*warning: LONG post alert! (Who knew I was so verbose?) Feel free to disregard if you're not interested! :)*
So the first leg of our trip was from Portland to Phoenix on December 22nd. Our flight was scheduled to land at 10pm, which was kind of late, but was much cheaper, and we could make it work. Unfortunately, we were delayed. and delayed. Our flight didn't get in until well after 1am. (Sorry mom & dad!!!). That's OK, we were on vacation. We could sleep in! :) So, we head to baggage claim where my mom is waiting for us and is very excited to see Connor. We got all of our bags, and head out to the car. There is a big red wagon in the back of the van, and mom looks taken aback.
Mom: "Where did this come from?"
Dad: "Well, get in and I'll tell you the story." Hmm, I think, this must be one of dad's "stories"...
So we all got in the van and dad starts his story.
Dad: "I was sitting in the van waiting for you when this little red car came driving up to the curb."
Me: "Let me guess, was there a jolly old man driving with a big white beard?" For some reason, lately, I enjoy taking the air out of my dad's attempts to be funny. I suppose it's the only way I find his nonsense to be funny.... If you know my dad, you know what I mean. :)
Dad: "No, ..."
Me: "Were there eight tiny reindeer pulling in front?" :) of course everyone was laughing and interrupting at this point.
Dad: "No, are you going to let me finish the story?"
Me: "OK, go ahead."
Dad: "Well, there was this little car that pulled up to the curb and there were a bunch of people in it meeting some family/friends at the airport. They went to put the bags in and they didn't all fit, at least not with all the people in. So, they took all the bags out, and pulled out this wagon. Then they put all the bags back in and put the wagon over in the corner. And then they drove off. So, I looked at the wagon. I waited for a few minutes, then looked at the wagon again. It seemed like no one was coming back for it. So, I got out, grabbed the wagon and put it in my van. I saw the man in the van behind me and he just gave me a smile and a nod. So, that's how I got the wagon." We were all silent because it seemed more like a mom thing to do than a dad thing.
Me: "Huh. Well, it's a nice wagon! Good find! :)" So now mom and dad have a wagon at the Sun Lakes house, which will come in handy later in the tale, as you'll see....
The next day we spent sleeping in, hanging out, and letting mom and dad spend some quality time with Connor. Yes, he was still sick, but we were managing it OK with the nebulizer and the saline drops. In the afternoon, we went to see Mamie in Phoenix. No one told me what the schedule was, so I wanted to make sure I saw her family. We had lunch at Chili's then went back to her place so she could open her present from me early -- mostly because I wanted to see the book I made her just as much as she did.... While we were there, I asked her if there were any "handyman" projects she needed done, since I remembered reading about her whoa's on her blog. There was, in fact, a leak in the master bath that needed drastic attention. I'll let her tell the story if she wants to, but we did spend the remainder of the afternoon sealing up her shower cracks and trying to mitigate any damage. Hopefully it was helpful, but I don't feel like we did much...
The next morning my dad wanted me to go to "the trailer" with him.... He said he "needed some help". *gggrrrroooaaannnn* It's funny how certain things will make you revert back to childhood, and then act all childish. "The trailer" you must know, is a piece of equipment that my dad bought when we moved from Albuquerque to Indiana. He justified the purchase by assuming that it would be cheaper overall just to hire a driver to drive our trailer than to rent a U-Haul. Turns out he was right since we moved about 20 times after that... And then it ended up sitting on "the lot" in Phoenix, being storage for whatever my parents wanted to keep that didn't fit into their house(s). Silly, I know. But, some of the kids have used it over the years as storage as well. Needless to say, I was not up for "the trailer". I asked Ron if he wouldn't mind going to help my dad in my place. He didn't mind. (Turns out later, Ron told me that he thought my dad really wanted me to come so he could show off his new organizational skills in the trailer... oh, well. I guess dad should have told me THAT then, instead of "I need help at the trailer".) So, while the boys were at the trailer, mom and I took the opportunity to go see her mom in Gilbert. I wanted to introduce Grandma Rose to Connor. Here they are:
She just thought he was the cutest boy! It was sweet how excited she got about the whole thing. It was a nice visit, but her apartment was VERY warm, and Connor gets fussy when he's too warm. I stripped him down, but it was SO warm. So, I took him outside and he got quiet. So, I took him back inside. Fussy. Outside, quiet. Inside, fussy. So, we had to cut our visit short. I guess grandma doesn't like to keep the door open. But, it was nice to see her again.
That evening we went over to Mamie's house for Christmas Eve dinner. Below is Sophia getting ready for dinner. A bit unconventional, but definitely Sophia! :)
It was a very nice dinner with yummy ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad and yummy bread. mmm, mmm! Here are the shots around the table:
Connor sat in the corner of the table in his Bumbo. He was ready!
and Connor got to try the mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes! His first solids ever, unless you count the tastes of fudgecicle that Ron gives him on a semi-regular basis. I try, but I'm not around 24-7.
Bethaney came late because she had to work on Christmas Eve. So sad! But I remember the days when I had to do that, too. I guess everyone goes through it at some point. Luckily, there was still food left over for her! :)
After dinner we opened some presents. Not all, just the ones pertinent to those in the room. Mamie and Geoff weren't sure if they could make it to mom & dad's the next day, so we wanted to open presents while people were there. Below is Mamie trying to open a Connor present... Nice try, Mames! :)
And, for all of you disbelievers out there, here is proof that dad now does dishes! On a side note: I will NEVER use dishes as a punishment. I still associate all types of cleaning the house with punishment and it sucks! Cleaning needs to be something to enjoy or at least make it through without dread....
Isabel and Sophia got matching sweat suits -- the backsides have little paws on them -- so cute! :) I do remember a time when Mamie was adamently opposed to matching outfits, so this was fun to see! :)
Connor struck a pose for us. Honestly, there was no prompting from us. I looked over and that's how he was drinking a bottle. You know, he CAN hold the bottle on his own. He just chooses not to -- little cutie!
After the festivities at Mamie's, I really wanted to go see my grandma Betty in the hospital. Luckily it wasn't too late. She was admitted with pnemonia, and then had complications from there. She would have to stay in the hospital longer than I would be in town, and I was really sad that she wouldn't be able to meet Connor -- the hospitals don't allow children on the sick floors. I decided to risk it and sneak Connor into her room anyway, just for a few minutes. Luckily my dad has never been one to obey the rules, and my mom just kind of goes along with it. :) Anyway, she got to meet Connor and even hold him for a while. She was so happy to see us! And, of course, grandpa Jack was by her side day and night, so he got to meet Connor, also.
My mom has always been a sucker for Christmas mornings. She likes to make a big breakfast and have all the presents under the tree. Of course, this year, Connor was the only grandchild there for Christmas Morning (the rest didn't come over until after lunch). So presents were put out a little later than normal :).
Connor picked up the skill of unwrapping presents surprisingly quickly. He learned that the fun, colorful paper hid fun, colorful presents! and he liked ripping the paper apart as well. Ron didn't have to help him very much to get the present open. So fun!
More present opening:
FYI, I had the tag on my nose because Sophia did that the day before.... Bethaney thought it was funny. :)
After lunch my dad wanted to go golfing. None of us are any good, but it's free as part of his HOA in Sun Lakes. We went to play nine holes at the pitch and put so it didn't take so long. Of course, what they consider par 2 is really par 8 for us. :) And, it was a lot of fun.
Dad's favorite part was getting all of his equipment out. They have two golf carts and 4 sets of clubs, so we were all divided up.
And, here's the part where the wagon comes in handy. I don't think my dad can do anything without a trailer, and there wasn't quite enough room to fit 6 people AND 4 clubs, so my dad got out the trailer, and away we went! :)
The golfers: (Sorry, I thought I got a picture of Ron swinging, but I didn't. Just these four)
Notice how professional we are? Three people putting at once.... I think we were trying to outpace the people behind us.
There was alot of ball chasing....
We didn't keep track of the score. Why bother? We knew it was bad. I think dad shot a couple of holes at a 3 or something, so not too bad. My best was a 5. Not too great. I'm not sure what Ron did, since he didn't tell me.
Wayne and Lily stopped by in the afternoon for even MORE gift exchanging. It was great! I think I snapped a shot of everyone but Benjamin... Sorry, buddy, I'll have to get you next time! :)
Connor and Ryan are only 6 months apart (Here Connor is 4.5 mos and Ryan is 10.5 mos). Cuties!
Connor got to meet alot of the family! Here is is with ...
Uncle Wayne (& Ryan)
The day after Christmas we flew out early to be able to get to Sun Valley at a decent time. (2 hour drive from Boise airport). We were sad to leave, especially since there were many more of my extended family that we wanted to see.... But we were also excited to meet more of the Edwards, as well.... Next stop -- Idaho!