Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

No matter how long a break you take from work, it seems it's never easy to go back. If it's too short, it's not enough of a break, and if it's too long, you get so comfortable in non-work life that you just don't want to go back. There may be a middle ground in there somewhere, but I haven't found it yet. I was actually surprised at how easy this morning's daycare drop-off was. Jacob barely looked back. Maybe he missed it. Hopefully he proves that by being a delightful child today. Oh, how I wish.

Our weekend as a whole was pretty good, even though Craig worked for a good portion of it. We left for Buffalo on Wednesday night, and Thursday was busy and full of food, as expected. We did church and lunch with my parents (joined by my grandma for the meal), and an early dinner and evening with Craig's family. We stayed overnight there and came back Friday morning, just in time to avoid the lake effect snow heading into the area. Jacob seemed to enjoy his day. He was manageable at church and didn't eat much at my parents', but it was about naptime so I think that was part of the problem. During his nap we hopped on the webcam with my brother and his family, and that got me even more excited for all of us being together at Christmas. Jacob didn't eat much better with Craig's family, but he did have a great time playing with his cousins. Here's a shot of Jacob getting a piggy back ride from big cousin Maddy :) After two big meals, iffy sleep and some travel, I was beat and ended up staying upstairs in bed after putting Jacob down. At first it was just to keep him calm, but eventually I just didn't want to get up either! Here's a quick shot--the only other picture of the weekend--from bedtime. Jacob found these glasses among the toys in the room we stay in, and he thought they were funny. I can't help but agree.

Once we got home on Friday, I started working on Christmas decorations. I put away all of the Thanksgiving/fall stuff, then gave the crawl space its first real test as far as hauling out bin after bin of stuff. And happily, it wasn't too bad. I don't miss the eternal walk up our old basement steps (only seven in this house) or the close quarters of our old storage room (yes, the crawl space is short, but it's roomy otherwise). It was a pretty quick process of getting the stuff out, but a much longer process of placing it. Five bins and a Christmas tree makes for a lot of stuff. The tree went up quickly, but didn't get decorated until yesterday. But in the free time I had, I managed to get 99% of the decorations up over the course of the weekend. Just a couple more things I'm pondering at this point. In between decorating, I tried to be productive. I played with Jacob, read days' worth of newspapers, and tried to make the house look presentable amidst all of the stuff. I could have used another day or so, but it's not bad.

Jacob was hot and cold all weekend. When he was good, he was great. When he was bad, he was very difficult. Even still, I appreciated the opportunity to have such a lengthy period of time to spend with him so I could try to understand him. We definitely had some difficult moments and a few timeouts, but all things considered, I was sadder to leave him at daycare this morning than I sometimes am after a rough weekend. And since I had four days of time to get totally annoyed with him and it didn't happen, I felt like it was progress. Of course, I swear he came thisclose to breaking my nose twice yesterday. He was battling me at one point during church (he was so good for the first half or so, then freaked out because he wanted a certain pen, and then because he wanted other paper besides the five different pieces from the bulletin, and then because he wanted (as usual) to play baseball and run around the room), and at one point he moved in a way where his head suddenly went across my nose. I swear I thought it was broken and I was waiting for the blood to gush. It hurt. And of course, it hurt Jacob's head, too, but try getting him to understand that both of our pain was caused by him fighting me. Then we were playing in the evening, having a good time. He took our fun a little too far, though, and suddenly it happened again. Ouch. Needless to say my nose hurts today. I don't think there's any visible damage--maybe a small mark, maybe a tiny bit of swelling--but doing anything to my nose today hurts. As a whole, meals were a little iffy and Jacob is still "Mr. No" about almost everything. He refused to pick up a mess he made on Friday, and as a result, we missed another Amerks game. We haven't been to one in weeks, partly because he's misbehaved beforehand and partly because his general behavior makes me not want to expose him to any more "nasty hockey guys" who he so enjoys emulating. He'd been good enough on Thursday and Friday up until that point to give him a chance, and then it all fell apart.

Still, we did have a good weekend. Jacob is starting to notice the Christmas decorations a bit more. He noticed a bunch of hockey ornaments on the tree, and he LOVES the various Hallmark plush music-makers that we've gotten as gifts over the years. We have a snowman that plays a piano, a plush Snoopy's doghouse, a plush Snoopy playing the piano, and a stuffed Snoopy, all of which play music and have flashing lights. Jacob plays them on repeat, sometimes two at a time. He played with two of them throughout my entire shower on Saturday morning. Nice that I knew right where he was :) It's a bit of a challenge corraling his sports enough to protect breakables and explaining to him that he can't touch the tree, but he's been pretty good so far. And I must say, decorating the house was pretty neat. While it didn't flow quite as nicely as the routine in our old house, where I knew where things went from year to year, I am very happy with the end result. The placement of the tree is perfect, and made for interesting decorating since I had to decorate it with a bit of a 360-degree view. I made use of the stairs and the landing to hang ornaments all over the tree, and it's neat to enjoy the tree from so many different angles. And I finally have a railing to put lighted garland on, so that's cool. A few years back I bought a lighted wreath and added my own touches to it. I wanted something to add drama to the red wall in our living room, and it was really pretty. I was concerned about where I would hang it this year since it's heavy and I'd have to use a certain hook (and probably leave it there all year). Fortunately, I had a brilliant idea to hang it on the railing! Below are a couple views of the finished product. The second picture was only taken in a landscape orientation to avoid Jacob's toys, but one of these days I will move them out of the view and take a picture that captures the essence of what sold us on the house the second we walked in. But still, other than not seeing the cathedral ceiling in that picture, it gives you the idea. It's fun to have a mantel, too!

I still wish we could do a Christmas morning in our house with kids bounding down the stairs, but considering how important family is, I can't complain about our current setup spending it in Buffalo with family all around. We'll just have to get creative and get some new traditions set up to enjoy our wonderful picture-perfect Christmas house. Oh, and might I mention it was nice to put out decorations, no matter how tacky, after a year of censoring our decor for house showings? Fantastic. Yes, there is kitsch, but it's fun :)

It's not easy to recover from a holiday weekend, despite the break from work, and now that we're heading into the holidays the pressure is on. Hopefully I'll blog more about that later...but in the meantime, I hope everyone had a great holiday!

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