Max did wake up before we left and got to see the beautiful lights! His eyes were wide open taking it all in.
And then as we were taking pictures with the Christmas tree, guess who we ran into?
Here we are with Santa, Santa's helper/Mrs.Claus? and Jack Frost. I must say, Santa and his helper were quite the talkers. They kept a running commentary on everything that was happening around us while we were visiting. And Santa's outfit was very impressive- this was Max's first visit with Santa and I'm glad it was worth his while.
Christmas eve we went to our favorite place- IKEA! I wasn't sure what it would be like- usually IKEA is packed, and with it being Christmas eve, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, it could be even busier than usual, or it could be really chill since furniture isn't your typical Christmas present. Lucky for us, it was chill. It was the best IKEA shopping trip I've taken in a long time. It was particularly nice because we had Max with us, so he could kinda run around as he pleased instead of us having to keep him in his stroller. And the meatballs were DELICIOUS as usual. Thank you Rob, for such a great Christmas present- he let me get some stuff I wanted for our house. Christmas day was so relaxed. We weren't going to open presents until my aunt got there after lunch, so in the morning we walked over to my favorite place in Reston- the Lake Anne Village Center. I must say, Reston is great because it has paths that connect everything in Reston- houses, the village center, the shopping center, office parks, schools. It was a planned community built in the early 60s and retains that character, despite the times changing. Anyway, so the village center is so 60s and I love it for it. When I was young we would go feed the ducks. You can't do that now, but we managed to enjoy ourselves anyway.
The village center- this is Lake Anne. When my mom was a kid it would get cold enough to freeze the lake solid and they would ice skate on it.
Within the center there are two "playgrounds." Playgrounds is in quotes becuase they are not what we consider playgrounds nowadays, they are the 60s version- this one is a concrete hut-like structure that doesn't look very safe but is a blast! Here is Max's reaction, and I know I loved it when I was a kid. I wish playgrounds were still cool and inspired imagination like those from my parent's childhood. We're too worried about safety now so we have those stupid plastic cookie-cutter playgrounds. I'll have to do a post on real playgrounds later so people know what they're missing out on.
One of the doorways. Unfortunately, kids don't use it much anymore, teenagers use it more and like to make their mark.
Me and Max walking around the edge of the fountain- it's turned off during the winter so we'll have to back in the summer and play. Behind us are restaurants and little shops, and they have condos above them. It is such a cool place and I love going there!
Later on we opened presents, and after that we had my grandmothers Christmas dinner. It is sooooooo delicious- a rib roast with au jus and potatoes roasted in the pan with the meat so they're browned while simmering in the fat, my grandmothers rolls, green beans, and yorkshire pudding, with bush de noel for dessert. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Playing with the wrapping paper- for the most part he was more interested in the paper than his presents, typical child.
Playing with one of the soft blocks he got from my Aunt Tracy and Uncle Bob. I t makes noise when you shake it, so make was shaking it.
The day after Christmas we drove back to North Carolina and once we got back we went to my parents house and had pizza and opened gifts with them. Max got some great stuff- in the picture below you can see his pile of gifts.
My parents got him an easel and Max surprisingly sat and colored! We figured it would be for future use, but he proved us wrong.
A top view of the artist- coloring pretty pictures before tossing the crayons to the side.
And for those who don't know, Max's hair was getting quite long- every time we took him out in public people would call him a girl. Now, I know this happens to every child, but in his case his curls helped to throw people off. So a few weeks ago I told myself the curls had until New Year's. So, New Year's day he got his first haircut.
There was no way I was going to give him a buzz cut or use the clippers in any way, I just trimmed it enough so that he looked like a boy.
He's such a little boy now! What happened to my baby?
And on a lighter note, here we put my sister's jacket on him and he looked like a jawa from Star Wars! It was so cute I had to get some video: