We’ve had a wonderful Christmas day (and vacation!) Gabriel was surprisingly–thankfully!– an angel on the drive up on Friday after work. We drove straight into the winter storm as we crossed into VA, and things got a bit brutal in WV as we struggled to stay in the lane and not slide all over. The 70 mile stretch of Route 19 (the “shortcut between I-77 and I-79) took us 2 hours…. ugh. But the rest was OK and we got to the grandparents’ in Pittsburgh before they even went to bed!
The next day (Sat) we visited with them for most of the day. I love catching up with my family, and some of my favorite times are listening to my grandparents’ stories of “the way things used to be.” Grandpa told us how, when he lived with his grandparents in Hackensack, NJ, his grandmother would give him a quarter for the bus–to ride to Penn Station–and a quarter for the movies/shows at the Paramount Theater (I think?). And he was 10-14 years old at the time. And his grandma didn’t worry, even if he stayed for the late show. My how things have changed! It scares me to think of Gabe riding his bike down the block someday!
…and that first bit was written in the 5 min block of time I had on Christmas Day. This was the first Christmas with “all of us”–parents, siblings, spouses, kids, so 9 of us total. Which equals a bit of craziness with so many different people around the house, gifts all over, Gabe running around saying “Me-ma! Papa! Mommy! Daddy! Matt! Joel!” etc etc. It was actually amazing to me that Gabe could remember my brothers’ names, and his aunt and cousin’s names too. Even the following days, Gabe would ask where they were.
So here it is 4 days later. A quick synopsis of what I can remember now:
– we had a rough time driving thru WV because of the snow. I’m happy that we arrived safely (after a stopover at Wendy’s to satisfy Javi’s craving for a Baconator), but we spun our wheels, well Big Red’s wheels rather, all the way up my grandparents’ driveway. It took about 5 minutes to travel it… we just inched and inched. Somewhere in this process, Gabe learned the phrase “Movin’ it” and “We’re moving it” and “Move it!”–which is kinda funny, and kinda annoying. Now he says it any time we are traveling. It’s almost like he caught on to our impatience, and he’s saying–Hurry up guys!
– we flat out got stuck in my parents’ driveway. They had way more snow than was in Pittsburgh (6 inches vs. 1 inch) so yeah… not a fun situation. It ended up taking shovels and boards of plywood to get us un-stuck, but again, at least we arrived in one piece.
– I bought Gabe boots and a snowsuit, after much deliberation if I should. He wore the boots twice–and was very excited about them! We never did put the snow pants on him, but they were on Clearance from Sears so I don’t feel too bad about it. And they looked huge, so I hope they fit next year. We didn’t have a sled anyways, so I didn’t make a big push to go sled-riding. We did make a snowman, which was fun 🙂 Gabe helped Papa and Daddy shovel (so cute!), and seemed to enjoy the snow. When we were watching the guys shovel from indoors, Papa threw some snowballs at Gabe, and when they hit the window, Gabe looked around like “Where did the snowball go?” and he laughed and laughed, it was insanely cute. Wish I would have gotten it on video, but hopefully we can recreate it next year. At least by me typing it, I’ll have a chance of remembering 😉
– I don’t usually list my Christmas gifts, but again for the sake of remembering: I got a new iPad (which I’m actually gonna give to J and get the mini–he made a big push for the full size but I really wanted a mini, so we’re going back for the mini for me tomorrow–then we don’t have to share! lol) Joel got me a keyboard and case for it. Matt & Kat got me some gorgeous Polish pottery bowls. Javi got me a massage session, perfume & lotion, and lots of nice outfits for work. Mom & Dad funded the new iPad, and also got me a new purse, lunch bag, red sweater, bracelet, watch, and other fun stuff. A very wonderful Christmas, not because of the gifts, but we were all together having a great time.
– Christmas Eve we played Scrabble (and I extended my tenure as reigning champ!), Sorry!, and foosball. I kinda stunk at Foosball, but the fam gets so pumped about it, it’s fun either way. Drinks & snacks were in abundance, and my scale certainly reflects it now 😉
– Dad, Joel, and I went on two runs. The first, I wore my ski pants over my under armour, and it was brutal! I struggled to keep up, as it was difficult to move my legs. Plus, the roads were so snowy/slushy/slippery. The 2nd run (Xmas day), we did the same route. WAY easier that time (each were about 3 miles). The guys were complaining because they had drank, but I was good to go that time! The temp was 17* for the first–so cold my eyes watered most of the time. I think that was the first (and second) time the 3 of us had run together. It was really nice. We are a true running family now!
– Gabe got oodles of gifts, which is great because I feel like he had grown tired of his current toys. Now I can rotate them, since there are so many new ones. Grandma got him a zillion books, to encourage him to keep reading. Gabe has his current faves but it’s great to have new ones too. Javi and I got him 3 books that are both Spanish and English. We are hoping to make him bi-lingual!
– My friend KW came to visit Christmas night. Even though we only see each other about once a year, we pick right up where we left off. I love catching up with her! She even brought us the most delish (& sinfully sugary) snacks–which I promptly had to try, even though she is on a diet. I have no willpower when it comes to sweets. KW might come visit in May, which I’m super excited about!
– The 7 Habits will continue this week. I have been tired, but finally shook the stuffy nose, so my energy is back up. I’ve also been working on being a good (less reactive) momma–but let’s face it, his tantrums are just ridiculous sometimes!–so that deserves an update too. Lastly, we are going to start potty-training Gabe. We’re going to work on it tomorrow, since we have 3 days left this weekend. That will definitely deserve a post all its own–hoping for success but have no idea how it will go. Gummy Bears are at the ready, however!
Hope you had a Merry Christmas too! Happy New Years!! 2013 could be the best year ever, but it’s got a big one to beat with 2012!