We got a head start on our holiday by leaving our house at 5:10 am to drive up to Maine to avoid a predicted snow storm. Turns out that it is an excellent time to drive- there was no traffic and we made it up to Maine by 11:45 even after 2 stops. It was really snowing when we got there, and I took a nap and woke up to snow swirling outside, which made me feel like it was truly holiday vacation.
That evening, we celebrated Eric's brother's 40th birthday (a couple of weeks early) with a party at his house, with many of Eric's cousins and their children. Our kids went off and played without complaint, until Charlotte pooped out around 8:00 and asked to go home and go to sleep.
The following day we didn't do much at all until the afternoon, when we went out to the movies- Eric, his dad, Asher, and our nephew Kiptyn went to see Star Wars; and Charlotte and I went with Eric's mom, our sister-in-law, and nieces to see Pitch Perfect 3. Charlotte loved getting to go to a grown-up movie, and laughed at the jokes even if she had no idea what they were talking about.
On Christmas Eve, knowing we wouldn't get out of the house on Christmas Day, Eric and I took the kids to Portland to the art museum. They wanted to go to the children's museum, but it was closed, and the art museum was a reasonable size, and the kids actually seemed to enjoy it.
|Portland from the museum|
|My jogging route. I managed not to slip on the ice and die|
One small problem with the profanity on my shirt- 2 of my children know how to read, and the 3rd wanted to know what it said. I left out the first word, but she could tell I was leaving out a word when I told her. Asher courteously said, "I know what it says, but I'm not going to tell you, Charlotte." Benjamin said, loudly, "Bitch? What does bitch mean?" and Charlotte, victorious at her discovery, began yelling, "Bitch! Bitch! Bitch!" Since we are all mature adults, we just cracked up and half-heartedly told her not to say that word. She knew it was getting a reaction out of us, so she continued to say it the rest of the night, to everyone's delight.
|After a long round of "bitch! better have my cookies!" out of Charlotte.|
|Asher was a helpful elf to Santa this year.|
There was a packed house at Eric's grandparents', and we laughed all night long until our sides hurt. We were there until close to 10 pm, and the kids loved every minute of it and had to be dragged out.
We told them not to wake us up before 7 am on Christmas morning, and they listened! It was still too early for me, since we had been up late putting out gifts, but a big cup of coffee helped. We started with stockings.
|In their Christmas pajamas|
|In her princess gown, examining her new Calico Critters set|
|With some of her haul|
We ended up leaving the day after Christmas. On our way home, we stopped at my friend Jenny's house in Amherst for dinner. I don't get to see her enough, but every time we are together it is as if no time has passed at all. After a lovely dinner, I drove the family the rest of the way home. We made excellent time on our way home and arrived around 11:30.
The rest of the week was calm and quiet. My sister visited for a day and I hired a babysitter to stay with the kids while Elana and I went for a run and to shop. I took Charlotte and Asher to a museum one afternoon while Benjamin had a play date, I worked for 3 hours one morning, but mostly we hung around the house in our pajamas and decided it was too cold outside.
We hosted our annual New Years Eve gathering, which is fun and easy. The older the kids get, the later our friends stay, but I still managed to get in bed before midnight, which is my goal.
|With 2 of my friends|
On January 2 I went back to work, on January 3 the boys went back to school, and on January 4 and 5... snow days! 2018 has gotten off to a slow start at school, but hopefully we can have a full 5-day week soon. I have enjoyed our extra time together (mostly), but not my loss of income. Now that the holidays are over, I have decided that I have to take a vacation somewhere warm and sunny in order to make it through to spring- there is still a lot of winter ahead!