Then again, Thanksgiving is so 10 days ago. And in that time, we've endured one 48-hour week of night shifts, a very sick baby, and 3 kids reeling from a little more sugar and a little less sleep than they're used to. So I'm carving out this sliver of time while my girl naps, my two middies catch an episode of "Paw Patrol Be There On the Double" (according to Lia), and while I turn my back on the other half of the groceries that still need unpacked, to dish out some Thanksgiving leftovers. Because some things are just better the second time around!
|Morning photo-op with Nonnie!|
|Joci's pretty proud about graduating to the big kid counter.|
|Watching Poppie make breakfast.|
And then Julia throwing up all over herself and the carseat about halfway into our trip. And then her claiming the need for an emergency potty break a half hour later. Oh yes, the joys of traveling with children!
But I'm glad we made the effort and were able to celebrate Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania because scenes like this make it oh, so worth it!
Since we had a whole day free, Marmie and Poppa offered to watch the kids so Jon and I could get some Christmas shopping done. I felt a *teeny* bit guilty for leaving a potentially ill child with my parents, but she seemed happy and was eating again ... and we REALLY needed to do some shopping without our kids around. So we had a wonderful afternoon picking up our family's monogrammed duffel bags (this is soooo Jon's idea, people!), visiting Starbucks, grabbing hoagies (they're just not the same outside of PA!), and browsing Target without a million voices asking to look at Legos every second.
Meanwhile, back at the Grand's, Julia had fallen asleep on Poppa ... and then woke up and puked all over him. Poor Poppa! My husband likes to make fun of my terribly sensitive sense of smell/weak stomach/gag reflux but my dad is much, much worse. I felt horrible, but he was able to laugh about it when we came to get the kids. And little did I know I would be getting what was coming to me a few days later.
|Showing off her two-legged skills!|
|He's building a snowman on the porch so Joci could see.|
We came back to Maryland Friday night, enjoying a much "quieter" car ride while the kids slept. And then Saturday it was time to switch gears and crank up the Christmas music!
|Singing Christmas songs in the car wash!|
|No long, drawn-out, Christmas tree hunting stories this year. Jon chose a tree lot and we picked out one of the first trees we saw... which was good because, of course, the boys had to go potty as soon as we got there.|
It's just a little crazy, because everyone wants to unpack all the ornaments, but only hang the ones they like. Or they all want to hang the same ornament. Or they all want to hang a different ornament at the same spot. Or all stand on the stool at the same time. You get the gist. Basically, just picture boxes, tissue paper, and ornaments EVERYWHERE. And small children intermittently singing Christmas carols and screaming at one another. Dancing together one minute and pushing each other the next. With Lia yelling, "Boogers! I've got BOOGERS!" about every 30 seconds in between.
So of course, it's a bit of a decorating whack job, if you look closely. We tried to stick with keeping the non-breakable ones down low. But then you have older kids who think they have earned the right to climb the ladder... and then fall into the tree. Or a bare spot here and branches that are holding 3 ornaments piled on top of each other over there. I told myself I'd fix it all up when the kids went to bed, but it's been over a week and the Toy Story dinosaur is still sharing a branch with two glass balls and one cookie dough stocking.
But we got the whole house decorated in one fell swoop. And just in time before Jon started working those dreaded nights. I've decided the only difference between Jon working the nights shifts and when he used to travel is that I have to make a wholesome dinner (instead of just getting away with smoothies or PBJ) so he has something to eat during those 12 hour stretches. But other than that, he might as well not even be here. And friends, IT.IS.TOUGH.
|'Tis the season of many, many tubbies because they keep the baby occupied!|
|This photo was taken approximately .38 seconds before I realized she was wielding a sharp knife!|
|If Jack is ever missing for an extended period of time, you can usually find him hanging out in the warmest spot in the house--the bathroom heat vent!|
I was worried about the flu or pneumonia and if it would have any effect on her heart. But it turned out to be an ear infection and a small case of bronchitis. And on top of all that, she lost almost a pound during the whole ordeal, which is not good for our already petite little girl. Thankfully, she is on the mend! We had a few more days of more whining than usual, and an excessive amount of clinginess, which made the caring for other children thing that much more challenging, but I'd say she's back to herself today (as evidenced by her running away while I was trying to change her diaper and going right back to her playing in the toilet antics.)
And it's so good to hear her giggle again! This girl is such a tease, and we've been missing her twinkly eyes and tricky antics!
|[What's left of] the gingerbread house the kids made with Aunt Kylee.|
|That one time we attempted to "do the mall" with 4 kids after church. We quickly changed our mind after just one store.|
|How we typically do our Christmas shopping--Amazon, we love you!|
|My little baristas!|
And I think that cleans the plate of our Thanksgiving leftovers. Time to do dishes for the next round!