Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas (and Why I Hate Photo Blogging)

I'm going to tell you all about Christmas Eve and Christmas, but I'm going to complain about freaking photo blogging first. AAARRRrrrrghhhhhh! (That was me screaming while grasping the hair on both sides of my head). I took 400+ photos on our trip. I spent an hour downloading them onto my laptop and honing them down to 24 photos that really represent our trip. Then I tried to upload them to my online photo storage account so I could blog them.

45 minutes and one computer crash later, they are still uploading. Actually, as I typed "still uploading" they "finalized" and now they are up. Still...after almost two hours of futzing about with the photos, don't expect to see them in this post. Typing is soooooo much better.

Anyway, I can't remember where I left off in our trip description, so I'll just start with Christmas Eve. Lily and Jack got to play with their "cousints" all day long. Lily and Claire seemed to get along very well, and the Buddha Baby (Andrew, who is delightfully baby-pudgy) kind of laid on the floor and laughed all day. Jack was his usual destructive self. He broke the little windmill he got from Grandpa and told everyone very sadly "Jackie Breaking RainMOOOO." He still speaks about it after more than a week. It was a sad day for him, because he now loves rainmoos almost as much as kites. Jack also fell down and clocked his head on the french doors TWICE. The second time, he got a scrape that bled and had to be bandaged. This becomes important later on, so remember it.

We all had a family photo, which you can look at through the Creston Deeds link at the side of this page. It was nice to be with everyone, and we were sad that Jon and Marcy had to leave before Christmas, although with their hectic schedules recently, we totally understood the need!

We checked into the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Luis Obispo. We were really happy with the room, especially since it had a bathroom that opened onto the living room instead of into the bedroom. The kids were pretty worn out from playing with their cousins all day, so they went to sleep just fine. When we woke up, we dressed them and drove back to Creston.

Lily loved her Mooshabelly doll and was so excited about her princess dressing table. She also loved her camera and the little pet shop toys her grandparents bought her. Jack didn't really get Christmas this year, although he knew the hot wheels set was for him. I'd love to give you a detailed description of all the wonderful things the kids got, but they were boxed up that evening and shipped out, and still haven't arrived here. It will be like Christmas again when they arrive (hopefully tomorrow).

We had a lovely Christmas dinner with a terrific soup that Aunt Nile made (please send us the recipe) and other dishes all contributed by everyone in the family. It was delicious. We left as early as we could to get the kids in bed before the five hour drive to San Francisco. The kids were wiped out by all the excitement.

The next day, we headed out to San Francisco. The kids were amazingly well behaved and amused themselves with some of their new toys during the drive. We had no set plans for a rest stop, so I asked Jim if we could stop at Fry's Electronics. I'd been there once about 10 years ago and wanted to check it out again.

It was such a bad idea. Fry's was packed. Lily wanted some little stuffed animals on a sale rack and we ended up having to wait half an hour at the register while our holiday temporary cashier tried to figure out how much they were. By the time we got into the car, everyone was cranky. We decided to stop at the Aviation Museum just outside of San Francisco, eat a late lunch and look at the exhibits.

The nice restaurant next to the museum only served dinners, so we ended up at Burger King. Then we went next door to the museum. What a fun place! They had a lot of exhibits and the kids loved running around the hangar and climbing in the hands-on exhibits. Unfortunately, we didn't get there until a hour before closing, so we didn't have much time for the kids to play.

Ten minutes before we left, Jack ran toward a mock-up of a plane in the kid's play area and cracked his forehead on the metal carpet transition. Remember how he cut his head in Creston? Well, now he had a bandage on his temple from his earlier injury and a giant goose egg right between his eyes from his fall in the museum. We ended up calling Dr. Brewer (our Melrose pediatrician) and asking if it would be safe to take him on the plane. Based on our description of Jack's latest injury, Dr. Brewer told us not to worry. Actually, my real concern was that someone would arrest us for child abuse because it looked a lot like Jack had been beaten about the head by someone.

We were really dreading the red-eye flight, but I think it was a good plan. Lily stayed awake for about an hour watching the Cartoon channel and then fell asleep. Jack fell asleep about 10 minutes into the flight. They both slept until just before landing. Jim and I even managed to catch a few winks. We got home at about 6:30 and all went to bed for a few more hours.

Anyway, I hope to show you some pictures in my next post. There are some great shots -- Jim at In-n-Out Burgers, Lily dancing on the wharf in San Francisco and Jack staring in fascinated horror at the laughing automaton are just a few of them. Keep your fingers crossed that I can get them all posted on here in a manner that makes it easy for you to see them. I've been having some trouble with Blogger and photos recently. It wants to either make them extremely large or to cut them in half. It took me hours of epic battle to post the last pictures, and I ended up just uploading them into Blogger. That option has limits, so hopefully I will be able to do a little fooling with HTML codes and work it out this time. Stay tuned.

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