Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Saturday 7

Christmas week! My favorite week of the year!!!

1. We failed on our Advent Activities. We made cookies from a store-bought mix for the mail lady on Monday, but that was it for the week.

On Tuesday, we made play-doh with the intent of putting it in cute Mason jars and delivering it to some of our friends. This was my inspiration:
But I couldn't find any little Mason jars and the girls were having so much fun playing with the play-doh that we decided to forget the snowmen and just keep the play-doh for ourselves. Lol. #momfail

2. I've mentioned before that Lucy is obsessed with YouTube. She has a couple daily "vloggers" that she follows faithfully, and while I've watched lots of the episodes with her and have the safe search on, I'm still a little bit uneasy about her watching these adult-made videos. They're family-friendly, have little kids, and are usually just boring or dumb, but I still feel like she doesn't need to be watching such "mature content" all the time. So I was delighted when she discovered a new youtube channel about this girl (probably 10ish) who has 7 Baby Alive dolls. She does different episodes about feeding them, giving them baths, having tea parties with them, etc. Much more age appropriate for Lucy! And I love how it jump starts her imagination. She and Lena have a gazillion dolls and accessories just sitting on shelves. But recently, they've started doing all kinds of stuff with them. Lots of bath time, feeding time, and parties. This week, Lucy decided to do a "Secret Santa" exchange with all her babies. I wrote down each of their names, then Lucy helped them each draw a name. Lena wanted in on it too, but with some minor tweaks. She only wanted me to write her name on each paper. Haha. Making sure she doesn't get left out of the gift exchange!

3. At VanderKodde Christmas last week, the girls got a Christmas movie about this dumb bear named Boz. It's essentially the animated, Christian version of Barney. Haha. But the girls love it and watched it like 10 times this week. They do a "Secret Santa" exchange on the video (although it's not called that in a Christian movie!), so Lucy decided we were going to do one with our family. Justin, Lucy, Lena, and I each drew a name and were instructed (by Lucy) to make a gift for the person we drew. Lucy and I ended up drawing each other, while Justin and Lena drew each other. Lucy made me a picture with her Spirograph set, Lena drew Justin a picture, Justin gave Lena a bunch of peel and stick stickers (that were leftover from the Jesus Birthday Party last year, ha), and I made Lucy 3 coupons for things like "free piece of candy, free snuggles with Mom and bedtime, and an extra episode of a TV show." It amazed me how much she loved those coupons. I'm going to have to tuck that idea away for the future . . .

4. I am an extreme planner and find great delight in making lists of the gifts I buy/amounts I spend. I've been working on this year's Christmas lists for months and scoping out the best deals in order to get the most bang for my buck while staying on budget. I also really try to spend about the same amount on each of my girls and make sure they have close to the same amount of gifts. When all was said and done, after a few impulse buys and a couple returns, I ended up spending 45 cents more on Lena than Lucy and wrapping exactly the same number of gifts for each of them. Bam! Winner!!

5. Christmas was wonderful as usual. We spent Christmas Eve getting ready, making food, packing everything up, and wrapping last minute gifts, before dressing up and heading off to the candlelight service at church. I was nervous about Lena sitting through the service (no nursery), but she did amazingly well. She was happy to bounce from my lap to Justin's lap to Grandma's lap. And she actually "sang along" with some of the songs. We've been listening to Christmas music since October, so she knows the songs well. :-) We let Lucy have a candle for the first time. She took it very seriously and was adorable:

6. After the service, we shook up our tradition and went to Niki's house instead of back to my parents'. For years, we've all spent the night at my parents' on Christmas Eve, but as everyone starts getting married and having kids, the house is getting too small. Niki just bought a mansion this fall (she hates it when we call it a mansion, haha), so it only made sense to have it at her house instead. It really worked out well and will likely be our new tradition. We had great fun stuffing our faces Christmas Eve night, then sent the kids to bed to put out the presents and hide the stockings. I put my girls to bed at 10:00. At 11:00, I separated them and put Lena in the bedroom my parents were sleeping in, because they were keeping each other awake! At midnight, Justin and I went to bed, and Lucy was still awake!!

7. We woke up Christmas morning, found the pickle in the tree (another new tradition), unwrapped presents for hours, and Skyped Luke and Esther in 84* Florida. It was very sad not having them with us, but Lena thought Skype was the greatest thing ever. She was hilarious about showing them every single gift she opened.

The girls were very spoiled with gifts, and Justin and I got some great stuff too. We spent the rest of the day playing with our new toys, playing games, eating way too much, and laughing together. It is the best. I want to have Christmas once every month.

8. Bonus point for some of my favorite pictures (that were already on facebook, but need to be immortalized here as well):
I forgot to get Christmas pajamas until Wednesday, so had my mom pick up whatever was left at Once Upon a Child. All she could find was this full-length flannel nightgown. Lucy adored it and wore it all day. Anytime someone asked her if she was going to get dressed, she said, "This is my Christmas outfit!" She is so photogenic and beautiful. 

By numbers alone, it looks like I bought the girls a ton of presents and spent a ton of money on them. But they got lots of little things like these Color Wonder books, puzzles, play-doh, etc. Thank goodness for cheap gifts! I'm enjoying it while it lasts!

How beautiful are these two?? I've always been jealous of Libby's blue eyes . . .

This is one of the presents I was most excited to give Lucy. It's a huge kit of real make-up that I got a super-steal on. She spent almost an hour playing with it yesterday, and has already given herself and me stellar make-overs with it today. (She also got a vanity from my sister, and she loooves sitting at the vanity doing her make-up like the diva she is.)

Lena got a new Daniel Tiger game that she loves. I think this is one of the only pictures of me from Christmas day. I'm starting to freak out about how big I'm getting.

My dad and Lena are BFFs.
The picture we sent to Luke and Esther using Tristan's new selfie stick. Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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