Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Joy

It was Christmas morning. Much anticipated by at least two of these outnumbered Slaviks. Thankfully the boys aren't old enough yet to try to stay awake to listen for Santa's sleigh bells in the sky or reindeer hoofs on the roof as I remember doing when I was young. They went to sleep quickly after church, as did the rest of us (including Oma and Opa, who spent the night to ensure they didn't miss out on any Christmas morning magic).

Over the past couple of weeks, Will has been sleeping well, which means that the rest of us sleep well too. Luke didn't come into our room until 7am - just like last year's Christmas miracle! He didn't say anything about the Christmas presents under the tree, or the full stockings, or the bites taken out of Santa's cookies. He told me that he just went to the potty, could he sleep with me, and by the way, Merry Christmas!

So funny. He crawled into our bed and I tried to impress upon him how exciting this morning was! I told him that Santa came last night and left presents for all of us because we were so good this year. He seemed a little interested, but cared more about the fact that it was nearly 7:30, and did I know that Mickey Mouse Club was about to come on Channel 200.

Eventually I convinced him that this was an important morning, and there would be plenty of time later for Mickey and his pals. All of a sudden, it seemed to sink in that he wanted to get out of bed and wake everyone up. He and I snuck out to the Christmas tree. Luke gasped when he saw the gifts under the tree (which he had walked right past just 20 minutes before with not a glance). I showed him the stockings - another impish gasp. And the final gasp came when we saw where Santa had eaten his cookies and left a note for each of the boys!

Luke: Santa was here! (pointing to the exact spot where we were standing) And he brought all these presents (motioning grandly towards the Christmas tree) for ME!

Finally, the excitement we mothers hope for! I had to explain that Santa brought gifts for everyone and we needed to look at the tags to see who they actually belonged to, but this didn't seem to deter Luke. He was all about Christmas now!

By this point, Oma and Opa were peaking over the railing at Luke and me down below. I started the coffee and woke up Nate. Though Luke wanted to get started with gift opening, we told him that we needed to be all together to start on the gifts. He reluctantly told his yawning brothers good morning and waited patiently while diapers were changed.

At long last, we gathered in the living room with caffeine and excitement abounding. First things first, though. Santa came for Otis too, and Luke was the happy giver of gifts.

Luke: Otis, Santa brought this for YOU!

Otis grabbed that raw hide, did a little happy dance for all of us, and then ignored us for the rest of the morning as he chowed down on his gift.

All year long, I keep an eye out for gifts for Will. He is the hardest one to buy gifts for because most toys and games don't match up with his abilities. And I feel like we already own just about every musical baby toy that can be activated with limited hand control!

Will has a difficult time holding things. This makes drawing and painting really difficult for him. Back in October, I happened upon a switch operated, remote controlled Color Bug. There are two parts to it - a switch on his tray and a lady bug on a nearby table or floor (holding a marker). When the user operates the switch, the lady bug draws for you. Will loves using switches, so this seemed like a good fit.

He really liked it! I was a little nervous because Will typically doesn't like the sound of remote controlled cars, and that is what this little Color Bug sounds like when she's whirring away on the floor. But it didn't seem to bother him. I don't even know if we need to set it up with a marker, Will has his own remote controlled "car" to play with his brothers now!

The second toy I was excited to give Will was an FAO Schwartz piano - a miniature version of the famous piano from the movie Big. It is 7 feet long and I thought Will would enjoy laying on it and making music as be moved and rolled around. Will did not share my excitement. Epic fail. Mommy bats 1 for 2 when it comes to Will this year.

Matt received a couple of toys that cannot be broken. He's 20 months old, all brute, and he runs everywhere. Toys need to withstand that. Can't go wrong with a solid metal Tonka truck and a little foot-powered ATV (like Fred Flintstone's car). Maybe this will stop him from stealing Luke's tricycle for a while... at least until Luke gets his first bike on his 5th birthday in March!

Luke has loved all things electronic since the day he was born. When people visit us, they let him play with their smart phones out of the goodness of their hearts, and he proceeds to change their ringtones and post a picture of himself on Facebook. It was obvious to us that Luke needed his own smart device - one with more learning potential than an iPhone! We had him open this last, and were happy that we did... he was so engrossed with his new "iPad" that he didn't respond to sound for the next 2 hours.

He did come out of his computer coma for a snack and broke out his second favorite Christmas gift for a test run. That's Spiderman on the handle.

Christmas is always magical, especially when you have kids to share it with. They don't actually have to be young to be kids though... sometimes 34 year old husbands and aunts from Connecticut have just as much fun as Will, Luke and Matt!

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