This year our family spent Christmas in Michigan with the Jensen family (minus Mark, Carrie & Kaylie, whom we missed!).
We drove through the night on the 19th of December, with high hopes that our children would sleep for most of the trip and things we go smoothly. Unfortunately that wasn't quite how it worked out:) Tucker did awesome. He slept most of the way, mostly waking up to eat. There were a few times he was awaken by his sister, but he was good to go back to sleep time after time. Jada on the other hand . . . turned into a monster:) We left around 7:45PM (she usually goes to bed at 7) and by midnight she still wasn't asleep. We let her watch a movie hoping it would help, but I don't think it did. At midnight we shut it off and told her she needed to try to sleep. This is where we made a huge mistake. The night went downhill from there. By 2AM, she finally dosed off, but only for 20-30 minute intervals at which time she would wake up and cry for a bit then fall back asleep. This went on for a little over 2 hours before she decided she was NOT going back to sleep, and she didn't. The last 70 miles were the longest of my life. She cried and cried, waking up Tucker on multiple occasions, and tried everything to get out of her car seat; including telling us she was poopy 5 minutes after we had just stopped. When we pulled over again to change her and risked waking Tucker up again (he used to wake up every time we stopped the car) just to find out she wasn't poopy at all. She was actually not even wet. Sigh. Needless to say, by 6:15AM we were excited to get out of the car and into the house!
The next week was full of family fun. A few of the highlights:
- Michael helping Kimberly and Ben paint and get their new home ready to move into, while I watched the children
- Wrapping lots of gifts with Mom J
- Decorating gingerbread houses with the Johansson's. Thanks TRACEY!
- Going shopping, multiple times:)
- Yuko coming to dinner
- Christmas Eve festivities
- Everyone opening lots of gifts
- Jada got Francesco and Holley and LOVED it
- Jada's favorite thing from her stocking was her Pez
- Getting spoiled by Becca
- Eating lots of amazing meals
- Getting many wonderful gifts and surprises
- Attempting to go on a double date with Kimberly and Ben to see Les Miserable, but missing it because of a snow storm. Instead we went clearance shopping at Target
- Hanging out with family
- Jada having the time of her life playing with Justin everyday
- Attending church
Unfortunately, Michael had to be back to work on the 28th, so he flew home on the 27th, and the children and I stayed in Michigan for another 2 weeks! We had a wonderful time:
- Visiting Tiffani and her family, as well as the Harris' in Saline multiple times
- Getting to see one of my best friends, Kimmie, from High School while in Saline
- Doing lots of clearance shopping and scoring big
- Finally getting to see Les Miserable and loving it
- Going to Bellacino's 3-4 times! SO GOOD!
- Eating more delicious food
- Playing with Jada and Tucker in the snow for the first time
- Taking pictures of lots of family
- Ringing in the new year
- Having a girls day at IKEA:)
- Having Tiffani and the kids come visit us in Troy
- Having others to help with Mr. T
- Having one-on-one time with Gramma and Pop Pop
- Jada loving playing with Justin and her other cousins
- Having movie night with the girls
- Watching some good movies together
- Having 2 sleepovers at the Harris'
- Watching with family with Jada and Tucker
- Eating homemade popcorn
- Making caramel and chocolate dipped pretzels
- Visiting and seeing old friends
- Eating BOSCO STICKS!!! (this made my top Christmas memories)
- Waking up every hour during the night for 3 days straight with Tucker
- Taking Jada to Pottery Barn Kids for Story Time and the memorable lunch after
- Taking lots of cute photos of the twins and Tucker
- Going on a shopping trip just for me with Mom J and Kimberly to spend my gift cards. Thank You! I needed it.
and much, much more. We loved every minute.
Lucky for me, Mom J offered to drive home with me to help with the children. She also offered to stay a few days to help me paint my hutch in my kitchen. If you read my previous posts you already know that she got a bit more then she bargained for.
The drive home went a million times better. Tucker did AMAZING and slept literal the entire time. I think he may have cried for 10 minutes total on the 12 hour trip. What a trooper. Jada also did much better. She still only slept for about 3.5 hours, but she was much more relaxed and calm, which made all the difference. I can't thank Mom J enough. I am not sure how I would have done it without her.
Best of all, she spent 4 additional days with us here in Marietta. She helped me paint and redo Jada's room, as well as, refinish Tucker's crib and changing table. Everything turned out SO good. I just love it all. You are the best Mom J! How did I get so lucky to have such a wonderful mother-in-law!?
And now for the pictures . . .
** beware a picture overload is about to happen:) Also, the computer randomized the photos pretty well, so for the sake of saving myself time . . . I'm leaving them all mixed up. Sorry:/
Jada showing off her prize. The Pez! Love this photo.
Tucker on Christmas morning
Checking out what Daddy got
Checking out her new Cookie set
Playing Ping with Daddy and Justin
Love the concentration in this one:)
Justin and Jada:)
Aunt Tiffani with Tucker
Tucker and his buddy Kurt
Jada "decorating" her house. A.k.a. eating all the candy
One of their favorite activities
David & Becca
Showing Adie some love:)
Justin, Jada & Adie in their snowman jammies
She thinks she is one of them. Every time Jada show the twins with would say "Two of us!"
Jada's first time playing in snow:)
Jada and Tucker BFFs
Tucker and Halli
Bentley and Tuck
Tucker loves his Aunt Tiffani
Jada just LOVED playing with her cousins
More gingerbread fun
Aunt Becca with the twins
In "the mitten" about to eat the mitten
Lego's with Pop Pop
Getting ready to do some Christmas Eve caroling
Doing a little water color
Showing of her new Cars DVD