Happy New Year everyone!
My family just left an hour ago and things are slowly and quietly returning to normal. The house looks no better or worse than when they arrived, just some extra sheets and towels to wash and otherwise you'd never know anyone had been here. My parents are planning on coming back in the spring, my sister is undecided for what to do over her break if she gets one, and we're going to be heading back to Ontario in July (just to give everyone the heads-up).
As always, their visit was action-packed. Within hours of them walking in the door I was off to Ikea to get Lauren's bed. We now have two guest rooms furnished enough to be useful. Lauren's could still use some de-cluttering and decorating, but it serves its purpose right now, however unattractively. We went out shopping to both the indoor mall and the outlet mall. We took a day-trip to San Antonio to see the River Walk lit up with Christmas lights where we ate at a terrible restaurant that lured us in by having a snow man made out of margarita machine "snow" outside. Kinda cool that Georgia got to see a snowman at her first Christmas despite living in Texas. Super cool that I didn't have to do it myself to make that happen. Despite the poor meal, the lights were beautiful and completely made the trip worthwhile. My mother of course complained about how cold it was, despite the fact that it was well above freezing. It's just not holiday lights with my mother without a complaint about the cold - lol. I also saw the most breathtaking chandelier made entirely out of artisanal glass. I wish I'd had my camera, but then again it was nice to not have to carry it. We did part of the day with Georgia in her stroller and then she got to ride facing out on the Moby for the evening and that seemed to please her greatly. The first week my father took Lauren to a college basketball game (UT vs Michigan) and the second week everyone but Jason got to see them rout some team from a school none of us had heard of. It was a fun night, but in future I must remember that an entire bag of cotton candy is not a meal substitute (sooo nauseous after that). That was the first night Georgia made her thoughts on the bottle known, so Jason had a miserable evening on his own. More on that later.
My parents also did a bunch of day-trips off to state parks and other local attractions that I was just too tired to tag along for. While they were out we amused ourselves around the house. Lauren played her way through Brutal Legend
. Lauren and I also made a gingerbread house (assembled a pre-made kit that I picked up cheap on boxing day) and I managed to knit myself a pair of mittens and string a black pearl necklace for Nana while they were here. I promised I'd make her one for Christmas back before Georgia was born, so of course I was finishing it up this morning as my parents were packing the car. As the old Douglas Adams quotation goes: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Right now I've got a holiday hat on the needles as I'd still like to have one for myself to match the little one I made for Georgia. It sure won't get done in time for this holiday season, but I'll have it for next year. It's not like my head is still growing so there's no rush. I wonder if Georgia's will still fit next year? I have no real concept for how quickly they grow at this stage, but the hat is a bit large on her and it does have a fair bit of stretch. We'll just have to wait and see I guess. I've definitely decided bamboo are the needles of choice for me, and though I won't get rid of any of the metal or acrylic ones I picked up (you never know) from now on I think I'll always be buying bamboo. Why do I always like the most expensive tools?
During the visit we all had a go at Mario Cart for the Wii, everyone but Lauren and Jason sucked completely, and even they didn't do well consistently. Ravin Rabids made a brief appearance as did Boom Blox and some game about a blob that Lauren brought down. The Wii really is a good party system. Rock Band was well-represented, especially on Christmas Day as Lauren and Kristie gave Jason some X-Box points to spend. Last night there was a session of Scattergories, but other than that the board and card games didn't get out. Funny enough, everyone was too tired from the day's activities to stay awake for board games.
Last night we finished off the visit with a dinner composed entirely of appetizers, which is always fun. We played Scattergories while Lauren and I made regular trips out to the garage to experiment with the glass fusing microwave kiln thing I bought myself. We rung in the New Year on EST so Georgia and my parents could stay up for it, then Jason and Lauren and I celebrated up to the local New Year by ourselves. The major networks cut-off the ball-drop show around 11pm EST and delayed it an hour, but CNN carries it live, so I might use that trick in future with small children so they don't actually have to stay up until midnight. Georgia liked the singing from the TV and how everyone was all smiley and excited at New Year's and grinned and cooed her way into the new year. Total party girl.
Georgia has started developing some opinions. She's a definite party girl, thriving when there are a lot of people around to babble to. In the last few days she has decided that the bottle is an inadequate way to be fed and refuses to suck on it. Twice this week I left her with Jason as I went out for 4-6 hours and both times she chose to be hungry rather than accept even a drop from the bottle. I'm glad that I didn't buy an expensive pump and that I don't intend to try to go back to work. However, this pretty much puts the final nails in the coffin of the idea that we might ever go out for an evening alone. *shrug* it's not like there are any movies out that I'm dying to see anyway.
She's also developed some opinions on her favorite toys. The pacifier is still #1 if that counts as a toy. My sister bought her an Eeyore that she absolutely adores (the ears are great to suck on) and she seems to like the sound of the word "Eeyore" too. The hat I knit her seems to be a close second on the plush toys list, it's very nom nom. If neither Eeyore or hat are available it seems that the Ikea mice are acceptable. The various rattles are seeing some small amount of play time, and she's getting good at grasping them with both hands and passing them from hand to hand. We got her "lots of links" for Christmas and those are okay. Baby gym is still a hit and the baby gym that goes over her swing is a definite success. She's taken a real shine to the TV showing a strong preference for anything with music. So You Think You Can Dance was an early favourite and certain Disney movies are playing to high reviews as well. Little Mermaid was excellent and Enchanted was also good. The Pixar films lack music and she doesn't seem very interested in them as a result, despite the bold shapes and bright colours.
Also, in an update of sorts from the last e-mail... my mother did not in fact have my keys. I found them in the pocket of a pair of pants I wore to take Georgia on a walk a few weeks ago. I gave her an apology and the extra set of keys I had cut, so this time she really does have a set and I still have another for non-family guests.
Not sure what the plan is for today. Started writing this at 9:30 and 5 hours have slipped by without me accomplishing anything other than lunch.