This year marked the triumphant return to Christmas in Minnesota! Last year we had to skip the trip since I was something like 80 weeks pregnant with Aurelia during the holidays. Turned out the skipped trip was a good thing since D ended up with a nasty stomach bug over Christmas! But this year we were all relatively healthy and no one was in fear of giving birth at 30,000 feet. Yay! So, off we went!
Aurelia and Dash in the play area at the airport, ready for their flight!
Aurelia had been experiencing some issues sleeping prior to the trip, so we were a bit worried about how she'd do, especially the night we stayed at my aunt Diane's house. Aurelia and Dashiell share a room at her house, but I didn't want either of them waking the other one up. Turns out we were right to be concerned! First off, Aurelia didn't want to fall asleep so D ended up staying awake later than he normally does. Then once we got both of them to sleep, Aurelia woke up at 2 am crying. And crying. So we moved her into our room. And she still cried. So we moved her into bed with me, and moved Rick to the couch. She seemed quite comfy the next morning:
We were happy to get to my parents' house the next day, where she and Dashiell could have separate rooms. From that point on 'Reels did just fine at night, whew!
Our trips to Minnesota are always fun, but especially at Christmas! We had a great visit over at my sister Terri's house, and had an awesome walleye dinner (we don't get walleye on the east coast! Lobster yes, but no walleye). Dashiell got to ride on a snowmobile with Rick and he loved it, of course. We had hoped to get into the hot tub but ran out of time before having to bring the kiddos back to their beds. Hot tubbing outside in cold weather is the best! Some day we won't have to worry so much about consistent bed times and we'll enjoy a hot tub filled evening once again!
Auntie Lisa and Ami hanging with the girl!
Oooh Mountain Dew? It's green - it must be good!
I had to include this example of our fine parenting. Dashiell was drawing pictures of his favorite foods for Grandma and Grandpa. From left to right, we have scrambled eggs, a pair, an apple, and a peach. Yes, the square thing is a peach. D is so used to eating those peach cups instead of fresh peaches that he seems to think all peaches are square. Strong work, mom and dad...
Christmas eve is our family's big celebration. That's when everyone gets together to exchange all of the gifts we give to each other. Normally gift-giving happens right after dinner, but since Aurelia has a pretty early bedtime we decided to feed the kids early, snack prior to and during gifts, then have dinner after the kiddos went to sleep. This is a sample of our snack spread:
Aurelia really enjoyed her dinner of beans and rice. Mostly she enjoyed putting it in her hair and all over her face.
She also loved the salsa:
Lots of gifts were exchanged.
Including this cute headband/ear warmer a friend of mine from high school made:
Mid-gift giving and it looks like Aurelia is ready to call it a night!
But Rick helps her and Dashiell rally for just a little longer!
Christmas morning was pretty chill. Dashiell got his wind-up robots, Aurelia got her Hello Kitty doll, and Santa gave them a couple of other gifts that he thought they'd enjoy, too. D was pretty excited that Santa made it to Grandma and Grandpa's house.
One of the gift Rick and I got for Dashiell was a rock excavation kit. He loved the dinosaur excavation kit he did a couple of months ago, and he loves collecting rocks, so it was a no-brainer that he'd enjoy this, too. Except that there were only six very small, kind of disappointing rocks to excavate. But it did come with a little chart that you could compare your rocks to and figure out what you unearthed! That made it slightly more exciting.
Excavating - oooh...
Mom and I have a tradition from way back of completing a puzzle on Christmas day. In the past few years we've had to forgo this tradition since we had made it a habit to fly back to Boston on Christmas. This year we decided to stay longer, so the puzzle made a comeback! Mom dug up the puzzle I had made for her for Dashiell's first Christmas, and it was so much harder than it looks! Only 250 pieces, but it seriously took us over 2 hours to complete. Who knew it would be so hard??
Completed puzzle - finally!
A few more random pictures from our trip, then I'm done, I promise!
Grandpa showing off his new hair (convincing, no?)
Aurelia playing with the trains at the Headwater's Science Center
Dashiell, Aurelia and Rick enjoying the kinetic sculpture at the Science Center
I think Dashiell would have stayed there all day if we let him!
Auntie Lisa loves her some 'Reels!
Aurelia loving the attention from Ami and Marlee
The trip home was long, but we made it! This picture pretty much sums up how we all felt after a long day of travel:
Tired, loopy, and wanting to bust out of the airport!
Merry Christmas, everyone!