Friday, January 1, 2016

Welcoming the New Year

Our New Year's Eve festivities had a rocky start but ended on a high note. For whatever reason, Jesse had been looking forward to attending the "Noon Year" balloon drop at the local children's museum. We arrived an hour earlier so we could let the kids play first. There was a line of at least 30 people outside the door, in addition to the hundreds of people inside. I don't know if the museum was already at max capacity or what the deal was, but we didn't want to find out. Instead we drove ten more minutes to Northlake Mall for their celebration. Apparently balloon drops at noon are the popular thing to do. 

It started out okay. There were silly hats, crafts, music, etc.

It was so loud and crowded. Jackson made maracas for everyone and we brought stickers back to the triplets to help them decorate.

As the balloon drop approached, the crowds were so close we had to hold James, Amelia, and Maddie. This is when things started to fall apart.

It turns out that there was one balloon for every 3-4 children. I took an awesomely bad video of the countdown and balloon drop which concluded with Jackson screaming about not getting a balloon. 

Fastforward a few hours and we were on track for a fun evening. Jackson's cousin, Levi, spent the night with us. I spent $6 on sparkling grape juice, fancy plastic cups, noise makers, and balloons. Amelia requested popcorn as a special snack.

We hyped everyone up for our New Year's Eve party at 7 pm with a Netflix countdown.

Jesse and I had blown up an entire bag full of balloons and hid them in the laundry room while the kids were upstairs. As soon as the countdown ended, we surprised them by throwing all the balloons out. Their reaction was fantastic!

It was probably the most enjoyable New Year's Eve celebration I've ever had. There was pure joy and laughter, and we were wearing pajamas and drinking sparkling grape juice.

Unfortunately, all that excitement made for a restless night. We were up with toddlers throughout the night. Breakfast was a delicious cinnamon roll french toast. I have been obsessed with these Tasty videos!

I had big plans to take Jack and Levi to an indoor trampoline park, but I underestimated the amount of time I needed for lunch preparations. We've been hosting the traditional New Year's Day lunch (pork, greens, black eyed peas) for at least five years. It was a tradition I learned from my Granny, and I'm proud to continue it with our family.

I spent most of the morning making pound cake, banana pudding, cracker candy, cornbread muffins, mac-n-cheese, and black eyed peas. We bought a few pounds of pulled pork from our favorite barbecue restaurant so that was easy to reheat. Jesse was in charge of the greens and cleaning. The kids entertained themselves upstairs. People always assume it is more work to have additional kids over, but it's so much easier if they get along and play well together. At last, lunch was ready and family arrived.

(I stole this picture from my aunt)
There's nothing I love more than a kitchen full of food and a house filled with family!

I have a bit of anxiety about what 2016 will bring. It took me more than a year to come to terms with being a stay at home mom, and now I'm dreading the transition of returning to work in the fall. In addition to finding a job this spring, we will also need to potty train three toddlers, enroll James, Amelia, and Maddie in the child development center, and register Jackson for kindergarten. Jesse and I will both turn 30 this summer. The fall will be filled with completely different schedules for all six of us. It will be another year of big changes. 2016, please be good to us!

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