Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas Day

Christmas morning came earlier than I remember last year. It could be that I have a newborn who was up two times before 7am. The kids were very excited and couldn't wait to go downstairs. We made an unofficial rule that the kids come to our room and we say family prayer before going down to see all the Christmas surprises.
I always love to see their sweet faces light up with excitement! This year Santa brought the kids exactly what they wanted. Ayden: Mario Kart Wii, Ellie: Ana doll from Frozen and mechanical pencils (this was a big decision for her all the way up until Christmas Eve. She couldn't decide what she wanted most. Mechanical pencils or Ana doll? She finally said as we tucked her in "I guess I'll be surprised in the morning because either one will make me happy." Santa was good to her and gave her both. Tate: Legos.
Santa brought Taters his very own Legos

reading the letters from Santa

the posed picture
My gift from Spencer this year was a project he had been planning and working on since October. Everyone from my siblings to neighbors to my kids knew what it was, but it was a complete surprise for me. I was very pleasantly surprised Christmas morning.
I love the red bow and the child that came with it
It's a chest bench for our room. It is the first in a furniture set that he's building for me. I'm so excited for it. He didn't stain or paint it because he ran out of time. While he was building this for me, he also designed and helped build another project for our neighbor's wife. They were at our house til midnight Christmas Eve working on the other project. Not only did he design and build mine, he went the extra mile and made it possible to surprise our neighbor. What a guy!

My sisters Danielle and Jillayne and her family joined us Christmas morning to open presents. We always open presents one person at a time so you can see what each person got and their reactions. With so many of us, it took quite awhile to open gifts.
Spencer got a new watch.
wouldn't be Christmas for Ayden without Cougar stuff

I caught Danielle off guard for a picture

Jillayne and Marlayna

me taking a pic of Jillayne taking a pic. Or it could be us both taking a pic of James!

Oh the anticipation

Mark J. opening Legos from Aunt Chris
 The next 2 pictures are some of my favorite. Ayden was so excited for the gift he got Ellie. She has been wanting dangly earrings for a while and I told her she was too young to wear dangly earrings. But Ayden found some that were Christmas related and appropriate for her age. He wrapped them up extra special and kept the secret for weeks. We were all anticipating her reaction of excitement but the first reaction we got was this one. She was confused and sad because she thought she couldn't have danglies and that Ayden's gift was ruined.

But then when she was told it was ok. We got this reaction!!

Jillayne and Loni in all our morning glory.
 I wanted to tease the boys this year and wrapped their gifts extra special. A few of Ayden's were wrapped in several layers of wrapping paper. And for Spencer I wrapped the package in 3 layers of wrapping paper, then several layers of duct tape, and then placed that in a big box that was wrapped a few times. I was hoping he would struggle to open it, but he cheated and got a knife.


Taryn slept through most of Christmas morning.

But then when she woke up, she was in a good mood and let Aunt Dani decorate her head

she's smiling not crying....promise!
After presents, we started breakfast. Spencer's family always did a big breakfast on Christmas morning so we've carried that tradition in our family. We had pancakes, eggs, bacon, juice and even Eggs Benedict that only Spencer and I would eat. Well, that's not true. Jillayne was nice enough to try it, but didn't really like it!
We were so blessed for Christmas this year. It was fun watching my children get excited for the gifts they had purchased or made. They drew us pictures and wrote special notes, those were our favorite gifts. I loved watching my children do extra chores to earn money to buy gifts for their siblings.  We kept our 25 Days of Christ tradition and did an ornament and scripture each night. The kids always made sure to remind us. I made sure to watch corny Christmas movies on Hallmark, don't know why but I love them. I loved that my family was able to share the holiday with us. Being so far from my family, it was nice to see them and spend some time together. We were so blessed from our Heavenly Father in so many ways. We are excited to see what this new year will bring for us.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve at the Shaw house started out a little different this year. Tate needed to have his adenoids removed and we needed it done before the end of the year because of our insurance deductible. The only day available? Christmas Eve!
We headed to the surgery center at 5:45am. Spencer had to work so my sister Jillayne came with me to help with Taryn while I dealt with Tate. I'm so glad she was there!
waiting to go back

waiting for the doctor and anesthesiologist
 Luckily, Tate was in a good mood and just watched Curious George until they were ready for him. He wasn't allowed to eat breakfast or drink anything and I was worried that would become a problem. But he never once asked and just cuddled with his bear until they took him for surgery.
The surgery was really quick and went well. The doctor told me that his adenoids were even bigger than she had first thought. At his appointment, she said his adenoids were a 4 on a scale of 1 to 4. But she discovered they were actually 25% bigger than she thought. So this was a much needed surgery. As she was talking to me I could hear someone screaming in the recovery rooms. Turns out it was Tate! He was completely out of control and not coherent at all. It was quite comical to see him that way especially because I left him in such a good mood.
trying to wake up from anesthesia
 The anesthesiologist said that toddlers are very cranky when waking up from anesthesia. And he wasn't kidding! Tate was thrashing around and crying incoherent words. He was particularly upset about the IV in his hand. And then upset about the bandage that replaced the IV. Finally, we were able to take him home and he cried and moaned for about 15 minutes before falling asleep. By the time we got home, he was back to being sweet Taters. He got to eat popsicles and drink juice and watch movies: he was totally happy!

cuddling and watching movies makes everything better
 By noon, Tate was feeling a lot better. He wanted to help make cookies for Santa. It's a tradition for our family that we make the cookies for Santa and I wasn't sure if he was going to want to help. He is usually my little baking helper and I was glad that he was able to today.
not sure why Ellie is wearing a coat to make cookies
the best part of making cookies!

After dinner, we started our Christmas Eve evening. We got hot cocoa and mini donuts and got in the car to go look at Christmas lights. We turned on Christmas songs and talked and sang while driving around the neighborhoods. Tate fell asleep during the drive so he missed the rest of our night. Once we got home, we watched the Forgotten Carols (my favorite) and then let the older 2 open one present. Bedtime went much quicker than usual as they were trying to get to bed quickly so they could see what surprises would be there in the morning!
 The day started out early and ended late, but I was very grateful for all the blessings my Father in Heaven gave me. Tate recovered quickly and we were able to spend the day as a family.