Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning Festivities

Ahhhh...I finally feel like I can rest for at least a couple of hours. The Christmas madness is over. I apologize for being MIA for the last few weeks, but's been a madhouse around here. We actually moved in to a new place...much bigger than our tiny 2 bedroom apartment that felt like it was falling in on us. And let me tell you...the holidays is NOT the time that you want to be moving!!! It just adds to the craziness! Although, it was an opportunity that we just couldn't pass up. Now we actually feel like we have room to move...and my parents and sister can attest to how small our little place actually was...I'm sorry you ever had to see us there!! And the very best part about our new place (at least to me) is that we have our own washer and dryer!! You would not believe how grateful I am to have my own laundry room...I will never move to a place that doesn't have a washer and dryer again!!

In the midst of this chaos we call Christmas, we actually were able to get a tree up...thanks to moi...Mike was out of town and I just needed to get one up. Monkey actually called me out and told one of my co-workers that we weren't celebrating Christmas this year...we couldn't be because we didn't have any decorations up...we didn't even have a tree! Now he knew very well that we were celebrating Christmas and had been talking about getting a tree. So, we got a tree, and let me tell you...getting a tree into a stand is not so easy when you're being directed by a 7 year old!! But we prevailed, and got the tree up and decorated. And Christmas would indeed be happening at the Cruz least in Monkey's eyes it would be!

So here is what the tree looked like before I began paying attention to where the ornaments were being hung by my kiddos...

And yes, that is 10 items hanging in roughly the same place!!

And here is what the tree looked like last night after I had finally finished wrapping all the presents.

I have to turned out pretty good. I actually was able to find all our ornaments in that storage place we call a garage. (Keep in mind, we actually had a storage unit, and now that we just moved, all of our stuff from the house and the storage unit is in our garage - so finding something in there is a HUGE feat!!)

So every year I say the same thing...I will NOT leave all the wrapping to Christmas Eve...and every year? Up until 2 in the morning, wrapping those presents that will take 15 minutes to unwrap...there has GOT to be a better solution!! So here's to next year...I will NOT leave the wrapping to Christmas Eve!! There, now it's written down, so I have to do it!!

I love Christmas as a mom...I would have to say about as much as I loved it as a kid. I had to chuckle a couple of times last night...I was being very nostalgic, maybe because this is the first year in a while that I would not be with any of my family. Anyway, I was remembering how I would sneak up to the tree when no one else was around and find my presents and try to figure out what they worked for some of them, but others just had me stumped until I opened them. I also was remembering how my younger sister Rachel, and I, would "train" ourselves to stay up all night so we could catch Santa. We would start out staying up until midnight, then 1 am, 2am...and so on...we never did catch Santa. I can only hope that I am helping to create memories that my kids will always remember.

The best part about Christmas as a mom? This look...I would do anything to get this look from each of my kiddos at least once on Christmas morning.

Although, a close second to that look would be the little gifts that the kids come home with every year. This year, their school had a program where I could send them to school with some money (ultimately for the PTA) and fill out a form saying who they could buy for and how much they could spend on them. Then, they were able to go to a little "store" they had set up in the cafeteria and buy presents for everyone. I made out with quite a stash...

A frame, two necklaces - a turtle from Pumpkin and a pearl/heart one from Monkey. And yes...that is a tye-die shirt from none other than my little Monkey. When Daddy asked him how he knew how big Mommy was he said "This big..." and did this...

He is such a little comic!!

So here are some other pictures from this morning's events...

Man, I love my little clan...

I have to brag here...I think that I have the world's fastest outfit changing kid!! This happened in under a minute...

Daddy was not left out of the presents from the kiddos...he was very surprised with his gifts from the kids. He ended up with a Dad Frame (much like mine pictured above) and a "hammer-shaped" tool kit from Monkey. And a stuffed "fire dragon/snake" and this Dad you're my Hero figurine from Pumpkin.

And this has got to be the best pic of the morning. This is Sweet Pea giving her kuya some love after her gift from him.

My little fashion model here, wearing my Emu's from Daddy and striking her little pose!

My other little model here...her Daddy's gonna have a tough time with this one!!

And the two of them together...just too cute!!

So, that was this morning. We are planning on making a Mongolian Hot Pot for dinner...first time doing one on my own (keep your fingers crossed Mom!). I'll post pics of how that went at a later date. We are also going to break out our fondue set, that we got for our wedding...8 years ago!! Yeah...this will be the first time using to come later too!!

I also need to upload and post how the kiddo's Christmas concerts went this year...too funny, you're gonna want to check back for that!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas morning...I'll check in with you all later!!