Christmas & New Year's Eve 2015

Our pediatrician recommended that we keep Nora away from crowds around the holidays since she was so young.  As a result, we had a very low key Christmas and New Year's Eve.

 I ordered new stockings while I was still in the hospital and they arrived the day before Christmas Eve - phew!
Aunt Cyndi made this darling bow for Nora.  She loved it - haha!
 I had someone make this felt tree with ornaments with the intention of playing with it when Parker and Graham were here, but you know what they say about best laid plans....I completely forgot about it.  When I finally remembered to get it out, the boys had some fun with it at least.
On Christmas morning, Charlie came into our room at 4:00 am and could hardly even speak he was so upset.  We finally figured out that between all the whimpering he was telling us that he had a nightmare about The Joker (no, we hadn't done/watched anything Batman related the night before).  This is the first time he's had a nightmare and it took him awhile to settle down.  We finally got him settled between us in bed when it occurred to him that when he had walked through the house, the Christmas tree lights were on.  He said "Santa must have come because the tree is usually off at night."  Well, any chance of sleep was over at that point for him.  The poor guy was too excited, but we definitely didn't want to wake Jack at that hour.  Charlie patiently watched TV until 7:00 when Jack woke up!!  Needless to say, we were a little tired!!
 Christmas morning!!

The boys got a new Hot Wheels Garage as their big gift from Santa

Nora snoozed through all the present opening

Who wouldn't be excited about new socks and undies??

Here are a few clips from our hour-long present-opening video.
Nora obviously didn't need anything new, but we thought it would look suspicious to the boys if Santa didn't bring her anything, so I wrapped up some of our old baby toys and books that we hadn't gotten out of the basement yet.  I almost got busted by Jack, who has a better memory than I realized (see video below).
Luckily he just left it at that and moved on.  I was nervous because already in kindergarten he has had a few kids try to tell him that Santa is not real.  Ugh!!

One more video - this was Charlie's reaction to several of his presents.  So fun to watch him!  Jack was excited for many of them too; he's just not quite as animated as our middle child.

I got family Turf Perfect shirts made to advertise Jason's business

After we opened gifts at our house, we headed over to Cyndi and Todd's house like we always do.
Nora wore her elf hat

Clayton cousins

Nora and Lily

Nora and Jack
We went back home after breakfast and spent the rest of the morning and afternoon there.  Grandma and Grandpa Lang came over for awhile on their way to the Lang Christmas gathering, and I failed to take a single picture.  Ugh!!  We had lunch and the boys loved showing them all the cool stuff they received.  They may have also gotten suckered in to assembling some Legos and playing some games too....

After our much needed nap time, we headed over to Grandma and Grandpa Clayton's house for Christmas dinner.
Another cousin pic - all dolled up this time

Aunt Cyndi and Nora

Knichel clan

My sweet boys

Sweet girls - Mia, Paige and Lily

Our family of five

Grandma & Grandpa Clayton with their crew

Let the chaos begin!!

Grandpa and Uncle Todd
Grandpa Clayton had a big surprise in store for Charlie.  You may recall that on Jack's first Christmas he received an old Lionel train from Grandpa.  This year it was Charlie's turn.  Grandpa wrote a poem and read it to Charlie.  The extra special part is that Grandpa made a chest to store the train from a fallen walnut tree from his farm.  He gave us an album of photos documenting the whole process, from dragging the tree out of the field, all the way to staining it.  He spent a lot of time making this special chest for Charlie and it turned out really, really nice.

Nora turned 3 weeks old on Christmas Day and was thrilled about her photo shoot...
 Not a great comparison since they're not all the same scale, but here's our girl at weeks 1, 2 and 3...
For New Year's Eve we were in the same boat.  Our neighbors went to the Ashers' house and my friend Melissa from work had a party as well.  We decided to keep Nora in sequester and just stayed home.  Our friends Kory and Caron mozied down from the Ashers' house to visit for a bit and meet Nora.  We just watched Alladin with the boys, watched the London countdown at about 10:00 and called it a night.  Nora did get a little dolled up for the occasion, even though the rest of us were in sweatpants.

It was a nice, peaceful way to close out the year.  We wouldn't have had it any other way.

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