Monday, January 16, 2017

'Twas the Week Before Christmas

On December 20, we woke up in the pitch black wee hours of the winter morning to drive to the airport and catch a plane to Tucson.  After a looooooong security line, and a comparatively quick flight, we arrived in Tucson.  
 It took no time at all for the children to make themselves at home.  Grandpa broke the ice with a bunch of wild little toy cars that flipped themselves over when they hit an obstacle.
 B was soon reunited with his cousin, Ryan.  These boys get very little supervision together.  After a couple of days in Tucson, we were driving home from the Campbells' house and B announced, "Me and Ryan say potty words."  This was news to no one, but after some intervention they improved their language.
 Sammy was reunited with "Bappa and Bappa."  In a few days he was identifying "Ramma" as a separate person from Bampa.
 Todd was reunited with the hammock, and Eloise got back into her beloved flip flops.

 We were happy to get to spend lots of time with cousins.  We went to Winterhaven to look at the lights.  Uncle Fred was able to meet us there, which was fantastic.  He lives in Tucson now, and was anticipating being alone for Christmas, so we had him join us for some of our activities.  Sammy immediately attached himself to his great uncle.  He called him "Bred," and summoned him with a hand motion and a, " 'mon, Bred!" (as in "come on, Fred!").
 We enjoyed the lovely weather with some hikes through the desert.  This hike along Julian Wash was notable for its proximity to the train tracks.
 At first Sammy was frightened by the volume of the train horns as they crossed Rita Road, but he asked to see more trains every time there was no train passing.
 The kids ended up in the wash, where the damp sand from all of Tucson's recent rain storms made a great plaything.  The cousins could have stayed there all day, but we were a mile from the nearest bathroom, and nine kids under ten years old can't hold it forever.  (Megan stayed back with Colette for nap time).
 And then it was Christmas Eve.  Justin found his missing hair!
 Then Todd stole it.
 Arizona: The land of the ugly Christmas t-shirt.  What's a sweater?
 After hours of fun, food, games, and chaos, we had our annual cousin nativity performance.  This was the most organized nativity they have ever done.  Maybe there is some benefit in children getting older.
 We were so happy to have Uncle Fred with us for Christmas Eve.  He is tireless with repetitive preschool games.  Sammy looks a lot like a baby Todd in this picture.
Eventually we got everyone bathed, in pajamas, and laying out their stockings for Santa Clause.  What seemed like hours later (I was tired) they finally went to sleep, anticipating Christmas surprises in the morning.  Anticipation is half of the fun of Christmas.

No comments: