As an update to my last post let me say that once Christmas was over the kids’ behavior became much better. I think the whole unknown of the holidays just had them out of their minds. As for me, my first Christmas as a mom of 3, and of 2 who believe in Santa and understand the whole Christmas process, I will never be able to express my delight and relief that Christmas is over! For someone who hates shopping, the last minute gifts, stocking stuffers and taking the kids shopping for each other made me want to jump in the ocean and swim to the Bahamas. Truly. I will say that it was fun to create some new traditions for the kids. Their favorite was snack-a-rama - no real dinner on Christmas eve, just a lot of crackers, cheeses, meats, veggies, fruit and cookies to snack on all night while watching movies and playing games. It was one of my favorite traditions when my nephews were little and now there are others in my family who love it too! Somehow we all survived the holidays and have a house full of toys to prove it.
After our visit with Kevin’s parents we headed over to Sarasota, Florida to visit more family. It was a great chance for the kids to see the Gulf of Mexico and to experience white sandy beaches. When Daniel first saw the white beach he said “Is that snow?” He had to go feel it to believe it was actually sand. We also got to go visit the Big Cat Habitat and Sanctuary that had bears, goats, monkeys, lions, tigers, ligers and birds. We loved it! It was fun for the kids to see another part of Florida and to visit Pat, Dave and Sam who we love so much. And to eat Pat’s to die for homemade mac and cheese! Before we knew it, it was time to leave our beloved Florida and head to Denver to visit some of my family. All of whom hadn’t met the kids yet. We got visits in with my 91 year old Grandma, my best friend Tami and her mom, my aunt and uncle, my cousin and her wonderful little boys who I adore, and my stepbrother. It was a great trip and I was so happy everyone got to meet the kids.
It’s fun to watch the kids meet their new family members. At first they just kind of sit back and take everything in and after a little bit it’s as if they have known them all their lives. It is also awesome to watch our family members embrace the kids and welcome them into the family. When you think about it it is really kind of a weird situation. Just out of the blue getting a couple of kids, raising them and being responsible for their every need and want. Then introducing them to your loved ones who are virtual strangers to them. Everyone trying to get to know everyone. But in the end it’s just the simplicity of family.
Our 3 week trip was full of adventure. Our first Christmas together, me forgetting to pack enough seizure medication for Jackson, seeing a new part of America, meeting new family members, lots of rental cars, 86 degree weather in Florida, snow in Denver, and a canceled flight. Agatha Christie summed up our trip when she said “It is astounding in this world how things don’t turn out at all the way you expect them to.”