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Monday, December 22, 2008

Ready for Christmas...sort of

Eeek! Tomorrow we leave for Christmas at the in-laws, and I'm sure I've forgotten some critical item that will cause Christmas to be a total disaster. I have packed for everyone, including gifts (wrapped) and hostess baskets for everyone we'll be visiting. This means that if anything is missing, it's completely my fault. Why pack for my husband, you ask? First, there will be many pictures taken during the holidays, and while I love that he is proud of his Alma mater, I'd like for the pictures to show he wore more than one single shirt the entire holiday season. We've also had a few incidents where someone forgot to pack a belt or dress shoes or um, pants other than jeans.

There has been so much snow here that many of my planned errands have had to be nixed completely. I just cannot believe how it can snow for 7 hours straight! It's actually nice to watch, as long as you don't have anywhere to go. If you have one present left or desperately need milk...well, it's not so fun. But Owen and PR played outside most of today, and it was hilarious to see them construct their "igloo." Last year we didn't get very much fact, we had to build a "snow caterpillar" instead of a snowman because there was just no way we were getting any height.

My husband and I have devised a Christmas plan that we're trying to follow, as far as gifts go. We've explained that Santa visits and fills our stockings. And we give one gift to each child...boy is it hard not to get carried away! (You wouldn't believe how much I can stuff into those stockings. This is my loophole.) Of course, there are gifts from grandparents and cousins, so it's not like my child has 2 minutes of opening gifts and then Christmas is over...but we are hoping to hone in on the true celebration of Christmas.

I've heard some parents do the "three gifts" thing to mimic the gifts from the Maji...I like that idea, too. My biggest struggle is that December is so hectic with holiday parties and rushing around getting ready for the, decorating, baking. I had hoped to spend time after dinner each night with the kids talking about Christmas. Owen has a Leggo advent calendar my mom sent- which he loves- and I like the idea of us spending time together as a family working on the little leggo project and then reading the story of Mary & Joseph. But this has only happened two nights this month. Maybe next year?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Disney IS the happiest place on earth!

We've returned home after 10 wonderful days in Orlando. As most families do, we packed in the activities to make the most of our vacation. What a trip!

Our first stop was the Kennedy Space Center. Owen was completely fascinated, "wowing" at everything. He especially enjoyed the 3D movie (it was quite entertaining watching him reach out to grab the 3D objects!)

Next we hit the zoo. Always a winner. It's been more than 6 months since we've visited a zoo, so for Caroline this was a fave. It was a small zoo in Melbourne, and there were staff that walked around with reptiles and other small animals the kids could touch and see up close. Plus, because it was so small, we were able to tackle it and still have time to go out to dinner with my hubby PR's close friends. (Sushi, yum!)

We then traveled to Orlando, where we stayed in a time share (Orange Lake) with my parents. Downtown Disney was our first adventure, and with the Leggos galore Owen was in heaven. The kids rode the carousel, and I had Caroline's shadow/ profile cut out made...Owen had one done at about the same age, so I'm excited to put them next to one another and compare. (Matching the frame is a different and not quite so delightful story.) Then we hosted a chocolate party for all the ladies in the family. It was a blast! The best part was, I didn't feel a bit guilty for eating chocolate for dinner (and dessert.) That's one definite benefit of being pregnant! : ) Thanksgiving was a great reunion of cousins and close relatives, and I loved to see the kids playing with their cousins. We visited Sea World and the Magic Kingdom, and I'm so glad we didn't try and squeeze in another park. The last day everyone went to the pool while I packed. (I was pouting about having to return to the snow and didn't really care to show off the outie belly button that's graced my widening middle.)

I even got a quick trip to the mall- what a glorious mall! I don't know who planned the malls around here, but most are outdoors (hello, did you not realize it is cold and miserable in NY nearly 6 months out of the year???!!)...and NONE have play areas or fun stores like Nordies, Gymboree, and Gap. (I'm not even asking for William Sonoma or Crate & Barrell...just the basics!!!) I really shouldn't complain. Our last hometown didn't even have a Target. But really there's almost no point at all of having a mall if all it offers is Old Navy and Bon Ton, whatever that is. Oh, I almost forgot the one restaurant in it- some icky burger joint that has a menu like Denny's. What's the deal? Where's PF Changs and Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen....or even a dang Cinnabon??!! Obviously, the crazy pregnant lady obsessed with food is on the rage now, so I'll bid you all adieu and wander off to bed...