Busy busy week for me! Feels like two weeks rather than one. It's been great!
It started with Megan coming to visit from Indy. Soon as she left I ran some loads of laundry, did a tiny bit of Christmas shopping, packed up the car, and drove to my in-laws' house. The entire trip over there Theodore kept calling out over and over again "Nana! Bike! Nana! Bike! Go Nana!" Not that he was excited or anything. He loves his Nana! The bike he was referring to is a tricycle in her garage.
When we got to the house it was already dark. The next day was rainy, although he did manage a short stint on the trike when we got a few house of crystal-clear sky in the late afternoon. Most of the day was busy with some baking and a little consignment-shopping. My contribution was small, just some nice, moist banana sour cream bread. Yum!
Sean didn't come over until Thanksgiving Day, arriving a few minutes before we headed over to my MIL's sister's house for dinner 1. For some reason I still just don't feel comfortable over there yet. Perhaps I never will. Dinner ended just as it was naptime so we left and took him back to Granpop and Nana's house. Soon as nap was over, time to go! We were once again off, to dinner 2 at the house of my FIL's sister. Food at the first dinner is not nearly as tasty as food at the second, well worth just nibbling at the first dinner. Thanks to my aunt's advice on handling two thanksgiving dinners within a few hours of each other I've learned how to balance the two dinners and come away from both without feeling overfull, stuffed, or anything other than satisfied. Thank you Aunt B (you know who you are)!
There was a newer face at Thanksgiving dinner #2 as my husband's cousin brought someone else into the family this year. She was saying at dinner her "other half" was finding it awkward coming, and she didn't understand it. I did. Figuring out the family dynamics- especially that family's dynamics- is a bit tricky. Once you discover them, though, it's smooth sailing. In the end you could hardly ask for a nicer set of in-laws. Just have to figure them out first!!!
Next day, Black Friday. Never did it prior to marrying in to this family. Always do it now. Why? Because it's their family tradition. The women in the family meet after breakfast (no 5am shopping) and look at the sales. At dinner the day before lists are passed around. Names are drawn. Individuals are responsible for: all the kids (everyone is required to get all the kids their own gift, though right now that means 3 kids), members of their immediate family (parents, spouse), and whichever adult (18+) name you draw out of the bowl. Newspapers are strewn over the table, stores selected. Time to shop!
Yesterday we left my little guy with his papa and grandpop. Got quite a bit of shopping done too. It was fascinating to observe the different shopping styles of the women! Very different. "Holler if you see something you like" "This, check. That, check." "oooh, how pretty! (*buy*)" "maybe I can get ideas and then shop later" were each represented. Stashes grew (or didn't grow) accordingly. The time passed rapidly. MIL and I left early though, much sooner than the rest of the family. We had someone at home waiting for us. Today we went out again to different stores, and this time took T with us. T even napped while we were out so we didn't have to stop and take him home! Loved it! Once we finished we hurried home. I'm very satisfied with my success, my list is pretty close to done. Before the sun set we managed to take a family photo outside as well. Looking forward to seeing how it turned out. Hope we don't have to re-take it!