OK, Christmas technically ended almost half an hour ago, but I'm still awake, so it should count...
We have had a great time the past few days. It's been nice being home with my boys, trying to relax and enjoy each other's company. Zach and I did some mommy-son things this week, and I even enjoyed myself. If we do any more things together here, though, I will need to invest in some black exercise pants to wear out and about. Paired with an oversize t-shirt and visible panty line, they seem to be de riguer for outings in The Woodlands. I know I am not a fashion plate, but I do try to make an effort to look nice when I leave the house every day. Exercise pants, in my opinion, belong at the gym, or when you don't plan to leave the house.
Anyway, this week, Zach and I took a friend to Pump it Up, which is this indoor inflatable playplace. I am not big on outings with lots of other mommy-types, but I took a book and read while Zach and his friend jumped around for an hour. They both had a great time, and with lots of coaxing from me, managed to leave willingly before the session ended. Another day, I took Zach to see Santa Claus, and there was a huge area of "snow" right outside of Santa's house. We had to wait in line for 40 minutes, and Zach was very patient about waiting. He played in the snow for about 1 minute after having his picture taken with Santa, and decided that it was too cold and wet. We also saw some real reindeer, and Zach got to sit in an Old West stagecoach. We baked cookies together this week, and drove around to see Christmas lights a couple of times. I am so glad we have another week until we go back to school. I really like this slow pace that we are living.
Yesterday, Darren spent the entire day washing and folding laundry (that was a Christmas present in itself), and I spent the day in the kitchen. I made a chocolate bread pudding cake with eggnog sauce for today (YUM), and gumbo for dinner last night. It took all day to chop the veggies and cook the gumbo, but it was well worth it. Sitting down to dinner last night withe Darren and Zachary, I couldn't help but wonder how many families in South Louisiana were having the same thing for dinner. After we ate, we took Zach and Roux riding to see some Christmas lights in The Woodlands. We came home, put Zach to bed, then began the arduous task of setting out the Santa Claus presents. One Santa from our family ended up having to dash to a convenience store at 11:45 to get batteries for the Piston Cup race track, which was a huge hit today.
We crashed around 1:00, and I woke up at 7:30, wondering why no one had woken me up yet. I checked on Zachary, then went downstairs and let the dog out and started breakfast. By then, Darren was awake, so went in Zach's room, turned off his noise machine, and just stood there until he woke up (maybe a whole minute later). Thus commenced an hour of playing with Santa presents, then we ate breakfast and unwrapped gifts. Around 11:45, we started getting dressed and preparing for our trip to Galveston, to Darren's dad's house. We arrived there around 1:45, (not much traffic on I-45 today), and Sean and Jamie got there about five minutes later. We sat around and drank wine, then Mike and Tracie came over around 3:00. We drank more wine, then gorged ourselves on Christmas dinner around 5:00. Afterwards, we opened presents, and it was like a whirlwind of activity in that one room. There were 9 adults and 5 kids, and everyone was opening something at once. I didn't even get to see my nieces and nephews opening gifts, but everyone seemed to be excited about their presents.
We hung out and talked until 10:00, then drove home. Zach fell asleep in the car, and Darren and I tried to clean up as much of the present carnage as we could before we got too tired. Now, it is time for bed. We are going to go to the Houston Museum of Natural Science tomorrow to see a Ben Franklin exhibit, then to REI to spend our Christmas gift certificates on bike gear.