Christmas 2011

This Christmas was a great dose of family, food, relaxing, and yes, presents.

This may have been the first Christmas that Molly was somewhat aware of.  She seemed to understand that the Christmas tree signified something, that the lights could be turned on and off with a little foot switch, and that the ornaments could be rearranged by her.  Molly’s style is to cluster many ornaments onto a single branch.  She understood that the presents were a surprise for different people and that they needed to stay wrapped and under the tree (after some gentle guidance from us) until some undisclosed date.  Molly also got to sign and help wrap her first present, which happened to be some wooden play food (pickle jar, salt shaker, etc.) for Claire.  Molly also received some presents, including a singing and dancing Elmo, a tiny indoor basketball hoop, a tiny tricycle, a pile of Elmo books (from Santa) and a little lamb stuffed animal (also from Santa) to match her class mascot.  Molly liked all the gifts, but mostly she loved having her grandparents around to lavish her with attention.

Molly proudly holding her gift to Claire.
Note her signature in the “from” area.

But it was not all good tidings for Molly.  She came down with an ear infection on Christmas eve.  She had been sort of grumpy and “off” for a while, and then she started to mess with her right ear and eventually said that the ear hurt.  Kit and I got her into an urgent care clinic one hour before they closed on Christmas eve.  Writing this a few days later, I can tell you that the prescribed antibiotic caused upset stomach, diarrhea, and possibly a rash.  The diarrhea continued with the next antibiotic prescribed later by her regular doctor, and the resulting diaper rash is only adding to Molly’s discomfort.  But Molly is hanging in there.

Molly took a late night (7 pm!) visit to the doctor in her pajamas.
She loved the adventure of being out in her PJs after bedtime.

Claire and Molly admiring Santa’s offerings,
with Grandpa Phil looking on.

For Claire, Santa produced a mini-trampoline and a purple monkey stuffed animal to match her own class mascot.  The trampoline seemed a little random, but Claire practiced on it for the next few days and ended up doing some super-high jumps with her dad’s help, nearly touching her head to the ceiling (really).  Leading up to Christmas, Claire had asked several times whether we thought Santa would bring her anything good, or only coal.  I think Claire was worried she had “been bad” lately, with her various mood and temper issues that have flared up since this summer.  We assured her that Santa would bring her something, and I am glad the big guy came through.  Claire also had a number of incisive questions about how Santa actually operates.  Does he ever deliver the presents to the wrong house?  Does he ever give a boy’s present (such as a “Batman toy”) to a girl?  How does he keep track of who is naughty and nice?  I suggested to Claire that it is almost like he is magical, but she said no, it’s not magic.  He is probably just really smart and well organized.  (At this stage in my life, I consider the two to be almost indistinguishable).

Claire and Grammy admiring
the Olivia 2-in-1 playhouse from Noni.
Claire and Noni doing a little Christmas drawing.
Claire received many fine gifts from her family as well, including a jewelry box from her mom, a foam rocket from me, a deluxe art set from Grammy, an Olivia 2-in-1 playhouse from Noni, and many others. (I like to write some of the presents down since I think it could be interesting later.)
Noni set us up with a great Christmas dinner featuring honey-baked ham and many sides, while Grammy and I pitched in some too.  It was a real team effort.  We have a pretty good system.  Grammy mostly handled Thanksgiving’s dinner and now Noni took on Christmas.  I usually pitch in a side and enjoy helping out with the unique spectacle of a real, slow, home-cooked feast.
There are many more details to include, but I don’t want this to get too long (or keep me up later), so I better wrap up.  (It is all a blur now anyways, writing this only a few days later.)  It was a fun Christmas, and as corny as it sounds, the girls really did seem to enjoy having all the grandparents around even more than their presents.  The weekend went by really quickly, and pretty soon it was Sunday night and time for another greuling work week.  Kit actually didn’t have any extra time off this Christmas, working until Friday evening, with Christmas being on Sunday, and then Kit being on call starting on Monday morning for a 7:30 am surgery (scheduled by the Grinch, I guess).

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