It’s Christmas Eve Ya’ll!

 

Now being a mother, I look forward to the holiday season every year! Of course, I’m going to be MIA tomorrow so I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas now! Tonight, we’re going to my cousin’s house to celebrate with my father’s side of the family. Kyle is so excited to go because all his cousins will be there and he can’t wait to give them their presents he helped wrap. He’s getting the Maui hook tonight from his Aunt & Uncle, so he is going to go crazy! Then on Christmas, the kid’s grandparents come up to our house super early, and we all open presents together from Santa. I am so blessed that the kids have such involved grandparents, where they don’t want to ever miss a thing.  I am a big family person, so I soak up every moment that everyone is together, because it doesn’t happen too often.

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What are your kids into this year? My son is all Paw Patrol. I’m also positive about 95% of his gifts are those cute little pups. He’s getting the Sea Patroller, The Life Size Lookout Tower, and every pup to go with it. Then let’s not forget the Hatchimal (thanks Nana!). To be honest, I’m kind of excited for this toy. I remember as a kid, we had the Tamagotchi’s and Furby’s. I LOVED those. Granted my mother had to take care of it half of the time so it didn’t die which I’m sure I’ll be doing the same, but he’s going to be SO excited when he opens it. Did I mention it’s the twins?! Let’s start his parenting skills early, so maybe he can see how much work us mothers do!

My Lilly Bear is easier this year. She’s at that age where it’s mainly learning toys, but it’s her first Christmas so I’m super excited! I am starting a tradition with her involving Disney Princesses, so she’ll be getting a few of those this year from her MomMom. I’m really excited for what I’m doing, so I’m sure I’ll share it once she’s a little older and we start! Besides that, she’s getting her first Barbie, along with some baby dolls. Her Nana is getting her a ride on car, so I’m sure she’ll enjoy sitting on that. I take her to a place called ‘Tumble Town’  often in York, and she could sit on the cars for hours. If she’s moving around, she’s happy. My girl doesn’t stop for nothing. She’s going to have an awesome First Christmas.

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Tonight, we’ll be sure to put our Christmas PJ’s on, watch some Christmas cartoons, leave out some cookies and milk for Santa… or should I say some beer & wine for Santa and Mrs. Claus 😉 and get a good night’s rest because we all know we’ll be up at the crack of dawn!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope it’s a great one!

XO

 

Christmas Magic

Hey Ya’ll!

Christmas is right around the corner and I wanted to write a quick post about our evening last night at Christmas Magic. This is our third year going and it never fails to amaze. If you live near central Pennsylvania (or like to travel), this is a magical place to visit! It’s located at Rocky Ridge County Park in York Pennsylvania. It runs from November 24th – December 30th and runs 7 days a week.

Upon arriving, there are numerous light displays on your drive to park. You drive under a sign and through light tunnels. My son really seemed to enjoy it. Plus is took away some of wait time to park.

Admission was $10 for adults and $5 for children 4 and older. After paying they provided you with 3D snowflake glasses which my son enjoyed because every light looked as if it were a snowflake. The lights run along an outside trail about a mile or so long with stops in between where you can warm up next to a fire and see displays in the warmth. There is also a building with snacks and hot chocolate if you or the kiddos get hungry.

There is a large train garden display for little ones who love trains (like my son). It’s nicely done and it’s my sons favorite part every year. He could sit in there and watch them run for hours. They also decorate it with a lot of children cartoon characters so the kids love it!

Let’s not forget at the end.. Santa! The kids are able to sit on a sleigh with Santa and of course tell them what they want for Christmas while us mama’s snap photo’s! There is also a display outside where you can take family photo’s.

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This is truly a place for all ages. Young or old. The display of lights is phenomenal and will definitely put you in the holiday spirit. This could be a quick walk through or you could spend the evening there. It truly made me excited for Christmas Day to be here and it’s a great time for family bonding.

Hope anyone close can make it out and enjoy it! Have a great holiday! xo

Weekend One of Holiday Adventures

Santa

As I was explaining in the previous post, the holiday season is my favorite time of the year, and I always want it to go perfectly smooth and as planned. I still don’t know why I think that’s possible as a mom with two kids, but I always want to think positive. But of course, our first weekend of festivities didn’t go completely as planned, but it was one of best times I’ve had in a long time.

Saturday was the first-time baking cookies with my mom and daughter. I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited for this moment. Of course, my son has been an amazing helper for the past few years, but baking with my daughter really brought back memories of when I baked with my mom and grandmother. Even to this day we use my grandmother’s recipes, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it, those cookies are freaking delicious. I’m so happy my family is so close, that we can keep this tradition going. We’ve had the cooking baking planned for weeks, so I had this day all ready to go. I was going to have my daughter “attempt” to help (yes at only nine months old). I was going to get all kinds of pictures with her “helping” my mom and I, listen to a bunch of Christmas music, cook a crap load of cookies, put them in cute little holiday bins and of course sneak in some cookie dough eating.

Yeah… that didn’t happen. Little miss Liliana just wanted to cry when mommy wasn’t holding her, cartoons were all that kept her calm so that canceled the Christmas music, didn’t get one photo of her “helping” because we all know at nine months old… she didn’t, and to top it all off, my girl blew out her diaper like no tomorrow. It totally called for a complete tub clean. She gets that from her daddy. We did make a boat load of cookies, so my father, husband, and son will be happy campers for a few weeks because these cookies are delicious! Honestly, I had no clue how serious cooking baking was in my household. We had two Kitchen Aid mixers going, non-stop pans going in and out of the oven, putting them on the cooling rack. It’s no joke. I guess when I was younger, I just did all the cookie dough eating. All I know, is when my husband and I build our new home, we are getting a massive kitchen with a double oven. It’s a must.

As the cookie baking came to an end, I realized nothing I had planned happened. I was also asked “Why were you so worried about her helping, she’s only nine months old, she won’t remember”. That’s probably something you shouldn’t say to a mom. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t give a crap how old my kids are, these are memories! Memories that I want to cherish forever. It’s traditions I want to start with my kids. It’s something this mom wants to do. I don’t care if they are two days old, two years old, or even twenty years old, my kids are going to be my little helpers even if they don’t remember a damn thing! One day they might not want to do these traditions with me, so I’m going to cherish it as long as I freakin’ can! And although Lilly didn’t do anything when it came to cookie baking, she was there, she watched us make the cookies and she even ate a bunch. So, I will take it.

This was also the first weekend Liliana met Santa, and she didn’t cry…yet. He comes around my parent’s neighborhood on his sleigh every year, guided by community firetrucks. It’s an enjoyable time that my son has been doing ever since he was a baby and this year we finally had our girl here to join. This is probably one of the top things my mom enjoys doing with her grand kids. So, I texted our best friends (also Lilly’s godparents), and my brother and sister in law who have my wonderful niece and nephew, and I told them all to come down so the kids can see Santa together. My brother being the best, brought my mom, sister in law, best friend and I some Prosecco to drink, he knows us all too well. We love our wine, and our gossip. The girls chatted, guys watched football, and the kids played.

Around 5PM we started hearing the sirens of the firetrucks and the kiddos knew Santa was coming. So, we bundled them up, headed down the driveway and waited for Santa to come. We waited, and waited, and waited… in the freezing cold. To pass the time as Santa went down the other streets of the neighborhood, I was finally able to play some Christmas music after listening to cartoons most of the day. We danced at the end of the driveway, ate some food, drank our wine, took pictures, raced with the kids, I even heard my ten-year-old nephew rap the entire song of Ice Ice Baby. Probably the best thing I’ve heard all day, he killed it. The guys walked up and watched football to keep warm, but us moms stayed out in that cold with those kids. When it comes to making the kids happy, I swear us moms turn bionic. We can handle anything. Maybe with a little added wine, but that’s our little secret.

 Santa didn’t come down my parent’s street until almost 10PM….

FIVE HOURS we waited for Santa, FIVE. We were freezing, the kids were cranky, the parents were exhausted, but we stuck it out. We were minutes from giving up. Actually, let me rephrase that… the dads were minutes from giving up. Us moms were determined to have our babies see Santa. Even if that meant sitting in the cold for another hour or tracking Santa down in the car, stopping in front of the firetrucks, blocking the road, pushing everyone out of the way, and putting our kids on Santa’s lap ourselves. No shame in my mommin’ game. You don’t mess with a determined mother, we’ll do anything to see our kids smile. I’m afraid of when my kids go to school and they tell me they got bullied, mama won’t back down from telling a kid to back off, like I said, no shame. You don’t upset my babies.

Anyway, back to my evening, the result of all that waiting, was that one picture posted above. One single picture, of all four of the kids together with Santa. That might just be a picture to some people, but that’s everything to me. It made every single minute of waiting worth it. Having the cousins together and being with my family is by far the best feeling in the world. We laughed, we sang, we joked around and the kids loved being together. It’s not often we get all the four cousins together, but it’s the absolute best time. My family knows how to have an enjoyable time, no matter how crazy we are. These are the memories I live for. No matter how much of a sh*t show it is to get to the end the day, no matter how much anxiety I get, or how screwed up my “perfectly planned” day was, I always sit back and think “this day was awesome”. You know why? My kids were part of it. They were with me, all day, and no matter how much of a crazy day I thought it was, they thought it was an amazing day.

You always should make the best out of every day because in your kids eyes every day is the best when they are with mommy, daddy, and people they love. Something about your day may be a disaster, but to them it was the best part. Of course, those five hours of waiting for Santa were unexpected and completely freezing freakin’ cold, but they saw it as more time to play with their cousins, they absolutely loved it (plus it made them extra exhausted, so they fell right asleep… mom win.) That’s why you make the best out of every moment no matter how exhausting it is.

Another weekend come and gone, and more memories made. Mommy life is the best life.

December.. Already?

Seriously though, it’s already December? My son is going to be four in 10 days, and my daughter is two months away from a year old… I can’t handle it. I’m pretty sure December is one of the most stressful yet rewarding months for us moms. From the gift shopping, cookie baking, hiding gifts, wrapping, decorating. I’m pretty sure this is the month where I consume the most wine. I’m that mom who wants everything to be perfect during the holiday season. I want my kids to have every gift they want, I want the tree to look perfect, I want the lights hung evenly in the front of the house. I drive my husband insane. I’m sure my stress, makes him even more stressed. Good thing he’s not home with me all day or he’d probably think I’m even crazier then he already thinks I am.

Why I stress over having the perfect Christmas, especially with two small children? Who freakin’ knows. Just the other day, Kyle broke two of my husband’s authentic Irish ornaments he received from his grandparents, which are irreplaceable. I also tried hanging up the lights outside by myself to save my husband some work and somehow I managed to completely shut off the power that runs to the outside of our house. My son loves running upstairs to my room, and I constantly run up the steps like a mad man to make sure the closet door with all the toys is closed, all while Lilly wants to grab every ornament off the tree. Also, if my son says he wants one more thing he sees on TV, I’m pretty sure I’m going to rip the TV off the wall! The Cunningham household is an adventurous time!

I don’t even want to get started on never having a clue what to get family members. For some reason, us moms are the only ones who go crazy picking out the perfect gifts. You won’t ever see my husband step inside a store to holiday shop. That’s okay though, in some weird, stressful way I get joy out of the madness. As for gifts, all the littles ones in my family already have it all. It makes it nearly impossible to find something. As for the kid’s grandparents, their entire houses are going to be covered with “I love grandma and I love grand pop” things before the kids are teenagers, because I’m terrible at thinking of clever ideas (Please comment some idea’s if you have some!). Then of course, you have my husband who refuses to tell me what he would like and says he doesn’t want anything. You ask what I want? Wine… I want wine, and to sleep in until noon with no interruptions. A mom can dream, right?

I’m excited yet nervous to see how pictures with Santa will turn out this year. If Kyle is scared of something or someone, he will make it known, probably throughout the entire mall. I guess screaming “NO” at the top of his lung and kicking makes everything better… but he did pretty well last year so fingers crossed for the same. I’m pretty sure my little Lilly is going to freak out. Hopefully not since her brother will be right there beside her, and she absolutely adores him. Then us mom’s have to stand behind the camera, shake some toys, be obnoxious, baby talk the kids just so they smile. I have no problem making a fool of myself. Mama wants to good photo!

In the end though, after all the crazy store lines, the late nights wrapping gifts, the huge electric bill from all the lights, the Santa pictures, on Christmas Day when my kids’ faces light up when they come out of their rooms, it is one hundred percent worth it. It makes me love all the madness, and I’ll continue to love the madness and stress for years to come. I seriously love being a mom during the holiday season. It’s one of the best feelings ever, and I look forward to it every single year.