I know you’ve all been waiting to hear/see the boys sing “Tomorrow” from Annie, since I’ve been talking so much about it. The wait is over, my friends (or should I say Grandmas and Grandpas?), here it is in its un-cut glory.
We stayed up until 1:30 on Tuesday night packing and prepping so we could leave at 5:30 the next morning to be on our way to Pennsylvania where we were meeting some of Micah’s family for Thanksgiving. As soon as our heads hit the pillow, Oliver started crying. Micah took care of him, then came back to bed. But Oliver was up again at 2:45, and it was my turn. When we got up at 4:30, the boys’ light was on. Simon came out, thrilled to death (possibly “thrilled to wakefulness” might be a better description) at the idea of being woken up at 5:15 to go to Pennsylvania. I told him to go back to bed, but changed my mind 10 minutes later and soon enough we were all up and getting ready to go. Three trains and 2 1/2 hours later, we were all settled into our rental car and on our way.
I’m just going to say, I paid for the lack of sleep on Tuesday night dearly. Sore throat, stuffy nose, watery eyes, yuck. But I will also say that it was worth it. We had a great time. I loved that all the kids were old enough to play with far less supervision than used to be needed. I loved that there were two floors. And a pool table. And a shuffle board. And plenty of hills to run on. And I loved getting to spend some time with some of my best friends/sisters-in-law, with Micah’s brothers, with Mom Heiselt, and with seven munchkins that have grown a lot since I last saw them nearly a year and a half ago.
And then there was the food. We ate our way through six pies, Micah roasted the tastiest turkey ever, and we each contributed some side dishes to the feast. We shared our favorite chocolate treats, drank delicious wassail, and enjoyed the most indulgent hot cocoa I’ve had in my life, thanks to Micah and his wild imagination.
We played all sorts of games, sang lots of songs, and entertained each other in a family variety show. (Simon sang, “Tomorrow,” Oliver demonstrated his yoga prowess, I recited “Rattletrap Car” which I memorized almost entirely from simply reading it over and over and over and over during the past 4 years, and Micah sang and played “The Curse” on his guitar.)
We let the boys run around outside, and tried not to worry to much about them as we watched from the kitchen window.
And then we came home.
We just got back from our wonderful (internet-free) Thanksgiving vacation in Pennsylvania. I’ll have more on that this week, but I wanted to share a few things we learned in the past 24 hours.
We know what a child’s nightmare is like. Simon woke up screaming, “NO!” in the early hours of the morning. I asked what was wrong. “The movie ended,” he said. “You were dreaming,” I said. “I don’t dream,” he countered. So there you have it. A child’s nightmare is that the movie will be over before he wants it to be.
We know not to rent a car from the Newark airport. We thought it would be a good idea because we wouldn’t have to drive through Manhattan and get stuck in traffic. We were right, but we didn’t think far enough ahead. We always have way more stuff coming home than we did going out. It was a pain to get all that stuff back to Brooklyn. Lesson learned. Next time, rent from JFK.
We know that our boys travel well. They don’t whine, need bathroom breaks (partially because only one of them is potty-trained), or get carsick. They don’t need a lot of food on the road. They are content to sit and listen to audiobooks/podcasts and nap and sing silly songs. And I couldn’t be more grateful for that.
The one night — ever — when Micah and I get to bed at 10:00 and could, feasibly, get 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, Simon wakes up crying inexplicably at midnight and can’t go back to sleep, Oliver falls out of bed, and we’re all out a couple of hours of sleep. Clearly we need to never try to go to to bed early. It’s the only way to get a good night’s sleep around here.
It was a cruel thing I did to Oliver, I’m sure. Breaking his bed. But he seems to be handling it fairly well. He still likes to climb in over the railing, but he has the freedom to get out easily and play all through nap time instead of napping. So, I think that means he has the best of both worlds, right?
It’s only been two nights, but he hasn’t fallen out yet, and we haven’t found him sleeping on the floor, so aside from the crankiness that comes when you spend half your nap time playing with cars, I think we can call the transition to a toddler bed a success.
She has curly red hair. She is kind to animals and younger kids. She is optimistic and happy. And she sings like you wouldn’t believe.
Yes, it’s true. The boys have taken a shine to Annie. As in the orphan. Someday soon I hope to get a video of them singing “Tomorrow,” or maybe one of Simon’s version of “Hard-Knock Life.” My favorite part of that one is where he sings “run a silly hike, for us!” He likes to get to the part in “Tomorrow” where “she starts yelling.” That’s my favorite part, too. Oh, and also the part where she sings, “I just think of my chin, and grin, and say . . . ”
Thinking of my chin always helps. That’s for sure.
Micah and I have not had professionally taken pictures of our family since Dec. 28, 2004. That was our wedding day. Nearly 7 years ago. The only other professional pictures we have are from an impromptu photo-shoot my sister-in-law did when she and my brother were visiting us just after Squish was born. It was mostly of the boys. I was still halfway in my pajamas. My hair was fresh from the pillow. (Thankfully I was only in one or two shots.) And while I do have a decent camera and I’m able to get some pretty good photos of the boys sometimes, there still aren’t any of us as a family.
The problem is this: We are very picky. And we don’t want to pay anything for pictures. So while we look through awesome family-photography and say, “Yeah, that’s pretty good, but I don’t really care for that style . . . ” it’s really just a way to make ourselves feel better about the fact that we are pretty Scrooge-ish about the family photography business. Meaning that we pinch pennies and end up . . . looking like we pinch pennies. Or looking like we don’t get pictures taken at all, which is actually more accurate. We have grand visions and discriminating tastes, but not a thing to back it up. (What I really want is my old friend Diana to come to Brooklyn to take our photos. I would gladly pay full price for her to catch us as she has done so well with so many other families.)
But that is going to change. I’m putting my foot down. Our kids are old enough that I don’t feel that the photos will be outdated in a month because the baby has grown so much since then. We are a real family and we have a lot of fun together and I want proof of it hanging all over our walls. So look for cool family pics in this space . . . sometime in the next . . . (let’s be realistic) year. Hold me to it, people.
Oliver learned to climb into his crib this week. He attempted to climb out of it this afternoon, but was hindered by being sick. We’ll be converting it to a toddler bed by Thanksgiving, I’m sure. The boy also abandoned his high chair a couple of weeks ago. We finally made it to IKEA today to get a normal chair for him to sit on at the table.
The boy is talking in sentences, walking to the library and grocery store, buckling his own stroller and carrier buckles, putting on his shoes all by himself, and zipping jackets and pajamas by himself (or else!).
What I’m saying is, we don’t have a baby any more. And it almost feels like we don’t have a toddler, either (except for the diapers, of course). Just two little boys who laugh and fight and play and wrestle and sing (the singing! I’m in love!) together. Since we won’t be having a baby any time in the near future (read: I’m not pregnant), I’m thinking we’ll get rid of the high chair altogether. I’m thinking maybe we should seriously consider a bunk bed for the boys when we next move. I’m thinking of leaving the diaper bag at home, forever. (Or at least until we have another kid.)
I’m thinking, this is fun. I’m thinking, I like this.