Christmas 2012

It’s hard to believe that this is our second Christmas with Jayme.

Last year, Grandma & Grandpa and Cousin Kristen all came up for the holidays. We had planned that this year, we would expand that to include all the uncles and our new sister in law. We had big dreams of a huge Christmas dinner, TONS of Anthony & Jayme’s fruitcake (see shutterfly for video) and all of the family here in Portland together.

But we ran into one small problem… pregnancy. Who knew a 2 dad home would have to worry about that!

It seems that Doctors frown on very pregnant women flying. So that meant Aunt Taylor and Uncle Shiloh could not attend. But we knew we had to get the family together, with Uncle James being transferred from his naval base back east to Guam for several years, this was the last chance for a long time to have all 4 brothers together Christmas. So with Taylor and little baby to be, Rowan, grounded in Salt Lake, we knew we have to give up on our Portland Christmas dream and  move it to Salt Lake City. The tough part was that with Anthony just starting a new job, we also knew all three of us could not go. So a plan was created to keep our family unit together for Christmas and then on Boxing Day Jayme and Joshua would fly out.

With just the three of us, Christmas was as low key as Joshua could get away with. Anthony and Jayme LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas. Everything must be decorated, there must be homemade fudge, cookies, divinity and fruitcake. The tree needs at least 4000 lights on it or it looks dull. It seems that Poor Joshua loses the War on Christmas a little more every year.

4 years ago, the two of us lived in co-op that required every home be lit for Christmas. So we had a “small” investment in exterior holiday lights when we relocated to our condo. That first Christmas we were the only ones to bedazzled our home. This year we were one of the last to get our lights up. Seems that we were trend setters.

For our tree this year, we skipped the tree lots and joined in on a large group Tree Hunt. We all traveled all the way to Mt. Hood to a U-Cut tree farm. They had a nice pancake breakfast with juice and hot chocolate. We teamed with Suzanne and her grandkids, Jaden and Ava. The drive was worth it as Jayme got to pick his own tree, something he took very seriously.

When it came time to cut down the tree, Jayme insisted that HE would chop his own tree down. For the full week prior he had been talking up how he was going to cut the tree, and how it would fall. He had it all worked out. With some careful instructions from the tree farmer, Jayme got to saw away on the tree… for a few minutes. It was very cute, but it didn’t take long before Jayme consented/requested into letting the nice man with the gas powered chainsaw cut it down for us.

Christmas day was again a great day for our family. But it started off a bit bumpy the night prior. Jayme was SO excited for Santa’s visit, getting to sleep was just not possible. We had put Jayme down at his normal bedtime but hours later, he kept coming out and asking if it was morning yet or if Santa had come yet. Jayme still believes in Santa, or rather wants to.

At one point we thought we had him down, so we started sneaking the presents down from our room to the tree. While Joshua kept watch on Jayme’s door, Anthony arranged the presents and filled the stockings. At some point Jayme awoke and walked over to his door. Upon opening it he saw Joshua, who was guarding it… they both promptly screamed in fright…. TOO FUNNY.

Christmas morning we had fresh homemade waffles and POG. The unwrapping ceremony was shorter then last year. With just the three of us it was hard not to let Jayme go nuts. Again we spoiled him, getting him WAY to many things, but as was pointed out to us while he was in Foster care Jayme was never spoiled, just the opposite.  So he has earned a few years of being showered with love and presents.

The best moment of the day was when Jayme got his final present. Right after everyone woke up and while Anthony was making breakfast, Joshua took Jayme out to pick up Starbucks. This gave Anthony the time he needed to move Jayme’s final gift from it’s hiding place into Jayme’s room. Once we had finished opening all the gifts around the tree we started to clean up and all  three of us headed up to Jayme’s room carrying his new stuff. With Jayme leading the way he didn’t notice Anthony video taping him as the ascended the stairs or turning the corner into his room.

As Jayme ascended the stairs he was talking about which Lego set he was going to open first and then he turned the corner. The only thing he said was “What the”. There sitting on the table that we had moved into his room the week prior was a new to him silver shiny iMac with Star Wars Angry Birds playing on it’s screen. He set down all of his new toys that moments ago had meant the world to him and made a beeline for his new computer.

We had found the computer on Ebay, it was used and needed a memory upgrade. But it was just what Jayme needed. We spent a week of evenings locked in the closet of our bedroom loading educational software, adding hardware, locking down websites and programing the parental controls. We struggled for a while, if a computer was a good present for a 7 year old, but he is so drawn to electronics that we felt that giving his him own computer would give him an edge over other students and force him to improve his reading skills.

The rest of the day was spend playing with our new toys, watching Christmas movies and getting ready for SLC…