Viewing posts from December, 2015
I absolutely love Christmas. I love the lights, the glitter, the gifts. I love how it's okay to wear big ugly sweaters or blinged out sequined dresses. I love the extra family time and seeing the kids's eyes glow with wonder and excitement when looking at the tree and opening their presents. I love everything about it.
I love this holiday even though I am not Christian. I'm not anything really, but I think the message about love and peace and generosity and giving is a great thing. We should apply all that year round! I also love to celebrate any and every holiday. I totally can't wait until next year's Diwali, and no, I'm not even Indian. I'm also making the kids celebrate the Chinese New Year. It will be good for their Mandarin.
I actually think the commercialization of the holidays are fabulous! Yes- I am that person who gets this warm and fuzzy feeling inside when I see Christmas decorations go up in the stores right after Halloween, and I do thoroughly enjoy a good Christmas commercial on tv.
Anyways, I'm taking advantage of the kids's naptime to write this post and organize the milions of photos I've taken of our Christmas this year. Hubby took some time off work and we most definitely made the most of it. These past few weeks we have both completely broken our diets, had lots and lots of family time, and ended each day finishing a full bottle of wine. I would even spike our night teas. We both have probably gained ten pounds, but because we lost so much weight this past year I am not even going to worry about it.
So we did lots of family fun stuff like decorating gingerbread, celebrating Caspian's birthday (he is a Christmas baby) multiple times, and just going out a lot.
Here's a glance into our fun filled week:
We took the kids for photos with Santa. Valentino obviously loved it =)
I am so proud of my wrapping skills. I have to thank Estee Lauder (my college job) for that. They had me on my feet like 24/7 wrapping people's purchases. Super fun! No really, it was actually fun.
Christmas Eve with hubby and the kiddos. I love to dress my boys in matching suits. I dress them better than I dress myself!
Christmas day brunch.
How cute are these rascals?
Last year I slept through Christmas morning and we had to open the presents at night (I was pregnant, not lazy) haha. So this year we thought we would do the same thing. I was hosting Christmas dinner and we thought it would be fun to open presents with grandma and auntie too!
I made the salmon and hubby made the turkey. It was fantastic. This is our fairly low-carb Christmas dinner (minus the crackers and mashed potatoes).
I am so glad Valentino is a good eater. He devoured his food. He shoved so much turkey in his mouth that when it wouldn't fit he would just keep trying to shove it further back into his mouth.... and then I would panic over him choking, and then he would laugh at me. He's so silly.
Santa was really generous this year.
Valentino and auntie Sara decorating gingerbread! Ok well Valentino was more interested in eating it, but he did help a bit too!
Showing him the way
Valentino was proud of his work! Daddy kept stealing the candies off the gingerbread house and eating them.
As the holiday season draws to a close I feel a bit of relief from all the hustle and bustle. No joke- I kind of busted my @$$ running around making sure we get everything done and making an effort for the kids to enjoy themselves. However, I will really miss all the family fun festvities. I cannot wait to see what the New Year has in store for us.
Usually I am super on time and organized when it comes to getting ready for the holidays. This year it definitely didn't happen that way. I was running around like a crazy person pulling my hair out trying to clean the house and put up the decorations, all while taking care of babies and trying to make the house look presentable and also child friendly. That was nearly impossible, so I had to use my imagination, put my husband to work, do lots of shopping and just make it work somehow. Because it's technically Caspian's first Christmas, I wanted to make it special. It took a lot of thought and compromise to figure out the whole Christmas tree thing. Are we even going to have one? How do we make a tree child friendly? What if they pull it on top of themselves? Should we get a real tree or fake tree or both? Will the pine needles poke their little feet?
In the end we decided to go for a real tree in the dining room, a fake tree in the office, and two fake trees in the living room. Our living room is gated so we put the child friendliest of trees in the living room.
This was the weekend before the kids's birthday party, and this was my house:
Real trees are my thing. This one here is a 6 foot tree from Costco.
We had a ridiculous amount of presents to wrap. In addition to Christmas presents we also had a ton of birthday presents, since both kids have birthdays in December.
I love a good wrapped present. It's all about presentation for me. So I spent hours and hours wrapping the presents perfectly, with matching paper and ribbon, and tying pretty bows. By the end of it the entire office was covered in heaps and piles of wrapping paper and ribbon. It literally looked like a tornado ripped through our home.
My house looked like a hoarder house. So I was just slightly panicking. Ok I was freaking out.
But with the help of hubby it turned out great and everything was done in time. Phew!
The kids don't mind the singing and dancing Santa. Last year Valentino was afraid of it, but this year he thinks it's funny and he boops his nose and tries to pull off his beard. The kids also absolutely love the outdoor decorations. Caspian always stares at the lights from his bedroom and when leaving the house Valentino becomes fascinated with the inflatables.
Valentino has become more sensible in that he sometimes chooses to listens to us. He loves touching the lights on the trees below, and we constantly have to tell him off for trying to touch it. So lately what he's been doing is waiting for us to be busy, then he will run up to it and touch it, play with the plug, and unplug it. Then when I tell him off for doing that he will pretend to hit me and then tell me off for telling him off. He is hilarious.
I didn't use any ornaments on our real tree. Instead I got a bunch of glittery branches and picks from Michaels and stuck them in the tree. I loved how they gave the Christmas tree a slightly flocked and frosted look. They were all 60% off to so I kind of went a little nuts......
I cannot believe another year has passed and my babies are 1 and 2. Where has time gone?
So we threw them a joint birthday party because they are both December babies. We went with a hungry caterpillar birthday theme this year, as they both love reading the very hungry caterpillar book.
Since Valentino was born we throw a big birthday party every year, and it works for us because we combine birthday / holiday party and invite all our friends and family in one go. We are so busy the rest of the year and it's so hard to get together with people. So we really look forward to seeing all the friends and family, who we may not see very often, at this event. We always choose a theme as well. Last year the theme was winter onederland.
So we always begin party planning a few months prior but this year we were just so busy that we only started planning it a few weeks before. It's kind of really hard to throw a birthday party when you have little children, because you can't just stop taking care of them to prepare for the party. They still need a lot of attention. So what I did was I gave my husband a shopping list that ran a mile long and made him run around like a headless chicken going store to store, assembling numerous christmas trees, shopping, shopping and more shopping, and also doing electrical outdoor lighting work (because I have OCD.....Obsessive Christmas Disorder). Needless to say, in the end it all worked out and the party was fabulous. We had a bunch of relatives come, along with some of Valentino's friends from school. Valentino and Caspian had a blast socializing with their friends and family!
And here are some pictures of our Hungry Caterpillar themed birthday party:
The birthday invitations were front and back...... Caspian is wearing a hungry caterpillar costume (he was three months old in that picture) I used to dress him up all the time and then take millions of pictures of him in different poses. I did that with Valentino too. I'm an annoying mom like that.
Our little family. I love love love everyone in this picture. How hot is my husband? These little munchkins look like (cute) clowns in their matching birthday outfits. We are kind of obsessed with having their clothes match all the time.
You notice the two cakes? Yes, double the amount we needed and double the price. This was my husbands request, and I almost laughed when in all seriousness he asked me (with a concerned look on his face) "What would happen when they are older looking back at these pictures and their feelings get hurt because they see that they have only one birthday cake to share between the two of them??!!"
LOL! ok I said, 2 cakes it is!
I never try to save money or cut corners on the cakes. I'm lucky my husband agrees and gets just as excited as I do over cakes (as I tend to go overboard sometimes). I feel like they are the main focal point of the food and decor. They need to be fabulous. They were vanilla with chocolate buttercream, and tasted amazing. We used up one entire cake for the party and then froze the other one so we can enjoy it later. Our design and idea for the cakes were inspired by the hungry caterpillar book.
How cute are these fruit skewers? I found these little candy eyes, dabbed some icing on them, and stuck them on a strawberry. Valentino loved them as much as the cake! But after the party I found a bunch of these eyes all around my living room LOL. Maybe the kids thought they weren't edible? Our dog would have had a blast if he were there (hubby dropped off Sir Edward at day camp for a fun day out).
For food we went with light appetizers and pizza. We had a Persian / Russian chicken potato salad (shown above) and also a caterpillar cheese sculpture, to go with the theme of our party. Don't you just love those candy eyes?
We had a family friend visiting from Iran over, and she kept saying what cute snakes. We had to explain that they weren't snakes, they were caterpillars. But how do you say caterpillar in Farsi?? I have no idea. Kerm? LOL..... Does anyone know??
Just hangin out with hubby..... You may be able to tell we lost a ton of weight. We are even wearing clothes that we had pre-babies! YAY we got our bodies back. I'll tell you all about how I lost around 50 pounds in a separate blog.
Us and Caspian... (Valentino would not be still for a picture!)
We had teddy bears again this year for the kids to take home instead of a goody bag, along with a mini chocolate teddy bear and candy cane. The kids absolutely loved these cuddly bears.
Us and auntie Sara!
Caspian and his grandpa, just hanging out.
I can't tell you how much I have put these toddler tables and chairs to use. They are kind of a necessity in our house. I have sent hubby to multiple Costco's to get these tables and chairs. They are just so sturdy and so much more affordable than the pricey pottery barn ones. I love you pottery barn.....but I kind of love Costco a little more.
So here's the thing with Valentino, at school he will sit like this with his friends (like a civilized child) and eat all his food without getting up or doing naughty things like throwing his food everywhere and being petulant. At home, however, it's a completely different story. We have to put him in his high chair or else he won't finish his dinner and will instead choose to run all over the place. So we were VERY pleasantly surprised that he sat down here (at home) like a gentleman and ate all his food without getting up once! Is it because maybe that's what his friends are doing and he wants to do what they are doing? I don't know but that's awesome! We would totally have his friends over every night for dinner just so he can eat like this every night. It was just fascinating for us.
The Izze drinks always turn out to be the most popular, but we prefer champagne....and this year I actually drank it because I'm not pregnant woohoo! To make the champagne red we put a splash of grenadine, and for green we added Midori. We wanted the drinks to be red and green so they can go with the hungry caterpillar theme.
Presenting the smash cake!
He was totally inspecting it....for a while. I'm not even sure he ate any of it. Maybe he didn't realize that it was meant to be eaten, as we have never given him cake before. He did enjoy mashing it up though!
I dabbed some frosting on his nose and cheeks for cute factor.
At the end of the night Valentino became super hyper and did not want the night to end! He ran around the house chasing his friend from school. Caspian was so worn out that he fell asleep in his bouncy! It was the cutest thing!
We are so glad that Valentino and Caspian had an amazing birthday.
We love them both so much.
ps: Caspian and Valentino have things to say about their party too, please visit their blogs: