Cullen’s First Christmas.

Even though Christmas was this weekend, I’m just now coming out of my chocolate and mashed potato coma and finding my way back to my keyboard.  In all my 30 years, this was the first Christmas I have not spent with my mom and sisters, and even as an adult it felt a little strange to wake up somewhere new on Christmas morning.

This year it was all about making some new traditions!  We slept in late and hung out in our pajamas for most of the morning.  Cullen and I snuggled on the couch and watched Home Alone – a classic! 

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On Christmas Eve, Casey and I discovered that Cullen is not very easy to put down for naps outside of our house.  It’s not an ideal solution, but at our house he takes most of his naps in our baby swing.  After a cranky afternoon of attempting to have him nap in his pillow or pack n play, and no laps lasting longer than ten minutes, Casey’s dad went to Target with the mission of getting “a small, cheap swing or seat.” 

He came back with a giant swing that is nicer than the one we have at home.  I love him.  And Cullen LOVES his awesome swing!

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We eventually made it out of pajamas and into our Christmas finest as extended family members started to fill the house.  Note that Cullen is in a cute holiday outfit that I so carefully picked out.  This will be important later.

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Mesmerized by the magic of Christmas!

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While Cullen was passed around the house, I helped my mother in law finish up some holiday cooking, and around 3pm the table was set with a delicious spread of food.

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Plates were filled…

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With so many amazing vegan options!  Mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, wild rice casserole, fermented cranberries, sweet potatoes and apples, and a field roast wellington (AMAZING)!

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Just as we all sat down to dinner, Cullen dissolved into a huge meltdown.  I shoveled a few bites of food into my mouth and then took him into the living room where he promptly passed out on my chest.  It’s tough being little on Christmas.  So many hands and so much stimulation gets overwhelming very quickly.

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One of our fool-proof ways of making him cheer up when he’s cranky is to take off all of his clothes.  The boy LOVES to be naked!  Once he was in his birthday suit and on his Boppy pillow, his mood improved.

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Meeting his grand-grandma Mamaw for the first time!  She was totally in love.

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And his other great-grandma, Jacque!  She told us that she sits and watches TV every night with a picture of him in her lap – it made me cry just thinking about how sweet she is.  For Christmas we gave her a digital photo frame of him for her house (pre-loaded with Cullen pics) so she can see him whenever she wants.  :)  How lucky is Cullen to have FOUR great-grandmothers in his life?

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He is also lucky to have his grandfather, who is truly the baby whisperer.  I have never seen anyone calm him quite like Eddie can.  I need him to move to Seattle – he has the magic touch!

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Four generations – a difference of over 86 years!

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It was so nice to be surrounded by so much love and family.

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And also, so many dogs!  Casey’s family is all about dogs, and this Christmas the house was full of them.  Ruthie the Rottweiler…

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Buggie the German Shepherd…

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And Emma the Pit-mix.  They were all very into Cullen’s sounds and smells!

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For all my efforts in picking out and packing his adorable Christmas outfit, my chubby baby ended up naked in all of his first Christmas photos.  As long as he was happy, that’s all that mattered.

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After the extended family headed back home, the seven of us did our family gift exchange that evening.  As expected, this Christmas was all about Cullen.

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He was VERY spoiled by his grandparents and aunt and uncle. 

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He watched from his Boppy throne while Casey and I showed him all of his generous gifts.

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And the rest of the family opened theirs.

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Eventually our little elf had had enough excitement for one Christmas, and retired to his swing until bedtime. 

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It was a first Christmas that we will be sure to remember, and so wonderful to spend it with so many loved ones.  We’re headed to Cincinnati today to spend Casey’s birthday and Christmas #2 with my family!  The celebrations continue…