The plane rides were really not fun (takeoffs and landings were thus: Evan crying loudly about being so scared and Andrew needing forceful bodily restraint while howling his protest at having to stay in one place. SO glad Nathan was flying with us.) but we survived and so did all the other passengers (who may have contemplated compromising the survival of my children, and I can't really blame them). Yes, once again, we were that family.
And now we're back, trying hard to settle back into real life, with probably more than a few tears shed. Jonah has been repeating that he really just wants to move to Oregon and live at Grandma's house.
To get back into the swing of things and get some things checked of my endless list, I made a resolution for the month of February-- to tackle one cleaning/organizing task myself, and give one to Jonah, each morning before schooltime. That does not include the daily usual work, rather, this involves things like washing walls, sorting through boxes, or cleaning a cupboard, drawer or shelf. When I think of one, I write it in my planner as part of a particular day's to-do list, so that it doesn't just languish on the endless "someday" list. One thing per day.
Today, I chose to declutter some surfaces that have gotten piled with this-n-that during all our busy-ness, while Jonah dusted the cobwebs from the ceiling corners. I didn't get all the surfaces done, unfortunately, but I made some good headway/ I was very absorbed in my task and was just getting to a stopping point when Andrew stumbled into the kitchen whining in distress. When I looked at him, his pants were just covered with... something... orangish... wet.... gooey... no, not that, as it wasn't coming from in his pants... what the heck is that stuff? His socks... he was tracking it all through the house... what on earth.... I asked Jonah where Andrew had been and he pointed to the mudroom. I opened the door and there was Evan saying "Eh-dew! Zhe boke it! A MESS, Eh-dew. Mess, Mommy! Oh, no!" He continued to blame Andrew (Eh-dew) and I guess I believe him since, while they were obviously together, Andrew was covered and Evan didn't have a spot on him. Either Evan was telling the truth, or he's very, very clever.
Anyway, it was tomato sauce. A whole quart, the jar broken on the concrete floor, and tomato sauce covering all the shoes, boots, hats, and gloves littered nearby (because no, of course those things weren't put away, arg). Andrew had slipped in it, so it was streaked across the floor, and I thanked the Lord that he still had on the thick socks I had put on him (he prefers to be barefoot, and usually makes sure to take his socks off). He did not get any cuts from the broken glass mixed with all the sauce. Also, I was thankful that my pretty, new, clearance-rack boots (one pair in my color and size and cheap!), though sitting right next to the mess, were behind the open cabinet door and thus shielded from the horrible tomato massacre.
How on earth does one go about cleaning up a mess of tomato sauce, glass, footwear and toddler? This is one of the things that mystifies me about motherhood. How do those kind of messes get cleaned up, anyway?
So horrified was I by the sight of all this, that I completely forgot my Mom's rule of "camera first, clean-up after". Somehow I managed to get it all taken care of and no one got cut, while Evan continuously proclaimed Andrew's sole guilt in the whole matter.
Sigh. As I said, back to real life.
So how about I end this with some photos of our trip? We were having so much fun that I honestly didn't take many pictures myself, but I made sure to get others' photos on a thumb drive before we left. (Besides that, my camera is really starting to limp.)
Evan got lots of attention, and never missed an opportunity to have someone read him a book (unless of course, someone else felt brave enough to lend him an iPhone. iPhone trumps books, I'm afraid).
And there was plenty of cousin-love to go around.
We spent an awful lot of time messing up Mom's kitchen-- food is always necessary. We also observed that our best conversations seem to happen there.
Oh, and the late-night speed tournaments came only after a wholesome game of Pinochle. But Pinocle was too much to think about at 2 o'clock in the morning, and speed can be played with any amount of whiskey in your bloodstream.
(Also: staying up until 3:30am? Is for 20 year olds. I? Am not.)
Andrew got his first hair cut! He looks so handsome....
...but I admit that I miss his cute little "ear wings".
More cousin-love, but a different sort for the bigger ones.
Oh! And I was thrilled to meet my brother's lovely fiance! We even had a bridal shower for her!
...and had a girls' day out at a local tea room! Such fun!