I'm going to include lots of pictures, with some commentary to accompany them.
Not long after I wrote the post on Christmas Eve from work, I ended up in tears. I had an exchange with a couple of people in our other office that upset me so much, I couldn't stop the tears from falling. My boss was wonderful and defended me, but the damage was done. The "ugly cry" had happened. I was embarassed to join everyone for our lunch, since my eyes were puffy and my face was splotchy, but I sucked it up. It turned out nice and the food was very yummy. I ended up leaving around 2:30 and met up with Shell to take the kids back to our house. They had already gone to our friends' house, but my kids needed to do a gift exchange with their friend, so I drove them back to do that. Then we headed back to pierogie central and ate to our hearts content. It was just so good. The gift exchange was really for the kids, and even though we all cut back this year, they were just happy to get presents. My kids were thrilled with their gifts, as they came straight off their wish lists. Shell bought a pretty dress for Dana's niece to wear, since it was her first Christmas and the other girls were dressed up. I love that she is so thoughtful in that way. She's a softie when it comes to babies.
The kids at Dana's waiting to open presents
Shell with the baby in her first Christmas dress,
After getting home, the kids opened their Christmas Eve presents (jammies) and we pulled up the website to track Santa. He was somewhere in Arkansas, so the kids panicked and ran up to bed BEGGING us to do the same. I was loving it, as they so obviously still believed enough to play by the rules. Shell & I wrapped up the last gifts that needed to be and then we opened the Wii and all the accessories and started reading. Thankfully, it seemed to be a pretty easy set up. So we put the controllers in the charger, plugged it in and arranged the rest of the stuff around it. While we were moving everything around under the tree, Shell made a discovery. We had forgotten to put out the cookies and milk for Santa! In the rush to get to bed, the kids didn't remember, and neither had we. So we set those out, and were in bed by 12:30. At 1:30 - yes 1:30 in the morning! - my boy came in our room with his pillow and comforter. I didn't have the energy to discuss it, so I just told him to lay down and go back to sleep. I think he was half asleep himself, as he didn't say anything and was asleep soon after. My girl brought her stuff in around 5:30 and proceeded to do the same.
They woke up for good around 6:30 and by 7 had convinced us that it was a good time to go downstairs. I went down first and got to see their reactions to the Wii. They were priceless. Excited and giddy are pretty good words to describe it. They were so surprised. After they stared at it for a little while and were convinced they weren't dreaming, we opened the rest of the presents. It wasn't chaotic and everyone really liked what they got. I got a gift card to Starbucks, lip balm, a shirt from Rosie.com, bras & underwear. It was EXACTLY what I needed.
Checking out the Wii
My boy. What a face!
We ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast, I talked to my sister in CA and jumped in the shower. Before I was out, my parents arrived with my sister and her family. Chaos ensued as my dogs played with my parents' dog, hugs and kisses were exchanged, and gifts were inspected. It was loud, but wonderful.
She was being silly peeking through the rails. Turned out pretty
Kids & Dogs
My nehew & my wife
My dad Wii Bowling
We opened gifts and then Shell & I got started on dinner. We made ham, sour cream & chive mashed red potatoes, green bean casserole and rolls. Plus a pumpkin pie. Before it was time to eat, we munched on the myriad of snacks we had, and visited and hooked up the Wii. The kids played, as did my dad and sister's boyfriend. My niece entertained us all. It was very relaxed.
Everyone left soon after we ate; my parents to go home, and the others to get all their stuff. I got to keep my niece and we played with my girl in her room. She was happy and full of smiles. We had a great time.
I got to watch Garfield with her. She loves that kitty!
My dad called later that night to say that my mom was really sick. And that started a chain of events that lasted through Monday. But I'll go in to that more in another post. This one is long enough for now.