Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Party Craziness...

Can we all just declare that December is too short of a month for all this Christmas crazy?  We are barely done digesting our Thanksgiving dinners and we're already throwing icicle lights onto the front of our houses and decking the trees.  I think it's time we move Christmas to January 25.  It will still be winter and it will still be dark out by 5pm.  There is still the possibility of snow in the majority of the country AND it will give us all an additional 4 weeks to complete the never-ending to-do lists that this month seems to entail!  I've quickly learned that if I don't start prepping for our Christmas card by the end of October, it's never going to happen every year.  That's just ridiculous.

I know what you're thinking - it will just delay the inevitable and we will still all be running around like lunatics the week before the event.  BUT... think of the benefits... an extra 4 weeks to shop.  That's 4 extra weeks for Kohls to continue to lure me in with 30% off and the promise of more Kohls cash to spend (I'm onto your methods, Kohls!!!) in the future.  Instead of having 3 holiday parties in one weekend, maybe we could spread them out a bit.  I've had 3 cookie exchanges in the course of 2 weeks.  I am cookied-out... and that's coming from a cookie-a-holic. Most nights I can't even enjoy sitting by our tree because I'm zooming around the house accomplishing one thing or another.

Most people love this season - the lights, the hot chocolate, sitting by the tree, the get-togethers with friends/family, finding the perfect gift, Starbucks red coffee cups, etc.  I'm just suggesting we get a little extra time to have fun and worry less about wrapping gifts until 11:30pm every night and standing in line at the post office for an hour every weekend!  If I was cool, I'd create a hashtag, like #movexmastojanuary or #januaryxmas4eva.  But, I'm not that cool, so we'll just keep up the crazy for the next few days and then worry about getting all of Christmas packed away in the basement by January 2nd so that we don't get the evil eye from any neighbors!

Onto the Christmas crazy recap...

Last weekend was go-go-go in our house.  After Georgia's holiday party at school on Friday night, we were up bright and early on Saturday morning to head to our local elementary school for the annual neighborhood holiday party.  This party was also Santa Opportunity #1 of the day.  Georgia was not having ANY of that!  At one point, I managed to lure her within about 50 feet of the big guy.  I figured maybe, just maybe, I could get a picture with him in the background!??!  Not gonna happen, especially when Nick marched up and declared, "Let's go see Santa!"  That ended that attempt as Georgia ran off screaming bloody murder and I did the shoulder shrug to the 50-100 people who whipped around to stare at us.  Not even watching all of her little friends visit with Santa was going to convince her that sitting with him was a good idea.

Santa Opportunity #1 of 2014 = Epic Fail

We only had a few hours to recover before Nick's annual holiday party later that night.  We rushed home to try to sneak in a nap and I headed out to enjoy the new Blo Blow Dry Bar.  My amazing co-workers had given me a gift card for my birthday (yup - also that weekend!) and suggested that I use it to get a little pampering before the party that night.  Excellent idea!  Honestly, I could have sat there ALL DAY watching women get their hair blown out.  An hour later, I arrived back home with Beyonce hair!



Note to self - wear make-up next time before getting hair done!

As we left the house, we weren't quite sure how the night was going to go.  Georgia had developed a cough and hadn't taken a great nap that afternoon.  The previous year (at age 2), she was a rock star at the party and had danced the night away.  The year before that (at age 1), we barely survived cocktail hour before running out the door.  The year before that (at age 7 months), she stayed in her car seat the majority of the time.

This year, the format of the party changed a bit and they invited families with young children to arrive early at 6:00pm for some special time in the kids room.  We were thrilled with the change since a 7:30pm start time in years past was not ideal for young kids and families.  Knowing we might be on borrowed time, we were one of the first families to arrive.  Of course, Santa was in the room and Georgia did a great job ignoring him and being horrified at the suggestion that she go visit him.  He's such a lovely Santa and kept his distance after noticing her hesitation.





Luckily, we were able to distract Georgia for a bit with gingerbread making (aka - she eats all the gumdrops while I make the guy!) and some fun accessories.  What girl doesn't love accessories?!?








While we were taking some family pics and enjoying some snacks from the kid-friendly buffet (who needs adult food when fried mac-n-cheese balls are available!!), Santa came walking by our table.  Miss G, loaded up on sugar, got a serious case of the giggles, especially when he waved to her.  We somehow convinced her that she should give him a high-five.  








BIG MOMENT!!


As the cocktail party of the evening started, we decided to leave the kid room and join everyone else in another area of the hotel.  However, as we walked past Santa, I suggested that Nick stand behind him holding Georgia and perhaps.... if the stars aligned... we might get a Santa pic.  Georgia had other ideas...



NOT HAVING IT!  Absolute flip out mode commenced.


Until we reminded Georgia that Santa was planning to bring her "Paw Patrol" stuff for Christmas.  Within the blink of an eye, someone's tune greatly changed...





SUCCESS!!!





Honestly, Nick and I may have been in shock at that point!  It only took 3 1/2 years, but we finally had a decent Santa picture.  We could have left the party at that point and considered the night a success.  That Santa is a rock star.  In fact, I think he has put up with our antics for quite a few years...


Note that we didn't even make it into the kids room in 2012!


As we waited for the ballroom to open up, Georgia had no problem warming up her dancing shoes at cocktail hour!



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As soon as the doors opened to the ballroom, Georgia was one of the first to run in and immediately hit the dance floor!  





She really did try to hang with the big kids on the dance floor, even though she was one of the youngest ones out there.



In the Where-is-Waldo/Georgia edition of the evening...




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Nick and I swapped off "monitoring" her so that we could both sit down and quickly inhale some adult food.  I had just gotten a plate of food and was sitting nearby when I heard the DJ announce a dance contest with kids/parents.  Next thing I know, Georgia and Nick were in the running for a prize and then they were announced the winners!!  G was over the moon to collect her gift bag and learn that she had won a Visa gift card.  It was all she talked about at school on Monday - "I won the dancing and I got money!"  

Unfortunately, I did not catch the dance contest on video.  I only managed to catch Georgia ditching her dancing partner a few minutes later...



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Just as Georgia was hitting the wall and we thought we might have to head home, Auntie Adrienne walked in and Georgia got her second wind!



Hitting the dance floor with Auntie Adrienne

Thankfully, Adrienne is a great sport and stayed out on the dance floor with Georgia for a few different songs.




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At this point in the evening, it was suggested that the children head towards the movie room and candy bar so the adults could enjoy the dance floor sans kiddos!  Georgia was more than happy to score some skittles and a front row seat to a viewing of "Rudolph."  She also managed to snag a gift bag from Build-A-Bear, so she was set for the night.

Nick found us a short while later and we agreed that it might be time to head home.  Someone didn't put up much of a fight and before we even hit the highway, Georgia was DONE.  Nick and I couldn't even remember when the last time she fell asleep in the car was - at least a year or two ago!



Party girl = OVER and OUT


The ACAS party is always an adventure for our little family and we look forward to it every year.  It's been great to see Georgia grow up in these photos over the years...









Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gingerbread Shenanigans...

After Georgia's school sing-along and holiday party last week, we headed home to relax.  That lasted about 34 seconds until Georgia started BEGGING to make the gingerbread house kit that had been sitting on the counter for a few days.  It wasn't on my Friday night to-do list, but... tis the season to be jolly.

Last year, I was so excited to find an allergy safe gingerbread house kit online.  I think I spent my monthly salary to have it shipped to our house so that my kid could have fun constructing herself a candy concoction.  Honestly, the cost meant nothing to me since it was safe and Georgia could have a fun time constructing the house.  It was a win-win in my book.  This year, I wasn't even thinking about doing the whole gingerbread building experience again, but I was walking through the grocery store and spotted a kit that appeared (shockingly) safe.  After a quick check of the ingredients (and for half the price), we became a gingerbread construction crew once again! 

Let me clarify... by "crew," I mean that Georgia observed as I put the house together.  My usual and trusted construction foreman disappeared into the office to finish up some work before the weekend, so I had to become Chief Engineer on the project.  Not my forte.  I quickly realized that I apparently have a heavy hand when it comes to glue/frosting.  Luckily, we had a leftover can of bright red frosting from Cookie Bake in the fridge, so our house got a little colorful addition.  I may have sold the concept to Georgia as, "We have a red door on our house, so your gingerbread house should have a red door too!"  Nothing pleases my heart more than when she says, "That's a GREAT idea!" (vs the "NOOOOO!" I half expect to hear these days).  



Yup, that's red frosting on her chin!



Our safe little Wonka gingerbread house.... err... "cottage" kit!


I was in charge of the main construction and Georgia helped add all the candy onto the house/landscape.  As expected, she put about half the candy on the house and the other half into her belly!  Sidenote - the kid did not like NERDS!!!  Whose kid is this?!?!  NERDS rock!


Our little masterpiece.  Note the green doorbell that she had to add, just like the box!


At least it's colorful...



I love the random bananas everywhere!  Nothing says Christmas like some ripe bananas!!


And then my little bug wanted to take some selfies with me.  Who can deny that?!?






Only a Momma could love this little stinker face...



Ewwww...  a kiss????





Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Sing-Along 2014...

For weeks now, Georgia has been happily singing "Jingle Bells" and "Feliz Navidad" around the house.  At first, I didn't think much of it and figured she was picking up these songs from the radio (I may blast the holiday channel in the car ALL THE TIME!!).  It finally dawned on me last week that her class was probably practicing the songs during the day for the big holiday sing-along concert.  I asked her teacher and she confirmed my suspicions.

It all started in the car a few weeks back.  We pulled in the garage and she was going strong...



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And then again on the couch....



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I figured her Spanish needed some practice after I kept hearing something about a feliz "navi-duck!" so we started working on the next song at dinner...



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Friday rolled around and Georgia was pretty excited about the Holiday Sing-Along (and the class party that followed!).  Every year, this event is a total hoot!  Nothing like a group of infants and toddlers attempting to sing holiday carols.  Half of them are totally distracted.  Half of them are terrified.  Some run off to their parents.  Some instantly cry.  Etc.  

We never know what to expect from Georgia.  Last year, she just sort of sat on her teacher's lap the entire time and stared at everyone.  BUT, she didn't cry.    

It just so happened that when the kids came in this year, Bennett ended up right next to Georgia, even though they are in different classes.










The still pictures really don't do this thing justice.  The videos are much more entertaining.  And god bless, G, she really did sing her heart out for the most part...


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Following the sing-along, the kids had a class party (aka - inhale cookies as fast as you humanly can!).  You can hear a pin drop in the class during a party because the kids are so focused on eating all their yummy snacks...


Prepping for their feast!



Georgia was a tad excited for Oreos...





The inhaler of mini-Oreos!





Georgia's school sing-along and party kicked off a crazy few days of parties, celebrations, and general non-stop action for us all weekend long...