Monday, December 26, 2011

The Night Before Christmas

...and the next morning.
Christmas Eve was a day of questions in the Traylor house. Questions about Santa, how he would get into the house, what he might do while he was here, when he was coming, how the chimney worked. All sorts of questions. We explained things in the best way we could, by telling Lilly that Santa is magic. When that explanation led to more questions we gave up and admitted ignorance, explaining that no one really knows how Santa does it, that no one has ever seen him because he simply won't come if you are awake or out of bed.
This led to a quiet panic. Lilly, who usually is anti bed time, brushed her teeth, used the potty and climbed into bed without a word of argument. It was about that time that we realized that Bryan and I realized that we had forgotten to leave Santa some cookies. We got Lilly out of bed to make a plate for Santa. She seemed really uneasy about the whole thing, looking around like maybe he was already here, and putting the cookies and carrots on the plate without any nonsense. As soon as we set the plate down on the fireplace she was back in bed quick as could be. Then, a true Christmas miracle occurred: Lilly went to sleep without any requests for drinks, potty trips, stories, songs, band aids, etc. She even asked us to close her door so that she wouldn't accidentally see Santa.
Cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.

Bryan and I were lucky enough to get some pictures after Santa came, but before the kids got up.
Jack and his new car and track.

Lilly loves to brush, comb and style hair. All hair other than her own, obviously.

Even though he got quite a few new toys Jack is still partial to his puppy.

Opening a present.

Jack may be the first Traylor ever to dunk a basketball...or even make a basket.
The best part of Christmas when your only one? The pile of trash.

Santa also visited Grandma and Papaw's house. He left a horse there for Lilly, Jack and Samantha. Clearly, Bryan doesn't trust Lilly to keep Jack from being bucked off.

Please note: Lilly received her very own camera for Christmas so there aren't many pictures of her as she preferred to be the one taking them. And, she rarely held still long enough for a picture.

Thanks to everyone who thought of my kids this year at Christmas. They are very fortunate for there are many, many people who love them and help to make their holidays and every other days special. And, for this, Bryan and I truly grateful.

Merry Christmas everyone. Until next year....

Friday, December 23, 2011

Polar Express

Last Thursday our little family did the Polar Express train ride. The train leaves from Binford Ave station and heads through Fishers and then onto The North Pole (aka Noblesville Town Center) to pick up Santa and Mrs. Claus. On the first leg of the trip everyone was served hot chocolate and cookies while we watched Christmas lights pass. And then, on way back Santa visited with each of the kids while the Mrs. led the car in Christmas carols and passed out a little gifts.
This was the best I could do at a group picture. The kids were more interested in looking out the windows and, in Lilly's case, visiting with her new friend across the aisle than they were in getting their pictures taken. Bryan lucked into taking this adorable picture of Jack looking out the window and is now convinced that he should quit his job and follow his true calling as a child photographer.

Lilly posed with Santa, but choked when he asked what she wanted for Christmas. Jack, on the other hand, panicked and froze with terror when Santa spoke to him.

The train was a great time, but would probably be more fun with a bigger group. Who wants to join us next year?

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Last year Lilly went with my mom and dad to get their Christmas tree. They took her to a place that they had heard about from some friends, but had never been to before. They had a great time and decided to include Jack and I in the invitation this year. We all had so much fun that the kids and I brought Bryan back that weekend to pick out our Christmas tree.
Dull's Tree Farm is north of Zionsville and kind of a hike, but well worth the trip. Obviously, there are lots of trees to choose from, but there are also little Christmas shops, a wreath barn, a couple animals and a barn loft with slides, tunnels in the straw and big underground slide outside.
On our first visit with Mom and Dad Lilly worked up the courage to explore some of the tunnels in the straw maze. She was a little braver when we came back the second time and a nice brother and sister pair went with her.
Jack gets in on some sliding action with a little help from Papaw.

Walking in straw is harder than you might realize.

The tunnel to the slide.

And, of course Lilly's favorite of the tree farm was all of the friendly kitties. Although, the one that brought her a dead mouse as a gift led to a lot of questions on the ride home.

Return trip with Daddy. Proudly pulling the Traylor tree to the wrapping station.

After quite a bit of thought and assurance she decided to try the big underground slide with Daddy.

It is basically huge PVC pipe buried in a hill. Needless to say, they shot out of there like a rocket and Bryan was repeatedly shocked with static electricity.

Lilly's eyes were the size of saucers when they came out of the bottom of the slide. But, she immediately wanted to go again.

Decorating the tree. The ornaments are pretty much all in clumps and groups and most of them have been moved up out of Jack's reach. Nothing on the tree really matches and there is no rhyme or reason to the decorating. In short, it is our worst decorated tree ever...and we couldn't be more happy or proud. There was also a moment or two of confusion about the Christmas tree skirt, but we got it all straightened out in the end.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Morgan's Birthday...

This year, to celebrate Morgan's 15th birthday Bryan's entire family gathered together in Eastern Kentucky for a huge turkey dinner. There was turkey, dressing, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy and several desserts among other things. All for Morgan's birthday...that just happened to be the same weekend as another holiday, Thanksgiving.
After dinner on Thursday Bryan's dad, a private pilot, took Bryan, Matthew, Lilly and Jack to see the new jet he has been flying. Grandma went along too, but I don't think she was too interested in the jet. Wes claims that he has invited her up to see the jet several times and she was never interested...until the grand kids were. Rumor has it that Wes is a very talented and reliable pilot, but I don't think I would trust his copilot. Bryan and Jack on the jet. Hope Lilly doesn't get too attached to this pillow.

After the big turkey dinner Morgan's birthday celebrations continued on Friday night at Gattiland, a pizza buffet for kids with games and prizes. Think Chuck E Cheese only nicer and with better food and games.

Morgan's cake.

Morgan was kind enough to share her birthday with Lilly. Lilly got to help blow out candles, make a wish and open gifts.

Morgan was pretty excited about all of the new clothes that she got for her birthday, but you could tell that Lilly felt sorry for her because she didn't get any toys at all.

Clearly, Jack was upset about the lack of toys too.

Jack love his first ride on a carousel. He was clapping and waving at Lilly and everyone standing around watching. When the ride would end he would point to the place where you put the money in and grunt. With two parents, two grandparents, an aunt and a couple of cousins there was obviously a stampede to put more money in and start the ride again.

Morgan, a most gracious birthday girl, used her prize tickets to purchase a princess crown for herself and Lilly. Something about Lilly in her crown, pearl necklace and assorted other jewelry, riding a monster truck in Eastern Kentucky just stuck me as funny.