Usually after Thanksgiving I'm ready to dive into Christmas - bring on the decking of the halls, music that fa-la-las, and all things peppermint, please! This year, though, I'm content to have a buffer week. Though I will admit to feeling a twinge of jealousy over everyone's festive photos this past weekend. One drawback to traveling over Thanksgiving is that it doesn't feel like we're around to begin the Christmas festivities. Driving down our street late Sunday afternoon to find each house on the block adorned with bright lights and garlands as we arrived home gave me a false sense of failure as we pulled into our own dark driveway.
We'll decorate as we typically do: this coming weekend, the first of December. I'm thankful that Thanksgiving came "early" this year, so there is plenty of time to put it to rest before moving on to all things green and red. I don't feel quite so rushed as I do when we arrive home to December already on the calendar.
Unrelated but related: a neighboring house has lights that change color each day. Red and green the first night, bright white and blue the next, tonight their house is lit up in alternating red and blue bulbs. It's amazing but also it's 2017 so OF COURSE this is a thing. And I'm totes jealous.
Before Thanksgiving break, Caden and Brooklyn had watch week for their dance class. After class I asked them what they liked best. Brooklyn said, "All of it." Caden's response on the other hand? "Waving hi to you guys."
He must have waved to us fifteen times during class, finding us across the room and sporting a proud yet shy grin as he shook his hand back and forth until we waved back. I can already see him at their spring recital, frantically scanning the audience and waving from the stage.
Nolan's new thing is "poopy!" He points to himself and says, "poopy!"
"Are you poopy?"
"Noooo," he replies, with that little nose-scrunching grin. But he continues.
"Poopy!" he cries, pointing to me.
"I'm not poopy!" I say.
"Poopy!" he cries again, pointing to Caden, then Brooklyn, and everyone else in the room. He thinks it's hilarious. And it's pretty adorable. Figures that he's already picked up potty-talk at a year and a half.
We leveled up in parenting as our travel to and from Iowa saw our most successful car trips EVER. One potty stop on the way, with kids who either napped or were entirely engaged with snacks, toys from the dollar section, and, yes, their tablets. On the way home we had - wait for it - NO STOPS WHATSOEVER. We made a straight trip in four hours and fifteen minutes with three kids under the age of four. I really think that might be some sort of record.
Their teachers asked about our trip when we arrived at preschool today. Apparently visiting Grandma and Grandpa's house was something that had been much publicized in their class the week before we left. But when I asked what exactly they said to their teachers, Brooklyn's response was, "I told my teacher that we are going to ride in the car for a long time and eat food and play on our tablets." Accurate.
Snacks and tablets aside, the real draw was cousin Quinn. She was overwhelmed with a bit TOO much love (ranging from bringing her a blanket every 4.2 seconds to hugs and kisses to helping her do things she's already been able to do for months, i.e. eat food) and is probably glad to be recovering at home with the peace that comes from being the only baby in the house.
We also had another family photo session while we were in Iowa. Our matching game was on point, and I can only hope the photos will be as well given the CAN'T STOP WON'T STOP attitude of these kids and can you just say cheese and STAND FREAKING STILL FOR ALL OF TWO SECONDS?!?
(We looked good, too. And even knew how to stand still. #adulting)
So...who's excited about another royal wedding? Because I DEFINITELY am and am totes over the comments on every single engagement article that are to the effect of "Who cares?" I CARE, DAMMIT.
But probably the most significant event of the past couple of weeks was:
Our first ER visit. (I'll tell you what I told my mom when I called her: EVERYTHING IS OKAY. He split his chin open going down the slide backward and it was pretty disgusting, but nothing that some super glue (seriously) and technology couldn't handle.)
I KNEW that our first ER visit would be with Nolan. I just knew it. I had always predicted it would be daredevil Caden, but then Nolan came along with his GO GO GO attitude I knew by the time he was six months old his fearlessness was at another level.
He was bleeding pretty good and screaming about it until we got in the car and I gave him his tablet. Then he calmed down and followed all directions with his eyes glued to the screen, following each nurse along from one room to another to another like a little duckling. The doctor warned us that the cleaning and gluing of his wound would probably sting, but he didn't bat an eye. Then we took the tablet away and he screamed bloody murder the entire way out of the ER. "Tab-bet! TABBBB-BETTTTT!!!!!!111!!" We may have been the only people who ever brought a screaming child OUT of the ER instead of INTO it. We assured the few bystanders and the charge nurse that he really was fine, we had only taken his technology away, but honestly I'm surprised they let us go home with him. ("TAB-BETTTT!!!")
Also, this all happened within an hour of our arrival home after being gone for nearly a week. We arrived at the ER with a kid splattered in yogurt from a GoGo Squeez enjoyed on the drive from Iowa, a diaper that should have been changed two hours ago, and covered in crumbs (why change when bedtime is in less than two hours?), which meant we looked exactly like the type of people who have no business parenting in the first place, because that's how life works.
He also apparently has no memory of the incident, or at least didn't seem to have learned any lessons from it, because the pictures above are from the VERY NEXT DAY, where he tackled the wound-inflicting slide like a boss as well as about 14 other gravity-defying stunts.