Thursday, January 2, 2014

This Christmas - 2013

We've been awfully busy this year but we tried to jump right into the Christmas season after Thanksgiving. I took a few days off in the first week of December and we took advantage with a bunch of fun Christmas activities. 

We went to Disneyland for a full day of Disneyland Christmas fun, including seeing Olaf in the new World of Color Winter Dreams show. 

Alice got her first autograph book after seeing some other kids with one, so she was very keen to have everyone sign it.

 This year, Alice was more willing to sit with Santa and had a good chat with him.

 Ivy wasn't too sure, but she was pretty willing to give it a try.

 Ivy was REALLY into meeting all the friends. Alice was busy getting autographs, but Ivy had some serious one-on-ones with everyone.

 And we ate at Ivy's favorite all-you-can eat BBQ restaurant, which was all decked out for the holidays - complete with a cowboy couple singing country Christmas tunes.

 Bugsy stuffed herself and then passed out in her cozy bear suit.

 We headed to California Adventure in the afternoon and played in Cars Land until it was time for World of Color. Alice spent a good long time playing with these hippy beads (while we finished a beer!).

The next day, we checked out our town's new outdoor ice rink, up for the holidays. Alice was super excited for her first ice skating adventure, especially when she saw that she could ride on a seal!
Ivy really wanted to get out there and play, too, but she loved seeing Alice come by and say hello. 

Alice loved zooming around the ice with Jon, who is kind of unnaturally good at ice skating for a guy who grew up in Orange County!

Alice even wanted to get up and try skating on her own. I asked the lovely older woman supervising the session for a few tips on teaching such a little one, since I could see she had plenty of skating experience. She helped Alice learn to march and held her other hand while we gave it a try. And then for the rest of the session, Alice wanted to alternate between riding on the seal and pushing it, or holding our hands. She had pretty wobbly spaghetti legs, but I was impressed that she kept wanting to try it. It's the only thing I've ever seen her try (repeatedly, no less) that was beyond her ability. It helps that Anna and Elsa ice skate in Frozen, Alice wants to be just like them!

And then we headed over to pick out Ivy's first Christmas tree!

Last year, Alice was in love with the teeny tiny trees at the tree farm. So this year, we found the tiniest tree we could and fit it up on our console table in the kitchen. I let Alice pick out some fancy ornaments for it and she had a great time decorating her tree just the way she wanted it.
And then that weekend, I took Alice for a very special mother/daughter date that I hope will become a tradition. The LA Ballet was performing The Nutcracker at a lovely restored theater nearby. With relatively cheap tickets, I thought it would be a great intro for both Alice and myself - I'd never seen it, myself!

Alice was very well-behaved (much better than the older kids writhing in the aisles next to us) and really enjoyed the show. She got a little antsy in the second act when she kept telling me she was thirsty, but I was able to hold her off with a lollipop. Good thing the second act was shorter than the first!

Afterwards, the young leads were greeting fans in the lobby. I had a tough time getting a photo with Alice because the older girls (and their mothers!) kept pushing her out of the way. Poor thing.
Near Christmas, we put the girls in the car and drove around to look at Christmas lights. There are a couple of houses in our neighborhood who try to outdo each other with front yards chock full of Christmas cheer. Ivy loved all the lights.

On Christmas Eve, we finally got around to baking some cookies so we could leave some out for Santa!
And we got to church a few minutes early with just enough time to take a nice photo with the girls in their Christmas dresses.

After church, Alice and Ivy got to open their new Christmas jammies and enjoy a cookie and a story before tucking in to wait for Santa.
And they were in luck! Santa brought a fun stacker and a sweet fox for Ivy, and a Minnie Mouse kitty carrier vet set for Alice, along with the snow globe she asked for.
And some new train track and a monorail car with people! Lucky girl!

A hello kitty sleep mask for napping, natch.

And for mama? A "What Does the Fox Say" picture book, of course! I loved it. 

A successful Christmas!

We spent the day after Christmas with Jon's parents, and then headed up to my parents' for Christmas #3!

I hope you all had very merry holidays, and that you got just what you were wishing for. 

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