Thursday, December 28, 2006
Christmas in "The Land of Eternal Spring"
Well, we have arrived home again. However, I thought I should include some thoughts on our first Christmas together as a family. Needless to say it was wonderful!
Presents: Garrett thoroughly enjoyed ripping the paper and then to discover there were BOOKS inside! Wow! What a treat! We read his new books again and again. He discovered a new trick -- point to a picture and have Mom or Dad repeat what it was. Of course, he had to show how smart he is by pointing to the picture of juice, then picking up his juice cup to show Dad. As for Elena, she thought ripping the paper was very fun, especially afterwards it was quite tasty. As for the books, well, they tasted pretty good, too!
Christmas Eve: We dressed the kids in the Santa jumpers that my mom bought them. Everyone in the hotel commented on how cute they were. Pictures together were a challenge, as Elena is not quite sitting on her own yet (to be expected by a Guatemalan baby who spends all her time in her foster mother's arms), and Garrett always wanted to takeoff in his own direction. The only way we were able to get a photo of them together was either when Garrett finally conked out in the baby room in the bouncy seat, or by the tree for just a minute before Garrett wiggled and Elena crashed forward, face first. The best was after dinner though. At about 8:30 every night Elena's personality would really begin to break through. She would start to giggle, blow raspberries at Chris, me or Garrett, and then demonstrate the power of her voice at eardrum-splitting levels. Of course, all of this cracked Garrett up enormously, and they fed off each other for well over an hour. So much for sleep! Finally they crashed out at about 11:30, followed shortly thereafter by Chris. I, on the other hand, decided to stay up and watch the fireworks at midnight. It was the most spectacular sight I have ever seen after seeing in person my children for the first time. Fireworks literally rimmed the entire city, and they were shot off at rapid pace for almost twenty minutes. People inside the city shot off their own bottle rockets and firecrackers. It was a beautiful sight to celebrate the start of Christmas day. Of course, it also sounded as if the city was under attack, but it didn't have that feel.
Christmas Day: After dressing the little ones in their finery, we went downstairs for breakfast. Elena and Garret sat in their high chairs (sillitas) while Chris and I tried to also eat. I had a hard time eating because I was watching the two of them interacting and just laughing at the joy of it. Elena would babble and blow raspberries in Garrett's direction. Meanwhile, Garrett stared at her ernestly, nodding his head, and making some comments in response. I have no idea what they were discussing, but it was wonderful. Of course, when I started to laugh out loud, Elena gave me a look as if to say, "Excuse me. My brother and I are trying to have a conversation here." Shortly after breakfast they both crashed out, as did Chris and I after our short night (Garrett liked to wake at 5:30, regardless of the time he went to sleep). The only way we could get a photo that day was to hold them in our arms and beg a stranger to snap the shot. After the requist photo we all changed into more comfortable clothes and enjoyed a nice meal with new friends that we made in the baby lounge.
Ah, what a wonderful life we lead, and what a wonderful way to spend Christmas!