Big giant deep heavy sigh. Of what? Maybe a mixture of relief and nostalgic melancholy. The Christmas season is over. It flew by yet seemed to last forever. How does that happen?
Our Christmas officially started way last Sunday, the way all Christmases should probably start: with church and cheese grits. We have taken the Peanut to our local church exactly twice. Both times, she lasted about 10 minutes (until the milk was gone). Fortunately, St. Thomas has several rows in the back of the church reserved for crying babies and loud toddlers who say things like "Mo' snacky-snack PEESE!" at quiet moments, for the congregation to be amused or irritated by, depending. We spent most of the time taking turns taking Daphne into the vestibule, where it is sort of more OK to be loud and whiney. Anyway, after church, we went to the Dream Cafe, which has Mickey Mouse pancakes for little girls who at least tried to be good at church, and cheese grits for their harried mommies, and this made everything better. If you have never had cheese grits, you should really try them. They are especially good with some black pepper, and some little pieces of bacon on top.
We decided to try to spread Christmas (the gift part) over multiple days rather than give the Peanut everything at once. This turned out to be a smart move. That day, we gave her her new Ladybug tent from Kev's sister's family. It has a tunnel. Needless to say, all the excitement of crawling in and out of the tent/tunnel for an hour wore her out, and she took a good long nap while Kev and I opened our gifts to each other. Kev is a very good gift picker-outer. This year as usual, he got me lots of very cool gifts, and topped it off with a bike, which I was not expecting at all. It is the best bike ever. (You can see pictures of it (and the rest of Christmas) here if you want). He also got us tickets to Van Morrison, which I will get to later.
Christmas Eve, we went to my parents' house. We had a great dinner and opened more gifts. Daphne got a kitchen from Grandma and Grandpa and a little real-looking piano from Uncle Jeff (which is sure to work its way into the PPHPHB if we ever record again). I got two of my favorite gifts from my dad this year. One was a framed pencil drawing he did of Daphne, and the other was his autobiography which he typed up and made into a book. He said he did it because he doesn't know much about his grandparents, and wants Daphne to know about him. I knew my dad could draw, but I had no idea he was a good writer. The book is full of funny stories about when he was a kid. It's almost like reading the Christmas Story. Daphne is going to love it. Now we just need my mom to write one.
Christmas Day was spent at our house. For the first time ever. There are lots of flickr pictures of Daphne getting her gifts. She got many nice things this year. In addition to the tent and the kitchen and the piano, she got a nice table and chairs from Kev's parents, and some giant foam blocks to climb on from Mommy and Daddy, and a whole bunch of other stuff. What she liked the most, though, was a plastic hotdog that Santa put in her stocking from the $1.00 aisle at Target (seen in the picture at the top of this post). She carried that hotdog around for two days, and it is in about 80% of our Christmas pictures. My mom and dad came over for breakfast and hung out for a little while. It was a very nice Christmas.
The day after Christmas is Kev's birthday. This year, for Kev's birthday, we went to the playground at the Galleria so Daphne could play. Probably not everyone's choice of the best place to turn __ (I won't tell you but it's the same age as me). Then we went to the Irish pub for dinner. Daphne insisted on bringing the hotdog. Kev got to have steak, so his birthday was a little bit about him.
I don't remember what we did Friday.
Saturday Daphne got sick. She went to spend the night with my mom and dad so Kev and I could go to dinner and Van Morrison, so I didn't know how sick she was until the next morning. (Dinner and Van Morrison were GREAT by the way). I had a little brunch planned for Sunday morning with a couple of friends, which was really nice, but I was worried about Daphne the whole time, and had to cut the morning short to take her to the doctor. Daphne is not a very good patient. She cries and cries. I guess she thinks she is going to get a shot. She hates the doctor. So after a big production with lots of tears, we found out she has croup. None of us has had much sleep since then. Thankfully, she is much better today, and was able to get a good nap. Anyway, for New Year's Eve, Kev and I took care of a very sad and sick little Peanut, and then watched Ratatouille on our new surprise TV (thanks Mimi and Papa!) , and today, New Year's Day, we didn't leave the house. Kev made chicken soup, and we had countless tea parties with Daphne, and that's how the year has started for us.
Tomorrow, Kev goes back to work. In my car. Because his car is in the shop. Ironically, on the way to meet him at the shop to pick him up after he dropped off his car, I was rear-ended in the Subaru, and then the guy just took off. Turkey! No injury or major damage, just a scratched bumper and a very annoying noise caused by the tailpipe which got knocked out of place somehow. So when Kev gets his car out of the shop, I guess mine will have to go in for a day or two. Anyway, it will be weird to not have Kev around the house tomorrow. It was nice having him home.
So, there you go. Another Christmas with its highs and lows. Mostly highs. Thanks to everyone for all the great gifts. I now have lots of books to read and projects to make and gift cards to spend etc. I am looking forward to this year and to getting back to normal. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Happy New Year!