We planned to leave Tuesday night, but a projected Nor'easter made us delay. So on Wednesday morning, I squeezed in a few hours of work from home, went grocery shopping so we wouldn't come home to a bare fridge, and picked up K from school at noon, his early dismissal time. After an afternoon of packing and video game-making, we headed out to NY. The trip went smoothly, considering it was the day before Thanksgiving: heavy traffic in MA, which the kids weathered without a fuss, followed by the traditional dinner stop at Food Books in CT, then smooth sailing and slumbering siblings until we landed at my parents' house around 10 p.m. Six hours including dinner, not bad.
Thursday my niece woke up last, with a battle cry of "Butt Notes!" The kids spent the entire day running around together. I spent the morning making friends with my baby nephew and felt triumphant when he let me pick him up. He especially loves my father, though, and will chase him around with arms outstretched, always wanting a ride. Baby R is signing "more" and pointing to things and grunting. He looks like a junior version of his big sister.
I tried to help my mom cook, but she had everything under control so I just did some chopping and made a salad. My SIL showed up late that afternoon, around the same time as friends of the family who always come for dinner. At dinner, my father said we would go around and say what we thank God for. K said "God" and X said "Poopies" and refused to say anything else. My father forgot to leave the traditional whole turkey leg for K to devour, so he was stuck with turkey pieces like everyone else. Usually he's like a little medieval king with his turkey leg.
After dinner, we played Apples to Apples with the kids. X enjoyed this game because as far as he's concerned, you just slap cards down and yell random words.
Friday we hung around the house all day. I convinced JW to let K stay in his pajamas all day. X went with my niece to the library, where they read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" and ate cookies and made mouse and cookie Christmas ornaments. (Kind of surprising to have a tree ornament craft at a majority Jewish community library. Maybe there were other choices too, I didn't go.) The big kids set up a haunted house and made me go through it about thirty times. After the kids' bedtime we ate leftover apple pie and played Wise and Otherwise, except that my SIL abandoned us halfway through for online shopping.
X was up half the night coughing. His cough had gotten progressively worse since we arrived at my parents' house, and we had stupidly forgotten our nebulizer at home. We borrowed my brother's and got him to call in an albuterol prescription. We decided to leave that night. We're certain now that he's allergic to something in my parents' house, just like JW and I are too. I think two days there is his limit.
Before we left, I met up with some high school friends for a mini-reunion. It was fun to reconnect and compare notes on classmates we were still in touch with. I was a little surprised that we had so much trouble remembering things that happened during high school... it really was a long time ago. Out of the six of us who showed up:
- three are lawyers, two are doctors;
- four still live in the NY metro area;
- four are married, with three of those marriages in the past four years;
- I'm the only one with kids;
- we unanimously love Mindy Kaling.
We missed all the Thanksgiving traffic by coming home Saturday night, and I'm so glad we did. We've given X regular breathing treatments and he's already much better, we all got to wake up in our own beds (and sleep in!) and we got to do this today!