Friday, December 24, 2010

A Candle In the Window

I could not sleep this morning. Even though it wasn't Christmas Day yet, I was still too excited to sleep. I got up at quarter after 6 and tried to go back to sleep, but gave up around 7 and opted to read and write in my journal for a while instead. I made grits with banana, brown sugar, and butter and watched Christmas In Conneticut and Garfield's Christmas Special until I headed to Uncle Ken's at 10 to meet Rose and Craig.

Rose and Craig, of course, didn't arrive until after 11. They have an excuse this year, though - 9-month-old Khai. We met at Dad and Uncle Ken's so Rose, Craig, and Khai could give their presents to the Camden County side of the family. (They're going over to Craig's mother's house tomorrow.) Uncle Ken gave Rose and me these adorable stuffed Frosty the Snowmen dolls that dance when you take their hats off and put them on. Khai loved watching Frosty dance. He got a plastic "tool set" with a hammer and "nails" to whack and a dump truck that vibrates when you pull a "rock" in the bed.

We headed out around 11:30-noon. I squeezed in next to Khai's baby seat and had a very pleasant ride "chatting" with him and keeping him amused with his plastic keys. He's teething now (has four teeth on top) and loves anything he can put in his mouth. He did nap a little while we were on the highway, but he awoke when we stopped at a WaWa for drinks and a bathroom break.

Kelsey the Miniature Pincher was NOT happy with that WaWa stop! Kelsey just had an operation not long ago to remove a non-cancerous growth on her leg, and Rose and Craig didn't want to leave her alone. Kelsey is very attached to Rose. She rode in her lap both ways. When Rose went to WaWa to get a drink, Kelsey actually went over to the driver's side window, pushed the button with her paw, and lowered it all the way down so she could see when Mommy was coming back! What she didn't see was she also lowered the window next to Khai and me an unexpected blast of cold winter air! I'm just glad she didn't try jumping out the window.

We finally arrived in Cape May County with no more problems around 1. Mom was taking a shower and Dad was picking up 2-year-old Collyn and 6-year-old Skylar, but Keefe and his girlfriend Vicki were home. We chatted with them for a while before Vicki had to go to work. (She works at the same Michael's in Rio Grande that Mom does.)

Dad arrived with Skylar, Collyn, and Collyn's dad Mike about a half-hour later. The boys were very excited...maybe a bit too much. Mom finally came down, too. We chatted. We played with Khai. We kept Skylar from chasing Kelsey. We played Super Mario Brothers and Mario Kart on Wii.

We all sat down to dinner around 4. There were so many of us - 12 all together - that Dad and Keefe set up a card table at the end of the dining table. We had a delicious dinner of ham, romaine salad with home-made bacon dressing, mashed potatoes, potato rolls from Shop Rite, green beans with onion, and ambrosia. Mom out-did herself, as usual. Everything was just divine.

All three little boys were getting very fussy by after dinner. Collyn and Skylar got so crazy, Dad eventually took Collyn, Mike, and me out to look at lights in the next neighborhood over. We had a nice time. There were some really lovely light displays. My favorite was the house with all of the light sculptures, including two gingerbread people and a gingerbread house, a dancing snowman, an elephant on a ball, and a dolphin in a bird bath.

Our ride did the trick. Collyn was out like a light by the time we got home. He didn't even wake up to eat dessert. Mom set out her home-made snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, and her famous chocolate chip bars. Rose and Craig contributed a fruit tart and chocolate mousse cake from Wegman's. A neighbor of Mom's had given her a carrot cake that was utterly divine.

After dessert, we finally opened presents. We really need to be more organized about it next year, when the boys are a bit older. I have no idea what happened to the cards I had for everyone. There was such a flurry of wrapping paper and hugs and bows, I still don't know half of what everyone got!

Rose and Craig gave me a Chia Herb Garden. (I hope I have enough sunlight for it.) Keefe gave me a 30 dollar gift card to Borders. Anny and her boys gave me awesome Miss Piggy slippers and a 15-minute-recipes cookbook. Mom and Dad gave me two lovely ornaments - a pretty china doll in a Christmas outfit and a gingerbread man in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform. I got my annual calender, this year with vintage Coca-Cola ads. Got Bath and Body Works body lotion (considering how dry my hands have been, I need it) and Oil of Olay lotion. Mom and Dad gave me Toy Story 3 on DVD, which I'm dying to see - I have the other two.

Mom did give me something from American Girl. My Felicity not only has the least clothes of my four girls, but hers are the most difficult to find for decent prices on eBay. And with her Archival announcement, most of her things sold out quickly on AG's website...including her Riding Habit. Yes, Mom got me the Riding Habit, a lovely green felt military-style outfit that will be perfect to keep Lissie warm this winter. She also hand-knitted her a gorgeous shawl and bought Springfield Collection sneakers for Molly and Jessa to share.

Dad gave me one of my two big presents. My old printer couldn't plug into the laptop Lauren gave me last Dad gave me a new printer. I'll hook it up later this weekend.

Mom gave me the best - and most surprising - present of all. About 20 years ago, Mom got a gorgeous print of a real animation drawing of Gus and Jaq the Mice picking up blue beads for Cinderella's pink bow gown in the Disney Cinderella. It's hung in her room or office ever since, and I've always admired it. Cinderella is one of my favorite Disney movies. Well, imagine my shock when I opened something that seemed to have a frame...and found that print! Mom apparently had gotten tired of it and said she couldn't think of anyone who'd appreciate it more. It was one of the sweetest presents anyone ever gave me.

I don't remember much about the ride back, other than Khai fell asleep the moment he was put in his car seat and it was otherwise uneventful. I got in around 8:30, dressed Felicity in her new Riding Habit and shawl, and went online.

And when I went online, I got another shock. Two of my fellow online WENN chatters, Mike from Oklahoma and Jen (the Jen who visited me last June and is now in the Navy) from Seattle are engaged! He flew all the way out to Washington State to be with her. That's the sweetest thing I ever heard.

In the words of Sydney Greenstreet at the end of Christmas In Connecticut, "What a Christmas!" ;)

I hope yours is equally full of wonderful surprises!

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