2018 Holiday Advent Blog – Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2018 9:00pm
Tagged with:
  1. Look at the Christmas!
  2. Merry Plex-Mas!
  3. A Funko Pop Christmas
  4. The Great Hot Chocolate Quest
  5. The Gift of Water Safety
  6. It’s About Freakin’ Time…
  7. Mickey’s Very Merry Monorail Ride
  8. The ABCs of Christmas
  9. The Truth About Santa Claus
  10. Holiday Hospital
  11. Caroling a la Car
  12. Strike a Family Pose
  13. Once Upon a Christmastime at Christmas
  14. Dinner with Mickey & Friends
  15. At Home with the Animals…
  16. The Great Santa Wait!
  17. The Gift of Date Night
  18. You’d Better Watch Out…
  19. Glittery Porch Pirate Revenge
  20. How to Celebrate Without Going Crazy
  21. Best. Christmas Special(s). Ever.
  22. The Sevener Family Christmas Card
  23. More Family Christmas Pics…
  24. Putting the Band Back Together…

Christmas Day is here again.

All in all, I think we had a pretty good day. There were definitely some stressful moments, which probably should’ve been anticipated given our house with three toddlers and their tendency to fight over toys and whatnot, but there were also some really great moments where sharing surprised us, so that was nice!

It was definitely a real treat watching Christopher unwrap his brand new monorail because that kid has been looking forward to that thing all year long. We actually talked about whether to make it wait until last, but I just couldn’t do that to him after how much he’s been anticipating it, and to be honest – the kid was on cloud nine the second he started tearing the paper away…

The monorail was definitely the toy of the year for 2018 and hopefully it’ll stand up to being fought over for many months to come.

Otherwise, we just kind of hung out around the house all day with no particular place to go, so it was a nice bout of family time that we all probably needed.

With any luck, maybe next year’s festivities will be marginally less stressful, but thankfully we’ve got another 11 months at this point before we find out.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and be sure to have an extra piece of gingerbread for me!

I definitely get attached to things, but at the same time I try to remind myself that toys are made to be played with and that sometimes they’re going to get broken.

Granted, I don’t necessarily think that Hallmark created this set expressly as toys, but what can I say? When you’ve got a house full of toddlers, pretty much everything becomes a toy at one point or another…

So as much as it pains me to think that these fine musicians are probably going to get tossed in the trash once this Christmas season is over, knowing how much fun the kids have had playing with them … particularly Matthew, who was known to walk around with Donald’s dismembered torso in his mouth while it still tried to play music (?!) … well, I suppose in the end that’s all that really matters.

BEFORE

AFTER

(Donald Duck on guitar, Missing in Action; also Daisy’s head, Mickey’s nose, and both of Goofy’s arms)

We’ve been really terrible about getting these out this year, which is weird because we actually got them super early so that we’d have them before we went on vacation and everything.

At this rate, if they get in the mail by Presidents Day, I’m going to consider that a win…

The photos were taken, as pretty much all of our family photos have been, by Keli Gerber with Sweet Cheek Photography. She always seems to do a great job at capturing our boys in the moment, which works out good because while they’re all toddlers, the chances of them actually posing in unison for anything is slim to none!

I really loved the candid shots that she got this year of them playing with these very cool wooden Christmas cookies that my cousin makes for photography props … the corresponding milk bottle was an adorable touch. 😉

For me it would probably be a three-way tie between A Muppet Family Christmas, A Garfield Christmas, and Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Special, but nevertheless this review by PushingUpRoses provides a great retrospect into this nearly perfect holiday classic that I couldn’t agree more with!

The humor is top notch.

The huge cast, even including the Sesame Street gang and the Muppet Babies, is nostalgic beyond belief.

The Christmas medley at the end … literally leaves me in tears. 😀

And Jim Henson’s own cameo? Delightful, to say the least.

Celebrating the Many, Many Joys of Christmas

This is an essay I wrote today about struggling with not getting to do every last thing that you wanted to do for Christmas.

Things like putting up lights on the house make me sad when I miss them because I know how much the kids would love them, but sometimes you just need to put in perspective the things that you have done and not beat yourself up over the ones that you didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s tough. But Christmastime is way to much fun to spend it being down on yourself over a few strands of garland or some Christmas cards that everyone will have thrown in the trash in a month anyways…

We’ve been pretty lucky in that I’m not sure if we’ve ever had a package stolen off of our porch.

A few weeks ago I had a couple mis-delivered to a neighbor’s house, but they were very cool about it.

Fun Fact – When I was still living in my first apartment, I actually had a neighbor accuse me of stealing their packages because the FedEx guy had dropped them on my doorstep by mistake and I’d pulled them inside to take over to their house after work the next day! The lady left me like a page-long letter taped to my door about reporting me to the police and the building managers because they needed that package to take to her parents house that weekend.

Needless to say, I hope that stupid printer jammed whenever they tried to print anything that their Grinch of a daughter sent to them… 😯

Now that said … this video is still amazingly satisfying!

It’s by Mark Rober, who worked for NASA on the Mars rover, and he goes into incredible detail describing his engineering process before finally showing what this little payback device can do to someone who dares to steal from kids at Christmastime.

P.S. +1 for the fart spray 😉

Just some food for thought…

One last advent blog post from our vacation, and something that we were a healthy mixture of nervous and excited about, was the opportunity for us to enjoy a night out…

…without the kids…

It’s something that we’ve really only done a handful of times, always relying on family and sometimes even waiting until the kids were already in bed. We admittedly didn’t really know what to do about finding a sitter between having three rambunctious boys to deal with and then two of them being special needs on top of that.

But Sara ended up finding this local service called Doublemint which offers a variety of sitters who are trained to work with all sorts of children, and because they have people all around the state of Florida, it wasn’t really a big deal for one of their folks in Orlando to come to our hotel for the evening and watch the kids right in our room … which honestly was a nice bonus because we weren’t sure how they were going to take to it because they’ve never had a babysitter before.

And that said, apparently … they did awesome. 😀

We hired a sitter to watch the boys from 6pm – 10pm with the intent that we were only walking over to Jambo House for dinner at Jiko, so we’d be close if anything were to happen.

Well, it turns out that what happened was these kids were fast asleep before we even got dessert, with David even asking the sitter if he could go to bed!!!

I guess occasionally skipping naptime has its perks after all. 😉

So we had a wonderful, adult dinner – I had lobster tails, and I didn’t have to share a bite with anyone.

Afterwards we wandered around the grounds and checked out all of the savannah viewing areas at night, which actually ended up being pretty cool because we got a chance to try out night vision goggles to look out at the animals!

Then we did a little secret Christmas shopping, wandered back to Kidani and checked out the comparatively quiet savannah there, and that was that.

Date night is honestly something that has slipped quite a bit in our lives since becoming parents, and it’s weird because before we had kids Sara and I would go out to eat and see movies and spend late nights at the parks all of the time …  so needless to say we were both quite pleased with how easy Doublemint made sneaking out for a couple of hours, and hopefully in the new year it will be something that we can do for ourselves every few months to help keep the sanity by giving us a night away from the chaos!

So apparently Santa is a busy guy this time of year … have you ever waited six hours to see Santa?!?!?!

Woof!

After checking in to meet Santa sometime around 1pm, needless to say we did just about everything we could think of to kill time all afternoon while we waited.

We had lunch at the new Chicken Guy restaurant … which wasn’t bad.

We did some shopping, including buying Lego cars for Christopher and David … which was kind of fun to build to pass some time.

We went to the movies and watched Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas … or at least we tried to! I don’t know why I keep thinking that our kids are ready for the movies because they’re very much not… 😛

We even rode the train a couple of times … which is always a surprising favorite whenever we visit Disney Springs, even though it’s very much a 3rd party-operated ride and you have to pay money for it and everything.

But eventually … when the 7 o’clock hour finally rang … Santa sent us a text message announcing that he was finally prepared for our arrival!

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