Saturday, January 18, 2014

Christmas 2013

Christmas was kind of a whirlwind, as it always is, I guess.  On the years that we travel to Wisconsin, we never really do much in terms of Christmas festivities around the house--minimal decorating, no cookie baking, etc.  The weeks between Thanksgiving and when we left for Wisconsin were super busy and crazy for me, so I was looking forward to two weeks of some time away.

We did decorate the tree, with the kids help!

We went to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa the week before we left for Wisconsin.  Bass Pro has a great Christmas area, with fun and games (and you can take your own picture of Santa, which is a plus!).  As you can see, Tesla was not loving the experience.  She was doing the type of crying where she stops breathing and no audible cry can be heard....poor thing!
 This picture makes me laugh!  Tesla's still recovering from the trauma of Santa--both of them look like they are merely tolerating this whole thing!
But then we moved onto the games--we rode on the carousel and Lennon had fun with the bow and "arrow."
And Tesla liked the fish:
 We had our Christmas the last Sunday we were in town.
 Lennon asked Santa for Angry Bird gummies (he was kind of confused as to why one of the boxes of gummies was a Halloween-themed one!!).  And Tesla's enjoying her new purse and jewelry.
 My labor of love this year was to crochet three stuffed angry birds (or, as Lennon likes to call them, "Angry Bird Teddies").
 Lennon loved them!
 Lots and lots of hours went into making these, but I was really happy with how they turned out.  He's already requested more for his birthday and Easter!
We got to spend about 2.5 weeks in Wisconsin and had a great time.  Unfortunately, Lennon got a little bug soon after we got there, but he was feeling better after about a day--and one of the reasons he bounced back so quickly was the allure of cookie baking!  Lennon and Grandma were having a great time--Lennon though it was hilarious when the dough would stick to the rolling pin--they were giggling and laughing throughout!
 Tesla joined in the decorating...she "helped," meaning she just ate the sprinkles; didn't care much about the cookie or frosting, she just liked the sprinkles!
 Proud of his work!
Drew, Leah & Emery got into town on Monday, the 23rd.  That night, before bed, Grandma gave the kids their first gifts...their Christmas jammies, since we were doing Christmas the next morning--the kids loved them!
 Aunt Patti with Emery & Lennon:
 Tesla's Baptism
Tesla was baptized at the Christmas Eve service, which was really special in so many ways.  My Grandma was able to join us for dinner and then go to church with us.  I got a beautiful pattern to crochet Tesla her baptismal gown, but was so busy with things that I wasn't able to even start it until we got to Wisconsin.  However, once the bodice was done, the directions made no sense for either my mom nor I--so we headed off to Joann Fabrics and bought a beautiful piece of silk and used that as the skirt.  I really love how it turned out, and Tesla looked so beautiful!
 Great Grandma and Lennon:
 4 Generations!
 The Saturday after Christmas, my parents graciously hosted an open house for Tesla.  I love having them because it's such a great way to see everyone!
 Here's a picture of all, but one (Cameron's missing) of the "kids" I used to babysit for, and one of them is a new dad--crazy!!
 On Christmas Day we traveled to my Grandma's house to have the big family Christmas.  Most of the family was there and it was lots of fun to catch up with everyone.  I haven't been back there since Tesla was 2 months old, and Adam hasn't been back since Christmas two years ago.  There's a tradition in our family that we have to sing caroles before we can get to the presents--it used to be all of us kids, but since all the grandkids are now adults, it got passed onto the great-grandkids.
I put this picture up because it was a flashback to when I was a kid.  When I was really young, we would have Christmas with my Great-Grandparents.  They would call our names and we would each, individually, have to go up and open our present at (or on, for the babies) a table--that's what I felt like with Tesla (I'll have to find an old picture and post it!)
The Grandkids & Spouses (minus Jim, Jerry & Joe)
 Uncle Dick made up a super fun game for the was the garbage pick-up game.  They loved it!  They were trying to find any piece of trash to pick up and throw down the garbage chute.  I asked Lennon if he would be that good at picking up trash at home if I built a chute, and he just laughed at me!
 Emery and Lennon had so much fun together.  Pretty much from the moment Emery arrived, they were inseparable (they even had a sleepover in the same room for a couple nights).  They would spend hours down in the basement playing their games.  Drew, Leah & Emery had to head out on Monday, the 30th and Lennon was so sad.  It took a good day or two to get out of his funk.  My mom and I took Lennon and Tesla to see Frozen on that Monday, and Lennon couldn't fully enjoy it because he was sad.
 Auntie Leah and Uncle Drew had to work really hard to earn Tesla's affections.  With all the activity, Tesla was attached to me in some form for pretty much their entire visit.  Tesla would warm up to them near the end, but I still had to be holding her.  It wasn't until the very last day of their trip that Tesla ventured out of my arms.  During the Packer game, Leah finally got some one-on-one cuddle/play time with Tesla!
And Lennon had so much fun with Uncle Drew.  It seemed like the game of choice was "dragon"....Uncle Drew made a really good dragon and the kids slept great at night!
  On New Years Eve, we went bowling--Lennon has been asking to bowling for months, and my answer was always, "we'll go bowling in Wisconsin with Grandma and Grandpa."
 Lennon's ritual of crossing his fingers while the ball slowly rolled down the had to cross his fingers too!
 Tesla became much more comfortable when there wasn't as much activity--she would play on her own (my arms thanked her!) and she loved  hanging out with her Grandpa--here she is cuddling up to him...awww!
 When you don't hear Tesla, that usually means she's up to no good.  One night we were sitting in the living room hanging out, when we all of a sudden noticed that we had no idea where Tesla was.  My mom noticed that the bathroom door was closed (uh-oh) and all we could hear when she opened the door  was laughter and, "hurry, quick, come in here!"  This is what we found--Tesla had taken off her pants and her diaper and climbed on the toilet.  This happened a couple more times--one time Adam found her and he said the look on her face when he opened the door was, "excuse me...occupied!"  And the last time she fell in the toilet--not the best way to convince us to give her a bath!
 We got to spend one night with Neal and Julie--the kids had a blast playing with Adeline and Amelia and I realized how much I miss my friends--how I wish we lived closer....
 Spontaneous cuddle time!
 The weather was cold our entire visit, but we got out just before the "polar vortex."  We got an accumulation of about 2 ft of snow over the 2+ weeks we were there, and I think it got about freezing maybe twice.  Because of all the crazy weather across the country, our flight was delayed an hour or two and we got some extra hang out time in the airport with Grandma and Grandpa!
 Lennon and Tesla both did so well on both our flights to and from.  On the return flight, Lennon talked with the pilot while we were waiting for the plane to arrive and then he got to go into the cockpit when we were boarding.  When we landed, Lennon said, "I'm sad."  He said he was sad that he wasn't in Wisconsin anymore and that he really missed Grandma and Grandpa, but then added, but I don't miss Grandma and Papa anymore because I get to see them! So hard to learn about those conflicting emotions.
 Christmas, Round....4?
The day after we got back home, we went over to Grandma and Papa's house for the fourth round of Christmas.  Tesla got the present thing from the very beginning (she cried when we were done opening presents for our Christmas), so we weren't surprised that she viewed herself as a pro at the whole gift-opening thing!
 Keeping Grandma on track with keeping the presents coming!
 Lennon's big gift again this year was a bike!  Papa rolled it out and "hid" it among all the wrapping paper and clothes--Tesla noticed the bike before Lennon did! It should fit him perfectly by the time spring arrives and he can ride it--he's very excited!!
Though we had so much fun over the Christmas season, it does feel good to get back to our crazy, "regular" life.  I've temporarily (through March, at least) doubled my hours at the pregnancy center and am in the office three days a week.  I feel like we're starting to get into a routine with everything that's going on, but will hopefully have some more news with things changing on the job front soon!

....go onto the next post to see video of Lennon's Christmas pageant, you won't regret it!