in-law recap

My in-laws left yesterday, and we were all pretty sad to see them go. It was such a nice visit, very laid back and easy. We didn’t do a whole lot, but it was great to have them around. It’s been a blast watching Catie bond with her Grandma, giving her lots of cuddles and snuggles. And even though she’s sort of skittish around most men, she kissed her Grandpa Roger goodbye before he left. So that was cool. Plus, as I mentioned before, I know that I’ve been totally spoiled by having my mother-in-law cook breakfast and dinner nearly every day.

On Tuesday night, we had our pre-Christmas celebration. We did this last year and enjoyed it, so we did it again. We basically just do the whole big meal and gift exchange as if it was Christmas, since they won’t be here on Christmas Day. It’s pretty fun, especially since this way, we get to do Christmas twice. Mags cooked all day, the most amazing stuff that I can’t even begin to recap. I think Catie ate about two bites of the meal; meanwhile the rest of us gorged ourselves to the point that all we could do was lie around and moan. (Or was that just me? I’m not sure. The food was awesome, is my point.)

For the gift exchange, as you’d expect, all of the adults each got one or two gifts, but the focus was on Catie, who seriously cleaned up. She got some clothes, a set of bristle blocks (sort of like this, but not exactly), a toy laptop, a singing caterpillar, some Russian nesting dolls (perfect for my girl’s need to sort and organize everything), and a toy British double-decker bus that’s also a piggy bank. Oh, then she cleaned her Grandpa Roger out of all of his American coins because she needed some money to put in her piggy bank. Naturally.

Catie checks out her new "bristle blocks" set

depositing coins in British bus piggy bank

pretty even with messy hair

(You can kind of tell in this picture that she’s still a little bit sick. Something about the droopiness around her eyes.)

Anyway, we’ve been feasting on leftovers for the past two days, and I think it’s all just about gone, so I’m going to have to start cooking again soon. Sigh. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Oh, to follow up on that last post: I made and distributed the gift bags for the neighborhood kids today. Y’all are brilliant with the $1 bin suggestion, I never would’ve thought of that. What did people do before Target? Anyway, all the kids got a bunch of Hershey’s kisses, a couple of chocolate Santa’s, and two candy canes (one peppermint, one fruity). The girls got some Hello Kitty pens in fancy colors (green, purple, red) and a little compact with three lip glosses. The boys got a Slinky and a magnetic tic-tac-toe board. I hated to make a gender distinction, and yes, the girls would’ve been fine with a Slinky and tic-tac-toe, but these girls are all serious girly-girls, and I know them well enough to know that they most likely appreciated getting different stuff than their brothers got.

Of course, they mostly just freaked out about the chocolate. I was going to add some homemade cookies or something, but I didn’t really have time. And I think adults care more about the homemade factor than kids do; the kids just see “SUGAR!!” and they’re happy. So it worked out pretty well. Now if I can just get my Christmas cards in the mail…