Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas in Barcelona 2013

I admit I was a bit nervous about how Christmas would go this year given Aidan's accidental revealing of our big gift to him and Liam (a wii u).  As I mentioned in a recent post, he's been unsure about his belief in Santa and I haven't been ready to let go of the magic of Christmas with him yet.  It doesn't help being away from friends and family this time of year - the traditions we have at home are sometimes hard to recreate 4000 miles away in a foreign country.  And with it being just the four of us, it's usually a pretty quiet Christmas - something we've come to enjoy and yet at the same time, we really miss the normal chaos of visiting with friends and family on Christmas day.

Every year I find it harder and harder to not reveal gifts before the big day and I have to give myself a pat on the back this year.  With the exception of the wii u that the boys found, I managed to keep everything hidden up til the big reveal this morning.  Aidan did almost catch us on Christmas Eve as we had assumed he was asleep when in fact he wasn't.  

Speaking of Christmas Eve, it was a great one.  We started off the day with their caga tios.  Aidan was in to it at first but then when I googled the song and it was only in Catalan and not in English (hello, it's a Catalan tradition Aidan!), he started to freak out a bit.  So that didn't go too smoothly.  But both were happy with their little gifts from the caga tio - these little electronic fish that are supposed to look real. They immediately jumped in the tub so they could play with them - at least it was an excuse to get them cleaned up for Christmas!!

Caga tios waiting to be beaten so they will poop presents for them!

Liam beating his caga tio ... Aidan stomped off at this point

Aidan is back but as you can see, not too thrilled about it...

But both were happy with their little gifts the caga tio pooped!

The boys begged and pleaded for their wii u and we gave in.  After all, it had been under the tree taunting them since December 1.  Just because they found it early doesn't mean they were going to get it early!  But it was good that we unwrapped it on Christmas Eve as it was several hours of charging, setting up the internet, etc etc to get everything ready.  I can't even imagine what that would have been like today along with all the other presents. They each got to open one game which ended up being Marvel Super Heroes and Super Mario Brothers U.  HUGE hits in this house.  HUGE!

Finally!!!  We've been waiting since Thanksgiving for this present!!!!!

Opening a game

You are the best parents EVER!!!!

We don't have traditions around opening gifts on Christmas Eve but it seemed this year we started one. Josh also had me open a gift early.  I should also note that he got me an iphone 5 that he gave me a few weeks ago - mainly because he couldn't take listening to me complain about the non working home button on my iphone 4 any more!  But I also opened my other big gift early - on Christmas Eve.  It was a brand new, amazing, fancy digital camera.  Now I'm a point and shoot kind of girl and my pictures normally come out decent.  But my old Sony (old being from last Christmas, sad, I know) wasn't taking very good pictures any more with most coming out blurry.  So it was time for a new one and this time he stepped it up a bit - I hope I can step it up to given how nice this camera is!

Liam helping me unwrap the present and looking surprised at what I got (I knew he was making this face so was trying to do the same - I actually knew what was in the box, just not what type of camera)

This new camera isn't just a point and shoot (though it functions as that too) but once I learn how to use it (ie, once I read thru the 400 page book Josh also got me to go with it), I can add on different lenses and flashes, making it an even better camera.  I look forward to the new better quality pictures that I'll be taking in the future!  I got the camera early since Josh knew I'd want to take pictures on Christmas morning and while I'm still not there with taking the best quality, I can already see a difference from my last camera.

Josh also got to open a gift.  It was a fun gift as I saved his more "serious" gifts for Christmas day.  His gift was a light saber umbrella.  Now, in my defense I thought that the lightsaber actually lit up, so I was pretty disappointed when I saw that it doesn't, but he says he loves it nonetheless.  I hope so!!

Liam helped us unwrap all our gifts as you can see...

Look, it's a lightsaber (Darth Vader's) umbrella!  Perfect for the rainy weather in Amsterdam!  
Notice Aidan in the background on the wii u game pad - can't lift his eyes up for a moment, he's so entranced!!

But Christmas Eve isn't just about opening some gifts, but also about getting ready for Santa.  Aidan's friend Nicolau came over and we all made Christmas cookies to leave for Santa and some food for the reindeer too!  The kids were anxious to get back to playing the wii u, but I have to give them credit for having more patience for this than in previous years.

Liam really just wanted to eat the dough but he did make a few cookies along the way too!

Cutting out the cookies

And now decorating!

After dinner we spread out the reindeer food on the downstairs patio.  Now, let me just say that I didn't want to do it downstairs because I was afraid that if the kids went down there this morning and saw the oats were still there, they would be upset.  Last year we did it up on the roof, but Aidan insisted on downstairs.  So downstairs it was.  And yup, he was upset earlier today when he went to try out his new skateboard and realized that the oats were still there - adding another doubt to his ambivalence regarding Santa's existence.

Making reindeer food

Adding as much glitter as humanly possible.  
I may continue to find glitter on the floor for years to come...

On the downstairs patio - believe it or not, it's nighttime - that's just how bright the new camera made it look.  I love it already!

Throwing the food for the reindeer to find

We read our traditional classic version of the Night Before Christmas and then off the children went to be nestled in their beds.  Ahhh too easy.  Like I said, Josh and I almost got caught when at 9:30 we went to bring the presents up.  Aidan had to have heard us as he started to come down the stairs at 10 but we blocked him.  Josh and I weren't exactly the quietest when putting the presents under the tree. And Aidan was still awake when Josh and I went to bed.  As long as he didn't go downstairs, that was fine with me.

Ready to go for the morning!

They made it this morning til after 6:30 - not too bad considering Aidan was in our room at 2AM last year.  Liam actually came in our room at 6 but must have forgotten it was Christmas because he just snuggled in and went right back to bed.  It was Aidan who came in at 6:30 announcing that Santa had come.  We made them stick around and snuggle til 7 and then allowed them to go downstairs (but wait for us before you open anything!).

They were very excited about pretty much everything.  There wasn't anything under the tree that they went, eh... That alone was a relief for us.  You never know with these kids!  Aidan did say he wished he had received more toys only I told him all he asked for were video games and legos and that's mostly what he got.  I reminded him that he has several gift cards from family that he can use to buy more toys if that is what he wants.  But overall, I think it was a huge success for both.  Liam kept saying "thank you santa, thank you!"  It was adorable!!

Playing the wii u before they even start to open gifts

Liam was very excited for his new big kid skateboard (no more mini little skateboard for this kid)

More wii u

And more wii u... I think this one was the winner this year

Trying out his new skateboard (on the marble, good idea)...and getting ready to start opening gifts

And away they go!!!

Lego TMNT and Disney Infinity character

Power Ranger giant thing (he was excited)

A wii u pro controller

Lego City! Unbeknownst to him, I actually got this for him last year but held off because I figured they had enough gifts under the tree... so freebie for me this year as it was already in the closet :)

Liam got several costumes including Indiana Jones

More Disney Infinity

Soooo excited and wanted to pose with each present

"Keep Calm, I am the Doctor" mug... he also got a Star Wars shirt that says, "Come to the Dark Side... We have Bacon".  I think it's actually Liam's favorite gift as he kept coming over to Josh all day and pointing it out...

Doing a happy dance

Josh's new Tumi bag

How to Train Your Dragon

A comic on the back of the journal he got... 
he also got a stylus to use with his ipad so he can draw on there...

Liam watching Aidan open a gift.... what is it??

More clothes???  Oh the drama!!  And these aren't even for me, they are for dad!!

Trying to act all gangsta...

Skylander Swap Force guide to the characters

And yup, more wii u... they are actually still playing as I type this entry (it's now 7PM)...
Big winners this year - well, the wii u, of course.  And all the games to go with it which included the much begged for Skylanders SwapForce and some characters to go with it.  A number of Lego sets which included Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Lego City Police.  The camera for myself, of course :)  And Josh got a new "Indiana Jones" bag - ie, a new messenger bag, though this one is a step up from the J.Crew one I got him a few years back... it's a nice Tumi one.  I think, I hope, he likes it!  

Our Christmas day has been mellow.  Gifts were opened within an hour and the kids immediately started to play the wii u with the new games they opened today.  I proceeded to put together not one, not two, but three lego sets (thank you for the help boys!) and supposedly will be putting together yet another before we head to bed tonight (and tomorrow the BIG Lego Police set which I'm going to suspect is at least a 9 bagger).  Josh made German potato pancakes for brunch and is making a rib roast now for dinner - it smells delish!

Our delicious potato pancakes!!  

It's been a great Christmas overall.  Everyone getting along.  Calls home.  Great gifts, great time with family and an overall mellow low key day spending time together with no pressure of work or of life, just relaxing.  Just the way I like it.  I miss our families and our friends today but thankfully Facebook and the phone are keeping us in touch and maybe, just maybe, next year we'll be there to celebrate with you!  

So from all of us over here in Barcelona to all our friends and family here and at home - Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas and Happy Wednesday :)  


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