Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas in Ohio Part 2: Schwartz Was Getting His

Relieved of Joey and all his angst, I slumbered for as long as I was allowed to, until a little before 8. While I was asleep three excited kids ate donuts and waited to open their presents. Tim let them open their stocking stuffers. They got some good ones. Santa upped his stocking stuffer game this year. Delaney was obviously thrilled to receive the Land of Stories fairy tale collection. She has read almost the whole Land of Stories series, which are very entertaining books about the adventures of two kids who accidentally find themselves in the fairy tale world. This is a book of the original fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen and the brothers Grimm, that the series is based on. All are retold by the Land of Stories author Chris Colfer. I think this is the first fairy tale book we've had in this family, and that seems strange to me now that I think about it.
The gift in the picture below was for the two of them. It was a set of walkie-talkies. The boys also got one. They all got books, Annie got a sewing kit, and they all got Marine t-shirts or a onesie, Joey got a bath toy, and that's all I can remember. Timmy probably had a little Lego set in there too. I can't remember what else Delaney got.
The joy on that face..
When he couldn't hold them off any longer, Tim went down to get me, stuck a coffee in my hand and plopped me on the couch so the kids could see what else Santa got them.
Delaney was overjoyed to unwrap the little Melissa & Doug stable full of horses. She told Grandy, "I gave one to Toys for Tots and now I get one!" Those horses were a really big deal to her for some reason. She wrote a name for each horse on the labels that were provided for each of the stalls. She named each one of them after some kind of food. She needs to never grow up. She also got Star Wars bed sheets and a big BB-8 pillow. An American Girl Wellie Wishers doll that was on her wishlist was her third big gift from Santa. 
Annie got an American Girl hairstyling caddy that was on her wishlist. Fixing hair -- be it her own, mine or her doll's -- is her favorite thing right now. Since she loves hair so much Santa also got her a personalized organizer for her own hair things. Her third gift was a weaving loom that comes with yarn and instructions for how to make a scarf, a purse, and who knows what else. She got that very same loom from Grandy the night before. I'm thinking Santa and Grandy were of the same mind: Annie needs to be busy.

Timmy's three big Santa gifts were a remote control truck, a big Lego Star Wars set, and a Razor scooter which Santa had to bring to our house in SC. Santa brought Joey a set of mops and brooms since he loves to use ours so much; one of those toys where you pull the lever and hear animal sounds; and a pull-along puppy.

That afternoon we went to the Christmas party for my dad's side of the family. I took a few pictures, mostly of kids draped over furniture, looking hung over from the night before. We stayed about a couple hours and then we were done for the day. It was a pretty laid back Christmas Day and that's the way we like it.
This little angel is always sleepy.
At some point that day, Tim and I talked it over and decided that we would cut our trip a day short. The day after Christmas would be our last day because by this point Joey had decided he was done sleeping at my parents' house. Bedtime was a long drawn-out hour-and-a-half of crying, with Tim and I taking turns trying to pat him and cajole him to sleep. He was up again and again throughout the night, with him or me desperately doing whatever it took short of a dose of Benadryl to get him back to sleep. It was really stressful. My mom likes to say in regard to that one baby who really gives his/her parents a run for their money, "Schwartz was getting his." (Remember the line from A Christmas Story? "Three blocks away, Schwartz was getting his." It had nothing to do with a baby, but it's still fitting. WE GOT OURS alright.) I was so glad to be there for Christmas but for the sake of our sanity we were going to need to be heading back soon. Tim got 95% of our stuff loaded into the car between that night and the next morning, again without my parents even being aware. Swift and silent.

We had a great last day. The high was in the 70s and we took a walk around the lake. Whodathunk we'd be outside with no coats on the day after Christmas? Crazy Cincinnati weather. All I know is it was so good for us all to get out of the house and get some exercise instead of staring at one another inside my parents' house (although that isn't so bad either). Tim stayed home and put Joey down for a nap.
Timmy's truck ran out of battery predictably during the first part of our mile-and-a-half walk. His cousin Miles said, "Maybe my mom has room in her stroller." Timmy told him, "But my dad said if anyone else carried it, we'd have to donate it when we get home." He really liked that truck and he carried it the whole way. Miles was very encouraging.
After we got back we congregated on the front porch in a way that must have looked very curious to the neighbors. Or maybe it's not so curious since they're probably used to my parents and the constant stream of kids and grandkids coming and going. But if I looked across my street and saw this, it would be hard not to stare, I have to admit.
At around 6 the next morning, our little alarm clock woke us up and it was time to go. I watched the robed figures of my parents standing in the doorway as we backed out, and as always I wished that we didn't have to live so far away. 

Once the sun was up I picked up my January book club book, Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, and to my delight I found it nearly impossible to put down. At the last meeting, the book club leader had asked us all to write a title on a piece of paper for her to draw one so that she wouldn't be the one picking something we'd all hate. I wrote down that title because it had been highly recommended, but thought it sounded so stupid. It reminded me of that song from the '90s, Truly Madly Deeply. Remember that nauseating song? So she picked it out of a basket and read it out loud, and then my neighbor who was sitting next to me said loudly enough for everyone to hear, "That was you, right?" Ugh. I'd been hoping to remain anonymous in case it really stunk. A few days later I went to order it from Amazon and saw that it was only available in hardcover. I alerted the book club leader to this, as she had told us she never wanted us to have to buy hardcover, but she said something like, "Yeah, sorry, I should have known that. Happy reading!" I was even willing to pick something else, but I can tell that for our book club leader, the choosing of the book is a very nerve-wracking thing for some reason, and she was unwilling to go through it again for this particular month.

I'm actually happy to be taking the credit for this one. It is SO. GOOD. I ate it up. I don't know if it was worth buying in hardcover even with the $5 coupon, as I am a huge cheapskate when it comes to books, but man, it is a good read.

And that's it. Another uneventful drive home, and now Tim's sister Karen and her fiance Matt will be here in a few hours. This Christmas break is flying by. Oh, and Joey's back to sleeping through the night. 

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