Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Ahhh, Thanksgiving.  It's always been a favorite holiday of mine.  As I have become a "woman" and a mom instead of a "kid" (these classifications have nothing to do with age but more with a person's stage in life) my enjoyment of the day has diminished a bit.  During my childhood Thanksgiving always meant a gathering with family and antics with the cousins.  There were exceptions, but many of these gatherings were at our house on the farm and there was often snow and there would be outdoor fun, which usually included sledding behind some sort of ATV or our old snowmobile and ended with kids of various ages strewn across the yard as we were tossed from the sled. We would make our Christmas lists for my grandma and when we were in elementary school this included circling toys in the JC Penney catalogue.
Isn't that a nostalgic image?  Those two inch thick fall and spring catalogues were so fun to look at. The girl's section generally showed me what I would be wearing for school or summer that season because good old JCP was one of the only stores that had a good selection of kid's clothes in the 90's in Grand Forks.  Target had clothes but they were not as fashionable as they are now and Dayton's was an option but for selection, style and affordability JCP was it.  Kids don't know how good they have it with Old Navy, Kohl's, updated Target, Children's Place and the Internet.  And, although those catalogues were full of fun nothing could beat the Christmas edition with it's fabulous toy section.  And yes, that says $4.  I always remember ours came in the mail so I can't imagine my mom paid for them but maybe you just got on a mailing list when you shopped there regularly. 
 Back to Thanksgiving...wherever we were we would make a Christmas ornament or craft (the last one we made when I was in grad school might have been charms for wine glasses!) and if we were with my dad's side (and we usually were if I remember correctly) my grandma always gave all of the grandkids a new Christmas ornament.  We kids always managed to entertain ourselves by putting together little skits and performances or playing games in my grandparent's basement or upstairs at the farm.  As we got older the antics transitioned into hanging around and gossiping and drinking wine but the holiday was always enjoyable because I wasn't really doing any work.  Of course, my sister and I (I seem to remember my brother being exempt) would help with cleaning and dusting before the family gathering and made sure our rooms were in order but on the day of I don't remember doing much beyond driving to the gas station in town to buy ice or doing some light food preparation like buttering lefse or slicing buns.  And there was plenty of time to get my yearly fix...
It's not Thanksgiving until you zone out to the Macy's parade! 
Now, there is no more holiday slacking because I have a kid demanding my attention nonstop.  I barely had a moment to sit and watch the parade or do anything else festive and the commentary and show tunes were drowned out by screaming and whining.  The extended family has all branched out further with marriages and kids so now it's just us again and our kids are the next generation of cousins but they are all too young to amuse themselves while the adults work in the kitchen or be sent to play outside.  Also, now that I'm an adult I feel like I should be doing more work to contribute to the production of the meal but because of the kids I really can't.  I never get anything done ever.  I started many tasks on Thanksgiving only to be distracted and not finish them. It's all quite infuriating.  Oh, and since I am about 20 lbs overweight and none of my jeans fit except one oversized and stretched out pair I didn't feel very good about stuffing my face with abandon and eating five different desserts so that aspect of Thanksgiving was not indulged either. 
Before you dismiss me as an ungrateful complainer who shouldn't have kids if all I am going to do is whine about them please understand that I know these years will pass and soon the holidays will be more enjoyable again.  The toddler years really are a time to just keep moving and not be dismayed that almost everything you do is not going to be fun. At least not in the same way it was before. But it shall pay off in the long run when they can understand how holidays are fun and special occasions. 
Due to the previously mentioned constant distraction and inability to get things done I took very few pictures of the weekend.  We had two dinners on Thanksgiving with each side of our family.  The gatherings were small.  At my parents' house it was us and my brother's family and my grandma and uncle and at Justin's parents' house we were the only guests. 
Here is Milo hanging out with my grandma.  I caught him giving a "side eye"!

Here is Tessa having her Thanksgiving dinner!  She and my brother's one year old had dinner early so they could have their naps.  She really loves stuffing. 

Milo spent some time watching the NFL and I noticed that he and Justin had coordinating shirts on. Gray plaid is always a good choice!

My family is really bad about taking pictures and I always regret not taking more so I insisted that my parents take a picture with the kids before we left.  The kids decided that it was a good time to shove their hands in their mouths. 
After we got to Grand Forks that evening Tessa was in a tantrum-y mood because we woke her up from her car ride induced nap at 6 p.m.  Holy hell, never again will we do that.  She cried and whined for the rest of the evening.  Justin's mom had birthday presents for her and she cried because she wanted to open them and then she cried while opening them.  She does love her new baby now that she has recovered from her little meltdown. 

On Black Friday Ben and Justin's mom went to a movie and the rest of us ventured out to the stores.  We tried to go to Sears but there were no shopping carts left and we didn't have a stroller so that didn't work.  Then we walked around the mall where I saw a kitten that looked just like Allan at the pet store.  I hope the right home finds him.  I don't approve of pet stores but I hope the right person chooses that cat!
On Saturday we went back to the farm because my sister and niece were there.  She was trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to take a Christmas card photo of her own disagreeable toddler so I had her take a picture of Tessa and I in front of those very nice pine tree arrangements my mom bought from our town's florist but Tessa wasn't really interested.  I still like the picture!  It makes me smile and roll my eyes. Of course she planked her body and cried!

Now it is time to get ready for Christmas.  We will see when we actually get the tree or any other decorations set up.  Ben asked about the tree all evening because my mom put theirs up this weekend.  This could get challenging. 

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