Sunday, December 26, 2010

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Cati's First Christmas

Cati's first Christmas was a complete success. She got lots of gifts and she enjoyed herself thoroughly. She's still too little to understand Christmas or the fact that there's a special meaning behind all the gifts, but we adults tattooed every Christmas moment on our hearts. Everyone, especially Alex and me, were very thankful to have a healthy and happy baby; she is the best Christmas present ever.
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We spent Christmas Eve at my in-laws and had a very traditional Cuban "Noche Buena" meal of lechon (roasted pork), platanos maduro (sweet plaintain), yuca, congri (rice and beans), and flan. We opened up all the adult gifts so that we could open the gifts together and so that my in-laws didn't have to lug all the gifts to our house the next day. Cati started off the day in the prettiest red dress that Abuelo Luis got her but she got too hot and stuffy in it so we changed her to a comfy jumpsuit.

Christmas Day we all had breakfast together (cereal for baby, cinnamon rolls for mami and papi) and then opened up the gifts under our tree. Alex helped Cati open the gifts because she didn't quite get what she was supposed to do with the wrapped gifts. She would just hold the gifts like they were a toy she didn't understand. The only gift she helped unwrap (unpack, really) was her Mickey Mouse plane. We did good with that gift because Cati LOVED it. She likes to sit on it and press all the buttons and she likes to grip the handle and move it back and forth.

I spent the rest of the day in the kitchen roasting a turkey and getting food ready for our big Christmas Day lunch. Later on in the day Alex's family and my sister and her boyfriend came over. We literally feasted and then Cati got to open her Christmas presents from Alex's family and my sister.
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Cati scored big time this year. She got a few new toys, lots of clothes, and money to pay for the music class she'll be starting at the end of January. We scored as well and got lots of great things (me: red shoes! Alex: a G-Shock!) but the real fun was in seeing what Cati got.
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The Christmas holiday was proof of how much Cati is loved. It's not how many gifts she got or what she got but the fact that so many people thought of her when they were doing their holiday shopping. I know times are tough for so many so it means a lot to have people thinking about our little girl at this special time of year. The love for her and our little family is so overwhelming. Having Cati has really helped me appreciate my friends and family more.
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Here are my favorite holiday memories from this year:
  • Cati wearing reindeer ears for the first time. It's a family tradition to wear reindeer ears at Alex's parent's house when opening the gifts and this year Cati had her own special ears.
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  • Cati preferring to play with the remote control and picture coasters over her Christmas toys. She got some great toys and at the end of the day she still wanted to play with the things she normally plays with, such as the remote control and picture coasters.
  • Everyone singing Old MacDonald along with the Fisher Price See n Say toy. Cati's grandparents gave her this toy and I think they enjoyed the toy more than she did. At one point they all started singing the song to get her more into the game.
  • My mother-in-law's brain farts. She forgot the ham at her house and went back to get it, she also forgot her phone at our house and had to come back for it, but best of all, she boasted about how the one thing she did remember was my sister's gift. As we were opening the gifts it turns out she brought someone else's gift.
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  • My sister thinking I was going to announce a pregnancy. Before we dug into our own personal feast on our plates I thanked everyone for joining our Christmas celebration. My sister got confused (or excited?) when I said we were getting together to celebrate: she thought I meant a pregnancy while I meant the birth of baby Jesus. 
  • Cati helping Alex open her Mickey Plane. I just love these two together but I especially love how she tried to help him pull the box off the plane.  
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  • Making cookies for Santa and his helper (aka Alex) not eating them. On the 23rd Alex asked me when and if I was going to make cookies for Santa. I made the cookies and told him they were off limits until Santa had his fill. I set out a few cookies and a letter to Santa with the intention of Alex helping the jolly old man by eating the cookies at some point overnight. It didn't happen and, instead, Alex had cookies for breakfast. 
  • Cati sitting on the plane, pressing all the buttons, pure joy on her face, and me realizing there is no off button on the toy. How can a toy NOT have an off button? The noises are cute but they do get annoying. I'm in for a lot of trouble. 
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  • Alex's last minute letter to Cati. He really wanted to write Cati a letter for her first Christmas. He did it Christmas morning just as we were about to open the gifts. I told him if Cati was older she wouldn't wait for him to write the letter. I don't think she'd be able to contain herself on Christmas morning. 
  • How cute Cati looked in her Santa PJs. This kid is just too cute for words. 
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  • Cati standing at the door and waving goodbye to Alex as he left for work. Most beautiful and heartbreaking moment. Alex had to work today so we saw him out and he got one last glimpse of his little wife and daughter before heading out.
  • Us eating scrambled eggs and pancakes for breakfast together. Post-Christmas day celebration and everyone got a big, hearty breakfast.
  • Alex watching Cati all day while I cooked. I don't even remember the last time I cooked as much as I did. I spent all of the morning and part of the afternoon putting together our Christmas Day feast while Alex played with and watched Cati. 
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  • Being beyond pooped. Cati was so tired from the Christmas Day celebration that she was asleep by 7pm and we almost went to sleep at 7pm as well.
  • Cati drinking her bottle while we ate on the 24th. Everyone feasted together and Cati got to be with us while we ate big people food. Her bottle eating was a performance for all because of how she positions herself in the stroller to eat.

Traditions were a big thing for me this year. This would be our first Christmas with Cati and I wanted to make sure to get some traditions started this year. I look forward to seeing these little traditions grow each year:
  • Reading A Christmas Carol throughout the month of December.
  • Reading A Night Before Christmas on the 24th.
  • Watching It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.
  • Making cookies for Santa together.
  • Eating breakfast together in our Christmas PJs.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the holiday:

Baby steps
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Cati is screwed when it comes to her hair. 
All of us woke up with serious bedhead.
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Silly grandpa
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Love. Love. Love.
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"What is chipotle, papi?"
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Swoon. 
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Somebody liked her shirt!
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Abuela Sr. is totally smitten.
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My brother-in-law is such a great sport. 
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Cati liked mami's red shoes. 
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And papi's watch.
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Aren't I a proud momma?
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There's nothing better than big, sloppy kisses. 
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Alex trying to help Cati open her gifts. 
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That was our holiday celebration. I hope yours was just as good!
Stephanie

1 comment:

vickdn said...

Merry first Christmas, Cati! She is the most adorable baby ever! Love her in her red dress, and her cute hat :)