I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas. First off, happy 4 month birthday Xander! Yay, my boy is getting so big!!!!!
So far the past few day have been great for us, even with the few 'bumps' in the road. The day before Ken's family was scheduled to arrive, Ariel started showing signs of a flu coming on. By the time the family arrived for dinner on the 23rd, she was coughing badly and her nose was running like crazy. However, she was still perky and eager to play and goof off.
Of course the biggest highlight was Grammy finally meeting her grandson! Xander was acting strange at first with her, but as of today is smiling and content. Yay!
Christmas eve was a lazy day since Ariel seemed to be losing steam fast. She was really tired and her eyes were not the bright coffee beans I am use to. We went to lunch at Sharkeys only to have her go into a coughing fit afterwards and puked up her meal on the kitchen floor. Lovely!
Prior to puking, Ariel and Uncle Dan hanging out
Her fever was off and on over those few days, but finally seemed to break that afternoon. She was pushing to let us take her to church for the Christmas eve service, although I wasn't sure. She wanted to see Aunty Kara dance, and so I walked to the church with Xander early to grab seats and the rest of the gang followed later. Ariel looked terrible and was laying on Grammy's lap most of the service, only perking up to see Kara dance then falling asleep. It was pretty sweet actually.
The service was simply beautiful and as usual the music was gorgeous. I loved that they sang 'Love came down on Christmas'. Such a beautiful piece and done so well as a round song. It really sums it up I think...
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
We got Ariel home where again she perked up and ate our traditional snacks and watched 'Christmas eve on Sesame Street'.
The kids were all ready for bed in their new jammies I made for us all. Xander was looking super cute as usual.
The family headed back to the hotel for the night and we took our tradition jammie picture in front of the tree (which you have seen in the previous post). Then got the kids into bed, but not before Ariel insisted on leaving St Nicholas some cookies and milk. She was asleep quickly and while Ken wrapped his gifts upstairs, I stuffed the kids stockings and brought down all the presents Grammy sent out of the storage room. I ended up moving some furniture around to make more room for the next morning, it was a little tight with all the goodies for the kids.
I was so tired that it didn't take much for me to fall asleep soundly until morning. I remember the years I didn't sleep a wink and my mom would leave my stocking outside my door after midnight so that I could have some goodies to keep me sane until morning, haha. Ahhh, how times have changed.
Morning came fast with a hungry boy and Ariel was still asleep soundly. By the time the family arrived, we still were waiting on Ariel to wake up. I finally got her up and we all got to see her reaction coming down the stairs to the goodies awaiting her.
We got opening things and Ariel was sooooo into it this year. A 3 year old at Christmas is sure magic! She helped Xander open his gifts, and was eager to show him how they worked (and play with them too, haha). Xander enjoyed anything that he could chew on or that made music... he also seemed intrigued with baby Woody too. Hee.
Ken surprised me with the whole Gilmore Girls series on dvd, which was really sweet since we weren't really doing gifts this year. It was an over-sized stocking stuffer I am told.
The kids got some lovely gifts. Ariel's favorite seems to be her 'Splatster', a game and drawing thing she does on the tv. She can even transfer her pictures to the computer to print out. Pretty cool. She also loves her Hungry Caterpillar board game, sticker and activity books and various stuffies.
Practicing writing in her 'write and wipe' book from Xander.
Xander loves his musical keys, Detroit hat, Sophie the giraffe toy and the cute clothes (or maybe mommy loves them more, haha)
Also a big fan of his sock monkey jack in the box!
Grammy getting some baby snuggles... he just is happy to sit with her. Awww.
After presents and a traditional brunch of overnight cinnamon buns and Eggs Benedict from my Company's Coming book. I went to the kitchen again to start the turkey! I made the stuffing up and filled the bird and put the remainder in my slow cooker. I haven't tried that before, but it seemed like a great way to do it and get that same long cooked taste. Yum!
My bird turned out fantastic! Much to the wonderful digital meat thermometer from Dad and Rita. It was dead on and the meat was so moist and delicious. I made up rustic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, asparagus casserole, corn and gravy... and then I was exhausted, haha.
Ariel and Grammy helped set the table. She laid out the 'christmas crackers' and made place cards, so cute!
We all got seated and of course Xander was hungry too, so I nursed him before getting my dinner. Oh well, tis the way it goes with growing babies.
Dinner was sooooo good. I was pleased with my work, and glad everyone enjoyed it. We used Nana's china, and I think she would have been impressed with my turkey. The torch has been passed.
Ariel managed to have a bleeding nose from all her sneezing and coughing, and freaked out of course. Poor girl, I felt so bad. But she got a pretty necklace in her 'christmas cracker' and it made her feel better... not to mention her crown.
After dishes and some more playing, Jonathan was eager to go back to the hotel to sleep, so Ken wrapped up the evening with a puppet show with his new puppet I got him for his stocking. He did the Hippo song, which he did when it was Ariel's first Christmas.
The next morning we were pretty groggy. Xander now had the flu from Ariel and had been up most of the night wanting to nurse and cuddle. He has a brief fever and was coughing which then made him cry. So that was sad. Ken is somewhat showing signs of it, and I refuse to get it, so there. Ha!
We did an online chat with Ken's dad and Aunt Carol so the kids could open the gifts from Grandpa. It was too bad the kids weren't feeling well, since they weren't really that interested in the camera, but not much you can do if they are sick. At least today was better for Ariel who seems to have her personality back, but a very red, raw nose still remains.
Ariel decided to wear her new shirt from Uncle Dan, 'cake is awesome'. Haha.
As Ken's mom says, 'It's nice that Dan has found someone on his wavelength.' aka, that of a 3 year old, haha. They are watching Spongebob together here.
We decided to go see The Princess and the Frog in the afternoon, and after a morning walk in the village, we drove off to catch the show. Xander was asleep in his car seat and managed sleep through the whole movie. Yay! The movie was great, and Ariel enjoyed it except for the brief moments that spooked her with the evil villain. I even found myself a bit scared, eek! It was so great to see a Disney 2D film again, long live animation!
As we came out of the theater, the lobby was packed with people, so we chose a good time to come before the rush. We came home for a dinner of leftover turkey, oh so good again, and got the kids to bed early to help them get better. Seems like the sick germs are moving into Ken's family now, ugh. I guess there was no really way to avoid it. Hoping they don't get it as bad. Ok, better get ready for bed now. Lots still to come...stay tuned for the second half of our visit!