Some Christmas Day favorites, mostly in pictures...
Cruz takes after his dad in the present opening department. He tore through each one as fast as he could and for the most part, I was spot on when it came to knowing what my boy would like. Santa came through on Cruz's Transformers request and he loved his Optimus Prime Rescue Bot trailer and Bumblebee and Heatwave sidekicks. He also loved his Star Wars and Justice League Hot Wheels cars and his new chapter books. My favorite reaction of the morning, though, was when he opened his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie van. His eyes lit up like saucers and he shrieked, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME??" It was priceless!
Mila, well, she didn't really care for her presents much. She'd rip a few shreds of paper when we forced her to sit on our lap for ten seconds, but she preferred to crawl through the mess and try out all of Cruz's new things. She did think she was pretty big crawling up on top of the presents, looking around for all of our approval before clapping her hands and giving us her signature scrunched-face smile. Her favorite gifts were her soft things; it's the biggest marked difference between Cruz and Mila. Cruz always preferred anything big, bright, and noisy, while Mila girl prefers soft things she can snuggle with. She loved her Anna and Elsa Itty Bitty dolls, her special doll I custom designed from a site on Etsy, and did give us a few good bounces on her Bounce, Sit, and Stride Elephant. If I had a dollar for everytime someone would say, "I saw this bounce elephant toy on a commercial and it was made for Mila..." She's going to have a hay day pushing that thing around our house!
After a two-hour opening spree, we devoured Mom's delicious egg casserole and got ready to head to Beau's parents for the Jorgensen annual Christmas. It was a special Christmas this year with three little Jorgensen girls to celebrate and we laughed many times at how much Cruz's world has changed at Grandma Mary's house! They are all quite infatuated with him, though, and he likes the attention. God was good to our family this year in the best of ways, blessing Gabe and Gina with signed adoption papers after a long year and a half wait, officially making Adison and Alivia a part of our family forever. They are exactly where they are supposed to be.
And then there was Gabe and Gina, surprising the big man with his very own pirate scavenger hunt in order to collect his presents. Feeling a little bad that Cruz now has to share the limelight with three little ladies, they went all out to make quite the show for our little guy to star in. It started with a pirate map that took him on a quest all throughout the house. In each room, he discovered a black and white wrapped gift that added to his pirate ensemble - first, a flash pirate suit, then a sword and hook, next a fancy spy glass, and finally, a pirate treasure toy chest filled with lots of buried treasure. Gabe even stained the clues in tea and burnt the edges to make them more authentic. It was the sweetest thing.
We recreated familiar traditions, long john stockings followed with a prime rib dinner around the table. Cruz loved his new race track from Grandma and Mila received the most adorable hippo toy that is her new favorite. We passed around babies, took turns spotting the girls as they climbed the stairs, and had a dance party to the Beatles while others washed dishes. It was a good night and the kids were asleep before we turned on to Highway 3.