…and then we were 11

The Christmas festives came to an abrupt halt on 25 December during a family dinnner, just a few days after we had arrived back home.  Things were said that weren’t appropriate and loud voices were heard.  And no, this had nothing to do with alcohol.  It was just going from bad to worse, and fast.

The OCD and snide nuclear comments became too much, and we decided (within a few seconds actually) to move in to my sisters place, sharing her house, for the remainder of the Christmas and New Year.  Our return flight was not until early January, so we had to make the most of the holidays.

We knew this would bring the total headcount to 11; four adults and seven kids.  But, the more the merrier.  Thankfully all the kids get along and span from 1 – 17 years of age.  Lovely with a house full of kids and plenty of toys + movies.

Shortly after arriving from Hotel Misery, with the still packed suitcases, we were shown to the penthouse apartment.  Beds were being made on the floor and we had to sleep all together.  This could be interesting, as the kids snore and the baby was still waking up for her nightly top-up.

I was, most nights, lying across the three mattresses, with my arse slowly slipping into the crack of the mattresses, as they slit apart.  The kids were stretching their legs + toes into my back, which is painful over longer periods.

The good thing about living at my sister’s place is that we have fun all the time.  It was a very relaxed atmosphere and we all help out with food, dishes and entertaining the kids.

Most days were spent eating and relaxing inside, as the weather outside was shifting from snow to more snow.  It was great having a white Christmas, but the novelty wears off after a few days with 3-4 feet of snow.

However, our kids haven’t really experienced snow and the fun that comes with it, such as snowball fights, snowmen and going down a hill on a piece of plastic hoping not to crash into a tree.  We had a great time and kids loved the snow.  No broken bones.

Our son hates cold wind and refuses to walk if he can’t see his feet.  That could potentially be a minor problem considering we had strong wind with snow, and plenty of snow, not to mention we didn’t have proper outdoor clothes for him.

Problem was solved when we found a full body armor suit, ski suit, that covered him from ankles to head, and we found him a baliclava hoody.  No excuses son.  Once he was fully dressed he was laughing non stop as he flew down the hill, with snow flying into his face.  Brilliant!

We couldn’t drag our daughter off the slopes and she came home with scratches and sore marks, but she had a blast.  She was laughing when showing me her battle wounds.

The best came New Year’s Eve, when our little family was given my sister’s house to celebrate New Year.  My sister and her family were going out for a party, so the cript was ours.

I bought fresh cod, spuds and all the trimmings, and perpared a nice meal.  While I was cooking, the hobbits decorated the house and got dressed into the nice gear, and we had a fantastic evening.

As a surprised, I had bought fireworks.  See in Ireland it’s illegal to buy and use fireworks – something to do with their history of blowing things up – so the kids had never seen this before.  Well, we saw it when we visited Disneyland Paris.

The three of us went outside, with jackets and protective glasses, while the missus and the youngest dude stayed inside in safety.  The kids were somewhat dubious about the whole thing, but I assured them it would be fun.

As I said, it was the first time they saw fireworks and first time they were helping setting it off – they loved it and had smiles that had to be surgical removed afterwards.  It was absolutely priceless.  They screamed.  They clapped.  They jumped. They laughed.  Then they demanded more when it was all gone.

After the fireworks, we had a little dance off in the living room, before getting the kids ready for bed.  The oldest kid was allowed to stay a bit longer, which she was extremely proud of.

It was a very nice and relaxed New Year Eve, but we had tons of fun.

The rest of the Christmas vacation was spent doing a bit of shopping and the mandatory snowball fights.  before we knew, we had to head back to Ireland – another holiday was spent and cheap for sale.

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