Saturday, January 11, 2014

Holiday Happenings

Here's our millions of december pictures

Playtime with Julia's buddy Jack. She may get punched in the face or body slammed while playing with him, but she doesn't let that deter her love for him! 
Julia's buddies Gus, Walter and Victor. They are waiting for the Santa Ship to dock at Lopez.

there it is! Santa is on board, as well as pirates and clowns. 
in an ultimate display of bizarre holiday blending, the kids are plied with balloon pirate swords from the clowns and encouraged to duke it out with each other and the pirates while they wait to talk to Santa. candy canes are liberally dispensed in case there's not enough excitement already. 
The wait for Santa is long. epically long, but Julia is determined to see him. She wants to tell him to please bring her the blue doll. (thankfully I bought her the doll prior to knowing that she'd be fixated on asking for this doll all month!) then she got a present of a wooden elephant and dog puppet and bag of candy! thanks Lions Club!
meanwhile, I'm getting bigger all the time! 5 months along! 
Julia's godmomma Bekah comes to visit. Julia is very pleased. 
we get snow!!!! a whole two inches, but just enough to cancel school on the last day before vacation. We make a snowman as soon as it was light enough to see outside and a good thing we did because snow soon turned to rain and by afternoon it was pretty much gone. 
we set up our tree, made epic amounts of Christmas cookies and I tried to get Julia to make presents for others, though she struggled with wanting to keep everything she made or to only bestow gifts on my brother Olaf. 
We left the island for Christmas, easier said than done, for the day we chose to leave, a ferry broke and it took us a good 10 hours to actually get off the island. It was a supremely frustrating day for me, but I guess it's a good thing that it has taken us 4 months to have a issue with the ferry like this.
For the first part of Christmas, we went to Grandpa Dave's. He whipped up a swing in a matter of minutes to satisfy Julia's urgent desires to swing (like the "wonder pets" do)

it was hard for Julia to wait for morning to open presents, and harder still to get to sleep. She took a nap over the Christmas eve feast, which was attended by Dave's Dad's family and then just as she was getting to bed for real, Auntie Anna arrived and sleep went out the door for the next 4 hours. Poor Anna had to share a bed with Julia and got to reassure her every 15 minutes that it was not yet morning. In the actual morning, Dave let out a loud HO HO HO from our room and Julia just gasped. 
Presents were finally opened! Julia had left Santa a cookie trail from the fireplace in the living room to the Christmas tree in the den and Santa had left her a note! 
then we got dressed and ate breakfast and left for Grandma Gini's house where more presents were opened, more feasting was had and an afternoon of playing with more relatives unfolded. We had to leave by mid afternoon to go catch the ferry back, and good thing we did because my family arrived early and caught the same ferry we did!  
Grandma Gini's family
Julia finally had her "Ofo" here and we managed to convince the youngers to hold off till morning for Christmas #3. My family stayed in various combinations for the majority of a week, and much feasting was had, interspersed with:
lessons in pie making
toy assembly 
touring the lovelier parts of Lopez 
loving on the aunties and uncles
jumping on the new (old) trampoline!
dancing to "princess music" 
tea parties
lord of the rings monopoly 
more pie baking
and finally, the departure of the majority of my family, one more new year's eve hurrah with Dave's brother and niece, and an empty house for a day, then the surprise visit of another of my brothers!
so a little more family fun was had, then we were left with the echoes of Christmas past, and the pine needles of the present. Those were eventually cleaned up and we got through the too quiet days until life started up again. Preschool, ballet, school, meetings, are all back and I'm sorry the holidays are done, but glad for the routine to be back. 
Julia's had a harder transition out of the holiday mode, with tantrums and mood swings occurring with vexing regularity. What to blame though, withdrawing from the sugar consumed? mourning the loss of attention from so many? subconscious knowledge of huge changes ahead this spring? simply the trials of being 3? whatever it is, I hope it passes soon. The rain has been frequent, and my moods frequently bleak to match. the cartoons have been dispensed too liberally while I sit, for long hours medicating with books, longing for spring, trying to be in the present, soaking up every moment of solitude and knowing with fear and gladness that it will soon be lost for a good long while.