Thursday, January 5, 2012

Next stop...Gaga and Papa's

After we enjoy our morning of Christmas, we pack up all the gifts in the car, make a drop at Mah/Dah's and then head to my parent's house. We have such a set routine for Christmas it is actually nice to know that at the end of this month of chaos we know exactly what the two days will bring and where we are suppose to be!

We got there early afternoon, then everyone went in separate directions. Lots of last minute errands were done. I stayed with the kiddos and mom. Once Chaz woke from his nap I decided to break out the gingerbread house. I know, I totally should have done this WAY earlier but considering the end result I am kinda glad it was a one-day-thing. Just wait.. it is worth it :)

Chaz was super excited and we started out following the directions 100%.
Yep, following directions!  Chaz was a little bitter that I wouldn't let him munch on the big cookies. "Sorry son, that is the house" 
I couldn't get the darn thing to stand up in the tray so I called in backup. This was the beginning of the end.. no fault of the hubs
So we watched..
and smiled.
and watched
and helped
and helped .. and maybe ate some of the icing, maybe.
and then it fell. ..and the may lay began.
When life give you lemons icing, make a BIG mess at the grandparent's house
Yeah, this is really our Gingerbread house.. Really.  The kid didn't care. All he wanted to do was eat the candy. I told you it was worth the wait. 2011 Hill family gingerbread house! I am so proud!
Guy Smiley loved Gaga's snowmen. He was giggling up a storm!
Then we changed into our matching Christmas pajamas. Yes, we do this. Don't judge. It is one of my favorite traditions. 1) because it drives my brother nuts, sisterly love y'all! 2) because my folks know how to pick out super cozy pjs.

The boys got Santa pjs. They were adorable.
Hugging up with daddy. I heart all my boys!
Chaz is at a great age for hanging out with his Uncle Shane. He is super funny and can ham around. So they took full advantage of this fact.
Finally, a normal one with Uncle Shane and Aunt Lisa..
Then back to goofiness.
Yes, that would be a bum. He was on a wee bit of a sugar high.
The calm ones were on the other side of the room. Dane loves to be on his Papa's chest and listen to his heartbeat and deep humming. He is the baby whisperer.
One of the sweetest moments of the night. Chaz and Gaga curled up reading "The Night Before Christmas"  He was so excited, telling everyone Santa was going to come to Gaga and Papa's in the morning and we had to get to bed early so he would come.
Then it was time for the elves to get to work. Dad purchased this MASSIVE Power Ranger (yes, this was part of the Christmas Eve errands) and it was a bit of a challenge to put together.
He called in another elf..
and then another. Yes, it took three grown elves (in matching pjs.. hee! hee!) to put this thing together. The Power Ranger Megazord. Oh my!
Gaga and I worked on the Leap Pad.
 Speaking of this toy--best example of customer service during our Christmas 2011 season.  We knew this was something Chaz really wanted but we didn't expect it to be this hard to find.  My parent's decided this would be their "Santa" gift for Chaz so we set out on a mission to find it. Actually, we just went to Walmart one day expecting to find it fairly easily (note: this was before Thanksgiving, before Black Friday, before any mad rush)

Well, they had plenty of pink ones, but we were not going to buy a pink one. So, Ryan went and talked to the toy department manager to see if there were "some in the back" I love this btw. Does everyone think there is a magical stash in the backroom where the keep all the goodies just in case someone asks if there are "some in the back"  What the heck??

Anywho, there were not any in the magical storage unit in the back. She told Ryan that she was holding one for a lady coming up from Fort Smith and if by chance the lady didn't show in the next few hours, she would be happy to release it to Ryan. We did purchase the pink one, just in case. I am not sure of what that case may have been because we were not going to give Chaz a pink one but Ryan said it was just in case. Ok.

We went on about our business of eating lunch and getting the kids down for naps. I jumped on Amazon to see if I could snag one of these quickly disappearing things only to find that they were going for upwards of 3 times the retail price. Um no, that is not happening. No sooner did I pick my jaw up off the ground, did Ryan's phone ring. I heard him say "Really? Ok, I will be there in 10 minutes"  She called! The lady from Ft Smith didn't show and the thing was ours! YIPPEE!!  A+ Walmart employee, A+. Yes, Ryan wrote a letter to the store manager and we have been back to personally thank the department manager several times. Excellent customer service! Excellent!

Back to the action:

The next morning we were ready to roll. Chaz woke up at 7ish and my poor parents had the daunting task of keeping the 4 year-old from going beyond the kitchen until all the adults were up (it is a rule that we must all enter the living room together.) Good luck with that one! But he listened well and didn't go in until he was told it was ok.
Daddy worked to get the second camera ready (btw, I have never seen my father wear his hat backwards. I am sure this is so the bill wouldn't get in the way of his picture taking.  HA!)
Now enter the kid. He did manage to see the Megazord from the kitchen. He said "I got it! Santa came and I got a Megazord!" Please note this was never EVER talked about and wasn't even on the list. I honestly didn't even know he knew about the Megazord. What the heck!?!?
Gotta get the hat! Definitely a Christmas morning must!
This picture doesn't really show it but he was pumped about his iPad (aka Leap Pad) If you only knew little man, if you only knew.
and what is this? I got a garbage truck? If you follow, you know my kid has a minor major obsession with garbage trucks. Not sure where this comes from but it is a running joke in the family.
Megazord. Need I say more? Well, I could mention that it took the three elves about 45 minutes to get it all together (and they kept the box for reference. Yes, Santa left the box) and Chaz 1 minute to take it apart and put it back together. He is a master.
Could you just eat him up??
I love this picture. Yes, it is a little out of focus. No, it is not a cute posed picture of our little family of four. But if you see what I see.. you see a family who is 100% in the moment and happier than they ever thought possible. It is the little moments like this that keep me going. God love my family!
Sleepy mommy eyes but happy mommy eyes.
It didn't take long for him to get everyone involved in the Megazord. I mean seriously? Who knew this would be such a hit?!?!
Then it was time for stockings. I tell ya, this kid loves stockings!
 "Momma, there is an orange in my stocking"  This makes me giggle as I have had an orange, an apple and nuts in the bottom of my stocking for as many Christmases as I can remember. My husband thinks it is a little weird but I think it is home. It is tradition.
One of the cutest Santas ever. The other one was shown above.
My cute Santas. LOVE THEM!!!
More snuggle time with Daddy.
We had to have snow at Gaga and Papa's as well. You know Chaz wouldn't have believed us otherwise. He decided to clean it up with his new bulldozer.
New pjs were a must this year. He had totally outgrown everything he had. He was very excited to get these snazzy pjs.
So excited that he had to lay them out perfectly and take a picture. Yes, he took this picture. How stinkin' cute is that?
Then he stopped dead in his tracks. He noticed something under the tree. It wasn't a present. It wasn't the dog..
It was PINGLE!!! Excited to say the least. But he refused to touch it. Remember, if you touch him he will loose his magical powers. BUT you can touch him.. on Christmas Day, after Santa has visited. He was very reluctant to do so but after several minutes of convincing he finally gave in.
Playtime with Papa. I love this next set of picture. Pure happiness. Pure love.
You ready Santa? It is time to hand out presents.
He was more interested in trying to read the names and to give presents to all of us that opening his own gifts. What a sweet, sweet boy I have. I am blessed!!

"You see my hot wheels??" I love this pose. It makes me giggle.
Papa had to explain these little magic squiggle things he got in his stocking. I am not sure how to explain them other than they are on an invisible wire and very creepy.. and that my boy thought they were one of the "coolest things ever!"
Those orange and green things on the floor. .. yep, those are them
Why wouldn't you jump in the pile of paper and boxes while wearing your new fireman suit??
Chaz wrangled Daddy into doing the Spiderman puzzle with him. He is very good at puzzles. Very good!
a little playtime with his jets. As you can tell we don't move very fast on Christmas morning. Why would we? Let's enjoy every.single.moment. You can't get them back.
This is a funny one.. Chaz loves magic tricks and Ryan is constantly trying to teach magic tricks to him.  Unfortunately, Ryan is no David Blaine. Not ever close. He tries but.. Anywho, this was the first Christmas present purchased by my parents. Dad thought Ryan needed a magic kit, he needed to learn and needed to teach Chaz.  After all the present opening was done I look down to see this. Yes, he is intently reading the instructions to the magic kit (which coincidentally is created for ages 7+)
Chaz noticed what was going on and after Ryan trying to do a trick for him a few times, he said "Let me try it!"
Before I blinked my eyes twice-- bam bam bam alakazam! Magic trick executed perfectly! Wow. Ryan, you are going to need to practice.
add in the little brother for a bigger audience.
He seemed to enjoy himself
Momma and Dane enjoying the new Baby Einstein light up car mirror.
After some more breakfast pizza (Heaven on a plate!!) showers and packing of the cars, we were off to my cousins house to meet the rest of the family.

They were already in the middle of their Christmas exchange so we just plopped down and enjoyed the fellowship.

My sweet Meme! God love this woman!
Chaz helping Kelsey open her presents.
Michelle (aka the baby snatcher #2, my momma is #1)
Chaz hanging out with Aunt Sandra
After prying Dane out of he mom's arms (*wink) Alexis got a chance to hug and kiss on Dane and I got some of the sweetest pictures ever.
That is a laugh/giggle/gummy grin!
"Do you know what this is Meme?? It is Megazord!!!"  Oh my kid! We know, it is a Megazord. We got it, you love it! Meme was so sweet and played along.
And then Chaz discovered he had some presents at this house too! Everyone is just some loving and good to my boys. They shower them with hugs, kisses and love.. And they give them a giant Santa sack of goodies.
And the second favorite toy of the morning.... you know the first by now (MEGA... ok moving on..)  The TRex. This is a special toy as Chaz's Uncle Stephen's nickname is TRex so Michelle, Stephen, Alexis and Kelsey got him the Imaginext TRex. He loves this beast.
Here is the rewind to 2010  and 2009 

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