Christmas Morning Recap

Well, it was another magical Christmas Morning! This video here is just a short snippet of the morning. Ezrah opens his awesome custom Plan B skateboard. Plan B is the "cool" one. This present we made from me and Big Daddy because he was catching on from the preparation of that present. Madi wanted a real live bunny so much, but Santa brought her a "Fur Real" bunny that is a soft newborn bunny that sniffs and wiggles when you pet it. Being it's a newborn bunny, it came with a "ba ba", the term for bottle coined by my younger brother when he was a baby.

So Christmas Eve was wonderful. For apps we had stuffed shrooms and fresh mozz, basil and tomato brushetta. Uncle Dave came with his GF for apps and brought the shrimp cocktail. He made the cocktail sauce himself and went heavy on the horseradish. Yes!
The Safeway was all out of lobster tails, except for these wild brazilian lobster tails that we $45 a tail. So, needless to say, we omitted lobster tail from the menu. But it wasn't missed as we got King Crab (Jack's fave) and it was delightful! I also did my shrimp scampi over linguini which I nailed! I sauted the shrimp in butter, olive oil and garlic, added some bread crumbs and asasio cheese, then fresh lemon juice. Poured over the linguini and wala! Delish!

Actually now that I'm looking at our photos, I'm totally out of order. Before Christmas eve dinner, we went to our church's candlelight ceremony. At first we were towards the front pew, but Indigo was not sitting still and climbing up on the stage and getting into the instruments. Finally we moved to the back -where we belong with all these crazy kids. Ezrah was happy to lay down across the pews, Jack was able to constantly complain about his hunger, Madi was able to dance in the isle, and Indigo was free to be crazy.  Except we didn't get away unnoticed as pastor Bert was walking up from the back of the isle for part of the ceremony, he tripped over Indigo who was exploring. That's right, my baby tripped the Pastor! He didn't fall or anything, but was definately like "whoa".   Anyway, here's some pics before we left...

And on the way to church...

I was too busy with dinner to take many pictures, but after dinner, the kids got to open their Christmas PJs and open the gifts they gave to eachother.
Jackie got a robe instead of PJs this year. He's been wearing it all day today!

Here's Princess opening her present from Ezrah...

Here's Indigo opening her gift from Ezrah...

Just look at those teeth!

Here's the girls all ready for sleep. The one night of the year Princess actually goes to bed willingly! I asked her if she wanted to sleep in her own room tonight so Santa sees she's a big girl. "Nope -with mama!"

 Santa Really Came! I woke up before the kids got up to get a photo! Isn't our tree beautiful by the way?

It was total madness. Oh just look at the joy on Big Boy's face! It makes going way over the budget all worth it! Hey at least we made a budget this year.

Before Princess woke us up, she took off her PJs and got back into her fancy dress to open presents. That's why we call her Princess!

Here's indigo playing with the glittery ribbon more than the actual present!
So cliche!

Here's Ezrah with his new skateboard! See the video above! Notice the house getting messier and messier...

 Okay, now Indy's playing with it! She's so freakin' cute!!!!

Here's a photo of just the pure madness of Christmas morning with 4 kids...

Santa didn't forget Breezy! 

Just another picture of Pure JOY!

Here's Jack predicting each present before he opens it! "I KNOW this is the Beyblades I wanted"

Madi loving her new Innotab! Looking forward to taking this one on the plane to Disney World. Which by the way, at this point they did not know about yet. That was opened later in the day...
Ezrah gets his Pogo stick!

Dan loves his "Indigo Army" tee shirt I got him. Indigo Army is the name of one of his fantasy teams.


It is 2 days later and I am STILL trying to get this house back together!

So this was our magical Christmas morning! We spent Christmas day at Big Daddy's parent's house and that was where we unveiled the trip to Disney World with a less than enthusiastic reaction from the kids. Jack, in his monotone voice was like, "oh cool, Mickey Mouse dolls."

 Those intangible presents don't go over too well at first I guess. However, Madi is the most excited about the trip and she was wondering how many dresses she needs to pack. She's extremely worried that she doesn't own a Cinderella dress. Grateful child; she only has 5 Disney princess dresses in her wardrobe. What a tragedy! (sarcasm) I'll get that video up soon.

We opened lots of presents from Grandma and Grandpa...
More socks

Ezrah got an AMAZING remote control helicopter from Uncle Dave

And my sweet niece loved her Moxie Girl I got her. It was so cute! It had her exact shade of red hair and little freckles just like her!

Jackie loved his Nerf Gun from Uncle Dave.

And Indy just had a grand time wreaking havoc on the beautiful breakable things at Grandma's house!

 December 26: the most depressing day ever. It's all over. The house is a disaster. There are fancy hand-wash only plates in the sink still waiting for me, ripped wrapping papaer all over the floor, enormous amounts of packaging everywhere, more chokables on the floor than Indigo can put in her mouth and extremely tired Mama with an extra 5lbs on her.
 Big Daddy almost took an overtime shift, but decided against it. Because you know what? Some things are more important than money. I was not ready to get back to the grind. i needed a recovery day. He did too.
My sweet Big Daddy told me to forget the house and take a nap. Then he took us all to Red Robin for dinner. He's my knight in shining armor and always knows when I need rescuing. Indigo was being especially crazy at the restaurant and managed to get a hold of my straw and spoon from my chocolate milkshake. (well I gave it to her because she was screaming for it) Yeah, I needed a chocolate milkshake tonight. No more wine, no more egg nog; just a chocolate milkshake.

Then she found the cold metal cup and went to town. What do I care? Christmas is over. I have nothing left in me to even begin to stop it. I did come prepared with another outfit for her.

Jack got a Pac-Man Tee from Indigo for christmas and was sportin' it at RR.
The kids were being crazy and again, drinking root beer floats, screaming, getting up, going under the table. I just let it happen...

And finally our waitress snapped a photo of us. Dan thought it was super cheesy that I asked her to take our pic, but aren't you glad I did?

Merry Christmas!!!


Does "Kiss" begin with a "K"?

Princess says to me last night, "Mom, a kiss doesn't begin with "K" it begins with a "C". Not sure how to respond to that one, other than she's watching too much TV and that kiss does actually begin with a "K". 

Ok so now it is getting really really close and the excitement is in the air for Christmas! School is out. The snow is falling. The class Christmas parties were great. I did my "rounds" to each class party. Teacher gifts are given, Christmas cards are mailed, Christmas packages are sent, cookies are made, but eaten, so we'll make more today. Christmas is everywhere. Every thought, every TV sitcom, every movie, every commercial reminds us that it's Christmas time. Not that I need any reminders with 4 kids, but it's nice to share in the excitement.

I trying to figure out what to get Big Daddy. I just don't know! I want it to be special for him. He's not a "fix-it" guy, so the regular power tool won't work. I was thinking, okay, what he love. He loves to play basketball. I'd love to get him a gym membership so he can play noon basketball, but his schedule won't allow. He loves his "fantasy" sports, but not sure how I could turn that into a present. My budget is $100. Any ideas?

Uh oh, I hear screaming from the living room between baby and Princess. I better go check it out. The girls woke up ridiculously early today. It's going to be a long day!


Clever Present Wrapping

As you all have figured out, I looooove christmas morning. However I am always so exausted that I can barely enjoy it the past few years. This is because I'm wrapping presents until 4am, only to awaken by 6am with kids jumping on my bed. Today I started getting a head start on wrapping Santa presents. I also showed Big Daddy all the great stuff we got, being he works so hard and I get to reap the shopping rewards. he's okay with it though because he understands that shopping is "my thing."

I have to be very clever with wrapping Santa presents, with my big boys on the cusp on "not" believing. Who knows if they play along with me, I don't even want to know! So presents from Santa get wrapped in foil wrapping and lots of glittery bows that are of course hidden along with the presents.

The name tags are gold that I got at Walgreens and I have to be careful with those. See, my handwriting is pretty familiar, so I am sure to change it carefully. I also worry about the Sharpie I use. So I got a new one, also hidden away with a color they don't think we have. I also even try to wrap differently. Two years ago, I scored some vintage wrapping paper at a thrift store like is no wrapping paper you'll ever ever see in stores today. I still have some...oooo tricky mama! Got to go get all these back in the shed and locked because it;s almost time to get the kids from school. Gotta run!


A Magical Christmas

In exactly 6 days, 19 hours, 41 minutes and 23 seconds (yeah, I bought that Hallmark ornament), our living room floor will be covered in torn wrapping paper, boxes, those wire thingies they put to hold toys in their packages, candy wrappers, and happy children and sleepy parents. It will be another magical Christmas. This year is a big one. With our big boy, who is 11, Jackie, who is 9, Princess,, who is 5, and baby Indy at 1 year old, this is going to be a memorable one, maybe the most important Christmas yet! And yup, Santa will deliver (literally and figuratively) everything my children have dreamed for. We are blessed with the magic and the spirit of how special this morning will be.

I just LOVE Christmas morning. Something is in the air and with 4 young kiddos, I am in all my glory. My children do know what Christmas is all about, not just the presents. They know what we are really celebrating, the birth of Jesus, who showed us how to love. They really do know it. Today, they will also get a glimpse of some Christmas love, as we are delivering to a family in need in our town, loads of Christmas love. In our church, we have "adopted" a family with 3 children and we are giving them lots of goodies, clothes, toys, kitchen stuff, and more to them. Today, we will be ringing their doorbell and surprising them. Not sure if I will just put everything on their doorstep and run or bringing the gifts inside. They speak only Spanish and I would like to convey to them to keep some of the gifts for them to wrap and give to their kids on Christmas morning. And I also would like to say that I hope this lessens the stress of the Holidays just a little. All kids, actually all people, should feel the magic of Christmas morning.

This morning Big Daddy and Big Boy went all the way to Greeley for a basketball tournament and me and the others are home. I feel guilty for not going, but it was just too early and Big Boy didn't care and was excited for it to be just him and Big Daddy.  The kids have just 3 days of school this week and they are getting geared up for class parties and making and wrapping presents for their teachers. I wish that our school district policy would let us bring in homeade goodies, but in this day and age, only store-bought treats are allowed. We will be making some sugar cookies today in the shapes of Christmas trees and stars today and bringing that to our adopted family. 

Christmas Eve will be our traditinal Italian fish dinner. Well it;s not totally traditinal, in that we don't do the "7" fishes, but we do lots of different fish dishes, like lobster tails, shrim scampi and this year, we are giving a try at king crab! My Jackie just looooves king crab. Everything about this year's Christmas will be magical!

I'll update my menu and recipes later in the week. Off to drink some more coffee and get ready to spread some love to a deserving family and maybe some ice skating in Old Town Square!


Surprise Trip to Disney World

My favorite thing in the world is to shop. It really is. It gets my endorphins up and  I probably have a bonafide addiction to shopping. And I'm a savvy shopper too, which I learned from my Mom. Indy's learning too! Just look at her going through my coupons before we head out to shop!

And here's her at the mall playground...

You might thing shopping is kind of selfish, but I like shopping for others. That's my favorite thing in the world. Truly, way down deep in the core of my heart,  I love love love giving the people I love in my life the perfect present. Christmas is my favorite holiday.

This Christmas, my kids aren't going to know what hit them!  I just picked up a custom Plan B skateboard for Big Boy. And I have been blessed with some crazy luck too. At Toys R Us, I got the last pogo stick and at the Evil Empire (Walmart) I got the second to last Monster High 3-pack. Not only are my kids getting all this fun stuff, but on Christmas day, we are surprising them to a trip to Disney World!

No we are in no means rich, but somehow, with the help of my parents and Big Daddy's parents, we are making it happen. My parents have recently moved to Florida and they are just dying for us to come visit us. It is my dad's lifelong dream to take my kids to Disney World. And dreams come true. So cheesy, but it's true. I really want my parents to take my kids to Disney too, as it makes me just as happy to see their joy as it does my kid's.

My parents have been saying, figure out how to get here (FL) and we'll take care of the rest. We cannot pass up this opportunity but how on earth are we going to afford plane tickets from Colorado to Florida for 6 people? Well, Big Daddy's Dad came through. I love Big Daddy's Dad and the other night we were telling him the deal my parents had offered and just like my parents, he wants my children to have the best of everything, including a family trip to Disney World, even though he won't be there to enjoy them enjoying it. He offered us about 75% of the plane fare and we are able to come up the rest. My kids are so blessed with so much love.

My parents are absolutely floored and cannot believe we are actually coming! My Dad especially is so cute; he's got the whole itinerary set and has reserved an incredible villa on Disney's grounds. It is the most amazing resort I have ever seen and I can't believe we are lucky enough to go! I think my Dad may be more excited than my kids will be! Although I pretty darn excited to have breakfast with the Disney princesses.

Growing up in NY, we drove down to FL in the last week in August and went to Disney World. I have so many great memories of it. In fact, they are probably my most vivid, happy memories of my childhood. I can't wait to give this gift to my kids. I hope they remember as they grow up too. My boys, 11 and 9 will definately remember forever, Princess,5, will be in awe at everything and be taking in the experience as it happens, but will probably have just vague, but positive memories as she grows. Baby, 14 months, won't remember a thing, but she too, will enjoy it in the present.

Speaking of presents, you know that commercial where the parents wrap up Mickey dolls and video the whole thing and say to them, "we're leaving on a plane right now and going to Disney World!" We are doing almost the same thing. My parents are sending us Mickey and Minnie dolls and we are going to put the those and the plane tickets in a box and wrap it up. Then say, we are leaving for Disney World in 6 weeks! We will video it too and I will definately have the video up here on my blog. I just can't wait to surprise them!  They will open up the Disney surprise on Christmas Day at Big Daddy's Dad's house.

So after the incredible, magical Christmas morning, just when they thought they couldn't be any happier, they open up a present that will reveal not only our first family vacation, but a vacation to Disney World and to see their favorite grandparents, Grandma Angie and Pop! Oh Gosh, I'm going to burst with happiness, just writing about it. I'll post the video after Christmas.