My parents, and my brother Derek arrived on Christmas Eve, just in time for dinner. I had cranberry meatballs in the crock pot, and a variety of finger foods already made in the fridge. There were fiesta pinwheels, hummus and mini pitas, artichoke & spinach dip with pita chips, antipasto pasta salad, veggies & dip, and I sliced up the leftover summer sausage that didn't make it to the antipasto salad. Finger foods are so fun, and I would have enjoyed doubling my list for the pure enjoyment of making them, but there were only five adults to eat the spread.
After our meal, we took a drive for Joshua to see the Christmas lights. Derek was sick, so he stayed behind. We stuck to a nearby neighborhood so we could get Joshua to bed at an early hour. He doesn't sleep when he knows Grandma and Papa Jim are around, and he's pretty exhausted by the end of a visit, so we try and counteract the early mornings with reasonably early bedtimes. I wish I could say it was successful.
When we got back to the house (Derek was still alive, for those who might be wondering ;-)), John put Joshua to bed and I whipped up a buffalo chicken dip- a recipe I've been wanting to try for over a year- and then we watched a Christmas movie.
Here's the tree before we went to bed. I guess nobody felt like wrapping this year! We did wrap a few things for Joshua because I thought it would be more fun for him to rip open the wrapping paper, but you can't see them in this picture.
Joshua had gone to bed very excited about Christmas, but the gifts were secondary to having his grandparents around, so there was time to brew a pot of coffee and set out the coffee cake, fruit and cheese for breakfast. We didn't eat right away, but I wanted to have it ready so I didn't have to miss out on the fun of watching Joshua with his new toys because I was in the kitchen making breakfast!
Most of the gifts were for Joshua, John got a new shirt and tools from Derek, and a coffee press from my parents. Derek gave me this nifty loose-leaf tea pot that actually strains the tea out through the bottom of the pot when it's set on top of a cup. It's hard to describe, but is cool enough that it might earn its very own blog post one day. ;-) My parents gave me a calendar, after seeing me go a whole year without getting around to buying one for 2010, and a joint gift to John and I: an ICE CREAM MAKER!! I have been eying up ice cream makers for several months now, because I found some recipes for coconut milk ice cream sweetened with agave nectar: guilt-free ice cream.
Anyway, moving on. John and I went Christmas shopping for Joshua the week before Christmas, and it was hard to resist pulling everything off the shelves. There were so many fun things that I knew he would enjoy. But I never want to over-do Christmas where the emphasis is on the gifts; and I don't want to raise expectations that we can't meet from one year to the next; and Joshua is so young, he could be easily overwhelmed with too many things. So we basically put a bunch of stuff in the cart, and when we were done shopping, we went through everything we had grabbed and re-evaluated. We eliminated nearly everything (which was the plan), and ended up giving Joshua a red bean bag chair, one new train, and a kit to make his own tool box, since he's always running for his 'hammer' and 'screwdriver' when John's doing work around the house. We knew there would be enough toys from the rest of the family.
We did stockings, too- they are so fun.
My parents gave Joshua a hot wheel track and it *almost* rivals the train table. Not quite, though. :-)
Flint (my parent's dog) liked to lie on top of the hot wheels track, and Joshua, whether he was playing with track or not, got quite upset about it.
Yes, Joshua spent the day in his shirt and underwear. In case you were wondering. We are in the throes of potty-training. Doesn't make the prettiest pictures, but life must go on, be it Christmas or not.
A new floor puzzle from Nanny and Bunky: (Joshua's great-grandparents)
The turkey didn't have to go into the oven until 1:30pm and the day ended up being very low-key and relaxing, as did the rest of the week.
On Monday, we were supposed to take Joshua to Disney on Ice: Toy Story 3. John got free tickets at work for us and Raina and Andrew. For the week prior to Christmas, Joshua had been complaining of a sore throat and we were giving him regular doses of a homeopathic cold remedy from CVS. I've used it before, during his colds, and it seemed ineffective. I kind of expected it to be, because it was homeopathic and I have no faith in homeopathy, but since other medicines are not an option, I figured it didn't hurt. There's no way of knowing if he got any relief from it.
Well, it would seem that catching the cold early made the medicine much more effective. Joshua's cold never broke out this time. Then on Monday, when we'd gone the whole previous day without giving him the cold stuff, he woke up sneezing non-stop and with a runny nose. Miserable on top of that. We canceled our tickets and started the homeopathy again. And...by the afternoon his cold was seemingly gone. Not a sniffle in sight.
A week has passed since then, and we are still hearing complaints of a sore throat and Joshua coughs about three times a day- just a little throat clearing, really. This cold is very anxious to stick around. It seems the homeopathy is keeping it dormant, but I need something to kick it down. We're going to buy unpasteurized honey today, and see if a few teaspoons of that will help; and some spirulina mixed with apple sauce for lots of extra vitamins.
Anyway, I'm impressed that we've held a cold at bay for two weeks now, especially when Uncle Derek brought his own dose of germs. I'm sure it won't always be possible to avoid a cold, but it's nice that Joshua was healthy for Christmas.
How was YOUR Christmas? :-)