We are finally getting back into our routine, so I have time to sit down and post about our Christmas break. Andy is very lucky to work in the auto industry in Detroit, since the unions shut down between Christmas and New Years, so his company also shuts down and it's paid holiday. It's not the same deal throughout Bosch, however, and when we lived down South, we had to take days off to go home for the whole week. This year, since Christmas and Christmas Eve fell on a Monday and Tuesday, we got a little extra time off. Andy was off for almost two full weeks, from December 21 to January 1.
I never got the chance to show off our decorations in our house, so I thought this would be a good opportunity. I was thrilled to finally have a house and be able to put up two trees (one for the kids from Santa and another for us to give family gifts). As you can see, Izzie B already had her stocking up, although it won't be filled until next year.
This was also the first year, we were able to do outside decorations. I guess we could've done them last year in our rental house, but we figured that we'd wait until we were settled. With so much going on, we decided to get a few things and we can add to the collection over the next couple of years.
Every year, both me and my mom send out Christmas cards to friends and family. This is my mom's card. The last few years, she's had to do a multi-pic card because it's hard to get us all together. Also, this was Kiro's first appearance on a Christmas card.
This was our card this year. We had a ton of pictures to work with, so it was hard to narrow it down to just a few. Since we've had Brady, we always have one picture of us on the fireplace with him in his Christmas outfit (bottom left).
I thought it would be fun to take a look back at Brady over all of his Christmases so far. It's crazy how much he's grown!
A lot of people I know who are pregnant over the holiday season were taking advantage and wrapping their bellies in ribbon and taking a bump pic in front of the tree. I'd never thought of this before (as I was 4 weeks further along with Brady at Christmas), so I thought it would be fun. I thought it would be even better to get Brady in on the fun and have him kiss my belly. It wasn't hard to get him to do as he always loves kissing Izzie or talking to her.
Andy's first morning off was a Friday and Brady had his final gymnastics class of the session. That meant we couldn't leave for Pittsburgh until around noon. Of course, there was a huge winter storm system that was going to hit northern Ohio and Pittsburgh that day. We had many plans for that evening and the next morning, so we decided we would drive through. It turned out to not be much at all and only hit about 30 miles of bad roads near Cleveland.
We spent the next few days relaxing with different parts of our families and celebrating both Christmas Eve and Christmas. If we're able, we attempt to drive to New York City, where my 92 year old Oma (grandma) lives. We were unable to make it work last year, so it had been two years and Brady was only 10 months old at the time. This year, we were all able to make the trip, and the plan was the leave the day after Christmas. Of course, another winter storm was headed our way, but from the weather reports, it was supposed to be behind us, and if we got out early enough, we'd beat it. With the last storm not living up to the hype, I wasn't at all concerned. All Andy could remember was that two years prior, we'd literally driven into a blizzard to get to NYC and then were snowed in for three days.
Well, I guess my jokes about storms not living up to the hype caught up to me. The storm ended up hitting us all the way to New Jersey. We averaged about 30 miles per hour, the roads were almost untouched by plows (though we counted dozens plowing on the opposite side of the turnpike). There were one-car accidents along the whole way and even my dad skidded off the road at one point (although he was doing something you're not legally allowed to do in a car; ahem texting). It normally takes us five hours to cross the entire state of Pennsylvania and it took us nine! Fortunately, once we hit Jersey it was just rain, but that still slows things down when it comes to traffic. We left early enough that we should've been there by early-afternoon and we ended up getting there after 6PM and thus hit NYC rush hour traffic. The whole trip should take about seven hours and took eleven when all was said and done. It was exhausting! You can see a pic of the roads above, but they got way worse than that.
Brady was amazed by all the snow as he hadn't seen any snow this year. If you look at all the time we spent down South, Brady has only had about 3/4 of one winter in his whole life.
My Oma was thrilled to see us all (we haven't all been up at the same time since before Andy and I got married). She has a row house with three levels and usually rents out the third level. This summer her tenant passed away, so she's fixing up the apartment upstairs. With all the boys there, it was the perfect opportunity to paint it. With four guys, it only took them a day and a half (keep in mind it took Andy a whole week to paint Brady's room by himself). You can see my Oma sitting in a chair supervising.
We were due to leave that Saturday to make it home in time for Andy's diaper party. We looked at the weather and saw that again we'd be facing another winter storm. We made the snap decision (all of us kids at least), to leave Friday night after dinner and drive straight through the night. My parents waited out the storm and left on Sunday morning. We got home around 3AM and only saw the slightest amount of snow when we arrived home.
This is 9AM that same morning. You can see how much snow is on the car and we'd only been home six hours. We were very glad we drove through the night.
That Sunday, Andy had his diaper party down at Buks's house. For those who don't know what a diaper party is, I'll explain. Usually first time parents have a baby shower and receive all the big items necessary for dealing with a baby. The second time around, you still have all that big stuff, and basically only need clothes (if a different gender) and diapers. When I was teaching, some of the men had wives who were expecting their second or third child, and they were having diaper parties. Basically, it's an all male gathering (although I've recently heard of women doing them), where you have beer and pizza, etc, and watch sporting event. Everyone who comes brings a package of diapers and it helps the new parents out. We have very generous family and friends and everyone brought large boxes. We got everything from newborn size through size 3, basically enough to diaper Izzie B for the first four months! We are very grateful to everyone who came.
We relaxed at my mom's house all of New Year's Eve watching bowl games, etc. Brady stayed up until midnight for the third straight year (out of three), so we were able to again get video of him watching the ball drop. That morning, Brady woke up very early crying. He sleeps in a room with Andy and when Andy called for me, I knew it was bad news. Brady had been throwing up and he needed help changing him and the sheets. I went back to bed, but I guess they never did as Brady kept getting sick. We made the decision not to go to my Mimi's house for dinner and go straight home (we were planning on going home after dinner). We took a bucket in the car with us and only needed to use it once (thank goodness).
The next morning, I was feeling iffy, but not sick, and Andy texted from work saying he was feeling pretty bad. By 11AM Andy was home and very sick (although he was working from home in the periods between being sick). Brady was much improved and wanted to hang out with daddy. I fell asleep on the couch watching TV and it took all of my energy to get upstairs to take a nap. Andy went downstairs to work some more while I slept and I woke up and got sick myself. I haven't had a stomach bug in 12 years! I will be more than happy if I go another 12 years before I have another one. I couldn't be more grateful that Andy was at home because I didn't leave the bed until the next morning. I was only able to take two bites of bread and drink a glass of ginger ale over the course of that whole night.
Andy was still iffy enough not to go to work the next day, which was perfect because I was still a little off and I don't know if I'd have been able to drive myself to my doctor's appointment. I almost passed out while laying down for an ultrasound it was so bad. It took almost a week to get my appetite back, but it's definitely back now ;)
While we were gone our Michigan plates came. My car had been sporting the SC plates and Andy's had never taken off it's original PA plates. This was a shocking thing, because in my mind it really made us Michigan residents. With all of our moving, it's hard to wrap our heads around actually being settled and that we're here for the long haul (we've never lived anywhere longer than a year, so in August will come quite a milestone). Andy now has a Michigan license, although I still have mine from PA.
Although it's sad that the holidays are over and we took down our decorations, there's so much to keep us busy that we won't miss them. Brady's birthday is in five weeks and in addition to planning a party for him, we have to get the nursery done and any final prep for Izzie who is due in less than eight weeks. Still, never a dull moment at the Trapuzzano house.