Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Christmas was a highly anticipated event here at Chez Elemental. There was much food to eat, much wine to drink, stockings and santa sacks to lay out and the distinct whine of the Ryobi as Bingley and his Dad tried to get the swingset completed in time. I finished in good time and wrote on here while sipping away, jumping out of my skin a bit in preparation for how excited the kids would be. The big ones anyway, because at 6 months old, Iwasn't expecting anything more than the general sunny cheerfulness of the Possum. I underestimated the appeal of gifts and wrapping paper though, as my baby boy was well into the spirit the second his eyes clamped on his new parking garage!
The girls were in an orgy of paper ripping and ooooohs and ahhhhs over their gifts. The Monkey had to be persuaded several times to keep looking in her Santa sack and stocking, her eyes big and round as surrounded by loot she found yet another book or pair of undies. And I swear I have never seen a child as excited by a box of pencils in my life. The Elfling being a veteran knew the score and soon had both her packs emptied and piled around her. She was most excited by her new pram and by her Christmas outfit that I made for her, complete with fairy wings (I covet an overlocker, and sewing seams when you're a wee bit tipsy is even harder than it sounds). She certainly looked angelic in it.
As did the Monkey in hers
But the biggest hit of the day, far and away was the swingset. We, being extremely unlike us, were organised this year, and planned, with the our co-conspirator parents to buy a set of swings this year. The plan being to both give the kids something to play with AND to have the convenient side effect of getting them out of the house. We researched, found and purchased the swings and they came in two large flat pack boxes a week or so ago. Obviously "some assembly required". But before we could do anything about the assembly, we needed somewhere to put the swings. Since moving in a few months ago, the yard has been very low on the list of priorities, but with Christmas approaching and a need to swing a mattock and get dirty Bingley, cleared a patch of yard, topsoiled it and ordered some lush Sir Walter to go over the top.
It's a truly lovely grass. Big blades, soft, doesn't require much mowing and doesn't seed. It's heavy as hell though, I could barely lift most of the pieces with my weak girly wrists and much of the task was left to Bingley.
Not that I was slacking. Being unable to lift the big pieces I was left to cut and create the tesselation of small pieces to fit the holes and let me tell you, that the root system of Sir Walter will give you a decent work out. The girls thought the grass was the Best Invention Ever (tm) and could not stop running on it as we laid it while the Possum sat up and grinned at everyone and everything while scrunching his toes in the grass.
Finally it was all finished, and we could all run around on it before giving it a good water.
Which we didn't actually need to do, as literally within seconds of the last piece being put in place, it started to rain and nearly a week later I don't think it has stopped! We actually need to buy a mower now as the grass has already sprouted in a verdant lush green over the whole area. But back to Christmas, when we told the girls to come outside to see their present their eyes were very wide, before they gleefully threw themselves at the swings.
Bingley didn't quite manage to finish them, but the swings were up and useable and the girls used their imagination for the rest. (We completed them on boxing day)
After breakfast of ham and eggs and tomatoes and toast on the back verandah, we headed up to Mum and Dad's place where we feasted again on turkey at the table and popped crackers and wore silly hats and revelled in a further orgy of gift giving. The highlight of the day was actually the Wii that Mum bought for Dad, with competitive games of bowling and baseball being fought in the lounge room on their 52" plasma screen. I still love my board games, but am willing to admit that I may have been a bit dismissive of Wiis - they're lots of fun! (And I'm not just saying that because I am a Wii Bowling prodigy!!)
By 7pm that night we were on our last legs, and though they tried hard, the kids were all tired and getting cranky. So we loaded back in the car and I popped my new Radiohead cd in the player and let the modern lullabies soothe them all to sleep as I chatted sleepily to Bingley for the 90 minute drive home. Pulling into our driveway and seeing the fairy lights out the front, the Christmas tree glinting through the windows was the strongest feeling of home and family I've ever had. We carried our sleeping bundles upstairs and as I tucked them in bed I felt so very full and happy. Christmas has always been my favourite time of year, but this year it just felt complete.
Hope yours was wonderful too.