I was completely over-stimulated with Christmas events this weekend. Saturday brought us not one, but two holiday parades. And Sunday was a little event called Cocoa with Mrs. Claus.
Every year the on-post housing people host a Christmas parade that comes right through the housing areas. I think a lot of bases have these because I remember there was a lamer version of this when we were stationed in Savannah.
We live right on the main road that comes through our housing section, so all the kids and I had to do was step outside when we saw the parade start to come. Louisa had grabbed two plastic bags in case there was candy. Oh boy was there candy! The kids ended up filling the bags about half-way and I really think we got more candy from this little parade than we did at Halloween.
Later in the evening, we went to the lighted parade in town. We met up with several friends, the kids got to run around, and I got to sit and talk with real grown-ups. (There are days when I start to wonder what real conversations are like!)
There were barriers set up on the side of the streets, which made getting the candy quite difficult. We didn't get near as much candy, not because they didn't throw it, but because they didn't get it over the barriers for us to catch. My heart was aching when I saw all those un-reachable Laffy Taffy's sitting over on the other side, just begging to be taken home and eaten!
It was a long parade and Hunter enjoyed all the lights. He was screaming for joy and pointing at everything that came by. I don't know who had more fun, Hunter watching the parade, or me watching Hunter. Louisa, as always, enjoyed sitting next to her baby brother and pointing things out to him and watching his happy little face. It's so interesting to try and guess what little guys are thinking when it comes to stuff like this. Does he wonder why he's sitting on a curb at night watching cars with lights on them go by and collecting candy that mom keeps grabbing out of his hand because he just scarfed down 4 pieces?
Of course, a parade isn't a parade without one of the kids getting lost and then walking around with a policeman who's trying to help them find mom and dad again. This time Drew happened to take that prize.
Sunday, besides being my sleep-in day, brought us another Christmassy fun day. I'm so blessed with children who like to sleep in like mama does! After we all finally got up and ready to go, we headed to the youth center for Cocoa with Mrs. Claus. I told Hunter we were going to see Santa, and he went to his room to grab his Santa hat. Apparently you can't go see Santa without your Santa hat, which he wore proudly the whole way there.
When we got there, the parking lot was full, which then means we have to go park somewhere else and take a shuttle. That's very typical on this base. Most places where they hold events don't have adequate parking, so they have you park in another place and then shuttle you to the event. This was the first time that we had to actually do it, though. We just drove down the block to a credit union to park. I've never seen anyone as excited to ride a bus as Hunter was. I think that was probably the most exciting event (that he remembers) in his little life! He jumped right up on the seat next to the window, tapping the seat next to him and telling me to "sit down". His excitement in the very short ride was over flowing, until we got there and he saw the big blow-up Santa! Of which Hunter ran straight up and gave a big hug to.
Inside, the line to actually see the real Santa was far too long for me to even think about standing in. Plus, now that we've experienced the purple & gold Santa, the regular one just isn't as exciting. And really, how many pictures with Santa do we need in one year? We could have had our pictures with Mrs. Claus, as she spent most of the time walking around.
We played games, bounced on bouncies, made a craft, made cards for Daddy and other deployed soldiers, and of course drank cocoa. Drew had about 5 cups, I think. He thought it was very funny when the lady told him he was a returning customer! Oh, and I can't forget Louisa's big win. She won a cake in the cake-walk. She loves doing cake-walks, she always wins. Which was perfect for me because that evening we were having dinner at a friend's house and I volunteered to bring dessert. Thanks, Louisa!
If the trip to the youth center on the shuttle wasn't exciting enough for Hunter, the trip home was doubly exciting. We went to wait outside when we had done just about everything there was to do, and when Hunter saw the bus approaching he ran, screaming, into the parking lot as if he just won the lottery. He was jumping and running around and yelling "mama, bus! mama, bus!" He reminded me of Buddy on the movie Elf when he found out that Santa was coming to the department store! Who knew a bus would cause this much excitement in Hunter's life.
Now I'm Christmased out for the week. LSU Santa on Friday, two parades on Saturday, Cocoa with Mrs. Claus on Sunday! Who knew you could pack so much Christmas into one weekend.