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Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Realities

Another Thanksgiving come and gone. I was thankful for the 24-hour break between feasts, especially with the added perk of helping an infant feed himself this year -- all I had to worry about last year was third-trimester heartburn.

But it was a great extended weekend, overall. We ended up not going to Mass on Thursday, as I was feeling sick and actually spent most of the day on the couch. Dinner wasn't until a little after 5 o'clock -- we had to wait for my sister's boyfriend. He was supposed to be there sooner, but he was hunting. Seriously? Nothing against hunting or anything, but we were all sitting down at the table, ready to start eating at least 10 minutes before he decided to grace us with his presence.

My son made everybody laugh, first by offering my husband some of his mashed potato-cranberry mess, and later when he had two pieces of turkey sticking out of his mouth and my grandmother said he looked like a walrus. My dad then responded by mimicking the Sesame Street character The Count: "One, two, turkey bits! Ah! Ah! Ah!"

Friday morning we slept in and ended up leaving for Cincinnati around 11:30. The baby slept the whole way there. We spent the afternoon hanging out with my father-in-law, who was installing his new stereo system for his gigundus flat-screen, hi-def tv. My husband's grandmother cooked the dinner, which was wonderful, of course. She -- and her whole family -- is from New Orleans, and she used to teach culinary arts. I relish any opportunity to eat at her house. Cousin Jody entertained the two little ones (mine and his cousin Zoe) with a laser pointer while the adults had after-dinner drinks.

Saturday we spent with some friends we went to college with. They took us out to lunch and talked about her dad's refusal to pay for their modest wedding and his mom's insistence on including items such as lavish centerpieces for their reception. We caught up on local gossip. At six we went to Cousin Jared's engagement party. It was great -- everything I would have wanted, had it been mine. Well, maybe minus the kids. My son, his cousin, and my brother-in-law's daughter were all there and under the age of three (my brother-in-law's "daughter" is actually his girlfriend's daughter, whom he was caring for while she was at work). And there was a pregnant couple there -- but that's a bit different. Jared asked me if I had any advice for them. I said, "Be prepared for anything." I couldn't think of anything wiser or more eloquent at the time. I should have said, "Get a Pack 'N' Play." That thing would have saved us so much grief when we tried to put the baby down for naps in strange beds this weekend.

Sunday we watched Star Wars: Episode III and the Bengals game (yikes). My father-in-law sent us home with his grandmother's Christmas tree and our tray-table set that we apparently forgot to move out of his basement with all the moving we've done over the past few years.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Very festive and fun. The single worst part was going home with all the traffic and torrential rain to several piles of laundry. But we made it a bit better by listening to "The 12 Pains of Christmas".


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