This Christmas it was the turn of the in-laws to host so we made the trek Oop North with all three tots. It was the twins first time up there and also our longest car journey ever, as a family of five. We had to hire a bigger car specially for the trip and boy it really wasn't big enough for our needs (VW Touran). Two modest pieces of luggage, presents, packed lunch but no room for the double buggie, travel cots and other baby paraphernalia. The children's car seats took up so much space, we couldn't really sit three across in the middle row. So Toddler Wild Thing got to ride shot gun, me in the middle row with Curly Haired Beauty and Thing 2 in the very back. It was quite an eventful journey - us girls were car sick/winter vomiting (who knows what it was??). So we were a right sight with our matching pink buckets and bowl - heaving into it. Yes I had the foresight to squeeze these into the car and yes my kitchen does have a high quota of pink kitchen wear.....
We made good time and got to spend a lot of Christmas Eve settling in the kids in a new environment. MIL made good her promise of arranging for cots, stair gate and attempt to toddler proof her home. She briefly managed to lose one of the twins for 20 minutes; who had shut himself into the laundry room. In fact I think I spent most of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day asking "Where's...???/Whose... got ???". D has 3 older sisters who all have kids and this was the first Christmas we were all together. That's 8 grandchildren for my in-laws - ages range from 18 years to 20 months. We tried to get a group picture of the kids after Christmas lunch and I have to say it won't be appearing on my mantelpiece. The twins were trying to make a run for it and had to be held down by the teenagers. Curly Haired Beauty has the most surly expression ever (who would have thought she used to be a model?).
The best present she got from Father Christmas (via Toys R Us) was the Barbie Party Palace. Only took me and two teenagers forever to build the night before. It also took a bit of shoving to get back in the car for the drive home. She has not stopped playing with it since. There is a round turntable gadget, so you can put the dolls on it and make them dance with each other. I totally failed in purchasing the silver suited Ken doll that goes with the set. But she seems really happy with the alternative; the Prince from Beauty and the Beast. Bless her, she calls him 'Pretend Ken'.
Radio Flyer red wagon. I've been wanting one of these for ages and had seen them on sale at Target, I thought I would drop a quick message on facebook and see if she could bring one over for me. Its no bigger in length than a Phil and Ted buggy but way cooler and was so easy to maneuver when we had all the snow (my pram got stuck). I took it to the supermarket and loaded it up with all my shopping (minus tots of course) and it was a doddle to pull back the load home. We've already done a little outing to the park and the twins seem to love the attention and wave to everyone.