We left the morning after Jon returned from Boston, driving just ahead of that massive snow storm that hit the east coast. Ironically, we saw very little snow on our trip up and during our time in PA. Although we did manage to run right into the thick of the storm while leaving New Jersey the following day. I love snow ... until it turns a typically 3 hour drive into 5.5 hours of crawling down the highway late at night. And so Jack slept through his first real snowstorm.
Jon had to return to VA to work so Jack and I stayed up at Marmie and Poppa's for a few days until our family was re-united again. I could go on and on about how much fun we had and all that we did during our 12 days in the Keystone State, but I'll try to keep it to just the highlights:
- One of my favorite moments of the holiday was after we pulled into my in-law's driveway after our 8 hour drive from Virginia. We walked in the back door, set Jack's feet on the ground and off he ran to give Nonnie a huge hug. Which lasted several minutes. He just didn't let go. It was the sweetest thing. I'm so glad my big, brute of a boy is such a lover! :)
- Speaking of his lovingness, Jack spent most of his Christmas holiday running from person to person with his arms in the air. Yes, my son "goes to anybody." Including random people in the grocery store. If you even look his direction he will most likely reach his arms out to you. I am glad for this, at least he's not overly-clingy and he only burries his head in my neck when he's exhausted. But I wonder what people think of me when it appears that my child is anxious to get away from his Mom... Then again, most people were thrilled that a baby wants to be in their arms. At every Christmas party or church service we always heard, "He reached for me!!" We don't usually tell them that he does this to everybody, it's not so special that way. :)
- Jack got his first band-aid. It was adorable in the most pitiful way to see that little neon strip wound round his finger. My mother-in-law and I were at the mall and left Jack in the capable hands of his father, who was busy vacuuming and didn't notice Jack playing with a glass candle holder, at least, not until after the candle holder was shattered and Jack was instead playing with broken glass. I got a call in the middle of the mall from Jon, "Can you ask my Mom where she keeps the band-aids?" "Ummm, whyyyy??" ...Thankfully, it wasn't a bad cut, Jack didn't even notice it. Although he did notice the band-aid. I later found him trying to eat it along with the rest of his dinner.
- In case you're wondering if the candle holder was the only thing Jack broke at Nonnie's, well no, it wasn't. He managed to shatter a glass Christmas bulb the second day we were there. So much for my goal of keeping Jack free of offenses. I think those are the only two things he broke though. But trust me, there were plenty of close calls.
- For Jon's birthday his parents took us and Jon's sister and her husband out for a lovely dinner at DiSalvo's. Not that we don't enjoy Jack's company when we're eating out, but it was so nice to have an adult dinner with adult conversation. I didn't have to spend half the night cutting food into bite size pieces or bring out the dust buster to clean up under Jack (okay, I don't really do that, but I feel like it would be a lot easier if I could!). Jack went to Uncle Micah's house while we were out, where it apparently took 6 other guys to keep things under control, particularly Uncle Jared, who is the only Uncle that changes diapers. Jack was very excited to party with the big boys! I did get a good laugh in when we went to pick him up. Apparently Uncle Jared thought the zipper on Jack's pajamas went on the back. He claimed the feet were still facing the right direction, until I pointed out that the seam was completely twisted around Jack's leg. :)
- The boys must have completely worn Jack out because he slept until 9:30 the next morning. HELLO!! That's a Jack record! I wondered around the house in the my pajamas all morning, trying to figure out if Jack was going to wake up any minute now or if I had time to get a shower. Since we're on the subject of sleep, Jack did sooo well. I can't help but think back to last Christmas, when we would be up all hours of the night. Sure our routine gets a little messed up when we're traveling and visiting lots of different people, but I was very relieved to see how flexible Jack could be. Occasionally his lack of sleep would make him a bit more crankier than normal, but for the most part he did pretty well. Just a little more wild than usual, and that's pretty wild to begin with. :)
- Jack sleeps in the pack 'n play at both our parents' houses. I always check on him before I go to bed. You know, just to make sure he's breathing. :) I have to wonder how long I'll keep doing this. Anyway, one night I peaked into his room and couldn't find him anywhere. I could hear him breathing, but his bed was empty. My eyes adjusted after a few more seconds and then I noticed a large bump under the crib mattress. Somehow Jack had managed to creep under the mattress and was sleeping soundly in his cave. I wish I could have gotten a picture.
- One of Jack's favorite presents this year was his Radio Flyer tricycle from G.G.Ma. He's not quite big enough to get on it by himself, although he certainly tries. But he did figure out how to push it around on his own. He also loves it when one of us puts him on the seat and takes him on speed rides around the house.
- It has been well-proven these past two weeks that Jack is my active, energetic little boy. He can even keep up with his older cousins. Jack LOVES his cousins. His energy level shoots up a couple degrees as soon as they walk into the room. He thinks bigger kids are very exciting! When Jack gets excited he does a little dance. It's so cute, it's like he has ants in his pants and can't keep still. He also likes to dance with Marmie. I never saw him laugh as hard as he did the night she was showing him how to jump and dance. He was literally doubled over with laughter. Yet another moment I wish I had captured on video!
- We did get some snow while we were visiting, although not enough to send Jack out to play in. One morning when Jack got up Jon put him in our bed. He stood up, peaked out the window blinds at a semi-white world and said, in his childish whisper voice, "Whoa!" I think this is one of his very favorite words, second only to "more." He said it often this Christmas season, especially when standing in front of the decorated tree or driving by Christmas lights. I just loved having him around this Christmas season, it really puts a new perspective on the phrase "childish wonder."
Naturally, we can't help but think about what next Christmas will bring. Jack will be another year older, and hopefully another year wiser. :) #2 will be with us too. Great Aunt Jane has started knitting his stocking to hang by Marmie and Poppa's fireplace. And Nana has already fashioned his first sweater. I will say this baby definitely enjoyed his share of the holidays this year. He likes to kick Jack when I'm holding him (sibling rivalry!) and Daddy finally got to feel him move (it's been tough with Jon traveling so much!). And Mommy made sure she ate lots of extra Christmas goodies for "the two of us."
Jack will be up soon, it's time for Mama to stop "resting." We hope you all had a wonderful time with family and friends, celebrating our Savior's birth. We'll be packing up our Christmas decorations soon, but I can't help but think about how grateful I am for a beautiful, special end to the year. Saying goodbye to 2009 will not be difficult when there's so much to look forward to in 2010!