Although down the road, mommy-amnesia will allow me to cherry pick only the heartwarming, fuzzy moments for my memory bank, the reality was that Christmas this year was about as miserable as it could be, without just calling it quits. On my side of the family, Christmas is all about Claire. In years past, we went all-out in the gifting department. Since Claire was born, we've literally scrapped buying presents for each other and opted exchange homemade gifts instead (aren't we so hip?). The reason being (aside from the fact that we're ultra trendy), that it kind of seemed pointless to spend a ton of money and time on presents for adult family members when everyone really just cared about Claire's Christmas. In case you're wondering, I'm fully aware of the fact that if Claire doesn't get a sibling down the road, that we might be creating a monster....or a future child actor.
That being said, with Christmas revolving around my little elf, having her come down with a fever and barky cough on the 23rd, was on the list of top 10 things that could make Christmas a bust. While she's on the mend now, we had a rough few days (including 4 sleepless nights...not the fun kind where you're waiting for Santa). Such is life.
On the merry and bright side of things, Claire loves a party and she quickly caught on to the whole Christmas Spirit thing this year (something to do with us dragging her to every Christmas event possible this month, while singing Christmas songs, may have had a role in this). So although she felt crummy, she was able to rally enough to mildly enjoy herself during the festivities and reserved her miserable state for non-party times (like the middle of the night). She quietly visited with family, happily opened her gifts, and even semi-cooperated for Christmas dress pictures. Not a total loss, just not the joy filled version that we're so used to.
First up, Christmas dress pics. Please don't judge me for fake fur addition to her adorable dress...tacky or not, I just couldn't stop myself.
I'm not sure if it was because she was sick or if she was just tickled to have him home for a few extra days, but her Daddy was not allowed to get out of her sight this week. He loved it.
Her Grandma's fave:
A few shots of the twins:
My grandma (aka Nanny) requested this shot. There is a whole lot of ornery in one picture.
Then Christmas morning. Kyle and I debated on whether or not to tame Claire's hair for pictures before we started opening gifts. I said yes, he said no. He took this shot before he lost the debate. I love it.
Uncle Kevin's gift was a giant universal remote. Clearly it was a hit.
Claire watched her Dad put this kitchen together a few days before Christmas. She "helped" him while he worked. Once she re-opened this one, she immediately went and grabbed her dad's drill bit set and started "working" on her kitchen again instead of pretend cooking. Since then, she's made several delicious meals while saying "I'm making mama" the whole time she "cooks".
Later in the day, we went to Kyle's side of the fam. Usually these gatherings are all-out wild toddler parties since there are so many little ones but Claire mostly tried to sneak treats and snuggle on her Grandma's lap (Grandma didn't mind, she was tired and a cuddly sick baby is the perfect excuse to sit and relax).
Here are few shots from the evening festivities.
Claire loves her cousin Emilee. I don't blame her since Emilee is amazing with all of the toddlers. The crazy part is that Emilee has a baby sister that she gets to hang out with all of the time. You'd think the toddler novelty would wear off for a teenager but she is still super loving and enthusiastic about all of her baby cousins (and her sister alike).