Merry Day-After-Christmas, everyone! I need to figure out how Mrs. Claus gets to hang back at the North Pole while Santa does all the running around. Then again, the truth of the matter is that SHE is probably the one that maintains the naughty/nice list, orders and addresses the cards, manages the elf schedule, packs Santa’s bag, gasses up the sled, gets his suit dry cleaned – and on and on and on. Personally, I’d be happy if I could get a 30-day sabbatical from baking, cooking, and cleaning. Yesterday, after all the excitement blew over, I got on the couch and slept like the dead for 4 hours. I managed to stand upright long enough to eat and watch “Despicable Me” with the kids, and then I went back to bed. The holidays caught up with me big time! The good news is, all of the hard work paid off. Our Christmas was lovely. I was proud of the kids, too, There was no crying or whining or regret about gifts not gotten. They were gracious and thankful, as well as excited for one another. It’s hard as they get older to make sure it all evens out. This year we decided to open gifts on Christmas Eve. However, we made the mistake of sharing this information with the kids, so we spent 99% of that day listening to, “Is it time yet? Is it time yet?” over and over again. We told the kids that we’d open presents after dinner, so of course Kellan wanted to complete that meal around 10:30 a.m. After gorging ourselves on crab legs, it was time to let the wild rumpus start! Pretend you’ve never seen this picture before when it shows up as next year’s card 😉 Kellan opened his first present and immediately declared,”This is NOT “Pop The Pig,” in a way that told us he was pretty much expecting “Pop The Pig”. He’d NEVER mentioned it before and we had no idea what it was. (We looked it up later…it’s a game. Are we the only ones who’ve never heard of it?) However, that rough edge was smoothed right over upon the receipt of this baby: If you are over the age of 5, this game will render you unconscious with boredom after the first round of play. Larissa was totally into the present aspect — if you count coveting everyone else’s gifts “into it”. She clung on to Kellan’s Toy Story Yatzee like grim death. Eventually we pried it away from her so she could focus on her own presents. She got a pair of sandals which she promptly insisted on wearing over her footie pj’s. Larissa is a big fan of “Yo Gabba Gabba” – which is basically a filmed LSD trip. Eliza was super easy to buy for. If you get her anything artsy, crafty, sparkly, glittery, make-up-y, or stamped with the “Justice” logo she’s set. Her big ticket request was for a video camera, and Santa obliged, so it was impossible to get a picture of her since she was too busy ” filming”. We have been enjoying many videos of Eliza performing interpretive dances as well as action sequences of the inside of her mouth and her brother’s noses. I’m expecting videos of me unwittingly captured on film yelling at the kids to go viral any day now. Great gift. Great gift. Weston received a Nintendo DSi XL so really, we haven’t seen him much since then. We did manage to snap one photo before he fell into his gaming coma. Watch as I make myself disappear…. Hayden is a bit trickier to buy for. He would have been happy if we’d bought him a case of Kraft Mac & Cheese and his own big screen tv, but alas, he had to settle for a new tennis racket and some Wii games. And this Paper Jamz guitar. I’m still trying to figure out what the point of this thing is. I guess on the plus side, it sounds a whole heck of a lot better than my husband playing his “real” guitar, so for that, Paper Jamz scores a few points. I know it’s hard to rock out without an abundance of hair, but can I tell you how much I hate this look of his? I’m pretty sure that when I was young, I had this ‘do and it was called the “Dorothy Hamill” It is my personal mission to do away with this mop before 2011–and I’m not above bribery. When it was all over, my hours of shopping were reduced to this: My kids got me that foot bath/massage to mock me, I’m certain. Perhaps they didn’t realize that I’d have to sit, undisturbed for more than 5 minutes to use it. Today Rob’s mom, sister, and brother-in-law arrived bearing more gifts. I believe that in the background Weston is suffering from the exhaustion of having to physically open a gift. For the past 48 hours the only parts of his body he’s moved have been his thumbs. Grandma generously gifted all of the children with weaponry. They received various bazookas and crossbows that all fire mini-marshmallows. Kellan received his second Nerf gun of the season, as well. Around here, it’s not a matter of IF someone will shoot their eye out, it’s more a matter of WHEN. Grandma Sue is pretty wily. She bought Rob a Cabela’s gift card and got me a gorgeous necklace stamped with our family names to distract us from her evil-doings. Of course they all look happy – the kids are armed and they have Grandma Sue to thank for the munitions. Crazy as it sounds, I’m itching to do some shopping. Right after I take another nap. I hope all of you had a fabulous holiday surrounded by the people you love and who love you back!

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