In our family, one holiday comes right after the other. As my sister-in-law said, we celebrate Thanksgiving one day, take a day to catch our breath and switch out the gourds for a tree, and then it’s Christmas. Well, at least it was this year – Santa Claus made his first delivery on Saturday, and he’ll be coming again for a much smaller celebration on the 24th. Yes, the 24th – Sean will be working on Christmas Day, so Santa is making another exception for us.
All three cousins had a happy reunion. Before Elsa arrived, I worried that the boys might be a bit too rough for her. While there were many wrestling bouts, and hugs that led to tackles – and a few unsanctioned neck grabs by Jonas – Elsa can hold her own. She initiated the game of taking a flying leap through the new playhouse/fire station window, after all.
More pics after the jump!
All of the kids competed to see who could survive on the least amount of food consumed. That’s why all three of them are tiny fair-haired moppets. My sister-in-law and I traded tips on how to get them to eat, from letting them eat on the go to making smiley-face food to trying to (gently, of course) force feed them. Honestly, none of our strategies are that successful – if they want to eat, they eat; if they don’t, they don’t. This weekend, the kids lived on air, nibbles of bread products, kisses from their great-grandmother, and playing chase.
Here they are, not eating, and playing Ring Around the Rosy. Axel took care of singing, and fell down at the end; the other two haven’t quite gotten the All Fall Down part yet. At the end of the song, they stood, grinned, and clapped, and Jonas chanted, “Mo mo mo!”
More cuteness, please!
On Thursday, we feasted on cranberry applesauce and mashed potatoes. The kids colored on the paper-covered table, which was a nice diversion (and a new tradition) to keep the non-eaters distracted while those of us who appreciate the eating part of Thanksgiving finished our meals.
Elsa wore a beautiful dress, and posed for angelic Christmas angel shots, making me consider, yet again, making flower-filled tutus and barrettes for the boys. Since they’d probably wear the tutus to go hunting for squirrels with the dog, I’ll probably skip that, and instead plaster our refrigerator with pictures of Elsa. Before the wrestling match.
On Saturday, we opened presents. Axel and Jonas got a new train set from their grandparents, complete with two levels of bridges. My brother the engineer created an intricate loop of train tracks that went in and out, up and down, over the river and through the imaginary woods.
Axel was so impressed that, Sunday morning, while my brother and his family and my grandmother were all on flights back home, he insisted that I build a train set just like Uncle Karsten. Since my train set building skills only extend to fitting piece A into hole B, my attempt was deemed a failure.
Oh well. At least we have the pictures of the perfect train, as it was being built.
The long weekend made me incredibly thankful for my wonderful family, for my husband’s delicious bacon-wrapped pork loin and apple pie and my sister-in-law’s tapas feast, for my grandmother getting to spend time with her great-grandchildren, for the three children who adore playing with each other — and a little bit sad that Elsa lives halfway across the country. So, we’re planning a trip to go visit her soon. By then, I’ve no doubt she will have brushed up on her wrestling skills, and she’ll be a formidable opponent in the 20lb weight class.
And now, on to Christmas shopping for the boys. Maybe a wrestling mat, or their own personal transportation planner/train building partner, or vitamins that supply a day’s worth of calories.