Holiday Round-up

We are very fortunate in that Michael has Christmas week off. They have mandatory shut-down, so though most of the days are personal holidays, we are always guaranteed a week off. This year it was nice as it started a couple of days before—I like having the 24th on a Sunday! On the 23rd we had some friends round for the afternoon. We had a really nice visit with them, and had a cake to celebrate Hazel’s birthday. She did most of the cake herself and the decorating of it. It was simply done and she was pleased with the end result.

Christmas Eve was a lovely day. We had Hazel’s present’s first thing in the morning. She got some of the Katie meets…books, some Hama beads and some jewellery. We also bought tickets to take her to her 1st ballet-Swan Lake. We then headed in to town to get a few more things for the week to come and had a good wander around. Nice to shop on Christmas Eve when you aren’t hunting for a last minute gift. I found two lovely shawls for myself and enjoyed using one in the evening. Back home again to light the fire and make some mince pies. We were fairly impressed with our first attempts, and will do them again next year.

Christmas Day: Before bed the kids had their nightly bath and put on their new pyjamas. I love buying the Christmas pyjamas every year–it just brightens the night and morning for me. Nothing like brand new red pj’s! The children then got a plate ready for Father Christmas and one for Rudolph. None of the other reindeer exist in my children’s minds. Then off to bed at almost 9pm after another reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This late bed time was well over an hour later for my two, which seemed to be the trend all week. It seemed to do the trick for Hazel—she actually fell asleep and stayed so till just after 8am! We were thrilled–not because she slept late, but because she slept through the night! I know this doesn’t sound much to most people—but Hazel has been terrified of Father Christmas coming and we are usually up till almost 3am before she gives in on Christmas Eve. It was nice to have a good nights rest on Christmas Eve.

Kieran was up just after 7:30am and came into us first as always. It was about 20 minutes later when he asked if I thought Father Christmas had come yet. No fear of my two charging downstairs on their own on Christmas morning! They really are terrified of running into him! So we had a leisurely lie in before going downstairs. They were happy with what they saw—but as always one toy was the hit. Wind-up torches in their stockings were the hit of the day! Everything else, except the scooters, could have been tossed out and I don’t think they would have noticed. They are really easy to please. My two don’t write lists and have no idea you can actually requests toys, which I think makes it easier as they have no expectations, so none can be ruined! Hazel received lots of Petite Little Ponies, more Legos and tons of real paints, pastels and proper painting paper. Kieran has more Lego and more construction toys and building things. The scooters were a hit—but as it rained until after dinner, they had to wait to try them out.

We spent most of the day relaxing and playing. Michael was playing the Lego as happily as the kids—didn’t realize he liked them this much! I spent some time packing as we were going away for a couple of nights in the morning. After dinner we made some laminated book-markers for their cousins and Grandparents and finished wrapping all the gifts to take with us.

Boxing Day saw us up and getting ready to head up north. We were due at his parents at about 2pm for a 3pm dinner. We had a good run through and were there by 1:30pm. The kids had fun seeing everyone and the whole family had a nice roast dinner. It was our first time going up during the Christmas holidays-which was nice as it coincided with Abigail’s 1st Christmas. We didn’t get to our hotel till just after 9pm and all feel asleep fairly quickly.

The next day Michael and I decided to take the kids into Liverpool to the Maritime Museum at the Albert Dock. We were so surprised how few people were there. I always think it’s a shame when good museums are left empty, though I do like walking around without a crowd. We had a nice wander round and enjoyed the dock as well as the museum. We then went back to his folks for dinner and so that Michael could raid their attic for his old Lego kits. As I said—I didn’t know he liked them that much! We’ll be joining Legoland this year!

We got back to the hotel late again, and I think the kids and I were fast asleep minutes after their bath. We still woke up late, so didn’t get on the road till 10am. We came home and had some lunch before heading out to Costco for a stock-up on paper products and pizza for dinner.

On Sunday my cousin and her girls came round for the afternoon. The kids had fun playing together as usual. Though I still think my two want Katelyn here all the time! They have that extra bond with her because she spent so many nights with us last year. Though I have to say—my cousin has been cancer free for 10 months—which is the longest it’s been in almost 4 years. Fingers crossed!

New Years Eve was spent at our friends. They have a little party each year, so it’s nice to see all their other friends as well. Hazel and their daughter Naomi both decided 11pm was long enough, so we decided to leave before everyone left the pubs. I so don’t like driving that night. It was great though—when we were driving along we had hit some patches of fog. Earlier in the week I was explaining it to the kids so they were thrilled to see the real thing. This kept them awake till we got home, so we didn’t have to wake them to get them ready for bed. And that was the end of 2007. A year that started really well, and ended better!

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