We are back, loaded with presents and pastries. It was an interesting week, one in which I was deprived of my laptop because it needed repairs, so no posting. I'm not sure I would've remembered to; when we first switch to a new schedule I have a tendency to forget things. Anyhow, here are some snippets from our Christmas Adventures:
1) The trip up was the most delightful twelve hours we've ever driven. When there are four adults in the car it seems they can contrive to keep two little kids happy.
2) I was told, by Damm's grandmother, to help myself to her coffee. It's that newfangled kind, with the little cup that brews one cup of coffee and costs about fifty cents each. I tried, I really did, to get my coffee elsewhere, but I have a suspicion that she didn't know about my "three cups to consciousness and the fourth to converse" habit (quotation shamelessly taken from a Julie Czenerda book and which I have adopted as my own).
3) Speaking of coffee, this is the first Christmas I have been gifted coffee. I've never asked for it, but I'm surprised that it's taken this long for someone to think of it, given my coffee mania.
4) Miniorc threw a fit about having to open a present. He's like me: too many people + new surroundings = disaster. Damm's grandmother had wanted them to open a present a night and the Orclette was delighted. Miniorc was wondering why all the adults were pressuring him to tear some paper apart. When we got to the present part-a book-he threw it down on the ground and yelled "No!"
5) Damm and his brothers played ENDLESS rounds of Settlers of Catan and Shanghai. I think they had fun, although those games can get pretty violent in tone (although I have been told that's how they communicate love to each other).
6) The Orclette proved she can be sensitive. One night, about midway through the visit, Damm's grandmother was visibly tired and, like many people, had gotten a bit snippy (bear in mind that my kids get LOUD and have no volume control). The Orclette fled to our bedroom and asked me to sit with her until her great-grandmother had had her "quiet time". After I got over my initial impulse to defend my poor offspring I realized this was a good thing: she had figured out how to make it quiet enough for her great-grandma without being told.
7) I had an awesome time with my sister-in-law. We went shopping, wrapped gifts, baked cookies (well, she baked cookies and I watched as she masterfully flew threw the kitchen whipping up dainties and delights).
8) My parents came for a couple of days and they brought Damm's favoritist game ever: Diplomacy. Turns out my dad had played the game when he was younger and they eagerly pored over the instructions for a couple of hours.
9) I ordered 12 Angry Men, Blueray, Criterion edition for my brother. He ordered 12 Angry Men, Blueray, Criterion edition for my dad. My dad ordered 12 Angry Men, Blueray, Criterion edition for my brother. My brother called me later to laugh over our "gift of the Magi" episode.
10) I pulled the muscle I was supposed to be resting by getting out of Damm's grandmother's incredibly comfy couch. No one believed me and defended the couch, but I know when my muscle began to spasm and it was as I got out of the couch.
11) Damm spent two hours putting together the kitchen set his grandmother had gotten the kids. They were properly grateful and spent another two hours playing happily with it, although Miniorc began to open some of the play food that came with it in hopes of eating it.
12) Last night I had planned to stay up after putting the kids to bed. We were going to watch "Conan" (the new one) and enjoy a night alone at last. I had underestimate the power of a 3 a.m. wake up followed by eleven hours of driving. I fell asleep while putting the kids to bed, woke up some time later and dragged myself out to the living room, and then fell asleep cuddled next to Damm while he played a video game. Not exactly romantic, but we did get alone time of a sort.
So there you are. We are back, there's no-place like home etc. I go back to work tonight, we go back to our frugalish diet and we start prepping for the upcoming semester. It's going to be a doozy: Damm's parents are moving due to a familial issue so it's just us now (something I do not fault them for, I'd be moving if I were in their situation). My parents are planning on moving here this summer so the fall semester will hopefully be easier but I'm increasingly glad that I have a very easy course load this semester. Enough of the doldrums. Today I brave the shops to scour the discounted Christmas stuff. It's gonna be fun.