It's The Day After The Day After Christmas

Which also means that it's my sweet girl's and husband's birthday!  If you are new around here, you might not have read Gwen's birth story, but trust me, go read it.  It's a good one.  

I am having a hard time believing that she is four years old, and I'm not sure why.  It just struck me this morning that she is four years old.  At age three it seems like there is still a bit of baby left in them, but she is solidly in the "big" little girl stage now, and I'm rather sad.  Of course, my sadness may also have something to do with the fact that a recent crop of pregnancy announcements are making me sentimental since I'll probably never have another pregnancy announcement, and I get nostalgic around the New Year, and I am on a sugar low from all those Christmas cookies.

Let's Talk About Christmas

That's a nice segue, so let's talk about Christmas!  Last week I spent three solid days baking.  In years past, Derek and I used to throw away so many Christmas goodies that had gone stale, so for a while I was limiting our Christmas treats.  But this year I went a little crazy again because I have four kids who are able to eat the extra cookies now!  We are still living off cookies and cheeseballs, and probably will be all week.  I may just eat a ginger cookie (my favorite) for breakfast.

We had a lovely three-day Christmas - my side of the family on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day we officially stayed home and had our own family Christmas, and then the day after (yesterday) we saw Derek's side of the family.  It was a beautiful celebration, and I have a bunch of cute pictures, but unfortunately you won't get to see them today because it'll probably take me all afternoon to sort and edit them, and I don't want to get out of my Tuesday old-fashioned blogging habit.  For now, here's a picture of me from baking last week that I shot by propping my camera up on a bunch of books.

What Did We Get?

I'm glad you asked!  I record this here for posterity's sake, and so I don't buy the same things two years down the road because I forgot what I already got the kids.  Feel free to comment and tell me what you got for Christmas too!

This was a fun year to shop for the kids because they actually had opinions about what they wanted, and I was confident they would like their presents.  We gave them three presents each, and then a couple family gifts of games and books.  

Wyatt is five years old, and he got a talking Percy (from Thomas The Train), a Paw Patrol scooter (it was just plain black, but I put Paw Patrol stickers on it - it was a big hit), and a remote control truck.  He wanted the huge (expensive) one, but I just got him the largest remote control vehicle I could without breaking the budget!

Gwen is (now) four years old, and she got a Melissa And Doug magnetic doll set, a Disney princess mini guitar, and a new baby doll with a doll cradle.  Gwen proceeded to tuck her new baby doll in the cradle with a bottle, and rock the doll while serenading her with "Jingle Bells" on her guitar.

Clyde is two years old, and he got a talking Percy (same as Wyatt - they both love trains), a wooden train track set (Percy will go on it), and a large remote control Thomas.  Do you notice a theme here? When I asked Clyde what he wanted all he said was "trains!".

Clarice is one year old, and she got wooden magnetic blocks, a wooden Melissa And Doug key/lock house with wooden doll figures, and a Baby Stella.  Apparently Baby Stella is a big thing right now?  All I know is that I had to get a Baby Stella for her because she saw it in the store and grinned at it from the cart, and when I handed it to her she kissed it's face.  Her reaction on Christmas morning was the same!  

Me - Derek got me a bunch of good stuff!  I got four Yankee candles!  I'm a little picky about my candles, and I like Yankee because they really fill up the room with scent.  I got "Sparkling Snow" "Crackling Winter", "Happy Tonight", and "Beach Walk", and they should last me the rest of the winter into spring. I also got a hand-lettering book, an artist pen and brush pen with India ink (to practice lettering), and a book of Emily Dickinson poems, because I told Derek I wanted to read more poetry.  Watch out now, I'll soon be firing lines of poetry at you all I'm sure!

I got Derek Starbucks white chocolate syrup so he can make his own white mochas at work, a Technic race cart lego set (those things are complicated!), gel boxing gloves for when he works out, and the game of Risk.  We ended up playing Risk the rest of Christmas Day, and I have yet to win a game when we are playing for world domination.  Give me some time though.  I've decided I should stop focusing on conquering Asia because it's a lost cause, and I'm feeling really good about the next round hopefully tonight (though I should probably let him win on his birthday, huh?).

Back To The Birthdays

Last night we got home late and I dug into the birthday decorations.  Gwen wanted a Minnie Mouse birthday party, and it's really important to me to make sure to individually recognize Gwen and Derek's birthday since it's so close to Christmas.  Christmas-time birthdays are easy to forget, and I made a vow never to wrap birthday presents in Christmas paper (we got Gwen dress-up clothes in a lovely shoe-and-purse birthday paper), and to always decorate and have a cake. 

Derek and I stayed up late decorating for Gwen, but he was a bit bummed that everything was pink and purple, so I snuck downstairs and decorated the bathroom door with streamers and balloons and birthday notes so he would see them before he went off to work.  Perhaps an odd place to decorate, but I was going for the surprise factor.

So if you need me today, I'll be sorting toys and putting away Christmas presents, baking a cake, and trying to lug Derek's ginormous present out of the shed by myself.  I don't think he's reading this today, so I'll tell you what it is.  DEREK, STOP READING NOW!
I got him a basketball hoop!  It is massive and heavy, and we probably won't be able to set it up until spring, but I am confident he will be fully surprised!

Old-School Blogger Shout-Out

If you don't know what I mean by "old school bloggers", check out my posts from the last couple weeks (here and here), in which I bemoan the loss of old-fashioned blogging and resolve to get back to it, and attempt to encourage others who are doing the same.

First, Emily from Live A Charmed Life!  Emily has been so consistent at maintaining the relationship side of blogging by sharing about her sweet family on her blog and also caring about other people's doings as well.  She's a long-time blog friend of mine!

Second, Brittney from With Eager Hands!  Brittney is also a long-time blog friend who is getting back into old-fashioned blogging with me, and you have to read about the stars on her ceiling (it's making me kind of jealous actually)!

Go visit their blogs and say hello!  These girls are getting the shout-out this week because I know they are the kind of bloggers that will comment back, and as I said last week, I think that is a big part of what we are all missing.  

Feliz Navidad (is it too late to say that?) until next week, at which point I will regale you with all my New Year's thoughts and opinions (I am pretty opinionated about the holiday).

(Our Christmas outfit photo from this year. I really actually love snow. People like to complain about it, but how can anyone deny how pretty it is?)

What I'm Drinking: Junior Mint hot chocolate, which my sister got us for Christmas.  Junior Mint hot chocolate!  Is it just me, or does that sound fantastic?

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Gina said...

You really got a winter wonderland, my kids would flip. We had hail which was exciting but now the weather is back to the 70's. Thanks for posting what you guys all got for Christmas, I am always curious but I also feel funny asking people. I would love to hear more on how Christmas changes as you have more kids, I am anxious to see what ours will be like with a 8 month old around next year. Anyways, Merry Christmas friend or as we say in italian Buono Natale.

Bekah said...

New year's goals: to look as cute when I bake as you do when you bake. Sadly I'm usually still in jammies with bedhead and smeary mascara. And a touch of flour and smeared chocolate. LOL!!!

I LOVE YANKEE CANDLES TOO!!! And wood wick. Have you ever had one of those? My sister got us one for Christmas and I can't wait to burn it and listen to the wick crackle.

Meghan said...

Oh my gosh, I am so exhausted from the Christmas celebrations... I can't imagine throwing in TWO birthdays to top it off. Kudos to you, Mama! Way to make your precious loved ones feel so special.

Callie said...

I think Christmas definitely gets busier with more kids, haha! I also get less presents per kid now, partially because of budget, but also because of space and the fact that they really don't need so many toys. ;-) Merry Christmas to you, friend!

Callie said...

Ha, you are sweet! I did have flour puffs on my clothes before too long, haha! I haven't ever had a Woodwick candle, but they sound so cool!

Callie said...

Ugh, I am exhausted too! I plan everything out ahead of time, but I had to push through a migraine yesterday, and today we are finally settling down again. I'm wiped out. I'm ready to take a nap I think. ;-)

Elizabeth said...

Back before kids I used to do calligraphy, great way to decorate your home with scripture and make gifts more special. I grew up not far from the Emily Dickinson homestead, interesting place to visit!

I've been giggling a bit over people's snowy photos with no winter clothes on! Here in Russia people would throw a fit! Did you know if kids even open their mouths in the cold air they can get sick? So they should never cry or yell outside in the winter. Now you know. ;) I grew up in New England though, definitely went barefoot in the snow.

Hannah said...

1. I love how you section these posts off. I may just copy and do the same ;)
2. Snow is the best, I love love love it and wish we had more of it instead of just tons of freezing weather and little snow. So obviously your family picture in the snow is the best.
3. How is Gwen already four?! Goodness gracious, time is flying by. Emerson turns four in a few short weeks and I feel like I'll be bawling my eyes out - they are getting so big! Also, I love that you make her birthday special even though it is so close to Christmas; that's the way it should be :)
4. Your idea for writing down what everyone got for Christmas is genius and another thing I just might copy. I want to remember what everyone got, so why not write about it?

Felicia said...

Callie, I just love these posts! I totally want to start blogging again this year, and these kinds of posts will probably be the bulk of it. And I won't be sorry about it ;) I'm happy to hear you all had a lovely Christmas - it was very nice over here as well :)

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