****I apologize for being missing in action for so long - over 1 month! I've had a lot of blogs partially written, but due to computer problems, morning sickness, and a variety of other crazy things, I just haven't been able to post. I decided to "catch up" today, and I am backdating many of my posts (for accuracy) and I will let them publish over the next few days. I promise to stay on top of blogging again from here on out.*****
Part I....Visiting Della
Growing up, we were very close with the neighbors who lived around the corner from my parents. Their oldest daughter and my younger brother are the same age, and they were best friends growing up. She and her younger brother were always like siblings to me. For thanksgiving, they were in town, and we brought Micah over for a visit, and to meet her grandmother, whom we all fondly call Della. Della was in love with Micah - the hugged and generally just had fun together. We had a great little visit before heading out to our Thanksgiving plans.
Part II....The Farm
My cousins own a farm about 25 minutes north of where we live. It is a fairly large farm - about 88 acres, I believe. For the past 15 years (at least), they have been living in an apartment over the barn. Sounds crazy, right? It is actually a very nice apartment, and I'm always amazed how they manage to fit 40-60 people in there for holidays.
We've been going out to celebrate Thanksgiving out at the farm for many years. We have not been out there very often in the past 3 or 4 years, however. For the last few years of my grandmother's life, it was just too difficult to go out there. The apartment has about 30 steps to the front door. With 40-60 people in attendance, there is always a lot of noise and commotion, and usually more than a few runny noses. After one Thanksgiving, she caught a nasty case of pneumonia. That was the last time we all went out to the farm together. Last year, I was on bedrest at the end of my pregnancy, and we left town on Friday to head to New Jersey to attend my niece's bat mitzvah.
This year, we were thrilled to head back out to the farm! It was the first time my nieces had been there, and we were excited to have Micah spend time with his cousins and extended family. We arrived around 3:00 pm. After all these years, my cousins are finally building a "real" house, and we were able to take a tour. It should be ready this year, and hopefully next Thanksgiving, we'll be in the house!
We all started out milling around inside and catching up. Outside, there was a swing set and a jungle gym for the kids, and we were able to bring the kids to the field to see the animals. Micah got to pet a pony - he was a bit unsure, though. He could hear the dogs barking (they were in the barn to keep from being underfoot) and all he wanted to do was find the dogs. The food was delicious. There were several different kinds of stuffing and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes, and there was roasted turkey and fried turkey and duck and goose. There were different kinds of sauces and veggie dishes. For dessert, there were cookies and pies and cakes and fruit. It was an eating feast! After the meal, we lit a bonfire out front. The kids played on the equipment, we roasted marshmallows, and we talked to the horses. We left around 7:30 pm and headed home, but it really was a fun day, and we hope to go back again next year.
Part III: Friday night
On Friday morning, bright at early, we loaded up the car and hit the road. We went to New Jersey to spend Thanksgiving Part III with DH's family! In an effort to accommodate us, they graciously agreed to postpone Thanksgiving until Friday. Not surprisingly, we left a bit later than we had planned (DH never quite gets out the door on time). Micah was really good in the car, and fell asleep quickly. We did have to pull over to the side of the road for a bit - morning sickness got the better of me, and I had a puking session on the side of the road. I had forgotten about that part of pregnancy!
A few hours into the trip, Micah woke up (as expected) and we stopped for lunch. He sat in a high chair, ate some pizza, and was truly wonderful. Until we had to get back into the car. Unfortunately, he had had enough car time, and he was fidgety and crying on and off the rest of the trip. We sang to him and played games, and eventually, we got him to fall back asleep for a little while, but he was awake and crying the last 1/2 hour of the trip. We finally arrived at my BIL and SIL's house, and everyone was there waiting for us. Micah got to crawl all around and play, and he spent some quality time with his family. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures - we accidentally left our camera at the farm and missed a great photo opportunity.
DH and I had done a lot of the cooking - we brought turkey, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, and a few other things. My sisters-in-law made meatloaf, broccoli, mashed potatoes, and a few other side dishes and desserts. Everyone got along really well, and we had a fun celebration.
Towards the end of the meal, we changed Micah into his "I'm going to be a big brother" t-shirt so we could share our baby news with the family. It took them about 15 minutes to notice the shirt (with some prompting). While my one sister-in-law seemed thrilled for us, the rest of the response seemed pretty lukewarm to me. I was kind of disappointed - I thought they'd be thrilled for us. I think it was hard on my other SIL - they suffered with IF, too, and ended up adopting their son. She went through a failed IVF that caused her a pulmonary embolism (they never got to retrieval/transfer because the medicines got her sick), and last year she had a hysterectomy. They have wanted to adopt another child, but due to financial constraints and a challenging living situation, that really hasn't been much of an option for them. So, while I understand their reaction, it was still a bit disappointing for us.
Bedtime in NJ was a bit of a challenge. Micah was in unfamiliar territory, and he really didn't want to go to sleep. To make matters worse, my mother-in-law heard him crying and went upstairs into his bedroom. I know she thought she was helping, but having someone come into the room who wasn't mommy or daddy just upset him even more. I ended up having to go in there and sit with him for over an hour to get him to sleep. He finally crashed, but he did not sleep all that well. He woke up around 5:30 in the morning, and it was a challenging day. Luckily, Micah's cousins wanted to spend some time with him, so DH and I got a bit of a break. My SIL was a huge help, too - I apparently was sound asleep during Micah's morning nap, and when he started crying, I didn't even move! She went upstairs, changed his diaper and brought him downstairs and gave him a bottle while I got some much-needed sleep. I can't even begin to tell you how thankful I was!
We hung around the rest of the day, and headed out to dinner at the Olive Garden. Micah loves their minestrone soup (not surprising, since he made me crave it by the bucketful while I was pregnant with him)! Micah ate a ton of soup and bread, and around 7:00 or so he started getting tired and cranky. We changed him into his pajamas, and put him to bed in the car. The ride home was relatively uneventful, and we were able to transfer Micah back into his crib and he slept through the night.
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