We have a two-phase holiday celebration here Chez Katie-Kat. Ryan's family lives too far away for us to ever travel there for Christmas, although his parents stunned us by coming here last year. Besides me taking every. single. thing. my mother-in-law said as some kind of personal attack on me, it was a good visit. For the record, as I've said before, she's really lovely to me and tries really hard even though we have very little in common.
My family got together on Saturday for our elaborate present exchange at one of my sibs' house. There was a delicious spread of food and such. My family is very thoughtful when it comes to gifts and it was a good time. Ryan stayed home to take care of the turkey he was making for dinner, plus he's very uncomfortable opening presents in front of people.
La Stella received her very first tricycle. A red metal Radio Flyer from Baba and Granddaddy, plus a fabulous helmet. Wunderkind climbed right up and figured out the pedals even though she's still just a little too short to reach them when they're pushed away, if that makes sense. She got on and off and let people push her and then got off and pushed and had to have her dress tucked into her bloomers to keep from tripping. It was quite possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen. In about 10 minutes she'll be tall enough to reach the pedals and then, look out, world!
I came back after that and started on the accompaniments for dinner. In addition to the 25 pound turkey (!) Ryan was making on his Weber grill, we had red potatoes and salad with cannelloni beans an tomatoes. Yummy! I was going to roast the potatoes, but the bird needed the oven for the last hour. That sucker was so big he had to use the insert for the rotisserie so it was tall enough. Oh, and we got a free-range bird and then he brined it, so it was really moist and delicious. He then smoked it and then cooked it on the grill for about 5 hours. DELICIOUS!
Tiny bottles of Amaretto for the panettone bread pudding with amaretto sauce that I made for dessert. (We were too cheap to buy it in a normal size.) And a teeny chocolate bar, for, well...
Ryan grinding a great deal of pepper for the honey-brined turkey. Alton Brown is also the one who have him the idea to use his drill to grind more pepper rather than grinding it all by hand.
Dinner was fun, although Stella was pretty cracked out and woke up from her only nap of the day. We gave her some turkey and potatoes and then when she grew weary of that I got out the emergency Olivia board books I keep on hand for just such occasions. Her face lit up and she was happy for about 5 minutes. Then she remembered that she was tired and started crying again so I brought out the big guns: Piglet and Madeline. She grabbed the pig and put him under one arm, put Madeline under the other and went over to the couch to play with them. I couldn't have been happier.
Later on, my dad went over and played with her and she started pulling out all her favorite books from the bottom shelf where I keep the picture books. Of course, I put them at that level on purpose and the shelves are anchored to the wall, so this was completely safe. I can't express how happy it made me that a real-live little person was enjoying my library.
Everyone went home, my parents went downstairs to bed and this was the carnage we surveyed. My shoes were placed there by Stella. I think it's kind of fitting since they're almost too nice to be on the dirty floor and I've not worn them outside yet so they weren't dirty...
Tonight we'll sing. There's a concert of carols from 11-12 and then Midnight Mass takes about an hour and a half. Ryan and I have our big solos at about 1:15AM. And then we'll come home and sleep in and watch A Christmas Story and just hang out all Christmas Day. That is totally how I like to spend this holiday. We had offered to sing at one of the Christmas Day Masses, since we don't do anything else but it looks like they're covered, so we're off duty this year.