Well, we survived our initiation back into the real world today, where we all wore something other than flannel pajama bottoms. We also took showers this morning, because the real world requires a level of hygiene that we failed to uphold over the long, holiday weekend.
But oh! Our weekend was full of absolutely nothing, and that is exactly what we needed.
On Wednesday night, Hubs and I cooked dinner for my parents, and my sister and her family. It’s because Hubs has a Traeger grill, and the thought of roasting a bird on it was almost overwhelming him with RAW, MANLY EXCITEMENT. And because Hubs loves the thrill of buying bulk items from Costco that come in sizes labeled THIS WILL FEED AN ENTIRE NATION FOR SIX WEEKS, we bought a twenty-one pound turkey.
In case you’re having a difficult time coming up with a visual, a twenty-one pound turkey is approximately the size of a Volkswagen van.
It was exactly like having an ostrich soaking in brine in our refrigerator.
And then Hubs spilled that raw-poultry-infested-bag-o’-liquid-brine on my kitchen floor on Wednesday morning, which… JUST GROSS. It’s why the rug from Target that once graced the floor in front of my kitchen sink is now gracing the bottom of our outdoor dumpster. The fact that it was covered in raw turkey slop far outweighed the other fact that I paid $20 for it. The good news is that I have to go shopping for a new rug now, so YAY!
The beastly bird cooked all day outside on the Traeger, while we cooked all day indoors. Hubs and I made mashed potatoes and deviled eggs and homemade rolls and stuffing and corn salad and every other traditional Thanksgiving side dish that the Pilgrims invented. My parents came over, bringing vegetables and pies. My sister’s family came over, bringing salads. And then we asked God to bless all that food, and we piled our plates high, while I ran defense against Thing 2 and kept him from wrestling three-year-old Cousin H to the floor.
(For the record? Thing 2 wrestles. He’s had no formal training, but he seems to innately UNDERSTAND the concept of wrestling. He wrestled a four-and-a-half-year-old boy to the ground at the indoor playland a couple of weeks ago, and his teacher from his preschool playgroup announced, “Thing 2 doesn’t just wrestle… he PINS.”)
(For the other record? Cousin H, being a ladylike girl, cannot stand to be pinned to the floor while the referee counts to ten to declare Thing 2 the winner. We have to play man-to-man defense on him, to keep him from assigning himself to the opponent closest to his weight class at family dinners. He’s quick, and he can execute a double-leg take-down before people even realize that the wrestling match has started.)
On Thursday, we ate leftover turkey sandwiches on WHITE BREAD for lunch, exactly like God and the Pilgrims wanted it to be, and then we loaded up into the car and went to Hubs’ parents’ house for a fully trimmed-out Thanksgiving dinner, with the cousins. There was more turkey and more mashed potatoes and more homemade dinner rolls and more pumpkin pie, and we thought we were bellied up to the buffet tables in Heaven.
Hip, hip, hooray for Thanksgiving and all those carbohydrates!
Hash tag, LOVE IT!
On Friday, we ate more turkey sandwiches on white bread, and then we had hot, open-faced turkey sandwiches on dinner rolls, smothered in leftover gravy.
We were riding the Leftover Train fast and hard, and enjoying every minute of it.
On Friday night, Small Town, USA hosted a Christmas Stroll. The main street through the heart of our downtown was closed off to traffic, and the stores were all open for nighttime shopping. This is a huge event for our little town, and EVERYONE goes.
Even Santa and his wife showed up!
Thing 2 was not at all interested in sitting on Santa’s lap, until Mrs. Claus offered him a candy cane. After that, he was Santa’s minion, who would do anything he was asked to do, with the promise of more red-and-white-striped candy.
He even told Santa that he wants FOUR PRESENTS for Christmas. Now… he has no idea WHAT four presents he wants. Our toddler cannot name a single toy that he wants for a gift, but he knows that whatever arrives under the tree in the brightly-wrapped packages, he wants FOUR. OF. THEM.
As a side note, the boy wants me to be clear that he was FORCED BY HIS MEAN MOTHER to go stand in the picture with Santa Claus. I’m supposed to type a disclaimer that says, “I’M FOURTEEN, AND THIS WAS NOT MY IDEA.”
We also got to hang out with our sweet friends, McKinley, Kiley and Avery, on Friday night.
I cannot even express in simple words how happy McKinley’s knit cap made me. I wanted to steal it and wear it on my own head, but I was pretty sure you have to be fourteen and beautiful and have a fantastic side braid in order for the hat to look as magical as it did.
While we were strolling through the street and taking advantage of booths with free hot chocolate and free hot dogs, Thing 2 saw THE TRAIN. And seeing The Train turned into shouts of, I NEED TO RIDE THAT SUCKER RIGHT THIS INSTANT! RIGHT NOW! I NEED ON THAT TRAIN BEFORE I EXPLODE WITH EXCITEMENT!!!!
And THAT is how we found ourselves standing in line for twenty entire minutes, waiting our turn for a seat on the Burlington Northern. In the end, Hubs and I decided to just let the boys ride alone, because the line was tremendously long. We sacrificed our own spots so that a couple more little kids could get on. Hubs was tremendously disappointed, but the holiday season is all about skipping your own train ride so a seven-year-old can take your spot.
Thea and Thing 2 have already been promised to one another by their mothers to be PROM DATES in high school. And seriously? I don’t think they’ll mind, what with their enthusiasm over seeing one another again on Friday night. Dana and I told the toddlers to STAND TOGETHER FOR A PICTURE, KIDS. They just grabbed one another and hugged like they’d been separated by wars and oceans for years.
(If anyone is counting, the candy cane in Thing 2’s mouth while he was hugging Miss Thea was his fourth one of the evening.)
We wrapped up Friday by driving out to see the fireworks show that Small Town, USA put on. We even managed to convince Thing 2 that he wouldn’t die from the noise, so WIN WIN WIN.
On Saturday, we stayed in our pajamas.
We ate turkey leftovers.
We watched shows on TV that require subtitles, because they’re all about toothless people who live in the swamps and fight alligators and brew moonshine, and no one can understand what they’re saying.
Looking back, our little family may have looked like GENUINE LOW-CLASS SOCIETY MEMBERS on Saturday, but that’s how we rolled. I’ll just be honest and say that no brush touched my hair that day.
Thing 2, however, needed to run and jump and jump and run, because he’s classier than his parents are; the reality shows on backwoods characters weren’t cutting it for him.
So… we set up a rather big trampoline that we’ve had for a while, stored in a box, in our dining room.
There are not a lot of families in America who have a giant, net-enclosed trampoline set up INSIDE their houses, but we’re pioneers, carving new trails where none existed before. We predict that by Valentine’s Day, everyone will be pinning photos of ENORMOUS trampolines that take up every square foot of extra floor space you have, right smack in your dining room.
Thing 2 helped with the building part, which translates to, THING 2 TOOK ALL THE SCREWS AND LOST THE NUTS AND BOLTS, AND MADE HUBS’ VEINS STICK OUT ON HIS HEAD BECAUSE WHERE ARE THE BITS OF HARDWARE I NEED FOR THIS PROJECT?!
Thing 2 has jumped the equivalent of forty-four thousand miles on that trampoline since Saturday. He especially likes it when his parents play Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony” song on the iPod while he jumps, because all great trampoline artists perform their jump routines to hard rock music from the late ’80s.
(The best part about Thing 2’s favorite song, “Mony Mony,” is that he calls it “Nemo Nemo.” We have no explanation, but we laugh every single time he hollers out, “Play Nemo Nemo!”)
If you’re wondering, the trampoline that is roughly the size of a Walmart building is causing my OCD personality to shake and tremble a little bit today, because IT’S HUGE! And IT’S IN THE HOUSE! Plus, it looks so classy with white washcloths beneath it to keep it from scratching our hardwood floors.
On Sunday, we ate more turkey leftovers, disguised as AFTER THANKSGIVING DINNER IDEAS, but I reached a point where turkey was instantly dead to me.
Between our family dinners and all the leftovers, Hubs and I estimated that we diligently worked our way through seventeen pounds of turkey, and then THE END. As wasteful and horrible as it sounds to those folks who survived the Great Depression, we threw the rest of our turkey in the garbage last night, and we had zero regrets.
We are a poultry-free home today.
And look! I asked Thing 2 if I could take his picture this morning, because he looked as handsome as he always does. He said that I could, if he could have a piece of candy, so we struck a deal, and he ran to the fireplace. Somehow, my toddler already knows to just go sit on the fireplace and holler, “Cheese,” when Mama pulls out the camera.
I’ve done laundry today and washed dishes and scrubbed gravy splotches off of kitchen counters and recovered lost socks from beneath the sofa and done STILL MORE LAUNDRY and run the vacuum cleaner at a speed that’s usually reserved for the homes of extreme hoarders after a crisis intervention.
And I still have a giant trampoline sitting on washcloths in my dining room.
Other than that, I think we’re pretty much back to normal now, walking about in society without our pajama pants.