The last two nights John has slept in the spare bedroom to get up with Hope (alias the girl with the tiniest bladder) when needed. Hope is in the bad habit of getting up three times a night on average to go pee. I am nursing a cold and it wasn't getting better when I was traipsing upstairs in the ungodly hours so John took mercy on my and moved up stairs temporarily. He's been able to now train her to go by herself although she's still getting up just as often. The why of it all remains a mystery. She normally gets up once to go to the bathroom. She doesn't seem to have a bladder infection. All this to say that I am indeed starting to feel a bit better. Today I can almost breathe out of both sides of my nose!
This all means that I have the energy and wherewithal to post about the week at my dad's.
We had an amazing time. I knew the kids would be enthralled (as usual) with satellite t.v. since we don't have t.v. with us on our adventure year. I didn't know they'd be so thrilled with all the outdoor time. We walked on the lake which was frozen enough even for snowmobiles (we didn't do that this time but it's on the agenda for our next visit). The wind was wicked but the girls lazed about on the sleds and didn't really notice.
On afternoon we spent lots of time tobogganing on the old road that is no longer used for cars - just snowmobiles, dogs, deer and people - and is right outside the back door of the house. It was great fun - Hope kept going and going and going long after Emily retreated inside. John and I loved it as much as Hope. I was amazed that Hope never asked for help walking up the hills. (No photo of Hope because she was riding with the photographer.)
Following every outdoor activity was time in the outdoor hot tub. Emily's favourite day was when she got to go in there with "the big girls" - Donna's nieces - with no grown-ups intruding. She talked about it for the rest of the day.
Of course we also opened presents and sat by the fire and John and I had a few good games of crokinole. By the end of our visit, we knew we had to come back soon for more. The beauty of my dad's house is that it is very secluded and surrounded by forest - it really is a winter retreat. The only thing that breaks the silence of winter is the sound of snowmobiles going across the lake in front of the house but I suppose that is more on weekends and holidays than any other time. While eating breakfast on our last day I even watched a hawk swoop in front of the deck and down to the trees on the shoreline. You can't get that here. Unless you're walking in the cemetery of course - and then you might see one chowing down on a possum.
Back at the ranch, the Christmas tree is down and outside (as of this morning), the furniture rearranged, the floors swept and everything (almost) boxed up. De-Christmasification almost complete!
And now I have a list of jobs and projects I want to get to this month: sorting through the older toys and giving away things that are no longer played with, sorting and reorganizing all the craft supplies, organizing closets. I need to winter clean!
And then of course, back to routines of preschool and school and swimming lessons and play groups. I do look forward to the post-Christmas return to normalcy.
But with a few new toys to play with of course.