Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Merry! Merry! (Part 2 of 3)

After the excitement of our Christmas Eve & Christmas morning, I'm pretty sure C was asleep before we hit highway 20-- those tracks must have worn him out.  We had a non-eventful drive up to NW Iowa, and were greeted by my mom as we pulled into the driveway.  Sister, her husband, and Miss N were already there and though it took C a minute to warm up to everyone, he was quickly his busy self and off exploring everything.

Getting right to the point and passing out presents!
Miss N was a big help as well
The Christmas spirit was making the love flow! 
N's "new" dollhouse from C
I had to get in C's new sleeping bag in order for him to feel okay trying it out
Aw, love these three!
We exchanged gifts that night before eating lasagna and toying with the idea of heading to a movie (we often go to the movies on Christmas night-- and I really can't wait to see Les Mis!).  We were all tired though and decided against the movie, especially since we would have to go in shifts to guard the toddler's lives at home.  (I'm thinking I should have just gone, however, as C took 2 hours to go to sleep that night and I was so irrationally annoyed/frustrated/mad/angry/ with him that it would have been better for my mom to just deal with him in a grandmotherly way).

The next day, we brunched on giant cinnamon roles, and juicy oranges.  Of course, Charlie helped in the kitchen.

C and Miss N played with their toys before we rounded up the troops and headed to the SHS Fieldhouse to burn off a little energy (and maybe a cookie or two).  M tried to teach me how to be a better volleyball player (one of my only high school regrets: I wish I had had enough self confidence to play v-ball in high school) and I think I was getting the hang of it! We tossed around the basketballs and volleyballs, and found a beach ball to kick around as well. We tried to set up an obstical course but Miss N kept moving the cones to the line-- it was pretty cute. But the kids' favorite activity was the "shirt pull"-- when we pulled a jump rope through the arms of an old PE t-shirt and used it as a sled.  Papa & I had races with C & N-- and it was clear that working out should be on my New Year's Resolution list as I was super exhausted after only two races.

Naps were definitely in order after the fun morning at the gym but M's mean wife didn't let him get out of the family card game.  This year we played "The Quarter Game"-- super fun.  But I had luck on my side as I won 7 of 12 hands and felt really weird about it.  So I threw the last hand-- giving my brother-in-law a chance to win a hand....winning 8 of 12 would just have been too much.  Maybe I should have spent Christmas in Vegas.... 

After the smalls woke up, we carted them off to the bowling alley for $2 bowling.  C had a blast and N was entertained for a good four frames.  After that, she had the most fun walking up and down the little step to the sitting area.  C really loved the order of french fries and cheese balls-- though he kept referring to them as 'chicken balls'.  I have no idea....that's all I'll say.  And I'm proud to announce that I beat my husband by one pin!  Sadly however, my mother lost to both of her grandchildren-- of course, they had the luxury of bumpers, which she did not use.  

That night, we ate chili before making the decision to venture out into the cold and go swimming at the Highlands.  I tagged along but opted to hang out with my grandma on dry land-- not sure my swimming suit could stretch after all the holiday sweets I've been eating!  Those in the water appeared to be having a great time, but were ready to head home and eat some of Sister's famous "Mississippi Mud Pie" before bed.

Grandma came back to our house with us for a repeat Quarter Game but first we had a little relaxing time.  Mason read, Ryan built, Nora talked, and Charlie built as well.

Miss N and C kept looking at the book my late Grandma Ruby made for them last year--a recordable book of her reading, "The Night Before Christmas".  It was super sweet and nostalgic to listen to Grandma's voice, especially since she passed away.  However, as the tots' attention span wasn't more than two pages, we just kept hearing Grandma Ruby say, "Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house....." and then we'd hear, "Merry Christmas Nora!" which became pretty comical! As the two little ones read books, we enjoyed our card game and grownup time before having some coffee and calling it a night.

We didn't stay long on the 27th, but didn't feel rushed at all. We stopped at "Old Mc Donald's" on the way out of town (we have GOT to get back on track with eating!!) and C was asleep most of the way home.

My road warrior hubby did ALL the driving. 
Goodbye NW Iowa.  See you again in 2013
It felt great to pull into our driveway later that afternoon and be greeted by our big slobbery sheddy mess of a dog and semi-tidy house.  We had a day and a half in our own home before packing up to head over to Dubuque for more family fun!  (That's Part 3 folks) 

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