On Christmas Eve, just as we climbed into bed, church bells rang out across the sleepy neighbourhood. Midnight Mass on Lygon Street, we realised, and wished one another a drowsy "Happy Christmas" before resting our weary heads. Two hours later we were awake again, changing and feeding a hungry baby. Then again another two hours after that. When Harry woke and fed a third time only another two hours later, it was time to admit defeat. We carried both wide-awake-though-we-wished-they-weren't babies downstairs, woke our big baby Emily, and by half past six in the morning, everyone was sitting on the carpet in the lounge room in their pyjamas, surrounded by a sea of wrapping paper and witnessing the steady depletion of the satisfyingly fat Santa sacks that Father Christmas had filled overnight.
Weary, weary bones aside, yesterday was filled with joy.
Joy in waking up with Madeleine, Harry and Emily all in our house together, the first time we'd had the children with us on Christmas morning EVER. Joy in children's faces when they opened their presents (Madeleine saying "Wowwww" at everything, just because it was fun to say). Mr B's favourite Elvis Christmas album playing in the background. Friends and Meg joining us for breakfast: croissants, muesli, summer fruits, shimmering glasses of prosecco.
Sweet, plump Harry, not featured in any of these photographs because he slept through the entire breakfast, upstairs, catching up after a busy night of baby gluttony.
Later, Emily dressed up in an inflatable Santa costume and walked up to a local cafe to buy coffees for us all, in the process bringing joy and laughter to every passer-by. (This adventure will warrant a post of its own so stay tuned). And in the afternoon, more friends and extended family came by for wine and cheese and fruit and leftovers, and the house was awash with excited, overtired children, toys and pieces of toys, pets, paper, tinsel and laughter.
By the time everyone went home and our babies were in bed, Mr B and I were about ready to collapse. So we did, on the couch, watching Notting Hill on DVD. As we climbed into bed that night there were no church bells, but we whispered "Thank you" to each other, because it had been such a good day.
Two hours later, we were awake again to change and feed a hungry baby...