final stretch to Christmas & Marco's last stand

Friday, January 4, 2013

The week before Christmas was our last chance to squeeze in our favorite holiday traditions and last minute fun.  And boy did we ever squeeze some fun in.

I hosted our annual 'Adams' cousin cookie baking day at our house with my late grandma's sugar cookie and boiled icing.  Since my grandma passed away, six years ago (how has it been so long already?), my sisters and cousins have tried to still get together every Christmas to bake cookies just like we used to when we were young with my Grandma.  She would have us all over, fill her kitchen with flour, while we all sneaked bites of raw cookie dough when she was not looking.  Our cookie baking day at Gram's are such wonderful memories that it makes me so happy to continue the tradition.  I feel lucky that my kids get a chance to spend time with their extended cousins doing something that their great grandma taught us.

It is amazing to me to think of how Gram used to keep us all in line through cookie baking day.  We were all fairly young and cookie baking day is hard work!  We have to make all the cut outs, bake them, and then ice them all - and when you're talking about 20 dozen cookies, we all tend to get a little goofy by the time we're icing the last few batches.

There were a few times that I looked around the room and listened to my cousins and aunt laughing and thought about how this would make Gram so happy to see us all here together.  To see her great grandchildren eating her cookies and icing and being with their family.  I hope you were smiling Gram. I love you and miss you every single day.

On Monday evening, we met up with our friends Corey, Stacy, & Lila and also Pappy & Gigi at one of our favorite local restaurants to have dinner with Santa.

When Santa arrived, he made his way around to all of the tables to give the kids a quick hello.  Our girls were not too thrilled about him, Grey on the other hand was memorized.

We even got a chance to sit on Santa's lap and Grey reminded him that he wanted "the Jungle and Megamind" again, just in case he didn't quite get it the first time we saw him :)  Lila even gave Santa's beard a little tug to make sure he was legit (he was!)

i love these weird kids

Then Gem and I (not to be confused with 'Gemini') went to Grey's day care to watch his toddler class sing a song.

The kids all came out in angel robes and some had crowns on - the song was adorable and went like this:

Baby Jesus, please don't cry
please don't cry
Don't you know we love you?
Don't you know we love you?
Yes we do.
Yes we do.

and then the toddlers all were filed out of the room while they screamed and cried hysterically because they could see their parents but couldn't go with them.  It was hilarious and horrible all at once.  After a solid 3 minutes I could still recognize Grey's screaming from the hallway and went out to motion to his teacher as to whether I should sneak away silently or comfort him.  She gave me a look of relief and sent Grey over to me which he flailed himself into my arms like we had been separated for 7 months instead of 30 minutes.  I got him to calm down ('catch you breath Grey') and then I heard Ms. Melissa tell another little crying girl, "Don't you throw up, honey.  Don't do it."  Followed by the child throwing up all down the front of her angel robe.  It was hysterical in hindsight but thank goodness for teachers.  they are amazing.

Then it was off to Katie's house for our 2nd annual kids & polar express & hot cocoa playnight.  The kids exchanged gifts and the two big kids together only deluded Kate and I more that they are destined to get married someday.  Same goes for the two little ones...poor kids don't stand a chance.

I brought our old-school popcorn popper and dazzled the children with non-technology.

And then we watched a little of the Polar Express and ate a little pizza, and played a little dress up, and shared some toys.  And Gemmi acted like she ran the place all the while.  And Kate and I chatted and changed diapers and drank beer and it was wonderful.

And then we were just about ready to start the 4 day Christmas celebration, but not before I whipped up some chocolate-covered pretzels (my fave)

and I also attempted to make monster cookies and didn't realize until right when it was time to add the oats that I had no oats.  so I totally pretended I was Pioneer Woman and knew what I was doing and thought that cheerios would be a legit substitute.  it wasn't.  #fail

Marco took his last week with us to heart and made us smile each morning.

Day 22, we found him playing Chutes&Ladders with some toy friends under the Christmas tree

Day 23, (with Dad's help) Marco had rigged up a zipline across the living room.  He was able to glide with the help of a pencil that was strapped to his hands with a rubber band.

Day 24, Marco had been really naughty and changed all of our technology screens to his very own 'selfie.'  He is so tricky.  (let this be public proof that we have the absolute most disgustingly filthy iPad screen on the planet.  I dare anyone to challenge this atrocity.)

On Day 25, Gemmi was the one that found Marco - he was hanging from our basketball hoop!

Day 26, he was up super high with a superhero cape!  We had to remind him to be safe because we think he wanted to fly like MetroMan.

We got a sweet breakfast surprise on day 27 when Marco surprised us with donuts.  His note reminded us that Santa was going to pick him up on Jesus's birthday eve but that he loved being in our family too.  Grey thought Marco deserved a hug for that.

On Day 28 (Christmas eve, eve) we found Marco having himself a little 'cookin' toy' breakfast in front of the tv.

And on Day 29, Marco had set up our new tent (from Gemma & Grey's great grandma Mimi) with a note to us. His note said,

"Dear Greyson & Gemma,
Thank you for letting me be in your family and for all the huggas and kisses.  You helped me practice being kind and trying my best.
It is baby Jesus's birthday tomorrow!  It is an exciting day and Santa is coming tonight to help you celebrate Jesus's birthday.  He will take me back home to the North Pole where I will keep being kind and trying my best just like you taught me.  I love you, Marco"

Since Marco has left Grey has occasionally asked where Marco is.  We remind him he went back to the North Pole with Santa.  Sometimes he'll say, "Remember Marco?  He lives in Neverland."  I guess we need to cool it on the Peter Pan watching..?

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