Viewing posts tagged Christmas
This year our Christmas celebrations were very low key and simple, yet joyous. Being in the third trimester I had to scale back a lot this year, and it still kicked my butt. Last year I wasn't pregnant, and I put up 7 Christmas trees and fully decorated the house in November. This year I struggled decorating the one Christmas tree that we put up, on midnight Christmas Eve. We almost came to the conclusion that we would have to skip Christmas this year, as we were all so sick. Me and hubby caught a bug from the kids that resembled the flu, and it affected me more as I already had an abundance of annoying pregnancy symptoms. All of us were stuck at home with fevers, sore throats and aches and pains. I vomited every day and had to go to the hospital because I couldn't breathe. Christmas almost didn't happen! BUT..... we toughed it out and I managed to decorate the tree, prepare a nice dinner, wrap the presents, and hubby put together the outdoor Christmas decorations, all just in time! I think I enjoyed it that much more knowing how hard me and hubby worked and pushed ourselves to make it special for the kids. They had the best time of their lives and that just made it so worth it for us. Hubby spent a lot of time and energy decorating our deck and turning it into a winter wonderland with lights! Every night the kids would run around the house super excited about the outdoor decorations. Valentino calls our huge inflatable Christmas bear "Mismis bear" and the snowman "owman" and the Christmas tree "Mismis tree"! Caspian's favorite thing to do is stare out all the windows to look at the lights, and he also likes to grab at the lights on the Christmas tree. He's so naughty. They melt my heart.
Here's a peek!
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......
This year for Christmas I had a baby! He arrived the day after Christmas but my contractions started Christmas Eve and 24 hours later we had to go to the hospital.
So this year I slept through Christmas morning. Poor Valentino! We had to open presents at night instead. He didn't seem to mind, but he seemed way more interested in taking ornaments off the tree than opening his presents.
Valentino with Santa. My husbands company provided him for the day. It was so much better going into a nice office that's not filled with people and that doesn't have a ridiculous line. They even gave him a little present :)
A few weeks ago we went to my husbands company's holiday party. It was held in the air and space museum and was fabulous! I stuffed my face! Too bad I couldn't drink....they had a nice open bar.
I wanted to take Valentino with us but he wasn't invited. How rude. Here's us kissing him before leaving him with grandma.
Some pics of the party:
This past weekend Valentino celebrated his first birthday. We had a winter onederland theme for him as he's a December baby and his favorite cartoon is this:
He actually missed half of his own party because he was napping. Around 35 people came, including a bunch of kids. He had a blast and ended the night running pretty much naked around the house.
Here are some photos I took:
Here is Valentino looking all dapper in his new suit. We just woke him from his nap, and he's looking around at everything like "Where did all this come from??" :P
This frame is from Home Goods. It's actually a mirror. I then bought a foam chalkboard from Michaels and glued it on there.
So I searched 3 different Walmarts until I found this life size Santa. He sings and dances, and in Spanish too! He was a hit with the kids, but Valentino was terrified of him :-/
I've been looking for tot tables and chairs for the longest time, and finally found these at Costco. I had to go to two different Costcos to get them, and they were pretty much all sold out. We got the last of what was left. Costco is super annoying in that they will bring something you love, and then take it away and you will never see it again. You can't just leave and "think about it" and come back later. I have a love-hate relationship with Costco.
I am obsessed with this cake. I kind of splurged on it but it was so worth it. It looked even better in real life and tasted yummy too. I designed it and ordered it from Fluffy Thoughts Bakery in McLean: http://www.fluffythoughts.com. I always order my cakes for any occasion from there. Lara Stuckey is so talented....she brings my vision to life and makes it look better than what it looked like in my head.
I picked up these cupcakes from Giant. I stuck snowman candy that I found at Walmart on them. These pretty much cost me nothing, but they still looked super cute. Score!
My mom did the catering. She has her own catering business: http://www.quincecateringboutique.com. I wanted a simple menu, with food that didn't need heating up. We had different sandwiches, a shrimp platter, berry salad, veggies and dip, baguette, crackers, and this really yummy chicken potato salad. How cute is the cheese ball snowman? It was delish. We also got Costco pizza for the kiddos.
I loved the paper straws. I don't even think anyone used them but still they were too cute. Got them from this etsy shop (BTW- Etsy is my new best friend) https://www.etsy.com/shop/PopUpPartiesShop
Prosecco with a splash of Curacao for the color. This was for the adults, obviously.
My mom helped me with the flowers. The white stuff in the vase is fake snow. Aren't they gorgeous? I love the blue ribbon. I wanted white roses, carnations, and hydrangeas. You can't really see it here but there's also some blue tulle in there.
These are also from Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/partyINK
These aren't the printable kind. I wanted something durable that would stick well, be waterproof and wouldn't be ruined easily. Love the Birthday Facts on the back:
Halfway through the party we had Valentino change into his cake smash outfit. He looked so good in it. We got the birthday hat, tie and diaper cover. Got it from Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleGuyTiesandMore
I made the smash cake, and he didn't even smash it. He just kind of looked at it, pointed at it, and then got upset that his fingers were sticky with frosting. So I gave him some cake with a fork and he was happy.
Just us three. Four actually, but baby #2 isn't coming out for another two weeks.
Goody bag table, but instead of goody bags all the kids got a teddy bear and some bubbles.
So that's that. My baby boy is ONE! I can't believe it. Excuse me while I go cry in the corner. Will someone please work on freezing time for me?