Ok, well not CHICAGO... but a suburb of the wonderful city!
We celebrated Christmas a week before the actual day with my family, while my brother had time off work and my sister was home from Taylor. (Yes, my Christmas blogging is chronologically-challenged.) One thing I love about the holidays is tradition, and Christmas is filled with tradition. For us, that means brunch before our family gift exchange, stockings filled with creative little items, lobbing wads of wrapping paper across the room at each other, pretending that Mexican Wedding Cakes (whose main ingredient is butter) are an acceptable breakfast food because we dub them biscuits on this holiday, my mom puzzling over a missing gift after all wrapped items have been opened (the black hole strikes again!), Christmas music playing in the background throughout the day... I love that my kids get to share these warm fuzzies with us! (I promised my sister that one day we will camp out with my kids in front of the tree the night before Christmas like we used to when we were little. Can't wait to blog that one...!)
Sadly, small children don't always have the stamina for a day like Christmas. This year we worked our celebrating around naps, meltdowns, blowouts, and messy meals. And there were plenty of each.
The always-comical attempt at a family picture. One day our kids will participate. Until then, you get to laugh at us. I think Robbie was yelling "MOVIES!" here.
Robbie LOVES uncle Collin. Maybe because he calls Robbie 'dude', and Robbie thinks that's pretty funny.
I was excited to give my mom her gift this year (and she was excited upon opening it!)- a small painting commissioned by one of our favorite artists, Carol Marine. I had an email exchange with Carol the entire month of December about the painting, and really hope to be able to meet her in person one day. She is a wonderful person and talented artist.
Proud owner of 2 'Marines' now! (The other painting is of 2 christmas bulbs from a year ago.)
Ellie sat quietly on my dad's lap for much of Christmas, and somewhere along the way I noticed that it was mainly because she was noshing on wrapping paper. Aunt Kelsey to the rescue - see her removing the little soggy ball from Ellie's tongue!? Funny little girl!
Every baby loves a good snuggle on Grandpa... tell me this doesn't melt your heart!
Robbie's favorite present from my parents this year was a tent. He immediately wanted Rob to pitch it and demanded that Daddy join him in the tent for a good amount of the day. Luckily for Robbie, he has a Daddy that will do just about anything for his kids.
Ellie received a chair just her size, and the timing was perfect since she has been perfecting her sitting posture! We have found that kids love to have their own kid-sized things, especially a soft place to sit and read or enjoy a cup of milk.
At the end of the day, we had a lovely Christmas dinner. I had high hopes that Robbie would morph into another child for 30 minutes, namely one that would eat neatly and sit quietly in a high chair. Ok, not really - I love my little guy just the way he is. But I did hope that he'd give us a little time to enjoy Christmas dinner without incident!
It was not in the cards.
After he finished his dinner in 3 minutes flat - and you should see how much food this kid can consume in one meal! - he threatened to whip his plate across the (carpeted!) dining room. After an unsuccessful attempt at appeasing him with a cup of yogurt (it got the same treatment as the plate), Rob and I decided to put him in the bathtub upstairs and take turns finishing dinner and working tub duty.
Aunt Kelsey offered to hold and entertain Ellie while we wrestled with Robbie during his dinnertime tantrum and attempted to entertain him with a new bath ("Look! BUBBLES!"). Apparently, Ellie wanted in on the attention Robbie was getting. She proceeded to quietly blow out her diaper and outfit on Aunt Kelsey's lap, which we discovered only when I offered to hold Ellie again once Robbie was situated happily in the tub. Surprise! Poop on the silk dining room chair. Merry Christmas to me and Kelsey!
My dad flew into cleaning action, saving the chair from death-by-poop.
Rob and I flew into action, packing up our things and heading home to put our overtired, intestinally-overactive children to bed.
But it was a lovely, if not memorable, Christmas!