Like many an American family, over here we have multiple family gatherings to attend. That’d be not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Christmas gatherings in two weeks.
First, there was a lunch with Scott’s dad’s side of the family on December 17. LilRunr’s great grandma especially enjoys getting to spend time with our little man, whose middle name was chosen in honor of her late husband, Scott’s grandpa. Everyone exclaimed over what a good boy our lad is — he was calm and happy throughout the entire afternoon, despite lack of a nap and lots of new people around. I accepted all of these compliments, of course. First because he IS a good, sweet boy and the world needs to know it…and also because I will welcome any and all opportunities to talk about our son.
Next, there was a small gathering with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, and grandma on December 18. We ate lunch (little man sat in his high chair, delighted to partake of a meal with so many other folks and chattering happily throughout the entire meal) and opened a LOT of presents. I scored some sweet running gear, t-shirts, books, a crock pot, music, and I don’t even remember what else. LilRunr has some new clothes, the Elf on a Shelf book for next Christmas, a “ride and stroll” dinosaur toy (the songs and noises of which are now permanently etched in my memory), and new board books. We managed to take a family picture, our first with all three of us since my sister-in-law’s high school graduation. I know, I know. Life moves too fast for posed portraits.
LilRunr got to hang out with his new baby cousin, and he is FASCINATED by her. When she tries to talk, he watches her intently and giggles no matter what noises emanate from her. It’s adorable. At one point, they were both giving each other a stare down — the 22 pound 9 1/2 month old and the 9 pound 2 month old. Oh, what trouble they are going to get into.
LilRunr was happily demonstrating his crawling abilities at this point. I am SO STINKIN’ PROUD of this kid. In a matter of two weeks, he went from sitting contently watching the action to crawling and cruising everywhere, making the action happen. Sure, it’s much more work keeping up with him now and there are the occasional bumps and bruises to show from his adventurous spirit, but it’s well worth it. I love watching him grow.
On Christmas Eve, we headed to Scott’s mom’s house for another lunch and present-opening session with Scott’s mom, stepdad, sister, aunt, and uncle. LilRunr got a homemade hat and scarf combo, a beautiful quilt with his name and birth information embroidered on it, and a couple of toys. The only picture I have is of this adorable little “Christmas in a bag” photo op, which his grandma and daddy orchestrated. It was all well and good until he knocked the bag over, getting lightly scratched on the cheek by the Christmas tree. Whoops. The bruise on his head is from an incident at daycare. With any sort of luck, it will be the last as LilRunr’s balance and steadiness on his feet improves every day.
Then, finally, it was Christmas. Christmas at our house. December 25. Our morning began at 4:30am…not so much because LilRunr was excited to open his presents, just because his sleep pattern has been trending towards “less” and “up earlier.” It’s been brutal, folks. It’s quite cruel that we had three blissful months to enjoy his 7:30pm to 5:30am sleep schedule, only to have our uninterrupted sleepy time abruptly taken away. I know we got through this when he was a newborn, I just wasn’t prepared for the second go-around. Google “sleep regression,” and then say a prayer or send some happy thoughts my way.
But that’s not what’s important. What’s important is a cute little boy in dinosaur footie pajamas opening his very first Christmas presents from mommy and daddy (and grandma and my wonderful boss, who sent us gifts from Florida)! At this point, little man has almost gotten the present opening routine figured out. He’ll obligingly tear the paper a few times before getting bored (“um, is there a point to this, mom?”) or distracted (“why look, I now have these two tiny pieces of paper in my hands…I wonder what they taste like?”).
Our spoiled little boy got some foam stacking blocks (which, so far, his mom and dad are having more fun with), a tugboat for his bathtub, a toy remote control (he still prefers to chew on the real one), size 18-month PJ’s, a bucket of geometrically-shaped blocks (he loves shapes), Scout the dog friend that says his name and sings lots of songs, and — his new favorite thing — a toy car with a handle attached to it that his parents can push around (and around and around and around) the house. The steering wheel plays music (one song sounds like it’s from Mario Kart…my personal fav), has several different varieties of horn, and has a gear shifter that makes “vroom vroom” noises. At first, he was fascinated by the giant box and the near-life-sized little boy pictured on it.
As soon as it was put together, however, he couldn’t wait to go for a ride. He’ll crawl over to it several times a day, stand up beside it, look back at whatever parent is nearby, and tap it to let us know that he’d like to go for a ride. If you lift the yellow restraint bar to lift him out of it before he’s ready to go, he’ll reach up and pull it back down. Really. If you’re silly enough to stop the ride to, say, change the laundry from the washer to the dryer, check the score on whatever football game is on TV, or answer the front door, he’ll grab the gear shifter, look to you, and make the “vroom vroom” noise. If this polite request gets no response, he’ll make a less polite and much louder verbal request. He. Loves. That. Car.
The great thing about it is that he will get relaxed in it enough to *almost* fall asleep and then can be transferred to his bed with no complaints. It has saved my sanity more than once during this time of anti-sleep. I. Love. That. Car. 😉