Merry Christmas 2010!

The girls hang out with trusty Grammy as we head off for some errands

Merry Christmas 2010! As usual with a big event like this, a quick summary is going to have to suffice, or I will be here typing all day. There was a lot going on this Christmas, but this account is focused on the girls from my perspective.

Molly is still too young to grasp what all these decorations, music, and gift-wrapped items are all about. She was just happy to have all her grandparents in town again to celebrate whatever this is! And she even got a few presents out of the deal, mostly plastic sorting toys that make crazy sounds. This Christmas thing may be something to keep an eye out for in the future.
Molly wanted to show off for her grandparents and continued to take great strides in her standing and walking. She took a couple of steps several different times over the weekend. She’s not quite walking as such, but she is getting mighty close, and all the grandparents (and parents) were so proud!
Claire wraps herself up as a gift

Big sister Claire is now an old Christmas pro. Like Molly, Claire was also thrilled to have all four grandparents in town again, less than a month after her big birthday party. She had been anticipating Christmas for a couple of weeks, and was especially eager to find out what would show up in her stocking on Christmas morning. She did end up receiving a much anticipated candy cane, as well as a Magic School Bus chapter book called The Search for the Missing Bones. This book has a lot more works and and a lot fewer pictures than any of her books so far. Apparently Santa thinks Claire is getting close to reading age. Everyone received a different “Mr. Men” or “Little Miss” book, such as Mr. Funny or Mr. Loud (perhaps to fit our personalities?), which all we generally donated to Claire for further reading.

The new bike, compliments of Santa

 I don’t think Claire 100% realized that she should expect a big actual present from Saint Nick too. Well, the good man came through and brought Claire a beautiful pink bike — a real, heavy, rubber and metal bike with training wheels. Claire has officially outgrown the Big Wheel, although I am sure Molly will happily inherit it soon enough. We went outside into the blustery cold to try out the bike. Claire gave it some spins back and forth on the side patio. After getting used to the pedal brakes, she was off and rolling pretty well. Molly watched eagerly from the door window. Soon Claire requested that we try it out on the front street where she would have more room to open things up a bit more. Kit and I headed out there with her to the street. After one ride of maybe 30 feet, she hopped off her bike quickly. I thought wanted to she turn it around and come back, but instead she sprinted for the front door saying, “It’s toooo coooold!” That was it for the bike until a warmer day.

Molly meets Astronaut Claire 

Among other highlights, Claire also received a microphone for her singing, a Barbie (her first), a Leapster 2 educational game system, Melody Harp from me and Kit (which she summarily ignored without opening the box, but which I believe she will one day enjoy), and a full astronaut suit from her Uncle Tim. Pretty soon Claire was exploring around the house pretending it was outer space, and everyone had a turn trying on the crazy helmet.

Reading “A Butterfly Christmas”

Of course, we all wanted Claire to understand that giving is an important part of the whole gift exchange too. Claire (and Grammy) gave me and mom beautifully framed pictures of her and Molly, which Claire designed decorated herself. I remembered about two days before Christmas that Claire should give something special to her grandparents too, so in a panic I picked up a you-decorate-a-butterfly kit at Target with three butterflies. Late on Christmas eve, had to drag a grumpy Claire upstairs to begrudgingly decorate these butterflies. This was going to be the worst, most uninspired kid present ever! But Claire rallied under the promise that she could keep one of the butterflies, and before long we had three nicely decorated butterflies: a blue one and a pink one for the sets of grandparents, and a purple one for Claire to keep. They were named Butterfly, Pretty Butterfly, and Pretty Pretty Pretty Butterfly, I think. Then I asked if she could do a picture or a story or something — anything — to go with the butterflies. She started out slowly but then worked into a groove. She dictated a story of three butterflies — a blue one, a pink one, and a purple one — while she drew an illustration of the story. We eventually ran out of room on both sides of the paper, so I re-typed it on the computer where it would actually fit and be more legible. We called the story “A Butterfly Christmas”.  With Kit’s inspired wrapping, we ended up with a good present just in the nick of time.

Among other presents, Claire and/or Molly also gave at least one grandparent as well as me and Kit the customary gift of a nasty cold. This is price we pay for togetherness, I suppose.
Whew! So much more happened, but I don’t want to prattle on much more for your sake and mine. One a side note, Kit spent most of Christmas week bogged down in an insanely busy week at work while also dealing with negotiations related to her company being sold. I cannot say much more, but she was mostly gone or asleep right up until Christmas eve, and she was exhausted through the weekend. Personally, I am feeling exhausted too, partly from work and normal life, but also from having hosted three big events within the last month: Claire’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and now Christmas.
Claire for her part is excited about the next big holiday after Christmas. I was thinking it was New Year’s Day, but Claire tells me it is Kwanzaa, which starts the day after Christmas.

(Well, so much for a quick summary, but this was the best I could do.)

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