|Hangin' with Pa J in their jammies the first morning|
Jeremy's parents, Glenda and John, had given us the budget they wanted to spend on the kids' "New Year's presents" and asked for our help in picking out the perfect gifts. We decided on bikes, and also decided that it would be impossible to hide bikes in our van without the kids discovering them on the trip to Tucson (duh). After arriving at 2:30 am, we woke up and commenced our well-orchestrated, strategic gameplan for procuring THE best bikes for THE best prices that would make our kids THE most excited children in Tucson. Okay, I had a plan and a notebook and a pen and Jeremy just mumbled something about stopping for coffee first. The kids spent the day at the zoo, oblivious to our mission.
|Yes, I did hide a clue in the toilet.|
Somehow I, because of my strong case of Visions of Grandeur Syndrome, expected squealing and jumping up and down and emotional break-downs comparable to Extreme Makeover Home Edition during each big reveal, but the kids were just like "cool" and wanted to take the bows off right away (sniff). But if excitement and enjoyment and thankfulness could really be measured, one could argue that it would be less in profuse exclamations of gratitude and more in the actual enjoyment of the gift...to which I will say that we could hardly keep them off of their bikes the rest of our time there (despite the fact that it was bitterly cold and I forgot to pack any warm clothes and I was borrowing Sam's sweatshirt the whole time--we can share clothes now! Again, I digress...). They even rode them each night while wearing their new headlamps. So, thanks Gamma and Pa J! Perfecto!
Before Christmas/New Year's, when asked what they wanted for gifts, Sam expressed a desire for a new bike but quickly said he knew he wasn't going to get one (hee hee), Evan vacillated between a stuffed raccoon or a football or any other random object that popped into his mind, and Annie declared she wanted 6 puppies. Now, I have always been slightly suspicious that I lack a part of my soul because I do not want a pet and I do not want my children to have a pet and I do not want even a fish, Sam I am! Really, the thought of even half that amount of puppies sounded like a nightmare to me. Well, at Gamma and Pa J's house, there were not one, not two, but 3 doggies!
Annie loved brushing hair with Aunt Stacey, who is always ready to share beauty tips like rubbing a little lotion on flyaways to keep them in place (it works!). Sorry, Atlanta cousins, but we are glad Uncle Jae and Aunt Stacey live closer to us now!
|Evan and Uncle Jae and Leia...Aunt Stacey would make the kids hot cocoa in grown-up coffee mugs and the kids would act all mature and sassy while they walked around sipping them.|
On New Year's Eve, the kids stayed with Gamma and Pa J and made a huge art display on leftover packing paper--some of the hidden perks of having just moved into a house and having nothing on the walls! We went with Jack, Jae, and Stacey to a party and then to the movies (we saw Jack Reacher...meh, but the other choices, Lincoln and Les Mis both didn't seem very...festive).
|Sam is trying to scare me with his Hulk cut-out|
|See how sassy Sam looks?|
So after watching my kids have so much fun hanging out with someone else's dogs for a week, I was happy for them but happy to come home to a dog-free life. I got a glimpse into why grandparents like grandparenting so much, I think--you can enjoy the little mess-makers for a while and then give them back guilt-free to their "parents" when you are done.
But I still felt a little guilty when I saw this note on the morning that we were leaving...