It’s finally 2014 and it was nice to finally end a year without telling it “Good Riddance.” 2013, you had a good run and compared to the 2009-2012 drama filled years, you weren’t so bad. The upgrade to Toddler 3.5 over the summer was a bit more challenging than anticipated, but overall you were finally a year that brought in more joy than sorrow. I most appreciate you giving me a good reason for the 2013 weight gain and stomach curve that is just beginning to be slightly cumbersome. At least I can plan for about a 7-8 pound quick weight loss in February (2/12 if all goes according to plan..)
Here’s some of our Holiday Highlights from December. I really do love Christmas time in Kansas City. Maybe someone should right a cheesy holiday song about that…..
1. The preschool holiday program. I’ve accepted it’s not Julliard standards and bonus for my kids actually participating in the songs this year and seeming to know the lyrics. Ava had to give Wyatt hugs in between songs.
2. Breakfast with Santa at the annual Parenting Children with Special Needs event at Zona Rosa. I first took them as 1 year olds and we have gone every year. It’s a bittersweet event as it’s like going back to the club you never wanted to join in the first place and then suddenly got kicked out of. I hope we can continue to make it an annual event until my kids are old enough to help volunteer. I think it gives them a little view of what our life was briefly like and perhaps a memory of our one splendid Christmas at home all together. I’m also pretty sure this is the real Santa too.
3. Donning we now our gay apparel. I’m not so festive myself, but I sure like my kids to be. So Ava looks like a holiday burlesque dancer for her preschool party and Wyatt looks adorable matching his sister in his awesome plaid appliqued overalls. Ok, I’ll admit, the matching gingerbread outfits may have been a bit much and there may have been a voice mail left by Santa convincing Wyatt to wear said gingerbread pants. These would not make Wyatt’s top 10 holiday highlights list, but he wore them for Santa, came home, took them off and told me he wasn’t wearing those pants anymore. He didn’t even appreciate the reversible football on the other side that I may have forced him into for our family photos. In my defense, I blame my friend for hosting a Kelly’s Kids party so close to March 1. I’m highly vulnerable to coordinating outfits that time of year and since I can’t do the identical girl matching, Wyatt must ultimately suffer. Plus,A)They were on sale B)I would’ve gone with the button up shirt but that was sold out and C) I thought 3 was my cut off for overalls but they did make them in a size 4 so… that’s my new cutoff. D) I think they pull this look off in the South along with bigger hair bows and smocking. Missouri just isn’t up to stylish dressing yet. I’m preparing my defense when Wyatt takes this picture to his counselor someday.
4. Putting up the tree. We first checked out Union station’s tree to get a good visual on how we wanted ours to look. Then we trimmed ours. After 75% of the ornaments were placed 3 feet and lower and the ribbon shoved into the bottom 3 branches of the tree, Wyatt decided we were done. I did too. We had another few weeks for a more spacial appealing arrangement of ornaments. Ava kept the tree as an ongoing work of art and I’d often find her tea cups, small animals, or other odds and ends hanging off a branch or just being shoved into the middle of the tree.
5. Outdoor winter weather. Since I’m not driving as much for a rushed clock in time, I do appreciate some winter weather and my nose getting a little pink from being outside. Every LL Bean/Lands End catalog makes me want to move to the Rockies. We have a little pond near our house that is about 1-2 feet deep that makes the perfect “ice skating” rink. We had a good time clearing the rink with their new birthday snow shovels, writing in the snow and practicing our ice skating in boots maneuvers. Our 8 year old friend was a bit disappointed the rink wasn’t fully cleared and that the 4 year olds didn’t take their job quite as seriously. She didn’t realize my ultimate plan for energy burning and fresh air.
6. Union Station/Crown Center. If you make it to one KC location for Christmas, I highly recommend this spot. I have to accept that we don’t hit every awesome KC holiday spot every season, but we got to check out Rudy the Christmas Train (before he closed for the night this year) and the miniature model train village at Union Station. This was after we let them spend an hour playing outside Crown Center on all the trains, planes and cars they have set up around their tree. Perfect outing for that random 60 degree December day.
7. Seymour holiday open house. Always another favorite family tradition. I was lazy with the camera this year and since everyone above Gen X age left early due to weather, there are no crying cousin shots around the tree. Wyatt and Ava do love playing with all their cousins and Ava took some time out to explain the new awesome toy to her littlest twin cousins.
8. Preschool/church holiday program #2. Ava was not as enthused about this one and seemed to blank out on lyrics despite loudly singing in the car before and after the event. I think they were starting to get tired of our “stand by the tree and smile” requests.
9. For the all the grandparent’s Christmas we took them to the Church of Resurrection Christmas program. They were doing some free photos by the manger in the lobby so we got a family photo. This year I really felt for Mary traveling by donkey and was much more appreciative of the mini van. This is an amazing show with the performance of Drummer Boy being Wyatt and my favorites. Ava said she loved the dancers the best. Warning to bring tissues for song “Mary, Did you know?” Probably didn’t help I was holding one boy and getting gently kicked by my other boy during the song.
10. Baking with the elves. We didn’t do too much kitchen time but we did get our Vegan Gingerprune men made for Santa. (See 2011 post for recipe – I’m too lazy to provide link). No, we’re not vegans but I think this is a pretty good recipe and who doesn’t need just a little less butter and sugar this time of year? I think they’re looking more appetizing each year.
11. Looks like my list exceeded top 10. Anyway #11 – Christmas morning. I think they really got the sense of this holiday this year and Wyatt woke up shouting “Pwesents! Ava! Ava! Santa left Pwesents!” After calls made to Santa that left Ava in tears with worry about not coming and tales of coal in stockings for naughty children, they were pretty excited to see Santa really did come through this year. Santa may have regretted placing horns on both bikes and didn’t think that would be the first thing noticed.
We finished our holiday celebrations with Christmas with the Johnstons and celebrating Nana’s birthday in Trenton.
Peace and best wishes for all in 2014.
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