We're home. Yesterday morning, all of my remaining family (one of my brothers and his family left the day before, my grandparents returned to Florida, and my dad is off working because he is still not senior enough to get a Christmas vacation-- despite the fact that he's been with the company since March of 1978 and will have a forced retirement in less than three years) mosied on over to Bob Evans. If you don't know about Bob Evans, you are probably from west of the Mississippi (unless there are Bob Evans restaurants west of the Mississippi-- I've never looked). Despite the fact that they offer a smoking section (blech), we like going there when we are east of the Mississippi-- the food, breakfast in particular, is relatively good.
Anyway, they seemed a bit annoyed that we weren't willing to sit in smoking, and also that the twelve of us weren't will to cram into two booths designed for four people each (let's see-- 12 people, including 5 kids, crammed into a space for 8-- that's asking for some major mayhem). So we got a table together. The kids were pretty good waiting for their food. Marcie even colored! I couldn't believe it. She colored with crayons by herself. Now, don't get me wrong. It wasn't in the lines or even straight or anything. But since Casey only started coloring in the last 9 months and he is 3 years older than Marcie, I was pretty floored.
Breakfast was delicious, and we returned home for some packing. Marcie napped and the kids ran around outside. They are a bit loud outside-- but isn't that the whole point? I guess not to the golfers on the 7th hole. My parents' house backs up to the tee for the 7th hole, and apparently the noise can be distracting. But hey, it's only once every 3 years for crying out loud! And fortunately not many golfers came through.
My mom, sister, and I also snuck out for a tiny bit of retail therapy over to Birkdale, which is just across the street from my parents' neighborhood. My mom wanted to get me a Christmas gift, which was fine with me. :) And though I call it "therapy," I'm really not much for shopping. But it was nice to get some time with my mom and sister all the same.
We finished packing up our things, and when I went to change Marcie's diaper, I noticed a . . . um . . . reaction down there. The skin looks like it's sluffing off or peeling. So I called our pediatrician in California who indicated it's probably an external yeast infection (who ever heard of that?!?) and to use Monostat cream. Crazy, huh? And off to the airport we headed.
Our flight was full (of course), but we had a whole row together. Casey slept the first half of the flight and watched some videos the second half. Marcie slept the second half of the flight. And Jason and I were able to read quite a bit. There were some bumps along the way, and when we landed, Casey cheered: "Yay Mommy! Yay Daddy!" On our way off the airplane, the pilot even let Casey pop into the cockpit to check out the digs. It was neat because Casey knows one of his grandfathers flies airplanes for a living, so we got to "show him" where Grandpa works.
Jason's parents were waiting for us when we arrived at baggage claim (boy were we all glad to see them!). And then an episode of keystone cops ensued-- because Marcie dropped Grandpa's car keys on the bench seat and we didn't realize it until we got to Grandpa's car. Harbor Police was closed. And when I asked information for them, they asked me to describe them. Uh. Hello? It is a pile of keys. No key chain. Just keys. With a tiny grocery store tag. What kind of car? A truck. A white one. A Ford? I don't know. Probably. Fortunately I seemed honest enough, and they handed them over so we could get home.
The kids went right to bed and slept (gloriously) until 7am this morning. When Casey woke up, he expressed incredible interest in all the toys he'd expressed no interest in while we were in North Carolina, including the camera he got from one of his cousins. It'll be fun to see what pictures he's snapped!
So we're home. Marcie and Casey and I all still have our colds. But we managed to survive the grocery store. And take a nap. And tonight we are headed out to see Christmas lights before they are all pulled down. It's hard to believe the holiday season is almost over. And I still haven't finished sending out our Christmas cards! Aargh!
You can see pictures of our last day in North Carolina by clicking the photo below: