Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas 2009

OK you're in for a doozie of a post. Get ready to catch up on the Alexanders' Christmas of 2009. It was Bailey's first Christmas! She was really good to stay away from the tree for the most part. I was afraid she'd have the whole thing knocked over quick, but we spent some time trying to train her not to touch the tree and she did pretty well. Our tradition is the Saturday after Thanksgiving (and Sunday if needed), we get out everything from the attic and put the tree up and all other decorations. If possible, Craig tries to get the lights up that same weekend. Here's a slideshow of us decorating. (Remember you can always click on the slideshows to see them bigger.)

A week before Christmas we headed down to Nona and Pop's to spend some extra time there before Christmas. We had planned to come home on Christmas Eve, so we had our Christmas morning with them on the 23rd. That way we could relax and not be rushed to leave. The girls (and Craig and I) always have a wonderful time there and always hate to see our time end.
My mom worked so hard this year on special presents for the girls. She handmade them each a Raggedy Ann doll. They are so precious and are total keepsakes for them to keep forever. The other totally awesome gift was a giant dollhouse that she and my dad made together for the girls! My mom made one for my sisters and I when we were young and several years ago at a garage sale, my mom sold it! She is a total purger and doesn't hang on to many things. (She'll tell you the same.) Anyway I warned her a while ago that since she now has two granddaughters, she was going to have to build them a dollhouse just like it since she sold the other one. I guess she listened! This one is great!! It's taller than Avery so I know they will play with it for many years to come. I wasn't really wanting Avery to get into the whole Barbie thing, so we found the Barbie Happy Family on Ebay and we're going that route instead. :)
We got to spend time with Aunt Jenna and Aunt Staci while we were there and the girls always love getting some lovin' from their aunties. The girls were totally spoiled ROTTEN while we were there not only from Nona and Pop, but from their aunts, their great-grandparents and even MY aunt and uncle. Seriously, our car was packed top to bottom, and side to side in the back end with every nook and cranny filled around our seats. We obviously had to leave the dollhouse and other big gifts to be brought up later.
All right, here's the best Christmas story of the year. Not. We knew there was a chance of a snowstorm on Christmas Eve in most of Oklahoma and definitely Tulsa. Well, come on. How many times does it actually do what the weatherman says? Hardly ever. We decided to leave on Christmas Eve as planned to head home. We left at 2 pm expecting to get home around 6:30 pm. After we'd been driving for about 3 hours, the storm hit. Not just snow but sleet, too. Bailey had leaked out of her diaper and I had to change her diaper in the McDonald's on the turnpike with no dry pants to put on her unless I wanted to dig under the mountain of stuff in the back. I didn't. So I wrapped her in a blanket and ran through the sleet with her pantless. None of us had coats on (again they were buried). The storm was getting worse and worse and we were driving about 20 miles per hour on the turnpike. Craig had to stop every 15 minutes or so to scrape ice off of the windshield. I was getting really worried. When we left that McDonald's we got something for the girls to eat and Craig and I planned to eat at home because we thought we'd be there in an hour. Ha ha. When we were a little over 20 miles from our house, we came to a complete stop behind traffic. Turns out a semi had jack-knifed on the turnpike and traffic was totally blocked. We. Couldn't. Move. It was CHRISTMAS EVE PEOPLE! Of course Craig (always the picture of calm) never showed he was bothered. He just patiently talked to people around us and scraped the windshield ever so often. We had the defroster on high to help keep the windshield de-iced so we had to roll the windows down a little because we were boiling! Avery kept crying and saying she wanted to go home. She thought WE were in a wreck and not just behind a wreck. Bailey cried and cried until we got her out of her seat and then squirmed so much we finally put her back in her seat and she fell asleep...thank the Lord. I was almost in tears thinking we could possibly spend our whole night on that turnpike. Finally wreckers came and cleared the wreck. We sat there for 3 whole hours. Once we got to go, there were cars littered along the roadway all the way home...tons of them. Thank goodness for our 4 wheel drive. Craig's dad and brother had just shown up on the scene to rescue the girls and I when we finally started to move. They escorted us home and helped unload the car. It was 11:30 pm. We had planned to get home at 6:30 pm but that didn't quite work out. I am thankful we were not hurt and that we didn't have to stay there all night. It was pretty scary, though. Needless to say, we basically put the girls in bed, scarfed down what little was in our pantry and tossed the girls' presents under the tree. No putting cookies out for Santa, no finishing up that last Christmas present that I hadn't yet completed, and no Christmas breakfast for us. We had been gone for a week and had NO groceries. So needless to say it wasn't the ideal way to spend our Christmas Eve. Don't get me could have been a lot worse and I am so thankful for God's hand of protection. But I hope we never go through anything like that again...and on Christmas. The next morning we were exhausted, but the girls woke up like usual of course so up we were. The Christmas pajamas were dirty, and Avery wanted to wear her new Minnie Mouse pajamas from Mimi anyway, so Bailey got hers on to match. I can't believe we only took 3 measley pictures on our own Christmas morning with our girls, but that's it. Craig did video a lot more so we have that. Avery got a tub of dress up things, a sleeping bag I made her, and a stocking full of goodies. Bailey got a new growth chart I painted for her and some goodies in her stocking as well. I also made both of the girls sock monkeys. Later (like 2 weeks later) we found a scooter for Avery in the garage that Santa had forgotten all about! :)
Not long after we had had our own Christmas morning, we called Grandma and asked if it was ok to crash her house for some food. You know not many places are open on Christmas Day and like I said--we had NO food! So we spend the rest of the day over there and some aunt, uncles, and cousins all showed up throughout the day. The kids (ok and adults) opened their stockings that night, but we waited until the next morning for presents...yes, our 3rd Christmas morning! Grandma always makes sausage eggs and biscuits. And the obligatory sweet roll which was especially good this year! If you don't know what that is, it's a tradition in the Alexander house. This is not her recipe, but you can see a picture of what it looks like here. I have only mastered it once but I am going to try again next year. Once again, the girls cleaned up. They got a lot of much needed clothes. Avery got books, puzzles, and games. She is really into games and I enjoy playing them with her. Bailey got many cute, cute baby toys and she has had a lot of fun playing with everything. I am so thankful for how much our family is loved and it is so true when I say that we were all spoiled completely rotten this year! We are so truly blessed.

I won't go into all the details of our crazy Alexander Christmas. Let me just say that when 10 adults and 8 kids all get mixed up in one house for about 3 days, chaos can occur. Ribs can get cracked, lips can get nicked with razors, Grandpas can get stuck in grocery store parking lots, kids can almost get frostbite, and stomach bugs can cause throwing up. Ahhh, it was a Christmas to remember.
On a happier note, the snow was incredible and I enjoyed having the first white Christmas I can ever remember! Bailey Mae, your first Christmas was a white one! The kids (and dads and a couple moms) really enjoyed sledding and playing in the snow. Avery LOVES snow and was out like a trooper with all the big kids for all the time she was allowed. She went sledding with Craig and with me once. Unfortunately we went too fast and I rolled over her which caused her to faceplant into the snow. She didn't really want to sled with me after that...only Craig. OK I will end the biggest post I have ever written by saying Merry Christmas 2009! We can only pray Christmas 2010 is a little brighter!! :)


Emily said...

Wow! First of all, I can't believe Avery still fits in those pj's we got her {the pic of the girls watching Craig hang lights from the window}.
Those Raggedy Anne dolls and the dollhouse your parents made are AMAZING. Your mom is SO talented!
I'm so sorry you had such a miserable and scary Christmas Eve on the turnpike. So glad y'all were alright though!
Great to see all your Christmas pics!