Saturday, December 31, 2011

Visiting Great Grandma

Great Grandma does not have such great luck around the Holidays.

Last year she spent Christmas with a broken hip, and this year she suffered a series of minor strokes.

We visited her on Christmas day in the Rehab center, she was weak and tired,

 but the kids tried their best to be with her.

Being old, is very hard, but she takes it all in stride.
We love her.
If you have elderly neighbors, adopt them. Do something every day to make their world easier. I now truly realize how long, frustrating, and lonely a single day can be for an older person.
But you and your family can make it easier!
Bring their mail to them and say hi, it will only take five minutes. Bring some home baked cookies and stay for a cup of tea, bring their garbage cans out and back on garbage day. If you are going to the store, ask if they need something. Bring some flowers on a gloomy day. Offer anything even if it seems small.
To them it's not, it's really huge.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

6:40 a.m

The best morning of the year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

Christmas Eve is always buzzing with excitement for us. Three kids who can hardly contain their energy. So we have to keep busy to help them pass the long hours of waiting. I remember the waiting from when I was a kid. It's not just Christmas Eve, but the whole thing. The Advent calendar countdown, that whole endless week before, 5, 4, 3, 2, Tomorrow!
It was all good, but so hard.
So we did what do on this special day before....
We baked Christmas cookies,

We headed  off to New Haven's Fantasy of Lights:

We headed for home to meet with my parents and have a nice dinner. Then the kids opened presents from each other.

It was awesome. This is the first year they spent their own money on each other. They loved it. Marlin got Kaya a fossil cow shark tooth, Ev got him Lego mini figures, and a stuffed animal. The boys got Marlin some Bucky balls. These are such awesome things, and have been played with so much. You can make endless things. Like this gun Kaya came up with:

 Ev is so into it, he is using his Christmas money to buy his own set.  Marlin bought Ev a huge stuffed fish he had been wanting so badly for his bed
He was so happy.
Kaya also gifted him some mini figures, and a stuffed animal. Their gifts were identical to each other, which I thought was awesome.
 Then it was time to bust out some fireworks, because nothing screams Christmas like sparkly loud fireworks.

Finally it was time to light a fire, play with our new toys, and watch movies.

After skyping far-away loved ones, we finally headed off around midnight to let sugar plums dance in our heads.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A surprise!

We wanted to surprise the kids this year.
A Christmas surprise.
I got them all up around 7:00 a.m. and told them that we were going on a big trip.
They were baffled and groggy.
Ev was very excited, Kaya was kind of freaking out because surprises are not that great of a thing to do to him, and Marlin just wanted to figure it out, so she was firing off relentless questions.
As we readied, it was very apparent that I needed to tell Kaya, as he was just getting more and more pissed off. And Marlin finally guessed that we were going to NYC, and then figured out it was for the Christmas Spectacular.
Poor Ev thought we were going to Disney.
So we hopped in the car and headed an hour south to a different train station where it would be an easier and quicker ride, and I could leave my car for free at my Parents.
Ev was both excited and disappointed to be at a train station, as he knew right then and there that his Disney guess was wrong.

His next guess was the White House.
Marlin was just so psyched to be headed in.

She loves the city life so much, and she would love to live there.
When we arrived we headed toward Rockefeller Center.
We passed by Saks, and checked out the Christmas window display,

which was a crazy bubble making contraption.
We passed the Saint Patrick's Cathedral. We have never been in there. Although we are not religious, we certainly appreciate the architecture, beauty, and serenity of a spectacular place of worship.
 I am extremely fond of the particular aroma in these places. It's incense, wood polish, and some other vague holy sent. It is one of my most favorite smells on this Earth. I loved the stained glass, the nativity scene,

and the candles.

My kids love just lighting the candles.
 I am really glad we popped in. It reminded me so much of this gem.
Next we arrived in Rockefeller Center to see the tree!

 The skaters!
The Lego store!

The boys were so very excited to be in the lego store.

They grabbed a few new kits, and were so happy to build their own custom mini figures.

We were feeling a bit hungry so we decided to take a walk for food. We passed the most awesome Salvation Army bell ringer, EVER.
This guy was a magnificent dancing fool.
We just had to give something.

He was the best. He just made you happy.
I still think about him.
Anyway, we headed off to a wonderful bakery to get all sugared up.
I remembered this place from our girls trip with my friend. She showed me so many neat places, and it made me feel super cool knowing how to find them.
I love feeling super cool.
Finally it was time to head to our destination!

We grabbed our tickets and waited in line.
Once we entered, we knew there was going to be magic happening in here.

I was buzzing.
 So we grabbed some overpriced treats and had to sit for 45 minutes and wait for the show.

 I am so glad the kids brought their ipods.
Finally, it began!
 I took one last picture.

So many times during this show my eyes welled up. Not because of the show. But because I would look at my kids, and see how riveted they were. I remember seeing this as a kid, and I know that now my kids will have this memory and want to take their kids. It is these moments that make life special. I was so grateful and thankful that I was able to do this.
Happy tears!
Anyway, Jess was kind enough to send me amazing pictures to use. I can not believe how great her pictures were.

Can you believe those pictures?
After the show we decided to stroll around and take in the merry of it all.

Then we arrived in Times Square.
Ev was starting to fade, so we hit up the Disney store.

 I guess in the end,  his Disney guess held some truth!
We had yet another treat planned. We were meeting our cousins who live in the city, out for dinner!

So much fun!
We decided to start wrapping it up and headed back with our cousins to see the tree one last time in all its glory, glowing in the dark.

 My friend Jess, who was also seeing the show the next day, told me that their day got switched back a day so they happened to be at the show the same day as us. However they were at a later show. I did not tell the kids because I was not sure if we would be able to meet up with them, as we already had some plans set.
So I made a call, and their show had finished. They could meet with us in a bit!
Once they arrived, we headed out for hot chocolate,

and a trip to the Nintendo World store to play some games together.

It was so much fun to end our trip with friends and cousins.
We said our good byes and headed off. We arrived home a few hours later totally exhausted, but full of happy.
As soon as the boys awoke the following day, they wasted no time on begining special projects.

We had a really special day.
I am so happy we created these beautiful Christmas memories.