them down there. Adam stayed in the wagon the whole time and Ryan got out to watch the parade with me. Ryan walked a good portion of the way home that night. We missed the Rona float catching fire and burning to the ground. Since that held up the parade from getting to the Exihibition Park, I am glad I decided to not go to that and have Hot Chocolate with Santa that night.
Christmas Eve I made a crock pot ham like I do every year. It is one of our favorite meals and I make it a couple of times during the year. Brad's parents came over for dinner and after dinner we all went for a drive to look at the "purple lights" (as Ryan says). There were some nice houses, but far less than I expected and many more had no lights at all. There was one house in Cold Lake North though that was worth the whole trip. WOW! Now that is some spirit! Ryan LOVED it!
Ryan and Adam opened a couple of gifts early. First they opened new Christmas pjs that I knew my mother had gotten for them. The next night they opened clothing that I wanted them to wear to have their pictures taken with Santa- a tee shirt with a santa hat on it that says I believe for Ryan and a red fleece one peice with feet that say "ho ho" for Adam. I did have a gift for them to open on Chrismtas Eve as well but by the time all was said and done on Christmas Eve, it was so late and I didn't think Ryan would react well to opening just one gift. (It was a touchy feely nativity book)
After our meal Christmas eve and our drive to look at lights, we stayed up to web cam visit with Darryl, Amanda and the girls for about an hour.
Then Brad and I finished with the last of our gifts, brought them upstairs and laid out the stockings before heading to bed. It was great to have his mom stay over and help with that.
The next morning Ryan got up around his usual time and we did stockings before having a breakfast of cinnamon buns, turkey bacon and fresh fruit with dip. After breakfast we started to open gifts. We had to take a break to lay out some snacks and for me to nurse Adam and get him down for a nap. Ryan stayed awake for all the gift opening this year and only fought us a little when we told him he had to go have a nap when it was all over. (videos- the best of christmas stockings o8 part 1 and 2)
Brad's Dad had a chicken for us to cook and even made the stuffing. It was great to not have to do that myself...although I do wish he had cleaned and stuffed it before bringing it over and not leaving it to Anita and I to do. Anita made pyrogies and cabbage rolls earlier in the month and froze them to bring to dinner. They were yummy! I had cut up my vegtables and put them in a large tupperware bowl of water earlier on Christmas Eve so all I needed to do was put them on to boil. I had put the bowl out in the garage as I didn't have room in my fridge for it and they froze! Not solid but still frozen none the less.
I encouraged Brad to buy something for each boy from just him this year. His gifts were a big hit! He bought Ryan his first remote control car (which is VERY cool) and a pump action drag racer set which matches the racetrack gran gran and grandpa Jim bought him in the spring. For Adam, Brad bought a ball popper. Adam likes it but Ryan especially loves it and I think Adam just loves watching Ryan's excitement as he plays with the popper.
We also visited with friends. Phillip was home for Christmas and dropped by to visit the boys and I. I hosted playgroup the day after that and then that night we went to Sara and Nathan's for dinner.
We stayed in for a quiet NYE and NYD where we continued our House marathon and ate more of our favorite snacks. Ryan couldn't quite stay awake on NYE even watching his usual Bugs Bunny cartoons before bed in our room, he fell asleep.