Merry belated Christmas! Grady the Gus found Christmas to be, generally, quite to his liking. He's been dealing with another round of sniffles and fever, and Christmas was the first day that he seemed truly on the mend. He was almost able to face the day without ibuprofen!
Since he's still little and has no idea what's what, he slept in. On Christmas morning! When I was a kid... well, let's just say we made some compelling arguments that any time with "A.M." in its name was clearly morning. I mean, obviously.
The Halekas men just getting warmed up, all dolled up in a handsome sweater and fleecey snowman jams:
We started with stockings, as one does, and that brings me to the next thing, which is that everyone keeps thinking this is Baby Grady's first Christmas, because he was so very little last year. He didn't even help open his presents. Can you even believe this nonsense?
This year, he was an old hat at presents, having recently had a birthday. His preferred technique involves the teeth. He may have learned it from those bozos in the back. (Yes, Mr. Puppet is back in his green winter jacket. It matches his new green flowered collar.)
He thinks his Pop-Pop is a pretty neat guy. They like to chat, and jam, and such.
So then he carried Pop-Pop's gift around for a while while wearing his new Guatemalan back-pack. Mr. Puppet supervised.
Geems gave Grady the coolest blocks with magnets in them. They are all Earth-friendly and sustainable and non-toxic and etc. The box they came in is also nice:
He didn't finish opening the final few gifts (the books) until evening. Pacing is important when you're a baby.
And just in case anyone was wondering, air travel is not Baby Grady's favorite. His displeasure began early, in the security line. So I nursed him in the Ergo while in line. Then I had to take off the Ergo to send it through the x-ray machine. So, yes, I carried my baby, in my arms, latched to my boob, through the metal detector. TSA made no complaints, though as I approached, a monitor-guy called out, "We need a pat-down over here!" And for a moment I thought I was going to have to fend off a pat-down with my exposed breast, which, even in the Bay Area, is something. And then I would definitely end up on the cover of TIME. But a TSA woman replied, "Why? She's just carrying him." And all was swell. No idea what that was all about. Maybe I could have kept the Ergo if I'd gotten a pat-down?
The flying was a mix of unhappiness, adrenaline-crash napping, watching Cat in the Hat, and (my non-favorite) total meltdowns in which there was screaming and wrestling and furious removal of socks and shoes. If I weren't a mother to one Baby Grady, I would have watched in horror, thinking that was clearly the worst thing that could possibly happen. And, I mean, it just wasn't. It was awful, yes, and I really wished I could make things more comfortable for him, but also there were moments when he was not screaming. And that was a-okay.
To recover, he had to sleep on his face for a while: