A Visit From Santa...FOR REAL

9:59 PM Posted by Natalie

So it's been awhile since I've blogged....or even entered a giveaway for that matter, so you KNOW it's been seriously busy around here, LOL! Christmas has been a whirlwind of comings and goings, family, food, wrapping paper, kid mischief, dog peeing on the Christmas tree (twice), and general holiday chaos. Sit back and grab some cookies and milk....

Christmas Eve was spent at my dad's house. We had a wonderful time! The food was AWESOME (who knew Aldi's ham was so delicious?!?!) and, of course, the kids loved opening presents. Shaun and I made out pretty good ourselves....I got a DARLING beret and matching scarf that my stepmom crocheted and Shaun got a Harley Davidson mug with flames that turn bright orange when you put hot coffee in it, plus we both got a little Christmas cash. We got home late that night and didn't get the kids into bed until almost 10:00. Shaun and I were up wrapping and assembling until about 2:00 a.m.

We hadn't set the alarm because we thought the kids would surely be up at the crack of dawn anxious to open their presents, but they fooled us and Alec didn't come in to get us until 7:48. YIKES!!! We had to open presents, eat breakfast, and get everyone off to church for the 10:00 Mass. By the grace of God, we got there just in time. We had told everyone a long time ago that after the move, we weren't going to want to run all over town on Christmas and they would just have to come here. Shaun smoked a turkey breast and my sister, mom, and stepdad came over with my grandma and uncle joining us later. It all turned out very well.

Friday night, my brother John, sister-in-law Carmela, and their 4 girls got into town from Colorado. They were staying at my mom's, so Saturday afternoon we went over there to visit with all of them and give the kids their gifts. The kids all had a blast together and Shaun and I were determined that we would get the kids home and into bed on time for the first time pretty much the whole week. As we were gearing up to leave, my brother came down from upstairs and said, "Mom, I think we've discovered a felony." Uh oh.

The kids had been playing upstairs a lot that evening, and I thought that maybe someone had broken something. No, that wasn't it. Apparently, some unidentified children had decided to display their artistic abilities ALL OVER my mom's walls! Upon further investigation, my niece Juliana, who is just 6 months older than Lauren, confessed that she and Lauren were the perpetrators. So, John, Carmela, Shaun, and I went upstairs to assess the damage and try to get it off the walls. It wouldn't have been so bad except that one of the girls was armed with a pencil and one had a PEN. (I think Lauren had the pen.) John had initially asked my mom if she had some of the paint left and suggested it might be easier just to paint over it. She wasn't fond of that idea, but only had one Magic Eraser (God's gift to parents) which I pulverized getting one of the masterpieces off the wall on the landing. Grams said she had some at home, so we had to wait for mom to take grandma home and get the erasers and bring them back. After scrubbing with those, alcohol, hairspray, whatever we could get our hands on, mom finally broke out the paint. Ummm.... So, needless to say, our brilliant plan for getting home earlier and getting the sleep-deprived, over-stimulated children to bed went right out the window.

Sunday was a calmer day. After Mass, my sister and I decided to take Alec and Joey to Denny's, something we hadn't done in a long time. We had no idea we were going to be bombarded with heavy questions like what a "modern Catholic" is and how babies get in your belly. OY!

And then there was today....

It all began fine enough. We got out of bed, I made the kids some cinnamon rolls, and we got to work around the house rather promptly. My dad came over around 10:00 to help Shaun work on Joey's room and I cleaned the house. After lunch, Alec started coloring and Lauren wanted to join in. Okay. I had forgotten that in the bucket of crayons was a child's scissors. Yep. I was looking something up on the computer when Alec yelled that Lauren was trying to cut his paper with the scissors. Sometimes I can be so dense. I said, "Take them from her and put them up!" Alec is 5. A few minutes later, I went into the kitchen, put something in the trash, then turned around and noticed that Lauren was covered in hair. HER HAIR!!! That's right, she gave herself a haircut, a half mullet no less. All the while Alec had been sitting right next to her and had not said a word. AHHH!!!! Why didn't I do the parental thing and go get the scissors from her myself 5 minutes ago?!?! Why had I trusted a 5 year old to do what I should have done? Don't I learn? I mean, especially after 5 other children apparently didn't notice the two partners in crime scribbling all over the walls at my mom's? I can chuckle about it a little now, but I was really upset at the time. Lauren had a baby mullet for a long time because the sides of her hair grew so much slower than the back. FINALLY her hair had caught up and now she had to go cut half of one side off! There's really no fixing it, I will just have to wait until it grows enough to go get it evened out. Would you like to see her new do?

See where it's all hacked off on that side? Cute, huh? Ah, my daughter, the artiste.

So that brings us to this evening and the visit from Santa. I had felt bad that we hadn't gotten the kids to see Santa this year. With the move, the week of sickness, and trying to get everything done for Christmas, we just plain ran out of time. We did the best we could and just couldn't make it happen. Although, the kids did not seem to really notice. No one bugged us about it or asked why they hadn't gone to see Santa. Well, this evening, Shaun's dad and stepmom came for their after-Christmas visit. I had no idea that his stepmom's sister was coming, too. And her husband, Dave. Dave is a big man with a white beard. I hadn't thought too much about it until he rang the door bell and I let him in. Kyle and the others had come to the door by that time to see who was here, and I swear the first words out of Kyle's mouth were, "It's Santa!" And so it was. I really think they believed that's who he was, and Dave played the part like a pro (of course, he gets this all the time). Now, how could seeing Santa at the mall possibly be better than Santa coming to YOUR house for pizza?!?! Kyle was right up in the chair next to him while we ate. Alec asked me almost frantically, "Mom, where is my picture for Santa?" A little while back, Alec drew a picture of Santa. Thank God I saved it and put it in the drawer with all their coloring books and stuff. I found it in the drawer and he gave it to "Santa". The whole thing was the cutest thing I think I have ever witnessed. Thanks, Dave, for making this an extra special day! Here are a few pictures....

So that was our Christmas in a nutshell. Oh yeah, Rex peed on the Christmas tree today, too. Twice. I think maybe he got overly excited. We had had 3 little girls from a couple of houses down come up today. I looked out the window in the basement at one point and saw the boys trotting through the yard with 3 new girls running right behind them. I just started laughing....my boys, the studs! Anyway, they had been in the house, then the company came, then the girls came to the door again with their mom who came bearing brownies (have I mentioned I love this place?). I guess it was just too much. Either that, or Rex had finally realized there was one tree left here that he hadn't peed on yet....