So far, of all the Christmases of my whole life, this one was my favorite . . . it really is true that experiencing Christmas through the eyes of your child increases the magic exponentially!
We started our official Christmas festivities by celebrating with our much-loved nanny on the 23rd. We had dinner and exchanged gifts. Sammie B most definitely got into the spirit of receiving! Every time we asked, "who should open the next gift?," her answer was "MEEEEE!" Eventually we learned, and when it wasn't her turn, we gave choices, like "who should open the next gift, mama or dada?," and she'd pick one of us. One of my favorite moments of that night was when she opened a new outfit, and immediately grabbed the shirt and held it up to her, and beamed for the camera, like "hey, I know . . . this is a new thing for ME to wear!" Pretty stinking cute!
Then, Christmas Eve morning, Sammie B slept in (B and I decided we weren't going to rush to Disneyland and fight the early morning crowds . . . we'd get there when we got there, and just enjoy our morning and our day) and then opened a few presents from her Nana and Papa on skype.
She also showed them how much she's enjoying taking some (assisted) steps, which I'm pretty sure made their entire day (and week!).
Then, we were off . . . we drove to Disneyland, both commenting how cool it is to live so close AND how fabulous it was after a week and a half of non-stop rain to be wearing short-sleeves and have sunshine on Christmas Eve!!
Everything about our time at the HAPPIEST place on earth was just magical. The funny thing is, several years ago, B and I went to D-Land for a firm event, and we commented (then) on how it seemed so much more fun just the two of us . . . we looked around and saw kids throwing tantrums, whining about lines, begging for expensive souvenirs, and we giggled about how lucky we were to be enjoying D-Land, just the two of us, without all that extra stress . . .
We were so so wrong. Because obviously, something changes when you are there with YOUR child. (Well, and of course, Sammie B is an angel . . . no tantrums or begging!). But truly, seeing everything at Disneyland through Sam's eyes was MAGICAL. I cannot even imagine a better day. I literally had the biggest, goofiest grin on my face the entire day and even on the car ride home (as I thought, "I can't wait to go back!")
My favorite part of the day was probably riding Dumbo with Sam. She kept screaming and saying "whoah!" as we went up and down. I could not stop laughing! So, the second I got off, I said to B (who'd stayed off to take pictures of us), "you HAVE to ride that with her, she loves it!" so we went on Dumbo again, and I could hear B in the elephant behind me laughing as Sam screamed and giggled with absolute glee. The best.
Sammie B also rode the carousel, and hippotherapy must be paying off, because she was able to sit on the horse all by herself, though of course, B stayed CLOSE!!!
(Sometimes the inchstones are in the simple little moments, right?!)
We all bought mouse ears, though Sammie B didn't dig on hers (but enjoyed stealing dada's).
And, let me tell you, there's nothing like glancing over at your husband, seeing him wearing mouse ears (with a Santa hat on top) and pushing a stroller to make you realize you have somehow become not only grown-ups, but those grown-ups . . . the dorky kind you never thought you'd be. Or to make you realize how very much you love him. Because EVERYTHING about this picture makes me smile.
We waited in line to meet Mickey, and just as she'd been promising, Sammie B planted a big kiss on him. (We'd been asking, "what will you say when you meet Mickey Mouse?," and she'd make a kiss). We stayed for the parade, which was so pretty, and to see the D-Land all lit up at night with Christmas lights, and then, our sweet girl CRASHED.
Since Sammie B was oh so tired, we skipped the fireworks, and instead grabbed a quick dinner in downtown Disney, got our girl in her Cmas pjs, and headed home . . . to open ONE present (a Christmas book from Gigi and PawPaw) before Sammie B and B went to bed while I stayed up to get a few things done (and wait for Santa ;o)).
AND Santa DID come. Santa must read (as do I) Ellen's blog at Love That Max, because he brought Sam TWO of the presents Ellen had recommended (some of Max's favorite toys!) - a ball pit and a roller coaster! Santa must not have (as I did not) read the dimensions on these toys before he picked them for Sammie B . . . because we've now lost our living room.
And her face when she saw her new toys?! Made the significantly-reduced amount of space in our living room oh so worth it! (This was after sleeping until 10:15 AM!!! Tired girl after a day at Disney . . . normally I would think of that wake time as a gift, but I was so giddy with excitement for her to see her presents that I literally laid in bed staring at her, waiting for her to wake up!).
So we spent our day just playing and enjoying our new toys (and posing for a few silly Christmas pictures!).
After playing hard all day, we took a glorious Christmas nap, and then (as promised) headed OUT to dinner.
(Another reason to be thankful for where we live - a HOST of restaurants in Chinatown open to cater to those that don't celebrate Christmas, or those (like me) who don't feel like cooking!).
It truly was a magical Christmas. I remember as a kid, I'd fall asleep on Christmas night sad that the holiday was over and I'd have to wait a whole year to experience it again. This year, I fell asleep with a HUGE smile, thinking, "if each year Christmas gets better and better with her, I can't WAIT for next year."
So, thank you my sweet Bean, for all that magic that is YOU . . . on Christmas and every day of the year. Seeing the world through your eyes makes my day. Every day.