Christmas 2016

It was different to be home for the holidays this year and while we were a little bummed out not to be in Florida like usual, we're so grateful we're just being overly cautious with Colette. We're booked (on miles) to go in February so hoping that trip will pan out.

The boys finished school on Wednesday, Dec. 14 and had a performance at school that day. Pretty cute, but they were very shy and not to into it. Dave and I left Colette with Jessica so we were able to enjoy some time just with the boys. We went to brunch after, then came home to pack up the car as we left for Disneyland early the next morning. That will be a separate post, but it was nice to get away for a few days over the very long break the boys had.

I was a bit worried about how we'd fill all the days off since I'm really trying to avoid museums and other indoor place spaces with all the germs that are out there at this time of year. Though the weekends were long -- Jessica had Fri-Mon off for 2 straight weeks and Dave was home those days, we did get out to do activities and on the one hand, the break went by relatively quickly and we found plenty to do, but there were many days Dave and I were exhausted when we finally sat down after putting the boys to bed. I was concerned with the boys' brattiness before Christmas, but I feel like the latter half of the break was better, probably because they got so much attention. Thankfully the weather was actually pretty good -- very cold, but not much rain, so being outside was an option.

Dave went to work 3 days each week and some days I took all three on an adventure, others I had Jessica come early to take the boys out somewhere. One day my Dad tagged along and we went to the Fairmont to see the huge gingerbread house and have hot chocolate.

Another day, we met my mom, Tenzing and Crusoe at the mall downtown to meet Santa and then go for pancakes after. The kids weren't too into talking to Santa, but Colette loved him! It was a little chaotic with all the kids, but we had fun. Plus, we got the ride the glass elevators at the St. Francis, which all the kids loved.

My mom and I also took William and George to the tree-lighting at Golden Gate Park which is really fun (and free!) with rides, crafts, etc.

The boys were really into Christmas this year and loved helping me decorate the tree. They loved putting all their ornaments on, especially since they have a lot of their own ornaments that they've gotten from Ma each year.

We also decorated gingerbread houses with Tenzing and Crusoe which is becoming an annual tradition.

While Elizabeth, Tenzing and Crusoe were home for two weeks, my brother only came home for a few days. He spent Christmas eve morning with us so that was great to see him. We definitely miss them living in San Francisco!

On Christmas Eve, we went to the 5pm church service that was kid-friendly. There was some talk about the boys being in the pageant, but they didn't want to when it came down to it, and then they lasted literally one minute before George said, 'I don't want to be here' loudly. Downstairs they went to children's church. Colette, on the other hand, loved it -- I've never seen her so 'chatty'. So happy, but way too loud, so Dave and I took turns with her out in the lobby. I had ham in the slow cooker at home, so dinner was ready when we got home, but it was still a busy night. Luckily all the presents were wrapped so we didn't have to do too much to set everything out.

I feel like all parents have a year when the kids are bratty and just quickly open all the gifts only to ask for more. Based on the boys' recent attitudes, I warned Dave that this might be our year. Surprisingly, it was a really nice morning. The boys waited til sun clock was up so I had time to pump and feed Colette before they came upstairs. They were excited about opening presents, but also were excited to play with everything. We didn't end up getting through all the presents for several days. Colette loved Christmas too, was interested in open presents and playing with them.

Best present ever!


G asked Santa for a pool for Christmas and was very happy with this :)
It wasn't ideal to have to break up the morning to head out to Danville for Christmas with my family. Obviously we wanted to see everyone -- my little sister even came into town -- but the morning became a bit rushed so I think we'd either invite people over to us or try to do it Christmas Eve morning next time, if we're in town.

I'm lucky that Dave is so involved with the present-purchasing. He made a list of what he wanted to get and then did most of the shopping online just after Thanksgiving. I got a bunch of art stuff too. In the end, we agreed that it was too much and after opening stuff, much of it went back into the closet to take out at another time. This was the first year we've been home for Christmas, so it was fun to do the big Christmas, but Dave and I agree that traveling for Christmas is nice as there are a lot fewer presents and part of the present is being together on a trip. We'd like to continue to go to Florida for Christmas, especially since the boys will get out for break around the 15th again next year, but we'll see how it works as they get older and may want to be home for Santa.

Papa's present to the grandkids: a box of various bubble wrap!
My dad dried out all these leave so the kids could play in them

We continued with the festivities for a few more days, decorating sugar cookies and driving to see the lights around the city. The 'Tom and Jerry House' is just amazing!!


We also did 'pack a sack' at church which was the perfect introduction to volunteering for the boys. I took them over and left Colette with Dad. They had signs all down each table with pictures on them so it was clear what to put in each bag (1 banana, two sandwiches, etc.). The boys loved doing it and we had a nice time and good conversations about helping people who don't have much. By the time we got home one of them had thrown a fit about having to walk too far (1 block) back to the car, so we definitely have some work to do.

Before New Years, we headed up to Sacramento for the morning to check out the train museum. The boys liked it a lot, though there were only 2 trains they could go on and I think they got the impression there would be more. We had a nice lunch after and it was fun to be out of the city -- I hadn't been to Sacramento in forever.

We went to Noon Years Eve at the Discovery Museum during the day, which was fun, but packed. That night we had a big crab and steak feast that my dad joined us for. Dave and I watched a movie and toasted with Champagne. 2016 was certainly not the best year for us, but then again Colette is home with us and thriving so I really can't complain. Regardless, here's wishing for a happy and healthy 2017!

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