Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays!

We board the plane for Australia in 6 hours and I thought I'd recap our holiday weekend to date. We may not be able to blog for a while, but will do our best to keep the stories coming:)

Tom had a bunch of charity work this week for the OWC. They had gifts to deliver and grants to help write, all in time for Christmas. On Wednesday, this brave brave man took all the kids, our driver, our cook, our housekeeper and their son to one of the charities to pass out teddy bears. From what he related, it was quite an experience. The charity was a residents home for small children with epilepsy. Billy, Kay and Sam jumped right in and started playing with the toys and kids. Raj, Florence and Saravanan were even on the floor playing with any kid that was willing. Florence spotted a baby girl and Tom was teasing Raj that their family might expand if he didn't keep on eye on it. Jimmy was the only one that held back a little. He wasn't quite sure what to make about all it and had a 101 questions about the kids that night before he went to bed. Tom took the lot of them to KFC for lunch afterward. I think it was a good experience for everyone. The next day the very 1st thing Raj said to me was "we had a good day ma'am. A very good day".

Friday was the kids Cmas party up at the club house. Through word of mouth, we ended up with a rather motley crew of friends and their kids. I am not sure what I expected, but it wasn't 200+ people packed into a 30 ft by 30ft space where they were serving kids chocolate and cotton candy until they cried. It was chaos and a mess. The kids were in heaven. They even had a Santa. It turns out that in India, when you know Santa will be at a party you bring a present labeled for your child and Santa then hands them all out. Little did we know. So, here we are at a party with screaming kids, candy and soda without any presents for our kids. All the other kids are slowing getting presents and its starting to dawn on my 3 that nothing is coming their way... I thought up a lie and I thought it up quick. I explained that all these kids were going to be gone for Cmas and so Santa and brought their toys to the party instead. Since we were going to be home, Santa was going to bring our presents right to our house. My lie fooled the child.
We rounded everyone up and headed back to our house for the after party party. We had snacks, beer, wine and a bonfire. It was great to just relax and enjoy the evening not pressed body to body with the rest of humanity.

Saturday was a day full of parties, packing and prep. I woke up in a fit of giggles when Jimmy said to Tom, as he's trying to tickle his belly, " Daddy, why does your belly jiggle and my doesn't?" Nice. We had a lunch party for Raj, Florence, Saravanan and Sunita (Saravanan's fiance). We ate pizza, donuts and drank soda. We all exchanged presents and then took photos in front of the Christmas tree. It was really nice to be able to say "Thank You and Merry Christmas" to the people that have made our time here so wonderful. We had bought an extra turkey at Thanksgiving and were looking forward to having turkey, potatoes, stuffing and beans for dinner. I even found a can of my favorite jellied cranberry sauce! In true Bangalore fashion we promptly lost power for the next 2 hours. So, we read the kids books by flashlight and tried to cook our meal on our over sized Coleman stove by flashlight. Interesting. It turns out our turkey was of the Cornish game hen variety. The chickens you get here are bigger. We were laughing... no turkey salad, turkey soup, turkey a la king, turkey omelets, etc... Miracle of miracles though the kids went to bed nicely and were asleep within 5 minutes. The power came on and we watched "A Christmas Story" as is our yearly tradition. All was right with the world...

This morning Jimmy came into our room around 5 and I had a panic attack that the day was about to start. Mercifully, he fell back to sleep and at 7:15 work up and said, "Merry Christmas Mommy. Why is Christmas my favorite holiday?" Within 5 minutes the other kids were up and we ventured downstairs to see if Santa left us anything. He did!!! It was hysteria until all the presents were opened and accounted for... I got some really cool clothes from Tom (I am finally presentable), Jimmy got a space ship gun (he had convinced him that Santa had run out of BB guns), Kay got a kitchen set and Billy got more cars and car paraphernalia than a 2 yr old has a right to. My parents got them all very cute clothes, the Murphy's sent great DVDs and I got an EZ Bake Oven (I mean Kay got an EZ Bake oven). The rest of the day was spent playing with new toys and trying on new clothes. Jimmy, Billy, Mommy and Daddy also had nice long naps in preparation for our midnight flight to Sri Lanka and off to Australia. Kay, of course, chose this day to not nap. I have no idea how we are going to handle her over the next 24 hours as she'll only get an opportunity for 2 hours a sleep at a go. I am still hoping she naps today, but its 6:00pm already and I suspect its a lost cause. She is currently in her room screaming bloody murder. I am sure our neighbors think I am pulling her toenails out one by one. Our flight leaves at 12:30am, we travel 4 hours to Sri Lanka, have a 2 hour lay over and then board a plane for an 8 hour flight to Melbourne. We land at 8pm. The next day (Tuesday) we have a 5 hour trip to Mount Gambier. We are SO excited to see our friends but I am a little worried about the journey at the moment. Wish us luck.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a GOOD NIGHT!