(The above baby elephant has spent a great deal of time with us since Christmas Day, and Kitch has been mysteriously vanishing for extended periods of time. Hmm).
I entered Christmas week with some trepidation. My introverted, tradition-loving soul anticipated all the changes now that three little ones are the stars of the show, which included NOT spending all day, every day reading, shopping, eating, watching movies, and knitting. Everyone who spoke to us before Christmas commented on how excited we must be this year, and Geoff and I both agreed that this particular feeling was not at the forefront for us.
I am, therefore, tremendously thankful for everyone's sake, to be able to say that we have had a lovely week. I have read, shopped, eaten, watched movies, and brought out my knitting (not started yet), albeit in smaller doses. I ended up enjoying watching the kiddos unwrap their gifts: they seem to enjoy their new items, and expressed lots of appreciation for them (the way they often take their possessions for-granted made me a bit reluctant to indulge them with more, more, more - although we tried to fill "gaps" by choosing things that are new to them, and have various creative and learning potentials). And since it's not all about me, I have been very glad that the kids' first Christmas with us has been marked by peace, joy, and positive experiences, as we knew this might be a time of mixed emotions for the boys. (Actually, their coping and behaviour has been remarkable this week - when things settle down and there is less adult attention to go around, we may see some challenges, but are glad things have gone smoothly to this point).
Having my parents here during the holidays every year has sometimes seemed stressful in terms of extra stuff, sounds, routines, etc. in the house, but I must say that this year, despite being unsure how having house guests would work out, things have been excellent. Geoff and I also managed to get out for a number of hours for a belated anniversary shopping, dinner out, and movie outing (just in town this year, but lovely nonetheless) while my parents provided child care (thanks)!
While we are spending a very unglamourous New Year's Eve at home, with children fighting colds and fevers (ok, so minus the children and illness, tonight is not too far from our usual brand of festivities), and while we continue to adjust (sometimes, still, with discomfort) to our new-ish lives and roles, all is as it should be as we enter 2012.
Merry Christmas, and a fulfilling, peace-filled New Year to you!