Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope everybody enjoyed the Christmas holiday!

I officially completed everything on my Christmas to-do list:
- Bring Madeleine to see Santa
- Buy Christmas Tree

- Decorate for Christmas (tree, interior, exterior)
- Christmas Shopping (We have 20 people to buy for!)
- Christmas Eve Meal - Plan / Buy Ingredients / Make
- Christmas Cookies - Plan / Buy Ingredients / Make
- Wrap Christmas presents (make sure I have boxes, paper, and bows)
- Attend mass (last year we missed this due to an urgent care visit with Madeleine on Christmas Day)
- Christmas Cards - Create / Buy / Mail-out
- Mail Christmas gifts to out-of-town family
- Clean the house for Christmas Eve

I left work on Friday around 2:30pm.  Since I don't normally pick up Madeleine until 4:30pm, I stopped home first and wrapped all our Christmas presents.  When we were all home, we made a yummy bacon and goat cheese pizza for dinner.  Bill was still under the weather, so he rested while I made the dough for the sugar and gingerbread cookies.  I also made a final list of everything I needed from the store for my Christmas Eve dinner and cookies.

Saturday, I meant to set my alarm to get a bit of cleaning in before Madeleine woke up; but I forgot.  Of course, that would be the day she didn't wake up until after 7am too; so I lost some time there, but it did feel really nice to sleep in a bit.  Bill watched her while I headed first downtown to our favorite Italian grocery store, Gloriosos's, and then to the regular grocery store.  After I got home and we unpacked everything, Bill counted; and we had over 10 pounds of cheese in our fridge!!  Then we were basically in a state of flux the rest of the afternoon, as it was too early to cook; and the house wasn't terribly messy either.  So, we just sort of chilled out and played in the house.  Bill did fix our back storm door though.  It has only been broken since April 2010!  We capped off the night at Bill's sister's for pre-Christmas get together.  We had a nice ham dinner, and Madeleine had a blast chasing a ball around and playing with her older cousins and Uncles.

Sunday Bill got up with Madeleine.  I was up by 8am ready to get started on basically everything that needed to be done for Christmas Eve, but unfortunately the past few days of being sick caught up with Bill and he crashed on the couch.  He literally slept on the couch until noon!!  Thankfully, Madeleine was super good and entertained herself while I baked cookies.  I baked mint chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and gingerbread men cookies.  Madeleine helped decorate some of the sugar cookies with sprinkles...a lot of sprinkles!!
After Madeleine went down for her nap, I was so tired from being on my feet all morning that I joined Bill on the couch for the Packers' game and napped a bit myself.  Bill finally started to perk up, and made his contribution to the cookies - chocolate chip/coconut bars.  Afterwards, I got all my linens ironed and laid out on the table; and did a bit of cleaning (seriously...why wasn't our house more messy?).  I did one final run to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute items.  For dinner we just did leftovers.  Then, after Madeleine went to bed I spent the rest of the evening decorating the remaining sugar cookies and gingerbread men with Royal Icing.  This was only the second time I have worked with it.  I think I'm slowly getting the hang of it. 
On Christmas Eve morning I finished cleaning the house; which didn't take too long.  My parents showed up around 11am to help me with dinner.  We always have lasagna on Christmas Eve, but I have actually never made one before.  My mom helped me with it while Bill and my dad kept Madeleine entertained.  Around 3pm, my oldest sister arrived with her twins (also age 2), and my little sister arrived too.  My little sister, Bill, and I watched the kids while my two older sisters and parents went to mass.  (I have 3 sisters total, 2 older and 1 younger)  Bill's dad arrived 4pm to join the fun too.  I had dinner mentally planned for about 6pm.  Everybody got home from church around 5:45pm, and the chaos began (good chaos though).  There was a mad dash to get dinner on the table, but other than those 20 minutes of craziness everything went off without hitch.  We sat down to eat about 6:15, and it was all delicious!!  We had lasagna, Italian sausage, garlic bread, green beans, and salad.  After that there was all my cookies for dessert and of course presents!!  It was completely crazy with 1 three year old and 3 two year olds, but a lot of fun. 
Those headed back home were gone by about 9:30pm.  My little sister, Bill, and I went to 10pm mass; while my parents stayed with Madeleine.  We got home a little after 11pm, set out all the remaining presents, cleaned up a bit, and were in bed by midnight.

On Christmas morning we had a little family snuggle time in bed.  Madeleine joined me in bed while Bill showered; then we switched.  I wanted us all to go downstairs together, so we'd both get to see Madeleine's reaction to her presents.  Her big Santa gift was an art easel with a chalkboard on one side and a dry erase board on the other.  I thought she would be super excited, but she was actually a little timid about it all.  It was still cute though.  My parents and little sister had spent the night, so they joined us for presents.  Madeleine enjoyed opening presents, but wanted to play with each one after it was opened.  So, it took a little while for her to make it through her pile.  She definitely like the easel.  We also got her kitten slippers that she did not want to take off.  I think her favorite present was a $1 LED flashlight thingy I picked up for her stocking.  You press a button and it lights up and spins, and she loved it.  Go figure.  We probably could have just gotten her that and she would have been totally content.
After presents, Bill and I made French toast and bacon for everybody.  Then around 11am, we said goodbye to my family and headed over to my Mother-in-law's.  It was more presents there literally the minute we walked in the door.  We had a turkey dinner around 2ish.  It was after dinner that we realized we had forgotton to put Madeleine down for a nap, so she did that after dinner; while Bill and I got to relax and just visit with everyone.  We woke her up around 4pm, said our goodbyes, and headed home.  Madeleine played with her chalk board the rest of the night.  I wanted to get us back on our normal schedule since I had to work the next morning, so we put her to bed 7pm as per usual.  She went right to sleep.  Bill and I capped off the night watching the Doctor Who Christmas special on BBC America then headed upstairs to bed.  Exhausted, we went to sleep at 10pm. 

So, that's our Christmas run-down.  We survived, and like I wanted, it was super stress-free.  I told Bill to keep reminding me that everything didn't have to be perfect.  That really helped.  I planned everything really well though, so even though it didn't have to be basically was.   

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