Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Holiday 2009 mega-post
The first week of the new year. A time for resolutions, fresh starts and really long holiday blog posts. The past few weeks have been pretty eventful for us, so let's get right to it.
Miranda took an extra week off before Christmas, so there was plenty of room to fit in all the stuff we wanted to do as well as lots of downtime. Our 3 week vacation actually started with Kati's birthday, followed the next day by a Metallica concert. No, I did not bring Hayley (she stayed home with mommy). Monday morning we took Hayley to the mall for her very first picture with Santa Claus. As you can see in the previous post, she did not smile, but most importantly, she did not freak out either. That was really all I was hoping for, so I came away satisfied.
The next day, Miranda, Kati and I went on a roadtrip to Lucille's BBQ, north of Sacramento (yes that is a long way to go for BBQ, but it was worth it). Hayley hung out with grandma instead of being subjected to 5 hours in the car. That night, we all visited Christmas in the Park. This is a tradition in downtown SJ that involves a mini-carnival, a sizable collection of decorated xmas trees and a whole bunch of weird, creepy holiday displays. Also, funnel cake.
We also celebrated Miranda's birthday as usual, this time with an adorable baby. Among other things, Miranda got some beautiful jewelry featuring Hayley's birthstone (amethyst) as well as a foot massager that Hayley is most definitely NOT a fan of. We all went to lunch at the Fish Market, which took forever due to terribly slow service. Hayley, who should have been napping, stayed awake until the very end, just in time for the very loud singing of the waitresses. She was not happy.
The day after mommy's birthday, we brought Hayley to Marsha's annual xmas party in RWC. We couldn't stay long, but we managed to enjoy some delicious food, meet another cute baby, and watch Hayley's reaction to our friend Tim (always amusing). A couple days later we were visited by Roberta, one of Hayley's favorite people (and Miranda's former boss). Although she didn't quite remember her, Hayley did warm up to her in the short time she was here.
The day before Christmas Eve, we started preparing for the festivities and my parents started their long drive from Arizona. This was probably the best part of the holidays this year: my parents finally getting some quality time with Hayley. They hadn't seen her in person since the week after she was born. The fun began during the day on xmas eve when my parents (AKA papa and naini) came over to spend some time before heading to Nancy's house. Hayley got off to a pretty good start with them, considering they were essentially strangers. After a while, Hayley put on her special new red dress and we left for grandma's.
As I've said before, the best thing about the holidays is family getting together. This was the first time in almost a year that both my family and Miranda's family were together, and the first time ever being together for Christmas Eve. I had been waiting for this for a while and I was not disappointed. The house was filled with love and it was a great thing. After having a wonderful dinner, everyone opened their xmas pajamas and got comfortable. Normally we would have stayed to watch a movie or something, but we had to get Hayley to bed, so we left early.
And then it was Christmas morning. Hayley and her cousin Dylan, being the only kids, got to open all of their gifts first. Hayley was still too young to really appreciate what was going on, but she certainly enjoyed herself. Like the rest of us, Hayley was still in jammies for the morning, but eventually we changed her into her adorable Christmas outfit. (I, on the other hand, stayed in pajamas the whole day.) After the kids were done with their gifts, we all kind of just opened ours at our own pace. My mom took about an hour for some reason. Miranda, Hayley and I each received some really great stuff (thank you all, you know who you are). The rest of Christmas was a blur of baked goods, more and more family, and some mild tantrums (myself included). Overall pretty successful first xmas with our baby girl.
The next few days were focused on spending time with my parents before they headed back home. This included taking my dad to a Sharks game, listening to a lot of music and playing Beatles: Rock Band, swapping family histories and crazy stories, going out to dinner, and watching a movie while mommy and baby took a nap. They also got to meet my step-brother-in-law, Gabe, who was visiting for the holidays as well. It was really nice having my parents here, we miss them so much and wish they lived a lot closer. Saying goodbye after less than a week was hard, but hopefully they'll be back to visit again soon. Hayley was just getting to know her papa and naini...
Our time between that and New Year's Eve was mostly downtime. Hayley had a couple playdates with her friend Leila, the highlight of which was eating puffs off the floor.
On New Year's Eve we took Hayley to a special event at the Children's Discovery Museum downtown called Noon Year's Eve. They have stations for making party hats, noise makers and such. Then at noon everyone gathers together at the intersection area for a ball drop countdown. It's a great way to celebrate New Year's Eve without letting your kids stay up til midnight (or waking them up for it).
Nancy, Matt, Kati and Gabe came over to our place for some football and chinese food, but left a couple hours before midnight. Miranda could have gone to bed, but she graciously stayed awake for the countdown. We pretended to drink champagne on Miranda's iPhone, then watched zombie Dick Clark and his soon-to-be replacement Ryan Seacrest ring in the new year. At this point we snuck into Hayley's room for her first picture of 2010.
The first weekend of the year was filled with new things. We watched the Winter Classic together, which was held at Fenway Park this year. Hayley got her first ever sink bath, which she enjoyed immensely. We also bought a new umbrella style Maclaren stroller, which we got a really good deal on.
The final day of Miranda's time off was great. The weather was beautiful so we all headed down to Monterey. Hayley slept pretty much the whole way there. We joined up with family at the Fisherman's Wharf where we enjoyed a delicious lunch, followed by a nice leisurely stroll. A fun, relaxing day to end a very memorable vacation.