Once Thanksgiving hits, everything is such a whirlwind that it feels like there is absolutely no down time until January hits. This year proved no different. After we got back from Ft. Worth the next thing we looked forward to was heading to Kansas City.
Every year, the Sunday before Christmas we head to Kansas City to celebrate Christmas with my grandpa’s sister and her family. This fell on our weekend to have his daughter but we usually have to have his daughter home at 6 on Sunday’s. With driving to KC there wasn’t any guarantee when we’d be back. He worked out with his ex-wife that his daughter could go with us and he’d just bring her back first thing Monday morning.
To save ourselves a little time PC and his daughter stayed the night at my parents house so we didn’t have to get up nearly as early. PC slept on the couch and his daughter slept in my bed with me. I’d never slept next to a little kid before and she was extremely snuggly (like I was as a child) so she immediately snuggled in next to me and was out. I on the other hand was extremely worried about rolling over on her in the middle of the night or else pushing her out of bed or something so my brain kept me awake all night long. Every 20-30 minutes I’d stare at her to make sure she was still breathing. I’ll probably be one of those paranoid mothers if I ever have my own child. Needless to say I got about 2 hrs total sleep that night.
First thing Sunday morning we loaded up in the Mustang, met my grandparents at my parents driveway and tag-teamed our way up to KC. PC I think was a little nervous and a little excited to meet yet another side of the family. I think his daughter was just bored. (What ever did my parents do with me when I was her age… we didn’t have built in DVD players or anything… we survived. Yeah the Mustang doesn’t have that either but I’m happy to report she survived just fine!) After a few wrong turns we wound up at the restaurant for brunch. Grandpa’s family knew that I was bringing them up with me and they could hardly contain their excitement to meet them.
After brunch we all headed to Margie’s House. This was the first year for that, usually we went to Aunt Sue’s. Margie had the neatest Christmas tree. She told us she got it on the Plaza at the Hallmark store so PC, his daughter and I loaded up in the car and took off for the Plaza in search for this tree. We wondered around on the plaza for a couple hours going in to different stores and looking and having no luck finding the tree so we headed back to Margie’s house. About the time we got back everyone started planning on leaving so we grabbed a few snacks, loaded up in the car and took off for home. Just before we left Aunt Sue pulled me aside and asked if we were sure his daughter wasn’t mine because she responded so well to me and even looked like me. My heart swelled
PC and I made a deal, I drove up, he drove home. Sitting in the passenger seat and lack of sleep the night before I started to doze off. I felt guilty for sleeping though so eventually I started playing with the apps on my iPhone. I have a game called This or That so PC and I started playing this. Eventually his daughter put up her DS and started answering the questions as well so I added her in on the game. We played this for an hour and a half.
Once we got back to town we thought it might be fun to go through the display of Christmas lights that the Vietnamese put on so we headed into town. Once we were done, we went and put gas in my car, they took me home and then got in his truck and headed home. I walked into my bedroom and passed out on my bed, not to wake until that dumb alarm went off at 6:30 the next morning.
My aunt is an ER doctor in southern Oklahoma. When it comes to planning Christmas we not only have the factor of weather but also the factor of her schedule of when she works and when she doesn’t. It is a 5 1/2 hour trip to her house one way. This year she had to work on Christmas Day so they planned on driving up on the 23rd, doing Christmas with my mom’s side of the family on Christmas Eve morning and then they’d head home that afternoon. We had started listening to weather predictions earlier in the week and heard that our part of the country was going to have snow dumped on us Christmas Eve into Christmas day so plans got changed. Once they arrived on the 23rd, we were going to do Christmas and then they were going to head home first thing Christmas Eve.
PC worked out with his ex-wife to allow his daughter to come over to the house on the night of the 23rd to celebrate Christmas with us. I wound up having to work on the 23rd so his ex-wife met me in the parking lot of my work where I picked his daughter up and brought her to the house. I was a little nervous because I didn’t have my back up with me. He was at my house helping my mother get ready for Christmas dinner. I faced his ex alone and I was extremely nervous. I drove up to our meeting destination and started rearranging his daughter’s car seat so she could jump in just as they pulled into the parking lot. I buckled her in and away we went. She and I pulled in my parents driveway just before my aunt & uncle did.
His daughter and my mother have this game they play. She gets on all fours under the kitchen table and barks like a dog. My mom goes on and on about who let the dog in (usually my dog Morelli b/c he lets himself in when he shouldn’t) and they go back and forth for quite a while like that. Today held no difference:
She kicked her shoes off at the door, threw her coat on the couch and jumped under the kitchen table.
-Who let that dog in the house again?
I proceed through the door.
-Well Nicole I thought you were bringing Tbug home with you.
-um… I was. She might still be in the car.
-Nicole did you let Morelli in?
-(me) Morelli? Morelli, Come here Morelli…. Well I don’t know where he went. He isn’t coming.
PC & my dad ran downstairs to help my aunt and uncle bring presents in to the house. Once they got inside my mom said, “Tbug, stand up here for a minute. I’d like to introduce you to my sister and brother-in-law.”
And with that she came out from under the table, stood up next to my mom and shook their hands. My mom then told her she was done and she said, “Okay.” and ran off into the living room where she got back down on all fours and started jumping around. My aunt & uncle were extremely impressed with her and my mom boasted on how well behaved she was. Then my uncle went into the living and started playing with Tbug.
Now my uncle is just as much of a kid when it comes to opening presents so he conned Tbug into running in and saying, “Are we going to open presents yet?” Of course we all laughed and my mom said but I thought we’d eat dinner first. Well that got me chiming in saying, I’m going to distribute presents. Dinner isn’t ready yet anyway and we all headed for the living room. At the end of the night we had to take Tbug back to her momma’s house but if they could have, I think my aunt and uncle would have wrapped her up and taken her home with them.
PC stayed the night at my parents house that night because the next morning Tbug and her mom, step dad, sister, grandma & uncle were coming out to our house. She wanted a saddle for Christmas with a pink blanket so we helped her momma locate one for her. Since they don’t have horses and we do they gave her the present on Christmas Eve morning and then headed out to my house so Tbug could try out her new saddle.
PC and I got up that morning to a nasty, cold, misty rain. We made breakfast and then headed outside to saddle up Aloha and ride her down a bit before they got to my house. Once we had her warmed up and the “buck” out of her (it was cold and she hadn’t been ridden in a couple days, but she really doesn’t buck, she’s to lazy) we went and stood in the barn waiting on them. Once they arrived we walked outside and saddled up Aloha and helped Tbug get on her back. Then we lead her out into the round pen and let her ride around. Eventually her sister wanted on too so I picked her sister up and carried her over the mud hole and put her in front of Tbug. Since it was cold and misty they didn’t last but maybe 15-20 minutes and then they were done. We walked Aloha back to the barn, unsaddled her, brushed her off, gave her treats and then they left. Once they were gone I ran in the house and jumped in a screaming hot shower. PC was soon to follow.
That afternoon we played John Deere Monopoly, one of his Christmas presents. We’d had plans that evening to attend midnight mass at church and then stay the night at his mom’s house so we could be at his sister’s first thing Christmas morning. We watched the tv all afternoon as more and more churches and area businesses were canceling due to the inclement weather. About 6 we decided to go ahead and head to his mom’s house so we wouldn’t be on the roads any later than need be but we were smart because we drove his truck. We waited up to hear his mother made it home from work and then we both crashed.
I’ve always had this bad habit of waking up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, this year proved no different. I was wide awake at 5am. Unfortunately I woke him up as well. We laid there watching Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase until it was time to get up and get dressed to head to his sisters house. We walked out on the porch of his mom’s house to single digit temps and 2 feet of snow. It was the first year we’d had snow on Christmas morning in 7 years.
PC, his mom and I loaded up in his truck and drove down the road to his sisters house. His dad showed up about 15 minutes after we did. When we got there his sister had a fantastic breakfast ready for us. We ate breakfast and opened presents, then we loaded back up in his truck, took his mom home and took off for my grandparents house.
On our way to my grandparents house my mom called to say we had forgotten to put Santa presents out so we made a quick detour to my house and found the hidden Santa presents and then went on to my grandparents house. When we got there my grandma tried to feed us breakfast again but we declined. Once everyone had eaten we went into the living room where I played Santa again and passed out all the presents. About 11:30 PC got a call from his ex-wife and went to meet her to pick up Tbug. As he was pulling out of the driveway his mother was pulling in.
Once we ate lunch at my grandparents house we then headed back to my house for Santa presents. After she opened the last present she looked at me and said, “Is that all?” I was ready to crawl in a hole. That absolutely broke my heart. My first time getting to play Santa and she wasn’t happy with what we got her.
Memaw wanted to spend some time with Tbug so she went home with Memaw. PC stayed with me. After all the excitement and waking up at the crack of dawn I went, laid down on my bed and he and I slept that afternoon away. We woke up that evening and spent some time watch some movies with my parents and then we all went to bed. PC stayed the night at my house that night too because the next morning we were getting up early to hit the After Christmas Sales on the search for his daughter’s Birthday present.
….To Be Continued….