Monday, January 7, 2013

Second Christmas

On Sunday, which was also Epiphany, we had a second big Christmas celebration with the grandparents- this time, at Mima and Granda's house.

In the course of the week that preceded it, every time I thought of the upcoming event, I pictured Pippin's little voice (from The Fellowship of the Ring) piping up, "We've had one, yes. What about Second Christmas?" Hence, the title of this post.

Too cheesy? Yeah, probably. But that's what happens when I get this deliriously tired. It doesn't take much for me to crack myself up.

In fact, I almost didn't write this post at all. After a relatively unsuccessful attempt at a good night's sleep last night, complete with an incredibly disturbing and vivid dream (thank you, pregnancy), attending a thirty-minute meeting at the title office this afternoon, followed by dinner at Wegmans and a family grocery run, took a surprising amount out of me. I collapsed into bed once Tom ascended the stairs with Michael, dead to the world for about an hour. Then, insomnia hit again, and though the weight of my own limbs forced me to lie in bed for another two hours regardless, I did so without actually sleeping, which meant that my brain began to focus on all the reasons why I could not simply hop into bed at such an early hour, including the fact that I had not yet blogged today.

Perhaps someday I'll let go of this silly fear of missing even one day, but I wasn't ready just yet. After all, I'm still on quite a streak, and I'd like to keep on one for at least a little bit longer.

Enough of my ramblings, however. On to the pictures, and highlights, of the day.

We arrived in the early afternoon, which gave the kids time to get acclimated, and make a mess of the place. Michael was determined to climb on everything, including the portable changing table that we brought downstairs.

I found this rather ironic, considering that the bane of Michael's existence is getting a diaper change, but apparently a climbing challenge is a climbing challenge.

And yes, that is a rather large doll. She's an artifact of Mima's childhood. In fact, my mother laid us all alongside her at one time or another and took pictures as a record of how small we once were. I took one of Abby next to her, too, when Abby was a couple of months old. However, we haven't been up to Maryland nearly as often with two babies as we were with one, so we somehow never got around to doing it with Michael when he was that tiny. At least I have one now to record the point at which he reached (approximately) the same size as our gentle plastic giant: 11.5 months.

Abby is now familiar with most of the toys around the place, though she's always excited to get her hands on things that she rarely has a chance to use. However, there was one new item lying around prior to gift-unwrapping: a little sock-monkey toy. When you pull on it, it shrieks loudly and flies off in some random direction. Mima thought that Abby would get a kick out of it, since she's into sock-monkey stuff.

What actually happened was that the toy scared the daylights out of both Abby and my parents' cat, Katie, who unwisely chose that moment to investigate the household goings-on. Abby recovered rather quickly, but I did not see Katie for the rest of the evening. And, it appears that while Abby forgave, she did not forget. Her mantra for the night was, "Katie doesn't like the monkey," occasionally accompanied by the addendum, "Katie wants to eat the monkey."

While it was clear to everyone that Katie also did not like the monkey, I can't help but think that the frequency with which Abby felt compelled to reiterate Katie's dislike was an indication that she was expressing her own feelings. This seems to be a new phase in her development of empathy- that she applies her emotions to other people and things. Hence, her frequent (inaccurate) observations that Mommy or Daddy are "crying." I've suspected for awhile that they were an attempt to communicate her own displeasure, though I'm not always sure what that displeasure is stemming from.

But more on the sock-monkey incident, later...

As we waited on the ham, the unwrapping of presents began.

Among the favorites were the Princess Castle Tent (which had to be assembled immediately, though I somehow never got a picture of the finished product)...

... and the musical keyboard.

The bulk of Michael's presents had to be opened for him, but we did encourage him to try his hand at a couple, himself.

Am I doing it right?

It took some time, and more than a little help from his "friends," but he got them open, in the end.

Abby, on the other hand, needed very little help, except for with small presents, like this one.

The increased tape-to-paper ratio was tough on clumsy little fingers, I suspect.

What was inside? A pretty new necklace, with a nice, thick chain. It looked sufficiently sturdy that I let her try it out for a few hours. She did pretty well with it, only pulling on it here and there.

When the time came for Granda to open his big present, Abby was there to put her new skills to use, and lend a helping hand.

Now, back to that sock-monkey toy. Mima had one last gift to gift Abby, which she was afraid would not be well-received due to Abby's earlier reaction to the shrieking toy. She ran it by me first, revealing that it was a jack-in-the-box. Had I not seen Abby react positively to one on a play date some weeks ago, I might have been nervous about it as well, but I was pretty sure that it had been the noise, not the motion, of the unfortunate toy, that had gotten Abby so jittery earlier.

Despite that, I still held my breath a little (as did everyone else) as the box was wound.

Pop, went the monkey!

And Abby? Well, I totally missed the focus on the "money shot," but you can still see her expression pretty well: amused surprise.


I guess Christmas really is over for the season now, though, huh?