This morning, everyone slept in. Cricket roused around 7 a.m. (which means I did, too), an hour later than usual; I poked Ryan around 8; and Emma Vance, well, she was the most exhausted Shove, so we all woke her up at 8:30 because we could hardly wait a minute more. I think SHE could’ve waited a minute more…or an hour more, haha! I had asked my grandmother (E.V.’s namesake) to knit the girls two stockings to hang on their doors (our family tradition), and I filled each with a blabla doll, so pointing that surprise out to E.V. helped motivate her teenage self to get up and at ’em. Once everyone was up and running, we headed downstairs to see what Santa brought, and (thanks to the grandmas mostly!) he sure unloaded his sleigh at our house!
There were oohs and ahhhs, and the girls bounced around from toy to toy, unable to take it all in. Since Emma Vance’s #1 request this year was for “ice cream Play-Doh,” we put a little Play-Doh display front and center — which was SO exciting for her, but maybe not the smartest move on our part because she of course wanted to open it immediately. We told her to wait and look at everything else first, but as dolls and books and figurines were being flung left and right, I started to notice bits of Play-Doh everywhere. I accused Ryan of opening a container of the messy stuff, but he just looked at me confusedly. After some careful investigation and observation, it turns out a certain one-year old magically learned to open those tough Play-Doh containers this morning,,,with her teeth. ;) Once the mystery was solved, we put the ice cream set and the containers all up out of Cricket’s reach and proceeded with our morning.
The few hours of rummaging through Santa gifts is a bit of a blur, but there are highlights: Cricket getting babies galore and loving on each one with her whole heart; E.V. opening a pretend cleaning set and asking, “Can I clean everything in the whole wide world???” (I’ll remember that when she’s a teenager); the girls’ joy playing with the GIANT dollhouse my mom purchased and I assembled (THREE HOURS, ugh); the ugliest two Barbies you ever did see that Ryan picked out (poor guy #dadmom); all the tiny, adorable things — people, animals, objects — Santa brought (because my girls LOVE miniature things right now); Cricket’s excitement at the two vintage Rainbow Brite items I got (a pillowcase and a small sprite); both girls happily sliding down the small, indoor slide I almost didn’t get; Ryan being more pumped about the Miles from Tomorrowland Stellosphere (a spaceship from a Disney Junior show) like a little boy. Overall, the gifts were great, but the best part of the morning was watching our girls’ faces at each new discovery.
After presents, we always host a casual, open-invitation Christmas breakfast. We open our home so anyone in our families who wants to see E.V. and Cricket on Christmas morning can do so without us having to pack them up and make the rounds. During breakfast, uur families help us undo toy packaging (the worst) and play with the girls in between Belgian waffles and bacon pancakes (yes, that’s a thing). Once again, in my exhaustion, family time was a blur, but there are highlights: my dad calling the multitudes of Lalaoopsy dolls “Lollipopsy” dolls over and over even though we corrected him each time; Wendi getting to see the fruits of her shopping labor; my mom picking the wrong toy to unpack age (it was a beast); Ryan at the cooking helm; my brother Jon enjoying his annual waffle making and helping E.V. attempt to ride her balance bike; my dad playing the My Little Pony Pinkie Pie Pop-up game with E.V.; the girls pushing their new dolls and strollers down the street in their pajamas to show off to our new neighbors. ;)
Once everyone left, we ignored the mess and enjoyed the girls’ new toys. Pretty soon it was the girls’ nap time…which turned into mom and dad’s nap time, too. Oops. When we all finally woke up, we had missed an entire afternoon of playtime, but we all needed it — clearly! We ended the night with an impromptu dinner out…at a hibachi restaurant! It was like living out “The Christmas Story,” and it was awesome. (Plus E.V. loved the entertainment and using chopsticks!) The kitchen is clean(ish), but we’re ignoring the living room. Tomorrow we’ll clean and organize all the new toys, but for now, let me just say to all you weary parents out there — and to all a good night!
P.S. I’ve been working all month on a secret surprise for the girls as their main Christmas gift, but I was afraid its specialness would be lost amongst all the toys this morning, so we have one more gift to give them — and to share here — in the days to come! Stay tuned!