Winter Break

I had the boys here for winter break. It was pretty awesome. The arrived on Gavin’s birthday and left two days after New Years.

For Gavin’s birthday, we took him over to Dave & Busters. We were joined there by his Aunt Beth and two cousins, Chris & Teddy. The night was a total success. The kids loved every minute of it. We piled the booth with presents and cake. After some hours of unleashing the kids on the games, we forced the kids back to the table so we could open presents, light candles, and eat cake. I think we’ll have to do that again in the future.

Gavin received an iPod. Talks very loudly now.

Leif was loving having a real bath. At home, he only has a shower. If he was playing outside and got some dirt on him, he would ask for a bath. Even if it was only 11 am. Only on real busy days where he was too worn out to keep his eyes open did he miss his bath.

Being graceless on ice skates and doing Michael Jackson impressions look similar.

I decided (after Gavin heavily planted the idea in my head) that it would be really fun to take the two kids to the Ice Palace skating rink. I worked extra long on a Wednesday, and planned on taking them out Thursday. We packed extra clothes, jackets, hats, cameras, gloves, and slippers and headed out. Leif had never been ice skating and was excited about the whole ordeal. He thought the skates were the coolest thing ever. Until he walked out on the ice and had to learn to walk all over again. He was very unsure of the whole thing, but caught on very quickly to how fun slipping around and falling could be. Gavin followed us around and had to learn to skate again. We went around and around and around and around. Then we watched the zamboni clean the ice. Then we had hot cocoa and a churro. Then we went around and around and around and around. By dinner time, I had to force Leif off the ice to head for home. He just wanted to skate and skate. He was so exhausted though. He didn’t last 5 minutes in the car before passing out. Even Gavin took a nap on the way home. It was really fun.

Leif takes his first steps on ice skates.

Christmas eve was a good one. With a beautiful meat roast on the table set next to broccoli casserole and yorkshire pudding. We sat around our table, topped with holiday goodness and had a wonderful feast.

Christmas was of course a hit. There were elves and reindeer and a fat Santa. He drank all our scotch and left lots of goodies. Gavin woke up around 5 am to run down stairs. He turned the tree on and oogled all the presents and stockings and gifts brought by Santa. We followed not too long after. Leif was a little tired, but the sight of a yellow bulldozer woke him up.

Classic Christmas morning picture.

The day was wonderful. We opened our gifts and made a giant mess. The grown ups drank coffee and tea and sat with grins on their faces as the kids played with toys. The evening feast left nothing to be desired. Mostly made up of meat pie, it was a sight to be seen.

Leif is exhausted and just realized he can’t go to bed until he eats dinner.

And the figgy pudding. How can you have Christmas without the figgy pudding. We set it ablaze with some Bruddah Kimos. Laughing and excited, we blew out the cake, sliced it up, topped it with whipped cream, and ate until there was only one slice left.

After the big day was over, we had to have more fun, so we went to the zoo. Mary treated us. It’s quite a beautiful zoo. It’s right down at the end of Waikiki. We first walked all through the various bird cages and sanctuaries, which I thought were beautiful. But Leif was looking at the signs that pointed out the direction of the elephants and monkeys and lions and giraffes. If we stood looking at a bird too long, he would tug my shirt and say, “Next page dad”. We moved on.

There’s nothing more magical than blowing bubbles.

We didn’t get too far though. While Mary and I were trying to figure out where the tiger was, Leif was trying to figure out how to get us to let him play on the adjacent playground. He won. We let the kids tromp around while we waited. We were expecting Beth and the boys to meet us there any minute. They did. The kids all were excited and ran around the playground a little more. Then we continued on.

We saw lions, tigers, giraffes, turtles, monkeys (oh how Leif loved the monkeys), hippos, meerkats, lizards, birds, zebras, flamingos, rhinos, peacocks, porcupines, and all kinds of other animals. Leifs favorite by far were the monkeys. When we got in the car to head home, he swung in by the handle and let it be known he was a monkey.

When time was up, the kids had to go back home. Our tickets were all booked and I flew them to Maui. I spent the weekend there with them and then had to kiss them goodbye.


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