I promise photos at a later date (by the 27th, I promise!) but for now, just an update about the past week.
In negligent parenting information, Tim and I got to go away this weekend, for TWO WHOLE NIGHTS. It was divine. I mean, being able to sleep in for two nights and being fancy free from responsibility for two days - we could have gone to a rocky hole in the ground and just laid there, in the pouring rain, and it would have been like a fantastic tropical paradise. I mean - we got delayed in the airport for two hours and it was amazing how easy it felt, because all I had to do was sit and read my book. No one was pulling on me or running around or peeing their pants or crying. Or rather, if they were, they weren't my problem.
But rather than just going to a hole in the ground, we flew into San Francisco, spent the morning poking around the city with Becca, went into a jewelry store (where I tried on a $175,000 diamond ring) and then Brian landed at SFO, picked up our rental car and squired us away to the Napa Valley, where our mission was to eat at the world renown French Laundry restaurant. Becca and I have both made eating there a life goal, and through a couple of days of diligently calling their reservation line (reservations open up two months in advance) she was able to get us a seating! Sunday afternoon we had a tour and tasting of Nickel and Nickel winery and then had lunch at a little pub place, and then went home to take naps and clean up and get ready to eat.
The meal was amazing. It's course after course of beautiful, perfect food. Small portions, but cooked beautifully and with these amazing sauces and garnishes - all I wanted to do was make sure that I got a bit of every delicious element in each bite. We were there eating, drinking, talking and laughing for four hours. It was truly an unforgettable experience. If you request, you can go tour the kitchen, and we actually spoke with Chef Thomas Keller. When he asked what had happened to Brian (he sprained his ankle at work and was on crutches) I immediately sassed "I hit him with my car."
On Monday we traveled back to Orange County. The kids had done really well, but Thor got spooked while Gigi was trying to give him an insulin injection and he turned and bit her several times in the hand, and it immediately got infected. So Monday she went to urgent care for treatment, and I got a text mid-day from my dad that my mom was going to lay down and he was in charge of the kids. Thankfully, Gigi's hand is on the mend, and Thor wrote her a letter of apology. He's not a mean animal, he is just SO DUMB and when he spooks, he goes feral, and sadly, he went feral on Gigi. Thankfully, she's lived a lifetime with bitey cats. None with as germy of a mouth though, I guess. I knew Ellie would have a blast and not miss us, but I was worried about Adam. Apparently he took it all in stride, though when he woke up from his nap on Sunday he ask "no mommy? No daddy? No mommy? No daddy?" and then accepted when Gigi told him "nope, just Gigi!"
Since then it's been all holidays, all the time. Yesterday morning we had a dozen kids and their moms over for a cookie decorating party to get ready for Santa. I swept the floor before everyone arrived to deal with all of the cat fur and play doh, and then I swept after they left because there were sprinkles and sugar sequins all over the ground. It was a really fun morning with a house full of craziness. And then we got everyone down for a nap and then off to Mimi and Pa's house for the Parmordsen party/Pa's birthday. Ellie was so excited to see everyone and then SANTA came, and he had the STAR EARRINGS that she's been asking for all season! Much screaming when I took out her original studs, but her new earrings are in and looking and feeling fabulous. She gave Santa a huge hug, but Adam cried when we put him anywhere near the jolly old man. The kids both lasted until almost ten, and that was even after Ellie demanded that the whole party move out to Mimi's new front patio to have a dance party. She cracks me up.
This morning was slightly quieter. We cleaned up around the house and Adam took two naps, and then after everyone was rested up, we went over to Gigi and Grizz's to open presents. Ellie could barely hold herself together, waiting to tear into everything, whether it belonged to her or not. She just loves to "help." It was fun to watch how thrilled they were with everything, from Adam and his new broom to Ellie and her traffic cones to set up and knock down. Plus all the peppermint patties they could eat! They are both at such a sweet age. Adam loves saying "ho ho ho" and is trying to say Merry Christmas, and Ellie has truly fallen in love with all of the magic, though she worries me with how smart she is and how much she remembers. I feel like I have to be verrrrrrry careful, beceause one slip up and she's going to figure out how the Santa Sausage is made.