Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas preview

A few days after Thanksgiving we got a Christmas tree. A real one. We figured if we were going to stay in Boston for Christmas, we might as well get the real deal. The kids decorated it with our random assortment of ornaments, then re-decorated it pretty much every day until Christmas.
Scott ran an ultra marathon on the first Saturday in December. A few weeks before that, he realized that he had not achieved one of his New Years resolutions of running a marathon. He looked around for a marathon that was scenic (he doesn't like boring roads) and conveniently located and on a Saturday. He couldn't find one, but he found a 32-mile trail race. "It's only a few extra miles," he said. He did two long runs to prepare and then jumped into the Trail Animal Running Club Winter Challenge. He ran four 8-mile loops of the Skyline Trail in the Middlesex Fells Reservation. It took almost seven hours, but he finished! And was still up and running within a few days. The kids and I dropped him off at the start, went home and had breakfast, cleaned at the church, went to a spot on the trail and cheered him on, went to a birthday party, then came back and cheered him on as he finished. Phoebe seemed confused that it was Scott running and not me. She kept yelling "why are you running?" which I'm sure he was asking himself. Anyway, success!
Scott and I taught Bruce and Phoebe to read with a 100-lesson book, and when each finished they got to select a special outing. Phoebe recently finished the book so she chose to go to the new Legoland Discovery Center. 
Phoebe told her classmates where she was going and tumors were flying that the toilets at Legoland were made of Legos. We had to investigate: they are not made of Legos, but the bathrooms are nicely decorated with Lego stuff.
The kids had a lot of fun. We went after school on a weekday so it wasn't crowded at all. We stayed until closing time and got our money's worth.
The week before my birthday, my parents said they might come to Boston for a day. My dad had some business in Niagara Falls and if he finished on time, they would keep driving east and spend a day with us. I didn't tell the kids just in case it didn't work out, so it turned out to be an amazing surprise for them. My parents arrived just in time to pick them up from school on Tuesday. We played, made dinner, then mom and I and my friend Mithu went to a wreath making party. Our church congregation has a long tradition of making wreaths around Christmastime, so we went and made wreaths. My mom is exceptionally talented at making bows look perfect, so she fixed at least a dozen bows for people.
On Wednesday, the kids skipped school and we pretended it was Christmas. My parents brought gifts and put them under the tree, so we opened them up and played for awhile. 
The kids got an awesome play tent and put it to good use right away.
After presents and breakfast, we went to the Museum of Science. We engineered claws out of piles of materials that scooped up toys. We saw the lightning show, almost all the exhibits, and then went to the special exhibit... 
...the Disney Pixar exhibit! We learned about the math and science required to make animated films. That night, we went to Veggie Galaxy to celebrate my birthday. It's nice to go to a restaurant where I can have anything on the menu! They left early Thursday morning, so it was a whirlwind but so fun!
Bruce had a piano recital that weekend. He played beautifully! His piano teacher also teaches the Sweeneys, so we got to hear them play too!
Phoebe was invited to a skating birthday party on a Sunday. We usually don't do Sunday parties, but it was a block from church so I said we would drop the gift off. Then we got there and Phoebe was dying to skate of course. She had to borrow socks from Bruce and she still complained about cold knees, but she made it a few times around before we headed home.
I celebrated my birthday over a few days. We ate the cake the night before. Scott got a carrot cake. When he opened the box, Phoebe started crying and saying it was too small. Then I blew out the candles after the birthday song andOliver  started crying because he wanted to blow them out. We had to light them again for him. On my actual birthday, we had Cub Scouts and a parent night at school where I learned about the sex ed curriculum that Bruce will be learning soon. Nothing like hearing the puberty talk for my son to make me feel older!


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