It has been such a busy month that I’ve barely had a chance to sit down at my computer. While I thought this holiday season was going to be filled with quiet moments and lots of sitting around our new fireplace, somehow we ended up out enjoying the cold weather or entertaining friends!
I guess I’ll go right back to the beginning of the festivities with Willem’s birthday which we celebrated on December 23rd, the day before his actual birthday. This is probably the last year that he will let me get away with combining his birthday party with a Christmas Open House, which gives us the chance to see all of our friends whom we haven’t seen in a long time. The kids this year had a blast running around the house, although it is one of the few times that I have felt our place is a bit small for this kind of thing. I guess as the kids get older, they get louder and more rambunctious! It was a great party, complete with a Dairy Queen ice-cream cake for Wimwim with none else than mousies on top! (Two of his favourite things in life!)
The next day, Christmas Eve, was relatively quiet. I was supposed to go to work except that a power outage (caused by a rat biting through some electrical equipment) cut out the power to our building and it was doubtful that the servers would be back up. So I decided to take the day as a holiday instead of waiting around the office.
We let Willem open up his birthday presents from the party the night before and he was absolutely spoiled—lots of pirate Playmobile and other goodies! When Chris got home early in the afternoon, he opened up the rest of the presents from the family.
We had a lovely evening of cheese fondue and soup and the kids each got to open one gift from under the tree. The kids actually went to bed fairly early because they were afraid that they would miss out on Santa if they weren’t asleep. According to NORAD (the Santa Tracker), Santa was already over Toronto and making his way across the country to Vancouver!
Christmas morning, the kids snuck downstairs to check out their stockings. They took them upstairs where they were allowed to open them. Overhearing their conversation was absolutely priceless and I so wish that I had recorded it…maybe next year! They were so impressed with everything that Santa left for them, but the highlights were probably the alarm clocks for the boys.
Needless to say, while the kids tried to be quiet as I had warned them not to wake us up, the excitement that was bubbling was impossible to damper. We all got out of bed and I started making Christmas breakfast. It works best for us (aka no meltdowns) to eat breakfast first and then get to the gift opening as everyone is a bit sensitive to sugar-lows. Not to mention, there was a considerable amount of chocolate in their stockings that got eaten up in their beds. Chris learned a long time ago, with Izzy, what happens when you feed young children copious amounts of sugar (a candy necklace, I believe it was) before they’ve had their breakfast!
Everyone opened their presents slowly and because there wasn’t such a massive haul, we all got to enjoy watching each person as they discovered what surprise was beneath the wrapping paper. So much fun to watch them. We all got a bit spoiled and it was a lovely morning. Thank you everyone for the wonderful and thoughtful presents. Despite not being all together with family, everyone was in our minds!
After cleaning up a bit, they got busy with their new toys, books and games. I think that for the rest of the holiday, Ineke lived in her new sleeping bag. She would jump around from room to room and not get out. I put my foot down when she arrived at the table to eat while still wearing it!
We headed out to downtown to go ice-skating at Robson Square. It is a small rink and it was packed, but we did a lot of skating there over the holidays! Bas and Ineke got new skates from Oma Dolphin and we wanted to give them a go, so we all went down. While we were skating, Chris went out and got us special hot chocolate and gingerbread coffee! Mmmm.
Back at home, the preparations began for Christmas dinner. Nelly, her cousin Amy and Amy’s sister Karen along with Mark, Elis, and Valentina all joined us for Christmas dinner. The menu: prawn bisque (thanks to Mark!), beef tenderloin, prawns, salad and mashed potatoes. For dessert, a warm sticky toffee pudding! It was all delicious. Valentina had a sleep over that night, but Mark and Elis had to drive back.
The rest of the holidays included dinners with friends, Valentina’s birthday party, a trip to Whistler to play in the snow and lots of skating and relaxing! We also had friends over for dinner to bring in the new year!
January 1st we spent the day recovering from the late evening before, but that didn’t stop Rann, Ella and myself from jumping into the ocean for our own “Polar Bear Swim”! Very, very cold! But refreshing and a great way to bring in 2013!!