Christmas week

Today was the first day I’ve had in a long time where I didn’t leave the house!  Yay!  Well, Elijah and I did take trash down to the end of the drive, but that’s as far as I went.  This has been the busiest week of my life.  Not in a bad way, though!  Lots of good things.

Monday I got to see my girls Kate & Carrie for our bi-annual dinner.  Much fun – nice evening, good food, no screaming kids.  :)

Tuesday I endured lots of screaming kids.  That was the night of the Santa photo but that wasn’t it – there was also a large lights display that the kids liked (though I think they tired of it quickly on) and dinner with my good friend of over 18 years (omg, I had to think about that one, am I really that old???) and her one-year-old as well.  An interesting dinner consisting of Kayleigh being the ultimate ham and climbing on the table not once, oh no, but twice.

Wednesday was extremely busy starting with a concert with Elijah’s guitar class.  That was interesting.  I let him go in first at 2 but the concert was at 230 so I came in with Kayleigh about 15 minutes later.  Immediately upon entering the room, she freaked out and even grabbed the trash can that was by the door in an attempt to stop me from pushing her (in her stroller) further into the room.  She would then scream and cry if I tried to sit down or be near people etc.  Finally was able to stand on the other side of the room near the door and she was quiet playing with my wallet and debit/credit cards.  Sigh.  It wasn’t the best view to see E or get pictures of any kind.  When it came time for us to leave early, ’cause I was on a time schedule, I felt both guilty and relieved.  Of course, my kid was the one who stood up and talked after every song and was the one who announced the songs loudly as he was finding them in his book, etc.  Oy.

After that, I had to drive the 30 miles home and get dressed and, leaving the kids in good hands with Stacey’s son and his girlfriend until Stacey could get there, headed back north and met my sister-in-law and her sister for dinner, our mother-in-law and Sarah showing up soon thereafter.  From there it was to the Fabulous Fox Theatre to see Beauty and the Beast.  We’d planned this for a while, having bought tickets not long after Sarah and I went to see The Addams Family.  These tickets were just under $83 a piece and we sat in the front row of the Mezzanine.  The show was ah-mazing.  It was really good.  Of course, this was Disney’s Beauty and the Beast so it largely followed the movie with a few more numbers in there.  Everyone in the show performed marvelously and we all just really enjoyed it.  The girls are already making plans for The Lion King in the summer.  There were a lot of kids in the show, though, my first time really encountering kids at The Fox and during the first scene with wolves attacking Belle’s father, I whispered to Sarah, “wow, this is kind of scary,” and almost immediately all kids in the place started wailing in fear.  There were three such scenes.  I think the little girl behind us wanted to leave, poor thing.  But how they did the wolves, you could see the people running them, all in black clothes, and the wolves looked like they might have been skins of the real thing (doubtful, of course)… it was really good.

Thursday was the slowest day but I still had to head out to Elijah’s swim lessons.  However, after this week, he’ll no longer be in “lessons” but officially on the swim team.  His teacher gave him his t-shirt and told me how to sign up for his insurance, etc.  I have to get him a pair of Speedo shorts things very soon, too.  He’s nervous about it – he thinks that he can’t swim without the swim fins no matter how many times his teacher and I tell him that they don’t help him swim, they just work and train his muscles more.  Earlier in the day we spent a long time discussing how no one is going to let him drown — the life guard, his coach, and if I have to jump in there fully clothed, I would — besides that, he CAN do this, he just thinks he can’t.  Both his coach and I are hoping that being around the other kids on the team will help.  As of the last several months, all the other kids in conditioning class have dropped out.

Friday started the Christmas festivities with the annual gathering of my mom’s family at my  uncle’s.  Yet another Interesting Kayleigh Night.  Steve was with me this time, he got the day off – last year he’d had to work and I was just miserable dealing with her crabby butt over there myself.  This time we traded off but, boy, was she an absolute terror all evening.  She didn’t even want to stop and open presents.  That became the theme of all Christmas to her, “no one’s gonna make me sit down and rip some paper up, so help me, God.”  But all the ladies loved their gifts of Naked Soap items and a candle that I’d made, my adolescent and teen cousins loved their scarves and stripey knee-high socks, parents and babies alike adored the owl hats I’d made for two little 6 and 7 month old baby boy cousins, and the other random gifts were much loved as well.

Saturday, Christmas Eve, was spent at my parents’ house with all my siblings in attendance.  Good times.  I love my family.  We might argue from time to time but largely we really get along well and everyone is respectful of and cares for everyone else.  It was another night, however, of opening Kayleigh’s presents for her and trying to get her to look at them.  Of course, I’d failed to bring her Spongebob DVDs that I’d made where there’s no extra crud in there it’s just episode after episode to keep her attention when really needed.  She does love the Bob Bob.  She also got a baby doll with accessories from my parents and it was so cool to see her when we finally got her to look at it.  She got the cup out and was feeding the baby right away.  Very good to see her engage in pretend play like that, that’s one of the things the therapists are always asking about and pushing.  My mom and dad loved their canvas of all the kids, something I’ll probably be posting later — too tired now!  And the other pictures as well.  Mom was very interested in how I got my niece to not only wear a tu-tu and knee-high striped socks but to co-operate and smile for photos.  Let’s just say it was a joint effort.

Sunday, Christmas Day, a day we would love to spend at home by ourselves, but it never seems to work out that way anymore.  We did spend the morning with the kids – they shared a stocking because Kayleigh’s stuff wouldn’t fit in the other two I’d found around here – then they got to open presents.  Kayleigh did the best at this present-opening, probably because she was at home and there were no distractions of “hmmmmm what can I find to throw and break?”  Once again, I spent too much money on them.  They get so much junk from our parents and siblings and some of my aunts and uncles and cousins that I should just stop buying them stuff from us!  I am thinking of putting up some of the stuff I got Kayleigh that she’s showing no interest in.  I did put up one V-tech or Leapfrog (hey I can’t remember) toy, and she’s not noticed it’s missing.  She loves her Baby Alive though, and Elijah’s Spongebob Legos.  Elijah loves his new Legos too, I just wish the stupid things would stay in sets.  I’ve realized that I’m a bit obsessive compulsive about keeping toys in their proper groups… eek.  Legos built in their sets and kept put together, all the pieces to this toy all together, etc.  And that just doesn’t happen around here no matter how I try.  I’m going to have to learn to deal with it!

The biggest news of the day was that Steve bought me a Kindle Fire!  I almost can’t believe it.  We don’t really buy for each other for Christmas or birthdays.  Earlier in the week he’d texted me from work telling me to give him a list of 6 things I wanted… heh.  That was actually harder than I would have thought it would be because both of us are guilty of pretty much buying whatever we want or need this year.  Oh yeah, you know that’s gonna stop.  Not to say I have bought a lot of high-ticket items, but for instance, I couldn’t tell him I wanted a purse, I’ve bought them when I wanted.  Couldn’t ask for a laptop, had to do that earlier this year.  Didn’t want to ask for clothes because of my weight loss I’m trying to just wait as long as I can to buy clothes.  Didn’t want to ask for jewelry, I’ve bought it when I saw it and wanted it this year – nothing expensive, maybe $5 here or $10 there but still, I have plenty of new stuff – and I don’t wear expensive jewelry (cause I never have any haha).  So I’d said a Kindle Fire was #1 but then later said bleh, too expensive.  Plus, I figured if I was gonna get one of those, he’d be coming to me and telling me to order it.  But apparently they sell them at Walmart and he went in all on his own and bought it and I did not peek while it sat in the other room for 3 days.  What a pleasant surprise.  Then, of course, while I’m first checking it out, he says to me, “so what’s that thing do, anyway?”  :)

The downside was that I’d bought him a massage thing to go in a chair and you sit on it, right?  He hates it.  Says it’s too hard.  This happened to us a few years ago and we returned it, but I didn’t think that would happen again – different  brand, different type, etc.  So Stacey’s got it right now, trying it out to see if she’d like to keep it.  She’s got stronger back muscles than the two of us combined so maybe it won’t be so rough for her!

After all of that, the kids played with their new stuff and then we went to Steve’s grandma’s and met the rest of his family, most of them anyway.  Stayed with her a while, returned here to let the dog out and pick up a few things, then to his parents’ house for dinner and more presents.  Again, the kids made out like bandits.  Nothing high end, but just a lot of stuff.  Kayleigh’s really gotten the Spongebob stuff.  In between us and my family and Steve’s family I think she’s gotten two plush Spongebobs with blankets (interesting story on my part and the other from my sister), two coloring books, a story book, sleeping bag, tote bag, pajamas, and I don’t know what else!  She loves him.  Of course, she was again being a terror and after presents and watching the DVD I’d brought of the original Grinch show, Sarah finally put on Kayleigh’s Spongebob DVD… sucked her right in and we all got a break.  That kid…  I don’t get it really.

Her other favorite item?  A pair of kid sunglasses I put in the stocking.  What a turkey.

So it’s been a good week, very busy.  Today I spent the morning cleaning up and throwing away trash – getting it to the curb literally 5 minutes before the trash man came.  Then playing with the kids – games and what not – some of my own game I got for Christmas from my sister-in-law, crocheting, reading, watching a movie.  Busy busy!  :)  The only thing I wished I’d gotten in was some scrapbooking!!