Merry Christmas from the Rea Family!
Each year the kids get older Christmas becomes more and more exciting. I couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to see the excitement on Max’s face when he saw what Santa (and Mommy & Daddy) had brought.
Train Ride & School Concert
Before Christmas could come, there were holiday activities to be done. I was on top of things this year, so I was able to log on at exactly the right time and get tickets to the Niles Christmas train. This steam train is a favorite of ours and at Christmas it was simply magical. They did a really good job with decorating the cars, pictures do not do it justice. The kids enjoyed the hot chocolate and cookies and Mom and Dad enjoyed the ride until the sugar kicked in and the kids went crazy. Note to self, sugar on the ride back not out.
It was also time for the annual holiday concert at school. This year Jesse was too young to participate this year (only infants and 2+) but Max's class was included. This year he is a Bumblebee.
This year we were traveling on Christmas day, so we pretended that the 24th was Christmas. At 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 the kids didn't know any different. (Though I was told that it wasn't Christmas because there was no snow on the ground.) The night before we set out cookies, milk, and carrots for Santa and his reindeer. Of course they loved them.
The leftovers and a thank you note.
Christmas "day" Eve
Another big item of the year was a Spiderman watch, which was the only thing he wanted from Santa and now chooses not to wear it. “Saving it for later,” he says. I think he’s scared to wear it that it may get lost or messed up.
Other hot items included play food including cupcakes and a toaster for Jesse, puzzles and a Bucky pirate ship for Max, and a Space ship for the two of them. Max picked out a ball for Jesse when we were at Disney and Jesse got Max a new Curious George book (with some help). Mommy got some new food coloring (Chef Master), socks, and an aero press with coffee and a grinder. Daddy got a yard stick, avocado oil, almond oil, and a fit belt. Hey, coming up with gifts for each other is hard! And yes, the yard stick was Jeremy's favorite gift.
Mommy, Daddy, and Santa weren't the only ones brining gifts on Christmas day. Since we wouldn't be seeing Grandma and Papa for another few weeks, their gifts arrived on Christmas day too. Max was pretty excited about his new "fire" Big Wheel, which he took on a nearly 2 mile ride today, and Jesse loves his own little Dyson vacuum. They also both love this little truck that you can assemble/disassemble with a toy cordless drill.
After a long day of presents, the boys crashed out hard. So hard that I couldn't bare to wake them up to go to midnight mass. Though I appreciate more than I can express Jeremy's willingness to do so.
Christmas day we awoke early and headed to the airport. It was time to fly to Ohio to see Grandma and Grandpa Rea and surprise them! For the last few months we had been telling them that we were coming to visit on the 26th, but we informed the cousins and Jeremy's brother of our real plans, which were to surprise them at Christmas night dinner with the whole family.
The flight was uneventful but long. I brought a few small gifts for them to unwrap to keep them occupied: barrel of monkeys for Jesse and a card game and magnetic play set for Max. Jeremy's cousin, Bethany, was nice enough to pick us up from the airport and we made it to Jeremy's aunts house just 15 minutes after everyone else had arrived. A knock on the door and a bit of waiting finally revealed the surprise...
After the insanity of Christmas we spent the next 4 days laying around Grandma and Grandpa's house in the middle of nowhere. Really, it's not close to much and you're lucky to get some, slow, internet. But after a very hectic Thanksgiving/Christmas season, that's just what we needed.
Of course there were more presents to be opened too: spiderman pj's, underwear, and every other type of shirt/pants/clothes you can imagine, more play food: pizza and breakfast basket, spiderman Duplo's for both, big spiderman book which Max loves, coloring books, and an awesome mask/cape set with 4 superhero's. Max loves to be superman with spiderman clothes on.
There were many adventures had during the week, including riding the Ranger utility vehicle, playing on Grandpa's big tractors, and going skiing with Mommy!
I'd been wanting to take Max skiing this year, trying to figure out how to make it happen near Tahoe without breaking the bank (ha), and about a day into the trip it dawned on me that any little ski area in Ohio would be perfect. Turned out there was one about 1.5 hrs away that had a ski school and a 5 run sledding hill. Max's cousin Zaly and her mom, Angela, joined us for the fun.
The ski school was supposed to run from 9 - 1, but the kids weren't really thrilled with the idea and both were too scared to ski without us. Fortunately we had been watching on/off for the first hour and I soon saw they weren't having fun. Max agreed to try skiing with me and we did 4 beginner runs. I could tell he was starting to have fun, but 2 1/2 hours is along time for a first try and they were both ready to go in. Max told me he had fun but would ski more next time. He was done for the day.
We had a great trip to Ohio and it was nice to un-connect and unwind for a while.