Christmas Day in the Conwell/Balas household was definitely lots of fun. We woke up (as per usual) to Blaise's morning serenade, which of late often contains a word that sounds an awful lot like "Dad." Another new feature of the morning wake-up call is that Blaise has decided there's no reason to lie around waiting for Mom & Dad to come in the room when you could STAND around waiting for the same. That's right...naps and night-time sleep both tend to wrap up with a standing baby these days, which means it's probably time to lower the crib mattress so we don't get any impromptu acrobatics. Blaise has exactly the wrong combination of fearlessness and physical skill, so we don't put anything past her.
Anyway, after the usual morning routine, it was time to evaluate the gift situation. We began with a detailed inspection of her stocking:
Said stocking contained several cool-looking books and some friendly stuffed reindeer that can either be put on the tree, cuddled with, or chewed on. Blaise explored all three options, but not in that order.
The stocking properly inspected, we commenced to unwrap like crazy. Actually, I should say that we commenced to unwrap methodically. Blaise is apparently a big fan of laying siege to the wrapping paper, attempting to identify major fault lines and deliver the maximum damage per tearing motion. Very tactical.
The presents that sat under the tree were many and varied: Blaise is now the proud owner of an abacus, a "Farm Friends" bowling set (which I am incidentally very excited about myself), a very cool convertible push/ride-on toy from her friends Chris & Aurora, and a lot of new books from our favorite press, Barefoot Books. There were also plenty of other fun gifts from family and friends, but listing them all would take a while. In fact, opening them all at one go turned out to be a bit overwhelming, so we did Christmas Day in stages. Reading some of the new books "Bear at Work" and "Bear about Town" turned out to be a good way to relax between unwrapping sessions.
After the morning festivities, our friends Kate and Andrew came by for a Christmas brunch, which involved some serious waffle-making (and I do mean serious), and lots of other good stuff. For her part, Blaise munched on some rice cookies and fruit and had a pretty good time just hanging out and watching the scene.
We wrapped up the day with a night-time stroll in her brand-new stroller (courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa Balas), down a very quiet Mass. Ave. and into Harvard Square.
We got home just in time to put a sleepy baby to bed and put all of her torn up wrapping paper in a cardboard box for her to open on her birthday.
Christmas 2008 was a pretty rough holiday for us. Even a year later, I have to admit that I found myself getting tense and nervous as Christmas 2009 approached. Hard to shake the bad stuff, I suppose...it's still a little hard not to associate the trappings of the holiday with being very, very scared. That said, want to know the best way to get past having a really rough holiday? Have a great one.