For pretty much all of November, our house had the plague. Both kids had insanely high fevers, sore throats, nasty coughs, and rivers upon rivers of snot. They basically passed it back and forth to each other for weeks. Norah had the entire week of Thanksgiving off and we did nothing fun because she was a hot mess. I was able to stay immune until that week and then, bam. Not only did I get the awful chest cold but I also got pink eye. PINK EYE. What grown up gets pink eye? It was so embarrassing. The worst part was that I couldn't even stay home because of an insane work deadline so I basically had to quarantine myself in my office while everyone else had a Thanksgiving potluck.
As per recent tradition, GG and Aunt Vanessa planned to fly in for the long weekend for our Thanksgiving/VZ Christmas celebration. GG recently had knee surgery and although we held our breath until the very end that she would be able to make it, ultimately her doctors felt strongly that it was too risky for her to fly (blood clots). So, GG stayed in Southern California and lived it up with all of her friends. We missed her terribly but we were lucky enough that Aunt Vanessa was still able to be here. She is the best puzzle maker, gamer player, imagination actor of all times. I felt like I should be paying her for excellent childcare the entire time she was here.
As an interesting aside, I have a distinct memory of going to Vanessa's graduation from business school when I was pregnant with Norah. We were talking about one thing or another and she said that she wanted to go by Aunt Nessa (which is super cute). Norah called people what she wanted to call them, regardless of our suggestions (ie, Grammy v. Bubby) and never took to Nessa. Louie on the other hand, all on his own, started calling her Nessa on this visit (again, super cute). It's probably because he can't pronounce Van. Regardless, it's very endearing.
Thanksgiving lunch/dinner was at the S house and I was in charge of the sausage stuffing, salad, a vegetable side, and a gluten free chocolate cream pie. I used my trusty Cup4Cup (again, PR people, we are on board with a spokeskid gig...) and even though I had a few moments when I thought the crust would crumble, it turned out perfectly. This was half-way through the pie baking process and I never managed to get a photo of the final product. There was a lot of freshly whipped cream and chocolate shavings. I don't eat dairy so I didn't even try it. I'm a sucker.
I got Lou and Reid matching sweaters. Reid absolutely refused to wear his. Louie loved his but insisted on pairing it with his ratty maroon sweat pants.
I had to wear my glasses for like two weeks. I don't think I have done that for twenty years. I hate wearing glasses.
This was my vegetable side dish. Half with bacon. Because I care.
This would have been a much cuter photo if they were wearing matching sweaters.
Steph and her kids that were toddlers like last week. Now they are giant. And awesome. Norah has always been a little single white female about Megan, but lately it's the boys who are total stalkers. They love, love, love Trevor and go bananas whenever he's around.
These two look so much alike. I have to do a double take with some of Norah's baby pictures.
Norah always draws feet like this. It's kind of creepy. Like a hybrid tree-human.
And the reason we moved to Texas can all be summed up here:
After the festivities died down I agreed to do something I have never, ever done before in my entire life--participate in Black Friday. Now, I have nothing against Black Friday. If you want to celebrate Thanksgiving by sitting in front of the fire with your near and dear, good for you. If you want to go to the movies, by all means. And if you want to wake up at 4:00 am to go shopping, have at it. I have never been willing to go because 1) I hate waking up at 4:00 am, and 2) I hate crowds. But apparently Black Friday now starts at 8:00 pm and at 8:00 pm I needed to walk off some turkey, was full of cocktails, and BVZ and Vanessa were willing to take the kids home and put them to bed. So, I was game. I am not sure I will do it again but it was definitely not the worst things I've ever done. Plus, I had good company. I almost bought myself these shoes (I didn't). Clearly I was full of cocktails.
The blue holiday bunny's name is "Sparkle" and she's fabulous.
We had a fun and lazy Friday and then on Saturday we had tickets to ride the Austin Steam Train--Polar Express Edition. Now, the best thing about two and five years old is that they don't have very high expectations. Which was a good thing because the Austin Steam Train--Polar Express Edition was pretty beat. There were some lackluster decorations and a relatively creepy Santa that made me sit on his lap. It lasted about an hour longer than it should have. The upside? The company was stellar. And the kids looked really, really cute in their holiday pj's.
Louie was so stoked that Vanessa wore her "conductor hat."
BVZ and Camilla are equal parts bald.
Norah is pouting here because Louie wanted to sit next to Vanessa.
Mrs. Claus was less offensive and handed out cookies.
Maybe it's his strong Dutch heritage, but Lou always ends up wearing man capri's no matter the shape, size, or material of his pants.
At the halfway point, all of kids got train whistles. At the half way point. Why for the love of all things merry did they give all of the kids train whistles at the half way point?
After the very long train ride we introduced Vanessa to the joy that is Torchy's Tacos and let the kids stretch their legs at home.
Saturday night BVZ and Vanessa left the suburbs and did something fun. While they were gone I put together Lou's marble run. BVZ couldn't believe I was able to do it. It took me over two hours but I was determined. It is so, so, so cool.
It has already provided hours of quiet entertainment. I love you, marble run.
Another successful Thanksgiving in the books. Hooray for us.