Practicing his photobombing skills
After leaving E's family in Ohio, we traveled to Iowa late in the evening on the 23rd. We left at about 6pm and arrived home in Iowa at 2:30 (and that's with gaining an hour due to time change). The kids were more or less great -- except for Finn. With her cousins at our place and all the commotion, she didn't get a nap in that day, which I thought would bode well for an early "bedtime" and her sleeping most of the way to Iowa. Well, she fell asleep within the first 45 minutes, but proceeded to wake up an hour later and cry, complain, and wake her iPad until about 11:30 Ohio time (thankfully it was 10:30 Iowa time). I drove the entire way, so it was E's duty to deal with her.
But we arrived safely and my parents woke up with our arrival and we chatted for about an hour before hitting the hay around 3:30 on Christmas Eve morning. On Christmas Eve, my brother and his family came over to open up gifts for the kids. With some job changes and my lack of a paying job, we decided to forgo exchanging gifts between adults. But the kids made out like bandits!
Finn was very excited with all her Frozen gear and dolls! Fish fell asleep during the excitement of Christmas Eve.
Christmas morning came and Finn completely forgot who was supposed to be visiting the night before. We had to remind her that Santa may have came. She was more interested in her donuts, obviously. Fish was a riot when it came to opening his gift. He didn't do any of the actual ripping, but you would have thought that he won the lottery as Sister checked out his toy. Finn got a doll and some clothes to go with it from Santa. She also got a bell from Santa that was supposedly from his sleigh (reminiscent of The Polar Express).
Full Christmas realness with that hair -- there was no brushing before presents.
After presents were opened and later in the morning, the kids got to get all dressed up to go on a Gator Ride with Mimi and Papa. Fish was infatuated with Gator Rides -- we went on a couple while we were there. It was quite chilly and the rides were long, but the kids really like it.
On Christmas night, my mom's family held their annual Christmas get together. It was a bunch of fun! I didn't get to take a lot of photos, as I was lugging about a 23 pound kid. But we did take a family photo of everyone that was there and I released Sparky (the Christmas Card trophy) to my sister-in-law. But I told her that she is only holding onto him for a year -- that she should be ready to send it back my way next year.