That is the sound of me finally catching my breath. For a second. I've been dreading posting on the blog because I've missed so much. So I decided that I needed to just do it before the first of the year so I can put this year to rest. So get ready for an explosion of posts. I haven't decided if they will be post dated or not so depending on if you see this first or last scroll down. :) Here we go!!!

We woke up on Christmas morning and I put Hyrum into the adorable outfit my parents sent for him. Then I turned to Derek and said "Aren't you going to get everything ready?" He looked at me puzzled. "Get what ready?" It never occurred to me that this wasn't EVERYBODY'S tradition for the dad to go out and turn on the Christmas lights on the tree make sure all the presents were just so, start a fire in the fireplace (where available) and have video camera in hand to capture the decent down the stairs or the bursting into the room excitement. He didn't grow up with any type of video/movie recorder so he didn't think of it ( or at least didn't think that Hyrum would have any reaction to capture at all ) Regardless my sweet still sick husband dutifully went into the living room with camera in hand to capture the entrance. Grandma and Grandpa donned their own Santa hats for the occasion.He did pretty good opening his gifts I think , especially for a 7 month old. He'd rip with encouragement but then he'd want to eat the paper. Sometimes he didn't even wait for the paper to be off.
His Grandma and Grandpa Tangren got him a little driving toy that he absolutely loved. We were all surprised at how quickly he picked up on this driving thing. I guess he's always loved to watch cars and now he has a better understanding of how they go.

Look how safely he drives too, checking his mirrors before he turns.

Hyrum had more encounters with Derek's family dog this time up. On Christmas Eve Blossom just couldn't get enough of licking him.He was not fond of that at all.

He decided to get back at Blossom by grabbing fistfuls of her fur and taking a few swipes at her nose which Blossom wasn't too fond of but on Christmas day they decided to make up.
After all the excitement Hyrum wanted nothing more than to have some eats with his brand new Christmas bib thanks to grandma and Papa Wadsworth
And then end the day lounging with Dad. Yes he's sucking his thumb. He does that quite regularly. I've given up the battle.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

We left for Idaho on Sunday before Christmas because we had an Eagle Court of Honor that Derek was emceing for on Saturday night.( He even presented the Eagles ) We just lounged around that day then that night it started to snow... and snow...and snow.

We did some last minute running on Christmas Eve and were it not for the skilled driving of my retired policeman father in law we would have had an unhappy Christmas. I also learned something interesting about Idaho Falls. They don't plow the roads until the snow stops falling and since it really didn't stop falling they really didn't start plowing. Christmas day it didn't snow and the sun actually came out but apparently they didn't want to ruin anyone's Christmas because no body plowed. The day after Christmas we went out to lunch and I said "Man they STILL haven't plowed?" to which Derek replied "They did plow" and I said "No, there's a big barricade of snow in the middle of the road" Apparently that's how they plow. It wasn't until we got further along and noticed farm equipment on the side of the road that I started to understand. The machines they use to plow the road look like the machines they use to make the mounds that they plant the potatoes in. I found out later that after they make the piles in the middle of the roads they come along with a baling type machine that picks up ( and bales?) the snow. It's easy to forget in the relatively large city of Idaho Falls that you really are in the heart of potato farm country. Interesting.

Anyway, it is one of Derek's family's few longtime Christmas traditions to go to The Sizzler on Christmas Eve for dinner. I was really excited for the festivities to begin because it's been really hard to get into the Christmas spirit this year for me. I've been preparing for Christmas largely by myself this year and it has seemed more a chore than a cheer. So we bundled up and headed out into the snow.

We got into the parking lot around 6:10 and walked up to the door where a sign was posted that said something to the affect of "We are closing at 6:00pm for Christmas Eve...Sorry for the inconvenience." We were SOO bummed. We franticly tried to think of somewhere ( anywhere!) that would be open on Christmas eve night. We drove around to a few places with no luck. On the way home we saw a Chinese restaurant that was open, which I thought would be funny ( Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra) but Derek's brother isn't a Chinese food fan, so that was out. We ended up eating Jack in the Box burgers. It was no juicy steaks or tantalizing salad bar but it was good. And after eating we felt much better. Hyrum and his Grandpa enjoyed a quiet sit by the fire. Hyrum loves to watch the fire in Derek's family's pellet stove. Even when it wasn't going he'd look at it ever so often to make sure he wasn't missing it and when it was on he'd strain to see it. and then sit there transfixed. :)

Alls well that ends well but I'm sure this will be remembered as the year Sizzler was closed and we will always call before 6 to make sure they will be open.

This year I decided I was NOT going to bake for neighbor gifts. We always end up with a kitchen full of plates to the point that it's hard to use the kitchen at all until we deliver them. People get so many plates of goodies anyway so I decided to do something different. But they couldn't be expensive because we were sending out 24 (or so said our FIRST list). A couple of years ago my mother in law gave me a whole bunch of Christmas goodie ideas so I decided to try one of those. This is how they turned out...
The snowmen were the thin mint peppermint patty type things wrapped in a piece of computer paper and I made the hat and scarf out of fleece. Really very simple and I think they turned out pretty cute. The tag says "These are "mint" to wish you a "frosty" and merry Christmas!" It probably cost us $26 to make 24.

Since I wasn't baking for neighbors all my baking was just for us. Which is really rare in our house. Derek loves baked goods and is always hinting that he'd like me to bake more. But every time I bake it's for something else and Derek just ends up with the left overs. So I made a list (man I really do make a lot of lists for Christmas) of the treats I was going to make for Christmas. Kissy cookies, puppy chow and chocolate covered pretzels, I figured three was do-able. The day I made the cookies Derek kept sneaking them. He was really surprised that I wasn't getting mad at him until I told him they were just for us. He was so happy. I really need to bake for him more often.

As it always happens we forgot some people that we should have had on the list and so I had to do some quick thinking and had to sacrifice some of our treats (which we couldn't have or shouldn't have eaten all by ourselves) to neighbor gifts. I put some puppy chow in a clear cellophane bag (with a few chocolate covered pretzels on the top) with a note saying "Dog gone it we sure hope you're covered in cheer this holiday season" Not to shabby. I think I may do that next year for neighbor gifts. Just act surprised if you get one, okay? It would also help if you gush about how cute and clever they are too. :)

I'm really not a list person. Except for questions for the doctor or lists for the grocery store I almost never make them and even then I usually don't need them. But the weeks before Christmas I found myself drowning. I'd lie in bed at night thinking of all of the things that I had to remember to do to to keep everything running. I really felt like the surface of the water (having everything done) was so far above me. I couldn't sleep until I wrote them down. With Derek being sick I knew everything depended on me. So I made lists and I kept them on me or within easy reach at all times. I wrote EVERYTHING on them and a lot of the time I wrote out every detail so I could mark off every step( ie write the christmas letter, put the letter in the envelope, address the envelope, put a stamp on the envelope put the cards in the mail). It made me feel like I was accomplishing things. Sometimes I would even write things down that I hadn't intended to do after I did them just to feel like it wasn't wasted time. The pictured list above is one of the first of many lists. I still have the urge to cross out the things I haven't marked off yet. :) So how do YOU all survive the chaos of Christmas?

This morning Derek was playing with Hyrum and Hyrum of course had Derek's hands in his mouth. I was in and out doing something and then all of a sudden Derek said " I feel a tooth!" I of course run in and put my hands in his mouth, which he was not as fond of anymore and low and behold on the lower gum on the right side of the front... A TOOTH! He'd been gnawing on our knuckles and fingers ( and collar bones ) for weeks if not months so we'd given up looking. But now he is among the toothed! No wonder he's been grumpy the last two days. It's a sharp little sucker so we've got to be careful now. Can you see it?
Of course you can't because it's tiny and this picture was taken before it popped through. We'll try to get a picture when you can see it better!