The holidays are much more meaningful with kids around. I didn't care much about the excitement of Halloween or Thanksgiving for a couple of decades between the age of my childhood and the twins coming into the age of interest. All the crafts and parties and stories have been a real boost of joy for me to join the twins on their celebration of the holidays.
Layla wrote a story at school to demonstrate her skills of first, next, and last. It's about an ice skater who is being mistaken for a Thanksgiving turkey.
We cuddled on the couch while she showed me her awesome cover picture and read the story to me in character.
I used a vacation day Wednesday, then added the work holidays on thursday and friday. Add to that a rare "open" saturday with no soccer or church or work and that turns this into a 4-day lazy-a-thon. Wednesday felt like Saturday and every day since then feels like Sunday. I have these freak out moments where I think, "I should be at church!" even when I logically know what day it is. I can't remember the last time the 4 Webbs spent 4 days straight at home with nothing to do but spend time together. It's been amazing.
The twins wanted to write up their Christmas list so we went to the best place in town to window shop: Toys R Us. With pen and paper in hand we scoured the aisles for whatever trips their trigger.
Layla found several items I never even knew existed. Hair chalk? yes that is a thing. When Layla saw it she squealed, "I've been wanting pink hair for my whole life!" I didn't disagree with her either. She was drawn towards the princess aisle. Every dress and accessory she didn't have turned into the most important thing she wants to get. You know how that goes...
The sunny day and plans for outdoor activity dictated the need for hats. Easton and Layla wanted to wear the hats Papa gave them. I wore my 10 year old Moab hat because it is the most comfortable hat in my closet. It's more obvious with each passing day that I don't give a care about fashion or looking good for anyone except Kendra.
The plans for hiking turned into one-on-one time with Layla. Easton has days where he is hyped up to go hiking and other days where we would rather stay in his room and play. I gave Layla the choice of where to hike and she chose the peaks we always go on. We only made it to the second peak because this was really just a warm up to ice skating right after our outdoor fun. We climbed to the top and surveyed the city around us. I sat for a moment with my eyes closed facing the sun. Layla asked what I was doing. I said, "just recharging my batteries!" I explained how sometimes just a few minutes face to face with the sun feels so good. Especially for a cube-dweller like myself who stays inside most days.
On our way down we hopped and skipped hand-in-hand. Layla and I sing together all the time even when we are descending down the mountain. As we passed other hikers they smiled and laughed because Layla's joy is simply contagious. She asked to do a solo of the song, "Tomorrow" from the movie, Annie. It was her polite way of saying, "just listen to me instead of singing along with me." I agreed and decided to do a little lip sync video to go along with it.
for the past several nights Layla and I have been working on this song together as a duet. other than the tap dancing, I think we're doing really well! Now she calls me Daddy Warbucks occasionally and we both know exactly what she means based on this video clip.
After the hike we went to the ice skating rink. There was no class, but I didn't bother to check the schedule to find out. Luckily, there was a freestyle hour for high-level ice skaters to practice. I begrudgingly paid the extra dollars for her to skate. Watching her practice on her own and do whatever moves she likes most was a good change of pace. Instead of just doing what the instructors tell her each week she was able to do her own thing.
The only family we enjoyed (in person) this Thanksgiving was Kendra's brother Logan and his wife Bree. Our feast was over the top for just the six of us, but we enjoyed the turkey, potatoes, pies and everything else just as if we were a group of 20 people. I chose to keep this day as a "no picture" day for a couple of reasons. We didn't do anything exciting and that was exactly what we desired. kendra stayed in her pajamas until 4PM! that means any picture of her would have been off limits to publish no matter how cute she looked. The second reason is that I want that day to be just in our memories. No posing, no multiple pictures to get one where nobody blinks, and no social media time taken away to post such pics.
I'm not against any of that, but every once in a while I just shut it down completely and the 4 Webbs just "be". I got to Skype with my mom and also Kendra's family. They sat in front of their TV and we chatted it up with many of the aunts and uncles who attended Ouma and Oupa's Thanksgiving dinner.
Just for fun I'm posting Easton and Layla's Christmas wish list. I don't expect anyone who reads the blog to buy them anything, but it will be fun in a few years to look back and see what they desire most:
Easton and Layla:
The first link below has these kid-friendly hydration backpacks for $35 each and it’s possible to find them in stores for $50 at REI or sporting goods stores, but I can’t bring myself to pay retail. This is the one thing I want them to have because we do so much adventuring and it’s time they start hauling their own drinks.
Camelbak Kid's Mini-M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack (blue for Easton, Raspberry for Layla)
For Easton, anything Titanic is a winner. He has expensive tastes as you can see by the cost of the items he requested below, but these are just ideas. J I plan to buy him the Cobi (Lego) titanic listed below unless someone speaks up quickly. I know it’s really expensive, but if he only got that one thing this year he would be a happy boy.
$100 - (like LEGO) Cobi 1913 RMS Titanic, White Star Line, Limited Edition, building bricks
$120 - LEGO Star Wars 75055 Imperial Star Destroyer Building Toy
$70 - True Heroes Sentinel 1 Attack Submarine
$30 - Despicable Me Minion Dave Interactive Plush
$22 - LEGO Star Wars 75015 Corporate Alliance Tank Droid
Layla will enjoy anything related to Disney princesses. She also likes some Hello Kitty things. Layla also has lots of ice skating needs like a good set of ice skating gloves that are pink and water proof.
$14 – PINK Guard Dog Ice Skate Guards
$45 - Disguise Inc Girls Disney Aladdin Jasmine Classic Child Costume Blue Small
$13 - Disney Frozen Enchanting Dress - Elsa, 4-6X
$80 - Disney Princess: Vanity Table with Stool
$7 - Tara Toy Frozen Sticker Activity Fun Kit
$15 - Totally Me! Fashion Angels Hair Chox Plus Accessories Kit
$31 - Disney Princess Merida Bow and Arrow Set
$20 - Hello Kitty KT3098 Glitter Glow Lamp
$60 - Hello Kitty Train Case
$12 - Artistic Studios Disney Princess Lock Box with Diary