Friday, November 30, 2007

Greerswald Thanksgiving Vacation - Homeward Bound!

Our trip seems like a blur. Once we got settled somewhere, we were packing up and hitting the road again! Sadly, on Friday we loaded the GMV and started our final leg of the trip home. It was cold and SNOWING!!! Although we weren't excited to drive in it, we were thrilled to see it since we get so little in Nashville. We were only in it for about 15 minutes before it quit.

The kids were excellent riders in the morning and the afternoon. In fact, Ella took her standard 30 minute nap in the first hour. Too bad that was all she would sleep for the rest of the day! Eric and I made hotel reservations for Fort Smith, AR (half way point) and Little Rock (2 hours closer to home). Late afternoon we made the call to tough it out and go to Little Rock so the next day wouldn't be as long. Boy Howdy - did those kids make us pay for that choice! Two solid hours of fussing. We sang songs, played peek a boo, put in every DVD we had just to make it through. I think we swore off going on road trips ever again a few times. When we finally got to the hotel they were happy as clams. I have never seen kids SO excited to crawl around a hotel room! Their favorite was the mirrored closet doors. I couldn't even keep Ethan still for his diaper change!!

We all slept like logs and the next day we slept in later than we have in over a year! After a yummy Cracker Barrel breakfast we were onward to home!!! The kids were in such good spirits. It was like they knew that life was almost back to normal and they could say "Good riddance!" to the car seats for a while at least. One of the videos is of them playing with Aunt Sharon's taggy blanket and the other is of Ella blowing spit bubbles. She did this for like an hour. Sorry about the angle. I had to try to be sneaky so they wouldn't stop.

We got home in time to watch the second half of the UT/UK football game. Of course when we started loosing, we considered packing up the kids and getting back in the car. ; ) So now it has been 6 days since our 8 day road trip and I think we are just about recuperated!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Greerswald Thanksgiving Vacation - The BIG Day!

We have so much to be thankful for this year. Looking back at the last year it really is amazing! Last Thanksgiving, we had just brought Ethan and Ella home from the NICU. They spent 5 very long weeks in intensive care. We were so thankful to be able to finally take home 2 healthy babies after our long journey. Honestly, I barely remember last Thanksgiving. It was such a stressful time adjusting to having them home without any monitors telling us they were ok.

(Turkey Day 2006)

Wow what a difference a year makes. Last year we were in a our own little bubble. Fast forward to 2007.......We had a big crowd in Morse. All my aunts and uncles with there with their kids. We really missed David and Deidra because they couldn't make it. We were especially blessed this year to have my cousin Chris' 3 week old daughter, Macy, with us! Dustin and his wife, Rowena, are expecting so it was great to get to celebrate with them too.

(Turkey Day 2007)

This year Mom volunteered Eric to make the Turkey. He got a recipe from a Food Network special about how to soak the turkey in a brine then cook it in a smoker. Man was it GOOOOD!!! I am so lucky that I snagged a nice good looking guy who also happens to be an amazing cook.

While I was growing up, going to Morse was my favorite place in the world. I have so many great memories. When we were driving along the highway towards Morse, I got misty eyed when Pepa's grain elevator came into view. I am so glad that we are starting this tradition with Ethan and Ella. I am sure they will have just as many fond memories of the wonderful place and even more amazing family God has blessed them with!

Greerswald Thanksgiving Vacation - The Second Leg

We had a fantastic time at Aunt Amy and Uncle Dan's. Anytime we can spend catching up with them and loving on Emily and Meg is good for us! We had a big day on Monday. We went to Cabella's to go look at the exhibit they had of animals. It was really neat. (2 guess whose idea it was to go there!)

When we got home, we played beauty shop. Amy got out her scissors and we gave the kids their first hair cut! Ethan has been sporting a mullet for far too long. You know - business in the front and party in the back? so we gave him a nice trim right across the back. Oh big boy!

Ella has a lot of hair. We have tried the "Pebbles" look, the "Shaggy" look, and "Piggy Tails" look. Any type of a bow or band in her hair is asking for trouble. So we decided it was time to cut her bangs so they don't fall in her face anymore. I think she offically looks like a toddler now!
On Monday evening, my Uncle Gary and Aunt Dara came to visit. It was so good to see them. They stayed for a couple of hours, caught up and played with the kids. Tuesday morning we started our 2nd day of driving. We drove from Amy's house to my Uncle Lynn's in Morse. Again the babies did really well but no sleep! We were able to stop on the way there and see my Great Aunt (and their Great Great Aunt!) Esther. We visited for a little bit as we enjoyed some DQ in Claude, TX.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Greerswald Thanksgiving Vacation - The First Leg

Our family has an all time favorite movie that we can only watch from Thanksgiving through Christmas. We watch it as many times as we can and quote it often. That movie is "Christmas Vacation." We started off our Thanksgiving Vacation in true Griswald fashion. Our first day was an 11 hour + drive to see Uncle Dan, Aunt Amy, Emily and Meg in Roanoke, Texas. Never fear though - I had a plan! I got up at 5 to get ready and finish packing so we could be on the road at 6:30 am. We were a little off, but at 6:40 the GMV was packed with everything but the kitchen sink, kiddos, Mommy and Daddy. Turn the key....rrrr.....rrrr. Not good. Dead battery. As Eric drove to Wal-mart in his truck to fix the problem he called his folks and we were quickly called "The Greerswalds." : )

We finally got on the road a little past 8. I have to tell you that the kids did great! For some reason though unlike most kids, ours are incapable of sleeping for more than 30 minutes. And it is also impossible for them to do it at the same time. So that meant lots of peek a boo, singing songs, a couple of videos, and handing toys to them (then throw, then hand back, then throw, then hand back, then throw, then tell them that was the last time, then cry, ignore, cry more, then hand back toy and so on and so on) We stopped at a rest area on the way to have lunch. It was so warm. It was nice to get out and enjoy the summer like weather for a bit before we hit the road.

Eric was a little distressed to be on the road on a Saturday that the Vols were playing, so we borrowed Jamie's XM radio. He signed up for a month subscription at about midnight the night before we left just so he could cheer on the Vols from the road. I have to admit though - it was pretty neat! you would never run out of things to listen to that is for sure. He is wearing headphones here because we had Mickey Mouse Clubhouse going over the car speakers. "Mishka Moushka Mickey Mouse!!"

ahh.....finally at 7:30 pm, we rolled into Uncle Dan and Amy's house......only 1250 or so more miles to go on the trip.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Type A Mommy - Blessing or a Curse?

I have always been a Type A personality. It has served me well in some cases and given Eric more than a few good reasons to make fun of me. The jury is still out on whether it helps me be a better mommy or just a neurotic one.....

On my computer, I have a spreadsheet of our packing list for our trip next week, a calendar that has our meals planned out through next April, cooresponding weekly grocery lists, Ethan and Ella's daily schedule for Mimi, and a zillion folders of pictures of us organized by month and listed chronologically. I asked for Outlook for Christmas so I can organize my emails better and am more excited about that than anyone should be.

Ethan and Ella have a schedule every day. We get up between 6:30 and 7. Eat breakfast around 7:45. Go down for nap at 9....etc etc. We may vary from it a little but not much. I think the fact that I have multiples feeds into my habits. When you have 2, you just about have to have some sort of a schedule or else you wouldn't ever get anything done. Some say it is a little excessive, but I say that's me and it really works for us : )

Mimi and I have a new arrangment that has made my life so much easier. She takes the kids to her house every other week. That day I do a good clean to the whole house. I never thought that several straight hours of straight cleaning would feel so good! In fact, I told her that could be my only Christmas present from them (thank goodness she didn't bite ; ) it stresses me out when Eric puts the wrong colored top on the bottles. (COMPLETELY irks me. I swear he does it just to get a rise out of me!) Or when he tries to put Ethan or Ella in the wrong high chair or car seat (note the word tries) And I am learning to deal with Ethan not letting me have a color pattern when I put the Lego's together.
F-L-E-X-I-B-I-L-T-Y is what we are working on here.

I am sure that I will pass on this blessing/curse to one of the kids. And I am sure the other will drive me crazy in their own sweet way with their messy backpacks and loose papers everywhere.

Edited to add: ok so I just googled Type A to see what I could find and Wikapedia apparently does not think very highly of Type As. Let me clarify that I am not impatient or difficult and I do fit in well with society and I do not need to be medicated! Do you hear me????? (Just kidding : )

Monday, November 5, 2007

One Step Closer to Toddlerhood

Yesterday we took one step closer to officially becoming Toddlers. Drumroll please.........

We turned our carseats around! That's right. Ethan and Ella can now see the world as wheels on the GMV go round and round. We have a Super big roadtrip coming up for Thanksgiving so we are hoping this will work magic like everyone keeps saying. We are driving to Dallas (12 hours), then Morse (8 hours), then back home (15 hours). As much as I am SO SO looking forward to seeing my family, I am REALLY dreading the drive. I hope it is easier than I think it will be. Regardless, the post when I get home should be interesting : )

Well that was the high of our week. The low of our week was both the kids had a very nasty stomach bug. Fortunately they didn't throw up any. Just.....the other kind....and lots of it! My best friends this week were: Lysol, Stain Stick, and Boudreaux's Butt Paste. It got to the point late in the week that I just always smelled it. I would go and check in the mirror to make sure I hadn't wiped my nose or something while I was changing one of the many diapers. (Those who have experienced this know what I mean!) Really the only escape from the smell was to go to Old Navy which I happily did every day this weekend : )

We have been really lucky in the sick department. They really haven't gotten sick that much. Much of that is probably attributed to the bubble I have kept them in. As we are ventruing out more, I knew they would get sick as they start to build their immune systems. I am just glad that we were able to hold it off until they were big and strong so they can fight it better. Even though they were sick this last week, they kept their smiles on their face, played and played.
As far as new things they are doing, they are both cruising along really well. Ethan is getting more brave each day. He will stand without any support for 10 - 15 seconds, then realize it and drop to his bottom. I can hold his hands and he will walk and giggle the whole way. Ella likes to walk around her LeapFrog table and the window seal. They both love to look out the window in the Bonus Room. They get really excited when they look out and see Daddy (shh - I think he gets more excited to look up and see them!)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!

We had a big time on our first "official" Halloween in the Greer Household. Of course, Ethan and Ella were born in time for last Halloween, but they were still in the NICU so they couldn't participate in all the festivities! This year they dressed up as Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. It was an easy choice because Mickey and Minnie are their absolute favorite! Each morning when I make their breakfast, they watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Well they don't really watch it. They smile and stare at the TV when the opening song comes on and then again at the end when they sing and dance. But it generally does the trick to give me a few minutes to cook up the oatmeal and eggs for breakfast! Ella's costume fit like a glove. Poor Ethan....his was a 12 months and it still swallowed him. We had to keep pulling his ears back so they wouldn't cover his whole face. He was a really good sport though.

We were lucky that the "crazy cousins" were able to come and trick or treat for a little bit. From left to right we have Spiderman (aka Houston), the Green Fairy (aka Madeline) and Ariel (aka Elizabeth). Houston, Madeline and Elizabeth are Aunt Amy's 5 year olds. Now this Amy is not to be confused with Aunt Amy who is my sister in Texas or the other 2 Amys that are Uncle Jamie and Uncle Dan's sisters. Mid 70s were a big time for Amys : )

We hit a few houses and got a few treats for Mommy and Daddy. When we got home we had Papa John's with Mimi and Papa. This was Ethan and Ella's first time to have pizza. Ethan LOVED it! He smacked his lips and maded mmm sounds with each bite. Ella did well too. She is such a healthy eater. She even ate her green beans first!
So all in all, our first official Halloween was a success. I am already thinking of next years costumes. I plan on making the most of the few years where I have control of the costume choices!!