I can't believe that Christmas has already come and gone. It all seemed to happen so fast. I swear it was Thanksgiving only yesterday!
It has become tradition, since Trevor and I got married in 2009, to host an annual Christmas Eve party for close friends and family. This year, we had nearly thirty guests, and our home felt so warm and cozy.
It was even finally cold enough to light a fire in the fireplace. First one of the season. It was marvelous.
My brother and mom, thank goodness, arrived early. I don't know what we would have done without them. William helped with last minute food prep, Trevor furiously wrapped presents in the guest room, Grammy Pammy got our little rugrat all bathed and dressed for the party, while I ran to take care of my sister's dogs (Amy spent Christmas Eve in St. Louis with Adam's family and flew back Christmas Day). Trevor had to work on Christmas Eve, so things were a little more last minute than usual. I look back on the chaos of that evening (a mere FORTY FIVE MINUTES before the first guests arrived), and can't believe we managed to get it all done. It was sort of a Christmas miracle.
Banner stayed up way past his bedtime, and relished in all the attention he received. I thought we'd never get him down, but he finally conked out a little before nine. He was exhausted, but simply didn't want to miss a thing. He is a little party animal.
|Christmas Eve with Uncle Spencer.|
Christmas morning started with a little unexpected drama. Not only was North Texas rocked with powerful (and LOUD) thunderstorms and high winds all night, but my mom, who spent the night in our guest room, learned at 7 AM that my Uncle's bunny (who everyone thought was a boy) had a litter of kits sometime in the wee hours of Christmas morning. Sadly, the mother bunny did not survive the birth, but - thanks to my Uncle and kitten replacement formula - three of the four babies are still going strong.
We waited for Grammy Pammy to return before heating up the cinnamon rolls, making coffee and checking under the Merry Christmas "bench" to see what Santa had brought little Banner on his first Christmas:
Yep. That's right. Santa brought Banner a big, red fire engine. He loved it and squealed when he first saw it. I swear, that boy loves everything on wheels. We didn't even bother to wrap it, and just left it on the floor with a big red bow. He crawled right to it and smiled.
And I think he would have been happy if Christmas had just ended there, because here is the face he made when we told him it was time to go back and open another present:
I think he thought we were taking his new toy away before he could have adequate time to play with it. He still doesn't really understand the concept of presents, but definitely enjoyed discovering that TOYS were hiding under all that wrapping paper, ribbon and bows in the study.
Oh, and for the record, bows are also good for sticking in your mouth, on your shirt and your trusty dog's head:
After my mom left, Banner took a nice, long Christmas nap, while Trevor and I watched it snow outside. That's right: Banner's first Christmas was technically WHITE. Granted, it was only a dusting, but we will take it. After all, this was only the SECOND white Christmas for me, and I've lived here all my life.
Banner, however, was less than amused by the white stuff. Of course, it didn't help that his father hit him in the face with a snowball.
When he put his little hand in the snow (picture above) his face clearly registered pain. I think it was so cold it burned. But then he moved his hand, and whatever sensation he had been experiencing quickly dissipated. I wish I had a recording of his face, though. It was all "I'm wincing because this is so cold it hurts" followed immediately by "Wait. What? Let me touch that again!"
His expressions kill me.
Christmas Part II was spent at Gran's house. Banner really loved playing with Trevor's stepbrother's two sons. They are 11 and 13, but were both so sweet and patient with Banner. They played puppets with him, showed him their puzzles and games, and even helped to wrangle the little guy so Trevor and I could do a little socializing with the adults. It was awesome.
We had our first of two Christmas dinners at Gran's (where Banner ate too much a vomited all over my white sweater and jeans)...
...before heading to Grandpa Buddy's for round II. It was still snowing when we arrived at my dad's house, and a little icy. It is on nights like these (few and far between as they may be down here in Texas) that I am glad I always keep my ice scraper from my days in Syracuse, New York in my car. Of course, it also always seems to shock people when I whip mine out. My mother-in-law just stared at mine with a look of impressed wonder on her face. Even Trevor made a comment along the lines of, "D@mn, now that's an ice scraper".
That's right: behold my mythical piece of plastic with a brush on one end and scraper on the other. It hails from an upstate New York Costco.
Of course, people in Syracuse always thought I said "cement" funny, and my freshman roommate confused the Texas flag I hung on our dorm room wall with the Confederate battle flag from the Civil War. It is always something.
But seriously: the ice scraper is the best $20 I've ever spent and has stayed with me for nearly a decade and a half, three cities, seven addresses and two cars.
But (yet again), I digress...
Dinner was supposed to be at seven, but was delayed. This actually worked out for the best because it allowed Banner to open and play with his presents. And, by the time dinner was actually served, Banner was fast asleep in the pack-in-play in the den. Marvelous.
|Just before Auntie Mimi gave him the wonderful|
|Seriously. The kid makes the best faces!|
Being the first grandchild on both sides, means that Banner hit the Christmas present mother load. He got three new trucks for his collection (seriously, the boy LOVES things on wheels), a Radio Flyer red wagon and scooter, a Cowboy teddy bear "popple", Christopher the story telling bear, a "tickle monster", much needed clothes, several books, a fabulous "Little People" Nativity...and that is just naming a few. But one of Banner's favorites was the walker Amy and Adam gave him. Which is funny since we were all so worried he'd be walking by Christmas and would show no interest.
(And, no. He has taken any more unassisted steps since those three two weeks ago. We know he can. He just doesn't want to. Remember this time last year when the doctor said he was exceptionally unmotivated? Well, maybe Banner always falls into a holiday funk? Or maybe he just likes crawling best, thankyouverymuch? Considering how he was born, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he took off running one day and never looked back. He just has his own schedule.)
|Helping Uncle Adam put his new walker together.|
|And he is off!|
Personally, I cannot WAIT to see him scoot around on his car scooter and to take him for a ride in his new red wagon. I think he is going to LOVE both of those once the weather gets a little warmer, and (as far as the scooter is concerned) once his legs get a little longer. Right now just his little tippy toes touch the ground when he sits on it. So, to compensate, he tries to push it around his bedroom.
Sigh. I'm already longing for springtime, I guess. Until then, though, we are using the red wagon as toy storage in the study, and a "garage" for all of his trucks and tractors (we "park" all of them under it every night).
|All tuckered out with Grandpa Buddy.|
|LOVE these pictures of him with my dad.|
|Passed out in the pack-in-play on Christmas night.|
I'd say Banner's first Christmas was a wonderful success!