|I believe you know this cast of characters.|
|Eli, Jillian, and Noah. These three play so well together which makes my heart very happy since I love their mom so much!|
|Annual Smith bus trip. Another great year!|
|Noah and Griffin with Grams. Cynthia made the adorable sweaters and this picture will be getting framed ASAP!|
|Koon family second cousins.|
|Shatto Family Christmas celebration. I have to believe you are beginning to see just how packed Christmas in St. Louis is!|
Santa: Let's get the big guy addressed. Back when we saw Santa, Noah was not such a fan. I think we would have been better served to wait a few weeks (instead of taking him in November) as once we started talking up Santa, Noah started spotting him everywhere and saying "ho, ho, ho" on repeat (he even told my mom that the Baby's name was Ho Ho Ho...it's not!). So, I think with a little more time to get used to the idea of Santa, Noah would have enjoyed meeting the jolly fellow a bit more.
|They weren't all for Noah, but clearly we got carried away!|
Jesus: Noah's wonderful Godmother, Chrissie, challenged me on this one asking if I was doing my job of teaching Noah the real meaning of Christmas. My reply...he goes to a Christian preschool and had a Christmas program (which was 100% religious focused...no Frosty or Santa present). Probably not the best response and something that we need to up next year. I know his school was very focused on the Christmas story and we got some really great art to prove it (pictures of the kids holding baby Jesus, a manger, etc...), so I don't feel like it was a total loss. That said, next year we are going to get our own Nativity set and a few books that aren't all about Santa.
|He was SO excited to be at school at night...he wouldn't stop moving hence the blurry picture.|
|Can you spot him? Next year I am getting there super early for a front row seat!|
|All bundled (with his Keurig cup?!) after the show.|
Advent: We have a Noah's Ark advent calendar with a new animal each day. Noah was ON TOP of this countdown to Christmas! Every day he would get excited to open up the next door and see what animal we got to add to the ark.
|This is the best picture I have of the ark.|
Presents: Yep, he really got this concept. He wasted no time getting through the unwrapping and even tried to unwrap other people's gifts if they were left unattended. He was like a moth to a flame with gift bags, throwing the tissue paper everywhere until he found the goods! That said, going into Christmas I was really trying to be conservative with presents. Noah has so much, and having just come off his birthday we didn't really need 700 Christmas presents. But, alas, we still ended up with a ridiculous number of presents between us and Grandma/Papa. It actually got to the point that on Christmas morning he quit opening his presents. I stashed one for the plane ride home and we eventually had to circle back (after clean up) to get him to open the final two. Lesson learned for Baby 2...less is more! And, for the record, he ended up most attached to one little toy train (Wilson from Chugginton) and a Ducati replica figurine my dad got...again, less is more!
|The football was pushed in the stroller while the baby we got him got thrown to the curb!|
Overall, the holidays were just so fun. Watching Noah in his school program with all the other kids (and enjoying a "late" night out with friends afterwards) was such a great way to kick off the festivities. Also, watching him decorate cookies for Santa, play with his cousins throughout the holidays, and embrace the holiday chaos was really special. While it is admittedly a bit more hectic with a 2 year old, it is truly amazing to watch the holidays through your child. The things that seem so redundant make him light up and make every moment worth it!
|Cookie decorating. He really got into it!|
|The plate we left for Santa.|
|That, my friends, is one sick little boy.|
|The aforementioned Ducati...and our poor boy miserable at the thought of eating.|
We made it home without so much as a whimper from the patient and decided he was cured of his ailment. Yet, he was still a bit clingy to me and just not 100% himself. This could have been from the fact that the antibiotics wrecked his stomach. He wouldn't eat for 3 days and anything he ate went straight through him. By Thursday night he had a rash. So, off to the pediatrician we went. Turns out, the rash was likely a viral rash which signals the end of a virus. We went ahead and quit all medicines as his ears looked great and lungs sounded perfect and hopefully this virus is gone for good!
|Riding happy in his first class seat (thank you miles!!!).|
|The city by the Bay.|
To wrap up the holiday season, we got to see our friends that we met on our trip to Hawaii. They were paying a visit to San Francisco so we spent the day in our favorite city with some great friends. Both Scott and I commented on how crazy it is to meet people on vacation, spend a few days together, and be able to pick right back up where we left off like we have known them for years.
|January. Fun little fact...we are both pregnant now!|
|The whole gang at dinner.|