Post-Christmas Letdown

Christmas has come and gone, the relatives have all left, it’s back to being just the three of us (plus the fourth one who’s still baking). In a way, it’s a relief – it’s nice to have things back to the normal routine, yadda yadda – but at the same time, it’s kind of a bummer.

Catie isn’t adapting to this change very well at all. It’s probably common for kids this age, but a few times now, she’s said something about Christmas, and when I remind her that Christmas is over until next year, she bursts into tears. I think having everyone leave was particularly hard on her. She loves having people around, and she hates it when they leave.

Pop-Pop & Catie chilling together

The day my parents left, I found my mom sitting on the floor with a distraught Catie in her lap. She was wailing, “But I don’t want you to leeeeeave! I miss you when you gooooo!” My mom said that absolutely broke her heart.

It was worse when my mom called to say their plane had landed safely, and I repeated to my sister that they’d gotten home. Catie heard this, and said, “Home? They’re here? Let’s go see them!” And she started to run out to the garage. When I explained no, baby, they were back at their home… oh, the tears.

Catie & Mimi

My sister and her boyfriend left yesterday, the last of our Christmas visitors. I knew that Catie wasn’t going to take it well, so when she started to have a meltdown about them leaving, I suggested that she and I go do something fun on our own. Which is how I ended up spending a good chunk of yesterday afternoon at the Jump Zone.

Of course, then we had to follow that up with a trip to Burger King for a kid’s meal. And she still didn’t want to go home after that, so I let her go to the drop-in daycare near our house for a couple of hours so she could keep on playing while I went home to put my feet up and rest for a while.

Happy girl with a mouthful of hamburger

It worked pretty well, she totally wore herself out. She slept over 11 hours last night, which never happens. She even took a nap today too, which is increasingly rare for her.

Post-Christmas Letdown

But then, I guess we all need some downtime to recover after the holidays.

everything is better in a giraffe hat

My parents were here for the holiday weekend, which was really nice. We met up with our realtor friend who took them out to look at some houses so they could get a feel for neighborhoods here. Their house in Mississippi is on the market right now, and the plan is that they’ll move up here as soon as it sells. Of course, the market in Mississippi kinda sucks right now, so we don’t really know how long that’ll take. (Even though they have a really gorgeous house in a nice neighborhood. Seriously. Any of y’all need to buy a house in Ridgeland? Let me know!)

When they weren’t neighborhood-hunting, they spent most of their time making sure that their only grandchild was ridiculously indulged.

Catie & Pop-Pop model their funny hats

I cannot begin to tell you how much this picture makes me laugh. My dad looks like Jackie O. gone horribly wrong.

Then my mom joined in, but by that time, Catie had chocolate, and no longer cared about the camera.

Mimi joins in with the hat-wearing
Grandparents: giving kids sugar at bedtime since the dawn of time.

Since my folks had flown up, my brother and sister also drove over from Charlotte for the weekend too. Always nice to have everybody around, even though it does get a little loud and crazy. But we had a great time. Saturday was gorgeous here, we fired up the grill and ate outside on the deck, and it was absolutely lovely. I didn’t even take any pictures of that because I was too busy enjoying it.

Chris & Catie

Tracy & Catie

Everybody left on Sunday, and we went swimming with Cat and Elizabeth that afternoon as a distraction. It worked, Catie was definitely less sad than usual about everybody leaving since we had other fun stuff on the agenda.

It was also nice that they left on Sunday, since it gave us Monday/Labor Day to sort of rest and recuperate before starting the week again. I feel like that after every family vacation or get-together; you kind of need a day of downtime before getting back to the grind.

Watching a movie, eating a banana, wearing a giraffe hat.

And if that day involves watching movies and eating a banana while wearing a giraffe hat? Well, then, all the better.

Thanksgiving Recap

My poor little blog has been pretty neglected for the past couple of weeks. Sorry about that. There’s a bunch of stuff going on right now with the holidays and family visits, and yadda yadda yadda… basically, it’s been hard to find the time to sit down and just write.

My family was here last week for Thanksgiving. Since we’re going to the UK for Christmas next month, this was our early Christmas. Which meant that Catie was overloaded with presents, because for some reason my parents feel like she needs multiple gifts for each day that they’re here. So when they’re here for a week, that adds up to a lot of toys. In fact, if I’m making a wishlist for Catie’s birthday, number one is that she needs a new toy chest because her current one is overflowing.

And not that I’m complaining, because I think it’s awesome how generous my family is – my brother and sister both bought Catie multiple presents as well. But I do worry a little about what her expectations are going to be when she’s older. I don’t want her to be the kid who says, “What did you bring me?” when family members come to visit. So, yeah. I guess this is just what happens when you’re the only grandchild/niece.

shrieking with excitement about PRESENTS!!

But we had a great time, and they all left yesterday, which put me in kind of a funk. Of course it’s nice to have the house back to just the three of us and to get back to some sort of routine, but I love having my family around, and I really wish they all lived closer.

I think Catie might like Tracy just a little bit

Chris & Catie dancing together

Mimi & Catie play with her new Magna Doodle

this picture of Catie & my dad cracks me up

It just got me thinking that you know, my parents are getting older, their health isn’t so great, and I worry about them a lot. My brother is in Charlotte, so we can get to each other in a couple of hours if necessary. But with my sister in New York and my parents in Mississippi, it just feels like we’re very spread out. My mom would move here in a heartbeat, but my dad is not a fan of change, and I think it’s hard for him to consider leaving the town he’s lived in for the past 40 years.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I spent a good chunk of my online time yesterday looking up houses in 55-and-older communities. You know, just in case I need that information someday.

Halloween round-up

Forgive the quick entry, I only have a few minutes to type this up.

1. My in-laws are coming today! Catie is super-excited and keeps saying, “Grandma and Grandpa Roger are coming to see ME!” With her hand pressed to her chest for extra “ME!” emphasis. Yes, sweetie, they are. And now excuse Mommy while she panics and tries to clean the whole house from top to bottom.

2. I’m not doing NaBloPoMo this year. I thought it was fun in previous years, but with the visit from my in-laws and my entire family coming for Thanksgiving, there’s just no way on earth that I’m going to have time.

3. Halloween was so much fun! We went over to Cat & Tony’s neighborhood so the kids could trick-or-treat together. Catie had so much fun getting to hang out with her cousins, I think she’ll be talking about it until next Halloween.

And since I have to get to my last-minute frantic clean-up-a-thon, here are some of my favorite pictures from Halloween. The whole set is here.

Catie the dinosaur

Elizabeth the cowgirl & Catie the dinosaur

this picture makes me laugh every time I look at it

Elizabeth as a cowgirl riding a unicorn


Elizabeth in her chariot-wagon, Catie running alongside

weekend recap, in photos

I’m being lazy and only posting pictures because I don’t have much time to write anything, since my dad seems to want to use my laptop all. the. time. (What is he doing online for hours on end, you ask? Mostly he’s shopping for golf clubs on eBay. No, I don’t get it either.) Anyway, here they are.

all of us on the train at the Life & Science Museum

Pop-Pop carrying Catie

Catie IS the Potty Princess

my favorite swimming pic

Catie & Tracy during the intermission

Catie during Thomas Live
(This one is dark because it was taken at the Thomas & Friends Live show this past Saturday, and I couldn’t use my flash in the theater. But I love this picture because it basically sums up how she looked for the entire show.)

Chris & Catie

Cat, Austin & my mom

girls climbing all over Tony

Catie & Elizabeth hugging

Catie & Tracy chilling out, watching Wonder Pets

Chris, me, Catie & Mimi

Catie & Pop-Pop on the merry-go-round

The whole Flickr set is here. My brother and sister went back to their respective homes today (my brother to Charlotte, my sister to NYC). Dave gets back on Tuesday night, and my parents leave on Wednesday. We’re having fun, but we miss Dave a lot, and these trips always make me wish that my family lived closer. But I’m enjoying them while they’re here.

Now, if I could just get Catie to sleep. As I type this, it’s 10:30 p.m. and she’s showing no signs whatsoever of slowing down. I know it’s just too much for her brain to process with all the visitors and the absence of Daddy and everything, but yeesh. I’m exhausted.