All the Fun

My parents flew in on Christmas Eve and I told them we'd meet them at the airport. (We learned after Woo's parents' visit--Sorry, Earl and Anita!). Plus, waiting around the house for Christmas and a grandparent visit to come sounded like kid-torture.

The only hitch was I thought their flight was coming in at 4:15, when really it was 3:15. I discovered that at 2:45 and the airport is an hour away. This wasn't Grandpa's "first rodeo" (exact quote) and they already had their luggage and car when we finally met them.

Grandparents and kids were tired--we didn't have much of a Christmas Eve program, but that was okay, because we had a great one in the morning waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to wake up.

The kids have always been good about doing our usual morning scripture routine on Christmas morning. I was kind of surprised the first Christmas, when they initiated it like it were any other morning, so I just went along with them. But this time we also sang some Christmas carols with a few solos that didn't get to be sung the night before. I loved it, and we managed to stave off present opening until 8:30am.

The kids have had a lot of practice being patient and are generally pretty good at it. Even Archie is getting there. I put presents out a few days early, not completely sure Archie wouldn't sabotage them. And he didn't. He did sneak upstairs to spend time with his largest present, but he didn't open it. Instead he wrapped around and around it with more Christmas print tape. It made for kind of a difficult opening, but he didn't open it early!

The very first present opened was Ruby's keyboard. She immediately popped in the batteries and we opened presents to the constant background noise of standard keyboard tunes and beats. She really loves that present and has spent all her free time fiddling around with it or reading new books.

Herbie, doing a good job of feigning surprise.

Penelope, and the new "brace-lip" Herbie gave her.

No footy pajamas for Linus here; he had to settle for "hoody-pajamas."

The rest of the week was pretty nice and relaxed. We generally went on an exploring walk in the morning, swimming in the hotel pool in the afternoon, and kids filled in the rest of the time with playing with new toys, eating tons and tons of treats or running to the park.

Grandma and Grandpa brought money and warm jackets (and 90% of the treats), which were perfect whenever we were outside (unless it was too hot).

We found lots of hermit crabs and sea anemones and star fish on one beach at low tide. Penelope was excited.

"Mom! It feels like I’m a scientist"

And then she decided she was going to write a book about the ocean. She made plans for her book the whole rest of the walk.

The hotel pool was a HUGE hit (like I knew it would be). We ran into a new (to us) rule--mandatory caps, but found them easily at a Chinese store.

The pool was about 10 meters square with half of it about 3' deep and the other half sloped to about 5'. Penelope and Linus really, really wanted to go to the "deep" end, but I wouldn't let them until they were able to swim 2 lengths of the pool without stopping. The second time at the pool, swimming finally clicked for Linus. He figured out how to get across the pool both ways on his back. Ruby took over his training from there and helped him figure out gliding and swimming on his stomach the whole length too.

Penelope finally got it about 2 minutes before we left on the last day, doing a "backerfly." She spent a happy 2 minutes in the deep end, riding on Ruby's back.

Woo--the most responsible dad in the pool.

Grandma and Grandpa and the pizza they ordered for themselves.

And after another failed attempt, we finally got to ride the bumper cars! Not only were they really open, but we thought we were getting 20, 2 minute rides for 20€. What we really got was 24, 4 minute rides for 20€. It was the perfect amount of time, and Herbie and Moses were in heaven. It was exactly what they'd always dreamed it would be, and Moses thinks he's ready for the streets. He did do the best job of avoiding collisions and he told me a few times that it had been the best day of his life, and he was never going to forget it. (And it wasn't even his birthday; it was Grandma's!).

But don't bring up bumper cars to Archie, he's likely to burst into tears (still), blubbering about how Herbie bumped into his car on purpose.

And that's about it. Hope you had a Merry Christmas!