Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011




Wow! It's hard to believe Christmas is upon us. Even harder to belive that we have only about 5 more months in Kansas before we move again!
We started our Christmas festivities with Gingerbread houses followed by James and Shawn watching the Nativity movie on DVD.  James was very intrigued by it all but we were thrown for a loop when he asked where babies come from and why Mary was screaming. I thought the video was a bit much but let Shawn and James bond over it while Ethan and I did other things. Then on Christmas Eve we made cookies for Santa. James really enjoyed this (as well as Shawn hehe) and took his time to make sure the cookies were perfect for Santa. Ethan enjoyed licking the frosting off the knife..glad we were the only ones eating them :). Then it was time to put the cookies out for Santa and for the boys to get to bed. But not before having the talk with James that he is to wake us up first before going into the living room to ensure that it wasn't too early.  Thankfully they zonked out very quickly allowing Santa to make an early arrival. :).  I have to admit I think I went a little overboard this year and ahve decided in years to come I will tone it down.

I think James came into our room around 3 a.m. and tried to get us to get up. I told him it was way too early so I agreed to lay with him in his bed. That did the trick until about 7:30 which was great. Aunt Andrea and Maw-Maw were able to join us via Skype as the boys opened their presents. This was the first year Aunt Andrea hadn't been at our house on Christmas. The boys tore into their stockings and presents and enjoyed each one. Both boys go the remote control Kevin Van Dam bass boat they wanted along with leappad, tag jr, basketball goals (over the door), fishing pole amongst other goodies. While they played with their toys I was going to attempt to make breakfast consisting of monkey bread and hashbrown casserole. Thanks to my sister in law, Susan I felt confident in doing this. Shawn grew up having a large breakfast on Christmas morning so I thought that would be a fun tradition too. After the monkey bread finished we put candles in it and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. Both boys were so sweet and sincere about it. I must admit the breakfast was pretty good. Of course the casserole needs a little fine tuning but overall tasty. 



Shawn and I had the bright idea of leaving on Christmas day to drive to Alabama. Well after unsuccessful napping on adults part we left out on the LONG drive home. Shawn was determined to drive the 12 hour (NOT including stops) through its entirety that night. About 3 hours in we decided we needed to stop for dinner before going any further and before the boys went to bed..in the car.  I had done some research and found that IHOP and Denny's would be open on Christmas day. So that was our plan to use one of those for our stop. Well low and behold none were open. The only thing open nearby was Hooters, yes you read it right. I do love the food there but I was in a sweatsuit but we went in anyways. It was kinda humourous because the only people in there were families with small kids and older adults. I guess when it's the only joint open for miles you sacrifice. Then back on the road we went. I am not one who can sleep in the car so when 12-1 a.m. rolled around I was getting quite ill ans begging Shawn to get a hotel room but he declined. We pulled into his mom's house around 5:00 a.m. and the boys slept until 7 or 8. I can't recall the whole trip is a blur. But we ushered them out to Gran and slept a few more minutes...well I did and then Shawn came rolling out about 11ish. Ethan complained about his tummy but he says it quite often so I thought nothing of it. Then Shawn gets a little shower of vomit on him while in the media room. Yup the stomach bug invaded Ethan for about 6 hours that day off and on. That ws the night we had planned to do Christmas dinner with Shawn's dad. I was torn what to do because I wanted to see the family but didn't want to leave my baby. After much thought I decided to leave Ethan with Gran for some one on one time. He was fine the entire night and didn't get sick at all. We all ate at Tokyo (Japanese restaurant) with Papa D and then went back to Aunt Chresta's to open presents.  The cousins had a good time and I enjoyed just playing around with them.
The next day we were suppose to have dinner at Grans with all the cousins. Notice key word "suppose to".  Then Shawn gets hit with the stomach bug. I hear him come in our room hurling. Not a great wake up call.  Shawn was sick pretty much the entire day which called for cancelling dinner at Gran's :(. This was the first year that we had not done Christmas with his entire family. Aunt Susan couldn't make Tokyo so we woulnd't get to see them. We couldn't reschedule because of peoples schedules and Gran was headed out of town. Quite odd for sure. The recoup time from the stomach bug for Shawn lasted for about 3 days. He was just very worn down from driving and being sick.  However we were able to do a small Christmas with my side of the family the following day. It was nice to see all the cousins playing football and climbing the tree at Maw-Maw's. But what I was looking forward to the most was a night out with my besties, Kristin and Courtney! We all met up and went to BWW which is our normal place it seems to meet. It was such a fun time filled with laughs galore. They wanted to see a 9:00 p.m. movie but for some reason I was EXTREMELY tired and decided not to go. I was bummed but I could barely hold my eyes open.
Well the next morning would give me my answer...yup I got the stomach bug!! All I gotta say is I am glad my mommy was there with some pheregan! I don't care how old I get when I am sick or hurting I still want my mommy!! Shawn took the boys out so I could sleep that afternoon which was nice. Then they surprised me by bringing me a zebra coffee mug with my initials on it. Such sweet kids (and hubby of course).




Once we all ran the course of the stomach bug it was time to head home to KS. Although I enjoyed seeing family and friends and Alabama will always be a place we love it just didn't feel like Christmas this year. I got to thinking this is the first time since James has been born that we made the trip home together as a family where it took that long to drive so soon after Christmas. Other than the years Shawn was deployed we were close enough to make day trips back and forth between our home and families. The strain of the drive, sickness and jsut the exhaustion between families definitely has us rethinking how we will do Christmas in years to come. We want to enjoy the holiday as a family of 4 without added stress or exhaustion.  We always said that our boys would wake up in their house on Christmas morning which we feel is important. We hope to start/continue traditions for our family of 4 for many years to come. Time is too precious!! I still can't believe I have a 5 year old!!!!

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Shawn and I have been married almost 10 years. We married right before he commissioned out of college so we have gone thru military life together. Not always easy but makes you appreciate the time together. We have one son, James, who was born in Nov. 2006. Ethan was born July 2009 That's it for us! Two is a good number.

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