The best picture of the morning, both kids in their new wagon from Grandpa.
Caroline surrounded by her new monogrammed towel from Nana and some of her other presents. She got a shape sorter, some large pop beads, a Melissa and Doug birthday cake set, a purse with accessories, books, a necklace and bracelet from her cousin, some cute ballerina socks, and one of those bead-on-a-wire maze toys.
Caroline's big present was this stroller for her doll. I am still trying to convince her it is designed for her baby doll, because every time I put the baby in the stroller, Caroline quickly tossed her back out. At this rate, her future mothering skills are looking pretty scary. Thankfully we have many more years to practice!
Rylan and his dinosaur from Grammy. Rylan was awake bright and early at 6am and the combination of lack of sleep and the excitement of Christmas made him a little cranky and definitely not in the mood for pictures.
Rylan and his Buzz Lightyer, whose wings really do pop out just like the real Buzz!
Thanks to our family for getting both kids so many great toys. Rylan also really liked his Woody doll from Toy Story, his "band in a box", his firetruck puzzle and gear building toy from Nana and Papa, his Batman figure passed down from when Charlton was a little boy, his "Monsters vs. Aliens" movie, and his small cars.
Charlton gave me a DVD of home movies from when Rylan was a baby. Our camcorder broke, so I had never actually been able to watch the movies, and have hinted (once or twice :-) how badly I wanted to be able to have a copy of them. They included some priceless clips of Rylan's first bath at home, his first Christmas, and early baby days. Thanks honey, for that wonderful gift!
We had one of the best Christmases I can remember in a long time. I was able to spend time with my family last weekend for the first time near Christmas in years. We had snow, a fire in the fireplace, stockings hanging from our new mantle, a tree with twinkling lights, homemade cookies.. what more need I say? We started some new family traditions that made each day of the Advent season memorable. Charlton had some time off work, so we were able to enjoy his company at home. The joy and excitement of the kids at this age is just priceless. I love being able to teach Rylan the true meaning of Christmas while still anticipating Santa Claus's visit. Caroline doesn't quite understand everything yet, but she is walking and curious and much more able to participate than last year. Even though parenthood can be exhausting and tests our patience, I kept thinking these are truly some of the best years of our lives and I am so thankful. Thankful for my husband, for the babies that fill my arms, and for the gift of the Baby who came to earth so long ago to bring us joy and life.