We’re back in Oklahoma after a very wonderful Christmas across the Red River. Texas, you nearly killed me with your rich, spicy food this visit, but I have narrowly survived and am looking forward to the day when I can once again make myself sick on your fine, fine Tex Mex. Worth every miserable moment, I tell you!
Christmas morning began early at the Faulk house. And by that, I mean that it began the night BEFORE Christmas. Emmy has had the cold to end all colds for about a week now, and she was so congested that she could hardly breathe when she stumbled into our room at midnight to complain. While I was watching her sleep and making sure she was still breathing, Ana came in to join the party, leaving three hours later after Emma (a fitful sleeper) whacked her in the face with her foot. I think Ana’s exact, exasperated words were, “That’s it! I’m going to my room!” No complaints from me as that made more room in the bed for me and Emma (Papi had fled to the couch at the first sign of congested children), but no more sleep for Mommy, unfortunately. We woke the girls up at 6am so they could see the toys that Santa left… before all the nighttime travel between rooms began. I still can’t believe they both sauntered back and forth in front of the tree, never even noticing the gifts!
After we got the girls up and ready, we headed down to Alvarado for my family’s Christmas. We watched the Walt Disney World Christmas parade (eeee!!!), but I had to switch it off towards the end when Mariah Carey (who, ironically enough, is pregnant) sang “All I Want for Christmas is You.” I say ironically enough because pregnancy is the only thing I can think of when I hear that song, given the fact that it was played too often back when I was newly pregnant with Ana and had the most lovely, ever-present, green tint to my face. Even now, hearing that song makes me feel like I’m about to throw up everywhere. (For my sweet Em, it’s Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars.” You only have to say, “If I just lay… if I just laaaaayyy here,” and I start searching for a trash can. I’m making myself sick just thinking about it!)
Anyway, we had dinner with the family, then Giftapalooza 2010: The Yawn Edition began. I’m amazed that the kids are able to unwrap everything in such an orderly, civilized way, especially given the fact that they were jumping around and screeching in anticipation right up until the point that we began. I love that the girls are all so close in age and can enjoy their new toys together, putting the Zhu Zhu pets in the Weeble house, then letting Barbie fix their hair. Every gift went with every other gift, thanks to some incredible imaginations! And speaking of imaginative gifts, I received the most highly anticipated gift of the season from my parents — sweat pants. I can’t communicate how excited I am about these sweats! Judge me if you want to, but when you stay at home all day with small children, sweats just make good sense. Because they’re so much more formal than pj pants, you know.
The next morning, we packed up early and headed down even farther south to San Antonio. I’ve heard so much complaining about the hot weather from everyone down there, and I was SO looking forward to soaking some of it up. Unfortunately, the cooler weather met us there. And today after we left, it was back up in the seventies. Seriously, San Antonio?! Oh, well, it was really no big deal… especially since I had my sweat pants with me. (Oh, come on. You knew that was coming!) After lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant (love that Cha Cha Chicken!) and picking up Wes’s grandmother, the girls began Giftapalooza 2010: The Faulk Edition. Emma fell in love with her Go, Go, My Walking Pup and told us, when we asked what it was named, “His name is Go, Go, My Walkin’ Pup!” Well, obviously. Ana was really into her very own VTech eReader and spent most of our visit sitting in the front room trying out her different books. After I had opened some amazing gifts from World Crafts Village (thank you, Sandi!) and some beautiful sweaters, I opened up a package I wasn’t supposed to open up (oops!) and found myself face-to-face with my very own Kindle! Given that it was a gift from Wes’s grandmother and that our gift exchange with her was the next day, I was a bit early. Again, oops. But she said it was fine, and this way, I was able to download and read an entire book within the next twelve hours. I. LOVE. THE. KINDLE!
We were able to spend a lot of time with Wes’s family over the next two days which was a real treat since we live so far away. We had our extended family Christmas on Monday night, where Ana and Emma played and played and played with their second (third?) cousin, Hannah, who is three. So much fun! The girls continued their fun back at Nana and Coach’s house when Papi put together the Zhu Zhu pet village that MawMaw had gotten them. Kudos to Wes for his patience in constructing all those parts, and kudos to Nana and Coach’s dogs for not losing it when fifteen (!!!) Zhu Zhu pets took off at full speed through the whole thing. Ana and Emma were deliriously delighted by it. So much so that they thought I would say yes when they suggested that they be allowed to take some popcorn to their room to snack on after being tucked in. Yeah, I don’t think so…
And to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas, I did a little “after Christmas” shopping for myself. Ha! In the past, I’ve ended up with duplicate dachshund calendar planner thingies (technical name for it), enough so that now no one buys one for me for Christmas, assuming that someone else has already bought one. Last year, I was bereft of any and all dachshund calendars after the Christmas holidays and up until I could hold Wes at gunpoint (not quite but close enough) and force him to go to the mall into the post-holiday madness with me to get one. The new year was about to start — I needed that calendar, no matter what limbs we lost in the process! This year, I came prepared, knowing exactly where to go in the mall to find a German Shepherd calendar planner thingy, only to find that they had none in stock. Failure in this circumstance turned out to be a good thing, though, because it forced us to go to Petsmart, where I found one and got it three dollars cheaper thanks to my Pet Perks card! Woo-hoo! Emma was as excited as I was when she opened up the calendar to see a picture of two GSDs with Charlie’s coat color, causing her to screech, “It’s TWO CHARLIES!” Oh, if only the world was big enough to contain the thrill of two Charlies, Emma. If only!
(And, yes, I am well aware that I am THE most boring after Christmas shopper since my only purchase is a calendar and since I am more overjoyed than I should be about three dollars of savings. But, y’all, THREE DOLLARS!)
Thanks to many, many Christmas smoochies, I came down with Emmy’s cold and spent the whole seven hour drive back up to Oklahoma sneezing and blowing my nose. Per Nana’s request, the girls are staying on for a few extra days and will come back home on Saturday. I should be able to get some rest in the meantime. Theoretically, of course, since I’m actually going to be picking Charlie up from the dog hotel tomorrow morning. Will he jump all over me and mark every inch of the vet’s office (and me) as we’re leaving? Decidedly so. Bring it on, Charlie.
This post was brought to you by the letter “C,” as in Cleaning up Christmas whilst Charlie is still out. Now is the time to get it done, so I better get to it! Hope your Christmas was very, very merry!