Monday, December 23rd: This was our last real day to get ready for Christmas, and I sent McKay all over the place to do last minute shopping for the kids, and for our ward secret Santas. After the kids went to sleep, we spent all night wrapping presents and watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, our new show of choice for whiling away an evening together.
Tuesday, December 24th: This was a very full, productive, and fun Christmas Eve day. McKay started the day off right, taking Tyler to get new tires for the RAV4 in preparation for our big trip. While the tires were being replaced, Tyler and McKay walked to Braum's and had breakfast and hot chocolate. Tyler loves getting special time with McKay, and McKay tries to take Tyler and Jamie out once a week in turn. After they came back, I went last minute Christmas shopping, and McKay and the kids made a special Vanilla Bread Pudding to take to Kevin and Cindy's for Christmas Eve dinner. When we came back, we decided to go ice skating at Clyde Warren Park, where a synthetic ice skating rink had been set up for the winter holidays. It sounded really fun, but by the time we were laced up and out on the rink, we realized it was not :) The "ice" was just a big plastic floor, and there was zero traction. EVERYONE was holding onto the rails, and no one could go more than a few strides without falling. Tyler and I stuck it out for about 45 minutes (mostly falling or holding onto the sides), while McKay and Jamie played on the playground nearby. I don't think we'll be coming back next Christmas :) Afterwards, we drove up to Kevin and Cindy's for a Christmas Eve dinner. It was a really nice night, with a big Christmas ham, and sides and desserts from everyone else. There were presents from Grandma and Grandpa, and we gave them our present, a toy nativity set to add to their toy room upstairs. We drove home, and put the kids to bed, who were almost too excited to sleep. Jamie was especially squirrelly, and I had to go through the entire explanation of Santa Claus three times before she went to sleep. Tyler was really worried that Santa wouldn't know that he (Tyler) had changed his mind about what he wanted. I let him know I sent an express letter to the North Pole a few days before with the updated requests. When they finally were asleep, McKay and I wrapped more presents, and were in bed ourselves around midnight.
Thursday, December 26th: McKay had to go back to work, but the kids and I had a nice lazy day at home playing with new presents and starting to get things ready to leave for Utah. At one point, Tyler came laughing up to me, telling me to look outside and see what Bronx was doing. I peeked out the window, and saw our puppy going nuts attacking the big trash bags full of leaves that McKay had raked up a few days before, just tearing them apart.
I took a video of it and sent it to McKay, and he sent me this:
Poor McKay :) That night, McKay and Tyler broke open the Legos and built a Lego helicopter. Jamie has been sneaking it off of Tyler's shelf everyday since then, and two minutes later when she inevitably breaks it, she quietly brings it to me to fix, which I do, and then I put it back on the shelf to start to whole cycle again.
Friday, December 27th: The kids and I went to Goodwill in search of snow gear for us all. We were only going to be in Utah for a week, so there wasn't much point in getting brand new stuff for us all. In the end, we didn't find anything useful, but we did get this awesome Wizard of Oz pop up book: We ended up buying boots for Tyler at Target, with minimal grumbling from me because they were really cute :)
Jamie was playing with her jacket zipper, zipping it up and down over and over, and then she stopped, smiled, and looked up at me. "It's like a song, Mom!"
Tyler and I started playing a game to keep him occupied during all the shopping. I would call out a number 1 through 21, and he would tell me the kid in his class that corresponds with that number (Tyler is 12). "Seventeen!"
I lost my voice this week, and I sounded awful, so bad that at church during "Angels We Have Heard On High", McKay suggested I just mouth the words instead of train wrecking the "gloooo-o-o-o-o-oooooooo-o-o-o-ooooo-ria". Such a sweet guy.