31 December 2010

The Eight Days of Christmas/Birthday

OR: Get Ready, This is a Long One, Provisions Highly Recommended

The end of December is packed with festivities and celebrations for most people, but even more so for us because all the males in our family decided to be born during this time. So not only are we celebrating Christmas and New Years, but also the days that Aaron and Eamon both entered into this world. Therefore, our week of vacation transforms into a never-ending celebration of excitement and, perhaps more importanly, presents.

Let's start with:

Friday, December 24: This was Eamon's second Christmas (hereafter, Christmas 2.1). We spent Christmas Eve with my parents teaching Eamon how to open gifts. It did not take him very long to learn this concept. He received a lot of great stuff, like a Leap Frog Junior and an mp3 player for kids--but nothing could compete with the small plastic dinosaurs* (1) that we put into his stocking. And the bows. He liked the bows on the presents, too. But mostly he liked the dinosaurs (2).

The maracas were cool, but...

...they couldn't compete with the bows...

...and especially not with THIS present.

Saturday, December 25: We sojourned up to Aaron's Aunt Linda and Uncle Rob's house for Christmas 2.2 with the Meredith clan. This is generally a gathering of epic proportions; in stark contrast to my family's celebration of 5 people total, there are usually upwards of 30 people there. The best part is Aunt Linda's basement, which probably has more toys than Toys R Us. Of course, because all her grandchildren are girls, nearly everything is a shocking shade of pink. To fortify himself Eamon took 2 of his small plastic dinosaurs (3), Chomper and Don, but only Don came home. I have a feeling that Chomper is somewhere down in that basement, perhaps now acting as a pet for a Barbie**

After this family gathering, we got in our car and headed through the snow to Ocean City to spend the next few days with Aaron's parents and his sister's family.

Sunday, December 26: We awoke to a raging snowstorm, and therefore decided there was nothing else to do but have Christmas 2.3. Eamon was there with his cousins Elise (aged 4) and Lucas (age 2, exactly 3 months older than Eamon). We exchanged all the kids' gifts. Among some other cool presents, Eamon received a jar of FIFTY dinosaurs (4). Thank goodness we had several dinosaurs (5) to hold us, because we ended up being more or less snowed in for the rest of the day.

Monday, December 27: For the first time, the focus moved away from the kids and onto Aaron's birthday. Aaron's fabulous parents offered to take the kids all evening so that we could go out with Aaron's sister, Meredith, and her husband, Marty. We drove up and down Ocean City, but almost everything was closed, either because it was the off-season or because of the 8 inches of snow that had been dropped onto the city the day before. We finally ended up at the Sunset Grille, which was far away but had yummy food, so all was well. Later we went to the Greene Turtle for more libations, and Aaron and Marty discovered that they are actually not young men in their early 20s, and cannot drink like they are, either.

Tuesday, December 28: Even though his birthday wasn't until the 29th, we decided to celebrate Eamon's Birthday 2.1. We had bought him dino (6) cups, plates, napkins, a happy birthday sign, candles, and even cake pan shaped like Chomper; and in one genius move, we left it all back in Newport News. Therefore, he had a regular ol' sheet cake, but it was decorated by his cousins Elise and Lucas and declared to be the BEST CAKE EVER. Eamon couldn't actually tell you, since he refused to eat any of the cake. But the other kids really liked it. His favorite of these birthday presents was (surprise) the box of soft, plastic dinosaurs (7) from his Oma and Opa.

For the most part, the kids got along really well during this trip. Eamon did his best to keep up with Elise and Lucas, but even though his speech has blossomed in the past few weeks, it wasn't enough to keep up with the whirlwind of conversation. There were also some tense moments involving who got to play with the yellow car and to whom the blue car actually belonged, but overall everyone learned some important lessons on sharing and taking turns. You could tell that Eamon really enjoyed having people his own age to play with. The best story, however, happened on one of the last nights when the grown-ups discovered Eamon sitting in a corner by himself, looking forlorn and dejected while Elise and Lucas played merrily a few feet away.

"Why is Eamon sitting by himself?" we all inquired of Elise and Lucas.

"I put him in timeout!" Lucas proudly sang out.

"Why would you do that?" we asked him.

"He touched my cars," said Lucas, solemnly. A transgression of epic proportions.

Of course, we assured Eamon that he was not really in timeout, and Meredith explained to Lucas that he does not actually have the authority to put anyone in timeout. The incident was highly amusing, however, because 1) Lucas was smart enough to think of a non-violent way to keep the cars to himself, and 2) Eamon actually went into timeout on the orders of someone only 3 months older than him.

Wednesday, December 29: We traveled home. We were very tired by this time.

Thursday, December 30: A day of great excitement! We got diapers and dogfood. We picked up Aaron's car from the service department. We went grocery shopping. We also went to lunch with my friend Ryan and his fiance, and that actually was quite fun because they are both fabulous, cool and childless people who nonetheless were very gracious about us lugging our 24 month old into a very nice restaurant. And because we were in a very nice restaurant, Eamon decided to act exactly like a stereotypical 2 year old. But because he's generally of a pretty mild disposition, his performance just wasn't up to the standards of most kids and we got through it without any real incident (ie, the restaurant was still standing when we left, and we have not been officially banned or anything).

Friday, December 31: Eamon's Birthday 2.2. We started by PLANNING to go to the Richmond Children's Museum, which was going to be fantastic and have an exhibit on dinosaurs (8) and everything...but then I had a bout of insomnia and only got 5 hours of sleep...and I am not a person who does well with a lack of sleep. So instead we stayed home and cleaned, which isn't nearly as cool. I broke out the ol' crockpot and made Eamon a pot roast (I had made one in Ocean City, too, but didn't cook it long enough and therefore it couldn't be served with a spoon, which is the WHOLE POINT of pot roast, so I felt it justifiable to make another one 3 days later). My parents came to this "party" and once again, Eamon received, yup--DINOSAURS (9). At some point, my mother joked that we probably now owned more dinosaurs (10) than actually existed, and my dad informed us that actually, there were probably 800 species of dinosaur (11***), to which I firmly replied that that was not our goal.

I spent a lot of time making these silly cookies. Eamon spent 0 time eating them, because oh yeah, he doesn't eat sweet things. Next year, I'm sticking a candle in some pot roast and calling it a day.

After dinner, we adjourned to the castle, as all good dinner parties are wont to do (The castle was a present from Christmas 2.1 that was not assembled until Birthday 2.2).

In summary, it's been a busy end to a wonderful year. The Eamon 2.0 version proves to be an exciting upgrade to the 1.0 version, and even though there are still some bugs and kinks to be worked out, I can't wait to get to know this great little man as he continues to change from a baby into an interesting and wonderful person.

*For those readers in their early 20s (but over 21, of course), there are going to be a lot of references to dinosaurs in this entry. I'm sure that you know what to do with that.

**Since this entry was written, Chomper has been found! A rescue mission discovered him on the floor of the car backseat, probably in an attempt to hide from all the estrogen and maintain his reputation as a fierce, manly dinosaur.

***It goes to 11, which is coincidentally the last 2 numbers in our new year, because I am just that good.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Yeah, the dinosaurs were great and all....but where can I get me a castle like that!