We spent one day in North Carolina after our California trip. We unpacked our bags. Shamelessly threw the rest of the dirty laundry in a suitcase to be done the next day at my parent’s house in Kansas like a poor college student. Boy will I be happy when we get our washer and dryer back. We repacked the suitcases (with basically the same things we unpacked… some clean, mostly dirty). We picked up the dogs from their week at doggy day care. We packed the car for a road trip. And got a good North Carolina night’s sleep. And we were up early and off the next morning. See ya soon North Carolina. We’re gonna be Midwesterners for the week. I was so thankful for a second driver on a long trip. It’s been awhile with Steve tied up in school. I took complete advantage of him and spent the majority of the trip playing Solitaire on my phone in the passenger’s seat. Love you honey! The five [and a half] of us were nestled quite snuggly in the Exploder. I had a fat list of things to do while we were there. People to see. Places to eat. We crossed off most of the things on my list while we were there. It was amazing how quickly our trip flew by! Our goal was to celebrate a combined late Thanksgiving and early Christmas with my family, since we were in California for Thanksgiving and we’re going to be stuck in North Carolina for Christmas waiting on Miss Julia’s arrival! 🙂
The best part about the trip was that we didn’t let my mom in on the visit until we showed up. She found out about our little Christmas surprise when Mitchell marched up and knocked on the door at 11:00 pm, wearing his mismatching pajamas and Nike sneakers. My dad kept my mom up late putting up Christmas decorations, so they were right there in the living room when we arrived. He told her to check on the door, and she said she couldn’t because she was in her pajamas. He promised her it was okay for this visitor, so she peeked out the window thinking it was a stray dog [she has a hobby of finding loose dogs in the neighborhood and returning them to their owners]. The look on her face when she saw it was her grandson was complete shock and surprise. She was literally speechless, and didn’t know how we could possibly be standing on her door since we were in California two days earlier. [We’re nuts, that’s how]. Once the surprise sunk in a little, we then told her we also brought our two [rather large] German Shepherds with us, and Steve retrieved them from the car. They excitedly joined my parents pack of three dogs, totaling the K9 count in the house to five for the week. Still glad we crashed the peace and quiet Grandma? Of course she is 😉 To top it off, my brother returned home the next day after graduating his Commercial Diving Academy in Florida. So she had her son, daughter, son-in-law, grandson, and two grandpups home for a Christmas she didn’t think was happening this year!
We snuck in a little last minute Christmas shopping to get ready for our early Christmas on Sunday. We hit up First Friday’s in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, which is such a fun shopping experience if you’re looking for up cycled furniture, antiques, or crafty things. It’s a bunch of shops in these old warehouses, not ideal for stroller pushing, so my Mom carried Mitchell around like this all day. Baby carriers aren’t really compatible with baby bellies, so Grandma was the pack mule for the day. We stayed until I had enough four-story flights of stairs.
The kids requested the traditional Brim-Family Christmas Eve dinner… enchiladas, complete with espinaca from Jose Pepper’s. My grandfather was able to make the trek to our house and we were so happy to celebrate with him too! Mitchell got to see his two great grandparents and all four grandparents these past two weeks. Lucky boy.
The gift-trade was pretty epic this year. My parents and my brother spoiled Colby with puzzles and bath toys and games. We’re so lucky to have so many people that love him.
The top two of the night, however, can be narrowed down to two. Either the pooper-scooper gifted from my parents to my husband. Big dog owner problems? He’s been envious of my parent’s from the times he’s helped my Dad with yard work for the last few years – and has been on the hunt for an acceptable one ever since. My parents gifted him his very own [identical] pooper scooper this year, which is both completely practical for our new house and hilarious at the same time.
Tied for the best gift of the night was the giant space tent gifted from my Mom…. to my Dad. That’s right – this was not for the only child in the house, but for my Dad who is a space-loving five year old stuck in a grown-up’s body. [He also got a space shuttle Lego too]. They wasted no time, and the tent was promptly assembled in the middle of the living room for Grandpa and Mitchell to enjoy.
We visited Great Grandpa Brim everyday. I am so thankful for the time we get to spend with him – not everyone is lucky enough to meet their Great Grandfather!
A lot of the stuff I had planned involved Steve’s favorite hobbies, since he has barely had a break all year and hasn’t been able to do many of the things he loves. So he enjoyed a pick-up hockey game, three days on the range with my Dad, and a couple of trips to the gym.
Good thing I love these guys, because I have a feeling Mitchell is going to grow up to be just like them.
We also made sure to visit Grandma Brim’s first grade classroom a few times. Mitchell walked around the school like he owned the place. Can he just stop growing up already?
I couldn’t believe how fast the trip went. There were so many more things I was hoping to do and people to see while we were there, but we completely ran out of time. The drive back was long. No way around it. We started both the “there” and “back” portion with failed diaper incidents. The first trip Mitchell went through three pairs of pants. The second trip we gave up and just left him pant-less in his carseat. Leaving a few gas station incidents that looked like this…
Mitchell thought it was great though.
I also convinced Steve to haul back a load of kids furniture for Mitchell’s big boy bedroom [which originally belonged to my brother and I!], so he was stuck driving with a U-Haul trailer in tow. And loading and unloading it on both ends.
And last, but not least, my poor husband was traveling with a toddler, an eight month pregnant wife, two dogs, and a trailer. And agreed to stay in Kansas until the last possible day so we could have a longer visit, before going back to work. What a trooper. We made it home at 3:00 am, and he still sleeping at 10:00 am. With no signs of waking up. Can you blame a guy? My to-do list currently looks like this…
1. Find a storage unit for our U-Haul load since we don’t actually have a house to put anything in yet.
2. Hang up our Christmas lights!
3. Unpack and do a mountain of laundry.
4. Give the hubby a fresh haircut for his first day back at work tomorrow.
5. Install the new carseat.
6. Start getting ready for this baby since she will be here in ONE MONTH!
But first I think I’ll enjoy my blanket of German Shepherd dogs snuggled up on top of my legs right now and this episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Happy Thursday 🙂