Monday, December 23, 2013

Santa and more

Santa was visited in Columbus but we still planned on our usual routine--Somerset mall for photos.  If you want to see how crazy it is trying to see Santa, come take a visit at Somerset.  Hands down one of the nicest malls in the area with the "cheap" side toting Nordstrom and Macys and the "expensive" side across the street bringing Saks and Neiman Marcus to the table, it's on the fancier shmancier side of malls. And every year you'd think we're trying to visit the pope versus Santa Clause.  If you don't get in line prior to the 8am open time, you're screwed.  And even then you may not get a reservation that day. No Santa for you.

But last year we got lucky.  A mere few days prior to Christmas we strolled in around 10am and got right in.  I practically passed out from shock. So silly me believed this year would follow suit.  Both girls slept until the glorious time of 820am, we ate a leisurely breakfast, got dressed, and headed out.  Arrived at 10am.  Elf informed us, in her best you-guys-are-complete-and-utter-idiots voice that no, no you will not be seeing Mr. Clause today. was booked right up until the 9pm close.  Now let me remind you...Santa doesn't show up until 8am.  Elf told us that by 6am, a line was wrapped around the place.


But then a light bulb went off in Kris' head.  Bass Pro.

Let's back up.  A few months ago a coworker talked this place up. Said he takes his kids there to play, it's a blast, yada yada. The complete opposite of country this coworker is, I was intrigued.  So we went.  And it was a blast.  Bass Pro has river with ducks (real, live ducks), a HUGE fish tank, kid activities like coloring and letter writing to Santa, boats to pretend play joke, we were probably there an entire hour and could have stayed longer.  During the visit we were able to see the North Pole that was ready to roll that weekend.  That stuck in Kris' head so, eh, let's give it a try we decided.  Because who goes to Bass Pro to see Santa.

Well apparently a lot of people but not Somerset style. 30 minutes in line later (rather than 30 years) and we were with the big guy.  No way was Parker going to sit on his lap, but she did inform him that she would like a dog for Christmas.  Well I sure hope that Trikie the skateboarding dog will do because in no way, shape or form do I want another live dog in this house!

After we got back home I looked through the pics and thought awwww, so cute.  It wasn't until later that I noticed our furry friend in the background, giving the picture that classic, country quality you just cannot find at Somerset.

I practically pee myself with laughter every time I look at this picture. 

hill(like hillbilly).arious. Perhaps we found a new family tradition?!


This would be better if we were all decked out in camo with deer antler headbands.  There's always next year.
And other random happenings:

Mommy-daughter date.  Our first mani together.  I see many more pampered evenings in our future.


Tree farm, check. Flimsy saw, check.  Three year old asking at every tree if that's the one we were taking home, check.

Silly Parker.

Found it! Perfect size for the living room.  Fills the space just enough to allow Kris to still work on the fireplace.

 Ahhh, sisters.  Don't mind the luggage explosion in the background.  Like I said in the previous post, we were basically living out of suitcases for close to three weeks.  And see those heart shoes on Parker? Also lived in.  So much so that the first night we bought them Parker literally cuddled them as she fell asleep.  Now that's shoe dedication.

 Before and after.  Handy husband to the rescue again! Great job hun.  Now, according to Parker, Santa is able to come to our house because Daddy fixed the fireplace.

Our first flat screen, still kicking since 2005.  A gift from my parents when flat screens were the new thing to hit the electronic world.  

 Great Wolf Lodge again.  Every night they put on a show and story time.  Wylie the Wolf even showed up.

 Teagan high-fived him. Parker steered clear.

 Just imagine every last tree, exhibit, etc covered in lights just like this.  It was breathtaking.  Add this to the S annual Christmas tradition list for sure.

That's a wrap.  Looking forward to Sparkles the Elf bringing us our Christmas Eve PJs and Christmas movies in the morning and spending the day being lazy.  Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Oh my, has it been a while!

Have we been on the go or what since Thanksgiving.  From Illinois, to Columbus then East Liverpool for my Gram's funeral, to Parker's dance recital, then back to C-bus a mere week later to celebrate Christmas with my parents, it's been hectic. Good yes, sad yes, and hectic yes yes yes.

So here we go:

Sparkles the Elf has been getting into some mischief, as required:

Putting those stale Rice Krispies to good use. 

Pinned it, did it.  Spread Cool Whip on a baking sheet, throw in the freezer, cut out shapes, top it on hot chocolate.  I asked Parker to show me her shape:

Shape, Parker! Not shake!

Classic miscommunication but we figured it out.

End result.  As delicious as it looks but tricky to work with. Cool Whip doesn't necessarily freeze that well but it worked.

More pins brought to life.  Simple as can be--gluing cotton balls to make Santa's beard--but loads of fun. If you look into the background you'll see Kris' current project which was finished today--bringing our 90s fireplace into the now.

Turkey Day in Illinois with Kris' side of the family.

Seriously, how cute are these three riding on their toys?

About as good as it gets when trying to get five kiddos to pose for a picture. 

Slumber party! Such a blast hanging out with movies and popcorn.

Twinsies! Same pose, same shirt, (practically) same age.  Love these two. 

I cannot tell you how many laps around the house Parker made with C in tow.
While a very sad time for my Grandma's funeral, it was so nice to see all of my family. Miles are between us but you could never tell from these pics.

My lovely ladies.

Teagan doesn't like many people to hold her, but Aunt Sandy made the cut.

Teagan is on the move. The most preferred way of getting from point A to point B is exhibited below.

T has taken a couple steps here and there but nothing like the night of Parker's Christmas Spectacular  weekend.  Both nights, the rehearsal and the actual recital, Teagan took not one, not two, but five to six steps...and multiple times at that! And so the sibling rivalry starts.  Not to be upstaged on Parker's big night, T brings her A game. 

The recital was perfect, one of the best moments of my parenting life.  Seeing my little girl on that stage, dancing away, brought the biggest smile to my face.  Stage fright was non-existent but following her teacher step by step was on full force.  During the rehearsal Parker didn't notice me in the audience but she sure did during the recital. So much so that she waved.  ::heart melts::

My parents had planned to cheer Parker on since the day we enrolled her in dance so imagine my fear as the biggest snow storm of the season hit on her big day.  What should have been a 3 1/2 hour trek turned into 6 hours but they made it.  I'm so happy they were able to see their granddaughter and Parker was over the moon ecstatic.

Cannot wait for our DVD of the show to arrive late January.  I'm particularly looking forward to the finale where all 100+ dancers come out, do a little number, then sit down.  Well, all sit down except Parker until a teacher helps her down :)

Get it girl!

Curling hair, applying makeup, watching Sophia the First. Does it get any better than this??

I feel like we're in trouble with a grin like that.

After the show.  Pap, Nana, and flowers.  Of course she's on cloud nine.
People tell you the basics of parenting.  Like how to burp a baby, what to do when they have a fever, the magical powers of the swaddle.  What they don't tell you is that it takes a small army and an unbelievable amount of time to prepare children to play in the snow.  Snowpants, boots, coat, hat, gloves (how HOW do you get gloves to stay on a toddler??), then you can finally enjoy the freezing cold and snow that is winter. 

The maddest Teagan has ever looked.

I can't move my arms!!

It's not the season without a little baking and batter lickin, but that goes without saying. Sugar cookies were on the agenda this day.  Up tomorrow: Buckeyes.

Sharing! But don't be fooled, it doesn't always go down like this. 

Parker decorated, Teagan ate.  Ahhh, poor second child.  I don't think the sweet goodness of a cookie ever hit Parker's lips until well into her 2s.  But at least the cookies are homemade and I know what's in them (if that makes it any better).  Plus Teagan eats nothing so this had to be better than that.

Great Wolf Lodge! Love, obsessed, wanttolivethereforever, going back soon! Everything there is perfect.  I'm really super grossed out by hotel rooms but I felt completely at ease in this one.  You have no need to leave the resort so we didn't.  Not only do you have the waterpark, but you have restaurants. a kiddie salon, coffee and ice cream shops. etc. We're booking this week for either a  March or April family getaway.

Chillin.  84 degree air and water made for a comfortable time.

Pre-meltdown.  And it was epic.  Whoever coined "terrible twos" clearly did not have a three year old.   

Kid Cabin Suite.  See those logs? That's an entire room just for the wee ones.  Bunk beds, flat screen TV, total awesomeness.  Will definitely be going with this same room.

That's not even the half of it.  It keeps going all the way back.  And the middle of the Parker meltdown in the corner. 

It was a really long 20 minutes from meltdown to cool down but we're good now.

Making GREAT time home!

More to come hopefully tomorrow--like the great S family adventure of sawing down our Christmas tree Clark Griswold style, the incredibly amazing Columbus zoo lights, before and afters of the fireplace, pre-Christmas celebrations with my parents, and our ridiculous experience taking the girls to see Santa today.  Let's just say it involved camo and stuffed animals (and not the cute cuddly kind).

Happy almost Christmas!