Thursday, January 15, 2015

North Pole Party

It's no secret that I love any reason for a party.  Birthdays? Party. Super Bowl? Party.  NFC Championship game? Party. Random Thursday and I feel like having a party? Party.  So when December rolled around and I finished up the candle light services and I had a second to plan, I knew I wanted to put together a little Christmas party. At first it was going to be a holiday potluck, but the ideas kept coming and I got more and more excited... And I transformed the reception room into the North Pole.  It was magical!  We've made a lot of new friends this year.  Through nursing support group, preschool, random hang outs at the park.  And we've formed a really fun group of friends.  There are about 6 families that get together and most of us have kids between 2 and 4 years old, and most of us also have a baby.  So we have lots of fun together and our kids have even more fun.  So I knew a Christmas party would be a blast.  Most of the parents wore ugly sweaters, and the kids all wore jammies.
I made two kinds of soup, salad, bread, jello, and mac n cheese for the kids. I made a couple desserts as well. 

The kids got to frost and decorate cookies.  I bought alphabet cookies from Trader Joe's and spelled each child's name out.  I got little paint trays in LA for sprinkle holders, and each kid had their own set. Each spot each had little cups of four colors of frosting as well. I love how this table turned out and the kids loved it as well.  And I felt that giving each kid their own set of everything contained germs too.  It was ok if they licked their fingers and knives because they weren't sharing anything.  I also had a craft table set up.  Strips of paper on a piece of wood to make a tree, pine cones and pom poms, and thumb print reindeer on pieces of mini tree branch stumps.  The moms got into the crafts too.


I also made a reindeer food bar.  This was a HUGE hit! Each kid got to make their own mix of food in a jar to sprinkle on their driveway for the deer on Christmas eve. Oats, Cocoa, cookie crumbs, confetti sprinkles, colored sugar, and white glitter sugar.  The amount of glitter and sprinkles we swept from the floor the next morning was astounding.

We also had north pole ring toss and a decked out roller coaster set up for the kids.

It was all so much fun.  The kids left with boxes of cookies.  The moms left with keepsake ornaments.  Everyone left with full stomachs and leftover desserts. I'm so excited about this tradition, and hope to keep it up every year even as our families evolve.  It was maybe my favorite part of the season.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

More of December. Part 2

During all the busyness of the month, we found time to make some crafts, decorate cookies, make gingerbread houses, sing Christmas songs and watch lots of Christmas movies.

We went to the Uptown Whittier Christmas Parade.  I have a picture of me and Addie at this parade from three years ago when she was three weeks old.  And look at her now!

 We mostly went to cheer for our little buddy Haylee and her cheer leading team.  She's Garrett's best friends big sis and if you ask Addie, they are BFF's even though Haylee is more that twice her age.
Garrett and his best friend, Ryan.  They wrestled on the ground for nearly the entire parade.

Right after the Parade was over, we headed to Irvine to go on the Christmas train and see Santa.

Addie was fighting back tears, Charlie was crying the whole time, and Garrett wouldn't look at him or smile.  And I still feel the need to do this every year.

We did lots of the overpriced activities to make up for making them see Santa.


We started a new tradition this year called Cocoa Jams Night.  It's where we all get in our pajamas and go to Starbucks for hot chocolate and then drive around looking at Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music.  I'm going to have this be the night every year where they get new Christmas jammies, instead of Christmas eve.  I've always saved the Christmas ones, but then come Christmas morning they're old news.

Garrett had a Christmas party at school.  It was a formal pizza party and I went and helped.  Garrett looked so handsome.  They did a book gift exchange.

He was so excited to give his teacher her gift.  He made her open it before he left.  It was a Target gift card, but the card had a tree on top of a car and a button to push that made lights blink on the gift card.  He loved it so much that Santa put one in each of their stockings with $5.00 on it, but they have no interest in spending them. 
Me and the kids also made a quick trip to Downtown Disney a couple days before Christmas to get some Lego's for a gift I wanted to put together, but I never got around to it.  That's when Garrett told me he wishes he could have a Lego birthday party, so we'll see if that lasts till September.

And along with all of this fun, we had Mommy and Me preschool, tumbling, Fridays at the farmers market and park with friends.  Paul's Lion's club party...  I'm learning as life gets busier that it's impossible to document everything.  But I need to try and keep up as much as I can because it's crazy how quickly I forget things.  Up next will be our North Pole Party, Christmas Eve and Christmas.  Resolutions... New Years... Things in November I forgot about...  ZZzzzzz