Oh What Fun... or something

Our kids have been pretty well behaved in public lately, it's shocking really. With the Christmas season upon us, we've found ourselves venturing to malls with the rest of humanity. Surprisingly, our attempt at a Santa picture this year was a huge success. Really, that has been the highlight of my Christmas season so far. I have dreamed of having a cute Santa picture for the last 3yrs- not that the ones of them as babies aren't cute, or last year's screaming faced ones... Anyways, this year, the Santa was actually jolly-looking and even joked around with the kids in line and spoke to them when they got to his chair- in years past we've been stuck with the skinny Santa that never smiles or interacts with the kids, so that was the first bonus. Second bonus was the fact that instead of looking completely vacant, Kalea looks super satisfied/happy and we distracted Brynlee from throwing a fit by giving her the box of North Pole cookies while sitting with Santa and then she didn't want to get off his lap! That was pretty awesome. I didn't feel like I got completely ripped off by the whole experience this year, and that my friends, is the magic of the season. Haha, totally kidding. From Santa's chair, the kids are ushered in to the North Pole bakery where they can decorate a gingerbread man. My kids were more interested in just eating the icing and sprinkles out of the little container they got, so the nice bakery lady gave them extra for us to actually put on the cookies!
Kalea loves to make faces when I ask her to smile for the camera right now, usually the squinty "cheese" face that gives her "Asian eyes" and a scary smile. It's pretty fun/starting to get really annoying.
After our awesome experience with Santa, we went and met our new cousin/niece, Quinn. She belongs to Jos and Jarom, and we didn't get pictures, but oh man she is super cute! Kalea and Brynlee were super gentle with her too, which is surprising if you've seen them around babies lately. After our visit there, we picked up lunch to take home and we ate while listening to Christmas music. It was fun. Later in the evening while the kids were playing nicely in their room (shocking) Steve and I were discussing the holidays and I was expressing some minor frustration about how hard it is to get stuff done around the house because I have to check on them constantly. Steve said, and I quote, "You know, Alli, you have to relax a little sometimes and just realize that you can't keep an eye on them all of the time, and that's okay." Ahem, behold the following...
I'm so glad I have a good supply of brand new sunscreen on hand, just for moments like this, in the middle of winter, when Brynlee might get a sunburn... The towel on the floor is actually covering the perfectly round circle of sunscreen that she was standing in, she's crying because she may or may not have gotten a spanking from her more relaxed parent. You can only imagine the conclusion to me and Steve's conversation, it may have included copious amounts of mocking and laughter and I told you so's. Oh and Kalea was not pictured because she was doing the "ugly cry" on her bed at this point, and really, who needs to see that?
In other news we are enjoying our mild winter (knock on wood) the kids have been able to get outside and play and it's been nice enough that they stay out longer than 5mins, which is great because it takes about 10 to get them all geared up to go outside. Oh and Kalea cut herself some trendy pixie bangs, you know, just because that's awesome right before Christmas...
Oh, and Kalea mostly hates getting geared up to go outside, so most of the time it's a 10min fight to put her jacket and boots on. She really is hating snowpants this winter, because they are pants and she would rather be a princess and wear her summer nightgown outside. Basically, she's awesome. Oh and Brynlee in top left picture, wearing nothing but a diaper under that sweater. Canadian much?
What else do we have to share? We hosted "advent" at our house last night with Steve's family, that was super fun. We even had Oma Behr skype in and tell us a Christmas memory and sing Silent Night with us. I love skype, it's so fun to be able to walk around with the laptop and show grandparents what decorations we have, and the food and have them be apart of our celebrations even if they live in a different city. Steve and I are really enjoying the fact that both our kids are old enough to understand Christmas for the most part now and that all of the fun traditions we enjoyed as kids, we can now pass on to them and start really creating memories as a family. I'm sad that I didn't get any pictures of the night though, I even had my camera out so I could be ready.
Haha, this is me trying to get a picture of the girls in their sweater dresses from Oma Stringham after Stake Conference last weekend. It was a gong show, and probably way too big a deal than it needed to be. I have hope that maybe next year we'll actually get some cute ones of them posing and being adorable, because they do it all day long until I pull out the camera.
Christmas cards are starting to pour in and it reminds me that I haven't done ours yet. Mostly because I haven't found a picture of us from this year that I actually really love, although a Christmas card with all of the "outtakes" from different photo sittings could be pretty hilarious, we've had some doozies this year. Anyways, Christmas is in full swing around here, and we are excited to share all our fun with friends and family. More posts to come, I promise!