Christmas festivities have come and gone, so it's high time for a report, dontcha think?
Christmas Eve: First, I made taco soup, getting back to my "put something in a crock pot on Christmas Eve" roots. Then we did a little tiny bit of last minute shopping, getting in and out in about 45 minutes. We also took another professional shot of Baby J, making good use of our free sittings card. Later, our friends invited us to go with their family to see the Festival of the Lights at the local county park, something we've been meaning to hit ever since we moved here. We all bundled into one mini-van and crawled slowly through what seemed like miles of elaborate and impressive light displays, covering everything from dolphins and flamingos to the north wind to tin soldiers to a golfing Santa. Baby J was most enthusiastic, sitting on my lap in the front seat (did I mention we were basically idling around the park?), squealing "ooh-OOOOH!" at every turn. Highlights included the huge communal fire pits for making s'mores and the merry-go-round, though J was less than sure what was supposed to be fun about whirling around feeling quite insecure on some slippery animal. After almost getting a ticket for trying to make a legal left turn in front of a very cross, apparently teen-aged patrolman (who didn't think that he might want to ticket us for the baby on my lap in the front seat and instead was adamant that we not turn left and get to our car with the car seat just 50 yards away and instead driver farther with the baby in this state), we made it home safely and put Baby J to bed. Christmas Eve was also the last day of gifts from our secret santas, who are secret no more and left us a yummy breakfast casserole with eggs and cheese and sausage for the next morning. Finally, we decorated our heretofore undecorated tree (it had lights but nothing else, to minimize temptations) and put out the presents. The husband also assembled Baby J's kitchen, which took more time and effort than either of us had anticipated, surprise, surprise!
Christmas Day: J woke up much, much too early, and we cajoled him into sleeping a bit longer, then gave in and accepted the hour. He was delighted with his kitchen sets and must have opened and closed the microwave door 500 times that day. He stayed in his holiday pajamas from his grandparents long enough to get some pictures, but then we had to put him in shorts since it was 78 degrees, and he was sweating. The big hit of the presents, predictably, turned out to be the slinkys from the dollar store (I later went out and bought him a dozen more to replace them as needed). After much present opening and great gifts from the grandparents/parents (including a food dehydrator and a sewing machine for me, yay, and clothes and cash and books for the husband, also yay) and talking with our families on Skype, we went to out friends' house for dinner, at which there was an inordinate amount of food, including a 22 pound turkey for 5 adults, loads of sides and desserts so that everyone was satisfied, and lots of time to savor everything. J was a little out of sorts because he managed to truncate or circumvent his naps all day, but he eventually recovered after we got home that evening.
The Day after Christmas: We took it easy in the the morning, and then we hit the mall briefly to look for some boots for me (my boots barely fit post-pregnancy and now seemingly permanent foot swelling, so I need some new ones for England), and were successful without getting completely annoyed with the hordes of people. J loves the mall because he's enamored with the fountains and balloons, both of which were in abundance. We also took down our tree, which had been decorated for less than 48 hours, and took the tree outside, since the pine needles were becoming more and more attractive to Baby J.
The Day after the Day after Christmas: I headed out to look for some decorations for Baby J's upcoming first birthday party (no rest for the weary!) while the baby and the husband napped. Then we all headed downtown to King Street, ate Indian food (Baby J loved the tandoori chicken and naan, so he really is our child), gawked in the Apple store, and visited a few boutiques just for fun. The rest of the day we chilled out and watching the baby play with all his kitchen gear ad infinitum.
In (not so) short, it was a fabulous holiday, here by ourselves, and though we missed our families, we had fun with our own little family of three!