Christmas Celebrations

Day 119 – Butterfly kisses, Roller skating and hitting the wall.

Merry Christmas or as they say in Ireland “Happy Christmas”.  Up at 6:30.but I think for Asta it was more about getting something to eat but for Sol it was about wanting to get her stockings down from the door where they were hung.  She was gung ho to get going with presents.  Grandpa and Daddy slowed her down a bit with a plate of Christmas cookies.  I mean who wouldn’t eat cookies at 7 am in the morning on Christmas.

Once they got into the swing of things it turned out to be Asta who was the present opener champion, at least for awhile.  Once she  came upon her butterfly wings it was all over. We had two butterflies running from one end of the house to the other and it was wonderful and funny.  By about 10:30 they had finally opened or at least skimmed over their presents and had had a little real food in their tummies.

We all got dressed and then went for a walk around Tacoma Park MD to see the stores and various sites as Sol tried to roller skate and fly at the same time.  Hard to do really but it was an adventure for all.  What a beautiful day with family and such fun to share a Christmas morning with little kids. Been a long time since we had little kids and a Christmas tree and this kind of a day.  Quite fun. We also skyped with Norah so she could see the girls open their presents from Norah and Andrew which were a collection of wonderful books and then Dan so he could watch them open his gift which Grandpa had to supervise their play with later since it was mouldable sand.

At noonish we had “brunch” of pancakes, waffles, sausages and the last of the maple bacon we had been snacking on all morning. It was all very good.

Asta and I took a couple of hours nap. First we read the book I brought the girls about Paris and showed her the places we had visited and then a book of her choice. Then we both conked out until 3:20  when her dad came up and said if I was going to church I better get up.

I took Mor-Mor over to the place she is going to be living in which is about 10 minutes from the kids house.  A lovely facility which will make it easier for visiting her and having her over for sunday dinner etc.  There were only about 12 people at the Mass so it was very nice.  The Priest was a Benedictine Monk who comes there to help out.  We also made it back without getting lost.

Christmas dinner was wonderful. Salmon, Pork, veggies and mashed. Then more play.  Asta was playing teacher and was taking the roll.  She was very firm about people speaking up and telling her they were present. It was cute to watch and to answer properly.

There are tons of presents under the tree. So I think everyone had a good day.  I was glad to get to Mass as this Christmas has not been feeling alot like Christmas since we were not with our home community and the house was not decorated and it was like watching other people celebrate the holiday and just being on the fringe of it.

I also realized today that I do have some jet lag.  Life has been so busy since we got off the plane that even with good nights sleeps I am beat. I hope by the 28th. I will be in better shape.  Just tired of being tired.

A few pictures from Christmas festivities.

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Day 118 – rain, rain, rain and smiles and hugs & Nollaig Shona Duit’

Well, today started out very interesting.   I woke up first at 4:30. wow it was early.  Was not feeling great but tried to sleep again and we both were up by 7 and getting ready to leave.  So we were very pleased that we got going before 9 am. Went to the bank, and Stewarts for coffee then as we drove down Rt. 7 my check engine light came on.  So we turned around and went back to the house and changed cars.  Just another adventure in life.

It rained most of the day  and there was some pretty dense fog from time to time. But the treat was that the traffic was not as bad as we expected and we got to Washington DC in 7 hours. That was fabulous.   Big hugs were waiting for us when we arrrived. Nothing like it.  I got a tour of the house from Sol and got to see their little attic play area which is not tall enough for a five year old to stand up in. Definitely kids stuff.

Had a good dinner = norwegian first recipt with almonds, onions, lemon, asparagus, and cole slaw.  INteresting combination and quite good.  Maya is busy wrapping, her mom was wrapping some things as well. Ian just grabbed stockings and went in the wrapping room and closed the door so I guess some Santa magic is happening.

The girls were thrilled to have grandpa here to jump all over and dance and sing songs with.  They are pretty cute little things. I think they are going to try and sleep in the big bed with us which will be interesting… who will get thrown out first. Grandpa or Grandma…. They tend to roll around a lot.  Little Bear got a cut on her hand today and at the hospital they glued her hand rather than stitching it.

Have some pictures to add of the cuteness.  I think a good nights sleep is called for as tomorrow should be a wild day between Santa, family gifts and just general chaos.  Some time we might take a walk around Tacoma Park to see what it is like there.  NIce they are in a walkable town…

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Day 117 – Funny and Fun times

Getting back into this culture and just plain living is so interesting.  Last night in the middle of the night at some time both Denis and I woke up and got up to go to the bathroom with one problem.  Where is the door and which way to I go? It was the strangest feeling in the pitch dark not being sure where I was.  Over breakfast we discovered we both had the same experience. It was good for a laugh.

I went off the the pharmacy to get scripts refilled and to drive the car at least once before we head out tomorrow for DC.  Strange feeling driving after four months.  It was not a problem but initially was concerned that I might be.

Stopped at the homes of our neighbors who watched the house and picked up our mail for us while we were gone. Had  brought them back a little thank you gift. It was good to see them all again.  We are so lucky to have the neighbors we have.  Tonight we are going to Tim and Dianes for dinner and will be joined by Norah and Dan.  Andrew has to stay home and babysit for the puppies.  OH well, having two little ones is a handful.

Could not believe I was there packing a suitcase again today. Thought I was done with that for a while.  But it will be exciting to go and see the little girls tomorrow. Hard to believe it is Christmas eve already.  It is as if we missed the entire Christmas season this year.  Galway was well decorated but our apt wasn’t and the house isn’t.  I promise next year I will go all out and go back to having a party which gets me in the mood for this season.

We heard from Maya that the girls were practicing kissing Grandpa today.  Sol wrapped a fuzzy scarve around her head to simulate the big bearded one.  It must have been a hoot.  Cannot wait to see them.

Will finish this after the party tonight.

Had a great time this evening with the Brennan’s.  Great meal, conversation and gift exchange.  The fun gift was a case of Keogh’s potato chips from Ireland compliments of the lovely Norah.  She gave them to Denis but knew I was very happy to have them in the house. Yummy, best crisps ever!!!!  Tim and Diane gave us a new mailbox…. If we are lucky the town plows will leave a decent looking mail box alone. They have destroyed the ones we had.  Have some pictures of the beautiful Christmas tree and the beautiful people we spent the evening with… So now the holiday has truly begun.

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