Christmas isn’t complete without reindeer poop!

Since I’ve been a horrible blogger lately, I’m going to throw everything Christmas related that I snapped a picture of this year into one post. I’ll make it short and sweet (um, unlikely). And yes, I’ll be getting to the “Reindeer Poop” a little further down.

Here’s my general feeling about our Christmas this year: Um, AMAZING! Mia is 2 years + 8 months old which is such a great age for this holiday season. She was fully prepped and ready for Santa’s visit and she was so excited over EVERYTHING Christmas. She loved all of the lights put up on houses, all of the blow-up characters on lawns (snowmen, Santa, reindeer, etc.), Christmas commercials on TV and movies (especially Polar Express this year), Christmas music and she had a ball decorating our Christmas tree with me. She really brightened up Christmas for all of us this year.

Our first Christmas event was at her Preschool’s little sing/show. She rocked it, basically. She didn’t cry or even come close (which she did during their Halloween Sing), she sat well in her chair and she sang along to all of the songs. We were so proud of her.

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Next up, decorating the tree. It’s a funny thing, hanging ornaments with a toddler. She did just fine but you could tell where Mia placed her ornaments. She’d put them all up in one spot, clustering them together. I decided not to move them, it was just too cute.

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christmas Collage6Two days before Christmas, Mia helped me bake cookies for Santa. We only made 2 kinds this year, sugar cookies and chocolate chip. In previous years, I’d make about 6+ different kinds of cookies to deliver to friends and family and would be baking for 2 days straight. I decided that last year would be the last for a while, it just became too stressful and pricey and rushed. This year, we were able to take our time and actually enjoy the process together. Mia is an excellent helper in the kitchen, too.

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Christmas Eve: Mia opened her first “Christmas Eve Gift”. This year, it only had a new pair of pajamas and a Christmas movie (Frosty the Snowman). I’ve seen super cute ideas on Pinterest of other gifts to add to this box, but she’s too young this time around. She doesn’t like hot chocolate yet (one of the items I’ll include in future years, along with a mug). Below, she’s wearing her new jammies while she steals some of Santa’s milk.

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She also snuck a few bites of his cookie.

DSC_0430Christmas Morning: Silence before Mia woke up at around 9:45am! She had totally forgotten about Christmas when she first awoke and asked me to read a few books to her before getting out of bed. When I asked her what special day it was, she guessed “School Day?” She was so excited when she discovered that Santa had come. She did a happy dance around the living room floor.

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But before opening any gifts, we had to run outside to see if Santa’s reindeer had eaten the “reindeer food” that Mia and Daddy Dom had prepared for them the night before. I put Dad in charge of that little activity with Mia and of course, he took it to a whole other level! Not only did he leave the food in a dish and some water in a bowl, but he drove to a friend’s ranch a few blocks away and gathered some actual horse poop to bring back and scatter around our driveway after Mia had gone to bed. I know, horse shit! But…you do silly things for your kids and she was pretty excited to see all of the proof that reindeer were actually here. She still talks about the Reindeer Poop, days later. No Christmas is complete without it, right???

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Now, we can open gifts.

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Last year, she needed assistance with opening her gifts. Not this year.

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And of course, after opening each present we HAD to take them out of their box so she could play with it immediately.christmas Collage2

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The photo below (right) is of Mia holding her smallest gift: A bell from Santa’s sleigh. I mentioned above that she loved the movie, Polar Express, this year. If you’ve seen it, then this gift makes sense. She loves her new bell from Santa.

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christmas Collage1This train set (from IKEA) is probably her most favorite gift of them all. After opening it, she didn’t want to open any other of her gifts because she just wanted to play with the train.

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What we didn’t notice until all of the toys were scattered across the floor was that it looked as though a little boy had opened his gifts along with us. Mia does have a girly side (she likes shiny/glitter shoes, tiaras and princess dresses) but she’s so into “boy toys” like the dump truck she got and firetrucks, monster trucks, trains and cars. Later in the evening, she got an actual camera (kid version) that even has a display screen and can be connected to the computer to download her photos (she loves this gift), she got Dusty Crophopper from her favorite Airplane movie, lots of great books, a rug with images of streets and grass and trees so she can drive her cars around and she got a few monster trucks.

That night, Dominic and I had hosted Christmas Dinner for 10…which of course, I didn’t get a single picture of. It all went so smoothly and all of the food was delicious. I wish I had taken pictures of the homemade Chocolate Bundt Cake and the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake I made (both for the first time). I also made corn pudding, creamed corn and a Balsamic Almond Green Bean Dish (all made for the first time, too). Dominic baked a turkey and his sister brought a Broccoli casserole/souffle and Potatoes Au Gratin. So yum! I also made an assortment of appetizers: Bruschetta, hot Spinach-Artichoke dip, cheese and crackers and olives.

Whew! What a lot of work was done to clean the house, plan for every dish, grocery shop, cook, bake and decorate…and all while being 6 months pregnant. I think I’ll give myself a big, fat pat on the back. Because of my fabulous list making, I was able to organize my time throughout each day to make sure things were done in a timely manner and to avoid any “last minute” anything and to avoid any extra stress and rush. I pulled it off. What impresses me even more is that I did it all with not that much notice that we’d even be hosting a dinner. This is something that my parents usually host at their house, but they’re moving and had to be out of their house just days after Christmas and were in no way capable of hosting this with most of their belongings in boxes. I’m just glad that we were able to take this on for them AND to have them both here for their last Christmas living here in California.

After our guests left, my brother and his girlfriend stuck around for a few drinks (not for me, of course) at our neighbor’s house. Mia stayed up with us and partied like a rock star…which probably explains why she didn’t wake up the next morning until 11:45am!!! Who does that??

And now, the slow clean-up process continues along with some much needed rest and relaxation. I hope everyone had their own amazing Christmas/holiday this year! I’m already looking forward to next year, when we’ll have 2 sweet little faces to surprise and fill with the holiday spirit.

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