We started this year what I hope will become a family tradition. On Christmas Eve, we went to Dollar Tree and let the girls pick out presents for each other. For Macie, Ivie chose a hobby horse (though I admit to having to ask Dale just now what it was called - I probably would have had to go with "stick horse" if left to my own devices!). And I helped Macie pick one out for Ivie, too. One of those "magic baby bottles" whose liquid somehow slowly disappears when you tip it up in the baby's mouth. I still don't understand how it works...
This was the first year that we've spent Christmas Eve and morning at home instead of traveling to visit extended family. We took full advantage, making cookies for Santa (he doesn't care that they were Pillsbury Ready-to-Bake, does he?!?) and pouring him a tall glass of milk. In the red plastic cup with the built-in straw, no less (Ivie's choice).
After weeks of internal (Dale didn't have an opinion!) debate while planning for Christmas, I finally decided that if we were going to get the girls a play kitchen, this was the year. Ivie's the perfect age, and Macie has begun to shown interest in our play food, as well. So I finally broke down and ordered it, knowing that the decision would make the gifts under the tree itself fairly minimal. But at a time when I'm constantly being reminded of our need to PURGE STUFF, it turns out that the sparseness of wrapped packages left me feeling calm, pleased that the girls wouldn't be frantically opening (and then just as quickly forgetting about) tons of presents for which I would then have to find a home in our already-overly-cluttered toy bins.
Macie obviously doesn't get the concept of Santa bringing presents for her to open. She was content to stand back and let Ivie open her packages for her before diving in to play with them herself. She was the proud recipient of several stacking toys, for which we all know she has a strong affinity.
For as long as she's been asked "What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?", Ivie has been answering with "a baby stroller and crib". I think she got the idea on a trip to Sam's Club back in September, when we walked through the toy section and saw a Disney Princess set. So shopping for her was quite simple... I also got her a Teach Me Time! clock that will hopefully put an end to the "Is it wakin' time?" question that she is fond of posing to us in the middle of the night. The clock is programmable, such that parents can designate the time at which the clock goes from a yellow glow (night light) to a green one, signifying that it's okay for the child to get out of bed. I'm not sure Ivie was as fired up about this gift as Mommy, but it also includes some game features for when she's older and is learning to tell time, so hopefully it will grow on her!
After a Christmas morning of playing and exchanging gifts with the Devers, the girls both got naps and we left home around 5p to make the 3+ hour drive to Cherry Grove, SC (North Myrtle Beach). Though rainy most of the way, the girls were troopers for the drive. Along with eating McNuggets successfully in their car seats (12 whole nuggets between them!), they managed to almost complete 4 movies: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (thanks, Nina and Papa!), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and The Polar Express.
Mental note to self that maybe it IS better to travel with well-rested kids as opposed to the more tempting option of hoping that tired ones will take a good nap in the car, so as to kill two birds with one stone. That hardly ever worked for us with ONE kid, much less two loud ones...
After a short, but good, night's sleep, we spent this morning outlet shopping. Spent a whopping $6 on a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse puzzle and replacement stacking blocks for the ones we've used so much we've destroyed. I also l-o-v-e the great deal Dale found for me on a wallet for the new purse he surprised me with for Christmas (after we told each other that we weren't going to exchange gifts). The wallet? It's pink! I know - so totally unlike me to get pink, huh?!? Maybe that's the reason I like it!
Ivie's napping now, and we're eager for the rest of the Herman clan (Emma Jean, Doug, Jennifer, Luke, and Rod) to get here this evening. Ivie can't wait to swim with her cousins. And open more presents from Grandma, of course!!!