Flashback Friday : Christmas

{I was torn on whether to put this under a "Flashback" header since, for me, one month behind isn't too bad! Also, I'm only sharing photos of his gifts from us, and the relatives that weren't here to see him open presents. Otherwise this post would be too long! Yikes. Spoiled boy!} It's hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone... and that it's been a month since all the festivities! Where does the time go?! (In writing this, I just realized that I never wrote about last year's holiday festivities. How is that possible?! Now *that* would be a "flashback" post!) This holiday was similar to other years in that we stayed home and had Christmas morning consist of just the three of us... it makes for a quiet, although ridiculously early, holiday. This year was slightly different in that we left for my parent's house on Christmas Day versus celebrating with them the following weekend. But we still had a nice morning at home. Without further ado...

{The Eve before the Eve... the tree is ready!}

Last year, I started a tradition where Spencer was allowed one gift on Christmas Eve morning. If I'm completely honest... it stemmed from sheer desperation to get some things done around here, but it resulted in a happy day for everyone, and thus the tradition began. This year, he "chose" to open one of the gifts from his Aunt Linda and Uncle Russ (there is some strong "suggestions" from me while choosing). As you can see, he was thrilled with it.

{You can see his awe in his face... he really couldn't believe this was in his house!}

Christmas Eve was spent at Auntie Wee and Uncle Joe's house. It was a good time for everyone ... with the exception of one little boy who couldn't believe we had the audacity to make him eat dinner before gifts. Hmm... wonder who that could have been?!  Finally, it was time to open presents and they did not disappoint! {Doug has the photos for this event, so I will have to place them in later.}

And then...

It was time to get home and go to bed, cause Santa was on his way! We put out some cookies and carrots... and got into bed. Someone had a little bit of trouble falling asleep due to all the excitement...He had a tough time staying asleep too...

Which of course meant we all had to get up at dark o'clock to see the PRESENTS! I'm wracking my brain trying to remember what time Spencer dragged us out of bed. I cannot remember for the life of me... which is usually my coping mechanism. So let's just assume it was very, very early.

{This photo is so bad quality-wise since I wasn't ready when he came tearing in... but I love the expression it captured! The first sight of his stocking...It melts me.}

{Checking out what Santa left... he listened! It was a crane! And it was holding the stocking! Awesome.}

{Seeing what was in the stocking... I love how he lines it all up to see it better.}

Spencer played with his goodies from Santa while Doug and I made some much needed coffee... And then it was time to see what else was under the tree! There was one very large gift that Spencer was eyeing from the moment he came in the room. Turned out to be a Kick Wavemaster from GiGi! I don't have a very good photo of him opening it, but I clearly remember him screaming, "I got a Kick Wavemaster!!!" and then immediately testing it out:

And just when he thought it couldn't get any better... he opened up a strike shield from Aunt L and Uncle R! (One month later, I can attest to the fact that this has also been a gift for Mama... I have way fewer bruises thanks to this baby!)

{Has anyone else noticed that Spencer has yet to look at the camera?! Too busy I guess!}

Then it was time to move onto the gifts from Mama and Daddy... When Spencer first came home, I adopted the idea of "something he wants, something he needs, something to wear, something to read." It's worked well, and it keeps the gifts to a comfortable limit. This year, we had a gift scare (Daddy ended up driving to Ninja World two days before Christmas due to some crossed communication) so there were a few extras under the tree in case we weren't able to deliver the "big gift" from us! This fishing puzzle being one of them. The irony is that it's been a huge hit here! Go figure.

{Love how he crosses his feet when opening gifts...}

And now...

The something he wants. "Miss Jackie" gifted Spencer with his first ever subway car when we were in NYC (post coming next week!) and holy cow... it was deemed the best. thing. ever. That car went everywhere with him. So Doug decided maybe he needed some other subway cars too. Mostly because it drove Doug bonkers to see a subway car mixed in with Thomas trains. {wink} Spencer has been increasingly into the subways these past few months. (He can even tell you which lines take you where.) So this seemed like it was right up his alley. And was it ever! Now he's declared that he needs ALL the subway lines. Good thing he thinks this gift is from Miss Jackie's son, Mason. Saved by four-year-old logic! The first train came from her, so clearly they are responsible for these too!

{I got the S train Daddy!}

{Oh, the joy!}

Next up was something he needs. This is really hard when your kiddo doesn't really need much. So we bought him one of the items he asked Santa for... "clapper paddles" (aka kicking targets). Our logic was that these will help his focus when training at home. We had been using cardboard for months at this point... and it was hard for all of us. (You try holding cardboard that's getting kicked before judging me!) I've been taking notes at lessons on how the Master mixes in the stuff that Spencer is less than thrilled by (forms and counting) with the stuff he loves... Kicking! Punching! The past two days here have been very successful in terms of practicing since I can dangle these targets in front of him, and he does what he needs to do in order to get to the good stuff. So while it was an easy way out in some ways, I can now wholeheartedly say that the right equipment makes a HUGE difference! And look at this face...

Next up... something to wear. Some of you may know that Spencer has a passion for bison. It's what you would call a love/hate relationship with them.  He loves them from afar, but is terrified that they might live in dark places... like the basement. Or Auntie Wee's garage. Or the file room at Aunt Neen's office. But mostly, he loves to pretend he is one. So, of course, he HAD to have the bison hat... no!?

{I can't even stand the cuteness here!}

And lastly... something to read. I toyed with the idea of starting S with some chapter books, but ultimately chose to embrace his new interest in spelling and bought him this cool little magnet spelling kit. He seems... confused. But it has been pulled out once or twice, so not a total dud of a gift!

{Those crossed feet again. Love it!}

{Huh?!}

And there you have it. Our little holiday. One month later.