The Christmas of the Doomed Purple Bouncy Ball

Hi ya’ll! Happy Christmas, Merry New Year and all that jazz. Contrary to the evidence (i.e. the severe lack of posting anything. For weeks.) I am still alive, we all are well and happy and I do intend to continue flogging this here blog on a regular basis. It was getting a bit dicey there for awhile – I seriously considered going all Grinchesque and canceling Christmas – so something had to give. Naturally, it was this blog as overwhelming stress tends to squash any and all ability to use your creative outlets.

Christmas stories with Grandpa
Christmas stories with Grandpa

Anyhoo, we had a lovely Christmas. We had Zoey super amped up about Santa and then moved her mattress to the floor in our bedroom on Christmas eve just so that we could see every second of her reaction come Christmas morning.

So. Worth. It.

The girls woke up and we took them upstairs to the living room, asking Zoey, “Did Santa come?” She sort of paused when she saw the tree with the presents under it (including a large, unwrapped, Melissa & Doug wooden workbench for her) and said, hesitantly, “He did.” Then, she bolted over to inspect the empty plate of cookies and empty cup of milk. Apparently, that evidence clinched it because she suddenly shouted, “He did!! HE REALLY DID!!!”  Best. Christmas. Moment. EVER.


The girls got thoroughly spoiled, as expected. Santa stuffed their stockings to overflowing and Eleanor received an awesome play cash register with moving conveyor belt, working scanner, and a credit card swiper that even includes the pad to sign your name. The darn thing even asks you, “Cash or credit?” Yes, there is a large part of me wondering “What the &^%$ was I thinking, buying her this?” But an even larger part of me says, “I want to play with it! Let’s go shopping!” So, yeah, I guess there’s that.

The girls’ stockings each contained pretty much the same stuff (Minnie Mouse stickers from the JoAnn’s dollar aisle, FTW!) including a spiky rubber bouncy ball that lights up with a flashing red and blue strobe when you hit or bounce it. Ellie’s was blue and Zoey’s was purple. Come Christmas morning, however, we couldn’t get Zoey’s to light up. Of course, she knew it was supposed to since Ellie’s did, so we couldn’t pretend it was just a bouncy ball. It was easy to see Zoey was really disappointed that her ball was broken. So I did what any self-respecting mother would do: I suggested that maybe a reindeer had stepped on it and broken it. (When in doubt, blame Santa or those connected with him. Hey, if that fat man is going to get the credit for all the cool gifts, he’s also going to have to shoulder some blame now and then. Amirite?)

So. Much. Playdoh.
So. Much. Playdoh.

Zoey seemed to take the suggestion as fact and even seemed somewhat amused at the idea, although still a bit sad. Later, however, we got a tiny Christmas bouncy ball miracle. Grandpa (my dad) did something super high-tech with the ball, like bounce it really hard or something, and lo and behold, it worked! So then Zoey was all “A reindeer broke my ball but Grandpa fixed it! Grandpa is the best Grandpa in the whole wide world!” She was happy and all was right with the world and Christmas was henceforth perfect.

Ellie making Grandma smile
Ellie making Grandma smile

Two days after Christmas, we drove to Idaho to play in the snowy snowless mountains with all of Zach’s family. Of course, the balls went with us. The girls were delighted when it got dark out and we were still driving and they could make their balls flash blue and red in the dark to their little hearts’ content. The dang things are so stinking bright, I thought someone would mistake us for a police car and try to pull over. I may have also tried to place a bet with Zach on which child would be the first to have a seizure from the freaking strobes.

Anyway, we got to the severely-lacking-in-snow cabin and there were about 64,000 of Zoey and Eleanor’s cousins running around (ok, really only five but when there are seven children under the age of seven and three of those are one year olds, it seems like a lot more). To make a long story short, Zoey’s purple ball ended up disappearing never to be seen again. I even took a flashlight and looked under every piece of furniture in the place, but no luck. The travel gnomes had nabbed it and it was never coming back. Once again, a sad Zoey.

Fast forward five days to our (12 hour long!!!!!!) drive back to Seattle. We stopped in Yakima for dinner (hey, it’s “The Palm Springs of Washington!”) as we usually do. The wait for a table at the Applebees on New Year’s Day was going to be half an hour so, while waiting, we strolled across the parking lot to the Toys R Us so the girls could run around and stretch their legs and imaginations for a bit. And what to my wondering eyes should appear but, spiky bouncy light up balls! A bin full! And there was even one purple one left! And in the dollar aisle, no less! (The original had cost me four times that much!). I quickly fashioned some kind of lame “save the magic” story for Zoey (“Wow! Santa must shop here too!”) and we bought a replacement ball. Once again, all is right with the world and Zoey is happy. Although dang protective of her ball.

And that was the Christmas of the Doomed Purple Bouncy Ball. Or, as Zoey would say, “And that’s what its all about. The end.”

See you next week!

5 thoughts on “The Christmas of the Doomed Purple Bouncy Ball

  1. I. Hate. Those. Balls. Lol. They never seem to work when we want them to and when they do, I do fear seizures!! With that being said, it is a bit of fun to toss them around outside after dark…as long as you get to them before they stop blinking!

    Your pictures are beautiful, glad it was such a magical Holiday. 🙂 I can’t wait until next year when our Little Man is 3!

    And thanks for the idea. Santa brought our Little Man an odd toy I think I’ll blog about!

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