I spent a wonderful week at Mimi's house, as has been our yearly tradition, and just got back home yesterday. Now I'm doing laundry, tidying up, and finding spots for our new Christmas goodies. :)
Alice joined me for Christmas this time around, and as always, was amazed by the huge pile of human presents. ;)
She tried using her sonic screwdriver to open one, but it didn't work. ;)
She had a great time reconnecting with her twin sister Piper.
They had a little tree just their size to enjoy in Mimi's room. :)
On Christmas morning, Alice, Piper, and Piper's friend Kailani each opened a gift.
Alice wore her new Christmas pjs. :)
They opened their gifts all together.
...some new Season 4 Shopkins! :)
...a Big Ben ornament.
And Kailani got a cute new pair of shoes.
Alice's two surprise Shopkins.
The girls with their loot.
I don't have too many pics I can share from the human side of things (too many pictures with faces showing), but here are a few that remind me of special moments. :)
A few days before Christmas, the girls had a playdate with some friends from school and made graham cracker gingerbread houses. It was really fun spending some time with the family and watching the girls play together. :)
At Mimi's house, the girls had a wonderful time doing crafts in Mimi's garage. Those stools in the background were one of their presents, handmade by their great uncle. They got to paint them later in the week. It was so much fun seeing each girl's special creativity come out as they painted.
We had a wonderful time visiting together, and exchanged gifts and stockings on Christmas morning.
One of Middle Gal's favorite gifts this year was a camera from her grandma. Oldest Gal got a camera the Christmas she was nine, so this year it was Middle Gal's turn. She's taken somewhere around 400 pictures in less than a week, and is loving it. ;)
Of course, one of the first things she did after opening it Christmas morning was to go outside and do a dolly photo shoot. ;) She and her sisters each got mini Pullips from me this year (hooray for Tuesday Morning and discounted prices!), so she took her Pullip and her camera and went to work. Several of her pictures were out of focus, but she actually got some pretty nice ones.
All of these were taken by Middle Gal:
Not bad for an almost-ten-year-old. ;)
The girls also got matching dolly and me jammies from Grandma. Little Gal and Kit model theirs here. :) Little Gal was so glad she brought Kit along so they could be twins. :)
I was so proud of Oldest Gal this year. She was an incredible help with her two young cousins. On Christmas Eve, my three girls and my brother's two girls all slept in the same room. Oldest Gal read and sang to everyone and took turns rocking her cousins in the rocking chair. When her youngest cousin had a hard time in the middle of the night, Oldest Gal had already gotten her out of her playpen and was rocking her in the chair by the time the grownups came in. She read to the girls, shared her things with them, and entertained them patiently throughout the week. In this picture, she's letting her youngest cousin color on the back of one of the sheets from Oldest Gal's brand new coloring book. My baby is growing up! :}
And, of course, no Christmas would be complete without Aunt V's gingerbread. ;) As is her yearly tradition, she also helped the girls make their own gingerbread cookies. :)
One of the nights after Christmas, Mimi got out her foot scrub and did foot massages for all of the little and big girls in the house. ;) After she was done, the girls decided they wanted to give Mimi a foot rub as a thank you. :)
The day after Christmas, Hubby, Mimi and I went to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." I'm not a huge Star Wars nut, but I have fun memories of watching the original films with my dad. This one was awesomely epic. I loved the characters, both old and new, and the story. I know some people have complained about the plot being too similar to "A New Hope." While I can see their point, I also think the characters and story are interesting enough that it works, even with the similarities. I'm looking forward to the future installments of the franchise.
And yes, I bought a beanie to commemorate the occasion. It was three bucks at Target...plus I couldn't find any Rey or BB8 action figures. ;)
On Monday morning, I got to have breakfast with my dear friend, who was visiting for the holidays. We've been best friends since the sixth grade, and she lives in Arizona now, so our visits are not very frequent anymore. It was so wonderful to spend the morning with her and catch up. It's one of those relationships where, no matter how long we've been apart, we always are able to pick up right where we left off. :) Love you, K! Thanks for a great morning. :)
My Christmas gift to Mimi was tickets to the Doctor Who Christmas Special, playing for only one night and one showing this past Monday.
I decided it would be fun to take Alice with me, since she's my Whovian.
As proven by her attire:
Mimi and I were both really excited to see it on the big screen, especially since River Song was going to be in the episode. It was also fun to meet a few other local Whovians. ;)
Unfortunately, there were technical issues at the theater, and they couldn't get the movie to play. Because it was only a one-time showing, we couldn't reschedule for another showing. We were just out of luck. It was so disappointing. :( The theater was kind enough to reimburse our tickets and give us free vouchers for another movie in the future, but it was still really sad, especially since that was my Christmas gift to Mimi.
On the way home, we stopped at Hot Topic and I used the movie refund to buy Mimi some Sherlock Titan figures for her collection, so at least she had something for her Christmas gift (besides popcorn and a soda). ;)
After I got back from the movie, I spent my last night at Mimi's house comforting Little Gal, who had excruciating pain in both ears and didn't fall asleep until four in the morning. I was able to get her an appointment the next day. Ear infections in both ears, just like I suspected. The good news is, after just one dose of medicine she had a much better night the next night, so we both got some much-needed sleep. I was so thankful she didn't have the infections until everyone else had left for home. We would have kept everyone up with her crying.
Overall, we had a wonderful time together and made lots of special memories. I always love sharing Christmas with my family. I want to be sure I cherish each special moment I have with them. Time goes by so quickly.
So, as I mentioned a month or so ago, January will be a hiatus month for me, a time to regroup, organize myself, and take care of a few things around home. However, there are several review posts I'd really like to publish before February, so I'm going to try to crank those out over the next few days and get them scheduled for this week and the next. :) Stay tuned for some fun doll and toy finds! :)