It’s been a while since I’ve written.  I’ll write a post, or a few, to catch up, but right now I just want to write about Christmas.

This whole Christmas season has been hard, but a lot of fun.  I’ll write more about the hard parts later, but right now for the fun.  Mingli is 18 months old and actually enjoyed Christmas this year.  In the middle of January someone gave us a bunch of baby books, including more than a dozen Christmas books.  I had seen something online that I really wanted to do, but I didn’t have enough books.  After I got these I finally did, so I wrapped up all the Christmas books, including the ones I already had, and everyday Mingli and I opened one and read them together.  Mingli loved it.  When he saw me pull out a wrapped book in the morning he would laugh and run to the rocking chair.  I think that is going to become a great tradition, although it made it so we couldn’t put presents under the tree until the last minute because Mingli wanted to open them.

We got all of our Christmas shopping done early.  Kaanas gets a coupon just after Thanksgiving every year as a Christmas present for 25% off a whole purchase, so we use that to get presents.  Then I decided to crochet some presents for Kaanas, and I remembered that I needed to fix up the rocking horse Kaanas and I had bought from a thrift store in May (see this post).  The rocking horse needed a little bit of fixing up.  It had scuffs on the wooden rockers, it had no handles, and parts of the mane had been pulled out.  So I painted the rockers, built new handles and painted them the same as the rockers, cut off the old mane, then sewed on a new one.  It was more work than I thought it would be, but it turned out better than I thought as well.  We also got him two small play sets, one a zoo and one dinosaurs, some wooden blocks and duploxs, a dump truck, and some wooden peg puzzles.  My parents got him a cool car track and a robot the plays music.  I was super excited about all of this.  Mingli has a lot of toys, but most of them were given to us by others before Mingli was even born, so they were toys for young babies.  He was outgrowing so many of his toys, and I wanted toys that he could be growing into instead of growing out of.  I was so excited about him having toys that he can use for pretend, puzzles, a toy to encourage dancing (gross motor), and a more complex way to play with his cars (his favorite toy).

On Christmas eve Kaanas bought some steaks that were on sale and we had those for dinner.  I had never cooked steaks before, we don’t usually spend that much money on food, so I had to look up how to cook steak online.  I looked up several sites, and they all said the same thing, cook it on medium high in some olive oil for 5-7 minutes, then flip it over and cook it for 5-7 minutes on the other side.    I don’t know if something was wrong with the directions (on all the sites) or if something was wrong with my stove, because I cooked the steaks just barely over medium (slightly lower than I was supposed to), and flipped then after 5 minutes, and they were completely charred.  I cooked the other side for about 3 minutes then put it in the oven, because the inside was still rare.  It was still mostly edible, but next time I will definitely cook it on a lower heat.

This was me and Kaanas’s first year as Santa Claus, and we had a lot of fun.  In my family we don’t wrap Santa Clause presents, so we set out the presents from Kaanas and me all wrapped and under the tree, and then the rocking horse, the dupluxs, and the dinosaur play set we staged.  We built a tower with the duplos and had the box tipped over and spilling around the tower, and the dino play set was all set up.

I was so excited to see Mingli come into the room and see how it would react.  For once when Mingli woke up Kaanas and I didn’t try to get him to lay quietly in bed with us so we could doze a little longer, we were as excited to get up as he was.  Mingli’s reaction was was a little disappointing.  He came into the living room, saw the presents, then turned around and walked out.  Kaanas brought him back in and sat down and started playing with him.  Then he got excited.  We spent a little bit of time playing with each of the Santa presents, then we started opening the presents that were wrapped.  Mingli loved his presents.  He spent the rest of the day playing with his new toys, and even fell asleep for his nap sitting on the floor with his cars.  Kaanas and I also opened the presents we got for each other.  I was nervous about Kaanas’s presents, but he seemed to like them.  I loved the presents Kaanas got me.  He got me a shelf to go over the sink, which I have been wanting, and some bone china.  The bone china was just a simple white set of 4 place setting, but I am really excited.  I wasn’t immediately excited about the bone china, I don’t like plain white as much, I like simple patterns, more traditional than modern, but the more I looked at it the more I liked it.  It looks elegant, and it will match a lot.  Kaanas said that eventually he is going to get me fancier stuff, but by getting me the white he was able to get me 4 place settings instead of just 1.  Kaanas knows that I have been wanting bone china ever since I started looking at stuff for our wedding registry.  Now I finally have some, and enough for our whole family to use it on special occasions, we can even have enough if we invite another couple over for dinner.  I’m super happy.

All in all it was a great Christmas.


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