Last year I gave Helen one present for Christmas. She was just a baby then, and I figured we had another year before the concept of presents clicked with her. No need to cram the house full of things from her parents, when I'm already buying stuff all year long.
This year, I did the same thing again. She has plenty of stuff and I know how much my living room can hold. So Helen got a Sit'n'Spin, which has morphed over the years from the giant hard plastic spinning beast of my childhood to one that's oval-shaped and plays music.
(Don't worry - I didn't install the batteries. And with a little cooperation from you, dear reader, she may never know it, either.)
Brian got her just one present, too - a beautiful coin. It's a 2004 Walking Liberty proof, and he's planning to give her a new one each year. Something special and meaningful and SHINY. She really liked it.
But everyone else took up the slack in the toy department. Helen got a LOT of presents. We filled up the car and watched it sag under the weight of the gifts.
Back home, Brian & I packed up or tossed out all the old stuff. We're starting over with the new stuff, and it feels nice to have our living room so de-cluttered. And our bonus room. And Helen's bedroom. Really, really nice.
It's amazing to me how the toys become fruitful and go forth and multiply. Suddenly you have all these things piled up. I've mentioned the Legos and the Potato Head, and I'm not kidding. They were EVERYWHERE.
But now we have new stuff to spread out!
A rocking buffalo and a little t-shirt with an Inuit doll on it:
A kitchen stocked with food:
Her first Barbie:
There are way too many more to mention everything, but there are some highlights. She got a set of magnet letters for the kitchen fridge which gave me about 10 minutes of uninterrupted cooking time. WHAT A GREAT TOY.
We also got a lot of new books, which will be fun for me because I'm getting very tired of reading the same four books to her.
Her favorite new toy right now is a Magna Doodle. Coincidentally, I had gotten Helen's cousin M. the same thing, and they both really enjoyed them. Helen loves drawing, but she's not so good with keeping the pen on the paper. Magna Doodle is the perfect way to go.
I've been writing our names on the Magna Doodle for her, and now she tries it, too. She makes a little mark and say "Mama" or "Dada." The legibility isn't there yet, unless she's planning a career in medicine. As a test, I could take that Magna Doodle to a pharmacist, and if she's the future Dr. Helen, I'll come back with a really good prescription.