The Best Christmas, EVER

Finally, a chance to update! I’ll warn you now, this is a REALLY long one! Where do I start?

I guess I’ll start with Wednesday. I spent most of the day trying to clean and when Mary got home, I went with her and Noelia to town for a few Christmas gifts she needed. The last place we went to was K-Mart, where the so-called manager was a total ass. Let’s just say, I know why K-Mart is going out of business. Anyway, we went to the jewelry department, where Mary was going to look for some earrings Noelia wanted. I idly turned the display case and browsed through the bling. Then I saw the most perfect little 10K pink cubic zirconia (sp?) earrings. I saw the price…they’d been priced down to $5.99! I was about to buy them, and Mary said no, she’d get them for me to put in my stocking. I told her no, it’s just $5, I’d get them for myself and she insisted. She’s too sweet to me .

Thursday was spent wrapping. Sonia, Mary and I wrapped almost all day. Then I started whipping up the dough for the Snickerdoodles (will put the recipe up soon).

That night, John and I were watching the news. They kept mentioning snow and sleet and we were just boggled. We sat about a foot in front of the TV like little kids and anxiously waited for the weather to be announced. And then I saw it:

Yes. I took a picture of it, just in case I’d never see that announced ever again.

The next morning, as I got Mario’s clothes ironed, I turned the TV to the Weather Channel. I almost ironed over my hand when I heard them say it was snowing in Brownsville, Texas–which is about an hour and a half away from here! I was so excited. It wasn’t snowing here yet, but it was freezing cold outside. I made Mario his breakfast, he left for work, then I got the boys up and gave them breakfast, gave John instructions on what to do, when to feed them, etc. Then, off went Mary and I to brave the last-minute-shoppers crowd at the mall and in town. We were just in the next town when we started picking up speed and we notice there’s water on the rear-view mirrors and the water is freezing right before our eyes. I’d never seen that before!

We went to Wal-mart first to get some movies we needed. I picked up Noelia’s movies, and got Jurassic Park The Lost World for the boys. Mary got a few things too and then we left. We were waiting for Mario to call so we could cash his check before the banks closed and he called right when we were nearing the store. After cashing it, we went down Main street to check a perfume store for the cologne I wanted to get Mario, 212 by Carolina Herrera. I found it–and I got the 3.4oz. bottle for the price I’d get the 1.7oz. bottle at the mall ! Mary got Lucky for Noey, which was also for a really good price. Then we headed for the mall. Luckily, we had such good luck finding parking spaces all day! We got what we needed from all the stores…I even got the two Gameboy Advance videos I wanted for the boys (Yugioh and Ninja Turtles) plus one free (Cartoon Network collection) at EbGames! Then at Target, we got a few more movies, I got some tin platters for the cookies I was baking for each family and some other stuff. I got Office Space for Mario, which he’s been wanting since forever and I got 3 movies for him from Mom: Tigerland, Tears of the Sun, and Hackers. They didn’t charge us for Hackers! We thought they hadn’t put it in since it wasn’t on the receipt, but they did put it in there and didn’t charge us for it. So yeah, we had really good luck!

We went back home and unloaded the car. When I was taking some bags in, I noticed droplets on the ends of the orange tree leaves. I get closer and notice they’re teeny icicles! I listened closely and could hear the frozen Mesquite leaves clinking against eachother in the wind. I was amazed…I’d never seen frost/ice after 6am, ever, and had definetly never heard it!

We covered the boys up snugly and took them to see the ice, then took them back in so Mary and I could visit Mario’s Grandma for a while and drop off the gift exchange gifts. We ate some pork/beef tamales she’d made and talked with her. She gave us the gifts she bought for the boys and we went to pick Mom up from work. She’d be spending the night to spend Christmas morning with us . It would have been really odd and depressing had she not been here Christmas morning since she’s always been here. She was waiting in the lobby when we got there, a huge chocolate cake and a bag of presents and her clothes in tow. I helped her with everything and felt incredibly happy that my whole family would be together the next day. Except Gramma of course , but we’d be visiting her. As she’s getting in the car, she tells me, “Remember how I said you’d love your gift? Well, I forgot it.” LOL I told her it was totally ok, not to worry about it at all. We went to Subway to pick up a sub for Noey and for the first time in my life I saw long icicles on a building.

We picked up Angela and Yazmin on the way home, since they wanted to decorate the Gingerbread house kit Mary’d bought.

It was horrible. I remember it being much easier last year . After finally getting it to actually “stand”, the kids got to decorating.

A side view. It’s slipping…:

And after they picked off a few gumdrops:

Stupid thing . Never again!

After that disaster, I started baking the Snickerdoodles. I connected the kids’ monitor in the kitchen, so I could hear when the timer went off and went back to Mary’s, where she was baking Pan de Polvo, and started wrapping more gifts. One of the times I was running back to Mary’s from checking on a batch of cookies, I saw this on a lawn chair outside:

Could it be? Sleet? Snow?? I ran off screaming, “OH MY GOD, IT’S SNOWING!!!”. John had been sleeping and awoke to my shrill screams and said, “What the hell’s your problem?!” I tell him, “It’s SNOWING, John!” He was in a crappy mood, so he didn’t care much, but all the kids came running out (after being properly covered up) to see.

The first layer of “snow”. If it had snowed only this much, it would have been enough for me. It looked marvelous. It was the first time it’s snowed in 109 years and the first recorded White Christmas in history in The Valley. I love how my crappy little camera captured the snowflakes. Or, ice flakes since they weren’t really flakes yet.

Noey, Yazmin and I kept going out there to play in the snow. We were worse than the kids . Mary even yelled out, “You girls don’t stay out there too long, you hear me?!” I felt like I was 5 again, not that I saw snow when I was 5. It brought out the kid in us. I caught snow in my mouth for the first time ever and we made tiny snowballs. We went back in after taking a few pictures (which I won’t post of me because my pics weren’t too flattering LOL). Mario got home, and was pretty tired (and cold!) from being at work all day and chilled out on the couch and eventually went to sleep. I was a bit disappointed he wasn’t playing in the snow with us, but I understood he was tired. One of the times I went back out, I noticed the snow turned into little “balls”.

It was so awesome to touch!

After putting all the kids to bed (except Yazmin, who kept getting out of bed ) we finished wrapping the presents. I decided to take a picture of the tree before it was destroyed in the morning LOL.

There were a lot less presents under the tree since Jose, Elda, Jorge and the boys didn’t come . I finished up with all the cookies I was making (peanut butter, chocolate chip–which I cheated with and bought the Toll House squares –and the Snickerdoodles.

Then I made the trays I’d be giving to each of the families, since we couldn’t get them all individual gifts.

After Mary and I were done with everything, I went out and took pictures of everything I could. I wanted to remember the snow forever, in case it never happens again. Mary wanted me to get pictures of the house, but since it was dark, and my camera isn’t the best, they wouldn’t show. So she thought, “Let’s take video!” So there we were, at 1:30 in the morning, with a whole bunch of extension cords and the video camera. We went around the house as much as the cords would go without us getting electrocuted. I thought I’d have a hard time sleeping since I was super excited about the snow and excited about seeing the kids open their presents, but I fell asleep pretty quickly. The next morning, I awoke to this:

I went out with Mom before everyone else woke up and took more pictures. We even attempted to make a teeny snowman on top of the trash bin, but we’re South Texans and don’t own gloves, so our hands were freezing LOL.

Those are THE coolest icicles! Mario got dressed and went outside to see the snow. He couldn’t believe how much snow there was. We went in, where the rest of the family was and waited to open presents. The kids all sat patiently while the adults either passed around gifts or helped the little ones open theirs. Jaylen was in heaven. He had a Ninja Turtle Christmas LOL. That’s basically what his gifts consisted of. Kind of reminds me of John when he was a toddler…he had EVERY SINGLE old school Ninja Turtle action figure. After the kids opened their gifts, the adults opened theirs. Mario was super happy with his cologne and all his shirts and DVD’s and tools . I was EXTREMELY happy with all my gifts. I was really surprised with a lot of my gifts. A little list of what I received:

1. Polite Panda from Mary and Big Mario.
2. Perfect Panda from Mom.
3. Bashful Heart Bear, Best Friend Bear and a large Playful Heart Monkey from Jorge.
4. Care Bears checkers from Mary and Big Mario.
5. The new 18″ Rainbow Brite doll I couldn’t find anywhere from Mary and Big Mario (they had it sent by Elda from Arizona!).
6. Hello Kitty toaster from Mary and Big Mario (also from Arizona!).
7. Rainbow Brite Light Up Color Castle from Mary and Big Mario.
8. A multi-stone colored cross necklace from Aunt Nora and Tio Arturo.
9. 10K pink cubic zirconia earrings from Mary.
10. A Strawberry Shortcake Italian Charm from Mary and Big Mario.
11. A teeny Strawberry Shortcake purse from Mary and Big Mario.
12. 14K pink heart-shaped cubic zirconia necklace from Mario.
13. Love Spell from Victoria’s Secret body splash, shower gel, and two perfumes from Mario.

Mario kept telling me he didn’t get me anything, and I kept telling him it was fine. The best gift for me was that my family was happy and together, and that we got to get everyone else something, even if it was small. Then he popped out with two boxes and there was my necklace and Love Spell stuff. I was pleasantly surprised. I’m so grateful for my gifts, and most of all my family–who’re the best family in the world and the best I could ask for

Here’s Jaylen with his gifts:

And Eenan with his Kirby and the Amazing Mirror game he got from Nana and Bimpa:

They didn’t want to open any more gifts after those LOL. Here they are with their Megaman sword things:

Mario and I made breakfast for everyone and later went to play in the snow. Here we are in front of the pretty snow-covered logs:

I didn’t like this picture either. It was early, wasn’t wearing make-up, but it was one of the only ones with my love so I thought I’d include it . After taking that picture, Mario made a snowman.

He was about a foot high, and resided on Noey’s car. I told Mario the skittles were a bad idea…they made him look evil . We got into a snowball fight after that, which was the coolest! Even Eenan got in on the action. Jaylen was too busy playing with his Ninjas to come outside. Mario made this huge snowball, which he almost launched at me:

Mario left the ball unattended on the ground, and Eenan cracked it in half with his foot. Here he is carrying what was left:

I went back in and got the boys ready since we’d be leaving to Yadira’s (who didn’t have electricity) to get together for our Christmas lunch. It was nice even though the food was cool by the time we ate. Everything was yummy. After spending some time there, we all went back to the house and dropped Mary, Mom and John off, and the boys, Mario and I went to see Paul, Norma and their kids. They bought us gifts, which I told them they didn’t have to do but Paul said they wanted to, that it was little things we liked. We gave them the tray of goodies we made and they gave us our gifts. They got Mario a West Coast Choppers bike and a West Coast Choppers car and bike for Eenan. Jaylen got a Ninja Turtles robot and they got me a Care Bears domino set. They said they’d been eying it for me since October LOL. How sweet is that?

My dominos and an ornament I bought myself. It was on sale at Wal-Mart!

We chatted and caught up on things since we hadn’t seen eachother in almost a year. Their kids are all too adorable. Their little girls are gorgeous. I never thought Paul could have daughters LOL.

After visiting with them, we went home and got ready to watch a movie. We popped some popcorn, microwaved some nacho cheese, got some pickles, Hot Cheetos and gummy candies. It was nice, even though the kids were running back and forth LOL. Jorge called a while later and we went to visit with them. Mom stayed home watching TV and the rest of us went. The boys played Halo 2 while Maggie and I chatted in the kitchen.

The next day, Mom and I sat at the table and just chatted. Somehow, we got to talking about purses and I told her I needed to buy one because I’ve been using the same one for about 2 years and it was about to fall apart. She says, “Then I think you’ll like what I got you.” My eyes widen and I say, “No…you got me a purse?!” She nods. I ask, “From where?”, and she says, “Dillards.” I think, ‘Oh my gosh, what has this woman bought me?’ She tells me it’s pink, with little letters on it. My heart drops. I ask her, “Is it a Dooney & Bourke?” She says, “Eh, I don’t know what the name is, but it was expensive.” I tell her, “MOTHER! How much was it??” She says, “$150…but we got it on sale for $98…your Aunt Nora put it on her card and I’m paying her back. She suggested it.” I almost fainted. And hugged her

We dropped Mom off at work a while later and visited Gramma at the nursing home. She loved the sweatshirt we got her. I need to remember to get her the matching pants. Didn’t get them since they hadn’t been bothering to put pants on her. We (Mom, Jaylen and I–Eenan stayed with Mary in the car since he was in a bad mood) spent the whole time trying to fix Gramma’s TV. Before we left I asked a nurse if they could send someone to her room to help. I hope someone got it fixed. She’d be so bored! I’m glad they take her out for physical therapy every day. She’s moving her legs a bit more now. She can actually stretch them. They also have little activites and she gets her nails done every week . Too cute!

We stopped by Aunt Nora’s to visit really quick and to drop Mom’s clothes and their presents off. I gave her the tray of goodies I made and she gave us a huge basket of cookies she ordered for us. It was FULL of cookies.

It was much more full than that when we first got it. Mary, the boys and I got into it on the way home LOL. She told me to open the gift Mom got me, because she wanted to see my reaction. I opened it and my mouth dropped, and then I screamed.

I could not believe it. A Dooney & Bourke!! I always had one on my secret wishlist, but never, ever thought I’d own one. I couldn’t fathom spending that much money on a bag. I remember a while back when Jessica and Aunt Nora came over to Mom’s when they still lived here…they both had Dooneys. Aunt Nora’s was red and Jessica’s was pink. I’d wanted one ever since. And I had one. I filled out the registration card right away…I need to send it out tomorrow! I browsed around for a wallet…the one I want is $145…I should start saving if I want it sometime soon LOL.

So that was our surprise-filled Christmas. One of the best, ever.

On a sad note, I still can’t believe how many people lost their lives due to that tsunami . It’s just terrible. Everyone I’ve talked to, I’ve told that it’s really scary. I may be looking into it too much, but the fact that it snowed down here and then that tsunami…makes me wonder what else will happen. Global warming and the polar ice caps shifting (was on CNN a few weeks ago)…scary shit. God, I don’t even want to think about it. You see, I’m watching the Weather Channel right now…a tornado warning near Los Angeles…can we say The Day After Tomorrow??? *packs bags and moves to Mexico*

I guess that’s it…I need to wake up super early tomorrow. Blah.

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