Christmas Eve we spent with my side of the family which is what we do every year. One of my brothers and his wife were generous enough to host a gathering at their house once again. We only stayed a couple hours since Riley goes to bed so early, but it was an enjoyable two hours. Since we leave so early we missed another year of the fun game and gift swap, but it also means that it's one less gift I have to worry about buying. Perhaps next year we can at least stay for the kid's gift opening.
Riley and Jesse were looking at the calendar I made for my dad. Each year I make a new one with family photo's from the previous year that includes each person's birthday. Riley was sitting here saying "oh my!" while holding her cheeks as her uncle Chuck recently taught her to do.
My step family is Italian so we usually have a large meal of lasagna, manicotti, peperoni salad, olives... plus ham, sauerkraut, fruit salad, etc for those who aren't fans of the pasta. But last year we decided to get rid of the big Italian meal and replace it with appetizers. While I love all the apps (that's my fruit at the top of the picture) I have to admit I really miss having a big meal where you regret eating too much, where you are stuffed when all is said and done... plus I miss my brother's lasagna. I'm just going to say it... I want my big Italian dinner back. If I can't have that I will settle for my brother making me my own special lasagna. Please don't forget the olives! : )
Yeah, clearly time to go home. When she gets fussy she does the 'fake tantrum' where she delicately lays down on the floor and emits the fakest sounding whine. Cute and irritating all at once. So we left at 7ish which is when she usually goes to bed. We were smart enough to change her into her jammies before we left, but then she spilled water all over it. *sigh* Usually she has a complete meltdown if she gets wet, but she didn't seem to care, stayed awake the whole ride home, and went to bed pretty peacefully. Thank you, Riley.
Christmas morning Riley, Jesse and I open gifts at home. Riley doesn't quite get what Christmas is about yet, but definitely had fun playing with her new gifts... which she now has way too many of. I'm a little scared since her birthday is right around the corner. No toys, please. Please. There is a little sensory overload going on with the toys. Books, however, she never seems to tire of or get frustrated with. She even scored a llama, llama book that she's loving. Thanks grandpa!
Opening my gift from Santa, aka Jesse and Riley. Please note that the wrapping in my hand is actually tinfoil. It makes complete sense to my husband - it's shiny and easy to wrap items with after all.
My new camera. Apparently, the hubby got sick of seeing the crappy pictures I've been taking with my phone. So now I have a small camera I can bring with me everywhere. And it's red - my favorite. He has no idea what he has unleashed by getting me this.
Jesse and I don't usually exchange gifts, but this year he said he wanted to. I went ahead and got him a couple things, but then discovered the caliber of what he was going to get me so I insisted he give me some ideas of what to give him. He came up with this SSD which apparently was a huge hit... whatever it is.
Riley had a little meltdown when she fell and bonked her head so we remedied it with Frosty the Snowman and moved into the living room to open the rest of the gifts.
Jesse was also very happy with the game I got him. I also have no idea what this is about, but his buddy, Dan, said he'd been yearning for this game so I obliged.
At first Jesse wasn't giving me any ideas of what to get him for Christmas so I threatened him with used underwear from a thrift store. I'm pretty sure he knew I wouldn't follow through on that and admitted that he could actually use some new grundies so that's what he got. Apparently, this is less exciting than his other gifts.
Yeah, that's right, laugh...I'm putting a picture of you holding grundies on the web.
Later Christmas day we went to Jesse's mom's house. On the way we stopped at a park to run off some energy. This is actually a pretty amazing thing because the weather is not usually this nice on Christmas in Minnesota. And look, no snow!
Web of ropes + yelling "pull" = tons of fun. We basically spent much of our time holding on to this contraption and yelling "Puuuulllllll!" as we pulled. Now she randomly grabs on to things and yells "pull".
And before we left we had to walk the perimeter of the park.
With a little reluctance on Riley's part (to leave the park) we headed off to grandma and grandpa's house.
We were being a little risky by planning to have Riley's nap there, but we thought we would give it a try. It didn't turn out so well. At first she screamed. Then screamed some more. Finally, Jesse decided to go in and lay down with her while I headed downstairs with the in-laws to watch House Hunters. We no longer have cable so this was sorta like a Christmas treat for me. While I was waiting to find out which half a million dollar vacation home she picked (1, 2, or 3?!) I heard my kid talking upstairs. Earlier my mother-in-law had gone into the kitchen and from my comfy spot, bundled up in my chair I could see her rush from the kitchen upstairs and then down again. It didn't sound like there was anything to be concerned about... I only heard my daughter's sweet little voice, but I got up and made a rather slow crossing to the stairs (enough time to see that she picked house #2). I made my way upstairs to see my husband changing our kid's diaper. Apparently, she was close to sleep when she had a massive bowel movement. I got there at the tail end when she was pretty much clean. The rushing I saw earlier by my mother-in-law was her getting paper towels since my husband ran out of wipes. While Jesse was wiping the last of Riley's butt clean she turned to me and said "sorry". Oh, baby girl, it's ok. You don't have to apologize for pooping. What a sweetie.
This was my attempt to get a picture of her in front of the tree. This was by far the best picture I got, but I guess that's what I should expect with an energetic toddler.
Suzie showing off her new infinity scarf. Loving it. I might have to pick one up for myself.
You can't tell here (as this doesn't compare to his earlier pictures), but Jesse loved his new iPod Nano.
Showing off my new necklace.
Talking on the speaker phone to Jesse's brother's family in PA.
Grandma and grandpa got Riley this super cool bike which we put together the next morning.
And you know how I was complaining about not having a big Italian meal at my family's gathering? Well, I pretty much got it here - Lasagna, Caesar Salad, bread... Good stuff.
Jesse and I had the day after Christmas off so we decided to take advantage of the great weather.
Riley insisted we swing too and she really wanted us to sit next to her... and of course, we took our turns doing so.
Heading home after a fun holiday weekend.