10 things about Christmas vacation.
1. I love it. I love not getting up to an alarm clock other than the one that says, "Hey, mommy," over the baby monitor.
2. We put our Christmas tree up the Friday after school got out. I know that seems late to some people, but it's perfect for me. It's a great way for me to officially declare that I'm ready for Christmas. And it was so much fun to decorate with Julianna this year. She loved looking at all the different ornaments and putting them on the tree. She has also given herself the job of turning on the tree lights every morning as soon as she gets up since she and I are usually the first ones up.
3. I had a great time making Christmas gifts. I made two clocks, 6 frames, a snack tray, a cup cozy, a pen holder, a ribbon shirt with hair clip to match, a treasure box, 5 calendars, peppered pecans, and 3 batches of strawberry jam.
4. Christmas Eve we went to church with my parents and my sister's family where we sang and prayed together. Then back to mom and dad's for West Virginia sandwiches and homemade fries and lots of yummy desserts including homemade cream puffs, no-bake cookies, birds in a nest cookies, lemon bars, rice crispy treats, and buckeyes, which is the official name for this particular dessert. Then we got new jammies. Which I love, love, love.
5. Christmas morning was wonderful. The boys know the routine and were great teachers for Jules. When we got up and were walking down the hall, Adam said, "Mom, is dad going to read the Christmas story before we open our stockings?" "Well," I answered, "he could do it after we open them." "NO. He has to do it first. That's how we do it." Adam wasn't asking to try to put off the reading of Matthew. He was asking to make sure we were sticking with our tradition. I loved that so much. And we did read the wonderful story of Jesus' birth before we opened any presents.
6. There is nothing better than Christmas with a two year old. The boys are still fun and still get excited about their gifts, but oh my goodness, Julianna was sooo excited. She loved every present and wanted to play with everything before she opened her next package. Arrty could hardly keep up with her as he took each baby doll and the tiny pieces that went with them out of the boxes. And how much did I love playing babies with Julianna? I've done Legos and cars and Bakugan and Transformers. And this year I got to do babies and Littlest Pet Shop! Woo hoo!
7. Christmas day afternoon we were back and mom and dad's to open more presents with them and my sister's family. We tried to do one present at a time. That worked for one round I think. Then the kids, especially the girls, couldn't wait. The homemade gifts were a hit again this year. It's a great tradition. As is our new tradition of prime rib for Christmas dinner. Mmmmm. Especially with Ada's loaded mashed potatoes and cream corn, mom's green bean casserole and cooked carrots, and my pink stuff and homemade crescent rolls. I could go for a plate right now, as a matter of fact.
8. After the busy week before Christmas, I was looking forward to a relaxing second week of vacation. And that's what it's been. Reading and movies and playing with the kids. (Except for Monday when I was sick with some kind of stomach bug. Ugh.) I can't count how many hours I've played games with the boys and followed Julianna around doing whatever she wanted to do. I have loved spending so much time with her. She is growing up so fast. Turning into a little girl right before my eyes. A little girl who says things like "actually" and "of course" and "let's pretend..."
9. And speaking of growing up, she has also been potty training. One thing about being of advanced maternal age is that I'm way relaxed about things like potty training. She wasn't interested during the summer so we waited until now. And she is doing really well. She is so proud of herself and loves all the clapping and cheering I do to encourage her. Could I have pushed her earlier? Probably. But why would I want her, my very last baby, to grow up any faster than she already is. Her last diaper, or pull-up, will be my last one, too.
10. Did I mention that I love vacation? I do. I really, really do.