11 January 2010
Massive piles of presents, first at home then at the bigger family shindig. (Click on the photo to browse through my flickr album!) I won't bore with the whole gift list, but the ViewMasters were a surprise favorite.
We had a great Xmas day, opening presents, feasting on a potluck meal, and even got to go swimming. Neighbours have been kind to us this year, first on Xmas day when we swam at the neighbours', then all through the after-Xmas period when we were up the coast. We swam at the next door pool whenever we felt like it, thanks to a neighbour who was away and said we were welcome to use the pool. Why would we swim in a pool with the ocean right there, you ask? Well, I have often wondered myself why anyone living at the beach would have a pool, and now I know.
For days when the undertow and sweep are too strong, or the weather is just too blustery. For days the water and sand are littered with bluebottles (stinging jellyfish). Or just because it feels great to swim at the beach and follow that with an extra dip in the pool. Or, have a pool session in the afternoon because you already went to the beach in the morning. Besides, you can do stuff in the pool like: blow all the air out of your lungs and sit on the bottom with your legs crossed; perform jumping tricks like twists, splits, and the old classic, cannonball; play Ring-Around-the-Rosy; and so on.
I couldn't believe how huge Anya's confidence became with swimming daily in the pool! (She was doing all the above, and more.) I just wonder what their new boosted confidence will do to their swim instructors. Swimming with Callum was quite tiring as he had no fear of lunging every which way, secure in the knowledge that we would keep a hold of him. His lunging about included shoving and kicking us in the guts, since we were only his lowly diving platforms. He also got pretty bold when Anya was jumping off the wall with her cousin Isaac, and joined in for several jumps.
As for David and myself, we brought a huge stack of books, an HD media player loaded with kids' movies and our own stuff, my laptop (no internet, though), and went op-shopping several times (op shop = thrift store). Mainly, though, it was a big change of pace to swim every day (sometimes 2 or 3 times in one day) and spend most of our time plotting a chance to grab a nap (a fiercely contested privilege between the two of us). Anya and Callum flourished in having both of us, and their grandma, on tap almost the whole day, as well as our in-laws (including 3 cousins) who were staying downstairs.
We also had one night out on the town to see Avatar 3D. I was really transported. The story was fairly unoriginal, but with the beautiful world and people and animals, I became very involved in the environment. When we left the movie, I felt like I was in some sort of different headspace, and it took me almost half an hour to come back to myself.