Life has been absolutely crazy and fun the past week or so. We arrived back from vacation last Tuesday around 2:30 in the afternoon. Our first stop was the dog kennel to pick up our two dogs. The dogs were happy but obviously very tired and ready to just go home and sleep. I never dreamed a kennel could be so exhausting but it must have been. I guess having all kinds of new people, dogs to "talk" to and new play areas tired them out.
We took the dogs home and then I took M to my parents house while Jacob and I went to do a very fast run through the grocery store. We needed just enough food to get us through Christmas which really wasn't much. The grocery store was busy as I expected that close to Christmas.
We left the grocery store and headed to a day care in the neighboring community to pick up a five-year-old friend. Grace's mom needed someone to watch Grace overnight while she took care of some family things. Grace was a delight. She is a little girl who is full of energy and can out last either of my two boys (which really takes a lot). She kept asking if she was being an angel which in her own way she was.
Grace, Jacob and I picked M up and we all went to McDonald's for dinner. Grace hadn't had a chance to see Santa Clause so we headed to the mall after eating and paid Santa a visit. I reminded Jacob and M that Santa had already started their gifts so make sure you don't ask for something different this time. They didn't disappoint and Jacob asked for a garbage truck with yellow garbage can and M asked for a parking garage.
Wednesday Jacob, Grace and I all got up early and played in the house. Jacob and M needed to go to day care for about an hour to finish up their holiday activities and give me a chance to finish up mine. Grace and I worked together to wrap Jacob and M's presents and move all of the gifts from my parents' house to my car. We returned home, made lunch and laid down for an hour. After naps, we finished the day by making Christmas cookies before Grace went home.
M and I spent Wednesday evening shopping for a gift for M to give Jacob. We quickly found a doctor kit that Jacob had been asking for as well as a present for our friend P. I was very tired by this point so we picked Jacob up and all went home for a fairly early bedtime.
Thursday was another busy day but not as bad as Tuesday and Wednesday. Jacob, P, M and I all went to the holiday train and garden show at the local gardens. P really enjoyed looking at the different flowers, Jacob and M really enjoyed the trains and everyone enjoyed some cookies afterwards. We had a holiday lunch of macaroni and cheese at Noodles and Company and gave P her doll. Jacob, M and I were still tired from our vacation and the past two days so we spent time in the afternoon just picking up the house, doing laundry and taking some much needed naps.
Christmas Eve and Day were fun and I will write about them later. For the most part, they were uneventful and just enjoyable.
Sunday the boys and I spent time putting their new toys together and playing. Well, they did most of the playing. I spent most of my time trying to unpack the suitcases and get at least a little closer to finishing the laundry. It is amazing how fast time flies when there are three suitcases to launder, Christmas toys to put together and play with and of course, we all wanted to take a nap. I spent some time relaxing and watching the Packer game while the kids slept so the day wasn't completely lost to work.
Monday Jacob's friend Lana came over while her mom worked. Her mom was kind enough to give up some money to spend so we decided to go to Chuck E Cheese for lunch. Lana is 4 years old and just a delight to be around. She played with the boys while I made breakfast and cleaned up the kitchen. I did a couple chores around the house and then took the kids downtown to get my uniform for work that night. We went to Chuck E Cheese after leaving my office and spent about two hours eating pizza and playing games. All of the kids had a great time and were exhausted by the time we left.
I got home with Lana and the boys and had just started putting laundry away when Lana's mom arrived to take her home. I had to hurry and get ready for a special work assignment that night. I picked up the babysitter and hurried off to work until about 10.
Yesterday was almost as busy as Monday. I took M to day care so he will have enough hours in to meet his funding requirements. I took the opportunity to take Jacob and P bowling. Neither had ever been bowling before and both had a great time. We bowled two games which took us about an hour and a half to finish. Bowling is a much slower game with young children especially when the ball seems to barely be moving as it inches down the lane. Everyone had fun though and we all survived the trip.
Jacob had been waiting since Christmas to go to Toys R Us and get a remote control crane so we stopped there before bowling. As soon as we took P to her house, Jacob and I got to work putting the crane together. It was actually a lot easier to assemble than I anticipated and Jacob had fun playing with it until it was time to get M from day care.
I decided it was time for some adult time and went to dinner and a movie with a friend last night. We saw Little Fockers which was funny and a great way to just relax. I got home around 9:30 and picked up the house for the house cleaner today (still the best money I spend each week). I got to bed around 10:30 and was awakened at 4:40 this morning by an eager M. He wanted to watch cartoons before going back to day care.
Now I am back to work and ready for our normal routine to start. Tonight will be much quieter with me doing laundry and the kids enjoying their new toys. Christmas vacation is over and we are all ready for some normalcy to return.