Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

This time of year always moves a bit fast for me.  One minute we're raking up leaves, reading about the first Thanksgiving and mentioning that, again, we're thankful for "the swings."  The next, we're picking out a Christmas tree, putting up lights and agonizing over the gifting list (because in this little family we don't even attempt to do Christmas shopping unless we first have a list of ideas).  I need some transitions.  Maybe a special musical tone?  Or how about that giant page-turning number they do in Winnie the Pooh?  Or maybe a perfectly timed snowfall to replace all the crunchy leaves?

Oh wait, that sorta happened.


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Snowflakes in Central Pennsylvania!

But shall I rewind a bit to the day before Thanksgiving?  The day I was attempting to pack everything up, clean the car and entertain the kiddos.  What a horrible day. 

It never fails, the last few hours before we head out on a trip are just horrific.  I can't remember all the details precisely.  Just that my computer totally, for real died right in the middle of an important project.  And that Jude spilled his entire cup of juice all over the recently-mopped floor.  And after I mopped and dried it once it was still sticky and I ended up having to mop it again. And that Jack volunteered to water all the plants and it was too late by the time I realized he was watering an artificial orchid and water was streaming down the stand and puddling all over the modem and wireless transmitter.  And the number of times Julia unpacked the suitcase I was trying to pack. 

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She loves Nonnie and Poppie's kitty-cat!
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Speaking of the Lil Miss, she was whiny and clingy the entire day, which makes cleaning and packing a bit of a challenge.  I knew what it meant.  All of last week Jack was dealing with a croupy cough, we've been running vaporizers, hanging out in the steamy bathroom and slathering on the Vicks hoping it would all be cleared up by Thanksgiving.  Of course, in the back of all our minds is the real question: Who's next?

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Playing at Great Uncle Pete's house.
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One of her brighter moments on Thanksgiving day.
Turns out it was Julia.  Poor, little "Swee-Pie."  She woke up the day we left with a cough and a longing for perpetual Mommy snuggles.  By the time we reached Jon's parents' house she was running a fever and didn't want to go to sleep in her bed.  So she spent the night in ours ... and kept us awake for the better part of it.  The same thing happened the following night too.  Anytime I tried to lay her down, or lay down with her, she started crying. Which meant I needed to keep her upright.  Which meant I needed to stay upright.  Which meant two very uncomfortable nights of sleep.  It reminded me of her earliest days at home, which I had all but forgotten about. 

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In between those two sleepless nights was a trip to New Jersey to celebrate Thanksgiving with my mother-in-law's family and have dinner with 50+ other guests.  Julia was a trooper, a miserable one, but she hung in there throughout the long, long day.  There were a few moments when she rallied and let someone else entertain her for a little ...

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Like her first-cousin-once-removed Lizzy.
... but for the most part she stuck close by me.  And chose to finally give in to a nap on my shoulder just as we were lining up to eat.  Here's to yet another Thanksgiving dinner eaten with one hand!

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We don't see much of this kid when the big cousins are around!
It was good to see the extended family again, many whom we haven't seen in over a year.  And a huge thanks goes to Unce Pete and Aunt Linda for organizing and hosting the event!  I love how much my husband's relatives love family and the great lengths they'll go to so that we can all keep up.  They are a special group!

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Thanksgiving Day group shot
Photo Credit: Nonnie
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Papa and Nana with their 10 great-grandkids!
We were a tired clan leaving New Jersey that night.  Julia quickly fell asleep, we could hear her rattled breathing from the front seat.  The boys decided to stay awake as long as possible and didn't begin to drift off until we were almost home.  I'm not sure if we ever caught up on sleep the rest of the weekend.  We went Christmas tree hunting on Friday, Jon and his Dad went to the shooting range on Saturday, I actually got a little shopping in as well, and then we stayed up late playing games. 

On Sunday, 2/3 of my children slept through church and then we went to Uncle Micah's house for food, football and chatting.  By the time we got back to Jon's parents' house, ate dinner and packed the car it was another late evening.  We prefer to travel at night when we can, because it's easier when the kids sleep.  But by 8:30 I was the one nodding off while my boys were still going strong in the backseat.

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A little feverish but still working up a smile!
Photo Credit: Aunt Juliann
The good news is Julia appears to be much better.  She slept through the night again which gave me a much-needed long stretch of sleep.  Of course, now I'm the one with the stuffy nose and sore throat.  And I'm just waiting for Jude to show signs as well.

But at the end of the day we're still thankful, thankful for our health.  Thankful that this is the first time a few of us have been sick in a long time (and that it's just a cold).  Thankful for friends and family.  And so thankful for the opportunity to see them all this past week!

And also very thankful to be back home, in our own beds, and anticipating another full night of catching up on sleep!

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