Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas Roundup 2014

Since I took a nice long break this month, you have missed out on so much. Here is the mother of all Christmas posts to catch you up so we can spring into 2014.

We made a super cute Advent calendar this year with Christmas socks strung from the arch to the dining room. Each sock had a toy or candy in it and by one week in Zayd was telling everyone how he loves his Christmas socks.  Here are some photos of the kiddos right out of the bath opening a knee high sock full of City Work Trucks (a WiFi van, a street sweeper, a snow plow or snow "dumptruck" as we call it). Mostly they got a single Reese's each or a single marker from a set of four. As they get older I would like to get them more experience-based things, but it is hard at this age to promise "let's go see the lights at UIW" or something when they ... are still on the unpredictable side of toddlerdom.

Here we are making cinnamon and applesauce ornaments. It was the coolest thing! You mix the ingredients together with a ton of glitter and bake for a few hours and the things come out pretty sturdy. Zahra definitely bit through a few cinnamon snowmen but a few have survived to see another day! (Find the recipe here.)

I let Zayd cut open the glitter and he was VERY excited.

When Baby started screaming and it came to the heavy duty mixing, Zayd fed Zahra while I stirred.

Don't trust these kids for one minute, by the time I returned with the cookie cutters...

Just before Christmas we had a science day where we made fake snow from hair conditioner and an insane amount of baking soda (8 big boxes?). The snow was cool to the touch and really fun. We will definitely do this again next year, but outside. Baking soda, while a wonderful cleaning agent, is hard to remove from the grain in your hardwood floor. And, yes I was worried while Zayd was mean mugging me holding a snow ball.

Here are our shots from Christmas morning. Can you find my Z's?

We got our family band going early on.

While at Target, I told Zayd that he could pick out gifts for Nini and Uncle Jon. "No, I want to give them my cars." OK. At the house, Zayd chose an ice cream truck for Uncle Jon but didn't see one that he thought Nini would like. I told him we should look at Mommy's stuff and see if there was anything Nini would like. I showed him my scarves and that was a no. Then I opened my jewelry box to see if he would pick some earrings or something. He found a sparkly baubly pink necklace and knew it was just the right thing. Sam and I cut the paper and let him wrap his gifts all by himself (minus us placing tape that would actually hold the things together because Zayd's taping skills are more decorative than functional). For nearly a week Zayd walked around with the gifts in his hands and couldn't wait for Christmas so he could GIVE a couple of presents to two very special people. Here he is Christmas morning holding his gifts and waiting for Nini and Uncle Jon to come down!

So they can open their gifts!

And here's my guys after their gift exchange.

All in all it was a wonderful Christmas morning!

We went to my aunts house in the middle of the afternoon but somehow I took no pictures.  I think it is because both kids were sans-nap and I was sure they would lose it at any minute. Or break something. In any event, I had my hands full. I promise more pics next year. They will be older which I think will help.

That night, Uncle Moon and the "boys" (who are nearly all men at this point) came over and we had a very Pakki Christmas with home-cooked Pakistani food and tons of family bonding time. Zayd *loves* those boys.

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