A few additional tidbits from our Christmas vacation:
The Crib's Death Knell
Greta decided Christmas vacation was the perfect time to refuse to sleep in a crib. She and Lucia were sharing a room, with Lucia in Molly's old bed and Greta in a pack-and-play, and for the first time Greta seemed to realize that Lucia had something she wanted. There was nowhere else for her to sleep at night, so she had to accept her fate, but she slept in the bed for her naps. It was about 50/50, sleeping vs. playing. I peeked in one afternoon and saw her trying to climb onto an old exercise bike that's in a corner of the room. Other days, she did nap, adorably tucked under the covers. She made no effort to hide her ability to climb in and out of the pack-and-play with ease. Since returning home, she hasn't protested her crib, but its days are probably numbered.
Lucia and Her Snugs
The girls got a lot of plush things and dolls for Christmas: plush Anna, Elsa, and Olaf; giant teddy bear (from Uncle Don and Aunt Joanie); Strawberry Shortcake dolls; plush Rudolph purses. And Lucia found a deep enjoyment in arranging them all on a chair and asking that she be photographed with them. She was very, very particular about how these pictures were to be. If one doll or animal's face was hidden, she'd rearrange everything, and another picture would be taken. I love how happy she looks in all her five-year-old splendor.
Molly taught Lucia how to play Jingle Bells on the piano by putting smiley stickers on the piano keys and writing out the "music" in stickers on a sheet of paper. Lucia was beyond thrilled. She also loved singing Christmas carols with Mom, especially Up on the Housetop, Frosty, and Rudolph. Both girls are still singing Suzy Snowflake, with hand motions.
The Earring Incident
We had one unpleasant episode while in Connellsville, involving Lucia's earrings. I hadn't pushed her to change her earrings for several weeks--she was wearing sparkly pink flowers, and wanted to keep them in--and somehow, through a combination of earring design and the tightness of the backing, her ears had become painfully irritated. When Mom and I finally insisted on taking out her earrings, it was a difficult and painful process, and bloody. Lucia was, understandably, very very upset. After a day of rest, we knew earrings had to go back in, lest her holes close. Lucia was nervous and scared, and my first attempt--with her crying and writhing away from me--was bloody and unsuccessful. We despaired. Then I opened up a bag of marshmallows--Lucia's favorite candy--and told her she could eat as many as she wanted while I put in her earrings. I'll never forget the look on her face when I put the open bag on the table--stunned disbelief. As she shoved marshmallows into her mouth, barely stopping to breathe, I was able to put both earrings in with no problem whatsoever. Now, back home, a couple of times she's tried to get a repeat by saying, "Mommy, I need to change my earrings today. I think I'll need some marshmallows."
The weather was so mild during our time in Connellsville that the kids got to play outside almost every day. On Christmas Eve, Lucia, Greta, and Luca found endless imaginative possibilities with Molly's car, turning it into a kind of Polar Express (assisted by some silvery paper "tickets" from Dad). At one point both Dad and Molly were in the car too, along for the ride as Lucia screamed "ALL ABOARD!!" for the millionth time.