Oh my gosh...overwhelmed at the number of blogs I'm behind on!! I have so many fun events that happened even BEFORE Christmas that I haven't blogged about yet. So for this minute while the babies are nestled snugly in their infant loungers downstairs, I will begin with Christmas Eve...
To say that I love the holiday season is really an understatement. I absolutely love it. I love that moment when Starbucks breaks out the holiday cups, I love it when, even if it's still in November, stores start putting out holiday decorations, I love the madness at Target especially in the holiday section, I love that there's a month of Christmas shows on TV, I love that the grocery stores have special displays with all the things we need for our special meals, I love the Salvation Army bell ringers that are everywhere and I especially love that I have a reason to watch Clark W. Griswold a dozen times. I'm that person who loves to do last minute Christmas Eve shopping at the mall!! We used to go with my dad and I love it! We didn't make it this year because obviously life is different now, but those were fun times!
But it's funny how the meaning changes as you get older...Of course, when you're little, the anticipation of Christmas is just about the best thing ever...and as you get a little older, you really start to appreciate how great it is to give to others...in fact, I really think it's more fun that way. This year, while still everything I could've hoped for, I was a little sad because we were not able to give to others like we would've in the past. Our circumstances have changed, (aka we had triplets) and "extra" money is just not something we have anymore. I worried about it and worried about it, not because I thought anyone would be upset, but I just really wanted to be able to give back to the many people who have given to us. But this was not that year. When the tables turn someday and we are in that position again, I can't wait to reciprocate....
But anyway, Christmas Eve was in fact "Christmas" for my side of the family. So we had my mom and dad, Mary and Emilio, my Aunts Kim and Valerie, Uncle Jim, the babies, and the dogs Rocco and Piper over to the house. Because we were not able to give "presents" as much this year, I was happy that we could at least host the Christmas! So we had a delicious dinner, we did a white elephant gift card exchange with the adults, and then, and THEN...we watched the babies open presents!! Something I have waited for....
Now this first gift needs a little explanation. My name is Ami. I'm a blog addict. Yes, I spent many hours surfing the hundreds of triplet blogs even while I was still pregnant. Do you know what I saw in practically every one of them?? This really great 3 car wagon!! It was so darn cute but I could never figure out where people got them! I would look in Babies R Us, Target, etc. and they didn't even exist there. Well one day, my dad, and my friends Charlotte and Niki were at my house playing with the babies and we decided to go online and see if we could find it. BAD NEWS!!! The company doesn't even make them anymore!! NOOoooooo!! Well that began the ultimate Craigs List/ Ebay search...okay seriously, people who own them and know you can't get them brand new anymore totally took advantage!! We thought we'd found one, but when all was said and done we would've had to pay almost $600. Yeah Right...we'll just keep using our regular wagon, which the babies love anyway.
Well, Niki, being the good friend that she is, remembered that day and she became the ultimate wagon searcher. Seriously she would text me the minute she saw an ad go up for one. Once I was too late. But a few weeks before Christmas, I happened to be on the computer just as she sent me an instant message saying she JUST saw an ad posted for all 3 cars in Surprise, Arizona! I immediately emailed the owners and begged them to save it for me, and they said, "No problem, it's all yours!!" And the best part, it was only $150. So I called my dad and told him the perfect gift for him to give his grandbabies had just presented itself!! So that's step one. Now I needed someone to get it for me quickly, before the people got a better offer. Thankfully, my best friend Jen and her husband Nate live somewhat nearby and without even a minute of hesitation, she offered to go get $150 of her own cash up front and go pick it up for me two days later! I LOVE HER!! I have very cute pictures of her pulling it in her backyard with 3 cabbage kids in it, but they were not wanting to upload! Oh well, thank you Niki, thank you Jen & Nate, thank you people in Surprise, AZ and thank you Dad! I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS WAGON!!
Here, we have just presented the Step 2 Choo Choo Wagon to the Bunchkins!
I think Colton was expecting a roller coaster ride!
How cute are they??
Grampa Sam is pulling us through the house...into the kitchen we go!
Through the living room...
I CAN'T STAND IT! I'm afraid I might be more excited than the babies! Oh well!
Uncle Emilio, Aunt Mary and Dog-cousin Rocco
Brian & Hunter, Me, My Mom, My Dad & Ethan, Mary, Emilio & Colton
My smaller family on our first Christmas!
My family and 99 year old Great Grammy Russo! I love that we have this memory!
Great Grammy Russo and Ethan (or as she calls him "Eaten") I will always remember that about her someday when she's no longer here. Probably when she's 115 years old. I can't believe what a trooper she is! You'd be amazed by this woman. She still lives alone, swims, takes walks, plays with babies, etc. I love my Gramma!
On the far right is Auntie Kim and Ethan, then Uncle Jim, then Auntie Valerie! We missed my cousins, Jake and Cristina!
My weak attempt at being Martha Stewart...
Ethan crashed during dinner, even before any presents were opened!
And finally, we got to Aunt Mary & Uncle Emilio's gift, which, it must be said, she was quite proud of! It's the Fisher Price Learning Farm!
Lesson Number 1 when kids are involved...PRE-ASSEMBLE the gift! :) Here's Aunt Mary being the good Aunt and putting it together for them right then and there, even though I kept saying, "Just wait. You don't have to do it now!" Oh contrare!
I'm sure every parent thinks their kids' reactions to Christmas presents are the best, and I am the same. If you want to see a kid light up, come watch the Bunchkins with the learning farm!! I have never seen anything so funny in my life! Colton could barely catch his breath, he was giggling so hard!! It's fantastic that it's two sided and all three can actually play together at once!
And here we are playing with our alligator chimes!
Rocoo opening his presents!
Colton opening a present from his great Aunties and Uncle
Me and the Bunchkins
Grampa Sam and Hunter