A Very Merry Christmas

We have had a very merry Christmas and are still basking in the glow of all the festivities. It is a bit disappointing as we clean it all up because Gwendolyn has loved every second — and all in a new more grown-up way. Her excitement this year was with knowing and expectation of traditions we have created in year's past — and that feels amazing. This week we visited and celebrated with friends, looked at the neighborhood lights, put up all the new holiday cards (with Gwendolyn inspecting every one), had Christmas Eve dinner sitting on the patio of our favorite Mexican restaurant, got everything ready for Santa to visit, and then Gwendolyn actually slept all night with me cuddled next to her and we woke up to a wonderful and full day with Bill's family. It has been a make-my-heart-full kind of week.

This year we added a few new traditions that Miss G took to right away. An Elf on the Shelf joined our casa and Bill and I had as much fun hiding the elf (Mr. Elfkins) each day as Gwendolyn did finding him. Can't wait to bring him out again next year. As he departed he left Gwendolyn some special Christmas Eve jammies with a note letting her know he was giving Santa a full report telling him what a good girl she is. Gwendolyn thought that was fantastic and wanted her new Goodnight Moon pjs on right away. Before bed, however, we made a plate for Santa and the reindeer — cookies and chocolate for Santa and a pear and zucchini for the reindeer (of course) — and wrote Santa a note. Gwendolyn was very particular about what she wanted to say. She didn't want to talk about herself or about being good. Instead she wanted to make sure to say: thank you for visiting her house, please tell Mr. Elfkins that she loves the pajamas, enjoy the goodies she left for him, stay warm and have a safe trip. And with her polite note all written, our little darling eagerly got into her new jammies and cooperatively fell fast asleep in minutes.

We didn't have a nurse that night so lucky me got to snuggle up with Gwendolyn all night. When Daddy came in early in the morning to say he heard Santa on the roof, Gwendolyn's eyes popped and her “hurry, hurry” sounds started. Taking her downstairs to see her full stocking for the first time is probably my favorite moment every year. She is so excited, so in disbelief, she studies the scene earnestly, wants to hear what Santa wrote back to her, and so thrilled and appreciative of every little thing that comes out of her stocking. Gwendolyn was so appreciative all day in fact. She absolutely loves all of her gifts and was so sweet when we opened gifts from her this year. I know I'm her mother, but Gwendolyn is so thoughtful, considerate, and loving…and I'm so proud of the polite little girl she is growing in to. When she woke up from her nap she got an extra special surprise — Santa came to thank her for the treats and bring her an extra gift. She went completely silent, a bit overwhelmed, but thoroughly amazed. (It's funny how Uncle Richard misses this special Santa visit every year wink)

We spent the day laughing, talking, eating, opening gifts, enjoying our family, and soaking in all of Gwendolyn's sounds, reactions, and Gwendolyn-isms. She went to bed a very happy little girl, slept the entire night, and woke up in full Life-is-Awesome mode. Yes, my sweet Miss G, life with you is completely awesome.