You may have noticed my sporadic postings lately but I have to say, in the O'House, we're having the best.time.ever this season. The kids are finally at the age now where they "get" it and it's so much stinkin' fun!

So here's what we've been up to in a post best told by pictures.

I'll start at the beginning where we made O'history here by getting our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. Turns out it totally beats getting it the week before Christmas (who knew!?) Though I have to say, watering it and keeping it from being kindling/and/or a fire hazard has been a challenge. Ya know, because of my extensive history of neglecting foliage and starving it to death and all...


Me and my little mens decorated.


But I should really take an updated picture of the tree because it now has only ornaments on the top half. The ones on the bottom half have been destroyed by a certain two-year-old with an affinity for glass Christmas bulbs. The rest of the bulbs I intend to keep have been moved out of reach.

So then we had two birthdays. One child turned 2 and the other turned 30-something (oh, I kid, husband, I kid!) and he requested we take the kids to Disney for his birthday so we did.


Where I promptly learned that Florida, though normally above 70, can turn 40 and rainy in 1.2 seconds and only on the one particular day you want to actually do something. I also re-learned the importance of restocking the diaper bag snacks. Because above is the face you get when a 3 year old is at Disney in desperate need of breakfast and it's now approaching 9 o'clock in the morning and you're hoping to scootch in to have breakfast with the characters without reservations.

Then, we did (hurrah!) and I learned that someone loves the characters...


And someone doesn't.


(I know, you'd think I'd have been a little more consoling and less paparazzi here, right? Mom of the year.)

Then, a day later, everyone was sick. Probably from waiting in lines at the theme park where Sherm the Germ hangs out on all those metal rails and whatnots, and well, despite the amount of hand sanitizer used, made it into a nose or a mouth anyway via thumb or forefinger I'm sure.


Yeah, that was a great couple days.My kids were like caged animals. I did my best.

After that was done, we went back to Disney because we had tickets to the Christmas parade the week before but it was too cold and rainy. Turned out pretty cold and rainy this night too, but it was fun anyway. And honestly, Disney at Christmas at night is just simply magical.


Seriously. Beautiful. We loved every minute of it and the kids who normally go to bed at 7, lasted the whole night long without crankiness even.

Plus we got to see one snowflake. Mr. Disney made it. It wasn't real. Shhh. Don't tell.


(I also learned that my son is afraid of automatic flushing toilets and will refuse to go, even if he's busting at the seams and hasn't gone for 8 hours and has had water, juice, chocolate milk and several cups of hot chocolate, until we find a regular DIY flushy toilet at a random Hess station at midnight.)

Then one night, Santa came through our neighborhood riding around on a firetruck. (Boy with all that work to do, that guy really seems to have a lot of time on his hands.)


Then another night, we got our jammies on, put hot chocolate in our sippy cups and went driving around to look at Christmas lights.


And then we saw Santa again where someone wasn't so sure about him and was caught giving him the stink eye.


And I learned that the automatic flushy toilets at the mall were just as bad as the ones at Disney. We thought it might spell trouble for Santa because of the pee-pee dancing I saw in the line, but Santa made it out ok and we found a DIY toilet at Dillards. FYI on the DIY.

Then, the coolest thing ever happened. A couple of elves popped in for a visit from the North Pole! Turns out they like to get into trouble at night.


They TP'ed the place one night.


And made forts.


They also had a "snowball" fight in which the living room was covered in big and little marshmallows that were subsequently attacked by a 2 and 3year old and devoured before I could take a picture. OK, they didn't eat all of them. But close.

The elves will be returning to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. We'll be sad to see them go, they've been a lot of fun to have around and the kids wake up every morning wanting to know what mischief they've gotten into.

All of this of course is in addition to the shopping and the baking and the getting up at 5:30 in the morning to get to Toys R Us for a Zhu Zhu Pet or 3 (which I totally scored) and two more family birthdays and whatnots.

But we've truly been having a great time. The best part about this year is proclaiming myself "stress-free." I promised I'd slow it down this year and even though December has gone by in a blink, we all took time to stop and smell the poinsettias. So far.

Did you have a holiday "philosophy" this season? Did you stick to it??

Whatever happened, I hope you have or had a happy holiday everyone, whichever you celebrate!
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