Dashiell and Danny deep in conversation on Christmas day
Aurelia is now also very fond of him (just this morning she randomly asked, "whe-ah Deenny?", though I do think she might consider "Deenny" to be both Danny and Elizabeth, since it's too hard to say " Danny and Elizabeth"), however she has yet to pick her favorite person in the whole world. She's still young.
Anyway, the celebrations all started on Saturday the 21st, the first full day that Elizabeth and Danny were in town. The Hansons (aka Rick's parents) had all of their children, children's spouses, grandkids, and one granddog over for dinner. It was so fun to see everyone together! There were a billion pictures taken, but somehow none of them were taken by me. However I did snag this photo of my and my sisters-in-law from Facebook:
Love them! :)
The next day, the Hansons invited father-in-law Richard's family over for a big Christmas party! Once again, lots of fun was had, and I met (or re-met) people who I didn't know before, which was highly enjoyable! Once again, I didn't take very many photos (despite my new phone!), but Dashiell took a couple that were pretty good!
Me and the knees
Papa Jack smiling!! What?!?
Monday we took a break from parties, but did invite Danny and Elizabeth to see the movie "Frozen" at Chunky's Cinema with us. The kids LOVED it, especially Aurelia. It was so much fun to hear her exclaim "WOW!" anytime something cool happened on screen. Dashiell was nervous at some of the more intense parts of the movie, and sad at some of the sad parts ("Do you Want to Build a Snowman" - seriously, I still get teary thinking about that song!), but really liked the movie anyway. I won't spoil the plot, but I have to admit that I loved the resolution of that movie more than any other Disney movie I've seen (not that I've seen them all, mind you). It had it's questionable "Disney" moments (let's show how truly horrible people can be!), and the beginning had almost too much music, but I do recommend it anyway. After the movie and after the kids went to bed, Rick and I got to hang out with Danny and Elizabeth WITHOUT kids - woo-hoo! We ate tasty Vietnamese food and dished about all the things you can't dish about with kids around. Ha!
Tuesday - well, Tuesday was Christmas Eve! Yay! That afternoon Dashiell and his aunt Lisa did a video chat and he got to open two of the presents she sent him. Rocks! Dashiell and aunt Lisa have a shared fondness for pretty rocks, and she went all out! Blue dalmatian jasper, amethyst, rose quartz, and about 15 other varieties. He was thrilled!! And wanted to open all the other gifts for him under the tree, but we made him (and Aurelia) wait. Mean parents! Aurelia did a little last-minute cleaning to get on Santa's good side:
That evening we went over to the great-grandparents' house for their annual Christmas Eve dinner. Neena makes lobster rolls each year - Yum! The kids discovered that Neena and Papa Jack have an upstairs in their house, and enjoyed hanging out at the top of the stairs.
We all had a pretty good night sleep and waited patiently for Santa's arrival. Dashiell did not take my suggestion of leaving beer and pickles for Santa since I know he'd appreciate the variety, but instead went with the standard milk and cookies. Maybe next year!
Santa was very good to the kiddos, as were their aunts, uncles, grandparents and parents. The present that we were most excited about was the blanket fort building kit that the kids received from my aunt Diane!
Dashiell was also thrilled that Santa remembered to bring him his Gears toy - he's been playing with it every day since Christmas.
There were a lot of hits this Christmas! The kids did all right, that's for sure.
Aurelia feeding her Baby Stella with her new bowl and spoon
The Minnie Mouse Pet Salon
Endless games of Hungry Hungry Hippos!
Uncle David putting together the worlds most frustrating gift -
the 3d wind-up dinosaur that comes in a million little cardboard pieces
All in all it was a great Christmas, made even better by all the time we got to spend with family!
But it wasn't over yet! The day after Christmas we had a lovely dinner over at the Hansons, followed by a viewing of the Zoo Lights at Stone Zoo. There was a lot to see, though Santa had already made his way back home and wasn't available to hang out with that night (he had to go back to the North Pole on the 23rd). But we had a fun (chilly!) night anyway!
Aurelia and Aunty E sporting the same coat!
Dashiell and his Nana
We went on a few rides while at the Zoo, including the very chilly carousel! Those flying horses are not meant to sit on in the winter - brrr!
The last day of our week-long Christmas celebration was just as jam-packed at the others. First we went out to brunch with all the Hansons at the Loews hotel in Boston - Elizabeth and Danny stayed there the night before.
The kids with Danny and Elizabeth in the hotel lobby
Then we headed back home for a visit with our friends Shawn and Michele (and their 3 kids), and Mike, who was in town from Virginia.
Picture by Dashiell...hence the weird upward angle...
Finally, the kids stayed overnight at the grandparents' house while Rick and I went to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' Annual Hometown Throwdown!
We missed last year due to scheduling conflicts, and the year before that Rick went without me because I was 38 weeks pregnant and didn't really feel up to standing around for hours, getting jostled by strangers trying to get a better view of the band. But this year we finally made it back, and it was a great time!
The good news is that Dashiell and Aurelia were so busy that day they barely even noticed that Danny and Elizabeth had left to go back to California that evening. The bad news is that Danny and Elizabeth had to leave to go back to California, thus ending our week of Christmas fun. We'll miss them, but always remember what a great time we had while they were here! And we'll count the days until the visit again!
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, filled with all the blessing of the season! Happy Holidays!