I usually dread visits home. This time was no exception. There always seems to be some variety of family drama or parental misbehavior that makes us want to pack our junk and go home. This time, I was pleasantly surprised. My parents were on their best behavior and seemed to really enjoy visiting with their grandson. *whew*
My mom started our visit by handing a large box to Tyler and telling him to have his Daddy help him open it. Only one problem...I didn't WANT him to open it yet. It was a birthday present from ME and I wasn't there to see Tyler open it. I had to be satisfied with these 'after-the-fact' photos.
Well...at least he loved it. I sent it up there knowing he would love it and could spend the rest of the week sleeping in his cool new travel bed.
After chewing on some leathery cubed steaks (standard Mom cooking), we visited for a bit and went to bed. I wasn't looking forward to sleeping in their guest room. The bed is one of those really tall colonial beds that you need a set of steps to climb into. Pretty, but they didn't get the matching steps. I injure myself trying to hop, jump or hoist myself up there every time. Not to mention the feeling that you are sleeping on the ceiling and about to fall from a great height at any moment.
To increase our comfort, the room is like an oven and the old shades are curled at the edges. With the nice eastern exposure, you get full sun right in your face in the morning. Tyler was up with the birds every day. Ugh. Back pain, wrist strain, knee injury (all bed related), little sleep and up with the dawn...are we having fun yet? Thankfully, Tyler slept like a rock in his new Spider-Man bed.
Being the nice wife that I am, I let the husband sleep in while I got up with Tyler to fix him breakfast. The day was spent chatting and wandering about in a tired haze. I was so tired, I don't really remember what else we did that day until dinner time. My mother was going to cook, but I couldn't stand the thought of another one of mom's standards. I suggested we treat them to our favorite local Chinese place.
Lotus Blossom has amazing food. The interior is so pretty too. We had pineapple shrimp, spring rolls, fried rice, beef and broccoli, General Cho's chicken (for Dad) and chicken fingers for Tyler. Mmm Mmm!
Ty was really well behaved. It's always a bit of a risk taking Tyler out. He is usually pretty good, but sometimes he just doesn't want to sit still and eat. We have learned to take him for walks, visits to the bar for cherries and oranges, and hand washing trips to the rest room make for great distractions.
Wednesday was also a prep day. My mother had lots of tasks she wanted to finish in order to be ready for the big day. One task that traditionally falls to me is the ceremonial "ripping of the bread". Ha! I just take a couple loaves of stuffing bread and pick it to pieces for the turkey stuffing. This was a task I figured Tyler would love to help with. I was so right! Although, I can't really tell who got more stuffed, the turkey or Tyler. He thought the stuffing bread was very tasty.
Having Tyler to look after got me out of a lot of the major Thanksgiving morning prep work. My mom is famous for putting me to work. This year I didn't even mash the potatoes or strain the gravy (usually my jobs). I missed a lot of photo opportunities, but did get a few pics at dinner. None of the beautiful turkey. It came out perfectly this year. My mother is not a very good chef when it comes to the mundane meals, but she is a pro with the holiday feasts. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, home made cranberry sauce (Tyler's favorite and the only thing he would eat) and peas. Dessert was a Friendly's Jubilee roll (ice cream confection) and Mom's home made apple pie. The pie was amazing! I did get a photo of the pie (minus one slice my brother snitched to bring home - he and his wife left early so they could return some DVDs to the video store.) I suspect the DVD thing was just an excuse.
We watched Elf and The Stepford Wives (the new one) after dinner. I thought they were both great. I don't know why they didn't perform well at the box office. I think I am just easily entertained.
Friday we took Tyler to Chuck E Cheese for an early birthday celebration lunch. My parents won't be able to come down for his actual party this year, you see. They were rather horrified by their Chuck E Cheese exposure. The noise, the chaos, the kids, the prices...they were decidedly not impressed. Oh well. Tyler loves it there. Tyler also loved his birthday present from Granny and Grampie. I have a cute video of him opening his gift that I may link to in here later. Also, rather than put more photos in this entry, you can see the rest of the day HERE.
p.s. John and I got to have a date night Friday evening (also documented in my photos). My parents volunteered to baby-sit and shoved us out the door. Other than my friend Norman's wedding, we haven't been out alone in, well, three years! It was WONDERFUL! We made a beeline to Legal Seafoods with chowder on the brain. We killed some time and had a ball at Fun & Games (a local arcade I used to visit in my teen days) and ended the evening with a leisurely browse through Barnes and Noble. I picked up two more books that I don't have time to read. Ha! The last of my photos are of Tyler passed out on the dining room (play room) floor with his bum in the air. He passed out mid-play not long after we got home Saturday night. I guess the all day drive home pooped him out. :-)
p.p.s. Hello and thank you to my new readers. I know I picked up a couple during my feature week. I have saved all the comments from new visitors and will be coming round to your journals for a looksie as soon as possible.
p.p.p.s. There was one small drama during our visit. I've often wondered why my brother and his wife never come down to visit us in NJ. I've invited them often. My mother finally told me that my SIL is holding a grudge (she does that a lot). What did I do THIS time??? Mom started telling me a story of the time she came to visit for a week and they came with my father to pick her up and bring her home. Hmm. It wasn't ringing a bell. Mom continued. They apparently came with my Dad, arrived at dinner time, and Katia was horrified that we didn't have a big dinner prepared to welcome them to our home. Hmm. Doesn't sound like me. I always go out of my way to make family feel welcome. Mom continued. "Oh you remember. You offered to order in pizza and they refused and she was mad because they had to go out to eat. Katia doesn't like pizza." Hmm. Nope. When the HECK was this??
Mom continued..."You remember. I came down for a week to help. When Tyler was born. You were actually on your way to bed when they arrived. They were late." OH MY GOD. When Tyler was BORN? I was a new mother with an infant and Katia was pissed that I didn't wait on them, serve them a big dinner and blah blah blah and she is holding a grudge over THAT. I was SO exhausted that week. It was our first week home from California, I didn't WANT my mother to come visit because I knew she wouldn't be a "help". I'd spend the week taking care of her AND the baby. Which I did. My brother and his wife darken my doorstep just long enough to realize I had no meal prepared and they left in a huff to get "real" food because pizza wasn't good enough for my SIL. Pardon my French...but *&$% them! Who in their right mind expects a woman with a brand new baby to roll out the red carpet and make a big fancy meal for guests who are only going to be there for an hour?!?! Oh, that royally pissed me off...for a bit. Now I just think it's funny and a bit pathetic. What ever. Drama over. LOL