December 25, 2013

Christmas Preparation

It is 11:15 on Christmas Eve and I can say everything is done, well except for one Santa gift that Paul is outside assembling. He thinks the kids would much rather find a trampoline fully assembled in the morning and I am so very thankful he took on that task because I think I would have wrapped it and put a bow on it and called it good. So while Paul is finishing I find myself sitting at the computer with a ziploc bag full of puppy chow because I was too lazy to put it in a bowl. It amazes me how much work goes into making Christmas special and I have decided Christmas was a lot more fun when I was a kid rather than when I was a mom! It is so fun to see Christmas through their eyes though so maybe it is a wash. This year I really wanted to start giving the older kids experiences that they would start to remember so that when they think of Christmas it isn't all about presents. We actually do very few presents for the kids and stay tuned for the next post that deals with our large family and gifts. I knew all my fabulous plans were not going to work out perfectly but that was okay. I also knew things like taking the kids sledding or ice skating would be difficult because it would mean getting a sitter for the younger kids. Also since Thanksgiving was so late  this year we lost a full week of being able to fit things in. Then add in two parents who work full time and two girls who go to school from 8am-3pm five days a week and it equals a very busy December.

We started it all off on December 1 when Paws, our elf, showed up to start watching the kids so he could report back to Santa each night. I am just going to say it now that whoever came up with this great idea must not have kids. Three years in and I am so done with this red and white doll. Do you have any clue how many times we would make ourselves figure out something to do with Paws so the kids could find him within 5 seconds of being up in the morning. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed and now here was Paul and I dying milk red, setting up a bath for a doll, or having a campfire with smores on our kitchen table. And I can guarentee that having Paws "watch" the kids all day long did not make them behave any better. The threat has worn off and they could care less. I was very happy last night when I wrote the letter to the kids from Paws saying today would be the last day he would be visiting!

We also started an Advent Calendar the same day as Paws and I had a lot more fun with this one. The kids knew mom and dad were the ones putting items in the box. Some days it was treats, and yes some of it may have been left over Halloween candy, other days it was art projects for them to work on. It was a lot of fun and I know we will be doing this again. The Target $1 bins were great for finding things to fill the calendar.

Next up was getting pictures taken with Santa. We did the mall Santa a couple years back and I will never go there again. We waited forever and then when it was all said and done we came home with over priced pictures that were so grainy and had a major green hue to them. I don't think I even kept them. Luckily for us our photographer Monica does Santa pictures and they turn out great every year.

Now it was time to get the Christmas cards made so I could get them sent out before Christmas actually came. I ordered them in plenty of time but then unfortunately I lost our mailbox keys and had to wait about four days to get it re-keyed and you can guess what was sitting the entire time in my box. So frustrating but they did get out last week so it all ended well.

A friend of mine posted a recipe for peppermint playdoh and I knew we had to try that one. After school one day the kids came home and we made up a batch. It smelled amazing and I am sure Drew could tell us how it tasted since he seems to think playdoh is like cookie dough. The kids then played for almost 90 minutes with rolling pins and cookie cutters. That playdoh has been played with many times since we made it and I think we will be adding peppermint to all of our homemade playdoh form now on just because it smells so yummy.

Grandma Lesnau sends the kids art envelopes every holiday and they love when these come in the mail. Natalie will complete one or two of the projects but Aubrey will sit and do them all over a couple of days. She loves coloring and anything to do with art. She spent close to 2 hours working on the penguin project Grandma sent her. She then made cards with the penguins that will be going out as thank you's for gifts they receive for Christmas.

This year I loved having a big kitchen to make cookies in. I could be baking and the older kids could be working on something at the table and we all had room without getting in each others way. Having a large oven too was great because I could bake a whole batch of cookies at one time. Next year I will be adding more baking pans to my list and I will be able to get them done even faster. The kids are also at an age where they are actually helpful in the kitchen. They loved counting out cups or tsps in Spanish, grabbing containers of flour or sugar, and their favorite was trying ever single batch of dough we made. Today we took cookie trays to many of our new neighbors and it was fun to see how excited the kids were to ring the door bells to wish them a Merry Christmas.

The kids also had some fun getting dressed up after we finally unpacked the "dress up" box from moving. Some day Drew will probably hate me for these but he is just so darn cute at the age of 3!

Strep decided to come pay us an early Christmas visit. Now don't get me wrong, I would much rather have strep over colds or flu but was I happy to see it leave. It started with Tate who got better pretty quickly and never had to go into the doctor. It then hit me and knocked me to the ground. I have not been so sick in a very long time. On the third day of literally feeling like I could not function anymore I went in and got diagnosed with Strep. It is amazing what 24 hours of antibiotics can do. Two days later Aubrey woke up crying telling me her throat hurt and after a stop at urgent care she also was on antibiotics. During this entire time none of the babies were sleeping well and I dreaded night time. It brought me back to the days of getting up every three hours but now I was up every hour for one of the seven. It was no fun at all. The next day after Aubrey started antibiotics Drew woke up 3 times just miserable. In the morning he was able to tell me he was crying because his mouth hurt. Of course this was the day Paul was gone all day long so after taking the girls to school I took the other 5 to urgent care. Drew and Kenzie were both diagnosed with Strep and then we were off to Target for more antibiotics with 4 babies who were now an hour past their naptime. I was so ready for my morning cup of coffee when we got home at 10am! Forty-eight hours later and I finally had kids sleeping through the night and kids who wanted to play instead of cuddle all day long. Healthy kids are so much fun to be around compared to sick ones.
You can just tell in their eyes that they were not feeling well.

I have wanted to get a new kitchen table for a while because mine is ten years old and after giving the quads baths every night on it for months it had seen better days. I was hesitant to get a new table though because I have seen what the older kids have done to my table and I know I have four more toddlers who will be using it soon. I had painted the baby girls dresser with Annie Sloan paint and loved how it turned out so decided that I would paint my table instead of buying new. Now that it is painted I am going to find someone to build two long benches for either side and paint them a turquoise color to match the picture on the wall and then find two fun captain chairs for the ends. Then I must find a grey rug for under the table, curtains for the window, a buffet table and the list goes on and on. Amazing how much stuff is needed to make a room feel complete but at least for now I don't need to buy a new table too.

Christmas decorations and a tree also had to go up right after Thanksgiving. It was kind of funny how in our old house I had decorations spread throughout and in our new house pretty much all of my Christmas decorations fill up only one room. I will definitely be watching for after Christmas sales on decorations. I usually leave my tree up til the week after New Years but I think it will be coming down next Monday after we have our last Christmas celebration with my dad on Sunday. The tree is starting to get dry and after the presents are put away the tree looks so bare. The kids each have their own tree in their room which is where they get to hang all of their special ornaments. The tree in the living room is mommas and only a few 'ornaments' get hung on it. That is how my mom did our tree growing up and I now love having a tree that is more grown up.

Never did get around to buying the quads stockings before they sold out at Pottery Barn. Not a big deal this year because they have no idea who Santa is but they will need them next year.

My dad started putting our family cards in the tree many years ago. My kids know when I ask them to put a card by the tree it means 'in' the tree.

Our first ornament to represent our family. We were about 25 weeks pregnant with the twins for Christmas 2007.

My step mom has made all the kids a book like this. Each year when we take Christmas down we measure the kids on a piece of wrapping paper and then mark it on the string of lights inside the book. It is so neat to see how they grow from year to year.

We got this nativity scene from Paul's aunt and uncle when we got married. It is the first year I have had room to put it out. Now to get my dad or Paul's to make us a stable for next year.

Many times throughout the day we would find the kids sitting next to the tree checking to see who's name was on the presents. Never once did I see them shaking it or trying to peak inside.
Last Thursday the girls had their Christmas performance at school. They have been practicing at school for many weeks and it was fun to hear them singing along to the radio as they learned the words to many of the Christmas songs this year. Both Natalie and Aubrey loved getting all dressed up and did so good during the performance. Drew was more interested in getting a cookie afterwards!

The girls and their teachers

So when you are 3 and you have thirty minutes to wait until a show starts, what do you do to burn time? You make silly faces of course.

This one made me laugh because Paul told Drew to touch his tongue to his nose so here he is trying to pull his nose down!

The girls are starting to want to use mom's camera. Not so sure I am a fan of this idea.
Today was a big day for Rylan because he got to share his first bowl of cereal with his daddy. It was so darn cute and Rylan knew he was doing something he has never done.

Rylan had milk dripping on his face so he grabbed one of the folded wash clothes I had sitting on the counter and started wiping his face. He also was so excited he kept signing all done instead of more.

Paul has now finished the trampoline and is warming up next to the fire. The babies are tucked into their cribs and the big kids are all sleeping next to the girls Christmas tree in their new sleeping bags. Santa has visited our house and it is officially Christmas Day so I will leave you by wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Krista! Lots of love to you and your crew this holiday season!


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