Well, we are back from our annual Christmas trip to Des Moines, and I'm back at work. Amy is enjoying this all-too-short break from her students and Jack is enjoying having her 'round the house.
The trip itself was great, save for the drive there. We headed out Friday at about 4, after intending to leave at 3 sharp. Typical for us. No big whoopster. Granny Janny followed us to Lincoln where we stopped for eats and a stinky diaper change at the food court at the Airport exit. Jack got a little 'wound for sound' at the stop and was not wanting to be in his seat after that.
When we got to Omaha, it was stop-and-go driving on the freeway and let me tell you, that was frustrating as heck. And to top it all off, that's when Jack began getting very fussy. As we left Omaha, we ran into some very heavy fog and it remained that way all the way to Des Moines. Fortunately, the only saving grace for Jackles was Veggie Tales on the DVD that sat right where my arm usually rests. It was a discomfort I was willing to accept over the screaming that would have ensued had it not been there.
The fog though...OMG...the fog. Granny Janny and I were both frazzled by the time we reached our desty. Truly frazzled. I hate adverse weather conditions when I'm traveling with Boy Wonder in the backseat. It scares me like you would not believe.
As for Des Moines, it was a wonderful stay and time well spent with the grandparents and Susan. Luckily, Susan took a bajillion photos of Jack (and us) while we were there since I brought the cammy but forgot the memory card. Neat of me. I'll post more of those in the coming days, as well as the rest of the photos from the Christmas card photo shoot Jack and Amy and I performed in our living room.
Grandpa, Grandma and Susan loved watching Jack move about and stay busy! He's quite entertaining and his uncles and aunt and Granny Janny made it fun for him too. It was fun to see him playing with them and interacting with them. Not at all shy either. It was good for us to see Amy's brothers and sister and their significant others too. We always have a good time! Though we're all a bit loud probably.
And Susan was nice enough to watch Jack with Granny Janny so Amy and Jake and I could go to a movie. We saw "No Country For Old Men" and it was CUH-REEPY. Yikes. Good though. One of the best I've seen in a long time. Then Amy and Jake turned around and went to the Will Smith zombie vampire movie. I stayed with Jack 'cuz Will Smith and/or zombies and/or vampires are just not by cup o' tea. That gave Jack and I some time to play with Play-Do. He, of course, tried to eat it.
Des Moines in December 2007 was interesting to say the least. I always thought it'd be great to live in a state where I actually had a chance to choose who'd run for prez, but after four days of constant bombardment, I was annoyed. When the television was actually on, which was rarely, it was just campaign commercial after campaign commercial. At first it was a bit titillating I have to admit, but after the first night I realized exactly what the Iowans have dealt with for the past three months. Though Grandma Koscielak and Aunt Susan did get Christmas cards from Hill and Bill so that was nice...yeah...I haven't got a Christmas card from them since they moved to New York...ha ha.
Our trip back was a rarity. First off, we left immediately after dinner because we didn't want to run into snow. We figured we'd hit a little but if it got bad, we'd pull over. We left Des Moines at 1:30 and didn't stop a single time. For me, that's amazing because I have the Vrbas bladder and that requires at least two stops. Didn't. Stop. Once. Amazing. Then to top it all off, right when we got to town here and pulled off the interstate, the snow started falling. Not a flake on the interstate, but once we pulled off, full-on blizzard. We were so lucky.
Jack is officially spoiled. He brought quite the load of gifts back from Iowa with him to join his parents' complete overdoing of the gift thing. And we still haven't gotten to my side of the family. Needless to say, we packed up the infant toys and took them to the basement for safe keeping to make room for the new toddler toys.
Speaking of toddler toys, Jack's big gift from Mom and Dad was a Little Tikes slide that is now the focal point (centerpiece if you will) of our living room. I think it really works with the feng shui of the place. Anyhootie, I put it together the night we got back from Des Moines and when he came out in the living room and there was a slide just sittin' there he didn't really know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt. He just kind of looked at me like, 'I don't get it...but whatever is going on, it's AWESOME!'
As we start dealing with these toddler toys, we would be remiss if we didn't mention that our toddler is learning a lot from his toys (save for the slide of course, that's just good ol' fashioned fun!). His vocabulary grows by leaps and bounds everyday. Last night, I decided I'd act like I was going down the slide headfirst (hard to explain, I'll video it and show ya) and when his mom came out of the kitchen to see what the ruckus was, Jack looked up and yelled, with laughter, "DAD GO DOWN!"
Yeah, growing up way too fast!
And that he is. He's loving daycare with his friends, is a constant flirt and is talking all the time now. He can point to all the animals in his books and is working on what sounds they all make now. Smart kid. I'm glad our television is no longer a distraction because he's really at a great age to learn. A sponge I tell ya...
Amy goes back to school next week and is really excited about that. Ahem...ummm...yeah...moving on...
We're doing really well at our green lifestyle, but need to incorporate more things to lower our waste. Thankfully, Susan gave us a great new stainless steel compost can for our kitchen with biodegradable bags. Since bumping our heat down to 68, we've saved about $100 this month from last year at this time on our gas bill. And it's been cold out this year! Though I think we about froze our babysitter out when we went to see TiLynn in the Singing Christmas Tree (which was so great, it made us bawl; her voice is amazing too). We got home and she had been in a ball on the couch. Ooops. They must keep their house warmer on the other side of the street. She's our neighbor girl and she is a great babysitter.
I'm doing creepily well at guessing the genders of the unborn right now. See previous posts. I'm 6 for 7 with the only miss being Missy (but I secretly knew; Amy can vouche for me).
We're looking forward to the new year. It's gonna be a good one. We're reinstating our healthy eating plan and have done really well so far this week. Exercise starts tomorrow.
I'll be tackling our Year in Review and Top Photos of 2007 in the next week so watch for those!
And my parents are tentatively planning on being here this Saturday. Mom made curtains for us and has been toiling away for more than a month. That'll help keep some cold air out and our warm air in! And it'll really make it look like we're moved in...you know, since we've been in this house three years now! And I was just realizing I've lived here in town for five years on December 10! WOW!
And we'll be heading back to Palisade for Christmas/Heidi's Birthday/Missy's newborn/Tori's basketball game the next weekend. That'll be a crazy weekend, but a lot of fun. Tori's team is doing really well and she's a sophomore starter on varsity. Yay! We're proud of you, Tori! Obviously, judging by the way we brag about ya!
I think that'll do it for now!
Enjoy the rest of the holidays. We hope you all got to spend Christmas with those you love!