Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas at Mimi and Poppop's

Christmas morning we inteneded to get up and have breakfast, showers and such and head over to Mimi and Poppop's by noon. Gus got Mommy up FOUR TIMES to eat in the night. Though Daddy slept blissfully unaware he didn't wake up until 11:07am. SO we had to rush around, no shower, no breakfast. Then when we got there I realized my camera was in the car over night and a bit no photos of gift opening. Once my camera warmed up we got a few.Mommy and Reese. He's distracted by the candy cane so no "CHEESE" with his eyes squeezed shut for the camera.Gus is tuckered out before we even have dinner.
Apparently Gus needed to catch up on his missed nighttime sleep--this is a totally separate nap from when Poppop had him.Reese sporting a Michael Jackson hat.Daddy and Gus
Reese's we seriously need a toy storage plan.Gus' loot.

Saturday we spent the day at home playing with new toys. At dinner time we headed over to Kyle's parents for leftovers from their Christmas Day dinner. They had smoked turkey and ham with their neighbors and Kyle's grandparents and had oodles left, so we stuffed ourselves one more time. Sunday Daddy got help from Poppop to fix some problems with our drywall in the living room--totally forgot to take pictures. It will require a repaint so we're changing from the chocolate brown we've had for 3 years to a new color. :( I really like the chocolate, but Kyle has been desperate to switch to a more washable paint since about 3 minutes after we finished the first time in 2006. We figure if we're going to the trouble to change we may as well go for the gusto. So expect photos later in the week of the paint project.

Christmas at the "Old Benza's"

Back when we were buying a new house, Kyle's parents were too. We both had stuff at the same storage place (they had ALL their household goods there, so many units). The first time the storage people met us they said "OH! You're the young Benza's!" She was quite embarrassed that this sort of implied his parents were the "OLD" Benza's but I thought it was pretty funny. So we went over to the old Benza's house about 2 pm Christmas Eve. We had some snacks, opened gifts and had a prime rib dinner.Reese patiently passed out gifts (guessing they were choos choos) and waited while everyone opened.He offered his over the top "CHEESE" face for a photo...gritted teeth and squeezed closed eyes.Gus played patiently in his portable exersaucer--Pop-a-Tot.Reese's highlight was his Remo Gathering Drum, Tom Tom floor drum and Bongos.Gus is tuckered out.Grandpa was storing his up.Reese and Daddy watching The Christmas Story.Reese's loot.Gus' loot. Great Grandma Joyce made that bear...don't you think she should open an Etsy store?!
Somehow we managed to get no decent photos of Granddad or Candy Gram and I just don't have the energy to fiddle with photoshop to try to fix the lighting right now. So rest assured they were there and so was I!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas at Home

On the morning of Christmas a mere 5 hours after completing the wrapping and building of toys we had Christmas at home. Gus got us up to eat and then started us off with the first present.
Gus with his sensory balls.
Then I got the video camera and woke up Reese...I figured if Gus was up we may as well get the show on the road.
Reese tried out his wagon from Grandpa Joe in Virginia.His "vroom vroom" like Poppop's was a big hit.He seems pretty happy with his Cars car mat/rug, but we don't think the pictures are very clear so we're going to exchange it fot the Hot Wheels car mat/rug.Gus got a glorified cat toy, made big enough for a human baby in his stocking. He also got a cool mirror thing for his car seat carrier and a black and white plastic bath book type thing that you can add photos to later.Reese got Cars in his stocking...the 4 hot rod cars: Snot Rod, Boost, DJ and Wingo. This is what he asked for when he sat on Santa's lap at Holly Ridge's Christmas party.I promise there were no biting animals hidden down in there.He ooed and aahhhed over every single Cars toy he got.....
and he got a ridiculous amount. I wish we had stock in Pixar.Gus really got into the unwrapping too.
He was pretty googly eyed over his "old skool" Fisher Price farm.
Reese just opened bath crayons, but can't put down his Spotlight Lorry from Thomas the Train. After this he guessed every package was going to be a choo choo.Reese loves his football. He frequently runs around the house yelling "hut, hut, hut" and then head butts me in the butt.He thinks these dinosaur puppets are funny, but he won't put his own hand inside. Hopefully he'll warm up to them. Still has the spotlight lorry in hand while opening something else he's excited about.Cars bedding!!!

Gus' loot.Reese's loot but I didn't round up the spotlight lorry and cherry picker from Thomas the Train or his 22 Cars or 2 Haulers. If you've been in a store selling toys you know what they look like. Then you saw the shared wagon and the 2 bean bags in the last post.
SO after what seemed like an eternity of unwrapping but what was really only about an hour we had a big hearty breakfast. Then Reese spent a couple of hours playing with his new toys while we got ready to spend Christmas Eve afternoon/evening with Kyle's parents.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa came to our house!!

Santa came to our house on Christmas Eve-Eve, so we can open his gifts Christmas Eve morning. Luckily Kyle had a last minute testing session scheduled at noon today, since he went in early he got off early. Also luckily, Reese failed to nap today. So Kyle and Reese watched Prep and Landing one last time before bed while I started wrapping. Then we realized the 2 things we needed to build were a lot more invlolved than we thought. So 1:30am we finished. Phew--good thing we didn't start at midnight:30 when Kyle normally gets home.
Reese put up the last of the Christmas Countdown Cookies (really it was for tomorrow, but we did one in the morning and one at night so he didn't realize we doubled up today.)Gus thought it was pretty exciting stuff.
Gus' stuff is on the right--the giraffe, a gift and then a blue ball...the rest is Reese's stuff. hmm...I think Santa got a little carried away since this is the first year Reese really "gets" it.Train table is from Mimi and Poppop---SOOO Happy we decided to build this Sunday and let him discover it Monday. Otherwise we'd have still been working when he woke up!!Stockings, notice mom and dad's are FLAT. The wagon is from Grandpa Joe in Virginia. We've had this since he visited at Thanksgiving but just decided to build it tonight because I thought we only had to add the handle---what a pain in the butt getting the tire end caps on. I am very excited about the Land of Nod bean bags. I know Gus will have no idea what it is, but I'm hoping Reese is excited. Reese got blue and Gus got brown.
Notice the trend in grandparents giving us the stuff to build? Blech! I think it may be worth the extra bucks to have toys r us build it for you! In fact my dad moaning about building my Barbie Dream House (at least a year or 2 after I got it) for my Christmas present was actually what confirmed my growing suspicions about Santa --I won't admit how ridiculously old I was.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Reese got a train table from Mimi and Poppop who so graciously brought it over in the box so we could put it together. UGH! The furniture portion went together in a jiffy but the tracks and the town pieces took forever!
Since we didn't really want to start building when Kyle cam home from work at 12:30AM and we have to go to Kyle's parents' house Christmas Eve and mine Christmas day we just built it Sunday night. Monday morning on his way from his room to ours he found his train table waiting and ready. Immediately I heard shouts, "Santa! Santa! Santa!" We told him Mimi and Poppop brought this over after he went to bed last night so he could go ahead and start playing today instead of waiting for Christmas. As Gus had me up twice I did not jump up to get the camera immediately. This is about an hour and 45 minutes later.
He played about 2 1/2 hours when we finally took a break to eat. Then he played some more! The tracks fit Thomas the Train, but it comes with 100 playing pieces of it's own including a train, boat, airplane, helicopter and landing pad, cars, trucks, a bus, fire house, police station, gas station, construction business and trucks, a crane, people, trees, street signs and even a park bench and basketball hoop! He loves it! and we like it WAY better than the Thomas the Train table or the Imaginarium one. Perhaps now we can focus on choosing books at Barnes and Noble instead of playing with the trains.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reindeer at Mimi's

We made a more cookies at Mimi's (snickerdoodles and reese's peanut butter cookies). While we were there we tried on the reindeer ears.

Both boys also took some rides on Maddie. Reese was pretty relentless in his pursuit of the dog. One missed photo op was Maddie in the reindeer ears with all of her dog toys piled up at her feet courtesy of Reese's insistence she play.

Everyone was tuckered out after this play date.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

All the Christmas cards are done--missed him this morning but the mailman will get the last of them tomorrow. All gifts are purchased....wrapping is in progress. All that's left is food. This week we are having:
MONDAY: quesadilla
TUESDAY: pulled chicken sandwiches with salad
WEDNESDAY: veggie spinach soup from the freezer (I made a quadruple batch) & garlic bread
THURSDAY: Christmas Eve at Kyle's parents-we are bringing spinach dip
FRIDAY: Christmas Day at mine-we are bringing stuffing and apple pie
* meat chili over sticky rice (we've been having red beans and quinoa chili all year, this may be the first meat chili of 2009!)
* eat out or with Kyle's grandparents before they head back home?

Need some menu help? Get some ideas here.

Poppop's Birthday

We went to our usual birthday place, El Sombrero, for Poppop's birthday.
The birthday boy and Reese

Daddy and Gus sipping lemonade.
Uncles Dylan and Travis
Daddy and Gus
Mimi and Uncle Dylan
Uncle Travis and Mommy