One of the dads in my class is crazy creative and he brought me this adorable gingerbread house during our holiday celebration on Friday! We had just finished watching The Polar Express and that amazingly sappy Josh Groban song was playing when he walked in the door with it. Considering Mom and I make a house almost every year (except this one), I knew exactly how hard this was to make and how much time it must have taken him and his daughter to put together. I was overwhelmed with gratitude, to say the least!
That day also included numerous gracious gifts from many kids, and one incredibly special gift from a sweet girl who admitted to having no money, so she gave me some of her Halloween candy (I hugged her extra tight and told her thank you). My kids were all very merry and cheery and extra super nice to each other and to me, so it was a wonderful day.
After such a wonderful day, we went to drop Sylvia off at Grammy's house, which meant we had a lovely dinner date night alone! Can you believe Mom and Jay actually ASKED if they could keep her for the night? Bunch of weirdos. Apparently, cousin Charile was staying overnight, and since Sylvia has been there for the last four months, he was disappointed to learn that she wouldn't be there this time, so they called and begged us to let her stay. The kids screamed and chased each other for hours before going to bed and sleeping all night long, sweet things!
Sylvain and I went out to dinner (aahhh!!!) and then came home to organize and unpack. Well, that's what I did. He watched Mad Max on the couch with the surround sound system turned all the way up, enjoying his night of no-baby-in-the-house! We met up with the others this morning and took Charlie and Sylvia to EnterTRAINment Junction in West Chester. It was a long drive, but it was TOTALLY worth it! It was a huge building FULL of trains! These two were in choo choo heaven. After the regular exhibit, we went to the Christmas train exhibit, which was amazing. THEN we found out there was another separate area where Mrs. Claus was sitting in her kitchen handing out cookies and Santa was waiting to talk to the kids!
We waited in line for maybe five minutes before they let our group - just US - into Mrs. Claus' kitchen. She gave Sylvia and Charlie a cookie and tried to talk to them, but they were both so awestruck that they didn't say a word to her. Sylvia was holding tight to my leg, so I was sure she wouldn't sit on Santa's lap. We walked through the kitchen and down a hallway, then through a wooden door into a sweet little room with a fireplace, a tree, and SANTA HIMSELF! They closed the door behind us and we had Santa all to ourselves! He chatted with the kids about Woody and Buzz Lightyear, and he asked Sylvia if she wanted a baby doll (how did he know?!).
Then he asked her if she wanted some dishes and a kitchen. Ummm.... She has no idea what those words are and she certainly isn't interested in those for Christmas, so I said to her, "Tell Santa what you want for Christmas!" and whispered "Choo choo, please" in her ear. She looked right at him and said softly..."choo choo!" He looked surprised and said, "Oh! You like choo choo trains?!" Now, I've been told that it's not typical for a girl to like trains, but I wouldn't know because this is the first girl I've ever birthed and tried to raise. From my perspective, a train is as reasonable as a set of dishes. I looked at that Santa and thought to myself, "Okay buddy, you're the Santa at a TRAIN exhibit - I'm pretty sure every kid you see wants a choo choo by the time they get to you, you can't be THAT surprised!"
Anyway, he talked to her for a long, long time, but she wouldn't sit on his lap. She clung to me and we got really close to him so they could talk, but that's about as far as she got. Which was fine with me, because I'm never going to force her to sit on his lap ever again! Here's her magical Santa experience photos:
Mom and I tried over and over to get a good, Christmas-timey photo of the kiddos, but if you've ever been around a toddler in a Christmas train exhibit, you'd know that they do not stand or sit still for one single second, and asking them say cheese is about as annoying as asking them to go to bed, so we left with NO good shots for a Christmas card (I'm thinking about just using a Santa pic since I'm kind of running out of time!) However, we did get the sweetest picture of all time on our way to the car:
All that's left to do this week is shopping, wrapping, and tree decorating. Sylvia and I are going to have SO much fun! (Daddy has to work until Wednesday - sucker!)