Friday, December 31, 2010

Big Santa, Big Travels and Big Girl ...

The holiday season is coming to a close and Casey and I have learned a few things during the process...

One: Despite our attempts at keeping Beatrice Kate's perspective realistic, Big Santa came. Four. Separate. Times. When Casey was little, Big Santa (meaning: the really good stuff) came to Pop and Granny's house. For Beatrice Kate, Big Santa visited Grammy Kate's, Mandrake and MiMi's, Grandma's and finally, Grandpa C's (by way of Great Granny's).

As we mentioned before, Casey and I Santa only brought a few, small things to our house. A wagon, a book, a personalized monster. Nothing big and nothing fancy.
As hard as we tried to keep her focus on the "real meaning of Christmas" and all that jazz; we can't do anything about the fact that our child has four sets of grandparents; and we all know that "grandparent" is practically a code word for "Big Santa".

Our boring gifts were quickly a thing of the past when Bea laid eyes on what the Man in Red left at the next few stops. The child was showered with gifts. Maybe more than the original and most important Christmas baby was from the Three Kings. And, she loved it. Seriously.

I didn't think this Christmas would even register with her. She generally doesn't pay much attention to me when I'm acting like a fool, trying to get her to notice something like a gift. For whatever reason though, on Christmas morning, something clicked. She started ripping into paper right and left. Of course, most of it ended up in her mouth and she needed a long nap afterward; but she had a great time anyway.

Here's a highlight reel of some of the favorites; starting with a new baby doll and driving simulator from Grammy Kate:

Another baby from Nana (which she tried to eat from the bottle of):

Then, there's the tiny bee for Tiny Bea and a hat that's just a little too small for her giant Collins head from Aunt Sue (Though, she looks like a really cute yard gnome in it):

This mountain of gifts is all from Mandrake and MiMi:

And a new hat from Aunt Leah and Uncle Evan:

Books from Grandma Betsy:

This super cute hat from Grandpa Collins:

They also gave her one of the top gifts this Christmas- a swing for outside. Casey is busy making plans to build a structure from which to hang it.

Lesson Two: Baby teeth hurt. A lot. Beatrice Kate cut two teeth over Christmas, starting on Christmas Eve. After all the horror stories we've heard about how babies can act like irrational trolls while teething; we were expecting to spend the holiday with a demon  less-than-pleasant baby. As usual, Beatrice Kate proved us wrong. She was delightfully charming for all the necessary parties (Nana, Granny, etc.)

She refuses to allow us to touch her new teeth (aside from when she chooses to clamp down on a finger), let alone take a photo; so you'll just have to take our word for it. They're located on the bottom left and they are as sharp as puppy teeth. She bit down on Nana's thumb and elicited a word not normally heard from great-grandmothers.

Lesson Three: Our baby is amazing. We've known this for a while but this weekend she brought out her A Game.

Despite being schlepped throughout North Carolina visiting nearly every relative she has, missing nap times right and left, sleeping in a bed that wasn't her own while crammed in between Casey and I and teething on top of that... she was the happiest, sweetest, loviest and snuggliest baby ever. No, EVER. Seriously.

Beatrice Kate made Casey and I look like expert parents. We kept hearing how "precious" she was and how "good natured" she was. Yes, she is certianly all of these things; but not usually after being awake for 6 straight hours, spending 3 strapped in a car seat and then passed around to 15 people. She hammed it up for everyone we met, cooing and giggling, smiling unprovoked, talking out loud... whatever was asked of her she performed on command. We looked like parent rock stars in the eyes of our family. It.Was. Awesome.

Anyway, the holiday wasn't all fun and games though- we fortunately just barely dodged a nasty stomach bug and had to forfeit having a Christmas dinner at Mandrake and MiMi's on the 26th. Instead, Mandrake brought her gifts to Grammy Kate's house and we had an impromptu lunch the next day at a local pub.

Regardless, we had a great time. Beatrice Kate experienced her first White Christmas. Of course, it was her first Christmas of any sorts. She also wasn't the only one who received some good gifts!

Casey got several gift cards to purchase new clothes and a nail gun with and I received a label maker. Silly, I know; but it is by far the best gift of the year. Just ask my husband how easy it is to find stuff in the attic now.

Beatrice Kate is still recovering from all the excitement and is taking out her "teething madness" on us back at home. She got so many gifts that we've put a lot of them away to be drug out later in the year when she needs something new! We also just took down the Christmas tree; which I'm sure my husband will say warrants a blog post all to its own. So look for that in the coming days.

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