The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Christmas Virtual Scrap- and Story-book

We went back to my mom and dad's house for Christmas (we were there at Thanksgiving too, for Pea's "debut"). I could have done without the 20 hours on the road getting there and back, but we did have some adventures along the way. Unfortunately, you're left to your own imagination for the images, but I will tell you the story.

So, it's the Saturday before Christmas. We packed that morning and began the drive around 10 AM. Pea slept through the morning until we stopped at a po-dunk fast food joint in a po-dunk town. There was a sign on the wall declaring this place "One of the Seven Wonders of..." I forget what the geographical limit was, but it musta been small. After eating and using the facilities, off we went again, with a mandatory 1-hour of quiet (to try to lull them into naps). All went well, though the naps didn't really happen. Around 3 PM, Aaron started feeling gassy and uncomfortable. This is usually my role in the family, but I was happy to step aside this time. He was driving and it just kept getting worse for him. Finally around 3:45, he decided we better stop so he could go to the bathroom and to give us all a break. We saw a sign for a McD's with a Playland in 10 miles. He thought he could make it. He didn't.

He pulled into the parkinglot, parked the car, said, "I'm going to need you to bring me new underwear," and dashed into the McD's (mind you, there was no place sooner to stop). So, now I'm left with two wily toddlers, trying to find a pair of A's underwear while not allowing the precious ones to be run over. I always lay out everything that should be packed but A puts it in the suitcases for me, so I didn't even know which of the 3 bags to start with.

Well, no one got run over and I sent Punk into the bathroom with the clean panties for his dad (I'm being obdurate about the word "panties" on purpose!). Punk came back out and said Daddy needs new pants too. So, risking toddler lives, we went back to the van to get some jeans. Fortunately, I had a better idea of where to look. Again, I sent Punk in with the clean pants. When Punk was trying to get back out, I could hear Aaron pleading with him, "Get you mother to come in here, Punk." So, I peeked my eyes-closed head in. Fortunately, for that moment, we were alone. Aaron begged me to get him some of the diaper wipes because it was such a disaster. Poor guy! But, someone had come in while I was in there and was using a urinal! Eeep! I was trapped and thoroughly embarrassed. Finally that dude left (without washing his hands--ew!) and I left the kiddinkidinks with A and got the wipes.

The kiddos and I were playing in the Playland when Aaron joined us. We were all thirsty from climbing arond the giant tubes (which remind me of things you see in gerbal cages), so I bought each of us an orange pop. I decided to take a little turn driving (sitting on a crib blanket since we had no good way to clean the seat). We had to get gas and as I was getting us to the gas station, I realized that Aaron had given the kids their own cups. I said, "I'm not really comfortable with them having those without adult supervision--those lids are not secure and we could have a horrible mess back there." Then I reached for my orange soda... and, I kid you not, the lid popped off and the whole thing landed with a huge splash all over my lap. It was freezing cold and so nasty feeling!

So, Aaron filled the tank while I dug out a new outfit for myself and changed in the gas station bathroom (after waiting in line, of course!). And, wouldn't ya know it, I didn't grab a pair of panties. This whole business of changing our clothes had already taken an hour and we were anxious to get back on the road. So, I did without, ladies. I just did without.

All I can say is, I sure am glad this happened on the way there so that we actually had clean clothes to change into. Uuugh! What a story! Oh, and by the way, the kiddinkidinks made it all the way to Grandma's house without a spot on 'em!

Ok, now the moment you've all been waiting for--the adorable photos. We let the kids open their stockings in our bed to let everyone else sleep an extra 30 minutes or so.
They were pretty excited about that, but they knew there was lots more--and BIG stuff--under the tree. So, upon ripping everything open and indulging in a few Hershey's Kisses, they were off to give Christmas kisses to wake up Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Matt.

It is the tradition of my family to have what I call "Ugly Christmas"--i.e., you come as you are. Actually, most of the middle generation sleep naked, so we throw something on, but you're not supposed to waste precious time "primping" even though you know many pictures will be taken. We have fun looking back over the photos of "Ugly Christmases" past, and I'm sure you'll get a kick out of this Ugly Christmas. Check out Pea's bling though! Thank goodness Santa set her up so she could avoid her first Christmas being totally ugly!

Aaron's aunt, uncle, and grandparents sent Pea a hat and gloves set, along with a pretty winter coat for next year. She thought it was so funny to wear these with nothing else!

The same aunt, uncle, and grandparents gave Punk the gift of privacy! He loves this tent and Pea is only allowed in by invitation (which he has actually been gracious enough to extend once in a while).My sis and her boyfriend came over in the afternoon and there were even more presents to open! The kids got TOTALLY spoiled this year. Yikes!

For some reason, Pea hasn't really taken to Sarah. At Thanksgiving, she'd hide her face in our chests whenever Sarah was around. But, my sis discovered that early in the morning, before I was out of bed (mmmmm!), Pea was a little more comfortable with her and would let her get close. Sarah found the other trick during this visit--food. You can see the bowl of popcorn beside them on the couch, but Pea still looks a little unsure!

One afternoon, Aaron and I went out to see the new National Treasure movie. We were running a little late, so the movie had just started when we walked in. I won't spoil anything, but we did think it was rather odd that they found the treasure within like 30 minutes of our arrival. I'm not one who remembers movies AT ALL, so there was a lot that didn't make sense to me because I'd forgotten the details of the first movie. But, then they seemed to be winding things up. We'd only been there an hour! What a rip-off. After it was over, I blurted all this to Aaron and he was like, "Umm, honey, I think we're in the wrong room! They did have it playing in two of their theatres." Oh. Yeah. I guess that's a better conclusion! :) So we talked to the 9-yr old pimply faced "manager" and he said it would be starting again in 30 minutes and we could go ahead and watch the first hour for free. It was very enlightening! :)

While we were gone, Punk and Grandpa played in the snow in the backyard. They made a wonderful snowman and were rolling up a HUGE ball when we got home.

After I got the pics of the snowman and snowball, Punk decided it would be really funny to throw snow at Granpa! I love these shots! Check out the too-big gloves that were the only ones they could find!And, finally, my brother kept talking about this Guitar Hero game. And, he finally convinced us to play it with him. It was fun, but I'm BAD at it!


Blu and Darbi said...

lol Oh welcome to the world of Guitar can easily become an addiction, much like blog stalking, so be careful! I laughed and laughed and LAUGHED at this blog....

And you and your sister look a LOT alike!

Darbi :)

Stefanie said...

Rachel you are one of the funniest writers. Really.... The pictures are so cute!

Annee said...

Aaron is so brave to let you share his disaster with all your faithful readers. I can feel for him as I am affectionately known as the "party pooper" for my history of intestinal distress. My sweet hubby knows that if I shout find me a bathroom I mean business.

Kate Jones said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jamie said...

Wow, sounds a bit like our drive back to MS...Gabe, our youngest had quite a few accidents. How funny that the adults had to change yet the children were clean!

Looks like an enjoyable Christmas! Love the pics!

Becky said...

This was hilarious, Rachel. : )

I'm glad you had a fun Christmas. Guitar Hero is fun, but just wait until you graduate to Rock Band. It's the guitar, drum set, and microphone. Very addicting! : )

Becky A.

Tanya said...

you certainly have a way of colorfully describing your life! Great pictures. Tanya

CresceNet said...
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My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued