Christmas Day Extravaganza 2013

I still can’t believe the girls’ first Christmas has come and gone. I’ve never been a huge fan of Christmas (sound of people smashing their computer screens in angry horror), as far as all the stress of presents, crowded stores, and super annoying non-stop Christmas music goes, but this year seemed different. Christmas was so much more magical once we got to see it through the girls’ little eyes. True–they had absolutely no idea what was going on–but it was fun to pretend like they did anyway and make it as special a day as we could for them.  
 Samantha and Amelia’s first Christmas began by giving us a very thoughtful present…the gift of sleeping in until 8 a.m.! I’m guessing this will probably be the last year they sleep that long on Christmas morning before waking us up.
After eating breakfast, we gathered in the living room to open stockings. Amelia knew something exciting was about to happen!
Samantha, on the other hand, got a bit distracted. 
No more pictures! Just let us open our stockings already!
You take whatever that thing is and I’ll take the wrapping paper. 

Look what Santa brought me! How did he know I wanted baby maracas? 
The maracas and bell were quite the hit. If we were smart, we would have packed away all the girls’ other presents right then and there and re-used them for their birthday coming up in a few months! Samantha and Amelia were so enthralled by their baby instruments, that we opened the rest of their stockings for them…Santa brought them some Dr. Seuss books, textured bouncy balls and some blocks. 
What next? 
It was now time to reveal the girls’ big present from Daddy. Jake had been secretly working on something in the garage for the past few weeks and, in a highly cryptic manner, would only ever tell me it was something that the girls were going to LOVE. I finally saw it while he was assembling the final product…he built the girls an indoor jungle gym/monkey bars made out of pvc pipe he had sawed down and painted with some non-toxic spray paint. I was super skeptical that the girls would use it and even bet him $100 that the girls wouldn’t use it more than a few times. 

I guess I owe him some money because Samantha and Amelia went crazy over it. The bars are positioned perfectly so that the girls can pull themselves up and swat at toys, or practice walking. They are a little bit too short to use the monkey bars without help, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.

Jake said he looked all over online trying to find indoor monkey bars for the girls, and when he couldn’t find any, he decided to make it himself. A definite win. The perfect present for baby monkeys!
Again, we should have just stopped Christmas here and hid all their other presents since they could have cared less about any additional gifts. Next year, we are definitely getting them less stuff!
While overall, the jungle gym was pretty awesome, I’ve threatened to recall it as the girls have bent over the lower bar and have accidentally done somersaults, landing on their heads a few times. Adult supervision definitely required!
Amelia begged to be the one who found our presents and gave them to us to open. 

Bottle break! The girls started getting cranky, so while they went down for their nap, the rest of the family opened our presents. 

Bandit enjoys his spoils. 

Shutterfly was the star of the show this Christmas! My sister gave us our annual photo calendar of Bandit’s pictures…I was amazed that she was even able to FIND twelve photos of him, considering he hasn’t retained the same social status as he did pre-twins. The calendar is called “Bandit: Treasured Guardian 2014” and features pictures of the girls, with Bandit in the background. Bandit was so relieved to see he was the star of our calendar for the third straight year. 

Most of my gifts to others were from Shutterfly this year. Everyone in the family received photo mugs of the girls, as well as some photo ornaments, photo magnets and photo mouse pads. I also gave Jake a personalized board book entitled “Why We Love Daddy” with photos of the girls. Thank you, Shutterfly! I now have Christmas covered for the next 18 years…because who wouldn’t want a personalized oven mitt featuring the twins? Right?

Jake also received a snowboarding hoodie and a digital frame to put in his office. It connects to wifi, so I can upload pictures from home off my phone and he will instantly see them pop up in his office. We can’t wait to try it out!

Besides the calendar, I received some clothes, a book of cupcake recipes signed by Cupcake Wars champion, Janell Brown, and a really cool cookie press. And let’s be real…the twins’ Christmas tutus, bows and personalized “Amelia and Samantha’s First Christmas” onesies were totally a gift to myself. Thank you, me.

So well-disguised!

My big gift this year from myself, Jake and my parents was the double jogger I have been salivating over for months.  I went back and forth between this and one of the B.O.B. double joggers for a while, but am so glad I went with this one. After doing some research, the Summit X3 was the one recommended for tall children, so I’m hoping it will last us a long time. The Summit X3 Double Jogging Stroller by Baby Jogger is officially my favorite thing of ALL TIME (no hyperbole intended). The thing has better suspension and shocks than my car, for crying out loud! It has a cool hand break, the seats recline all the way down in case the babes want to nap, the front wheel locks if you are going down stairs/rough terrain, and it absolutely GLIDES as if it floated on air. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

The girls didn’t see what all the fuss was about, but were happy that mommy was so ecstatic. 

After a short nap, the girls woke up and were incensed we hadn’t waited for them. 

From Mommy and Daddy, the girls received a Stella doll and a Leapfrog My Puppy Pal named Violet. We decided not to get the girls two of the same thing this Christmas so that we could test out the presents and see if they liked them, before buying another one. Most twin moms agree that when the babies get a little older, it’s essential to have two of every favorite toy, or be doomed to endless days of breaking up tantrums. I think it’s a good thing to teach the girls to share, but I’d still rather have two of their favorite things anyway, just in case.

The Violet dog connects to your computer where you can type in the baby’s name and select different things she likes. The baby can then press the dog’s paws and it will call the baby by name, sing songs, play lullabies and talk to the baby. The girls seem to like it ok, but so far, I think I’ve gotten the most use out of it by using the lullabies to put me to sleep! We’ll probably end up getting another one since it’s sad whenever Samantha is playing with it and Violet says, “I love you….Amelia” or “Amelia, come play with me!” Poor, Samantha! I hope it doesn’t result in some kind of identity crisis that she’ll have to go to therapy for later on!
Seriously, why didn’t we give the girls a cardboard tube and some socks and call it good? 

The girls also received some clothes, books and cute wooden puzzles from Grandma and Grandpa, a play inchworm that crawls, and, from Santa, a Vtech walker. 

The books from Grandma were so adorable! This company makes board books out of classics, in this case, Jabberwocky and Alice and Wonderland. They also have Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and others in board book format! Adorbs. 


Amelia loved to see what everyone else got, especially since 99.9% of the presents involved her pictures.

For the remainder of the day, we did our normal baby routine, plus took the stroller out for a spin and watched the girls play with their new toys.

Jake’s jungle gym and the Vtech walker were the favorites. 

When can we change clothes PLEASE? 

As per usual, Grandma prepared a delectable Christmas dinner, which we enjoyed with Mike and Aunt Sarah…
…Uncle Mike and Grandpa…
…And, of course, the Christmas elves! I didn’t grab any pictures, but for dessert, we enjoyed Aunt Sarah’s famous Buche de Noel. We then curled up on the couches after the girls were in bed and sipped cider/cocoa by the fire while watching Jake’s favorite Christmas movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. A classic. 
We definitely learned some lessons this Christmas…mainly that the girls don’t need a ton of presents, homemade gifts are always the best ones, and that we should have bought Shutterfly stock a long time ago!
Merry Christmas 2013!
Lots of love, 

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