The first picture is the one we used for Christmas cards. I should say holiday cards since I always seem to get them out between Christmas and New Years. I wish it would have been cuter of each of them and had them in cute outfits, but we waited until a few days before Christmas to get a tree and then just took it one evening when I had a few minutes. Brookelyn didn't want to sit still until we gave her a candy cane, Sasha kept turning around every other second to grab the tree and Brayden was great through all of it. Sasha seems to smile if I am holding her but I can't get her to smile most of the time now for a picture. She doesn't seem to get why I am not holding her and she'll make a nervous sound between a laugh and a cry until I hold her. It's not a big deal since I know she will get over it as she gets older and more confident, but it means we don't have a lot of smilng pictures of her right now. Anyway, it took me, my older daughter and older son to get all three little ones to stay sitting down and look in the right direction. Ray was out of town on a golf trip. It's true. He went up the Saturday before Christmas and came back Sunday evening. It did help his mother since he helped drive her down here to visit, but it was really about the golf. I normally wouldn't mind, but I had done something weird to my back early in the week when I planned to finish shopping and had a really hard time picking up Sasha and Brookelyn for a couple of days. It was weird and scarey. I can't imagine how bad it would be if I couldn't carry them around. I've never had that happen before. It was sore for a couple of days and is fine now.
Right when my back was feeling better Sasha and Brooklyn both got colds so I didn't want to take them out shopping with me. Anyway, it turned out that I wound up doing most of our shopping in one day. We tried to keep it simple this year. After coming back from Vietnam and seeing all of our stuff I didn't want to get more. Also, when we went to grab important things from our house before the fire we realized we only wanted important paperwork, pictures, home videos of the kids and clothes for a few days.
Christmas was fun. My family always comes to my house. We have a lot of little children in the family so it was a fun, loud, chaotic day. We woke up to ashes all over our house (again!)from a really wild and loud windstorm for hours the night before. I think I heard winds between 35-50 miles per hour. I could hardly sleep since I could hear things in our yard blowing around. Anyway, it took us a long time to clean it all up inside and then it was fun.
We are back to our usual routine of school which is good. Bedtimes were getting later and later. Sasha and Brookelyn had runny noses for most of the break though they seemed to feel fine most of the time. Sasha was fine with all of the craziness though she really still is only happy when I hold her. She will go to other people but looks at me the entire time they are holding her. I have to leave the room in order for her to relax with someone else. Ray's mom met her for the first time. We were supposed to visit her up in Northern CA right after Thanksgiving so she could meet her but I wasn't ready to travel with the three little ones yet. I had her give Sasha a bottle which is good for me since I just started letting people besides Ray and I do it. Sasha has obviously bonded, so I am not worried about it anymore.