I'm so glad we put here in dance class. It has really been a great experience for her. She's grown so much and gained a lot of self-confidence from it.
Then a couple days later we greeted Grandma and Grandpa Hill and Aunt Kiki to our house for a Christmas visit. It was wonderful to have them here. The girls have been looking forward to this visit for months and it was finally here. We had a great time with them doing lots of stuff. We spent plenty of time just being at home and playing with the girls. Anya loved jumping on Aunt Kiki.
Of course Aunt Kiki loved it too, no matter how much she might have complained at the time. Kyrie even welcomed them with open and loving arms. Here she is sharing with Grandma. She loves to share everything. She is very big on sharing. :) We were a bit worried before they arrived that she would not be as friendly as Grandma and Grandpa would like. She tends to be very cold to people she doesn't spend a lot of time with. So we were all very pleased and surprised when they walked through the door and she ran to Papa and gave him hugs and kisses. (The girls call my Dad "Papa".) Papa was Kyrie's favorite. Which he just loved to rub in Grandma's face. :) He loved the fact that he is at least one of his three granddaughter's favorite.
We had a wonderful Christmas with plenty of wonderful gifts from family near and far. The girls both loved their little kid's learning computers that they got from Grandpa Bromley. They both got dollies from Grandma Ledbetter. Grandma and Papa Hill got them an art easel, which is much used already! But of course the most fun they had that week was playing in the box that Grandpa Bromley's gifts came in.
Parents everywhere will agree that a large empty box is a wonderful toy. We gave them colored pencils and Anya and Ky drew pictures and told stories. It was adorable, and Anay told quite amazing stories I might add. Anya definitely has a creative imagination.
While the family was here we also took them to see the touristy stuff. David and I left the girls with friends one day and took Mom, Dad, and Kiki to D.C.. We went the the Smithsonian Air and Space museum. David has wanted to go since we got here and it was on Dad's list, so us girls tagged along. :) It was nice.
We also went to the National Botanical Garden. It was really pretty to see. It was just a quick visit but the trees and flowers are beautiful and I'm sure their outdoor gardens will be beautiful come spring. We also went to an outdoor Christmas Market. They had different vendors, live music, and food. It was fun. It reminded my parents of their time in Brussels. I even found a couple scarves like the ones I fell in love with in Brussels.
Then one night we decided to take a bus tour of the monuments at night. It was quite fun. The monuments are beautifully lit at night. And it's also nice to be able to enjoy them with minimal people around. During the day you're fighting with all the other tourist, so at night there very, very few. It was a very nice way to see them all. Here are a few pictures that I took. I didn't have a ton of pictures turn out. I'm still learning how to adjust my flash for night photography. :) I'm a slow learner.
We also took one day to take the family with the girls to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. The girls love going there. They can spend all day wandering around and looking. It constantly amazes me what Anya remembers from these visits. We'll go back and she'll spout off some obscure fact that David or I told her the last time we were there. It's amazing how fast they learn!
Kyrie was so cute while we were there. Her favorite show these days is Wonder Pets. I don't know if anyone if familar with it or not. Basically there are three classroom pets; a duck, a turtle, and a hamster, who go on rescue missions to save different animals after the school children have gone home. Well, Kyrie's favorite episode is about a baby panda bear. He gets stuck in a tree and they have to help him down. The baby panda bear makes a squeaky, "EEEE" sound to cry for help. (This sound has become her favorite way to say she needs help.) So anyway, in the Mammal hall they have stuffed displays of all the animals. They have a panda on a platform way up high on the wall. When Kyrie saw the the panda her eyes got really big and she started pointing and shouting, "EEE! EEE! EEE! Help Panda! Oh no it stuck! Help Panda! EEE! EEE!" You get the point. Of course we then tried to calm her down and explain that the panda was okay. He wasn't stuck and so on. It didn't work. We then tried to distract her with other animals. This did not work either. We would take her to a different animal and put her down and she would run straight back to the panda and yell "EEE EEE EEE!" It was both adorable and heartbreaking to see her so distraught about this panda. We finally took her to the gift shop and she found a little panda in a pink purse. I gave it to her and she grabbed in up in her little arms and patted it on the head and told it, "It okay. You safe now." And that was that. Panda has now been a constant attachment to my little girl. She may not have a purse dog, but she does have a purse panda. :)
It was then time for Grandma and Papa and Kiki to go home. I was worried about the girls but they handled it very well. They were sad but they said goodbye and that they loved them. It was very nice to have them here for the holiday. And I think they enjoyed seeing where we've landed and that our lives are very good and happy here.
That's pretty much the whole of our holiday. Just a couple "my kid's are so cute" moments. First, my girls have finally decide that they like each other and that it's fun to play "together". Yeah!!! Oh happy day! They like to play outside, or they go upstairs and pretend to be koala bears (my kids have an obsession with bears), or play tea party. Here they are being happy together!
Second, Kyrie has decided that she likes Mommy's shoes.
Well, sorry for this monster of a post. I just really wanted to share my wonderful holiday with everyong. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season also. TTFN