Rebecca turned 10, in case you missed the post on her way cool tennis ball cake. Her teacher thought it was store bought. I think not.
She had quite a day. We all did. From the time we got up, Nicholas got 3 wasp stings. Those were my fault. The boys have 4 (well, 3 now) wasp nests active hanging outside their bathroom window. I figured I could burn them off and I armed myself with an oven glove and a fire starter lighter. I even had the boys hold a towel on the open section of the window to keep any irate wasps out of the bathroom. The first basically unmanned nest went quickly and burned perfectly. The second nest had quite a few more wasps on it and they were not impressed by the flame. One shot right into the bathroom, landed straight on Nicholas's arm and stung him 3 times in a matter of 2 seconds. He screamed. We did ice and 1/2 a benedryl for the swelling. Then we went to play tennis. His playing is a little lackluster, I realize how miserably unfit I am. That's hard to swallow.
Unfortunately this was followed by the painful St Bede's boys' choir at 9:30 Santhome Mass. There was no mention of the First Sunday of Advent. No candle, no homily on preparations for Christmas. We did feel our ears would bleed. Hate it.
Right from church we went to the Marriott for gingerbread decorating and brunch. Now, when I envision gingerbread houses, I see kids lined up at tables with little houses, piles of candles and bowfuls of icing. I was mostly wrong. True there were bowls of candy and cookies and plenty of icing oozing all over, but the gingerbread house (notice the singularity) was lifesized. Like the wicked witch's house from Hansel and Gretel. The kids slathered icing on sweets and smashed them on the walls of the full sized cottage. The front door area with it's porch railings and support poles was spray painted with chocolate, kids were discovered gnawing on the structure. It was pretty amazing, in a not always good way.
The brunch was good of course, the kids ate free and the adults had 20% Consulate discount for unlimited food and beverage, dessert, and a cake for Rebecca with the staff singing Happy Birthday. The bouncy castle kept them busy, even better was the facepainting. And there were so very many kids just everywhere, kids from the Consulate, kids from school, younger siblings, High Commission kids. I'd venture we saw close to 100 kids in the couple hours we were there. Santa came too, handed out candy and was available for photos.
Post stuffing, no actually this time we were pretty good though it's hard with such a yummy buffet, we came home to catch up on Survivor. Then Rebecca and I went out. We walked over to Anokhi, a lovely shop with the attached Eco Cafe' where she found a great shirt and I caved and splurged on her. We meandered a bit before heading next door to Oryza, a spa/salon. She thought I'd scheduled a haircut for her no matter how many times I told her I wouldn't make a hair apnt without consulting her first. She and I sat next together, her getting a manicure, me a pedicure, and we chatted with the Lufthansa flight attendant next to us. A little girl time, a little something special for our double digit girl. We didn't get to do much for Katherine when she turned 10, we were in Togo at the time, so it looks like 12 will have to suffice in February. Before we'd left, Jonathon asked why I was going out with Rebecca. "It's her birthday," I said. Well, I hadn't taken him anywhere special for his birthday, so we have a date for next August. He seems OK with that.
We all talked with my parents on Skype, the kids were actually animated today, a nice change but then they had a lot to report. Then finally it was cake and present time. No one was excited about the cake. After eating cake on Friday in class, Saturday with our neighbors and this morning at the brunch, we all kind of forced ourselves to eat more cake. In fact, we skipped dinner to even have room for it, the brunch is that filling. The presents were definitely the best part. Rebecca received beautiful gifts from her grandparents, a carved "Tennis" block for her dresser, "R" earrings, tennis ribbon and personalized note cards. Perfect. A new ribboned headband from our neighbors, tennis clothes and an elephant necklance from mom&dad, Littlest Pet Shop toys from both her brothers along with a Nancy Drew book from Nicholas, and neon drawing pencils from her sister. Honestly, everything was just perfect for her. She's such a sweet kid, always trying to do the right thing (well, until a sibling pushes her over the edge of course) and considers the consequences of every action, she's really a unique person in our family. We're glad to have her and proud to be her parents.