Oh, Christmas! Hands down our favorite holiday in this house. We started celebrating the holidays as soon as Thanksgiving was over. We packed in as many Christmas themed activities as humanly possible. With Christmas just a few short days away there was still more fun to be had.
Every year we celebrate Christmas with our close friends, The Wilhelms. I have known Korrie my entire life. Her Mom is my Mom's best friend. Her oldest son is my God son and Korrie and her husband Tom are Olivia's God parents. Got all that? We are close and our families have our own little Christmas celebration each year.
We always exchange presents and this year the girls got the most adorable matching gifts. Korrie got them Minnie Mouse jammies and each their own Mickey and Minnie. There were lots of snuggling going on with their new loveys.
We had a jammed packed day planned for Christmas Eve. A wrench was thrown into our plans when Todd woke up feeling very ill. The aches and chills were a sure sign that he was not and should not go anywhere that day. He climbed back into bed as I got the girls ready for the first of many Christmas Eve activities. First stop was our Christmas at his brother's. His brother Barry and his family are usually gone on Christmas so we celebrate with them the day before.
Olivia always looks forward to spending time with her one and only girl cousin, Ella. It took a few years, but they are now at the age where they play perfectly together. Originally it was just the two girls amongst many boy cousins. But now when we get together as a family the three girl cousins do their own thing in their little "girls club". Cecilia may be too young to be a part of their play right now, but she simply wants to be a part of everything they do. The great thing is that the girls are more than happy to include Cece in their activities. I would have never imagined that after 8 boy grand kids this family would be blessed with 3 granddaughters in a row. It could not have worked out more perfectly, as these three are growing up to be very close.
We hoped that by the time we got home from Todd's brother's that he would be feeling better. Well, in fact he was worse which meant that I would be going to Christmas Eve service at church alone. I did at least think my Mother, Grandma and Uncle would be joining me which meant I would have help with the girls, but just as I was about to walk out the door my Mom called saying she had suddenly become ill. So...it was off to church alone with the girls. Getting them dress and ready by myself was a bit of a challenge, but they were both very well behaved and did great through the Children's service.
After church it was off to the Wilhelm's annual Christmas Eve party. The only difference this year was that it was just me and the girls. We still had a nice time and made sure to make it home in plenty of time to put cookies out for Santa. Cecilia was exhausted from the day's activities, but Olivia was itching with excitement knowing that within hours Santa would be swinging by the house to hopefully leave the gifts she so desperately wanted. Needless to say, both girls went to sleep with very little persuading that night. Once the girls were resting soundly in their beds Santa (AKA...Mommy), got to work to make sure things were all set for the morning.
One thing I love about my girls is that they LOVE their sleep. There is no waking up at the crack of dawn to open presents. They wake up when they have gotten enough sleep and Olivia is always sure to come find us before heading down stairs. Todd woke up on Christmas morning feeling much better...thanks goodness! Once we were all up, we made our way down stairs to see what Santa had left behind. The look on Olivia's face shows just how excited she was that morning.
We had a nice relaxing morning at home opening presents and just taking in the wonderfulness of Christmas Day. Since my Mom was ill the day before we had no idea if we would be spending the day with her, like we do most years. The girls took their time opening their gifts and we soaked in every second of them enjoying Christmas morning.
By late morning my Mom called saying she felt much better. Her (less than) 24 hour "bug" seemed to have passed, which meant that we could get on with Christmas Day as planned. As if the girls hadn't already received enough presents at home they were about to get showered with even more gifts from their Nana.
The highlight of the morning was watching Cece with her new baby doll and baby bed, made with love by our family friend, Dennis. She may have initially thought the bed was meant for her, as she climbed right in and got cozy. I think it is pretty obvious what present was Cecilia's favorite on Christmas Day!
We finished the day at Todd's Mom's, with even more presents. By that evening we were simply exhausted. But even with all of the last minute sicknesses the Menors still managed to have a wonderful family Christmas. The entire holiday season was a blast for us and I was sad to see it come to an end. Between the visits to Santa, driving around looking at lights, spending time with family...the best part was seeing the joy in my girl's eyes as they created many Christmas memories together.
Within days of Christmas Cecilia turned 18 months old. I can hardly believe how much our little baby has grown. She is changing everyday and also making an early entrance into her "terrible twos". My Mom keeps telling me that her mini fits are her way of "finding herself" and "asserting her independence". I am just hoping that it is a phase that ends quickly. Even when throwing her fits she is still pretty cute. This may sound terrible, but right now she is the sweetest when sleeping.
Lately she walks around saying, "Mama! Doing?" That is her incredibly cute way of asking me what I am doing. She doesn't ask just once. She asks over, and over and over again. One could say she is a nosey little thing. She has many words so I can usually figure out what she needs or wants. Sometime her version of a particular word is not what one would expect. For example, instead of asking for a banana, or saying "nana" like most babies, she has chosen to say, "mia". I have no idea where that word came from. It sounds nothing like banana, but as far as she is concerned she is asking for a banana. She may be working on her communication skills and figuring out who she is right now, but she is still as cute as a button. So I will put up with the crazy behavior for the time being.